August 16th, 2010 12:20 EST
Will Alabama`s Current Defense Be Able to Mirror Last Year`s National Title Defense ?
While most college teams just like the NFL are looking at their players for the upcoming season, the Alabama Crimson Tide is taking a harder look at their defense. With winning it all last year, Alabama will have to set standards and play at a much higher level this year if they are going to make an impact and repeat once again and go all the way to the BCS Bowl.
The Crimson Tide has basically lost this year most of their once Fearsome Eleven " players they had on defense. The Tide has lost nine of those eleven players they had last year and in prior years to graduation, some making it to the NFL, transfers to other colleges, suspensions, and injuries.
Most teams when they lose this many players have to rethink their complete strategy when it comes to the X`s and O`s and return to those defensive meeting`s in front of a chalk board where the new players can get a look at the defensive play calling from a visual standpoint. Once the players get all the defensive plays memorized and can recite them in their sleep, then the fun starts. It`s out to the Gridiron and run the defensive plays over and over again. We call this in High School football Hell Week " but to the avid football fan, it`s just another day at the office.
The Crimson Tide is in the position to defend the National Title again this year. The question now becomes, Can they repeat once again with their new defensive players? " In my opinion, this question would be simple to answer with a big fat No " if the Tide had any other Head Coach than who they have leading them but since the Tide has Nick Saban at the helm, my answer is Yes " they very well can repeat once again this year.
If Saban had a group of Canasta playing old Grandma`s playing defense this year, I still think those Canasta playing Grandma`s would become the Canasta Feared Eleven on defense and the Tide would once again go home this year with a repeated National Title.
I`m not just saying this because I currently live in Alabama and am an Alabama fan, I think Saban is that good of Head Coach and will get the job done in a relatively timely manner. The Tide`s defense should prove to be up to par by the season opener.
From the challenges the Tide has on defense to the players on the other side of the ball in a team scrimmage on Saturday, the Tide`s offense looked very good as Greg McElroy threw for 362 yards, six touchdowns, and had a completion record of 26 of 33 passes. The Tide`s offense should be ready to go with no major issues to fix.
Saban commented on the performance of his defense during the scrimmage and had this to say, I don`t think defensively we played very well at all. It`s been one thing after another in the secondary. Whether it`s losing guys, suspending guys, having guys hurt now, we can`t get the continuity we like but we are going to stay positive about it. " (Saban, 2010)
Most good Head Coaches look at the rebuilding of either a team or parts of the team like how Alabama will have to rebuild their defense as a challenge. It is also a good opportunity to take your rookies and young players and mold them into your way of playing football. It`s a great learning experience for them and a good challenge to accomplish especially if you do meet the challenge head on and defeat it by winning another National Title and repeating for a second year in a row.
Taylor, John, NBC Sports, McElroy Strafes Tide`s Defense with Six Touchdowns,
(www.nbcsports.com) the interview in my article with Nick Saban, Retrieved