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Alabama’s offense did what it could in 2022, but it hopes for more balance in the fall

Alabama wide receiver Isaiah Bond (17) checks the line during NCAA at Thomas-Drew Practice Fields in Tuscaloosa, AL on Thursday, Mar 30, 2023.
Photo comes via SEC Media Portal

As much as he wanted more balance from Alabama’s offense in 2022, Nick Saban was not disappointed with what he saw.

The Crimson Tide averaged 40 points per game and had an electric playmaker at quarterback. Two running backs total 100+ rushing attempts and six different receivers caught 20+ passes. Alabama did not run the ball with the fierceness we have become used to and it did not control the clock, but Jahmyr Gibbs nearly became a 1,000-yard (926) rusher for the Tide.

RELATED: Nick Saban reflects on what Mal Moore meant to him and Alabama football

Young is off to the NFL Draft and Bill O’Brien is back with the New England Patriots. Alabama has to locate a new starting quarterback between Jalen Milroe and Ty Simpson. Saban hired Tommy Rees from Notre Dame to run the offense and develop the quarterback room. On Thursday, Saban explained why he was not critical of last year’s offense but is excited to see more balance in the fall.

“I think what we did last year is what we needed to do to win,” Saban said. “We did not run the ball well enough last year, but we featured the players we had. Bryce was an outstanding player, and we wanted him to do what he could do. I think if we have a better balance, it will take pressure off the quarterback. I think the offensive line has done a good job so far. I like where we are headed and what we are doing. The scheme that we have to run the ball is well-tied together. Hopefully, between that and play-action passes we can make a few more explosive plays and not rely on dropping back all the time.”

The national championships for Alabama in the Saban era started with a balanced attack. 

It had a powerful run game, elite offensive linemen, play-action passes with quarterbacks, and an offensive coordinator making sure everything flowed well. Saban is looking forward to returning to this style with Rees operating the unit.

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Stephen M. Smith is the managing editor and senior writer for Touchdown Alabama Magazine.  You can “like” him on Facebook or “follow” him on Twitter, via @CoachingMSmith.

Stephen Smith is a 2015 graduate of the University of Alabama. He is a senior writer and reporter for Touchdown Alabama Magazine. He has covered Alabama football for 10+ years and his knowledge and coverage of the Crimson Tide's program have made him among the most respected journalist in his field. Smith has been featured on ESPN and several other marquee outlets as an analyst.

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