Countdown to Kickoff
Tide Players Talk About Tulane Game



Sept. 1, 2008


TUSCALOOSA, Ala. - Members of the University of Alabama football team met with the media today at the Naylor Stone Media Suite, as the Crimson Tide reflects on its season opening win over Clemson and previews Saturday’s home opener with Tulane.

Senior safety Rashad Johnson

“I think we played pretty well. There were a couple times out there when there was a shift in motion and it caught us off guard but for the most part I think we prepared well. We did a great job of communicating in the secondary.”

On this being the beginning of the season: “In our defensive backs meeting (defensive coordinator) Coach (Kirby) Smart said ‘Look, last year we had a big win like this against Tennessee and then things turned around.’ We need to take this win and use it as a spring board. We can’t live on it too long and we need to focus on this week.”

On what Sunday is like after a big win: “We have Sunday off so we have a chance to sit around and watch TV and listen to what people are saying. As soon as we came here today a lot of the older guys were talking and the coaching staff came in and talked to us. They just let us know that it’s over and done with. We have a new game this Saturday and how we practice this week determines how well we are going to play on Saturday. It was definitely a big win for us. We worked real hard for it in the off season program and fall camp. We worked hard. It feels good that you go out and play as good as you do when you work hard as we have.”

On his job being easier when Clemson’s running game was taken away: “It helped us out a lot. We did a good job up front with the front seven and stopping the run. Once they went one-dimensional, it let our front four just turn lose. They were able to pass rush the entire time. It helped us out a lot knowing that the running game was pretty much shut down. We knew what to expect in their passing game. You could tell early in the game after a couple tackles for loss and pressure on the quarterback. Those guys did a tremendous job. We have some great guys on that defensive front. Terrence Cody is doing a great job. Bobby Greenwood is a senior and he’s leading that group. Brandon Deaderick and Lorenzo Washington, we just have a lot of good guys out there that the coaching staff has done a good job of moving around. They came out Saturday and playing well for us.”

On Terrence Cody disrupting Clemson’s offense: “I think he did a pretty good job of it. Early in the game he got a tackle for a loss and that caused them to focus on him a lot more. That left a lot of other guys with one-on-one blocks and they did a good job with it.”

Senior quarterback John Parker Wilson

On what Alabama needs to improve on this week: “I think we left a lot of points on the field. We missed opportunities when we had them, whether it was lining up wrong or missing couple passes that should have been deep touchdowns. We have a lot of stuff to work on. We aren’t by any means were we need to be at all.”

On ball control offense: “The more we can run the ball, the longer we keep time of possession which was huge in this past game. If we keep getting first downs it keeps our defense on the bench. It just helps out everything. When we can run the ball like we did, it’s big.”

On feeling more confident this year: “I wouldn’t say I’m feeling more confident because I’m always pretty confident when I’m out there. I’m comfortable. I’m seeing the field really good. It’s my third year starting so I think I’ve just kind of grown up a little bit.”

On making good decisions: “That’s what we worked on in camp and we worked on in practice. It was good to see that and go out on the field and do it. We need to make those decisions all year long for us to win.”

On running game helping him: “It helped out a ton. When we can run the ball like that and we have the ability to run the ball on third downs, and get a first down. We can do that and it makes us dangerous because the defensive can’t sit on one thing. It started up front. Our offensive line was tremendous. They dominated the whole game. They controlled the line and really set the tone for the whole game.”

On Nick Walker getting open so much: “It’s him getting open and running good routes. It was the defense, what they were doing. A little bit of everything. We say we will take what the defense gives us and they were giving us the tight end. The corners were playing soft. They didn’t want to get beat deep. Play action helped a little bit and started the run. The linebackers were stuck on play action a couple times and we would just dump it in behind them so its kind of everything rolled into one. He did run good routes and was able to get open.

On Mark Ingram: “I wasn’t surprised. Coming into camp, I knew he was a special guy. Maybe a little surprised. The way he ran the ball, for a freshman in his first game, I didn’t expect it at all. I knew he was great back but I didn’t expect that. I don’t think you can expect that from anybody in their first game.”

Junior defensive lineman Lorenzo Washington

“It was pretty amazing that they had zero yards rushing but we followed the plan defensively like we were supposed to. That’s what our defense is supposed to do. Stop the run in a run stopping defense and that’s what we did.”

