By Larry Burton
While several questions were answered by Saturday’s game against Michigan, there were still a lot of unanswered questions. (Getty Image)
When you’re a writer, people ask you a lot of questions. Some you can answer and some you can’t. But the questions themselves help give an insight into the minds of the fans and give you a chance to write articles that they want to read.
Such is the case here. Here are the questions I felt I had an answer for and perhaps they could help you understand the Tide fans hopes and fears.
Question: With the kickoffs starting five yards closer to the end zone, why can’t Foster (or anyone else in a crimson uniform) kick them out of the end zone?
Answer: He probably could, but it’s not what Alabama wants. Foster has a big leg, that we know, but what few watch and compare to other kickers is how high he can kick it.
Nick Saban uses speed on the kickoff team, the faster guys on the team that aren’t usually starters and usually younger players who need to feel that they’re part of the team. They are the “greyhound gang” that can streak down the field and make fast big hits.
It Foster can hang time a kickoff down to say the five yard line, these streakers have a good chance of nailing the returner inside the 25, which is where it would be placed if Foster just boots it out.
Question: Why didn’t the Tide get more sacks when it was clearly so dominate over the Michigan offensive line?
Answer: Nick Saban and Kirby Smart did not create a defensive game plan to create sacks on Denard Robinson, but instead created one to contain him inside a pocket and the slowly collapse it on him.
Robinson can kill a team that blitzes him intent on sacking him. If he gets one to miss, he can sprint out through the hole in the line they created by running past him.
The staff thought he could not beat them with his arm and they created a game plan to make sure he couldn’t beat them with his feet.
When the time comes, they’ll get sacks against more immobile pocket passers.
Statement, not so much question: AJ looked good but not great last night. I worry about his ability to win a game with his arm.
Answer: AJ could have had a career night against Michigan, especially once the starting corner left the game. Almost every time his sub was picked on, it paid off. The real reason AJ didn’t “light it up” was Nick Saban.
Not to add salt to the Michigan wounds, but Alabama could have easily put another 14 points on Michigan but Saban didn’t want to throwing bombs while ahead by 27 points against a team that obviously couldn’t defend themselves.
Yes, he did miss some throws, but it was the first game and nobody on any team is perfect.
If Arkansas or some other team is silly enough to put eight men in the box and dare McCarron to beat them he will, just as he has proved time and again. Then, he’ll have one of those 300+ passing yard days.
Question: Is there something wrong with Eddie Lacy? Will Yeldon be the first string running back now?
Answer: Lacy, while able to play may not be playing at 100% at this time and Saban isn’t going to over use him while a little dinged when there is no much other talent in the running back corp that both deserve a little playing time and can prove that they can keep the chains moving.
And no, Yeldon will not be first string unless Lacy becomes more injured. Just remember that when the Tide had both Ingram and Richardson on the team, it was Lacy who had the highest yard per carry, not the other two. Lacy is a force yet to be fully unloaded and he’ll get his chance before this season is over.
Question: Why does the secondary look so shaky? Can we give up those kind of plays against a better team and still win?
Answer: The secondary is fine. Robinson burned us on a long pass against a one on one coverage with no safety help after an Alabama player slipped. Our first string secondary looked extremely good and against a better passing team, we’ll have safeties to help with coverage. We also did lots of substituting with a lot of very inexperienced people who would not have been in against a better team or a closer score.
Please use the comment section below and let us know your questions, concerns and state of mind on all things Alabama and we will be in your debt.