Alabama Football: Did Bama depend on Bryce Young too much?

(Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
(Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images) /

With Alabama Football out of this season’s Playoff, Crimson Tide fans are already thinking about next season. But moving on requires some looking back. Understanding the reasons for core deficiencies in the 2022 team is an important part of building for the 2023 season.

A key issue is why the Alabama football offense was less explosive and less consistent than necessary for a championship run. Recently Bama Hammer Contributor, Lauri Springer penned an opinion post stating Bryce Young is the Alabama QB GOAT. Not every Alabama fan agrees and other opinions favoring other Tide QBs are valid.

Some of us who agree with Lauri have had an opportunity to see every Tide QB play going back to the Bryant years. Certainly, if considering NFL careers as well as Crimson Tide performance, other Tide QBs rate higher than Bryce. But picking a greatest based on college careers, it is hard to argue against Bryce at or very near the top.

Young was exceptional in the 2021 season. The last-minute touchdown drive Young led against Auburn was magical. On that drive. Bryce’s poise, determination, and confidence were the equivalent of one player willing a team to victory.

Bryce was a worthy winner of the Heisman, but what stands out most about Bryce goes beyond his award-winning season. His contribution to the Crimson Tide easily makes him the team’s most valuable player last season and this season. And that is a value not measured by NIL dollars.

Note: On Sunday night for the second time in his three-season career, Young was voted Permanent Captain and MVP.

Bryce Young leads by example and his influence is team-wide. For the offense, he is the brain and the heart. In some instances this season, Young’s immense talent has not been enough. The shortcomings were mostly a product of his shoulder injury and a receiving corps that too often let him down.

Many Crimson Tide fans believe the Tide’s greatest offensive weakness has been Offensive Coordinator, Bill O’Brien. Bryce Young shouldered all the failings, including his own. Thanks to Bryce, the Tide was two, tough losses short of championship opportunities. Without him, the Crimson Tide would have never come close.

Alabama football offense too dependent on Bryce?

A fair claim is O’Brien, Nick Saban and other Crimson Tide offensive players were too dependent on Bryce. Given that Bryce could not run routes and catch passes, any suggestion for a different offensive plan would have required more reliance on Tide running backs. Just ‘run the ball’ might have helped. Alabama’s running backs are certainly capable. The only question would be the offensive line.

Under Eric Wolford, the Tide’s O-line was better than last season. For the most part, it gave Bryce adequate protection. It also opened some impressive holes for Tide running backs. It did not always get enough push when opposing defenses were expecting a running play.

If the Crimson Tide offense was too much Bryce, perhaps it was because much of the time – it had to be.

Speculation about the 2023 roster. dark. Next

There is plenty of room for disagreement about what O’Brien should have done and not done. Sadly, a post-Bryce Alabama football era will never provide answers.