Alabama’s Adrian Hubbard and Xzavier Dickson: ‘Two different linebackers with the same mindset’ (video)
One is built more like a basketball player, the other looks a lot like the Alabama linebackers that preceded him. One has a loud, booming voice and rarely clams up in front of reporters. The other is arguably Alabama’s most soft-spoken player.
In its first two games, the Alabama defense seemed to be in no rush to rush the passer. The Crimson Tide wasn’t doing anything fancy to pressure quarterbacks. Will we see the pass rushers unleashed Saturday when the top-ranked Tide visits Arkansas?
By now, you’ve probably already read Don Kausler’s story about Nick Saban’s focus on the flaws that emerged from Saturday’s 41-14 win against Michigan. Now, let’s hear from a player who had no problem echoing what the coach was preaching. Featured in this video is junior linebacker C.J. Mosley, who tied Antonio Langham for Alabama’s all-time record of most career interception returns for touchdowns when he took one to the house in Saturday’s second quarter. He touches on why he has a knack for the end zone and other topics in this interview. Enjoy.
As mentioned in today’s practice report, Alabama outside linebacker Adrian Hubbard still seems a little affected by an elbow injury that he suffered two weeks ago in the Crimson Tide’s first preseason scrimmage. Here’s a little video. He’s No. 42. See what you think.
Since Nick Saban has been the head coach at Alabama, the Crimson Tide has listed the outside linebackers in its multiple 3-4 as the "Jack" and "Sam" positions, with the Jack as a sort of designated pass rusher.
In more ways than one, there’s no replacing Courtney Upshaw at Alabama’s Jack linebacker position, and Xzavier Dickson would be the first to admit it. That kind of self-awareness has aided the sophomore’s transition from sparsely used reserve to what’s shaping up to be the front of the line of Alabama’s 2012 defense.
One of Newton’s Laws of Motion was that with every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. Or something like that. Let’s apply that to Alabama football. If an outside linebacker is moved to inside linebacker, even for one practice, it makes sense to move an inside linebacker to the outside. Earlier on Wednesday, we showed you that freshman Dillon Lee was working in the morning practice with the inside linebackers after spending the first five days with the outside linebackers. The equal and opposite reaction? Freshman Reggie Ragland was working in the morning practice with the outside linebackers after spending the first five days with the inside linebackers. Check him out in this video. He’s No. 18.
Dillon Lee came to Alabama as a linebacker. As an early enrollee from Buford (Ga.) High School, he participated in spring practice and moved back and forth between inside linebacker and outside linebacker. That movement is continuing in preseason camp. Lee spent the first five days of camp with the outside linebackers. But on Wednesday morning, he worked out with the inside linebackers. In most of the drills that members of the news media were allowed to observe in two early periods, Lee was paired with fellow freshman Denzel Devall.
The Alabama football team’s “regular” 3-4 defense features two outside linebackers that have names: Jack and Sam. The Jack linebacker is somewhat of a hybrid defensive end. He lines up on the line with a hand on the turf and rushes the passer. The Sam linebacker plays the strong side. That is, the side where the tight end lines up. This linebacker often drops into pass coverage. Now that you know this, you can forget it. There might not be much of a distinction between the Crimson Tide’s two outside linebackers this season. We call call them both, uh, outside linebackers.
Adrian Hubbard, whose MVP performance at April’s A-Day Game prompted lofty expectations for his upcoming sophomore season, underwent two hernia surgeries during the offseason. The procedures limited his summer conditioning for “probably a month,” Hubbard said, but it hasn’t prevented him from doing anything since Alabama opened camp Friday. “Everyone always thinks a hernia is a big deal, but I got back in probably a month,” Hubbard said today before Alabama’s Fan Day at Bryant-Denny Stadium. “Right now it doesn’t bother me anywhere. “You come to Alabama, you have to work hard. Rehab, too, you have to work hard in everything: academics, on the field and in the training room.”
Here is a video of freshman inside linebackers Reggie Ragland and Denzel Devall on their first day of working with the full Alabama football team. Ragland is No. 18. Devall is No. 30.
"I can’t wait to see what our defense and our offense will do this year," senior from Andalusia says.
Outside linebacker Adrian Hubbard is coming off surgery, Johnson adds.