Alabama Football News

Mel Tucker: New life for Alabama’s secondary

Marvin Gentry - USA TODAY Sports

Defensive backs coach Mel Tucker has brought energy, enthusiasm and fresh fire to Alabama’s secondary. It has lacked all three components in the last two seasons, but under Tucker, Crimson Tide fans could see much improvement.

Tucker, like head coach Nick Saban, brings an NFL mindset to the table. At 43 years old, Tucker doesn’t mind being hands-on with defensive backs.

The Crimson Tide had its annual football fan day last week at Bryant-Denny Stadium.

Coach Saban, defensive coordinator Kirby Smart and offensive coordinator Lane Kiffin all took the podium inside the Mal Moore Athletic Facility to address the media on their expectations.

Smart said last year’s defense was “the worst goal wise in the last seven years,” but he said this year’s group has a lot of positive energy.

“We must create more turnovers on defense this season,” Smart said on fan day.

When asked about Tucker, Smart said his NFL experience will greatly help the team.

“He [Tucker] does a really good job as a teacher with the kids. He has a great demeanor and the kids really respect him,” Smart said per Matt Zenitz of al.com.

Tucker’s impact on Alabama’s defense became evident in the team’s spring game. Five of six turnovers from the contest were caused by the secondary. The freshmen absorb his energy and passion, while the upperclassmen gravitate to his knowledge of the game and position.

Tucker was hired to Alabama in January.

He was a standout at Wisconsin as a defensive back, and has tied to Saban at Michigan State (1997-98, graduate assistant) and Louisiana State University (2000, defensive backs coach).

He won a national championship at Ohio State in 2002 as defensive backs coach, and has achieved success in the National Football League. Tucker may be the answer for Alabama.

Stephen M. Smith is a senior analyst and columnist for Touchdown Alabama Magazine and SB Nation. You can “like” him on Facebook or “follow” him on Twitter, via @ESPN_Future.

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