On being defensive end: “It definitely felt a little different playing out there with all that space. I kind of felt for T.C. (Terrence Cody) a little bit with all those double and triple teams. I definitely like being out there on the edge. You get to see more and make more plays. I definitely like it out there.”

On difference from this year to last year: “We are tackling. Last year, there were a lot of things. We weren’t establishing a line of scrimmage. We were letting them dictate what we do. This camp and this year our focus is to take the line of scrimmage and knock them back so we can dictate what they do.”

On talk after a big win: “Everybody likes to hype everybody up. I don’t try to focus on that. I try to take it day by day. No matter how good you do, after a win everybody is going to say you did well. When we went in the film room today, I made mistakes. Everybody made mistakes. There is always stuff you can work on no matter how good you think you do. Yeah we did things right but there are also things that we can do better.”

Sophomore linebacker Rolando McClain

“It was a good game. We prepared all week and we just went out and executed our game plan basically.”

On way defensive line played: “It’s a blessing to have T.C. (Terrence Cody) in front of you. That guy is huge. He takes up a lot of space and he does a great job. The whole defensive line did a great job. Coach (Saban) harped on if we got penetration on the offensive line then that would open up lanes for our defensive and that could stop the run game. They did a great job of penetration and we did a great job of stopping the run.”

On Sunday’s after big games: “You can talk about the game Sunday. You can think about the game but when you come in to watch film Monday morning, that game is done. Now that game is done. We are just getting ready and working for Tulane.”

On tipping pass to Marquis Johnson: “I was just doing my job and he was just in a good spot. He was able to get the interception. I actually thought I was going to bring it in. I didn’t see it so when I tipped it I thought I was going to be able to turn and get the ball but he was there. It was a good job for him.”

On fumble recovery by Dont'a Hightower: “That’s huge. I think it built his confidence. Of course, he’s a freshman and with the first game and big crowd. He was kind of nervous before the game. I tried to tell him to calm down. I guess after the fumble recovery he was just like ‘Hey, its football.’ He does it and he loves it. He just started having fun.”

On Cory Reamer: “Reamer did a great job. Reamer is just a football player. You can ask him to play any position on the field and he’ll do it. He just stepped up to the plate and did a great job.”

Junior running back Glen Coffee

On Alabama’s offensive line being so physical: “I have full confidence and full faith in them and what they do. They just showed what they can do on Saturday night.”

On Mike Johnson switching positions after Andre Smith got hurt: “He did great. He may have to do that this week against Tulane. If he does, I don’t think the offensive line will miss a beat at all.”

On Mark Ingram: “He is just tough man. He’s not worried. He’s young. He’s a freshman but he’s not worried about that. He just wants to play football. He’s just a tough kid, mentally and physically. It’s hard to tackle him. He’s like a little bowling ball. It was impressive what he did Saturday night.”

On sharing the carries with other running backs: “It’s great that we have multiple running backs that can get out there and not miss a beat. Not lose a step. It’s just great because it keeps us all fresh in the process. There is no reason to worry because you affect how many carries you get. If everybody is playing good, everybody gets carries. If you aren’t playing good, there is no reason to complain. Football is a team sport. You can’t be selfish. Being selfish doesn’t get you anywhere. No matter who gets the ball as long as we are winning it will be alright. We were told, if you don’t get in, wait your turn and when you do get in, do your thing. You do what you got to do. We are all grown. If you aren’t getting carries you know why and if you are getting carries you know why. You just have to approach it as a grown man. You have to approach it as work. When you are producing you get paid and when you aren’t producing you don’t get paid as much. Like I said, there is no selfishness in our group. We don’t have any problems in that area. Whoever gets the carries, as long as we are winning, it’s all good.”

Junior receiver Mike McCoy

“I thought our offensive line played outstanding and our running backs just went off the blocks and did their jobs.”

On catches by Nick Walker opening up things for outside guys: “We are going to be open regardless, but if he is there give him the ball. We are just trying to win. It doesn’t matter. We aren’t stats guys. We just want to win.”

On Nick Walker’s performance: “Nick is just going to shake that off and have another day. He has some great hands. He’s got huge hands. If you pretty much throw it his way, he is going to catch the ball. He won’t be talking about it.”

On Alabama’s multiple offensive options: “I think we have more options. Everybody knows what we are capable of doing. Everybody has each other’s backs. I think it’s much easier for him because we can run it and we can throw it. Short routes and deep routes, we can pretty much do it all.”