2021 Alabama Football defense Saban’s best in years

Alabama linebacker Christian Harris (8) against Ole Miss
Alabama linebacker Christian Harris (8) against Ole Miss /

As we approach college football season (finally), lots of hype has begun to surround the Alabama Football defense. The 2021 Alabama Football team will likely be the exact opposite of 2020 in terms of experience. Last season, the offense was the well oiled machine while the defense had new faces learning how to play together. This season will be the opposite.

The 2021 Alabama Football defense may prove to be Saban’s best ever

The Tide offense still has lots of question marks. Nearly every position group on offense lost a lot of experience and has new guys stepping up. Many of those guys, like Bryce Young, Trey Sanders, Agiye Hall, and others, come with a lot of talent, but game experience is critical to success.

The defense, however, returns almost everyone. Freshmen stars from last season, Malachi Moore and Brian Branch look to make a huge impact in the secondary. Moore is finally healthy after a late-season injury, and Branch has been the star of Fall camp. Branch has practiced different positions all around the secondary. Veteran Josh Jobe along with Moore and Branch will be keys to the secondary’s success.

The Alabama Football defense should also have the best linebacker duo in the country. With the addition of Tennessee transfer Henry To’o To’o, Harris is able to play his natural position. Harris was set to take over as the defensive play-caller, but To’o To’o has filled that role. To’o To’o has taken over as the leader of the defense calling plays from the Mike linebacker position.

In a recent press conference, Saban said that the two were playing well off of each other. Harris and To’o To’o could be the Tide’s first dominant linebacker duo since Reuban Foster and Rashaan Evans in 2016. Leadership at the linebacker position is crucial to the defense operating as a cohesive unit.

The defensive line will also have a huge advantage this season. There is enough depth and experience in the defensive line unit that they should be able to rotate fresh legs every few downs. Having a deep, experienced DL is a huge advantage in taking on dual-threat quarterbacks like the Tide will face in week one against Miami’s D’Eriq King.

Lastly, Alabama Football’s Will Anderson Jr., who had an explosive freshman season, has supposedly perfected his craft even more. Opposing quarterbacks, beware. Anderson led the SEC in sacks last year and led all of CFB in quarterback pressures. Nick Saban recently said he “loved” working with Will Anderson which tells us everything we need to know about him.

With elite linebacker play, defensive line depth, and experience in the secondary, this looks to be Alabama Football’s best defense since at least 2016.. maybe ever. This should be a pleasant change for those who needed to see a cardiologist after last year’s Ole Miss game.

Next. SEC has some hot-seat programs. dark

Perhaps the calls for Pete Golding’s firing will slow…This season, he certainly has no excuse.