Believe it or not, there’s a contingent of Blazer fans that believe Head Coach Bill Clark is holding UAB back. Offensive Coordinator Bryant Vincent has his doubters, too. Of course, this is completely normal. Every sports program has critical fans. That doesn’t make them bad fans, they just want the best for their favorite team and believe they know how to improve it. That’s natural – and as long as it’s not profane or abusive, it’s just part of sports.
Building the Firewall
There’s at least one man on the Blazer staff that has no critics. Defensive Coordinator David Reeves has done an incredible job building Birmingham’s Firewall. Reeves and Clark have been a package deal since 2013 at JSU, Clark’s first year as a collegiate head coach. In 2017, UAB’s defense was fifth in C-USA. In 2018, they improved to second, and last year, the Blazer defense was first in the conference in yards per game allowed.
The last two years, UAB has ranked top thirty nationally in virtually every defensive category, and top ten both years in total defense. What makes this impressive is the lack of returning talent. The Blazers only returned two starters in 2019. This year, only two starters moved on. I can’t wait to see how this much returning talent puts the UAB defense into high gear.
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Close to Home
Like Bill Clark, Reeves is an Alabama local. That alone won’t keep the defensive guru from accepting a high-dollar offer, but the fans are hopeful. Unlike Clark, Reeves has ventured out of the state of Alabama (UT Martin and Southern Arkansas) to coach. Every year, the media buzzes about whether UAB’s success will entice a wealthy program to poach the staff. Rumors are plentiful about Coach Clark getting calls, but it’s not a stretch to say that Reeves’ opportunity and willingness to leave might be greater. Nobody in green and gold wants to see him leave. But money, so they say, talks.