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A way too early look at 2017

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  • Killer Instinct
    started a topic A way too early look at 2017

    A way too early look at 2017

    After last night I need something to look forward to. I'm gonna post a preview of next season. Just my humble opinion for dissection and discussion:

    Offense- Should be the strength of the team with quite a few pieces returning and a couple of highly touted youngsters could step into important roles.

    QB- Hurts will start barring an unimaginable spring by Tua or Jones. But the passing must improve. That dead horse has been beaten enough.

    RB-The rich get richer. The top 4 guys return plus the addition of Najee Harris. Should be a real strength. Look for someone to transfer. Too many studs, not enough footballs.

    WR- Another deep position, talent galore. Must replace the most productive player in Ardarius Stewart and need to rediscover Calvin Ridley. Lots of young talent coming in with Jeudy, Smith, and Ruggs. What will Robert Foster do?

    TE- One of the big holes to fill. OJ Howard was always underutilized but was a weapon we could dial up when needed. There are several good young TE's to replace him, but none have quite the skill set OJ had. We're back to more of the Colin Peek, Michael Williams type of possession TE without the explosive ability of OJ. Nothing wrong with that, just different. Jalen needs to learn the names of Hale Hentges and Miller Forristal as a good TE is a young QB's best friend.

    OL- Losing one stud in Cam Rob, plugging in another in Alex Leatherwood. Actually, I would be a bit surprised if super freshman Jonah Williams didn't slide into Cam Rob's spot from his RT position and Leatherwood or someone else take the RT slot. Tackle is another position of depth. Plenty of talented players there. And Bozeman returns at center. The question mark is guard. Guard play was spotty at times last year with several players like Lester Cotton, Piersbacher, and Shank taking turns trying to man the position, none with ringing success. Perhaps a new face such as Richie Pettibon or Dallas Warmack will emerge as a better option, but this is a sore spot that needs to be addressed. Too many times the interior of the line was stymied or even caved in at the point of attack. This is where we impose our will on opponents and the ability to do so is a must.

    Defense-Always a strength under Saban, this unit will have one of the biggest reloading tasks we've seen since he arrived. This could be the season where the Alabama defense goes from immovable object to merely above average. Still, the pieces are there as always, to be very good.

    DL-This year and last year Alabama will have put nearly every player in the regular DL rotation into the NFL. As a consequence, there are gaping holes to fill and the incoming class is a little short on depth at this position. Players like Josh Frazier and D'Shawn Hand need to step up with the next man up philosophy and fill the breach. Da'Ron Payne is a good building block to anchor the line around, but there's plenty of PT available for anyone willing to step up. This unit made the LB's and DB's look better the last couple of seasons with their ability to bring pressure and reestablish the LOS backwards. That may not be the case this year and the entire defense will take a step back toward being exploitable.

    LB-Another position with big shoes to fill. Plenty of young talent to do it with however. Are players like Ben Davis and Mack Wilson ready to play? If not, veterans like Anfernee Jennings and Christian Miller will fill the void. SD Hamilton should return to provide stability and leadership. Will Rashan Evans stay inside or move back outside? Either way, he needs to be on the field. Reuben Foster and his devastating hits will be missed.

    DB- The departure of Eddie Jackson and Marlon Humphrey will sting, but there's a lot of talent and experience returning in the back of the defense with players like Minkah and Anthony Averett coming into their own. Tony Brown finally seemed to get it and will be counted on to contribute. This may be the deepest area on the defense.

    Special Teams-Good news, bad news is the theme for special teams going into 2017. The good news is JK Scott is still here to launch his howitzers on punts and the inconsistent Adam Griffith is out of eligibility in Tuscaloosa. The bad news is the steady Cole Mazza is gone and must be replaced, the new FG kicker is a complete unknown and we never did solve punter returner after Eddie Jackson went down. There's a lot of questions that won't be answered on special teams until at least the A-Day game and maybe not until the fall. Keep your fingers crossed.

    Schedule:

    Sept 2nd- FSU in Atlanta. This may very well be a #1 vs #2 matchup to start the season. It could go either way and it's hard to make a call on this game. Definitely a tossup game.

