The 2nd year of the Saban era of Tide football unofficially starts today. I know I’m excited, and I imagine you are as well.
There are a few issues that must be resolved over this off-season, but with the influx of talented Freshmen, I don’t know if this round of practicing will truly resolve all of them. Some concern me more than others, which are:
1) The Linebacker position is looking somewhat thin. Prince Hall is nowhere to be found, and Zeke Knight may have to take a medical hardship. Rolando McClain comes back, but we could be extremely young in this area in 2008.
2) The Wide Receivers core is also unproven at this juncture. Brown, Caddell, and Hall have used up all of their eligibility, so we’ll have to depend heavily on a very talented, but very young, group of Receivers. Can Julio Jones solve these problems once he arrives? It should be interesting to see.
3) The Secondary needs to replace Simeon Castille among others, meaning that Lionell Mitchell and Rashad Johnson have to really take a big leap forward this season. Kareem Jackson should see plenty of playing time, but he is only a Sophomore, and we need as much experience as possible. Justin Woodall also needs to play hard this season, because we really could use a strong Secondary if our Linebackers are going to be all Freshmen.
4) We need to feel solid about our Nose Tackle situation. With the recruitment of Terrence Cody, aka “Cloverfield”, we’ll certainly have the size. But, he’s very heavy, and isn’t known for much else. Brian Motley will be the big question mark after his injury, and I hope he has healed up well. After Motley, pay close attention to both Josh Chapman and Lorenzo Washington.
5) Even though some like to dog John Parker Wilson for trying to play like he’s Brett Favre, he does need a lot of support from his Offensive Line if he, and this team, are ever able to get over the big time hurdle of mediocrity. I know he’s not perfect, but if our O-Line is able to play with some consistency this season, I think the McElwain influence on Wilson will show some promise very soon.
One last thing, There is a brief reminder of the schedule for all of you fans out there after the jump…
March 13th – Practice #1
March 14th – Practice #2
Spring Break March 17-21
March 24th – Practice #3
March 26th – Practice #4
March 28th – Practice #5
March 29th – Practice #6 (Scrimmage)
March 31st – Practice #7
April 2nd – Practice #8
Alabama Coaching Clinic April 3-5
April 4th – Practice #9
April 5th – Practice #10 (Scrimmage)
April 7th – Practice #11
April 9th – Practice #12
April 10th – Practice #13
April 12th – Practice #14 (A-Day Game, 2:00 p.m.)
April 14th – Practice #15