Friday, January 23, 2009

We should have stopped drankin before daylight in New Orleans..

New Orleans, La

I was a little skeptical about Bama this whole year. I knew this team inside and out from last year, and in the back of my mind, I still had my doubts. Why? Well, for one, we still had JPW who isn't my first choice for a QB. Ever. I think Saban kinda inherited him, he knew the offense and the basics, and rolled with it. SEC experience is invaluable, no matter what the skill level ,when you have someone who has been there and done that, it helps hold things together.

That is, when you can run the ball. How do you run the ball? You block up front, create seams or holes, the RB runs thru til he crashes into a LB or CB. Gain 3 to 4 yrds. Rinse,repeat til you have to throw. Hopefully, the CB are tired of making tackles for that type of gain and decide to come up closer to the line to blitz or stop the run. Now you play action pass over the top down field to get the CB's out of the way, usually to Julio Jones. He's a freak, and I cant wait to use him to his full potential, and I would like to see another decent receiver opposite him to take the pressure off of him. All of this stuff begins and ends with the O-Line. We were "ok" last year with all of our starters, once we lost some guys to suspensions, the wheels fell off. This year , we kinda suprised some people. We could run the ball and pound people. Most of it was to a line that had came together nicely and avoided positional musical chairs by not getting injured. They had a chemistry, no injuries and could depend on each other to do their job. And we had backs that would actually explode thru the hole and knock heads, everytime.....................Except when Andre got hurt before the Tulane game, and then we watched in horror as we tried to PASS THE DAMN BALL for some freaking reason. Something I cannot explain. We should have adequate talent to make up for Andre being out, yet, its like when he is not there, its a turnstile. Every position coach is a genius when you have an All-American at left tackle. Where your money is made is having a back up that can be adequate and fill in and not see the sacks start to pile up or the rhythm of the offense get disrupted. That is what coaching is. And I felt after watching the Tulane game, where Javier lifted our asses out of the fire single-handedly, I knew if anything EVER happened to Andre, our magical run would go "POOF" like a magic act, the illusion would be over. No more smoke and mirrors, the audience could see behind the curtain, and the party is over. Lucky for us he didnt get injured, blew holes open, gave JPW time to throw catchable balls to Julio. Now had Andre missed some major games, we would have been an easy 8-4. Period, or hell even worse, he was just that valuable. And I was not alone in that feeling, since if we couldnt run the ball, JPW will get happy feet since he will be getting blitzed at the DC whim, throwing picks and overthrowing wide open receivers, or underthrowing, or totally missing them altogether. That my friends is what you had in the Sugar Bowl. Our offense was actually a part of our defense when facing these Spread-Wide Open Throttle offenses by keeping them off the field. So as the game began, we had no Andre. And Mike Johnson, although a decent lineman, is not Andre. We start a drive, Julio(who we find out has a injury) misses a ball he catches 99 of 100 and it would be a first down, gets us settled, and we may get 3 points out of it. Saban is mainly a down and distance kinda guy, and we choke, get blitzed and go 3 and out, and Utah comes out, great QB play, and in the blink of an eye, 21-0. I think we lost the 1st quarter because we have never had to play from behind, its not in the script, and although we made an effort, we were never really in it or had the talent to "pass" our way back. I think if JPW gets suspended instead of Andre, we win the game running away. But one of our horses is out, its pretty bad, but when 2 horses are down, we were pretty much screwed. JPW is not Colt McCoy in any form or fashion, and basically, when we couldnt run or pass block, 9 in the box is the way to win, and they did it. And on defense, we basically have some issues to address thru recruiting, the most important is Speed Off the Corners! Especially against these spread teams, basically against Urban Meyers Utah and Florida offense. They simply were better prepared.
Hats off to em. But lets see where they end up next year, and where Alabama ends up. Our biggest games next year will be Ole Miss, then Florida. I think we are way ahead of the rest, depending how Les Miles does in the off season.

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