    Sept 9th- Fresno St in Tuscaloosa- Should be an easy W

    Sept 16th-Colorado St in Tuscaloosa- Should be another comfortable win. Are we applying for Mountain West membership? Fresno, CSU?

    Sept 23rd- Vandy in Nashville- Vandy has shown signs of life under Derrick Mason but this shouldn't be a game we worry about. Another W

    Sept 30th-Ole Miss in Tuscaloosa- Ole Miss will not be as talented or formidable as they have been, but Freeze has a way of making us look bad. He seems to have our number to a certain degree. I don't think he can pull the upset but I expect this game will be closer than we would like. A close W.

    Oct 7th-Texas A&M in College Station- Another team that loves to give us fits. We match up with them better with Noel Mazzone calling the plays than we did with the previous OC. Not an easy game, but another W in my book.

    Oct 14th- Arkansas in Tuscaloosa- Bert is wearing out his welcome in Fayette Nam and would already be gone if he hadn't screwed the Hogs with a huge buyout. Recruiting in the trenches has been suspect and that's not a recipe for success in the SEC West. Not a gimme, but a W still.

    Oct 21st- Tennessee in Tuscaloosa- The Streak must end sometime, right? Not this year. UT must reload and I don't think Butch is a very good coach. Smoke em if ya got em. Another W barring a big upset.

    Oct 28th- Open date and the much needed break before LSU

    Nov. 4th LSU in Tuscaloosa- They are still the only team that can line up with us toe to toe talent-wise. Therefore they are always dangerous. Matt Canada adds another layer of uncertainty with a new offensive scheme. Aranda is always good. Ogre is a complete wild card. He will have them pumped for this game as always. Put it in the tossup category as it could go either way and the West may be riding on this game.

    Nov. 11th Miss State in StarkVegas- This game always has trap written all over it between LSU and Auburn. Mullen doesn't have enough weapons to be truly dangerous as he might be elsewhere. As usual, this game worries me, but we usually win. W

    Nov. 18th- Mercer in Tuscaloosa- The obligatory creme puff before Auburn. It will be sloppy, ugly, and frustrating. And a big W anyway.

    Nov. 25th- Auburn in Auburn- Probably the only other contender in the West outside of Bama and LSU, the Iron Bowl could have a prize of an Atlanta trip riding on the outcome. It remains to be seen how much Stidham and new OC Chip Lindsey will jump start the anemic Auburn passing game. They may be the biggest wild card on the schedule pre-season but by Nov. we should have a good read on the Tigers. Still, for now, it goes in the tossup category as you don't yet know what we're facing.

    Post-season- Another trip to the playoffs is possible. So is a trip to the Sugar Bowl. Worst case scenario in my book is a 9-3 and a trip to New Orleans or the Citrus Bowl in Orlando. At this way to early point, there's still a lot of questions too be answered both for us and for everyone else. Still, you have to like where we are as a program. I know I do.
    Last edited by Killer Instinct; 02-06-2017, 04:31 PM.

  • Bamaholic
    replied
    Alabama Football monsters are putting up scary numbers in the gym and hitting the field to battle for starting positions in a 2017 title run.

    Leave a comment:


  • Bamaholic
    replied
    Originally posted by Clown
    I don't think the allbarn game will be all that close. I mean, they lose Daniel Carlson, who has accounted for 18 of their last 25 points against us. Oregeron is LSU's Mike Shula. Ole Piss and Hail State will be garbage. aTm hasn't given us a competitive game since the JFF days. Arky will once again "look good on paper". The East will be the least. Florida State looks to be the only real threat. Of course, I say that now, in March.
    Welcome, clown. Nice insight..
    Introduce yourself to the asylum, that's where we hang out in the off season.

    Leave a comment:


  • Clown
    replied
    I don't think the allbarn game will be all that close. I mean, they lose Daniel Carlson, who has accounted for 18 of their last 25 points against us. Oregeron is LSU's Mike Shula. Ole Piss and Hail State will be garbage. aTm hasn't given us a competitive game since the JFF days. Arky will once again "look good on paper". The East will be the least. Florida State looks to be the only real threat. Of course, I say that now, in March.

