1. Can new defensive coordinator Kevin Steele improve the secondary and replace Will Anderson?
Offensive coordinator Tommy Rees is not the only coach with his work cut out for him; the veteran defensive coordinator has to replace one of the best defensive players in Alabama football history, outside linebacker Will Anderson who is second in sacks only to the late Derrick Thomas in Crimson Tide history.
However, Anderson is not the only player Steele has to replace this fall. The Crimson Tide has to replace nine defensive starters/contributors from last season’s squad. Steele has to figure out how to replace Anderson’s production (51 tackles and ten sacks). Dallas Turner has to prove that he is more than the beneficiary of playing opposite Anderson.
It will be interesting to see if any of these young blue chippers get on the field this fall. Don’t be surprised if five-star Alabama native Yhonzae Pierre steals snaps from Turner and senior Chris Braswell. At 6-foot-4 and 223 pounds, the Eufala High School product can rush the passer in the SEC now.
His athleticism is reminiscent of the outgoing Anderson. Tampa native Keon Keely was the highest-rated EDGE rusher in the class and could see some snaps this fall. Don’t be surprised if Keely and Pierre force their way onto the field.
It will be interesting to see how Steele improves the secondary. Alabama did play well most of the season, but fans will not forget what Hendon Hooker and the Volunteers did to the Alabama secondary last season. Will the scheme improve the secondary’s consistency?