5 improvements Alabama must make to contend for a championship

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  • Jameson Williams
    American football player

Despite what you may have heard from all the talking heads, Alabama still has all the opportunity in the world to win a championship this season. Win out and you are in.

Of course, that does mean beating top-ranked Georgia in the SEC Championship, but who said it was going to be easy?

Even with the opportunity still in sight, there are several areas that the Crimson Tide must clean up before competing with the best of the best in college football.

Let’s take a look at a few!

Better play from the special teams units

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To start the season you could not find much fault within the special teams. But slowly and surely mistakes have found their way in.

Texas A&M returned a kickoff for a touchdown, LSU successfully executed a fake punt against the Tide, and there have been a couple of bad snaps in field goal and extra point situations.

All of these mistakes must be cleaned up before playing with the big boys. Close games often come down to special teams.

The offense needs another weapon outside of Jameson Williams and John Metchie

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Going into the season most people thought that the duo of Cameron Latu and Jahleel Billingsley would be a nightmare for opposing defenses. That has simply not panned out to this point.

None of the young receivers have emerged either. This isn’t a good combination. Jameson Williams and John Metchie have combined to catch 106 passes. Slade Bolden is the only other receiver on the team with more than 20 catches on the season.

If Alabama’s offense wants to take the next step, another receiving option is going to have to breakthrough.

The safety and STAR positions must play better

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There is no denying that one of the weaknesses of this Alabama team is the middle of the field on defense. More specifically, the safety and STAR positions.

I’ll admit, Jordan Battle seems to be playing his best football at the moment. DeMarcco Hellams has been up and down and Malachai Moore and Brian Branch seem to be going through sophomore slumps.

If Hellams, Moore, and Branch can each up their game, the Alabama defense would be a tough matchup for any offense.

In-game adjustments from Bill O'Brien

AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack

Alabama is coming off its lowest-scoring performance in more than 30 games against LSU. I hate to be the guy that continuously questions playcalling, but the biggest concern in regards to offensive coordinator Bill O’Brien is his lack of adjustment in-game.

LSU played a completely different style of defense against Alabama than what they put on tape earlier in the season, so early miscues are understandable. But O’Brien seemingly did nothing to counter to aggressive attack from the Tigers.

This has been an issue all season long for the Tide offense. Lack of adjustments can cost you a game against the cream of the crop.

Offensive line play needs considerable improvement

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The fact remains that the Alabama offensive has not been very good this season. Currently, the Tide ranks 82nd in sacks allowed and 72nd in tackles for loss allowed.

There is a chance that Damieon George will replace Chris Owens at right tackle for the remainder of the season. This is something we will continue to monitor closely. I also expect Darrian Dalcourt to take back over at center once he is cleared to play.

Simply put, if the unit doesn’t show signs of improvement, it will be tough to handle that Georgia Bulldog front seven.

The talent is there, it’s just a matter of communication and execution.

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