In 2014, I figured that Blake Sims would start as quarterback, and he did, he set a school record for passing yards in a single season. Then I said Jake Coker would be passed on the depth chart, and he wound up leading the Tide to the national championship trophy.
I think Blake Barnett is a leader. Maybe. But is he going to get the starting job? Because I shouldn’t discount Cooper Bateman, who was the No. 2 last year, or David Cornwell, who was seen as a possible favorite after last year’s practices. Right now we don’t have an all-time great under center.
In my opinion, Alabama coach Nick Saban never called on a running back as much as Derrick Henry. The two-back system he employed so effortlessly at Alabama practically went extinct last year as Henry ran all the way to a Heisman Trophy. He’s one of the best backs we have ever had.
The two back system, in my opinion is back, with Bo Scarbrough who seems like the favorite to replace Henry, but chances are he will get much assistance in the form of Damien Harris. The latest Heisman odds seem to agree. Scarbrough is only 20/1 to win the trophy, which seems to indicate he’s going to share duties to much to put up the numbers to be called the best in the game.
I believe the key to this season is this Alabama defense. Will the defense be as good as 2015? I sure hope and dream so! With the departure of Reed, Robinson and Ragland in the front defensive line is very difficult to overcome. So is seeing Cyrus Jones and Geno Matias-Smith leave the secondary which seems insurmountable. But what really is a concern is that for the first time in eight years a new coach will be calling the defense. Can he develop more quality defensive players like Smart did?
Jeremy Pruitt will represent a transition as possible given his previous experience on the staff, it is yet to be determined how things go with Kirby Smart gone.
Alabama should be good but with so many losses to the NFL, I think they will reload and start with some inexperienced players. The good news is coach Saban and offensive coaches return and they know how to motivate the Alabama teams.
Off the field issues may rear a ugly head with 3-4 players facing discipline issues with local District Attorney office and facing charges.
If you listened to coach Saban, he said he would deal with it in house. He also said Cam is not a knuckle head that’s in trouble all the time. As much as we need him at LT we also need his leadership on the O line. We’re going to be criticized no matter what we do so I hope he plays and puts this behind him against USC.