Alabama Football: Tide defense must quickly be better than last season.

(Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
(Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images) /

An inexperienced Alabama football defense must quickly be better

Leading up to every Alabama football season, belief in the Crimson Tide runs high. Of course, it does. The 2020 season is no different than every season, going back to 2009, with no clear reason the Tide will not be the Champion.

In the Nick Saban, Alabama football era, optimism is warranted. The 2020 season should be another great Crimson Tide season. Those wanting to pump the brakes a bit can cite not making the CFB Playoff field, for the first time ever last season. And there is some head-scratching left from the Clemson National Championship beatdown.

But the 2019 season was marred by a series of major injuries to key players. If healthy, LaBryan Ray, Dylan Moses and Josh McMillon would have erased nearly all defensive weaknesses. Without them, the Crimson Tide was not a Playoff caliber team. It likely would not have been even with a full season of health for Tua Tagovailoa.

So is the optimism for 2020, a conditioned response from Alabama Football fans? Even if it is there are many solid claims the Crimson Tide will be improved in 2020. Seven offensive players offer proof the Alabama football offense will again be powerful. They are Najee Harris, Devonta Smith, Jaylen Waddle and the four returning offensive linemen. At those position groups, no team in the SEC, and maybe no team in the nation, has a better seven.

2020 Alabama Football Defense

The Crimson Tide defense should be better than last season. Just being better is not enough  – it needs to be much better. Mac Jones may become an All-SEC quarterback. He has plenty of skills. He just is no Tua. Expecting him to be is foolish and unfair to the young man. The Tide offense, led by Mac, should be potent. But it is unlikely to be Tua-like explosive.

The Crimson Tide might not be able to win every offensive shootout. The defense will need to carry a heavier load. For the relatively inexperienced 2020 defense, getting better quickly is key. Southern Cal should not beat the Crimson Tide. But the Trojans will provide a test to the new Alabama football secondary. Without more quarterback pressure than last season, Kedon Slovis could light up the new Tide secondary. Having to win a shootout in a season-opener is not advised.

Two weeks later, the Georgia Bulldogs travel to Tuscaloosa. Those of us not immediately buying into the Jamie Newman hype might have another reason for concern. New Bulldogs’ OC, Todd Monken, if unfettered by Kirby, could significantly improve the Georgia offense. It may not become pass-heavy but can be expected to be more open and less predictable. Monken has a strong reputation and is known for not being locked in on one particular system.

Even if Jamie Newman is not a legitimate Heisman contender, the Georgia offense could be much better than last season. With an offensive line re-build, the Dawgs will be a work-in-progress on Sept. 19. Georgia will field the more experienced defensive unit against the Crimson Tide. It will be arguably, two-deep loaded.

"… they (Georgia) lost 3 multiyear starters from 2019 and still have 17 players returning that could be considered starters."

Both teams will cloud the other’s view in season-opening games. That might be easier for the Bulldogs against Virginia. In the season-openers, the Crimson Tide defense may have to show more than Monken’s offense.

Next. Stop it with those weak schedule claims. dark

The Crimson Tide will be favored against the Trojans and the Bulldogs. Both games should be Tide wins, but the defense must improve quickly.