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3 areas where Alabama will be better in 2024

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(@stephen)
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The University of Alabama could have won a College Football Playoff National Championship in 2023, unfortunately, different aspects of the game caused it to stumble in the Rose Bowl versus Michigan.

Nick Saban's exit from coaching the Crimson Tide brings new excitement and fresh energy. He left a framework and structure for Kalen DeBoer to be successful, but the 49-year-old also wants to take the Tide to a different level. DeBoer saw the areas where Alabama struggled a lot last year, and he is prepared to improve it. If the Tide is able to be better in these areas, it will position itself for an opportunity to win a national title. The areas that Alabama will be better in for the upcoming fall are below.

1. Penalties

Teams in the early part of the Saban era at Alabama were very disciplined.

The Tide prided itself on being fundamentally sound and not having unnecessary penalties. Saban saw the discipline drop in his latter years coaching, especially the 2023 season.

Alabama was the sixth-most penalized team in the Southeastern Conference, getting flagged 78 times for a loss of 655 yards. Saban's group averaged nearly six penalties (5.6) for a loss of 47 yards.

RELATED: The success of Alabama’s defense will center around these 3 players for 2024

Alabama had 10 penalties versus Texas for a loss of 90 yards. It did better against Michigan with only three fouls; however, miscues in both games caused the Tide to lose both. DeBoer will enforce more discipline offensively in pre and post snap.

Alabama fans should notice a significant drop in penalties in the fall.

2. Offensive Line

Alabama has not had a good offensive line since 2020 under Kyle Flood.

The group had Landon Dickerson, Deonte Brown, Alex Leatherwood, Emil Ekiyor, and Evan Neal pacing it to a College Football Playoff National Championship in a Coronavirus season. Doug Marrone and Eric Wolford did not fare well as offensive line coaches, and Chris Kapilovic is here to fix that. Alabama allowed 44 sacks of Jalen Milroe in 2023 -- and though much of it was not on the front line -- it bore much of the blame.

Seth McLaughlin, now at Ohio State, has consistent problems snapping the football properly. The issues of him at center caused the Tide matchups against Texas, Michigan, and nearly Auburn last year.

Alabama could not successfully run the ball like it wanted to, and guys were not communicating pass protections effectively.

RELATED: Which freshman will have the biggest impact for Alabama football in 2024?

Coach Kapilovic will have that improved this season. Parker Brailsford, a transfer from Washington, will be a more efficient snapper, communicator, and blocker at center. Alabama should have the best guard-center-guard look in the nation with Tyler Booker, Brailsford, and Jaeden Roberts. Kadyn Proctor is back as an offensive tackle, though he has to earn his spot back.

Elijah Pritchett and Wilkin Formby will battle for the right tackle position.

The Tide should be much better up front in all facets.

3. Wide Receivers 

Alabama has not had a dynamic wide receiver room since 2019.

The "Rydeouts" with Tua Tagovailoa at quarterback had Jerry Jeudy, DeVonta Smith, Henry Ruggs III, and Jaylen Waddle. 

Alabama has not had a 1,000-plus yard receiver since 2021, when Jameson Williams and John Metchie both eclipsed the mark.

The production at receiver was lackluster for the Tide in 2022 with Bryce Young and 2023 with Jalen Milroe. JaMarcus Shephard, Alabama's co-offensive coordinator and wide receivers coach, is ready to end that. He inherits an incredibly talented room after putting three wide outs from Washington in the National Football League.

Shephard is teaching the unit how to be 'takers,' and the guys are bought in. The production should return to what Alabama fans are accustomed to seeing from its receivers. 

*Get the BEST Alabama football insider information, message board access, and recruiting coverage today! https://tdalabamamag.com/subscription-plan-3/&source=gmail&ust=1553653762990000&usg=AFQjCNGXj_usIpB2PdyPD8cPjtGzQfNzN A">SIGN UP HERE to unlock our subscriber-only content!*

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

This topic was modified 1 week ago by Stephen M. Smith

   
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