If there’s one player Bama fans need to get excited about this, Reuben Foster could be that player. The sophomore hopes to fill the shoes of departed All-American C.J. Mosley this year:
At 6-foot-1, 244 pounds, Foster is about six pounds heavier than Mosley was last year, but Smart said he’s “maybe a little more explosive.”
“C.J. was a little better in space and a little better athlete when it comes to change in direction,” Smart said. “That’s an area that Reuben is going to have continue to improve on.”
Collins noted Foster’s improvement with his pass coverage skill — a talent Mosley used in all four years at Alabama.
Related to Foster, I think there are two primary questions this year:
- Whether he knocks an opponent or himself out first with one of his vicious hits; and
- How he plays in pass coverage.
His pass coverage is a fairly significant concern given today’s spread-eagle, hurry-up sling it around offenses. Mosley definitely had some mad pass defense skills, for sure. Just think back to the 2012 SEC championship game if you need a reminder. But the knock on Mosley for most of his time a Bama was his play against the run. He was a pass defense specialist as a freshman, but split time the next two seasons (primarily with Nico Johnson) on run downs. His senior season he played against the run and the pass.
With Foster, the Tide has a bigger and more explosive linebacker. Yes, he’ll have to defend the pass, but it’s also possible that Nick Saban and Kirby Smart play him a little differently on passing downs than they did Mosley.