But, the two basic and most important parts of football, regardless of the offensive or defensive packages, are blocking and tackling. If a team can't do both very well, that team will struggle.
Right now, Bama is not doing these things as well as it needs to be doing. And the Tide is struggling. With the character and toughness of the young men on the team, I have no doubt these things will improve and Alabama will get better.
Grading the Georgia game:
It's probably not right to give any position an A when the team loses, so I will give them a B. I felt all the quarterbacks did as well as they could.
If Alabama is not getting the job done up front, then the QBs can't do their job.
Running Backs: C
Again, it's tough to run when the defensive line is waiting on you and is standing in the backfield with you. Alabama's running backs are not blocking as well as they were for a while.
I didn't think the Tide picked up the blitz very well. Plus, the backs are not aggressive when lead blocking at all.
For its offense to work effectively, Alabama really needs a power fullback.
Wide Receivers: C-
The Tide wideouts do a decent--not really good--but decent job of catching the football. Unfortunately, they do very little after the catch.
Lately, the receivers also do not sell the pass very well on running plays.
Offensive Line: D
It's no secret that I'm no fan of the current blocking technique being coached. It doesn't matter if it is "what they do in the NFL." Alabama is not in the NFL and it isn't very effective for Bama's current situation.
I watch a lot of college ball and have yet to see another team using this stuff.
However, there comes a time when the offensive line just has to crush people using whatever technique they are taught. Alabama still is not doing it.
Heading into the seventh game, Alabama's offensive line still has not blocked a linebacker.
Special Teams: C-
That grade was given only because I still think the Tide covers fairly well and does a decent job on kick returns.
The special teams did account for 10 points, but also gave up 14.
Defensive Line: C
This group looked pretty good in the opening minutes. But the D-Linemen still have to play a whole game.
The Tide linemen are still not keeping the opposing offensive linemen off Alabama's linebackers. And as the game progressed, the players didn't fight off the blocks.
I realize Alabama is struggling with little depth. But the players still have to play the games and the Tide still has to get better.
The Alabama defensive ends have blown containment too many times in the last two weeks.
As a unit the players are still struggling in pass coverage and in shedding blocks.
A running back coming up the middle and catching a pass should never happen. Especially in the red zone.
Opposing running backs and receivers should both be trembling at the thought of having to catch a swing or screen pass. But instead, Alabama gets beat consistently.
Defensive Backs: C-
Most any team can complete 5-8 yards passes on the Tide secondary at will.
The cornerbacks are still not knocking receivers off their routes.
Alabama did not get much run support on the screen passes or on the run.
With the Tide still struggling, I've come to realize that some of my write-ups seem like cut-and-pastes from the weeks before. But that happens when a team is still making the same mistakes every week.
Hopefully, Tide fans are about to see a team catch its breath and finish the season strong. I still firmly believe that all the tools are there for a successful program.
EDITOR'S NOTE: David Bittinger is a veteran high school coach, now teaching in North Alabama. Each week during football season he'll watch the games with some of his coaching friends, and afterwards pass along some of their thoughts/comments about what they saw.