    Leave a comment:


  • Chechem
    replied
    Originally posted by 2Stater View Post
    ..
    Bwahhhhhahaha!

    Leave a comment:


  • Bamaholic
    replied
    Nice Listen, I'm super pumped for next season! Roll Tide!

    https://soundcloud.com/user-21843311...ffense-in-2017

    Leave a comment:


  • 2Stater
    replied
    ..

    Leave a comment:


  • Hannibal Lecter MD
    replied
    Originally posted by Bamaholic
    Roach got Poached by Ole Piss
    Good for him though. I'm hoping he gets the opportunity to come back home soon.

    Leave a comment:


  • Bamaholic
    replied
    Roach got Poached by Ole Piss
    The former Alabama staffer takes over for Tray Scott, who left Ole Miss last week.

    Leave a comment:


  • Bamaholic
    replied
    The Crimson Tide recently interviewed Joe Pannunzio for the vacant position, according to The Tuscaloosa News' Aaron Suttles.

    Leave a comment:


  • It Takes Eleven
    commented on 's reply
    I agree, Van Tiffin attempted some long ones because he could, I think he hit a 57 yarder against aTm. I'll check the stats to see if there was a short yardage guy who kicked with him, but I don't recall that.

    To be clear, nothing I've said is intended to be a knock on Van Tiffin. I'm just trying to make sure Griffith's contributions are in context to those who preceeded him.. Tiffin's 52-yarder against aubrun was the best Bama game I've ever attended in person. Despite Gene Jelks' later transgressions, he was the man in that game, too. The most satisfying thing about that game is that I was sitting in aubrun season ticket territory, engaged (at the time) to a booster's daughter who was a recruiting hostess (Tigerette). Sleeping with the enemy.

  • Killer Instinct
    commented on 's reply
    I'll qualify your statement with one observation on Van Tiffin. I'm going off memory and it was a long time ago, but I think Van's overall percentage was so low because he was asked to kick longer field goals on average. I know he was asked to kick 50 plus ones on a fairly regular basis. If it was inside 55, they would trot Van out there. And he was damn good. At least that's how I remember him. Inside 35 he was automatic.

  • It Takes Eleven
    replied
    Originally posted by Killer Instinct View Post

    Yes, that's a good career. Tell me when was the last time you didn't hold your breath when he was kicking one? Adam tried and I thank him for his efforts and appreciated the fact he had back problems but I never felt good about his kicking. It'd be nice to have a kicker who was money inside 40 and had ice water in his veins
    I hold my breath with every kick, regardless of kicker. It's like a free throw. You're supposed to hit most of them so when you miss it's a disappointment. I think a kicker has a bad game or two (think about Leigh Tiffin's horrible Arkansas game in 2006 - 1 for 4 FG and missed a PAT to lose in OT) and they are painted with a broad brush without looking at their actual performance. Some hit big kicks (think about Van Tiffin's aubrun kick) yet they were more inconsistent than we recall. Griffith was 75 percent this year and 72 percent last year, ending at 70 percent for his career. Leigh Tiffin, the most prolific kicker in Bama history (I think Phillip Doyle was better but he got fewer opportunities) was 75 percent for his career, but had an awesome 86 percent his senior year, 69 jr., 74 soph and 62 frosh. Doyle has a career 74 percent, and was money in his later years (61% in '88, 88% in '89 and 83% in '90). Jeremy Shelley was 80 percent for his career, but he was a shorter FG specialist which boosted his stats, IMO. Van Tiffin was 67 percent for his career and 65 percent in '85 when he hit The Kick.

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  • 2Stater
    replied
    I was thinking the same thing about Tony Brown. He showed a few flashes of improvement last year, but still got beat a good bit. He really needs to get it ALL together this season.

    Leave a comment:


  • Chechem
    replied
    Good stuff, stalker. Thanks.

    Leave a comment:

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