Final game report card

Sorry for the delay in grading the game. I just recently have had time to look at the game tape after returning from the islands.

The Hawaii game was unfortunately a picture of the Tide's season compacted into four quarters. Like the season, the game started strong for Bama in the first quarter with a lot of promise for success. And, just like the end of the season, the team just couldn't finish the job and didn't have anyone who could take over the game and pull out the win.

Like Bama's previous head coach, Coach Shula's hardest task may be teaching his guys how to win again.

Quarterback: D

Brodie Croyle will need time to rehab his shoulder.

I believe this was Brodie's worst game. He really made a lot of bad decisions. Croyle still seems to lock on one receiver and then forces the pass to that receiver.

At times Brodie looked gun-shy, and I guess it's hard to blame him. But even when he did have time, he still tried to force the play.

Having to rehab his shoulder will make the off-season pretty tough on Brodie. He needs to live in the weight room, but will likely not be there much for awhile. And it is possible he may miss the entire spring practice since it is scheduled earlier than in the past.

Running Backs: C

As the game progressed, their intensity seemed to decline. They ran hard early, but it looked like they lost their legs about mid-game.

Blocking has been pretty bad for the last few weeks.

Wide Receivers: D

Tyrone Prothro was a late-season bright spot.

They are not finishing their routes. When challenged (knocked off their routes) they back off.

When Brodie is in trouble, they seldom come back to help.

And, for some reason, as a unit the wideouts have forgotten that the ball should be caught with the hands, not the body.

Offensive Line: D

While they did pass block a little better, and did give Brodie a lot of time on a few plays, they just flat out quit several times during the game.

When these guys explode off the ball, they can knock any defensive line off the line of scrimmage. For whatever reason, Alabama was just were not consistent against Hawaii or during the season. The aggressive play of the two previous seasons was nonexistent.

There is an old coaching point known as "PUP," Pads-Under-Pads. That means that the player who gets his pads under the pads of the guy across from him, the low man wins. Fans didn't see much of that all season.

Special Teams: A

Chris James blocked four kicks.

I'm giving these guys an A. They were the only reason the game was not a blow out.

In my opinion, this is the only unit that is better now than at the beginning of the season.

Defensive Line: D

A D-Lineman cannot have success when his first move is to show his numbers. (See PUP above.)

Bama's linemen also gave up most of the time when double-teamed.

Very seldom do the players get their hands up when rushing.

Tackling form was very poor. A defensive lineman should never have to leave his feet to make a tackle.

Linebackers: B-

They gave all out every play. And they have the ability to hit.

Derrick Pope's leadership won't be easily replaced.

Pass coverage is still not good and they still struggle getting off of blocks.

Defensive Backs: D+

As a unit they will hit and are not bad in run support.

But Bama's DBs still do very little to prevent the offense from making plays. The Hawaii receivers really helped the Tide by dropping several balls that hit them in their hands.

Timmy Chang also made several very bad throws.

PERSONAL NOTE: Thanks for reading my write ups this season. I hope they were taken in the spirit I tried to write them. It was great meeting several of you in Hawaii. I really appreciate the kind words.

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