Steve Sarkisian details the process of calling plays with DeVonta Smith in the lineup
Alabama’s offense was a powerhouse during the 2020 season, and there are quite a few reasons for that. Offensive coordinator Steve Sarkisian did an impressive job leading the way. Senior wide receiver DeVonta Smith had an historic season by winning the Heisman Trophy. And the Crimson Tide had plenty of other talented players on that side of the ball, too.
But things may not have been possible without Sarkisian and Smith, who was the first receiver to win the Heisman since 1991. During a recent interview on the “Dan Patrick Show,” Sarkisian broke down how Smith was a focal point of all of Alabama’s play designs, even if the ball wasn’t necessarily going to end up in the hands of the talented wide receiver.
“Is he one of the first two reads? Let’s start there. If he’s not one of the first two reads, it’s probably not a very good play design, right? That was always one of the key issues,” Sarkisian said on the show. “But I will say, early in the year, if you remember, we had Jaylen Waddle, DeVonta Smith and John Metchie, things were getting spread out more. When we lost Waddle, pretty much everything we designed it was, how did it either incorporate DeVonta Smith or how did it get the defensive’s attention to DeVonta Smith so that other guys could get open?
“I think he embraced that role, he embraced that he was the go-to guy, but he also embraced, you can call it a ‘decoy’ if you want, to get some other people open. I think he really went for it.”
Now, Sarkisian and Smith are going their separate ways. Sarkisian is the head coach at Texas, while Smith is likely heading to the NFL.