Alabama football mailbag: Christopher Allen's injury, Will Reichard and how the offense stacks up nationally

Nick Kelly
The Tuscaloosa News

Alabama football got off to another strong start to a season with a 44-13 victory over No. 16 Miami. Let’s get right to your questions after the season opener.

What’s the latest on Allen? – @realMarkHolley

Based on the way coach Nick Saban talked after the game, it’s not looking good for outside linebacker Christopher Allen. Saban called the foot injury pretty significant. They’re going to further evaluate, but at this point, Allen might be out for the season.

How things played out Saturday back up why this looks to be long-term. Allen had to leave the field on a cart, and when he returned in the second half to the sideline, he was using crutches and wearing a boot.

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Alabama will count on younger edge rushers such as Drew Sanders, Chris Braswell and Dallas Turner for a while, even if Allen can somehow return later in the season.

Because a few of you asked about injuries as a whole, Saban didn’t think anybody else had a significant injury. Linebacker Henry To’o To’o injured his elbow and didn’t return, but Saban said he will be OK.

You have to feel for Allen, who already missed the 2018 season because of a knee injury. As a redshirt senior, he looked prime to build on his draft stock this season. In the little time he had Saturday, he sacked D’Eriq King and forced a fumble.

With Bama’s success at getting to an extremely athletic mobile QB in King, what do you think they’ll look like against the remainder pocket passers? This pass rush is the real deal in my eyes. Losing Allen does hurt, but how bad does it hurt? – @brockcoogler

To be honest with you, Brock, I don’t think it matters what kind of passer they’re facing. This defense looks like it will be able to get after the passer, no matter what style. Everyone knew Will Anderson would be a problem, but Alabama managed to bring pressure from all over.

One of my favorite calls might have been when they brought both middle linebackers, To’o To’o and Christian Harris, and Harris got to King.

To answer your second question, it hurts because Allen’s a great talent. But Alabama is better prepared than most. It has those three talented young linebackers in Sanders, Braswell and Turner ready to go, all five-start prospects on the 247Sports Composite coming out of high school.

Will Reichard was perfect on field goals and PATs last year, but few of his kickoffs found the end zone. Tonight, I think every kickoff resulted in a touchback. How has Will changed his training to get his kicks going deeper? – Kevin McCroan, Deatsville, Ala.

You are correct, Kevin, that all seven of his kickoffs resulted in touchbacks. When Reichard spoke earlier in the offseason, he didn’t get into great detail about what specifically he’s done to become stronger. He did, however, say that he has been focusing on explosiveness in his legs instead of just pure strength overall.

After watching the top 5 teams this weekend, do any of them have an offense good enough to keep up with Alabama? Although a few of the defenses looked comparable, Alabama’s offense looked light years ahead of the others. – Loren F, Chantilly, Va.

I think it’s safe to say none of the other top five teams looked better than Alabama offensively, Loren. Neither Clemson nor Georgia scored an offensive touchdown while facing each other, Tulane nearly upset Oklahoma, and Minnesota made things much more interesting than I expected against Ohio State.  

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But it is a small sample size, so I’m not sure I’m ready to say none of them can keep up with Alabama. Let’s give it a couple weeks.

Ask Coach when will the backups get in verses Mercer - @ChrisPThomas1

Chris, I might be a rookie on the Alabama beat, but even I know it’s not wise to try to throw into triple coverage.  

Contact Alabama football reporter Nick Kelly: nkelly@gannett.com. Follow him on Twitter: @_NickKelly