Pass protection an area that needs improvement for the Tide
There’s always room for improvement. This has been the message in Tuscaloosa since Nick Saban arrived in 2007. Despite winning two national championships and looking like a dominating team to much of the country week in and week out, the Alabama coaching staff will always have something for its team to work on during practice. This week it’s pass protection.
The Crimson Tide allowed six sacks in its home opener against Western Kentucky, and if the coaching staff needed something to harp on during the week of preparations leading up to the conference opener against Arkansas, a notably stronger defense than Western Kentucky, pass protection is it.
“I think most of the time when you get beat, is it what the other guy did or is it what you did? And a lot of times we didn’t play very well fundamentally, we didn’t set properly, we didn’t look at the right things, we didn’t pay attention to detail,” head coach Nick Saban said on Monday.
The six sacks allowed lost the Crimson Tide 48 total yards, a number that doesn’t look good for an Alabama offensive line that was lauded as one of the best offensive lines in the nation entering the 2012 season.
“You get a little behind in the down because the guy beat you and you didn’t play the right way, you don’t give yourself the best chance to be successful. On several occasions that is what happened,” said Saban. “It is something that we have to get corrected; our guys have to pay more attention to detail, focus on doing the little things right. You don’t get re-dos so, when the quarterback gets hit that is not ever good. We just need to do a better job in that regard all the way around.”
For perspective, Alabama allowed only 17 sacks last season. The Crimson Tide had not allowed six sacks since the devastating loss to South Carolina in 2010.
“I’d be lying if I said I didn’t take it personally,” senior offensive lineman Chance Warmack said of the six sacks allowed. “Some people weren’t on the same page, in terms of communication. Technique is another. You can’t be sloppy,” Warmack said. “Depending on who you play, sometimes you think that you can take plays off, and you can’t do that. You have to play every play like you’re playing a high opponent. Some plays we didn’t execute.”
Alabama has to find a way to execute protect the quarterback as it heads into conference play, and Warmack and the rest of the Crimson Tide roster completely understands that task.
“We have to improve our pass protection a lot,” Warmack said. “This week we’re playing a very skilled opponent, as far as the defense goes. We just have to improve on that.”
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