Until we see him play, it's too early to tell. But I think part of the reason we drafted Channing Crowder was not just because he was a STEAL but perhaps we may be looking at him to very well be Zach's replacement. I'm not sure if that's what I want, but I would like to see him starting soon enough whether it's in the 3-4 at MLB with Zach Thomas or in 4-3 as OLB, I don't know as of yet.
Hopefully, Crowder is one of two inside linebackers in Saban's 3/4 defense in a year or two. For now, Zach is still the man. We are still not yet ready-personell-for the 3/4 and Zach is not yet on the downslide. Crowder is still a year or two away from full football maturity-didn't he come out early? Also, keep an eye out for Lionel Turner-an unsigned free agent out of LSU...he played LB for Saban.
I feel that Crowder came around at the perfect time. Thomas has at least a good four years left in him and with us integrating a 3-4 scheem into our primary 4-3 defense. This will give Crowder ample oportunity to learn from Zack while giving him actual playing time. By the time Zack retired Channing will be more than ready to step in and be a dominating inside linebacker. Crowder has unlimited potential; his instincts are excelent and his physical attributes are as good as any linebacker coming out of college