Making sense of Kalen DeBoer's first Alabama Football A-Day

Alabama Football looked great on offense and after a shaky start, capable on defense in Kalen DeBoer's first A-Day.
Gary Cosby Jr.-USA TODAY Sports

For Alabama football fans there were plenty of unknowns going into Kalen DeBoer's first A-Day. The format change alone was enough to discombobulate some Alabama Crimson Tide fans.

When the A-Day Scrimmage started (note scrimmage being a more accurate description than a game) Crimson Tide fans were quickly excited by Kalen DeBoer's offense. Plays developed quickly, with quarterbacks making quick decisions and accurate throws. The offense was balanced with much early success on the ground.

When the offensive team (White Team) pushed the score out to 28-0 fan enthusiasm turned to concern about Kane Wommack's defense. In a halfway interview, (there were no quarters played, just a plan to run around 85 plays) Kalen DeBoer pointed out the Crimson Tide defense had been vanilla to that point.

After the break, DeBoer let Wommack use a bit more scheme, including a couple of blitzes, and the defense produced a string of three-and-outs. In the end, the offense won with 34 points to 26 calculated points for the defense.

Alabama Football A-Day Positives

  • Jalen Milroe, Ty Simpson, and Dylan Lonergan were impressive. Milroe ended up with the poorest completion percentage of the three, but at least two of his incompletes were drops. Milroe and Simpson each passed for over 100 yards. With no intention of fueling a QB controversy, Ty Simpson looked more at ease and more decisive than last season.
  • The Crimson Tide running game was a pleasant surprise. Jam Miller and Richard Young impressed, along with Kendrick Law, from limited carries. The offense rushed for over 200 yards, at an average of almost five yards-per-carry.
  • The Tide's offensive line not only produced in the run game, it was not a liability in the passing game. Even with touch tackles, there were far fewer sacks than was expected from a group with two unproven tackles. Importantly, James Brockermeyer had only one shaky snap.
  • The wide receiver group was solid. Far from lacking talent, the group, led on Saturday by Germie Bernard, Cole Adams, Kobe Prentice, and Emmanuel Henderson, looked capable of being a team strength.
  • A pleasant defensive surprise came from a position group needing depth. Inside linebacker, Justin Okoronkwo led the defense statistically, with 11 total tackles.

A-Day Points of Concerns

  • Leading to the early offensive production were too many tackling errors. Not surprisingly, given the lack of playing experience, there were a few busted coverages by the secondary.
  • As yet, Alabama does not have a dependable successor to Will Reichard. Walk-ons made two field goals, both under thirty yards. Conor Talty missed his one attempt, from 46 yards.
  • Offensive line depth is a major concern, but that was known before A-Day. At least Kadyn Proctor was in Tuscaloosa to watch the game. His official addition this summer will provide a boost.

From Kalen DeBoer's perspective, most important was only six penalties and no interceptions. However, one penalty did result in an interception by Dre Kirkpatrick Jr. being nullified.