Crim was a starter at field cornerback most of last season with Madison out with an ACL injury and Winston learning as a true freshman. Crim started at safety most of his career in junior college after playing cornerback in high school.
"We wanted to get a little bit more speed on the field," said Willy Robinson, defensive coordinator. "Rudell, obviously, has background at safety in junior college, we thought he could make that move. We wanted to try to keep it fresh for him and don't let it get stale and see what it looks like
"I thought he had a heckuva day today from what it looked like on the field. He had one deal and then he caught on to what his responsibility was. For him being thrown into it and having the ability to rely on his background he did an excellent job. And, obviously, you saw a lot more speed on the field at that position.
"You saw a lot more speed in the secondary with him back there. We didn't want to move him from the ones to a backup spot. So that's why he went with the ones (at safety). We moved Winston up with the ones (at field corner).
"Winston is having ebb and flow to his spring. He does some exciting things in pass coverage because of his top end speed. He needs to be more physical and he knows that. He has to do a better job of facing up and making a physical play. But he's shown that he knows our defense."
Robinson said the plan this week is to get Madison more involved and it could lead to some time in the spring game on Saturday night.
"That's the plan," he said. "You saw a lot more of Isaac out there today. He'll go live some, but we might not leave him out there for an extended time in any situation."
Robinson said the key to Crim's ability to make the move to safety is his knowledge of the overall scheme.
"You can do that because Rudell has learned the game," he said. "It's important at cornerback for him to know where his help is coming from at safety. Because of that, he knows safety. He knows the importance to be there and provide that help to his teammates. It's helped him understand and make this move."
Robinson was asked to assess the progress at middle linebacker where veteran Jermaine Love and Terrell Williams are battling.
"Love does some nice things and is still a force in the run game," Robinson said. "He does a nice job against the run. He is getting more comfortable as he's getting reps in the passing game. He's not unlike anyone else where sometimes in the course of practice he loses focus from one drill to the next and we are trying to get him to improve in that area. He is fighting through it.
"T. Williams is a wonderful body type guy and I think he's had a tremendous growth as this spring has gone on. He can run and I think he's starting to learn his assignments better. Again, it's going to be great competition getting Jerry Franklin back as long as it's taken. It's only going to add more depth.
"By the end of spring when Saturday is over I think we'll have a better idea of where we stand."
How did Robinson grade the scrimmage on Friday?
"I thought we ran to the ball," he said. "It was probably one of our better physical scrimmages as far as collisions and stuff. We did a really good job of flying around and making plays. I think one of the biggest things we've done -- and again it's a carryover from the bowl practices -- we've had a chance to get our younger kids reps in our bowl work when all of a sudden our twos and threes are mixed in with our ones. They are making plays. That's been a real advantage to us.
"I thought our pass rush on third down was pretty darn good. I think coach (Steve) Caldwell and coach (Bobby) Allen are doing a great job as far as working games together. We are much more efficient. When you have athletes like Jake Bequette and have the ability to move Mario Ambrose inside gives us a little bit more speed. Caleb Evans is still a guy who in those windows allows you to create havoc as well.
"Right now we are doing a better job of getting off and attacking the line of scrimmage and then converting if it is pass."
Defensive end was the topic for a good part of Robinson's session with the media after Tuesday's practice.
"I think Steve Caldwell is doing a great job with our ends," he said. "I think you see our players really take a liking to him. Jake has the most pro potential in that group and you see him really work to achieve what Coach Caldwell is teaching. But I think the one that goes unnoticed is Ambrose. He works to take his practice to the game on Saturday. He's going to make sure he's got himself ready. He has been grading out really high. Then you have Caleb Evans who has a little setback with his shoulder, but he's figured out the difference between pain and injury and he's fighting through that."
Colton Nash and Tenarius Wright have been on the sideline with injuries, but Nash returned Tuesday.
"I think Colt has made some growth this spring and I also think Ryan Calendar has gotten a lot better. Ryan doesn't have much weight, but he's made some plays this spring with his speed.
"Wright is out of the boot on his foot and what he's been able to do this spring is spend time in the weight room and concentrate on his school work."
Wide receiver Joe Adams and quarterback Brandon Mitchell returned to practice to bolster the offense. Adams missed three workouts last week, but was not believed to be injured. Mitchell had returned to his home in Louisiana all of last week because of a death in the family.
Offensively, tight end D. J. Williams was asked for impressions of Tuesday's workout.
"It started off all right," Williams said. "There was great energy in pre-practice but we got to a time in one period where the offense slacked off and did a terrible job. We came back later and I think things went smooth but we can't allow things to drop off like that."
Are the Hogs ready for the Red-White game on Saturday?
"I would say we're close to where we need to be and if we're not there, we're knocking on the door," Williams said. "It's a pretty thick door we're trying to get past and I think we're headed in the right direction. We'll be all right Saturday."
How was Mitchell after a week off.
"Brandon looked a little rusty," Williams said. "That comes from not practicing, overthrowing here or overthrowing there. Field presence-wise he looked good, but he's just got to get back to throwing the ball a little bit and he'll be fine."