Kines: Much Work Left to Do

For a lot of Alabama fans, the defense is becoming a pleasant afterthought because of the steadiness exhibited in the first two fall scrimmages, but there is still plenty of bases for Defensive Coordinator Joe Kines and his staff to cover.

"We've got about eight years worth of work to do in two weeks," Kines said following Saturday's scrimmage. "We've got a lot of situations to cover. Defensively there are a lot of little ol' nicky picky things that if you don't get them covered they're going to rise up like a rattlesnake and bite you in a game. The one-minute things. The clock operation. You just hang on to those fundamentals. We're two weeks away from playing and we've got a lot left to do."

The defensive package is mostly installed so the remaining two weeks until kickoff against Middle Tennessee will be spent refining fundamentals - alignment and assignment - and covering specific situations.

"I'll tell you, the old guys had most of it when they came to camp and that's the great thing about it," Kines said. "What's so great is you hear them before a meeting talking to a young guy: 'Remember, you've got to do this, you've got to do this-'

"They're not just sitting there talking about the weather. They've been focused and have a pretty good handle on helping those younger guys. That's something you couldn't be more proud of... They listen to each other a lot more than they do me, anyway.

Kines said his defense played with more cohesiveness on Saturday than in the Tide's previous scrimmage.

"There were some mistakes but there weren't as many major busts as there have been, so we're starting to come together a little bit.," he said.

There's perhaps just one starting spot up for grabs on defense, where a battle is taking place between Justin Britt and Jeremy Clark, last year's starter.

"Both of them are going to be good players," Kines said. "They can't do anything but help us. (Defensive tackles) Coach (Buddy) Wyatt mentioned coming off the field that they both did a nice job. Buddy Wyatt and (defensive ends coach) Paul Randolph have really done a good job with that front. It's going to be a good unit."

Starting linebackers Freddie Roach, Juwan Simpson and DeMeco Ryans were in for about five plays with the first-string defense on Saturday before Kines substituted back-up linebackers to play with the rest of the first-team defense.

"Terrence Jones (strongside linebacker) has kind of slid in there some and Matt Collins (middle linebacker) has stepped it up a little bit. He had a setback with a bad, bad blister on his foot but he's overcome that. And Demarcus Waldrop (weakside linebacker) has had a good past couple of weeks."

Alabama's linebackers go three-men deep. Prince Hall got several repetitions at middle linebacker, with Marcel Stamps on the strong side and Zach Schreiber on the weak side.

Kines was looking for true freshmen to earn spots in the two-deep on the defensive line, and so far he has found one.

"Bobby Greenwood has come on and done some things," he said, "but the rest of them are kind of in a wad. Somebody will stick their head up before long."

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