Q&A With Those Dang Bama Folks

Friday, November 25, 2022

Q&A With Those Dang Bama Folks

NCAA Football: Alabama at Mississippi
Petre Thomas-USA TODAY Sports

We’re trying to play nice.

Alright, the Iron Bowl is tomorrow, and we’re trying to learn what we can about the idiots across the state. We’re appreciative for the folks over at Roll Bama Roll as they provide us with some self-deprecating insight into the Crimson Tide in 2022.

What’s the deal with Alabama this year? When do you feel the Saban dynasty is truly dead and why is it now?

Bury us now. 6ft under. Saban is washed.

The moment it happened actually was not now, but when Bill O’Brien was hired to be offensive coordinator. That was the death knell. But more on that later.

A little more seriously, there’s some very obvious things wrong (mostly on offense) that I think can be fixed quickly in the future.

The more insidious issue that has us nervous is their performance in road games the last two seasons. This group just... Falls flat... In the first quarter or so with in hostile crowds. They get a bunch of presnap penalties, Bryce Young forgets that playing QB requires actually throwing the ball, and the DBs panic and run into receivers early on deep balls.

It’s a mental thing (Saban keeps saying “anxiety” and we’re all getting really annoyed at it), and it hasn’t been fixed in two seasons.

What would happen to the Alabama fanbase if you were to lose this game? Over/under 7.5 stabbings?

I’ll take the under, for reported stabbings at least. I can’t speak for poisoned trees though.

You haven’t been involved in a non-championship situation much lately. Looking forward to seeing the fam over Christmas?

Honestly? Yeah. It’s kinda nice to not be stressed. Obviously, that’s a coping statement and I’d much rather be in the playoffs, but there are definitely some benefits to my life.

I’ve been of the opinion that the receivers have been the most important part of Alabama’s offense over this run. From Julio to Cooper and Ridley and the Jeudy/Ruggs/Smith/Waddle group and then Williams/Metchie. They’ve been the ones that seem to make the offenses really go from good to great. What’s the deal with this year’s group? Without looking I’m sure there are plenty of five-stars, but the electricity isn’t the same.

Yeah, it’s been a pretty big problem. There was a snowball of recruiting classes where 2019 only had room for a couple of receivers (and Metchie left after 3 years), 2020’s class just wasn’t great for us, and then 2021 had like 3 headcase busts.

Ja’Corey Brooks (you might recognize him) is really the only guy from those three classes that’s offering much. He’s not the most explosive guy, but has good size and can make some tough catches.

Past that? Uhh. We got Jermaine Burton in from Georgia, and he rarely seems to get open. And then there’s a bunch of freshmen with good speed who are showing flashes, but they aren’t getting enough targets. And the group as a whole just has too many drops.

With all of that said, I think it’s a little unfair to pin it all on the WRs. Bill O’Brien’s passing “scheme” is just all hitches, curls, and flags. So there’s basically zero chance for any yards after the catch.

And then even when he does call slants, drags, or deeper balls, Bryce Young just won’t throw in rhythm. He’s going to drop back, look around, scramble somewhere else, reset, and throw a dart to someone freelancing.

Then all the media gets hyped about how amazing he is to make a guy miss and get 18 yards, when he probably could’ve just thrown a quick slant for 10, and it might go for 50 if the WR slips the tackle.

Who’s going to be the most difficult piece to replace on defense in addition to Will Anderson?

Definitely Brian Branch (assuming he doesn’t return for a senior season). The slot corner is by far the most physical tackler on the team, and our scheme essentially asks him to be both a linebacker and a cornerback on any given play. He might be covering a speedy slot receiver going deep, or he might be going one on one with TE Brock Bowers. And if you throw a screen to his side, go ahead and write the obituary for a WR trying to block him.

He’s by far the most nationally underrated player on our team.

With you guys being favorites of at least three touchdowns, what’s gone terribly wrong if Auburn is heading to a bowl at 6-6 after this game?

Two things: our defensive line got pushed around a bit by Tennessee, LSU, and Ole Miss in the run game. If that happens again, Auburn can shorten the game with some long possessions.

And then if Bryce doing his thing of not liking to throw with any rhythm until he’s losing in the 4th quarter, then he might only get one 4th quarter drive if Auburn has killed all the clock.

Could be a recipe for a low-scoring, high-variance disaster. Again.

Since you asked, who do you think we’ll hire as head coach? Who do you want us to hire?

I honestly think it’ll be someone we haven’t talked about. Auburn seems to do that every time. I think Kiffin’s agent is probably playing Auburn to get him a bigger contract. And I really can’t see Auburn’s decision makers sticking with Cadillac. Maybe you can get Jimbo Fisher on the cheap after A&M pays a billion dollars to fire him.

As for who I want you to hire? I have the perfect man. He’s coached a blue blood college football program to 10-win seasons while navigating a prior regime’s NCAA penalties. He’s coached an NFL team to 10-win seasons. He’s got ties with Bill Belichick and Nick Saban.

Sound like a good hire? His name is Bill O’Brien.

(Please take him)

Prediction for this one?

My logical brain says this is a lower-scoring blowout for Bama. Like 35-6 or so. My heart fears it’s going to be a 17-19 slog with a checked-out Bama offense that comes down to the last play, and it’s a coin flip on who the winner is.

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