Kalen DeBoer is starting things off on the right foot with the Alabama media.

UA football is getting ready for its first spring session of DeBoer’s tenure. The new Crimson Tide head coach announced that media access will operate differently than in years past with Nick Saban. DeBoer is making Alabama assistant coaches available to speak to the media and will give the press some access to the 15 spring practices.

It might not seem like a big deal to the fans, but it’s certainly an exciting change for those who cover Bama, both locally and nationally. The reaction on X, formerly Twitter, said it all.

A smart move for DeBoer

Nick Saban is rightfully known as the GOAT, and he certainly had his reasons for limiting media access. It makes sense, though, for DeBoer to open things up for his first spring practice.

Talking to assistant coaches and viewing portions of spring practice help media members get to know the team better. The media can ask DeBoer better questions having watched the players and received assessments from their position coaches.

DeBoer can benefit from a good relationship with the media. After spring practice come the dog days of the football offseason when fans are ready to talk, but there’s little on the actual news front. Media predictions and offseason analysis drive preseason expectations, especially in the SEC.

When it comes to preseason expectations, Alabama’s are a bit lower than usual in 2024. At FanDuel, the latest odds are +112 for over 9.5 wins and -138 for under 9.5.

Even without Saban, the Tide faithful does not expect multi-loss regular seasons, especially when the roster is still stacked with talent. If things play out as the handicappers expect, though, a media that has a better feel for the team is less likely to pile on.

Come fall, Alabama will play Western Kentucky and USF before its first real test, a trip to Wisconsin. Considering Luke Fickell’s staff will have film from a spring game and two regular-season contests, it’s hard to see anything from spring practice affecting the Sept. 14 game in Madison.

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