Alabama Football: Put a black jersey on Will Anderson Jr.

Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports /

Alabama Football begins spring practice Friday, Mar. 11. There will be drills and no contact in the first session. The Crimson Tide will follow that with an interval for spring break, before returning to the practice field on Monday, Mar. 21.

Again this spring, practices will be closed to the media. Obtaining actual practice session information will be difficult. Nick Saban will do a review after the first session, with no currently scheduled follow-ups.

The University will release practice videos and Crimson Tide fans will peruse them carefully, searching for clues about certain players and potential new starters at wide receiver, offensive tackle and inside linebacker.

One thing some of us don’t want to see happen this spring is Will Anderson Jr. being involved in any contact. The young man does not need physical altercations to get better. Put a black jersey on him and protect him from a serious injury.

Nick Saban is not likely to take such bold and unprecedented action. The Alabama football head coach should consider treating Anderson as equally valuable to Bryce Young. No Alabama players will hit Young this spring and Will Anderson’s knees and ankles should get the same protection.

No doubt’s the Tide’s best defensive player (some say the best player overall) would disdain such restrictions. That does not matter. What might matter, is the Tide’s candidates for new starting tackle roles, might not develop as rapidly without trying to block Anderson this spring. After dealing with Anderson’s fierce pass rush, this fall’s lesser opponents will be easier to control. Only for that reason should Will Anderson not be in a black jersey.

A flip side to the tackles having to contend with Anderson is; instead of gaining confidence in their pass-protection abilities, they might lose some. The reality is Dallas Turner, Chris Braswell and others can provide plenty of challenge for the tackles this spring without risking Will Anderson Jr.

How valuable is Anderson to Alabama Football?

That is an interesting list by a guy with insights into Alabama football, provided by strong staff connections. It is a good list for predicting how the final votes may go. It is flawed if it is meant to rank the best players. Only one guy on that list deserves to be above Will Anderson Jr. and that guy is Bryce Young. Some Tide fans even think a listing of the best should be Anderson No. 1 and Young No. 2.

Next. The Phins should add these Tide players. dark

Readers may conclude this unusual suggestion is a joke. It is not. The Crimson Tide can be very good on defense in 2022. It will be decidedly less good if Will Anderson was to incur a season-ending, knee injury.