Alabama’s Nick Saban facing spring reload as Crimson Tide set sights on returning to College Football Playoff

Nationals are an expectation for Alabama, and to put it simply, the 2022 season has been nothing short of a huge disappointment. Crimson Tide missed the College Football playoffs for the second time since its inception in the 2014 season and failed to win the SEC West for the first time since 2019.

It’s safe to say that the 2023 season is a revenge tour for Nick Saban’s team, and the last thing the college football world wants to see is an angry Crimson Tide.

The groundwork for this tour will be laid this spring, and there’s no shortage of intrigue as Tide fills in for numerous NFL-bound stars as well as both coordinators. Let’s take a look at what these changes are and how Saban can address them in the future.

Off-season changes

Gone were offensive coordinator Bill O’Brien and defensive coordinator Pete Golding, who left at the end of the season and were replaced by Tommy Rees and Kevin Steele respectively to spark the spark on both sides of the ball.

Reece, a former Notre Dame quarterback, achieved great success in six seasons as an assistant to the Fighting Irish, first as the team’s quarterbacks coach and then as head coach. Last season, after injuring Week 1 starting quarterback Tyler Buechner’s shoulder, Reese adapted on the fly, making a concerted effort to manage the ball for the rest of the year. The turnaround paid off. Notre ranked 21st in the nation in attempts per game with a score of 40.92. Compare that to Alabama’s 35.15 attempts per game – 82nd in the nation – and it’s clear that Saban is determined to refocus the division to take the pressure off his quarterback.

Speaking of quarterbacks, Tide is replacing 2021 Heisman Trophy winner Bryce Young. The main candidates are Jalen Milrow, a double threat, and redshirted former five-star freshman Ty Simpson. Saban’s decision is likely to be an indication of how much he wants to return to a run-oriented attack.

This will be Steele’s third time in Tuscaloosa, and there is no doubt that familiarity was instrumental in Saban’s decision to return to an old friend. Steele spent last season with Miami after five years in charge of the Auburn defense.

Names to know

  • Ty Simpson, quarterback: The former Westview High School star in Martin, Tennessee was 29th prospect in the class of 2022. He produced 4 of 5 35-yard pass attempts in four games last season, though none of those five passes were significant. . However, it’s clear that Saban had high hopes for Simpson, putting him in game situations while keeping his season in the redshirt. Simpson has the trappings of professional style that could make him a star, and he’s mobile enough to take on defense fairly. If Saban is determined to go old school, then Simpson is likely to win one of the most exciting quarterback competitions in the country.
  • Dallas Turner, midfielder: Turner played the role of assistant to Will Anderson Jr. for the past two years, but now all eyes are on him after Anderson moved to the NFL. Turner, a junior, finished second on the team with four sacks and third with eight tackles in a losing effort last season. Can the 6-foot-4, 242-pound former five-star player be able to do his job without drawing Anderson’s attention?
  • Jace McClellanon the way back: McClellan would be one of two favorites to be the No. 1 running back along with fellow senior Roydell Williams, although McClellan’s history suggests he could be the player who sits at the top of the depth chart as the spring ends. Why? His 111 carries last season show that he is capable of handling the duties of a run-based attack. McClellan and Williams can work well in tandem – a 1A and 1B situation if Rhys so chooses – but it will be interesting to hear how McClellan is used from insiders who were lucky enough to watch the practice.

Spring forecast

This is arguably the most critical spring for Saban since he hired Lane Kiffin to run offense ahead of the 2014 season. As then, a marked shift in philosophy has created a huge mystery surrounding the future of the Crimson Tide. Most people won’t be able to see how Saban handles this situation; however, Saban has many talents that can be tested in almost every position.

However, unlike that 2014 season, the transfer portal could affect this team’s depth chart ahead of the summer. Following the A-Day game on April 22, the second of two transfer portals opens on May 1. If Saban doesn’t feel like the important roles have been filled until then, he has a great opportunity to fix those glitches in today’s college. free soccer agency.


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