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May 28, 2020    
May 07, 2017

Post A-Day

Well football season is officially over. The A-Day game is history and the Crimson Tide looks to be ready to compete for a playoff spot once again. The A-Day game produced zero surprises except perhaps some of the blitzes in the second half.

The number one and number two quarterbacks looked good. I figure the coaching staff hasn’t named a starter, but Jalen Hurts did nothing that would demote him and in fact looked very good throwing the ball. Tua Tagovailoa looked great at times and other times he looked like a kid just out of high school. His upside is through the roof, but chances are he’ll sit behind Hurts for a couple of years. He seemed OK with that coming in, he knows the score.

  Lord have mercy, the Tide has running backs. Three of the best didn’t play (Bo Scarbrough, Damien Harris and B.J. Emmons) and the ones that did play Najee Harris, Josh Jacobs, and Brian Robinson all performed well. Harris in particular gained 107 yards 70 rushing and another 37 through the air. The hard part will be keeping everybody happy so don’t be surprised if some transfer.

  Another amazing thing that should be noted is that of the 25 guys in the 2017 recruiting class 16 of them went through spring practice. Dang! This class will help in the fall and it will come on both sides of the ball. Freshman and early enrollee Jerry Jeudy is going to be a special part of a receiving corps that could really challenge defenses this fall. If the “new” offense goes back to a run first and throw it over the top with some play action to the tight end the offense could spell trouble, if the line can hold blocks. If not look for Hurts to do what he did last year and tuck the ball and run. No matter what they do they should not hamstring Hurts running the ball. All that said the emergence of a dependable passing game will be crucial to the long-term success of the 2017 team.

  While the defense lost a bunch of people to the NFL draft, which they seem to do every year, don’t expect much of a drop off. It might take a few games for everything to gel but by October the defense should be in good form and ready to make a serious run at their fourth SEC title in as many years. The Tide has depth at linebacker and should be able to develop a nice rotation on the line where Da’Ron Payne, Da’Shawn Hand, Josh Frazier and junior college transfer Isaiah Buggs should be regular contributors.

  The secondary should be in good hands with the emergence of Anthony Averett, the successful transition of Trevon Diggs and Tony Brown. Diggs was burned several times during the A-Day game, but those guys are going to burn a lot of people. Tony Brown will need to keep his emotions under control and if he can do that all should be well. Depth could be an issue if Bama is plagued with injuries or targeting penalties. The safety position is in good hands with Minkah Fitzpatrick, a serious ball hawk, the hard hitting Ronnie Harrison, and Hootie Jones at dime back. Again depth could prove problematic.

  What remains to be seen is how this team responds to the adversity they faced at the end of the season. Yes, they got to the title game and most teams would be happy with that and figure they did OK. This is Nick Saban’s Alabama and these guys are not or at least should not be happy finishing second. That Jalen Hurts has a picture of Clemson lifting the national championship trophy on his phones speaks volumes. The Tide should be hungry next year, which is good news for them and bad news for the SEC. Florida State may well be a pivotal game. Both teams could lose that game and still make the playoff. If they beat FSU it should be clear sailing until the September 30 Ole Miss game.

  Have a nice summer and Roll Tide



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