Alabama lost a ton of production and experience in the defensive backfield following the conclusion of the 2022 football season. Brian Branch, Jordan Battle, DeMarcco Hellams, and Eli Ricks are all now playing in the NFL and that void left Tide fans curious about what the secondary could look like in 2023.
Fast-forward to the present and it appears that the secondary could be one of the strengths of this Alabama team.
Following Saturday’s scrimmage, head coach Nick Saban was asked about the versatility of the players in the secondary and the seven-time national championship-winning coach was quick to convey the emphasis he and his staff was putting on position versatility.
“We got a bunch (of versatility), I mean we’re playing guys all over the place. (Terrion Arnold) can play different spots, (Kool-Aid McKinstry) can play different spots. (Malachi Moore) can play just about everywhere. Jaylen Key can play multiple positions, trying to develop Tony Mitchell to be able to play multiple positions.
“We need to have a lot of guys that can do that. (DeVonta Smith) can play a couple different things. Kristian Story can play a couple of different things. That’s one of the things that we tried to do in camp, we got guys rolling all over the place. It does sort of sometimes affect the repetitions that a guy gets at a certain position, but I think it’s important that guys have a background and a basic knowledge of information so we get guys injured during the season we can move guys around and have a chance to get the best people in the field. Same thing on the offensive line. You know, guys you got to be able to play multiple positions.”
With so many players already able to play in multiple spots it gives the coaching staff some wiggle room for injuries, situational matchups, and any other advantages they might find.
As the 2023 season quickly approaches, Tide fans should be excited about the potential playmaking ability of the versatile secondary in Tuscaloosa.
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