The Birmingham News spoke with three former Alabama offensive assistant coaches, and these coaches provide an insightful critique of the Crimson Tide offense.
Jim Fuller talks about the importance of improved pass protection to help Greg McElroy. (Something that has shown itself is that McElroy’s mistakes usually happen under pressure.)
Dave Rader praises the offense because Alabama is undefeated. Rader tells the Birmingham News, “The offense is steady,” he said. “You run. You don’t turn it over. You play great defense and special teams. That’s a good formula. You see it win at every level. They’re not doing anything to put themselves in jeopardy.
“Gee, whiz, 30 years ago this is how Alabama won games, and 30 years before that, this is how Alabama won games. What’s wrong with that?”
I agree with Rader. There isn’t anything wrong with Alabama’s scheme. The biggest problem over the last couple of games has been the inability of the offense to get rhythm in the passing game, or odd play calling inside the red zone. In reality, the offense Alabama runs now isn’t that different from what Shula and Rader wanted at Alabama. What is different is the level of accountability in the program; players are actually in shape now. Again, the problems under Shula weren’t Rader’s fault, but rather rested with the head coach.
Finally, offensive genius Homer Smith was interviewed too. (In case you missed our conversation with Homer Smith last year, you can find it in three parts: Part 1 examines Homer Smith’s career, Part 2 examines Homer Smith and Part 3 examines the Spread offense.) Smith praised the Alabama offense and coach Nick Saban in his conversation with the Birmingham News.
“Alabama’s undefeated,” Smith said. “To me one of the reasons, based on what they’re capable of doing, is coach Saban keeps the ball hammering in there. He keeps hammering and gets those linebackers occupied, and all of a sudden, there goes a big gain. … They pound and pass.”
Check out the Birmingham News story by Don Kausler Jr.