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Football Fight: Defensive Tackle

There are positions on a football field which are almost interchangeable. A split end is a lineman and a flanker is a back, but they have many of the same responsibilities as blockers and pass receivers and even as runners on gadget plays. On defense, it is not unusual to see a safety on the strong side and a strong side safety on the weak side. Cornerbacks in man coverage can end up anywhere.

In Alabama's normal 4-3 defensive alignment–meaning the Crimson Tide has four defensive linemen, two ends and two tackles–the tackles are theoretically interchangeable. In Bama nomenclature there is a nose tackle, or two technique, and a left tackle, or three technique. And it is Alabama's habit to teach all the tackles both positions, but ordinarily to keep each player in only one spot. This...

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