Alabama Football: Sarkisian will not change much of the Tide offense

(Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)
(Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images) /

Steve Sarkisian will not make big changes in the Alabama football offense. One reason is the prolific offense Sark inherited. The other reason is Nick Saban

Alabama football set program offensive records last season. Until the 2018 Crimson Tide offense faced Clemson, its explosiveness was enough to overcome any of the team’s defensive weaknesses.

Despite Tua Tagovailoa’s injury difficulties during the season, the Alabama football offense set two especially impressive program records. The new record of 522 yards-per-game, blew past the old record. The other impressive new program record was 45.6 points-per-game.

So, red zone failures and two interceptions against Clemson aside, why would Steve Sarkisian change much of anything for 2019? One reason for change is the national championship loss. The main goal for every Alabama football season is to win the championship game. As unrealistic as it may be, 14-1 and a SEC Championship are not enough.

Sark will make changes but the goals for the new offense will be the same as last season. Take what the defense gives, protect the ball, repeatedly win physical challenges and produce explosive plays.

As Nick Saban said,

"We kind of do what we do. I think the new coordinator brings new energy, new enthusiasm, new ideas. Sometimes we make tweaks and adaptations to what we do. But we’re pretty successful on offense, especially last year. So why would we change it a lot?"

Sark may use less RPO and bring back the Pistol. Shotgun sets may sometimes give way to Power I formations with two running backs and two tight ends in short-yardage situations. Play-action passes may be featured more. The Crimson Tide will probably go fast most, but not all the time.

With a bevy of excellence at wide receiver, some four WR formations may be seen. In the past, Sark has often split a TE wide, making them in effect another slot receiver. Passes to the running backs will likely be a major feature.

The fact is Sarkisian has so many effective tools to utilize, his greatest danger could be trying to use too much. Overcomplicating the offense would be a mistake. Particularly for the Crimson Tide program that has had four different offensive coordinators in four seasons.

Last April, Tide 100.9 had a conversation with former USC QB, John David Booty. Booty was asked to describe Steve Sarkisian’s philosophy. His answer was “aggressive … keep a foot on the gas.” Others have explained Sark’s tempo and play-calling as pressuring opposing defenses into misalignment and creating personnel mismatches.

Even without broad changes to Nick Saban’s Alabama football offense, the Tide quarterbacks have things to learn. Sark’s offense demands smart QB play. Full progression reads are important. How Sark balances that style, while still using RPO could be the most intriguing development of the coming season.

Next. Was Sark not the right hire?. dark

The post linked above was written six months ago. We are more enthusiastic about Sarkisian today, but our past doubts were not without merit. Make no mistake, we look forward to the opportunity of writing about his great performance as OC and QB coach throughout the season.