TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — Kirby Smart has overseen some incredibly talent-laden units during his nine seasons on the Alabama coaching staff, but this year’s defensive front even manages to stand out among that elite company for the longtime Crimson Tide coordinator.
“We’ve never had one this deep,” Smart said on Wednesday. “This group is pretty deep. They can roll in and out (of the game) and not drop off a lot. They take pride in that. There’s not a lot of selfishness with that group. They challenge each other each day.”
The production of Smart’s stacked roster certainly shows up in the numbers. Five players have recorded at least three sacks this season, and seven have notched five or more tackles for loss. The Crimson Tide leads the nation in the former category (50 sacks) and ranks 10th in the latter (101).
The other trait that stands out to Smart? The camaraderie of this year’s players, which he credits to the dominance and leadership of the highly touted big heavies up front.
“This group is unique because they love each other so much. They’re so competitive. They get along so well. They’re fun to coach,” Smart said. “The personality has developed through the D-line”
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