On Saturday night in Atlanta, Tide fans will finally see a Brian Daboll, Alabama football offense. Until then we can only ask, Brian Daboll will do what?
Alabama football fans don’t have the answer to what Brian Daboll’s offense will be against FSU. And that is a good thing. Why? Because Jimbo Fisher and Florida State defensive coordinator Charles Kelly don’t know either.
The best information available to the FSU coaches is the Alabama football spring game. That game tape will show Alabama football throwing 68 passes for 661 yards. After seeing that aerial explosion, FSU must think hard before loading the box to stop the Alabama rushing attack.
But the Noles are also too smart to gear up for a new Alabama-style ‘Air-Raid’ offense. They know Saban offenses will always strive for balance. Knowing that provides little help as to the sets and formations the Tide will employ in 2017.
Besides the tape of A-Day, FSU’s offensive analysts have no doubt watched lots of other videos. Brian Daboll’s three stints as an offensive coordinator at Cleveland, Miami and Kansas City, along with the Ole Miss offenses of Dan Werner may aid the Noles. Or not.
What is known about the 2017 Alabama offense
More accurately, let’s discuss what we think we know about 2017. Alabama football is loaded with running backs and receivers. Nick Saban and Brian Daboll want to utilize all those play-making assets as much as possible. The Tide wants Jalen Hurts to be a better pocket passer but will not exclude his running threat.
The New England Patriots and the Alabama Crimson Tide share a proclivity for a three-wide, one-running back, one-tight end offensive set. That is unlikely to change under Brian Daboll. From that set, there may be a few more throws to the tight end and a few more swing passes to running backs.
Despite all the offensive variation adopted by SEC teams the last several seasons, the SEC remains a line of scrimmage league. Battles in the trenches still determine the outcome of many games. Some programs who lag in recruiting top offensive line talent must resort to more finesse football. Alabama is not one of those programs.
Power football is no longer the main offensive option at most schools. Perhaps it should be or will be again. With so many defensive systems setup to counter spread attacks, run-oriented offenses can prosper. Last season’s strategy to wear down defenses and unleash a fresh Bo Scarbrough in second halves was quite effective.
Alabama football has the QB and the RB’s to line up and challenge other teams to stop the run. Does the Tide have the offensive line to do so? We don’t know. Neither does FSU. Given all the unknowns and potential variables, Alabama football has a scheme advantage going into the FSU game.
Game week is finally here and we’ll be covering all the news leading up to the big game. Check in with for all the latest information.