Alabama Football: Three thoughts for the Crimson Tide open week

(Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images)
(Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images) /

During the open week, many Alabama fans, rather than looking ahead to LSU, are re-examing the 7-1 Alabama football team. In many ways, the season has not gone as expected. That is if, like me, you anticipated no serious threats to an undefeated regular season.

Texas, Texas A&M and Tennessee dispelled that notion. What lies ahead looks to offer plenty of additional challenges with road games at LSU and Ole Miss, followed by either Georgia or Tennessee in Atlanta.

After a couple of days to ponder how much progress the Tide has made and how much more can be made over the next five weeks, I have regained optimism. Allow me to explain why. There are three very good reasons.

Three Reasons for Alabama Football Optimism

A big reason is, two position groups having shown flaws, have quickly gotten better. Those groups are the Crimson Tide defensive backfield and the wide receivers.

Against Mississippi State, the inclusion of cornerback, Eli Ricks made an immediate impact. Ricks (and Kool-Aid McKinstry, as well) had an outstanding performance against Mike Leach’s pass-heavy offense. Alabama has options now of running a dime with three corners and three safeties if a game requires more speed in the secondary.

The same ‘Alabama has quickly improved’ argument can be made about the wide receivers. Yesterday, our newest Bama Hammer Contributor, Preston Judah shared his football knowledge while discussing the Tide’s wideouts. Preston is a football coach and when he writes, the rest of us should take notice. In summary, Preston wrote,

"The receiver corps as a whole is starting to gel, and everyone is starting to find their role."

Click on the link above for Preston’s full explanation.

So, reason one for optimism is already improved, position groups. Reason number two is another position group, while still needing improvement in one area, is doing another main job quite well. That group is the offensive line. As Nick Kelly of the Tuscaloosa News recently explained, the Crimson Tide is second-best in the SEC in allowing quarterback pressures. The Tide’s offensive line needs more consistent push, especially in short-yardage situations. But in pass-pro, The Tide, led by its tackles, is much improved over last season.

Reason three for optimism is Bryce Young. While his production is down some from last season, after factoring in snaps lost due to injury, he is close to his Heisman campaign performance.

Check out the analysis by Pete Thamel,

A healthy Bryce, with improving receivers, will stress every opposing defense.

Next. Experience in close games favors the Tide.. dark

Three strong reasons for Alabama Football optimism, plus a bonus reason – the early CFB Playoff rankings will provide extra motivation for the Crimson Tide.