Good Morning Crimson Tide Nation, welcome back Alabama Football

(Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images)
(Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images) /

The longest feeling offseason in the history of Alabama football ends today as the Crimson Tide takes on Duke. Let’s consider what lies ahead.

Many of us feel like a long and painful wait is over. For Alabama football fans, slamming the door on January 7, 2019, cannot come a moment too soon.

Some of us seasoned fans can remember when a few offseasons felt even longer. Even in some of the Paul Bryant years, when every season began as a pursuit for a National Championship, the Iron Bowl loser suffered for 365 days. The SEC Championship game and now the CFB Playoff changed the status of the Iron Bowl. Losing it, and to an extent, winning it means less now.

Now Alabama football fans are more interested in retribution against whichever team most recently blocked another national championship accomplishment. It is pure coincidence that team wears orange and also calls themselves Tigers.

Enough about the past. As Alabama football begins another season, it does so with the same expectations known since the 2008 season. Win a championship!

Championships often hinge on luck, particularly injury luck. The Alabama Crimson Tide suffered bad injury luck last season. This season is not starting out much better. ‘Next man up’ can only carry a roster so far – any roster. Yes, the Crimson Tide lost one of its best and most important players in Dylan Moses. And the inside linebacker roster is thin. But that is not the whole story.

Neither Shane Lee or Christian Harris may be as good as Dylan Moses would have been this season. But don’t be surprised if, by November, Lee and Harris are the best pair of inside linebackers in the SEC. That is the story yet to be written and it is not implausible.

Shane Lee is a very athletic young man. He is probably smarter than he is athletic. He is especially well suited to the quarterback of a defense. Christian Harris is a special athlete. Don’t be confused by today being the first game Harris has ever played as an inside linebacker. In high school, his physical attributes allowed him to play wide receiver and defensive back. Every school who recruited him (and there were many top programs) wanted him as a linebacker.

Both these young men can become special players. The big question is how soon. As long as they remain healthy, this Crimson Tide team can still be a top five defense in the second half of the season.

As the young linebackers mature and learn the game, this Alabama football offense will again be explosive. Make that EXPLOSIVE! To the confused pundits who said Tua needs to humble himself this season – you could not be more wrong. This is Tua’s team and consistent with the culture in which he has been raised, he will give his all for his Tide brothers.

Next. Five Bold Predictions for Duke game. dark

Tua’s resolve to redeem what he sees as a personal failure last season will drive the Crimson Tide offense. My guess is that resolve, his talent and a focused effort across the roster will lead to another championship.