Every season has its memorable moments and game-changing performances, so we’re counting down the 25 most important figures within or around the Crimson Tide program (or foes) who will determine whether Alabama’s upcoming season is a success.
No. 22: Burton Burns
It’ll be hard finding a friendlier member of the Alabama football coaching staff than the only man to lead running backs during Nick Saban’s tenure.
Burns, a genuinely nice guy, is also in charge of developing some of the best players to come out of the Crimson Tide program in the past eight years. He’ll have one of the deepest backfields in his Alabama tenure this fall, but it’ll come with a unique challenge.
The group, led by T.J. Yeldon, had a ball-security issue in 2013. Yeldon lost four crucial fumbles and Kenyan Drake had three. As a team, it lost 10 of the 14 fumbles last year.
They’ve added drills to the spring routine to ensure the problem won’t continue in the past because it hasn’t been a problem in previous years. Players used two footballs in spring practice drills to emphasize the importance of holding on tight.
Burns is also a relative bargain in terms of salary. He was the second-lowest paid assistant on the roster last year making $315,000 before being bumped up to $335,000 for 2014