Countdown to Kickoff
Alabama Football Media Day: Crimson Tide Players



Aug. 3, 2008


Alabama Football Player Quotes

Defensive Lineman Bobby Greenwood:

On the excitement of the opening game against Clemson and goals of the season: “Everybody is excited. We think about it every practice. First game with everybody watching, we are just working hard on the field. Every game I want to get to the quarterback, sacks are a big deal. We also focus on affecting them (quarterbacks) and making them step up and make bad throws. It is about making everyone else better too by applying pressure and helping the linebackers get interceptions.”

Defensive Lineman Lorenzo Washington:

On the expectations of training camp and also the appreciation of the fans: “With the older guys, training camp is about refining our skills and pretty much just picking up where we left off in the spring. Taking everything we learned and advance that and then bring in the new guys and take them under our wings and bring them along too. You are only as strong as your weakest link, so just because they are freshmen, doesn’t mean they aren’t ready to play. You want them to be as a good as us and know everything to be able to help us out. “Once you come to Alabama you are part of the family and will be a part of it forever. That is one of the big reasons I fell in love with Alabama. This is a good thing that Coach Saban does, letting the fans come out to practice and be a part of what we do.”

Linebacker Rolando McClain:

On worrying about the youth of the linebacker corps: “We are not worried. With Coach Saban and these guys out there we are going to work to get better and be ready for Clemson. We are not worried about Clemson right now. We are just trying to put in the basics. We are just taking it a day at a time.”

Comfort level of the system with a year under his belt: “It is like high school all over again. I am more relaxed, I can play fast because I am more relaxed. It feels like my speed has increased because I can see things better, I can see things before they happen.” Defensive back Kareem Jackson:

On what the newcomers should expect and having a season under his belt: “When I came in I had guys teaching me like Simeon Castille, who took me under his wing and showed me around, showing me different techniques so I am just trying to do the same thing to help them out. The main thing coming in day in and day out is to try and stay healthy and being able to practice.”

Defensive back Rashad Johnson:

Getting comfortable entering a new season: “We have a lot of guys that are talented on defense and know what is going on. It takes a lot of pressure off the secondary making checks when guys already know the checks. You can tell the difference in practice the first two days. The guys know what is going on and we are just playing a lot more, especially the first team.”

Sense of urgency for the upcoming Clemson game: “Definitely I think so, 27 days is definitely not a lot of time. We are going to put in 20 practices I think before we actually play the first game so timing is an issue. Everyone is taking the responsibility to take their books home and study them at the nighttime. So it’s definitely an issue and we are striving every day.”

Running back Terry Grant:

On the role of catching the ball out of the backfield and working with Coach McElwain: “I am fine with it. You can throw it to me or I will run it. Are we winning? That is the big question. He will get in your face but he is also focused everyday on what he needs to do to get us better. A lot of guys respect that and I think that is why we are getting a lot better.” What was the atmosphere of this summer’s training? “Guys just wanted to be there and wanted to work to get better. Week in and week out you have to be a different person.”

Wide receiver Mike McCoy:

On working with coach McElwain and how things are different this year: “He is kind of like a big character. You can talk to him about anything, even about family issues, it doesn’t always need to be about football. He is a great coach, and he is going to get the ball to the playmakers. He likes to throw the ball so who wouldn’t love to be in his offense. It is not too much different but he just likes to throw the ball. You got to love it.”

On approaching the Clemson game: “It is like I am going to approach every game, it is just another game. The difference is this year is to learn how to focus on one team at a time instead of looking into the future. The only thing on our mind is Clemson, and to play them like they are the best team in the nation and that goes for every other team.”

Offensive Lineman Antoine Caldwell:

More comfortable in the second year of the coaching staff: “Definitely, it is probably the biggest difference this year, knowing what is going on. We don’t have the deer in the headlights look like last year. Everyone is kind of smoother and calmed down, everything has been going good.”

On leading the young players: “Instead of being more vocal, I am trying to lead by example. You can kind of rah rah with the upperclassmen and they kind of get going but the young guys have to see it. Seeing the guys getting it done and handling their business, that is what I am trying to do this year.”