Alabama’s special teams unit will look significantly better this week due to the return of five-star defensive back Tony Brown, who is returning from serving a four game suspension. Since Alabama has been dominating opponents lately, Brown’s return won’t affect their college football betting lines.
Due to his suspension, Brown, a junior special teams gunner and backup defensive back, hasn’t played a game for the Crimson Tide since the SEC Championship Game last season, missing the team’s playoff run to the national championship.
Now that he is eligible to return, head coach Nick Saban said the team was happy to welcome him back. Saban also added that it won’t be an easy transition for Brown to work himself back into football shape and into the lineup.
Saban said that Brown, who is also an All-American in track, will be given an opportunity to earn his old job back and see if he can contribute to the team’s success. The coach said Brown still has the ability to be productive for the Tide, and will give them depth at a position they don’t have a lot of depth on.
Unlike other suspensions that require a player stay away from the team, Brown was allowed to practice with the team during his suspension, so he is in better shape than he would have been if he had been barred from the team.
Brown’s teammates say they are excited to have him back, and say he has earned their trust. Saban is hoping Brown’s return also brings more competition to the position because there is another player fighting for playing time, which he hopes will light a fire under the other Wide receiver Calvin Ridley said he was happy to see Brown defensive backs and special teamers on the team.
Ridley said he has been watching Brown on the scout team and he looks hungrier than he has ever seen him, which is the type of passion the coaches and staff like to see in their players.
Ridley added that even though Brown knew he wasn’t going to play during his suspension, he still gave the team his all during practice, proving how dedicated he is to trying to help the team win another championship this season.
Minkah Fitzpatrick said he spoke to Brown on Sunday, and he is very excited to be rejoining the team. Fitzpatrick and the rest of Brown’s teammates were equally as excited because he will provide them with depth at the cornerback position, which is something they admitted they were in need of.
Another reason Brown’s teammates are excited about his return is the fact that he is one of the funniest players on the team. That might not mean a lot to people on the outside, but for the guys in Alabama’s locker room, it means a lot because his jokes keep the mood light in the locker room, easing some of the tension players have before games.
One thing is for sure, the Alabama players and coaches have all been impressed with what they saw from Brown in practice and are confident he will help the team significantly once he gets back on the field.