The spring chapter of Alabama football is approaching conclusion and Saturday’s second scrimmage provided some good news, some not so good news and some concerns.
For Alabama football, all will not be answered by spring practice. Crimson Tide fans may want closure that will be far from being achieved. The big question of the 2019 Crimson Tide being capable of regaining a national championship will remain unanswered. What fans have instead are clues.
Saturday’s second scrimmage of the spring season provided some clues. Of the three spring scrimmages, the second is the most important one. Young players are expected to perform better in a repeat, game-like setting. Scrimmage No. 3, also known as the A-Day game, is more of an orchestrated showcase. Quarterbacks and pass rushers are both constrained by no-tackle rules. Play calls are purposely vanilla, shrouding big chunks of offensive and defensive playbooks.
So after scrimmage No. 2, how does the 2019 version of Alabama football measure up to un-relenting championship expectations? The short and honest answer is no one knows. Not even the often believed, all-wise, Nick Saban. All-wise does not mean all-knowing.
Let’s review what fans can believe is known, at this spring point, about a Tide team that is very much a work in progress. Patience is the first word that comes to mind. A very young Alabama football team will be a lot better in November than it will be on the last day of August.
The 2019 schedule is favorable to a work in progress. The Gamecocks will not lay down in Columbia and maybe Jimbo will have worked some quick Aggie magic. Otherwise, getting to November unbeaten is not a daunting challenge.
The good news about Alabama Football
Redundant but true, Tua is sensational and can be expected to be even better in 2019. The four top, wide receiver group is the best in the nation. Najee Harris and Brian Robinson may be the most physically gifted pair of running backs in college football. The offensive line will be very good, probably better than last season at run-blocking. Better yet, the O-line group is deep with already seven interchangeable pieces to overcome injury depletion.
The Tide has some strong talent on the first team defense as well. Dylan Moses, Xavier McKinney, Patrick Surtain II, Terrell Lewis and Anfernee Jennings are five potential All-Star defenders. Shyheim Carter, Trevon Diggs, Raekwon Davis and LaBryan Ray are close behind. Eyabi Anoma is likely to dazzle, at least in rushing the passer.