The Alabama Crimson Tide are certainly undergoing major changes offensively for the 2023 college football season. Losing Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback Bryce Young makes life difficult for Alabama and its offense. This is not the first time they have done this. Alabama had to replace A.J. McCarron, Blake Simms, Jacob Coker, Tua Tagovailoa, and Mac Jones and now has to replace Young. There shouldn’t be any major concern with Alabama at the quarterback position. Five of the six National Championships in the Nick Saban era have been won by first-year quarterbacks. This is counting the 2018 National Championship game by Tagovailoa. Alabama will have three inexperienced quarterbacks taking over. The goal regarding these three quarterbacks and the offense for Alabama in 2023 is finding a scheme that fits their playstyle.
What Alabama’s Offense Will Look Like Under Each Quarterback
Jalen Milroe Will Employ an RPO-Scheme Offense
The most experienced quarterback for the Crimson Tide this season is Jalen Milroe, an elusive RPO playmaker. Milroe was the backup to Young last season and filled in as the starter for the Tide’s home game against the Texas A&M Aggies. Milroe wasn’t an efficient passer on deep plays, but he completed short-to-mid-range passing plays. He completed 12-of-19 of his passes for 111 yards, three touchdowns, and one interception.
This off-season, the objective for Milroe is to develop into a more established passer. He also needs to not rely on his run game so much. Milroe potentially being the starter for the Crimson Tide is not the first time that they had a less-than-efficient passer, but a great runner at quarterback. Alabama had Jalen Hurts as the face of the offense for two years. Under Hurts, the Crimson Tide had a more established RPO offense. New offensive coordinator Tommy Rees could utilize a similar system and keep the offense more grounded. One of the biggest criticisms of the offense last season was the lack of a run game. With Milroe starting, the RPO scheme allows the Tide to utilize the superior athleticism of Milroe and force opponents to play smart and overpower the offense.
Ty Simpson Might Be More Pass-Friendly
Many Alabama fans would love to see the potential of former five-star quarterback Ty Simpson. He is easily the most explosive and deep passer among the starting quarterbacks in contention. He has great characteristics fans want to see as a quarterback. As a deep passer, he has a solid release and great vision. The biggest knock on him is the consistency. Simpson can make incredible throws in tight windows and then quickly underthrow or overthrow his receivers.
With Simpson playing, the Tide would utilize his strong passing mechanics and allow him to potentially make the big plays. This will take away from the efforts to develop more of a run game. If anything, the run game will help stabilize Simpson and not allow him to overwork or overthink in games. It is important to note that while Simpson is the quarterback with the most potential, he is also the least experienced of the top three competitors.
Tyler Buchner Could Bring a More Traditional Offense Back to Alabama
Tyler Buchner is the most controversial competitor for the starting quarterback. The negative attributes of Buchner easily outweigh the positives in the minds and social media formats of Alabama fans. Buchner will be remembered for losing his job at Notre Dame in just two games. In the first game of the season at the Ohio State Buckeyes, Buchner showed confidence and leadership, despite the Fighting Irish losing to #2 Ohio State 21-10. The nail in the coffin was his struggles in the Irish’s 26-21 home loss to Marshall. Buchner lost all confidence in his ability to lead the offense.
He joined Alabama in an attempt to revive his career with Rees as his offensive coordinator. There is plenty of positive characteristics when it comes to Buchner as a playmaker. He is the most polished and developed passer, he has the most experience, the knowledge of Rees’s offensive philosophy is a dynamic passer and runner, and has the arm strength to get the ball to his receivers deep. He is a player that needs to believe he can lead an offense into great situations. Buchner gets the least amount of first-team reps at quarterback. That could change as the Fall camp progresses.
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