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Former Alabama linebacker on Kevin Steele: “He’ll have guys knowing where to go.”

Kevin Steele during his time as a linebackers coach and defensive assistant for Alabama.
Photo by Kent Gidley of Alabama Athletics

Alabama football has a familiar face running its defense.

Kevin Steele, who turns 64 on Friday, pockets $1.9 million as the new defensive coordinator.

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He served in the role in 2007 for the Crimson Tide in Nick Saban’s first season as head coach. Steele also has experience coordinating defenses at Clemson (2009-11), LSU (2015), Auburn (2016-20), and Miami (2022). He has been a linebackers coach and defensive backs coach too. Several former Alabama players are excited about what Steele will bring on defense. Crimson Tide fans want to see a fearsome group return, and they believe Steele will provide that. Darren Mustin, an ex-Tide linebacker, played on the first Alabama defense with Saban and Steele in 2007. He finished third on the team for tackles (79) and had 8.5 stops for loss, a sack, and two interceptions. Mustin was featured on The Bama Standard and raved about how Steele prepares players.

“I enjoyed working with Kevin Steele,” Mustin said on The Bama Standard. “He is by far one of my favorite position coaches I’ve had in my entire career. I will never forget his first meeting. He was like ‘you know what type of linebacker I’m looking for?’ He picks up a piece of paper, and says ‘Mustin, catch this piece of paper.’ He lets the paper go in the air, and I caught it. He says ‘ok.’ He then says ‘Rolando McClain, catch this piece of paper.’ He misses it. He then says ‘do it to me,’ and he crushes the paper. He said ‘that’s the type of linebacker I’m looking for.’ I think Kevin Steele is going to tap into the players in the room.”

Mustin said Steele demands leadership from his players.

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“That is a good sign of a coach,” he said. “If a coach wants it more than his players, you are in trouble. If the players want it more than their coach, you are good to go. He would demand us to do the right thing, period. He wanted us to go out there and bust heads. The type of linebacker Coach Steele is going to bring is when it’s time to say ‘no more’ to an offense, Steele will have his linebacker put his foot in the ground and say ‘no more.’ I have a feeling those linebackers are going to be different with Steele.”

Mustin said Steele will have the linebackers bringing awards home to Alabama.

“Coach Steele will have these players knowing where to go,” he said.

Alabama fans are ready to see Steele get this defense back to dominance.

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Stephen M. Smith is the managing editor and senior writer for Touchdown Alabama Magazine.  You can “like” him on Facebook or “follow” him on Twitter, via @CoachingMSmith.

Stephen Smith is a 2015 graduate of the University of Alabama. He is a senior writer and reporter for Touchdown Alabama Magazine. He has covered Alabama football for 15 years and his knowledge and coverage of the Crimson Tide's program have made him among the most respected journalist in his field. Smith has been featured on ESPN and several other marquee outlets as an analyst.

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