All Alabama fans know the story as I'm sure you have heard a lot of talk lately about how the Bama O-line is going to have a ton of problems in '09. Yes, we are going to have our share of problems with the O-line but not for the reasons people are saying.
Last season the Alabama offensive line was very strong, quick and able to control the line of scrimmage. All three of these might pose a problem for the Tide next year. We lost key players in center Antonie Caldwell and left tackle Andre Smith both who entered into the NFL draft after the end of the '08 season.
We have a few guys who could try and fill both of these guys shoes but trust me this will be no easy task. Evan Cardwell who is a great offensive lineman is most likely not going to be around for the '09 season.
Cardwell is suffering from severe back pains and is most likely going to be on the side lines watching most of the season from there.
Evan Cardwell is a very strong talented O-lineman who benches over 350 and squats over 430. He has seen time at the center position both of his two year's of eligibility at Alabama. In 2007 Cardwell started the last eight games and made some great blocks for the Tide, he is going to be a big loss for the Tide next season.
Another key loss will be converted defensive lineman Brian Motley. He has been fighting a few injuries since preseason camp of '07. Some of the injuries being a broken ankle right after he gained the starting noseguard position.
The other was a wrist injury that required surgery. Motley red shirted his first season in '09 Motley will be a junior.
Evan Cardwell and Brian Motley are two guys the Bama O-line will miss next season. If Motley can get healthy their is a chance he could play some. As for Cardwell its almost positive he will not be able to play he has been suffering from this back pain since the '07 season and can't fight it anymore.
There is no doubt there will be big losses to Alabama. With the down side out of the way lets talk about two guys on the offensive line that will not let this team get down on themselves.
The first of the two is Mike Johnson. Johnson a very solid offensive line player for the Tide in both '07 and '08. He has saw his fair share of playing time under Saban and has done fairly well. Johnson has also had to play a few different spots on the O-line with some suspensions in '07 and that made him a more well rounded player.
Andre Smith and Mike Johnson are the only two players to start in all 13 games in '07.
Mike Johnson has had the privilege to play with two great Alabama offensive lineman both of his starting years, Andre Smith and Antonie Caldwell. I know he has taken a little something form both of these players and I'm sure he will be a awesome lineman for the Tide in '09.
The second of the two is Drew Davis he had some great playing time last season and in '07. Many say he could use some more bulk on the O-line but I think he should be fine. Drew Davis was a high school standout and won AISA lineman of the year in high school and started on the high school D-line when he was in the eight grade.
Davis is a very physical player and was one of the few players who needed last season as a building season for '09. He was really the only question mark the Tide had going into the '08 season. Although he did beat out Taylor Parr to win the first string spot.
Mike Johnson and Drew Davis should be great offensive lineman for the Tide and if anything they will teach the younger guys all they know to prepare them for the '10 season. With all the talk brought about the O-line I just hope and pray that these two can stick together and bring Alabama a SEC championship.
So that wraps up today's article about Alabama and its offensive line problems, please share with me your thoughts about who you think will help contribute to the offensive line in '09.