One of the top defensive minds in the state in football was present at the Dizzy Dean state tournament Friday night as University of Alabama Crimson Tide defensive coordinator Joe Kines was on hand as his grandson, who plays for Northport, will be competing in the tournament.

"I love to do things like this and spend time with my family," Kines said. "We've got a couple of weeks of downtime right now after coming back from the (Cruisin' with the Tide) cruise last week and practice starting in a few weeks."

Kines said he does not get a lot of time with his family during football season, but he does get to see them pretty often.

"They only live about a mile-and-a-half away from us, so I get to see them on a regular basis," Kines said. "That is nice because I have two young grandchildren growing up."

Kines said the Crimson Tide's defense will see some players spend more time on the field than they did last year after graduating seven starters, but the lack of experience should not be a problem if the 2006 defensive squad can develop chemistry.

"We didn't lose just seven spots last year to graduation, we lost seven great players," Kines said. "We've got four starters coming back along with a number of good young players returning with them.

"Our success will depend on how quickly they can grow up together and learn to play together."

The Tide's defense ranked among the best in the country by allowing an average of 10.7 points per game and an average of 255.1 yards per game in 2005.

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