Alabama Football: After A-Day Nick Saban more upbeat than fans


Saturday was a somewhat unusual Alabama Football, A-Day game. Weather forecasts reduced the size of the crowd. The ‘viewing’ option was not accessible to everyone. The game was played as quickly as possible, including the teams remaining on the field between the halves.

In the end, the first-team defense and second-team offense won 25-7. One result is Will Anderson Jr. and his defensive mates will eat steaks. The current Heisman Trophy winner will have to dine on beans.

Bryce Young did not have a game befitting a Heisman winner. One reason why was too often ineffective protection by his offensive line. An even bigger reason was that sacks were easier to come by, with only the slightest touch of a QB to create a sack. The White team winners recorded 10 sacks. Given the tackling rules and the pass-rushing quartet of Will Anderson Jr., Dallas Turner, Chris Braswell and Jamil Burroughs, Young had little chance to shine. The four defenders combined for nine of the 10 Crimson sacks.

Many Alabama football fans seem to not care that sacks were inflated by the rules of A-Day. Instead, they are quite concerned about the Tide’s offensive line. Kendall Randolph and Damieon George Jr. had rough games. Though he performed adequately, it was also apparent JC Latham needs continued improvement.

Asked specifically about Latham, Nick Saban said, Latham has made a lot of progress,

"We’re not satisfied with where he is, but we’re pleased with the progress that he’s making.” Saban said the purpose of Saturday’s game was to evaluate offensive line and there was less helping with blocking in terms of players chipping"

Saban also defended his offensive line saying it is working without three starters. One of them, Emil Ekiyor will step in for George in the fall. The second is the recovering Darrian Dalcourt, who when healthy, may or may not beat out Seth McLaughlin at center. The third ‘starter’ must be Vanderbilt transfer, offensive tackle, Tyler Steen.

Alabama Football and dopped passes

Another A-Day issue that concerns Alabama fans was the number of dropped passes. The combined wide receiver output from both squads was 22 catches from 42 targets. Christian Leary stood out for the Crimson team with five catches for 106 yards. JoJo Earle and Kendrick Law caught four passes each. Jermaine Burton, Thaiu Jones-Bell and Traeshon Holden had three receptions each.

Speaking about the drops, Saban said,

"You never want drops. They also had that issue in the scrimmage when the conditions weather-wise were better, and players need to catch the ball regardless of the conditions."

Next. Look for more roster transitions - quickly.. dark

Alabama fans have good reason to be concerned about the offensive line. We should also remember spring games are more hints than statements.