Alabama reached the midway point of spring practice after Saturday’s scrimmage at Bryant-Denny Stadium. Coach Nick Saban said there would be plenty to work on after the scrimmage, including cleaning up some errors made by the Crimson Tide’s inside linebackers.
“We have a lot of work to do,” Saban said on Saturday. “Those guys have ability. They make too many mental errors. I mean if you make mental errors at linebacker, you either have a guy that’s unprotected, you have somebody that’s not covered. We had way too many of those today. And we just have to keep on working and keep on working with them and see where it takes us. I thought some of the outside backers played pretty well today. But inside guys, we’ve got lots of work to do.”
Junior Mack Wilson left for the NFL at the end of the 2018 season rather than return for his senior year. He was the only loss for the position group, but there was little experience last season behind Wilson and Dylan Moses.
Wilson had played Mike linebacker for Alabama while Moses played Will. Now Moses is sliding over into Wilson’s role, opening a spot for another player to take his spot. That could be a younger player, like Ale Kaho, Jaylen Moody or Markail Benton. It could also be redshirt senior Joshua McMillon, who earned some playing time in 2018.
No matter who wins it, there figures to be a learning curve. There was a learning curve for Moses as well.
“My freshman year I struggled with it at first,” Moses said earlier this spring. “I’m more sort of a perfectionist. I try and get everything right, and you know you are going to mess up from time to time. But it took me 11 months to learn the defense. My entire sophomore year, that pretty much secured it. I for sure know it now, so this year, like going through this spring I’m really looking at it like as like a business. … I literally flip a switch in my head and leader mode, linebacker mode — I got to do what I got to do.”