Sentimore Helps In Pass Rush

Throughout spring football practice, Alabama players have consistently mentioned one player as showing notable improvement. In a spot where Bama has excellent depth and seemingly a player could be overlooked in the crowd, Darrington Sentimore is showing up.

Alabama returned most of the starters and back-up men in the defensive line from a defense that was statistically good for the Crimson Tide in a 10-3 season in 2010. But before spring practice started, Bama Coach Nick Saban said one goal would be to improve pass rush.

That plays into the strength of Darrington Sentimore.

"He helps us in pass rush," Saban said following the Tide's second scrimmage of the spring. "He's still got to be able to play the run better. He's not a real big guy. He has really good quickness. He has good pass rushing ability. And he has made significant improvement in being responsible to do his job. That's the only way you can trust somebody if he can do the job you're asking him to do, and you are counting on him to do it."

Sentimore is a 6-3, 261-pound defensive end from Norco, La. After redshirting in 2009 (he was a late arrival to Bama, coming in as camp started that August), he played enough to letter last season. Only one starter is missing from the normal starting defense last year, but that starter was All-America Marcell Dareus, a defensive end. One other key loss was sometimes starter Luther Davis.

It's still a crowded field. Two junior college players are in the mix in the defensive line, Quinton Dial at end and Jesse Williams playing both end and tackle. Returning players Damion Square, Brandon Lewis, and Ed Stinson are other potential defensive ends.

Alabama is in its final week of spring practice. The A-Day Game will be played Saturday at Bryant-Denny Stadium with kickoff at 2 p.m. CDT.

Saban said that Alabama defensive line play in the second scrimmage of the spring was "a little bit better. I think the first-team defense played better,"

The coach added, "We needed to be."

Saban said, "We need to continue to develop depth in terms of what we're doing so we have more players who can make a contribution."

He said Bama needs to have "five or six guys who can play. When Quinton Dial knows what he's doing, he plays pretty well. When Jesse (Williams) knows what he's doing, he plays pretty well. But there is too much inconsistency because there is unceertainty and it's not natural to play to form in the technique we're teaching. So when they think about it and do it, they'[re playing pretty decent. Then they revert back to boola-boola ball, I call it, and they aren't very good.

"Both guys have ability and both guys can help us. Sentimore has done a good job, Nick Gentry has done a good job. Square and Stinson both have made improvement. So there's some hope that we can continue to develop other guys and we can get some good ones out of them."

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