Alabama Crimson Tide Receivers Will Help New Quarterback

By Tim Letcher
John David Mercer, USA TODAY SPORTS
John David Mercer, USA TODAY SPORTS

The Alabama Crimson Tide still must decide on a starting quarterback for 2014. Whoever wins the battle for the starting job will certainly have a wealth of options at the wide receiver and tight end positions.

Amari Cooper had a down season as a sophomore in 2013, largely due to injury. He should be healthy for the 2014 campaign, and he will draw plenty of attention from opposing defenses. Cooper, if healthy, could be one of the nation’s top receivers this season. Last season, he led the Tide with 45 catches and 736 receiving yards.

To this point in his career, Christion Jones has been known more for his special teams play than his wide receiver skills. That figures to change this season. Jones is small but explosive, and could be a playmaker for new offensive coordinator Lane Kiffin. Last season, he caught 36 passes for 349 yards and two touchdowns.

If opponents don’t have enough to worry about with Cooper and Jones, they also must figure out how to defend O.J. Howard, the Tide’s tight end. In 2013, Howard only caught 14 passes, but he amassed 249 yards receiving and two scores.

The biggest thing that head coach Nick Saban and offensive coordinator Kiffin must figure out is, who is going to throw the ball to this talented group. Jacob Coker, a transfer who formerly played for the Florida State Seminoles, appears to be the hot name right now. However, Coker has not taken a snap with the Tide, so it remains to be seen if he can be the guy.

If it’s not Coker, Blake Sims would be the next option. However, Sims is known more for making plays with his legs rather than his arm.

Once the Tide figure out the quarterback situation, making use of the talented receiving corps is the next step.

Tim Letcher is a contributing writer for and a member of the Football Writers Association of America. Follow him on Twitter @TimLetcher , on Facebook or add him to your network on Google.

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