The chatter generated by Alabama football’s first fall camp scrimmage is considerable. Social media and message boards are filled with strong and also inconsistent opinions.
In my first post-scrimmage review, I suggested the most valuable assessment comes from what Nick Saban said in the media review after the scrimmage. What follows is more in the vein of reading tea leaves.
Based on multiple reports, most of the scrimmage format was ‘ones vs. twos’ and in those sessions, the Alabama football offense had the upper hand. It seems Jalen Milroe made the largest number of positive plays among the quarterbacks. While in the receiver group drops continue to be concerning, many positive reviews were given to Jermaine Burton’s performance.
The offensive results were different when it was ‘ones vs. ones’ and the Crimson Tide defense shined. Scrimmages are frustrating to assess because when one side of the ball does well, fans worry about the other side of the ball. Let’s not worry too much about the offense. The biggest change that needs to occur from last season is for Alabama to be more physical. The defense seems to be showing it can deliver.
Nick Saban wants more defensive line depth, but every defensive position group can be better than last season. The biggest defensive concern starting the season will be the secondary. Saban and his staff are still doing mix and match with several players working at multiple positions. When the top six settle in, Alabama football will have a team strength in its secondary.
Alabama Football Prediction
My prediction is by mid-season the Crimson Tide will have one of its best defenses in the Nick Saban Era. While it may not equal the frequent dominance from the first half of the era, it can be the Tide’s best since 2017.
If that prediction is accurate, the Alabama football offense will be fine, whoever is QB1. In my opinion, the two biggest concerns for the Crimson Tide offense are left tackle and wide receiver drops. That drops are still an issue is baffling. The problem goes back so far, it is difficult to understand why it has not been solved. Alabama has plenty of big play potential with its wideouts, but maybe it will have to focus more on what four or five guys can be the most consistent.
There is enough talent in the roster for left tackle to, at least, not be a problem, and possibly even be a strength. It just may not happen quickly. Whether it will be freshman Kadyn Proctor or redshirt freshman Elijah Pritchett, against Texas and perhaps through October, the starter at LT may need some scheme help. I believe before the LSU game (hopefully well before it) Alabama will be good at left tackle.
The second and last scrimmage of fall camp will provide considerable information via Red Elephant Club attendees and other guests.