Nick Saban understands a dominant linebacker when he sees one, and Alabama boasts exactly that in Will Anderson.

Anderson leads the nation with 23 tackles for a loss, and he is second on the Crimson Tide in tackles with 67. On the SEC coaches media teleconference, Saban described what Anderson means to the team.

“I don’t like to compare players, but Will’s certainly done a great job for us,” Saban said. “… He plays hard, he’s a good leader. … His production reflects all that. He sure is a pleasure to have on the team, I can tell you that. He’s an outstanding player.”

Anderson is an integral part of Alabama’s strong defense, and Saban pointed to reasons why that contributes to a championship-level team.

“I think every team is different,” Saban said. “If you look at who wins, sometimes you win running wishbone, sometimes you win with run-and-shoot. … In this day in age in football, you have to play good defense to give yourself a chance to win. … But I also think a lot of the most successful programs, lately at least, score a lot of points. I don’t think there’s a set formula anymore for who has the best chance to win, but playing good defense certainly helps that in a positive way.”