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A post-mortem assessment of what transpired on Saturday:
I watched the game with some former lettermen and ALA All-Americans Saturday. To a man, we were wondering when, NOT if, we would find our beloved Tide in a predicament of our own doing that might be too much to overcome. The reason we surmised that we may find it difficult to overcome was NOT because of a lack of talent, BUT experience instead, especially on defense. A lot of BOL members are disappointed and rightly so. There are a number of plausible explanations regarding the physical limitations of certain players. With that being said, I will state what our consensus is regarding this team and defeat that occurred on Saturday:
SLEEP-WALKING START (Both the coaches and players)
1. For the 2nd week in a row, we began the game against an INSPIRED opponent as though we were auditioning for "Dancing With The Stars". We appeared light on our feet. Our players were going through the motions and the coaches scripted soft cute plays that DID NOT set a physical tone for the game, especially giving the fact that we accepted the kickoff and played offense to begin the game.
2. We did NOT make any OFFENSIVE adjustments during the initial Texas A&M outburst because the first 15-20 plays seem to be scripted to see how aTm would defend certain sets. On DEFENSE, the coaches stayed with the game plan because they felt that aTm's success was due more to our undisciplined performance.
DEFENSE--- an HONEST Assessment
This defense is NOT nearly as great as the statistics suggest. This defense is GOOD and can be VERY GOOD. However, there are weaknesses revealed through youth, ability and inexperience.
1. Cornerbacks AND Linebackers: from henceforth, anyone hoping to compete with teams built like aTm and Oregon on offense are going to need the equivalent of 2 sets of starters at both CB and LBer. Presently, Coach Saban's scheme is very sound and dominant with the types of players that he recruits and develops. However, because of A) the speed of these spread offenses, B) the multiple OFFENSIVE sets and players with open-field ability and C) the defensive attrition to the NFL or out of BAMA's program; youth, inexperience and ability is rearing its ugly head.
2. During the Summer, Deion Belue, John Fulton and Geno Smith needed to be on a program to speed up their physical development. Next, each of these players needed practice AND game reps to grow into the players that would be needed during this previous 5 game stretch and in a BCS game against OREGON. John Fulton experienced a coming out party on Saturday. Trust me, he won't be the same defensive back he was prior to that. He gained confidence and knowledge on the speed of the game and how to play the game. Some players are not going to look great during practice.
3. Coach Saban has been around long enough to know that some players just show up when the lights are turned on. We MUST find a way to reach these players and get them ready to perform and trust that they will do their job to his demanding standards.
4. I can reiterate what I wrote in #2 regarding the LBer corp. Nico Johnson and Trey Deprest are terrific football players. However, they are limited physically in our primary scheme. We have some youthful talent, but it is inexperienced and under-developed. Our starting Mike and Will LBers are limited in space. CJ Moseley is the prototype BUT he lacks the size for an every down LBer presently. The future is bright BUT physical development and experience MUST be priority, namely Ragland and Anderson.
5. Our Safeties are NOT good in space sans Landon Collins and HaHa Clinton-Dix. Lester seems to have bulked up too much and lost a step. Sunseri is a tremendous player in the box and very good in blitz packages. However, he is a liability against any slot receiver that has speed and quickness. The other safety, Perry, probably is not prototypical for our Nickel and Dime packages. He is a good football player, but BAMA's defensive scheme and our opponents require players that can cover and make sure tackles.
6. The outside LBers, SAM and JACK, are still works in progress this season. They will get better and they will be led by the youth, Denzel DeVall and Dickson. Both of these guys are beasts and talented football players. With that being said, our need for playmaking DEs and outside LBers is unquestionable.
7. Defensive Recruiting: We NEED DEs Robert N'Kimdeche and Montravious Adams! We NEED CBs Jalen Ramsey, Vonn Bell and one other guy (FSU commit---Marquez White).
BCS NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP GAME
We are still in a VERY GOOD position. Things will shake out in 2 or 3 weeks. By the end of the conference championship games, at least 2 out of the 3 currently undefeated teams will lose. I GUARANTEE THAT.
There is a tremendous amount of pressure upcoming on these 3 teams. The one I believe is best equipped to handle it is the Oregon Ducks. However, they are suffering from injuries, employ a Freshman QB and may face USC's defensive guru, Monte Kiffin one more time. Kansas State has an excellent head coach and terrific preparation but they are beat-up and inexperienced in this situation. Notre Dame has the more difficult schedule and tremendous YOUTHFULNESS as a part of their DNA.
WE will see...#15 is on the way...Roll Tide Roll !!!
The biggest difference for the defense in the last two games is 0 forced turnovers. They were statistically matching the 2011 squad because of all of the turnovers. The 2011 teams didn't have to force turnovers because of all of the 3 and outs they forced.
Can we beat Oregon, even with a 40+ day layoff?
After Saturday, not sure. We have to fix some things on offense. We seemed to have changed our offensive identity from being a physical direct run team to a finesse cutesy pass team. We got beat by Oregon Lite, I think the real Oregon would've put 50 on us.
Dead on man ! I took my kids to their 1st game and even my 8 year old was digusted with the D , he ask me why can't they cover , whats up with the tackling ........ hit rap lift....
i also said just wait .... it will get better
This post has been edited 2 times, most recently by thealanupton 20 months ago
A 40+ day layoff is a tremendous advantage when facing a team like Oregon. Preparing for them in a week is nearly impossible. Playing them on the first game of the season or in a post-season game is ideal.
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Thanks Booms for the post. Good insight as usual.
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This guy gets it, u can blah blah blah all you want about this team but if we give the ball up and don't get it back we can't get off the field in three downs. Last year we didn't get turnovers, if we did, last year would have been a walk in the park.
Bama loses one game and now they aren't what everyone thought they were. Just curious, and this is not a swipe at the OP, where were these comments during the first 10 weeks?
I gave you a +1 for what it's worth.
Great post, Booms. Post more often.
Best analysis of the situation I've seen so far...thanks.
You and I think very similarly. I couldn't agree more about what you said about our safeties and LBs.
I also feel like we very well could get another shot at a national this year. We just need to focus on learning from the mistakes we have made the past two weeks and making adjustments to improve the weaknesses that have been exposed. If we take care of our business then everything else will work itself out and if it doesn't then it wasn't meant to be.
I'll take your Guarantee's after all I have it in writing here, so what's your penalty if your Guarantee does not come true?
Monte Kiffin defensive Guru?? They gave up like 70 to Oregon the first time.
Great post, but play calling was questionable as well. I think our OC is too west coast and does not know Bama's identity. We should have tried to pound the ball in when we were on their goal line at the end of the game. Put Jessie Williams at Fullback and Pound away if we can't get several yards with that jumbo package in 4 attempts then we don't deserve to win., but what do I know. Great post on the other stuff, good analysis!!!
Even the best chefs in the world can't make chicken salad out of chicken crap.
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