Veteran Move

Posted Sep 6, 2006

Zach Schreiber lined up at defensive end, probably never expecting to be responsible for a sack, a forced fumble and another tackle on the same play, but the redshirt freshman did just that, turning in the defensive play of the game for the Crimson Tide against Hawaii.

“You get a few production points for a play like that,” Alabama Head Coach Mike Shula said.

It was Schreiber’s first on-the-field production of his career, but he had been impressing Defensive Coordinator Joe Kines all throughout spring and fall practice. He was consistently on Kines’ brag list throughout those practice sessions.

Although he did line up at defensive end against Hawaii, Schreiber is regularly a strongside linebacker in Alabama’s defense. It is in passing situations where he moves up to the line to rush the passer, much like middle linebacker Freddie Roach did for the Tide last year.

“They always told me whenever Freddie left to be ready to step up and do what he did and move down to defensive end,” Schreiber said. “I’ve worked on that all off-season. I like it. It comes natural to me. I’m happy that they’re letting me do that.”

It came naturally because Schreiber played mostly defensive end in high school, (“I played some linebacker my senior year but before then I was a defensive end,” he said.) and started his career at Alabama as an end before moving to linebacker during his redshirt year.

“We really like his ability to rush,” Shula said.

At 6-1, 215 pounds, Schreiber would be really light for a defensive end. Some think 215 is light for a strongside linebacker, who plays on the side of the tight end and has to take on more blocks than a weakside backer, but Schreiber is okay with his current size.

"It’s a lot different, but it’s not too tough. Just stay low and keep your pads low and there’s nothing they can do to you,” he said. “Maybe I need to gain about five pounds but I’m not trying to get too heavy. I want to keep my speed.”

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