Alabama football's quarterback battle has overshadowed what will be Tide's backbone

Tuscaloosa News
Anytime there's a quarterback battle, especially in a program with national relevance such as Alabama football, it will always be the center of attention in the offseason.
It's the nature of the game and the position. Quarterback almost always draws the most interest, whether it's high school, college or professional football. So as Jalen Milroe, Ty Simpson, Tyler Buchner and Dylan Lonergan compete to take over for Bryce Young, it's no surprise that battle has dominated preseason discussions.
Kevin Steele probably doesn't mind that. The new defensive coordinator for the Crimson Tide is putting together a defense that could wind up being the best in the country. Seriously. It has that kind of potential.
It has been talked about some, but to a certain extent, the Alabama defense has flown under the radar. That's despite the fact it has the chance to be the true foundation of Nick Saban's team in 2023.
Put it this way: The defense might be so good that the quarterback, whoever it might be all season, doesn't need to play like a Heisman Trophy winner.
Let's start with a caveat, though; the defense might not be dominant to the level of some early Saban defenses at Alabama, but the game isn't what it once was back then. Nonetheless, this defense has the ability to be one of the better ones in recent memory.
There are game-changers at each level. Up front, there's Jaheim Oatis. At linebacker, Dallas Turner. In the secondary, Kool-Aid McKinstry. And those are just the headliners.
“Defense has no limits to it this year," Turner said. "From what I’ve seen every day at practice, the type of work we’re putting in, the unity as one, the togetherness we’re starting to have, the bond on and off the field. There’s no limit to how the defense can be good.”
Edge rusher Chris Braswell could be in line for a breakout season opposite Turner on the edge. Linebacker Deontae Lawson has generated significant buzz through what he has done in scrimmages and practices this offseason in the middle of the defense. Cornerback Terrion Arnold looks to be taking the next step at cornerback. Safety Caleb Downs is in a spot to make an instant impact, even though he's a freshman. Then there's defensive back Malachi Moore, who showed in the A-Day game he's going to be a problem for opposing offenses; He's a chess piece Steele has to be thrilled about.
"Nasty," "dominant" and other words that a defense loves to be called are some of the phrases that scrimmage observers have thrown around during fall camp. That, in part, could be a source of some of the inconsistency from the quarterbacks. They're not only trying to grow into becoming SEC quarterbacks, but they're having to do so against a defense that figures to give most quarterbacks problems all season long.
The quarterback battle is important and will certainly have an impact on how the 2023 season goes for Alabama. Pay attention to it and monitor it. Just don't let it overshadow the fact the Alabama defense will most likely be the backbone of the team.

Latest Player Notes

If that really was Drake Maye’s last game in Chapel Hill, it provided a fitting full-circle ending

UPDATED NOVEMBER 13, 2023 2:49 PMHere was Drake Maye in the middle of it all late Saturday night, in the middle of the kind ...

Shedeur Sanders closing in on CU Buffs single-season records through pain of all the sacks and hits

PUBLISHED November 13, 2023 at 12:38 p.m. | UPDATED: November 13, 2023 at 12:40 p.m.BOULDER — Shedeur Sanders is closing ...

Tenth Anniversary of Kick Six: Inside video, "Official" look at Historic Iron Bowl Shocker

Published Nov. 13, 2023, 6:00 a.m.By Creg Stephenson See and hear history behind Kick Six (excuse the ads, but this is ...

Goodman: Jimbo Fisher is out and Nick Saban wins again

Updated: Nov. 13, 2023, 10:00 a.m.|By Joseph GoodmanJimbo Fisher is out at Texas A&M, which goes to show that even when a ...

Huard on Huskies: Why a win over No. 10 Oregon St would be huge

The No. 5 UW Huskies’ quest to make the College Football Playoff went through the two-time defending Pac-12 champions on ...

USC’s loss to Oregon exposes clear flaws in program-building up front

EUGENE, Ore. — In January, Lincoln Riley was on the sidelines at SoFi for the College Football Playoff championship game, ...

Two years after winning school-record 12 games, Brady Hoke out as Aztecs football coach

Brady Hoke is out as San Diego State’s football coach.SDSU released a statement Monday morning saying that Hoke is retiring, ...

Oregon’s Bo Nix named Pac-12 offensive player of the week for third time in 2023

Oregon’s Bo Nix earned his third weekly honor from the Pac-12.Nix, who went 23 of 31 for a season-high 412 yards with four ...

Oregon Ducks’ head coach Dan Lanning mentioned as a leading candidate for Texas A&M job

Oregon Ducks head coach Dan Lanning has been mentioned as a leading candidate to replace Jimbo Fisher as coach of the Texas ...

After ‘tough day,’ Boise State AD searches for a football coach; defensive analyst promoted

Boise State athletic director Jeramiah Dickey was on the job for less than a week the last time he began a search for a football ...
See More Player Notes