Alabama's defense leads the SEC in several statistical categories, pass defense being one of them.…
Ole Miss Offensive Coordinator David Lee didn't think it was real cute when a reporter asked him about the "ordinary, every day" defense the Rebels would be facing in the Crimson Tide's stoppers Saturday. "Those guys," he said, looking at the ground, "are tomorrow's NFL. You look at them on film and they (NFL type players) are all over the place. Literally, all over. "Gil Brandt had some projections earlier this summer that had six of their defensive guys in his Top 100 to be drafted this year. We're definitely going to get our oil checked Saturday, that's for sure." Why are they good? He continues. . . . "They are so big, so physical, so fast and Coach (Nick) Saban does such a good job with them," David stated. "They two-gap like the New England Patriots. They get off blocks, control their gaps and let their linebackers run free to make tackles. "And then there is the secondary. When you look at our 3rd-and-7 or more cutups, they give you seven to eight different coverages. Randall Mackey is going to have to be sharp and think a lot, and he will have to decipher in a hurry because they have a great pass rush and know how to blitz. They zone blitz and man blitz. They all play hard and they all tackle well. I don't know if I have ever seen corners who love contact the way they do." David Lee Chuck Rounsaville That doesn't sound very encouraging, but that is not Lee's intention. "We've had two weeks. We've had plenty of time to study them. I like our gameplan, but I want to make sure we aren't trying to do too much and aren't thinking too much because I want us to play fast," he said. "Our awareness will be important. We have to be sharp and tuned in to what they are doing." Lee said the key, which he knows is obvious, is the Rebs have to block well to make anything happen. As the saying goes, it starts up front. "We have to block people. You can't hide," said David. "You have to fire out and hit people. We didn't block well earlier in the year, but we have done better in the last two games. We have to block better than we have in any game this year, which goes without saying. "When we have blocked well, our running game has picked up and then we are able to mix things up better." Blocking Fresno is different than blocking Alabama, as Lee is well aware. "There's no doubt we will have to take a giant step forward, but that's what we intend to do," he noted. "If we can just keep building on what we did against Georgia and then the further improvement we had against Fresno, that's what we are shooting for." If teh blocking is better, there's still the issue of the quarterback (Mackey) figuring everything Bama throws at an offense out in a split second. "It's a concern because Randall is more comfortable in the shotgun, but when you look down to take that shotgun snap, that is Bama's key to move and change things up," he closed. "I'd like to have him under center more so he can keep his eyes on the secondary the whole time, but he's better in the gun. We have to keep working on that." The Rebel offense, to say the least, will have its hands full Saturday. Bama's defense is the real deal, proven over and over again. Not just your ordinary, every day defense.
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