Sam Shade, Pinson Valley head coach, has little experience playing defensive games.
Shade helped Alabama win the national championship, was selected in the fourth round of the 1995 NFL Draft and played 10 seasons of professional football.
Will he enjoy the challenge of trying to cover up his Heisman Trophy DeVonta Smith award?
“In my playing career, be it college or professional, I would say. “Coach put me into six,”; Shade said on Sports Talk 99.5 FM on mobile this week. ‘Hey, let’s add 6 coaches, I’ll play over him.’ ”
Shade, Alabama Sports Writers Association, 6th Edition Coach of the Year, after leading the Indians to state-level titles in December, watched the Crimson Tide beat Ohio State on Monday night from the comfort of his own home. That doesn’t diminish respect for what his alma mater has accomplished this year.
“I think they performed well all year, especially playing 10 SEC games in the regular season and then beating a really good Florida team with good people in different positions. Enter the playoffs and win the championship. My hat dropped to them because I know what they are dealing with as far as the COVID protocol and without your head coach in the game – probably the regular season’s biggest game against Auburn. I know they’ve been through a lot to win that title. ”
He was especially impressed with Alabama’s offensive game and Smith’s play.
“He’s a special player,” Shade said. “I think (former Alabama offensive line coordinator / now Texas head coach Steve) Sarkisian throughout the year and especially a few. The past games have done very well to play. I know myself and some staff members want to go down to Tuscaloosa and talk football with him. That’s what you do in the off-season. But I told them I didn’t think we were going to Austin. It’s a little too far. “
In watching, Smith Shade said that he was all good.
“If you try to put pressure on him, he is really good at getting in the press,” he said. When you look at him, he has a good understanding of what defense is giving him, whether they’re in the zone or if they’re in the crowd underneath.
“He did everything well and he was obviously doing really well after the catch. When you’re a counterattack, you need to be a man with a ball in hand. He’s really hard to stop, especially with the way coach Sarkisian moved him around. ”
Shade may be more interested in Alabama next season. His star player at Pinson this year, football boss Ga’Quincy “Kool-Aid” McKinstry signed for Tide in December and is already in Tuscaloosa. McKinstry plays on both sides of the ball for the Indians. But it is likely to find a home in Alabama’s vice in the near future.
Suppose he would do if he had to try to cover up Smith.
“He will probably need a few more seasons of pecans before he gets on cover 6,” Shade jokingly said. “There are some guys playing on Sunday next year who will have a hard time covering Devonta. He’s one of those people you have to be in your game and really use your techniques as a player to give yourself the opportunity to succeed with him one-on-one. ”