Alabama Football: What You Should Have Learned from the A Day Scrimmage
By Larry Burton
Nick Saban would be the first to say that most read too much into A Day scrimmages, but it was Saban himself who left that scrimmage thinking and saying publicly that that he was not thrilled by where the team as a whole was at this point.
But would you really expect anything less from Saban?
So what should you have learned from A Day besides the obvious? Let’s cover them all.
The Obvious –
That Alabama needs a healthy AJ McCarron this season.
That the offensive line doesn’t seem to be a problem as many feared.
That the running game should be good.
That the passing game should be outstanding.
That Cody Mandel is going to be a good sword in the Alabama arsenal at punter this season and gets better each year.
Nice to know that if called upon, Cade Foster can hit short field goals.
The Not So Obvious –
Though it’s a new group, passes to the tight end will end up providing about the same results as they always do in a Saban offense.
That Alec Morris would be the one Saban will turn to win win a game after mid season if McCarron is hurt. Morris is the real deal.
Chad Lindsey is a good backup at center and guard and makes the coaching staffing breath easier knowing they have a more than decent backup to a first year starting center.
Ryan Kelly, the starting center, is the real deal and should have a great career at Alabama and an NFL one after that.
Arie Kouandijo looks to be able to hold his own against anyone they’ll throw against him at left guard.
You’re going to see a lot of freshmen in the rotation at linebacker this year and there won’t be a drop off when they are in there.
Maybe the defensive backfield isn’t as worrisome as most fans feared it would be. Though cornerback was thought to be a problem it doesn’t look like a bad one or one that won’t be fixed very soon.
What the Keen Eyes Saw
That Alabama has four safeties that are not just good, but scary good. I’d hate to be the one to have to decide who’s starting and who’s second.
Tana Patrick could be one of young men to step up and be a much needed play maker at linebacker to go along with C.J. Mosely.
Parker McLeod has a good touch on the ball and is someone to keep an eye on as a true freshman quarterback. He seemed cool to be on his first big stage playing with no one expecting anything from him at this point.
Though Saban would argue, the play wasn’t at all as sloppy as it could have and should have been, the INT’s were glaring, but there were few penalties and few fumbles. Also there were few if any total coverages blown by the defensive backs.
Even the young and inexperienced running backs seemed to pick up pass blocking schemes when they weren’t running the ball. That was a shocker even though the defense was base without blitz schemes all day.
That though this team may lack experience in some areas, there’s no denying that this could be one of the more talented overall teams in the SEC and you know what that usually means for those who meet the SEC in championship games.
Combined with an easier than usual schedule, a talent pool deeper than any other team, a coaching staff that is not only good at getting the best from the team, but usually succeeds in getting them to the biggest game of all and you saw a team in this spring game that is a team capable of bringing more crystal back to Tuscaloosa.