August 18, 2007

Second scrimmage: The defense strikes back

If Alabama's offense issued a punch in the football team's first scrimmage on Aug. 11, the counterpunch came on Saturday.

Head coach Nick Saban had a far different demeanor in post-scrimmage remarks about the Crimson Tide defense Saturday than he did a week earlier, when the offense riddled the defense for more than 400 yards. According to Saban, the tackling was improved, far fewer big plays were allowed, and the stop unit even came up with a few turnovers.

"We tackled better on defense today, didn't give up so many explosive plays," Saban said. "We were in a better position to make plays, got some turnovers."

For a team that has far more questions on the defensive side of the ball than on offense, the defense's play on Saturday was a welcome reconcile. With two weeks remaining before the season opener against Western Carolina, the time for the defense to solidify itself is fast approaching.

"We've got to get more people to the ball, we've got to do more gang tackling," Saban said. "We've got to be more relentless in our pursuit in affecting the skill players of the other team as to how aggressively we play defense."

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