Alabama’s ran into a depth problem at defensive line last season.
The starting group of Quinnen Williams, Isaiah Buggs and Raekwon Davis was one of the best in the country last year. Williams and Buggs have moved on, leaving Davis as the only one with significant playing time and experience.
First-year defensive coordinator Pete Golding recognizes that and it’s on him to change that this season.
“As coaches, we can’t put a guy out there that’s not ready to play,” he said. “We have to get them ready and developed to play, it’s as simple as that.”
There are plenty of young players trying to earn playing time, including a group of six freshmen. Golding said it’s unrealistic to have younger players be expected to have a firm grasp on the defensive scheme. But there are ways they can help this season.
“I think defensively you want to play as many guys as you can play as long as they are ready,” Golding said. “You look at what guys can do and not what they can’t do. From a personnel standpoint and the different packages that we have will allow guys to do what they do well instead of having to learn the entire package. That’s good for young players coming in here. That will be able to help us in certain situations.”