Brian Daboll is ready to take your order.
Well, really, the Alabama offensive coordinator is ready to serve up something special for each team with which the Crimson Tide dines. UA’s passing game is full of options.
“It’s more like when you go to a restaurant and you get a menu,” Alabama coach Nick Saban said. “You have a menu, and you choose what you want to do each week based on what the other team does, based on the coverage they play. You don’t just draw up new stuff every week.”
As a whole, the Crimson Tide has thrown for 1,791 yards – split up among 17 receivers – and 15 touchdowns. It averages 199 passing yards per game, making Alabama the No. 7 pass offense in the SEC.
“I like to think like our players are like some sort of buffet,” Alabama tight end Hale Hentges said, “and Daboll can just come up and be like, ‘I’ll take some of (DeVonta Smith) this week, and I’ll take some of Calvin (Ridley). No, I don’t really want that.’”
Here’s a look at what’s available:
The wideouts are, predictably so, utilized the most. Eight have seen action this season and they’ve combined to tally 87 receptions for 1,349 yards and 10 touchdowns. Ridley leads all Alabama receivers (not just his position group) with 44 catches for 584 yards and two touchdowns.
Daboll has brought some of his old New England Patriots spice with him to Alabama. The four tight ends who have played this season have combined for four touchdowns, 17 receptions and 192 receiving yards. Irv Smith Jr. is ahead the pack with 11 grabs for 111 yards and two touchdowns.
There are four running backs involved, so far, in the passing game, and altogether they’ve totaled 29 receptions for 251 yards through the air with a touchdown. Bo Scarbrough has grabbed the most passes with 12, but Josh Jacobs has the most receiving yards with 96. Jacobs also caught the group’s sole touchdown pass.
OK, so it only happened once, but still. Quarterback Jalen Hurts caught one of his own passes against Florida State. It was intended for running back Damien Harris but ended up being batted down right back into Hurts’ arms. His stat line right now includes a reception for a 1-yard loss.
Call it a playbook. Call it a menu. Whatever. Daboll is the mastermind behind the final product, and the Crimson Tide got a taste of everything before the season even started.
“Like the menu, we can just take something and say we want to try this this week,” Hentges said. “Since we put it in, you may not remember it, but it’s still in the back of your mind and you just refresh it.”