Alabama Panel: Bye week
What was the most encouraging thing for Tide fans to see in the win over Tennessee? Julio Jones breaking school records? The defense holding Tennessee to 10 points? AJ McCarron flinging the ball downfield in garbage time?
Kenny Freeman: I think it was all equally encouraging, I just hope they can build on it all and take it into the LSU game.
Roger Hoggle: Defense holding them to 10 points. Even though Tennessee wasn’t a strong team this year, our defense took the opportunity against a weaker team to work on some schemes we haven’t really perfected yet. Game experience really comes into play the rest of the season, so defense needed a good game to get us rolling going into another tough stretch of games.
Who’s your pick for Alabama’s MVP so far this season?
Kenny Freeman: No one player has really stood out to me, which to me means they are playing as a team. Some have had better games than others but I couldn’t pick an MVP at this point and, to me, that is not a bad thing.
Roger Hoggle: Probably Mark Barron. He has really helped the young players develop and has been involved in a lot of tackles.
Given Jeremy Shelley’s woes as the Tide’s “short” field goal kicker, do you think it’s time to name Cade Foster the permanent kicker regardless of distance?
Kenny Freeman: Whatever the coaches think, I couldn’t second guess that.
Roger Hoggle: I don’t like the two kicker system. I think Cade should handle the duties both short and long. If he can be consistent from 40 yards he should have no problem from 20 yards.
Who needs to use this week’s bye the most in preparation for next weekend’s match-up against LSU?
Kenny Freeman: I hope to see the O- line come back after the bye week with rested legs, fire in their eyes and a “whip your tail” attitude.
Roger Hoggle: Offensive line. They really need to dig in and get ready for a good defense. If we can protect McElroy and create seams for our running backs, we can really get our offense jumpstarted for the last stretch of the season.
Does it concern you that a win or loss in that game could rest solely on the shoulders of Greg McElroy, whose play has been spotty the past few weeks?
Kenny Freeman: If I was going to rest it on someone’s shoulder it wouldn’t be McElroy’s, it would be on the O-line’s. Alabama needs to get its running game back on solid ground and McElroy will take care of his play.
Roger Hoggle: No. I think other than a few bad decisions, he has done a decent job this year. My main concern is keeping him off his back and healthy. He has played a lot of snaps under durress from the defense so it is natural for him to make a few ill-advised decisions. If given time to survey the field, check down to his second or even third option, he can be as accurate as anyone in the nation.