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  1. #1
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    Article Previews 2014: Alabama Crimson Tide

    Previews 2014: Alabama Crimson Tide
    by Jess Nicholas
    TideFans Editor-In-Chief
    August 8th, 2014 02:19 AM

    2014 Alabama Crimson Tide: Team Overview

    Returning Offensive Starters: 7 (SE, WR, LG, C, RT, TE, RB)
    Returning Defensive Starters: 6 (RDE, LT, WLB, SLB, LCB, SS)
    Returning Specialists: 0
    Projected Overall Record: 11-1
    Projected SEC Record: 7-1 (LSU)
    Projected SEC West Record: 7-1 (LSU)

    […]Read the Full Article Here
    Last edited by BamaNation; August 14th, 2014 at 12:40 PM.
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    Re: Previews 2014: Alabama Crimson Tide

    Quote Originally Posted by JessN View Post
    Previews 2014: Alabama Crimson Tide
    by Jess Nicholas
    TideFans Editor-In-Chief
    August 8th, 2014 02:19 AM

    2014 Alabama Crimson Tide: Team Overview . Returning Offensive Starters: 7 (SE, WR, LG, C, RT, TE, RB) Returning Defensive Starters: 6 (RDE, LT, WLB, SLB, LCB, SS) Returning Specialists: 0 . Projected Overall Record: 11-1 Projected SEC Record: 7-1 (LSU) Projected SEC West Record: 7-1 (LSU) . Ratings (Ex, Vg, Av, Fr, Pr) Quarterbacks: […]

    Read More Here

    Jess, was waiting for others to reply first but I'll dive in ...

    This team reminds me very much of 1973. Bunch of talent. Bunch of new faces placed in leading roles. Bunch of question marks on how they will perform. In the end, almost all of them met or exceeded expectations.

    Last year, we were a pass rush and a place kicker from making history. This year, there are at least four spots -- linebacker, QB, offensive line and kicking -- where the foundation might crack.

    That said, it's an exciting year to be a fan, coach or player with this team, and hopefully it will serve to disrupt the flabby sense of entitlement that appears to have settled in around the entire program. Attack could take the place of defend.

    I'm more worried about the early games -- Ole Miss and Florida in particular -- than I am about LSU. We should have our quarterback situation clarified by then, and the depth in the lines will have become a significant factor.

    Injuries at linebacker could derail us. So could a nervous kicker. In the end, we need a quarterback who can put butts back in their seats at Oxford, Knoxville and Baton Rouge. Your guess is better than mine on whether we have one.

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    BamaNation All-SEC tide96's Avatar
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    Re: Previews 2014: Alabama Crimson Tide

    How can you say "Alabama will have top-of-the-conference coverage teams, and Christion Jones‘ return skills make him a force" and then have us ranked dead last in the entire conference in Special teams? Even if the kickers are below average, are we really saying they are SO terrible that the unit as a whole is the worst in the SEC?

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    BamaNation Hall of Fame GrayTide's Avatar
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    Re: Previews 2014: Alabama Crimson Tide

    If the offensive line, place kicker, and punter are not dramatically improved over last year we are looking at 9-3 or 10-2 at best.
    "My momma always said you got to put the past behind you before you can move on." Forrest Gump

    "The past is never dead. It's not even past." William Faulkner

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    Re: Previews 2014: Alabama Crimson Tide

    Quote Originally Posted by GrayTide View Post
    If the offensive line, place kicker, and punter are not dramatically improved over last year we are looking at 9-3 or 10-2 at best.
    You are so negative.......what 3 teams will beat us?

    After #1 recruiting classes year after year -- if we lose 3 games -- there would be a lot of "splainin" to do....

    LSU, Auburn....and who?
    Raj: Excuse me, I can't be drinking, I'm about to make an important scientific discovery here!
    Howard:What? Galileo did his best work while drinking wine!
    Raj: How do you know that?
    Howard: He was Italian, it's a reasonable assumption.
    Raj: Dude, can you even open your mouth without saying a cultural stereotype?
    Howard: I'm sorry Galileo drank diet sprite!

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    Re: Previews 2014: Alabama Crimson Tide

    Quote Originally Posted by GrayTide View Post
    If the offensive line, place kicker, and punter are not dramatically improved over last year we are looking at 9-3 or 10-2 at best.
    Gray, that's what I fear. Those areas need to be dealt with, but I believe that if they are somehow then we may just go all the way. It really could go either way. Now I can put my crimson shades back on.

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    Re: Previews 2014: Alabama Crimson Tide

    Quote Originally Posted by GrayTide View Post
    If the offensive line, place kicker, and punter are not dramatically improved over last year we are looking at 9-3 or 10-2 at best.
    Unless I'm missing something, the punter was pretty good.

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    Re: Previews 2014: Alabama Crimson Tide

    Quote Originally Posted by GrayTide View Post
    If the offensive line, place kicker, and punter are not dramatically improved over last year we are looking at 9-3 or 10-2 at best.
    On the offensive line, to me the biggest area we need improvement on is discipline (penalties and missed assignments) and toughness. Watching our games from last year we weren't good in short yardage 3rd downs, in other words when the other team knew we were going to run. If we can get the toughness back on the offensive line and cut down on the penalties and missed assignments I think we will be fine.

