The following is my stab at the roundtable questions that Tide Druid posted earlier this week. It was a little tough to make it to this point without reading the responses of other Tide bloggers.
1) Will the new offense and Offensive Coordinator be a positive change for John Parker Wilson? If so, how much? If not, what concerns you? I really don’t see how it couldn’t be a positive for Ross’ brother (I am not referring to him by any other name until he earns it). He looked pretty bad at the end of the season last year with the first quarter of the bowl game as the exception. If McElwain’s history is any indication then there should be significant improvement in Ross’ Brother’s play this season. He had a relatively good sophomore campaign and I believe that his confidence was just shaken last season. Let’s face it, he is never going to make huge plays with his arm but he is capable of not getting the team in trouble and getting the ball to the playmakers. A good coordinator- and I believe that McElwain is- should be able to help him do that.
2) We’ve all felt the excitement of landing this studly freshmen class on signing day, but what expectations should we have once they all land in Tuscaloosa? Kareem Jackson had some “doh” moments last year and he would follow that up with a play that makes you think, “Wow!” That’s my expectation for the class and this season. They are going to look inept at times and then they are going to really impress. When the impressive plays outnumber the inexperienced mistakes the team will be getting somewhere.
3) What were your initial thoughts of the somewhat split job of Defensive Coordinator? Have they changed since then, or are they still the same? At the end of the day it’s all Saban’s defense, you can give the underlings whatever title they want. Steele could be referred to as a Sith Lord, it isn’t going to affect how the defense performs. I also try not to critique coaching decisions too much anyway.
4) In your eyes, who needs to step up the most in a position of depth concern? Young linebackers like Anders, Hester, and Higginbotham plus any able freshman. I would also like to see McCoy, Stover, Alexander and Hanks step up to take the expectation off the freshman as they get used to college level play.
5) We’ve all heard the talk of this possibly being Mal Moore’s last season as Athletic Director. What will his legacy be when it is all said and done? I have often said that Moore will be remembered as a great brick-and-mortar AD. As far as getting us into the 21st Century with our facilities, and not just football facilities, he has been a great AD. I believe that is the legacy he leaves.
6) Other than Georgia, what non-Alabama SEC team impresses you the most? (because everyone would normally answer UGA) I wouldn’t use the word impress here but I am going to be watching Houston Nutt’s Ole Miss Rebels very closely this year. Orgeron left some talent there and while I think his results would have been better had they given him another year, I am confident that Nutt will gat a lot out of them and they will beat someone (or two) who they are not supposed to. I really hope that it isn’t Alabama- this is the tenth anniversary of his magical season at Arkansas and that was under similar circumstances.