The Secondary is Tide’s First Concern
Since the start of the Saban Era at Alabama, the Crimson Tide has become synonymous with defense. However with this being the fifth week of college football, the Tide’s secondary presents the biggest problems for the defense. In each opponent that Alabama has faced has presented questions. In the following games however, the questions have been answered. Nevertheless the question that still remains is will the Tide secondary improve?
Alabama has been known almost entirely for their physical grueling defense. The Tide secondary conventionally stands out at not allowing the big plays. However when the Tide faced Texas A&M, Johnny Manziel and the Aggies, exposed our secondary tremendously. In the first series Alabama’s secondary was uncovered, with Manziel throwing the deep ball and putting 14 points on the board in a hurry. Alabama relinquished 628 total yards, the most since Saban has stalked the sidelines. The Tide’s match up against Ole Miss presents more questions, because they run the same spread offense as
In years past Alabama, has always had ‘shut down’ defenders, but with Dee Milliner leaving for the NFL so did some of the Tide’s experience. Deion Belue, who started alongside Milliner last season, left in the first half of the Texas A&M game with a toe injury and also didn’t play against Colorado State. He is Alabama’s best corner by far. John Fulton ,who had a breakout game last season against Texas A&M, was targeted. Fulton’s playing time significantly decreased against Colorado State.
The game against Colorado State showed several different faces in the secondary. With Deion Belue, Jarrick Williams, and Nick Perry all being out against Rams, it gave many players a chance to display there talents. Belue was out with a toe injury, Williams with a “serious eye injury”, and Perry with a shoulder injury. Freshmen Maurice Smith and Eddie Jackson saw there playing time increase as well as sophomores Bradley Sylve and Cyrus Jones. It was the first time Jackson has seen the field in his career, and he started the game.
The Crimson Tide has had bright spots however. Vinnie Sunseri had a interception that converted into a touchdown in the first two games of the season. HaHa Clinton-Dix has also played exceptionally well and was a preseason All American. Landon Collins who mostly plays at the ‘money” slot, has shown glimpses of what is to come and why he was so heavily recruited. It may be safe to say that the safety position has been solidified, however the corner backs are still in question.
Since Coach Saban came to Tuscaloosa, this is the first time his defense has raised this many questions. Is the problem with Alabama secondary due to a lack of talent or just inexperience? Only time will tell, but I’m almost certain it has nothing to do with talent.
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