Alabama Football: Tide Offense Should Be Best Yet Under Nick Saban
Under Nick Saban, Alabama has regained its status as the premier program in college football, and it has done so primarily through the strength of its defense. This year, though, the offense should break out and be the catalyst for Bama's success.
Alabama has recently had a great tradition of running backs, with Trent Richardson and Mark Ingram both dominating opposing defenses for the Tide.
This year, Eddie Lacy will take up their mantle, and he is certain to continue that tradition of excellence.
As Richardson's main backup last season, Lacy averaged an incredible 7.1 yards per rush. Most impressively, Lacy ran roughshod over a Penn State defense that was able to hold Richardson in check for most of the day.
Lacy's combination of size and speed rivals that of Richardson and Ingram. Like these past Bama backs, he will be running behind an elite offensive line, led by surefire All-American Barrett Jones.
Alabama has become renowned for its ability to constantly groom massive offensive linemen, and this season will be no different. Their offensive line should guarantee Lacy running room, while protecting quarterback A.J. McCarron effectively as well.
Protecting McCarron will be crucial, as he will be the key to the season in 2012. With a defense that only returns four starters, the offense will be tasked with playing more aggressively, and that starts with McCarron.
Fortunately for the Tide, McCarron might prove himself to be one of the best quarterbacks in school history.
Alabama quarterbacks have usually been given the dreaded label of "game manager" throughout Saban's tenure, but McCarron has the talent to shed that label and ascend into the upper echelon of NCAA quarterbacks.
Despite his youth, McCarron already has developed as a leader. His moxie is one of his best features, as he has the confidence to make almost any throw.
Luckily for the Tide, McCarron is accurate enough to connect on most of these throws. He consistently shows the ability to thread the ball into the tightest of windows, which has led to some incredible highlight-reel throws.
For proof, look no further than McCarron's masterful performance against LSU in the national championship game.
McCarron's strike to sophomore receiver Kevin Norwood to end the first quarter was incredible to watch. Though Norwood was well covered, McCarron put the ball right above the helmet of Tyrann Mathieu for the incredible completion.
McCarron will only improve as he gets older, and that has to scare opponents. Alabama was already elite without a top passing game. With a more multidimensional offense, they could become unstoppable.
This season will be the ultimate test to see if Bama is ready to take the next step as a multidimensional offense.
With McCarron's presumed development, Tide fans can be excited to see the offense take that step and become one of the most feared units in the country.
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