Nick Saban and his team are kind enough to put on an extravaganza every spring, and tomorrow’s A-Day game is just about set to go. Fans converge on Tuscaloosa and enjoy a nice day where they see their future team in action. Each year is a different experience. Last year, the burning question surrounded the quarterbacks. With that battle firmly settled, attention turns to other positions.
Unfortunately, the defense will be very vanilla for the game. I’ll be watching the trenches, as well as the cornerbacks, who will need to show off their technique. Do they press effectively? Do they use good trailing technique when they have safety help? Are the corners and safeties able to function as a cohesive unit in any combination coverages that are called from the sidelines?
Jesse Williams and Barrett Jones will match up across from each other for the game in a battle of future NFL stars. If Williams is able to hold the point-of-attack at nose guard, the rest of the defense could shine. If Jones is able to solo block the big Aussie, the first offense will be enjoying steaks after their victory.
Offense will garner the majority of my attention, particularly the running backs and wide receivers. Eddie Lacy will not be playing as he recovers from turf toe surgery, so who will be toting the rock? A strong performance by Dee Hart or early enrollee TJ Yeldon will give either of them momentum going into the summer.
Wide receiver has been a hotly contested position this spring. They need to show off their mechanics. How do they run routes? Are their breaks sharp or do they round them off? When a run is called, how well do they block? Kevin Norwood, last seen demolishng Tyrann Mathieu in the BCS title game, has one spot with the first team. Kenny Bell and Christion Jones are trying to earn the other spot.
Questions abound as A-Day approaches. It is up to the players themselves to decide who will step up and who will earn playing time. A-Day will not finalize the depth chart as Alabama works towards the season opener against Michigan, but it will provide more fuel for the ever-burning fire that is Crimson Tide football.