TUSCALOOSA, Alabama — Paul Newberry of The Associated Press wrote a story about how defense still matters at Alabama and LSU, and we’re giving you the link.
Click here to read the whole story, although we’ll give you a taste below:
BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — When Eric Reid arrived at LSU, the older players made one thing clear:
He was expected to contribute right away on defense. There was to be no drop-off from the guys who came before him.
Now, he passes it on.
“We tell the freshmen the exact same thing,” said Reid, a junior safety and one of the leaders of the Tigers’ defense. “We don’t want them to use youth as an excuse. You come to practice, practice hard and get the job done.”
The same could be said of top-ranked Alabama.
After last season, the Crimson Tide had six players off its national championship defense — considered one of the best in college football history — selected in the NFL draft. Three of them went in the first round. Another was taken early in the second.
For most programs, that sort of exodus would have led to a major rebuilding job. Not at Alabama (8-0, 5-0 Southeastern Conference), which again leads the nation in all four of the major defensive categories, seemingly just as dominant as it was with players such as Mark Barron, Dont’a Hightower and Dre Kirkpatrick.
“I’m not really surprised,” said one of the replacements, linebacker C.J. Mosley. “Great players left last year, but we had players that could fill their roles. So far, we’re getting the job done. It’s all about communication because we’ve got the athletes and we’ve got the players who can play with anybody in the nation.”