Larry Burton (Syndicated Writer) Earlier in the year, Bama fans were worried a whole host of issues and though it's still early, they can be addressed and put away, at least until they start the bulk of the SEC schedule.
Losing your punter, long snapper and kicker in one season left many to wonder how things would go on special teams.
In punting, Alabama rates second just inches behind first place Tennessee, so I guess you could lay that fear to rest.
Alabama had a long snapper that was O for career in bad snaps and his replacement is also perfect so far.
Kicker? Yeah, we have two of those. One is doing a much better job on kickoffs than the previous one, and in field goal percentages, they're two for three just missing one long try by Foster. That's better than the start the previous kicker had.
Replacing All Those Defensive Starters
With two down to an easy team and one solid top 20 team, the results were the same. No touchdowns allowed and the secondary everyone was so worried about keeps picking off passes and shutting down receivers.
Alabama is leading the nation in scoring defense and looks like they're not skipping a beat from last year.
The pass rush looks better than last year and the run defense looks just as solid as well.
Though they'll get their biggest test in two weeks when they try and stop Ryan Mallett, it looks like they will be able to do what fans feared they may not, be just as good as last year's unit.
Losing Their Edge After Winning it All Last Year
Many thought Alabama could lose their edge and work ethic after winning it all last year, but so far they seem to be taking the same workmanlike approach to each and every practice and each and every game.
No one is practicing like they are entitled to anything and every player is showing maximum effort on the field and Saban has been playing them down to the third string to keep everyone involved.
Greg McElroy Didn't Look Good in Some Games Last Year
Yes, he didn't look great in the national championship game, but cracked ribs will do that to you. This year he's effortlessly guiding one scoring drive after another and is putting the balls into the hand of receivers in perfect stride.
He looks and plays like a natural leader and a returning national championship winning quarterback.
The Things That Haven't Worked Out Yet
Granted everything is not perfect in the land of Crimson and White though. So far no one has stepped up to replace the excitement and productivity returning kicks that Javier Arenas did last season, but then there hasn't been any bad play from fumbles or miscues either.
Julio Jones still has a case of the dropsies in every game, though he may make a highlight moment out of the next.
Chance Warmack has been a one man penalty machine on the Alabama offensive line. In the last game, he was called for one of the ever so rare holding calls this offense gets (averaging about one a year) and two off sides penalties.
I'm sure Saban and offensive line coach Joe Pendry will have some choice words for him this week.
The Marcell Dareus suspension was a distraction, but one that may keep the rest of the players in line the rest of the season. You could almost put this in the things that worked out well category since Alabama did well with his replacement and the defense still threw shut outs.