31 March 2008
- When you're "playing" yourself, every positive has a negative, and every negative has a positive. The passing numbers were bad, which means that the QBs and WRs weren't playing well. It also means that the DBs were playing well.
- Bama is working on a new offense. While Coach Saban has talked about the fact that 70% of the offensive terminology from last season will remain, there is still an adjustment. Add to that the fact that this was Bama's 6th practice, with 2 of those coming in shorts and T-shirts prior to spring break, and you have to expect the offense to be behind a defense that, despite changing coordinators also, is the same defense that the Tide ran in 2007.
- Bama's WR corp is young. Yes, there are some returning guys, namely Mike McCoy, Nikita Stover & Will Oakley. But both Stover & Oakley were dealing with injuries, so it's unlikely that they participated a great deal. It is important to keep in mind just what Bama is replacing at this position, though - between DJ Hall, Keith Brown & Matt Caddell, the Tide is losing a combined 397 receptions, 5,918 yards & 35 TDs. The guys returning have a combined 71 receptions, which I will grant is a decent number considering most teams that lose their top 3 receivers likely have far less returning experience. We should expect for there to be a learning curve for this new group. Guys like Earl Alexander & Darius Hanks have very limited experience. Bama has a couple of talent guys that saw no action last year in Brandon Gibson & Marquis Maze, as well as early enrolee Chris Jackson. And then there's the group of Freshmen coming in - Julion Jones, BJ Scott, Melvin Ray, Devonta Bolton & Destin Hood - that will factor into the mix in August.
- Offense is typically behind defense early in a practice cycle. A great deal of offensive success is dependant upon timing, while a great deal of defensive success is dependant upon reaction. Give the offensive guys some time, and we'll likely see things improve.