2017 Alabama Football Preview 2011-2015-2016 National Champions Offensive Starting Lineup QB- SR(RS) Blaine Miller HB- JR(RS) Ben Fontenot FB- SR(RS) Al Franklin WR- JR(RS) Chad Garret WR- JR(RS) Jesse Townes TE- SR(RS) Paris Johnston LT- SO(RS) Jim Redd LG- SR(RS) Sean Whitlock C- SR(RS) Corey Howard RG- SR(RS) Kevin Faulk RT- FR(RS) Ryan Gandy Defensive Starting LineupRE- JR(RS) Mike Reese DT- SR Jerome Bailey DT- JR Jamil Thompson LE- JR(RS) Trey Thomas ROLB- SO(RS) Brock McCarthy MLB- SO(RS) Thomas Holland LOLB- SR(RS) Caleb Williams CB- SR(RS) Thomas Hills CB- FR(RS) Eric Richard FS- SO(RS) Tyler Smith SS- SR(RS) Julian LucasSpecialistsK- JR C.J. Robinson P- SR Terrance Henley Return Man- SR(RS) Julian Lucas Offensive Outlook: QB Blaine Miller is among the best in the country and the best to ever dawn the Crimson uniform. The Bama Nation was ecstatic when they found out he had decided to come back for his senior year. He will lead a very potent Bama offense into the teeth of a monstrous schedule. He has a plethora of weapons at his disposal and you can bet this coaching staff will come up with ways for Blaine to get the ball into the hands of his playmakers. The wide receiver duo of Townes and Garret is among the best in the country and they will give defensive coordinators and secondaries fits all year. RB Ben Fontenot will be relied on to carry the load but Coach JFunk is very excited about the potential of true freshman running back Aaron Keller and he will get a chance to show his abilities on the field. The offensive line is rebuilding a little bit with new starters at both tackle positions. This offense will continue to do what they have always done. Control the clock and mix the run and pass effectively to keep the defense off balance. Bama has some more exotic formations using QB Shaun Watson if the coaching staff feels this would be something that needs to be worked into the gameplan. No one really knows what the extent of these offensive sets look like but Watson's ability to run should be a bit of a clue of what it consists of. If this offense can be successful in their execution then there may not be a defense in the country that can stop them. Defensive Outlook: The Bama defense is rebuilding but still has plenty of talent. Several of the key players return to the defense. Linebacker Caleb Williams is a one man wrecking crew and has a very strong supporting cast at linebacker. Senior Julian Lucas has moved from free safety to strong safety this season with the emergence of sophomore Tyler Smith. Smith transferred from Florida and sat out last season. Bama needed a new strong safety with Micah Reid leaving early for the NFL so Julian Lucas starting working there and picked it up extremely fast so Tyler Smith won the free safety job and Lucas stayed at strong safety giving the Tide two very good safeties. The corners are solid but not spectacular Hills and Richard will be on the field most of the time in the base set. True freshman Victor Randolph will come in during the nickel sets and he is imposing at 6'5" with legit 4.3 speed. Bama's front four remains strong. Jerome Bailey is a playmaker at the defensive tackle position and Reese and Thomas are great pass rushing ends. Bama has made a living off of having defensive lineman who can get penetration and pressure the quarterback and this year appears to be no different. This defense has the potential to be very good although they are replacing several key players. If they can come together early in the season and work together they could set the Tide up for another championship run.