A Crimson & White Roundtable

It is the perfect time of year for it. And thankfully DBH Dance Party has revived it—the Crimson & White Roundtable. You should read the original post and commentary over at the link.

1. Can’t we just keep re-living 2009 forever?
We could, but then we’d be resting on our laurels. And how does that fit in with the process? Hmm? You don’t think Nick Saban is reliving the 2009 season repeatedly, do you? There were too many mistakes. Seriously. Who could be happy when you let Auburn score on a stupid play where a guy loses containment? Who could be happy with a defense that lets a backup quarterback come into the BCS National Championship Game and toss a couple of touchdown passes? Nope. There is room for improvement in 2010. Do these guys only want to win one championship?

In all seriousness, 2009 was perhaps the greatest Alabama season ever. It was special for everyone who endured the worst period of Alabama football history (Dubose to Franchione to Price to Shula). Unfortunately, the march of time quickly pushes football fans forward. The constant coverage and non-stop season makes for distractions. Recruiting was busy as soon as the BCS trophy left Pasadena for Wal-mart. Spring football is already here for one SEC program and the others draw close. Perhaps the point where Alabama fans will be able to enjoy it the most is after A-Day and into the doldrums of the summer. There isn’t as much distraction then, and fans can remember and enjoy each moment including the sweetest moments of football ever—the 2009 SEC Championship Game.

2. Who’s the hardest player from 2009 to replace?
Rolando McClain. But, the position I worry most about is the entire secondary.

3. Which player — or facet of the game — should we expect to make the biggest jump in 2010?
The passing game for a couple of reasons will make the biggest jump. Alabama’s passing game wasn’t bad in 2009, but receivers have room for improvement. McElroy shouldered much of the blame when the passing game sputtered, and sure sometimes it was his fault for not tossing the ball away or firing it to the correct receiver. However, the receivers must do a better job running crisper routes and getting separation. Combine that with quicker decisions from McElroy and that means more touchdowns and bigger passing stats. We’ll see both elements of the passing game improved by the end of fall camp. And that is important with a young defense.

4. Is there one aspect that concerns you going into 2010?
Attitude. Will the players have the right attitude to achieve success. 2007 was rough because of lingering attitude issues. 2008 was a salutary improvement thanks to the correct attitudes. In fact, reports from fall camp in 2008 were important indicators of the team’s progress of buying into the “process.” Alabama Crimson Tide coach Nick Saban has said the year (2004) following his LSU national championship was a very difficult season. The 2010 Alabama campaign will hinge on player leadership. Does Alabama have enough hunger in its leadership?

5. What is a reasonable expectation for 2010?
Alabama fans reasonably should expect a 10-11 win regular season and the SEC Western Division. Another undefeated regular season (that would be three in a row) would be great, but the team has to lose sometime in SEC play. How the team responds to that will be the difference in a nice BCS bowl and a trip to defend the BCS National Championship.