Alabama's 'Swarm D" was on display during the Crimson Tide's second day of spring practice, with the media being allowed to view a portion of the practice. While the offense was led by the usual suspects, with Justice Haynes notably leading the running back group, the defense was the day's focal point.

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Because of where we were allowed to watch from, we got a good look at Alabama's defensive line, edge defenders, and most notably, the defensive backs. Some notable things during the practice were that Yhonzae Pierre was one of the leaders of the defensive line group, and second-year edge Keon Keeley was working with the defensive line, not the outside linebackers.

Sticking with the defensive front seven, Deontae Lawson and Jihaad Campbell fit the bill. While they looked menacing in 32 and 30, respectively, Lawson being the first Alabama player to wear No. 0 is enough to scare any quarterback. Why did Lawson decide to come back and switch from 32, which has held some weight in the Alabama linebacker room?

"My biggest factor in coming back was competing for a national championship, and just bettering myself. With the number, it's a new era. It's a new beginning for myself."

Lawson talked a little bit about some things he wants to work on this season, "Being a more vocal leader is a big thing. Taking care of myself off the field as well, just trying to take care of my body."

Lawson missed three games due to injury in 2023 but still was second on the team in tackles with 63. Lawson also had 5.5 tackles for loss, three sacks, four quarterback hurries and four pass breakups. Lawson was a semifinalist for the Butkus Award, presented to the nation's top linebacker.

Lawson has also been practicing with the in-helmet communications that was recently approved in college football, "It's okay. We're not doing it too much, we're just making sure I can hear it."

A notable change from Coach Saban to Coach DeBoer is the addition of music at practice. Lawson talked about how, "If you can't lock in on your keys with music, how are you going to play in front of 100,000 fans?"

Malachi Moore also spoke about his decision to come back to Alabama, "Coach Saban said something that resonated with me. The NFL doesn't have a developmental league. Being able to come back to school and have the opportunity to grow as a person and a player, that's the best decision for me."

"I made a commitment to my teammates even before Coach Saban left that I was going to be here for them. Whoever wanted to be here is here, and I think that's a great thing for us. Everybody that is here wants to be here." Moore said. "Everybody could've easily left when Coach Saban left. I feel like that brings us really close together, We're going to bond over that."

Moore said Coach Hitschler and Coach Linguist were teaching them technical things as defensive backs, "They're teaching us a lot of technique stuff. More than previous coaches," Moore said. "I feel like they're very intentional about the techniques that they teach, and we are really working it in, and have a lot of time to work the things they're talking about. I think it's been great."

Alabama Football's second Spring practice

Gallery Credit: Wyatt Fulton

Alabama's First Spring Practice of 2024

The Crimson Tide took to the field for the first time in the Kalen DeBoer era

Gallery Credit: Wyatt Fulton

DeBoer Introduction as Alabama Football Head Coach

Photos from the introduction of new Alabama head coach Kalen DeBoer.

Gallery Credit: Simon Besnoy

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