Alabama Football: Crimson Tide problems and Nick Saban

Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports
Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports /

Alabama Football has problems. If that statement is too strong for any Crimson Tide fans, we can say Alabama Football has weaknesses. Not even the most steadfast Alabama Crimson Tide fan can dispute there are weaknesses.

Among fans, there has been much debate over exactly what is wrong. Like most complex problems, what is wrong is not one big then, but the sum of deficiencies that singly can be minor, but collectively are major.

Every team, even championship ones, has weaknesses. For the top teams, the weaknesses are minimized by larger portions of team strengths.

Alabama Football Weaknesses

The list below is a summary of the most frequently mentioned reasons cited on message boards and social media. As fans, we can debate them, but such debate does not bring closure. Even if every weakness listed below is a serious flaw, the Alabama football staff sees them and more.

  • Because of his shoulder injury and the time missed while recovering, Bryce Young has not been able to make up for offensive problems. Bryce had a rough night in Baton Rouge, uncharacteristically not connecting on too many throws. His normal magic was missing.
  • The running game has been inconsistent, with the offensive line failing to push defenders off the LOS too often.
  • Receivers have struggled to make reads, create separation and catch passes.
  • Bill O’Brien may or may not have good schemes, but either way, in-game adjustments provide little variety in what opposing defenses must stop.
  • In similar fashion, Pete Golding’s defensive schemes may be okay but their execution is too often lacking. The result has been blown coverages, missed assignments and missed tackles. Two more results have been a pass rush, which based on personnel should be great, too often isn’t, and an alarming inability to create turnovers.
  • Then there are the penalties, that signal a lack of focus or a lack of discipline – or both.

Some Alabama fans are questioning if Nick Saban is part of the problem. Add me to those who have a counter-opinion, as suggested in Chris Lowe’s tweet below.

To Saban’s credit, whatever is wrong, he accepts full responsibility. No assistants or players have been thrown under any crimson bus. As Saban said on Monday,

"Ultimately, the responsibility for what happens on the field comes down to me."

The Crimson Tide coordinators are not freelancing. To the extent Alabama Football has offensive and defensive weaknesses, they are not coming from any schemes outside of Saban’s goals for both sides of the ball.

Next. When Alabama needs a coach, Lane Kiffin has fan support. dark

Going forward, Saturday’s Ole Miss game is big for the Crimson Tide. To an extent, it is the first game of the 2023 season, when Alabama can again match championship character with championship performance.