Last season, Alabama ranked was second nationally in total defense, scoring defense, rushing defense and pass efficiency defense.
Alabama also loses nine starters off that defense, including three All-Americans and potential high NFL draft picks in Butkus Award-winning linebacker Rolando McClain, cornerback Kareem Jackson and nose tackle Terrence Cody.
So it stands to reason that most would anticipate a drop-off in 2010.
But three practices into spring, a few veterans on Alabama’s team are cautioning to not bet on that happening. The consensus seems to be that the Crimson Tide’s 2010 defense — while not there yet, especially in the finer points of the Nick Saban’s system — has an upside greater than the 2009 edition.