    The kicking game is a serious concern, but honestly how many games are we going to have where the kicking game is the make or break game? Last year Auburn was the only game, Cade had essentially not had any pressure kicks the entire year. I think he hit one long one against Ole Miss when the game was still in question but still not the same. But I truly believe if Bama comes out and plays angry and focused like they have something to prove it is going to be difficult for any team to beat us.

    Punting like CrimsonEye said was a strength last year. We don't need to match Mandell from last year we just need someone who can be consistent back there. I don't see punter as really costing us games.

    Maybe I'm overestimating our team or underestimating the opposition but I don't see how we lose three games unless we have serious injuries or the QB position ends up being a disaster. We are likely to be a favorite in every game, maybe a dog against LSU but probably not.

    I think the talent is in place to make a run to the playoffs. The concern for me is attitude (which all reports are it is much better this year) and our coaches adjustments to the HUNH. I still think that we need to simplify the defense or make our calls quicker, we still just don't seem fully prepared for those teams, in addition to having some personnel issues against them last year.
    Last edited by RollTide1224; August 8th, 2014 at 03:32 PM.

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    BamaNation Hall of Fame GrayTide's Avatar
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    Re: Previews 2014: Alabama Crimson Tide

    Quote Originally Posted by CrimsonEyeshade View Post
    Unless I'm missing something, the punter was pretty good.
    I stand corrected about the punting last year.
    "My momma always said you got to put the past behind you before you can move on." Forrest Gump

    "The past is never dead. It's not even past." William Faulkner

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    Re: Previews 2014: Alabama Crimson Tide

    my unbiased prediction for 2014 is optimistic. I really believe our secondary will be improved this year, I expect our def line to be special, and our linebackers more equipped to handle any type of offense. the linebackers while not as experienced as starters they are deep. I especially like our youngsters, speed, aggressive, eager. what can you say about our rbs. off line need a strong right guard, and big play from a big time freshman in cam. qb, I am not one of those that say wait for the fall practice to determine the starter this year. while I give credit for sims for hanging in there for 5 years, I am not deceived by the reason coker is here. he was recruited for the job, and I believe he will produce. he is a quality stop gap qb we need for this year, and maybe next if he does not have a great year and go pro. and really the most impressive about this team is the coaching staff assembled by coach saban. we may lose one game, and any more will be because of key injuries where it hurts most. yes, 11-1, and could be 12-0.

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    Re: Previews 2014: Alabama Crimson Tide

    Quote Originally Posted by tide96 View Post
    How can you say "Alabama will have top-of-the-conference coverage teams, and Christion Jones‘ return skills make him a force" and then have us ranked dead last in the entire conference in Special teams? Even if the kickers are below average, are we really saying they are SO terrible that the unit as a whole is the worst in the SEC?
    Because we heavily, heavily weight special teams towards the kicking positions. Returns and coverage might make up 20%, tops, of the special teams rating.

    Reason? This is the SEC, and everyone should have great athletes for the coverage and return teams. To not have it means you have a real disconnect at the head coach level relative to what must be recruited in order to compete here. Even Kentucky and Mississippi State should be able to do that. Vanderbilt is the only team that seems to consistently have an issue with it.

    As Alabama unfortunately has learned a couple of times the last few years, a breakdown at kicker or punter is going to result in memorable (and very bad) experiences. Going into this year, Alabama has an unproven kicker who had an unimpressive spring practice, and a true freshman punter who needs to add some bulk. We also need to see who Alabama will put back on kickoff returns with Jones, because the B-slot on the KOR unit has been scattershot now since basically Shula's first year.
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    Re: Previews 2014: Alabama Crimson Tide

    Reading between the lines at 11-1 (LSU) then this is predicting we win the West I assume but lose to UGA in the SECCG based on the other JessN team breakdowns. So that's 11-2 and maybe the Capital One (Citrus) Bowl that's being predicted? With as many ??? as we have in key areas I'd take that right now to be honest. Although I'd rather beat UGA...be 12-1 SEC Champs and in the 4 Team playoff

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    Re: Previews 2014: Alabama Crimson Tide

    I agree totally with your analysis, but am more in line with Grey on the prediction. With respect to the defense, if you have a strategic plan that has consistently worked and it stops working, your natural first inclination is to blame the execution of the plan, not the plan itself. I believe that the coaching staff, deep in their hearts, feel that the breakdown in the last two games was due to execution and not a problem in employing their complex defense against the HUNH. On the other hand, I believe that the other coaches will be studying the films of the Auburn and Sooners games to see how CKS's defense can be beaten. I think that the mismatch of the D against the HUNH is going to cost the Auburn game this season. I also think that the poor kicking game is going to cost one other game - perhaps Florida or Ole Miss. Finally, CNS's teams seem to lose focus when playing in a "meaningless" bowl than is not an NC game. All these factors will add up to 9-3 in the regular season and 9-4 overall. 2014 thus looks to be a lot like 2010 to me.

    If the season plays out this way, it will be a moment of truth for CNS. CPB faced similar situations during his career, and was able to evolve and come up with innovative approaches to the changing game (e.g. the wishbone). How CNS responds to the challenge could determine if he is really a coach in CPB's league.

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