With a long list of running backs and offensive lineman drafted in the early rounds of the NFL draft in recent years, Alabama’s offense has seemingly been the model of a dominant running game, ever since Nick Saban took over as coach.
But Texas A&M defensive coordinator John Chavis believes that the Crimson Tide offense now is more balanced than they are given credit for, especially considering the talent at the wide receiver position.
“You thought after they lost a couple good ones last year [to the NFL draft], they just reloaded,” Chavis said. “It’s an offense that has a lot of moving parts.”
Chavis said Alabama relies more on spread offense principles than it has in the last couple of years, adding that the Crimson Tide have begun to use more jet sweeps and bubble screens in their play calls.
“They get [Ridley] the ball, they’ll move the [defense] back outside,” Chavis said. “They’ll force you to play the entire field. … You’ve got to be able to tackle [well] in space.”
Saban last week compared wide receiver Calvin Ridley to Oakland Raiders wide receiver Amari Cooper, who played for Saban from 2012-2014.
“We had him in camp a year ago,” Saban said. “Kind of like Amari Cooper.”
Texas A&M defensive back and running back Brandon Williams agreed with Saban’s comparison of Ridley.
“I think that’s a good comparison,” Williams said, according to TexAgs’ Billy Liucci.
Ridley is coming off a monster performance in Week 6 against Arkansas, hauling in nine receptions for 140 yards, with his longest being an 81-yard reception for a touchdown.
Williams added that it’s key that the Aggies win their one-on-one matchups and try to limit the big plays.
Chavis also spoke highly of Alabama quarterback Jake Coker, saying that he throws the ball extremely well and has flourished under the Crimson Tide’s system.
“He’s a starting quarterback in the SEC and for a really good football team,” Chavis said. “He’s gotten better and better [throughout the season]. He’s not going to be as mobile as other quarterbacks that we’ve seen but he’s made first downs with his feet.”
— Roll Tide #15™ (@jerrysandersRTR) October 6, 2015