Season of Change Tuscaloosa, AL- Many Tide fans were shocked in February with the abrubt departure of Nick Saban for the Dallas Cowboys. Alabama hired Coach Trey, the reigning National Pee-Wee coach of the year to take over, and keep Nick Saban's well oiled machine running. The Tide are expected to keep the Pro Style offense for, at the very least, this season. It's not Coach Trey's preferred system, but Alabama has the players for the Pro Style, and the staff doesn't want to try to make round pegs fit square holes. As with any Pro Style offense the success will start with the QB and the RB's. AJ McCarron has returned for his senior season, and he's changed a lot from the tall, skinny kid from St. Paul's in Mobile. When McCarron got to campus he looked like SEC defenses might be able to break him in half. He was 6'4" 190 pounds, and despite offers from all over the country, not someone the Tide faithful expected to become the QB at Alabama. Star Jackson got to campus the year before, Phillip Sims joined the Tide the following season, and McCarron looked like he would be a career backup or have to transfer. But he beat out Jackson and Sims for the starting gig after Greg McElroy graduated and has led the Tide to back to back National Titles. McCarron has earned a place alongside Bart Starr, Joe Namath, Kenny Stabler and Jay Barker in the pantheon of all-timers in Tuscaloosa and figures to be a high draft pick in next season's NFL draft. There are rumors he could fall because of the sheer awfulness of his chest tattoo. TJ Yeldon and Kenyan Drake are the top 2 RB for Alabama this season. Yeldon is the latest in a string of excellent tailbacks in T-Town. Mark Ingram was the first truly excellent RB Alabama had seen since Shaun Alexander, the Tide transistioned smoothly to Trent Richardson and then Eddie Lacy and now to Yeldon. Yeldon had some issues hanging on to the football last season, and the coaching staff hopes that changing his carrying style to high and tight will help him with his fumbulitis. Drake was also a freshman last season, but didn't see much playing time. He figures to see time only to give Yeldon a spell. Jalston Fowler will see 5-10 touches a game from the FB spot. The 242 pound former RB will be a very tough guy to drag down. Good skill players can't do anything without a good offensive line, and despite all the losses from last season's squad Alabama looks to be in good shape up front. The Kouandijo brothers will play next to eachother on the left side. Austin Shepherd and Anthony Steen will hold down the right side with Ryan Kelly anchoring the OL from the center spot. Going back to Bear Bryant, Alabama has always hung their hat on the dominance of their defense. Nick Saban continued that tradition, and Coach Trey knows that he needs to continue the tradition if he's to be beloved by the fanbase. He's got a good base to build from thanks to a defense stocked with former and commits. The Tide will stick with the 3-4 employed under Nick Saban, but may eventually change over to a different style. The 3-4 is dependent on excellent LB play, and the Tide figure to have it this season. Adrian Hubbard and Xzavier Dickson will play the outside spots, and Hubbard will have oppotunities to put his hand on the ground to rush the passer on occasion. CJ Mosley and Trey DePreist will play the all important MLB spots. Ha-Ha Clinton-Dix and Vinny Sunseri will be the QB's of the secondary from the safety spots, with Landon Collins backing both of them up. Clinton-Dix led the SEC in interceptions last season, and the staff hopes he can continue to be a gamechanger for the secondary. The CB are experienced but are a step down from Kareem Jackson, Dre Kirkpatrick, Antonio Langham and Javi Arenas. Both Sunseri and Clinton-Dix will have to be on their game all season long for the defense to play up to their potential. The Alabam fans waited a long time for a return to the summit of College Football. After Gene Stallings and Jay Barker led the Tide to the 1992 National Title it took 17 years before they won the next title. Hopefully the change from Saban to Coach Trey doesn't lead to the same desert wandering scenario. Sorry Bucs, best defensive play of all time, except it didn't count.