Bama’s #1 issue starts up front- Carl Dukes “Put’em Up”
The season is right around the conner and after two weeks of evaluation during training camp and some position changes, coach Nick Saban hopes he found the right combination blockers to make the offense be as good as they were last season. The problem… he still has some concerns and he should after losing three starting lineman to the NFL and two of them in the 1st round- Barrett Jones, D.J. Fluker and Chance Warmack – were important parts of an offense that gained 445.5 yards a game.
Cyrus Kouandjio, a junior, might be the teams best player and he is a sure bet to be another first round pick. He has started 22 career games. Senior right guard Anthony Steen also has plenty of experience, but the fact is this years group has not shown Coach Saban what he needs to see. Where is the “Push” Bama lost its most consistent blockers and leaders. Ryan Kelly takes over at center for Barrett Jones who was an All-Americans and the unquestioned leader. The other two positions on the line are a concern, after the first scrimmage Coach Saban felt there wasn’t enough movement and push up front. Austin Shepherd has moved from right tackle to left guard, and Arie Kouandjio (yes this is Cyrus’s Brother) moved from right guard to right tackle after his return from a knee injury. He came to Alabama as a tackle, but moved to guard because he lacked mobility after surgery.
Schematic breakdowns mean blown plays. The faster this offensive line can get going the better the Crimson Tide will be, but I believe this is the key to their season. We will see? Bama opens the season in Atlanta against Virginia Tech Aug 31st.
Tune in starting at 2 p.m. on Sportsradio 92.9 The Game today for “GameTime”…