Defensive coordinator Pete Golding views Nick Saban as a college football 'icon'

Alabama's latest coordinator optimistic Crimson Tide can return to defensive prowess

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — It's a rare event when media covering Alabama football get to speak with Nick Saban's coordinators.

Saturday's Media Day was one such opportunity and marked the first appearance by new defensive coordinator Pete Golding.

Here's a summary of what Golding had to say.

Opening statement: "Overall, I think we're in a good place. Coming out of the spring and the summer, I feel like (players) are working hard.

"Obviously, I’m excited about a new role here this year. I think I was very fortunate early in my career to call some defense and be around some good guys. Obviously being under Coach Saban, he’s been an icon for me my entire coaching career. I’ve always studied the University of Alabama, studied Coach Saban, not only from a leadership standpoint, but obviously very much from an Xs and Os standpoint, so it’s been awesome for me to be under him and to learn from him. And then the staff I feel he’s assembled to help us get back to where it should be. Those guys are great, great football coaches, but I think they’re better men. I think it’s awesome being in the room with them. The knowledge they have, the leadership they have, the experience they have — I think they bring a lot to the table. Collectively I like where we’re at heading into fall camp."

On the role of starting senior inside linebacker Josh McMillon: "His biggest role for us is how he affects the other 10 guys on the field."

Golding added that McMillon knows the defensive playbook inside and out, which is a big plus for him as a senior leader.

On senior outside linebacker Anfernee Jennings: "When you talk about an Alabama defense, it's about a relentless effort. That's Anfernee Jennings to me."

On a role this year for sophomore cornerback Josh Jobe: "I think he's had one of the best summers of any of our guys. I think his confidence has improved because his understanding of what we're doing has improved."

On rotating defensive linemen this year: “We have to trust the players we put in there to do the job. Depth was an issue last year. Now that Quinnen Williams and Isaiah Buggs are gone, younger guys will have to step up.”

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