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Kalen DeBoer highlights Alabama’s offensive line as most improved group during spring practice

Alabama head coach Kalen DeBoer on the field during 2024 spring practice for the Crimson Tide.
Gary Cosby Jr. - Tuscaloosa News/ USA Today Sports

Bad snaps and 44 sacks allowed kept the University of Alabama football team from winning a College Football Playoff National Championship last season under Nick Saban.

Alabama has a new head coach (Kalen DeBoer) and offensive line coach (Chris Kapilovic) for the coming fall. Crimson Tide fans want to see better snaps, but it also wants a return of physicality in run blocking and effective pass protection. Coach DeBoer highlighted the offensive front as the most improved group in spring practice. He praised the unit to Roger Hoover of Crimson Tide Sports Network in Monday’s “Hey Coach” show from Baumhower’s Victory Grille in Tuscaloosa, Ala. Alabama ran the ball effectively in the spring game with its running backs and quarterback had several good moments connecting with wide receivers.

RELATED: Alabama’s ‘underrated’ wide receiver room is ready to turn heads in the fall

DeBoer raved about the front line’s growth from the first practice to the fifteenth one.

“That group did a great job,” DeBoer said about the offensive line.

“I really have not thought through which group had the most improvement, but if I had to start somewhere I would go to them. It was just how they were able to develop their overall game. In scrimmage one, they ran the ball well but did not protect as well. In the final scrimmage, there was solid pass protection. That allowed the quarterbacks to work down the field, not just short passes, but also with play-action and got the run game going. I thought they did a really nice job overall. We got some moving parts in there, some guys played in different spots, and we gained depth and flexibility with the positions they played.”

Alabama worked several guys into the offensive line rotation in the spring, but the starting group appeared to be Elijah Pritchett, Tyler Booker, James Brockermeyer, Jaeden Roberts, and Wilkin Formby from left to right. The return of Kadyn Proctor makes the left side very interesting. If he wins the tackle spot, the Tide could transition Pritchett over to right tackle.

It will be intriguing to see how summer workouts and fall camp plays out, but it’s good to see growth up front.

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Stephen M. Smith is the 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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