Alabama Defense Early Bragging Prevents Future Rewards
If it’s true that self–confidence makes anything possible, Alabama should win the rest of its games. Based on the post-game comments from a couple Bama defenders, this Alabama defense believes in itself, but is it too much?
“I think we are the best defense in the country, honestly,”
said senior cornerback Cyrus Jones after the win over Arkansas.
“As long as we come out there and execute like we’re supposed to, I don’t think anybody can beat us.”
Be careful there. A team’s worst games can come after a great game.
Why? Pretty simple, really, it’s more difficult to motivate a team that feels it has arrived. Overconfidence reveals itself at practice, mostly, showing up with less sense of urgency, less edge. Players feeling at the top of their game and looking to others to put in the hard work during the week keep themselves from growing.
But, who could blame them for feeling groovy, Alabama defense held Arkansas to 40+ fewer yards passing and 180+ fewer yards rushing (Oh my!) than both of their other two SEC opponents, Texas A&M and Tennessee.
That impressive defensive outing lead to Arkansas Head Coach Brett Bielema’s lavish comments smothering the Alabama defense like gravy on a pork chop after the game:
“One thing about Alabama, their defense is unique to them. We knew that coming in.”
“We couldn’t run it, couldn’t throw it and couldn’t convert the first downs the way we needed to.”
“Alabama’s defense is probably one of the better defenses I’ve seen just in my 20 years of coaching.”
Music to the ears of the Alabama football players and fans, but will an overconfident Alabama defense continue to grow, improve and win games?
Is it hard for Alabama defense to be humble when it held UGA to 170+ fewer passing yards than Tennessee or South Carolina did? Sure, a little.
Going into the game, UGA was 2 – 0 in SEC football play with wins over Vandy and South Carolina. The Alabama defense held UGA to 50+ fewer yards rushing than South Carolina and 80+ fewer than Vandy.
After the Alabama game Oct 10, Georgia head football coach Mark Richt said,
“They were able to stop the run without putting themselves in a bad position with coverage.”
“They’ve got good cover people, they match up routes real well.”
And Georgia’s quarterback Greyson Lambert agreed,
“They matched on our receivers and didn’t let a lot of ‘em loose.”
So did the Bulldogs Running back Nick Chubb after the loss to Alabama, of the Alabama defense Chubb said,
“Those guys are good.”
“Linebackers did a great job.”
Good is the enemy of great ~ Will smelling itself too much keep this Alabama defense from accomplishing all of its goals? Does it have room to improve? Tennessee’s defense held the Dawgs to 165 yards, which is 28 fewer than Alabama’s 193. What? The Vols did better?
Alabama Defense might want to remember This
One game or two, a season does not make. Just like the Ole Miss loss did not define the season, the Georgia and Arkansas wins will not either.
It’s not like they’re bragging with nothing to show for it, Alabama has the 4th best rushing defense in the country. If you don’t think they’re good just ask them:
“We probably have the best front-seven in the nation,” Jackson said.
“They give a great push and you just have to cover three-four seconds.”
They proved that, beating the 15th best rushing offense, UGA, but stop and think that Arkansas is 63rd in rushing offense ranked below Arkansas State.
Don’t worry, Alabama defense will face better offenses soon. Coming up on the schedule the 3rd best rushing offense, LSU and 21st best rushing offense, Tennessee.
No doubt, Alabama defense is smelling themselves. Senior safety Eddie Jackson agreed with Cyrus Jones after the Arkansas game,
“Most definitely we are the best defense in the country, hands down.”
“We come in every day in practice and use all the critics and things and use it to fuel our fire and come in to work hard.”
They get to test their theories on the 15th best scoring offense in the country, at Texas A&M, the 19th at LSU and 22nd Tennessee.
Is there room for the Alabama defense to improve? Yes, of course, there’s always room for improvement. Alabama defense is ranked sixth nationally in total defense. In fact ranked behind Michigan, which is gaining on Alabama in the AP ranking.
Has the Alabama defense earned some bragging rights over Arkansas and Georgia?
Is it time to declare they are the best in the country?
No, it’s not.
That will be determined at the end of the season when they could be the lone team standing on the top of the mountain if they put in the work during the week and listen to this guy,
“This is when you find out who you are and how bad you want to do what you want to do,” Coach Saban after the Arkansas game.
Good is the enemy of great.
Competitive balance is the key.
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