Jase McClellan Deserves More Opportunities in the Tide Offense
The Alabama Crimson Tide's rushing attack isn't living up to the expectations of the impassioned fanbase that has become accustomed to smashmouth football prevailing over the opposition. On an average of 33 carries per game, Alabama is averaging four yards per carry, often considered the bare minimum for a successful rushing attack.
The bare minimum isn't good enough for this fanbase.
The load has mostly been split between two primary running backs: Brian Robinson and Jase McClellan.
Robinson has performed admirably: 208 yards and two touchdowns on 37 carries. The push for more carries for McClellan doesn't stem from a lack of production on Robinson's part. In fact, if Robinson still sees the bulk of the carries over McClellan should he see more touches, then that would be perfectly understandable.
At the end of the day, McClellan just needs the ball more. Through three games he's proven in his play on the field he's a playmaker. Unfortunately, having just 30 touches in three games has hampered his ability to contribute on a more consistent basis.
Still, McClellan has shown reliability as a pass protector, which further adds to his value and snap count. But, his true value as a weapon in the offense is as a pass-catcher.
Through three games: 8 catches, 77 yards and 2 touchdowns.
Give him the football. Good things happen when McClellan touches the football.
With so many question marks surrounding the Alabama offensive line, extending the running game through screens, swings, and, subsequently, scores are one way to overcome the rushing woes.
Think Alvin Kamara with the New Orleans Saints. He's a touchdown machine who, up until recently, split carries with a power back. When Kamara takes the field, he's used in wide zone runs and in the passing games, catching at least 81 receptions in each of his four NFL seasons. It allows Kamara to use his open-field ability and pick up chunk yardage without having to wade through the trenches. McClellan can operate in much the same way.
Alabama needs more production from its playmakers, but the offense needs to feed those playmakers in pre-designed efforts to put them in positions to succeed. There's no doubt we've seen those opportunities given to talents like Jameson Williams and even Jahleel Billingsley in The Swamp. McClellan's explosiveness and ability through the first few games of the season should grant him those same opportunities.
Once this offense feeds its playmakers, opportunities for other players come open, giving the 2021 Crimson Tide a plethora of weapons at its disposal by the time the postseason rolls around.
Alabama Crimson Tide All-Time Rushing Leaders
Meet The 2021 Alabama Offense
Alabama vs. Florida - Week 3 2021