Alabama Football: The Daily Insider March 28

Oct 10, 2015; Tuscaloosa, AL, USA; A general view of Bryant-Denny Stadium during the game between the Alabama Crimson Tide and Arkansas Razorbacks. Mandatory Credit: Marvin Gentry-USA TODAY Sports
Oct 10, 2015; Tuscaloosa, AL, USA; A general view of Bryant-Denny Stadium during the game between the Alabama Crimson Tide and Arkansas Razorbacks. Mandatory Credit: Marvin Gentry-USA TODAY Sports /

Alabama football fans have a big appetite for information and we’ll be serving up healthy portions of hot food for thought with a side of seasonal inside information every morning this Spring.

There was a time when getting to the Waysider early on a weekday morning was the best way to learn what was really going on with Alabama football.

In the compact dining area, all you had to do was listen. Most conversations included tidbits of information about the University and the football program.

These days there is more to be gleaned by surveying the digital landscape of multitudinous sources. The problem with this wondrous abundance of information is in separating the sense from the nonsense.

That’s where we come in. This column will endeavor to guide that process of discernment.

We’ll peruse message boards, podcasts, tweets, talk radio and numerous digital communication platforms. We’ll ferret out the most worthwhile information and offer our take on what it means.

The Daily Insider: March 28

There was no practice session on Monday. Alabama football returns to the practice field Tuesday afternoon. Nick Saban will regale the media after practice, although some reporters might choose a different description.

Yesterday we devoted our attention to seven players essential to a 2017 championship run. One of those “we can’t afford to lose to injury” players was Jalen Hurts. Disdaining redundancy we will remind everyone, the only QB competition in Tuscaloosa this spring is for No. 2, No Starting QB Debate for the Tide.

Jalen Hurts will start every game in 2017 (and the 2018 post-season), barring injury. Those last two words, barring injury, are key to 2017 Alabama football success.

For any of you, still not fully bought-in to Jalen’s value, read How Jalen Compares to Heisman Winners.

Still searching for more optimism about Jalen as a complete quarterback? Check out this story from SI’s Andy Staples The Next Great College Quarterback.

Alabama Crimson Tide Football
Alabama Crimson Tide Football /

Alabama Crimson Tide Football

Hurts will lead the next offensive era for Alabama football. And what kind of offense will it be? It will be a Nick Saban offense. Just as it has been with Jim McElwain, Doug Nussmeir, Lane Kiffin and Steve Sarkisian.

It is an understatement to say Saban is guarded when he talks for public consumption. Another word to describe his public communication approach is calculating. Saban controls information as obsessively as he controls every other facet of his vaunted process.

Conversely, when not in rant mode, he is direct and definitive. At those times it is wise to pay attention. For example, when asked about Jalen Hurts making plays with his feet, Nick said as reported by Michael Wayne Bratton in Saturday Down South.

"“We want him to do those things, but only after he goes through his progressions … I think we wanted to go from pro-style to be a little bit more spread and maybe we got too far to the right on the spread part and now we need to develop our quarterbacks to go back and be a little more pro-style. I think having a guy like this, (offensive coordinator Brian Daboll) that knows pro-style football will help us.”"

There is nothing cryptic here. Saban and Daboll intend to expand Jalen Hurt’s skill-set as a drop-back, pro-style QB. Remember the two important words we mentioned earlier – barring injury. In the 2016 Alabama football season, the leading rusher, based upon number of carries, was Jalen Hurts.

In 2016 Jalen ran the ball 191 times. Damien Harris and Bo Scarbrough had 146 and 125 carries, respectively. After “going through his progressions” in 2017, Jalen Hurts will not be the Tide’s No. 1 ball-carrier. Jalen Hurts 2017 offensive burden will change, and as it does, it will also reduce his risk for injury.

A more pro-style designed attack can make Jalen an even more productive quarterback.

For more detail of what to expect from the 2017 offense, check out the story below:

Next: What Kind of Offense in 2017?

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