Countdown to Kickoff
Alabama Players Preview SEC Opener with Vanderbilt



Members of the University of Alabama football team met with the media prior to Monday’s practice to review the Crimson Tide’s 52-6 win over Western Carolina last Saturday night in Tuscaloosa and preview this week’s Southeastern Conference opener with the Vanderbilt Commodores. 

Redshirt freshman running back Terry Grant

On what he saw after watching the game film:
“It looked pretty good, we have some work to do. We have to keep fixing things every week as we go. We have not met with Coach Saban as a team to watch film as of yet, just with our position coaches. The first run looked great on film, it was the perfect setup.”

On being named SEC Freshman of the week:
“It felt pretty good, I have worked real hard and it has paid off, it is an honor - this is a great league.”

On Coach Saban:
“I respect Coach Saban a lot.  He is probably the most respected coach I have ever played for. I love playing for him and it means a lot that he has confidence in me.”

On playing in his first SEC road game:
“I treat every game the same. I do not treat any game differently, I just go out and prepare and work hard for every game.”

On the other Crimson Tide running backs:
“I watched those guys play and tried to help them out as far as lining up and hopefully they can do the same for me. All of our backs looked pretty good.  I think we all had a good day.”

Junior quarterback John Parker Wilson

On the game communication Saturday:
 “I thought it went well, we managed the game well. We had a few audible play calls, but I think their defense was pretty basic, nothing like what we are going to see this week. We are going to have to be ready for Vanderbilt”

On the Vanderbilt defense:
“They are a good defense. They are very athletic and can do a number of different things. We are playing an SEC team this week that will be very good and throw a lot of things at you on defense. They are a good team that’s always going to be tough, they have some good players. Their defense is fast, physical and well coached.”

On the opening game:
“It is good to get the first game out of the way.  It helps everyone get the jitters out. Now we can really get ready for Vanderbilt.”

On the offensive line:
 “Our offensive line played very well, they were able to blow the Western Carolina defense off the ball. I think Vanderbilt will be a lot tougher this week. We have to execute even better and pay even more attention to detail.”

On using the tight ends:
“I know Nick (Walker) was excited to catch that many passes. We had a lot of plays to him and he made a great catch on the touchdown pass. He can get open and do some things. The more guys we have out there to throw to the better.”

Senior wide receiver DJ Hall

On using the tight ends in pass routes:
“It opens up the whole offense when the tight ends catch a lot of passes and makes it harder on the defense to worry about the receivers and running backs when they have to cover the tight ends as well. Everyone is an available option in this offense. Anyone can get the ball thrown their way at any time.”

On playing this week:
“We are going to work on Vanderbilt, they are a good team and we have to be perfectly sound on offense. This is a big SEC game coming up this weekend. We cannot worry about past games. We have one game under our belt to get us back in game situations but it is not going to be anything compared to playing on the road in the SEC.”

Junior defensive back Rashad Johnson

On the areas the defense could improve:
 “We need to work on getting more turnovers and getting the ball out.  There were some opportunities where we could have gotten the ball when the first guy makes a tackle the next guy could come and strip it out.  There weren’t too many bad things that we saw.  We all ran to the ball well.”

On handling Vandy quarterback Chris Nickson:
“We have to make sure we contain him with the front linemen.  Push the pocket on him where he doesn’t have much room to scramble out.  We have to force him to throw the ball, not that he can’t throw the ball.  We just don’t want to give him that option to run or throw.”

Senior defensive back Simeon Castille

On the film from last Saturday’s game:
“I thought we played pretty well overall.  We still have some things to improve on.  I think it was a good first game for us.  I think the coaches were overall pretty pleased with our performance.  Still when we watch the film, even though we won 52-6, if you were in the meeting room you wouldn’t feel like we won 52-6.  There is always stuff that the coaches find that we can improve on.  They aren’t going to let us sit back.  It’s not like that.”

On Vanderbilt wide receiver Earl Bennett:
“Last year he didn’t really have a great game against us.  I thought we did a pretty good job of containing him.   None the less he is still a really great receiver.  We are going to have to contain him.  We are going to have to do that all over again this year.  He makes big plays.  He catches the ball well and he’s athletic.  He’s over 200 pounds also so you have to bring your feet when you tackle him.  He’s their playmaker and he finds a way to make big plays.”

Senior defensive end Wallace Gilberry

On Saturday’s game:
 “It’s always great to get out to a good start with a big win like on Saturday.  It’s time for some SEC play.  We are going to go out and apply the same things we did on defense and on offense and hopefully come away with a win.”

On all the “big hits” on Saturday:
“It was crazy.  Not taking anything away from what we did last year, I think we had more big hits in that game than we did all last season.  That’s definitely what I’m trying to do and you can see that Darren Mustin and (Rolando) McClain are trying to do the same thing.  It’s one of those internal things.”