Countdown to Kickoff



Aug. 18, 2008

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. - During preseason football camp, will take fans behind the scenes with various Crimson Tide players. Today, sophomore quarterback Greg McElroy shares his thoughts on the Tide's preseason camp.

On Coach McElwain: "Coach Mac is great. I absolutely love playing for him. He is a players' coach. He makes you want to go out there and do you very best. I think that he's very positive and very encouraging. We've all enjoyed playing for him. He's been a great addition to the coaching staff and to this offense."

On becoming more comfortable with the offense: "It's still going to be a process, up until the day I finish playing here, I'm always going to keep working and try and better myself and try and understand the offense a little bit better. Every single time I look at coverage, every single time I look at a protection, I'm thinking in regards to the offense and ways that I can improve."

On team being more comfortable this year compared to last year: "I wouldn't say comfortable is the right word, but what I would say is people are more adamant about doing the right thing. People have been able to notice on the team that we're a much, much closer unit this year. We spend a lot of time together outside the facility. We expect great things from each other and we are going to hold each other accountable for those things. I can't say we're more comfortable, we just know that the expectations are and we're working our very hardest to meet those expectations."

On what makes a team closer: "I think personal accountability. We've brought in some great freshmen, guys that you want to be around. There is a lot of leadership stepping up, both underclassmen and older guys. I think Coach Saban has tried to establish those leaders and people are stepping up. I think that's the biggest thing for this team this year that's different from last year; people want to have the opportunity to lead this team. I think that's going to pay dividends in the end."

On mental shape of freshmen class: "I think Coach Saban and the other coaches did a good job of establishing expectations for those guys. We tried our very best to help prepare them during summer and tell them what it's going to be like and I think the summer conditioning program really instilled that mental toughness and that approach that it's going to be tough. Practice is going to be difficult. You are going to have to study and work and have to do things off the field if you're going to make a difference on this team. I think the freshmen have done a great job in knowing what they need to do to improve both mentally and physically."

On your role as a quarterback: "Right now I'm trying to take every rep like it's my last and trying to improve in any way possible in the run game, pass game, decision-making, accuracy and all kinds of things. There are many areas of my game that I want to improve. As time passes throughout the fall camp and the time's running out to take as many reps as I'm going to get, I want to make the best of those opportunities."

On quarterback position: "I think we have all done a good job of studying and getting in our playbooks and what Coach Mac wants out of us. I think we've all done good things, working together, talking to each other and teaching each other. John Parker (Wilson) brings the most to the table in terms of knowledge and experience and I think he has done a good job in terms of spreading that wealth of experience to the rest of us. The thing about quarterbacks is a camaraderie-thing, just as much as it for any other position, all five of us working together to try and make each other better. That's what we're going to do every day. For the rest of my career, any way I can help another player, I'm going to try and do that. That has really helped in the competition that everybody wants to make an impact and improve."