Alabama Football Podcast: Spring Defensive Breakdown


In this episode Tom and Dave discuss the topics and position battles we’re most interested in watching play out over the spring. If you’re familiar with our work, you’ll know that not all of our topics will be headline items, so join us in peeling back the covers to see where some of the most intense position battles will shape up.

Be sure to check out our earlier podcast previewing the Tide offense.

Highlights of our signing day discussion include:

Linebacker Let’s just admit it, Alabama had a clear talent gap at this position last season and it will be a top priority to find the right kind of players to address these needs as preparations begin for the 2015 season. Tom and I disagree as to exactly who will lead the competition which itself says something about the size and nature of the hole to be filled.

Secondary These are the position battles you need to keenly watch if you want to gain some perspective as to how the Tide will fare in 2015. That’s not intended to be hyperbole, because the completion is wide open across nearly every position in the secondary. At corner Marlon Humphrey sheds his red shirt and Tony Brown is poised to combine greater system awareness with his athletic ability. Can Eddie Jackson and an injured Cyrus Jones hold them off? At both free and strong safety what does the Tide have in the pipeline and where might early enrollees make an early name? Losing Landon Collins and Nick Perry creates a wide open competition at both spots. However, the irony is that the Tide is knee deep in contenders at Free but much thinner at Strong. Questions at these ‘anchor’ positions overflow into decisions required to man the Star and Dime packages as well. This translates into a full on network of position battles as many players will wage competitions for more than one roster spot. This one is an old fashioned land grab that promises to be fun to watch.

Defensive Line Want a break from the drama and multi-positional impacts resulting from the day over day competition at positions like secondary and offensive line? Then pull up a seat and enjoy the immense and varied talents setting up shop along the Tide’s defensive front. Sure, these guys are no doubt battling for slots within the rotation but the cut throat nature of the completion is different due to the nature of the position. The defensive front requires depth to be effective so if the talent is there to support a deeper rotation, then the rotation will expand. The decision is less about which player over another, and more about how many players, how varied the skillsets, and how many options does it afford. This promises to be fun to watch if only for different reasons.

Next Up Enjoy spring, both the weather and the friendly (but intense) competition on the field. We’ll be back to discuss our observations from spring drills and wrap up A-Day.