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Alabama Players Discuss SEC Opener at Arkansas



Sept. 15, 2008

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. - The University of Alabama football team held its weekly media day today in the Naylor Stone Media Suite.  Here are some of the comments from senior quarterback John Parker Wilson, senior center Antoine Caldwell, senior safety Rashad Johnson, junior running back Glen Cofee and sophomore receiver Earl Alexander

Senior quarterback John Parker Wilson:

On expanding the offense:
"I think what Coach (Saban) is talking about was during camp we didn't put in everything.  It's tough to put in everything at once.  A little bit here and a little bit there and keep going.  Now that the season is here, it's week by week.  It's anything that is going to help us win.  A lot more is installed on a day-to-day basis.  It depends on the defense and the defense changes every week."

On doing well against Arkansas in the past:
"Arkansas ran that man coverage but they have a new coordinator now so they are doing some different things.  They are changing it up but we've had some pretty good success against them in the past.  We just need to keep that going."

On going to Arkansas two years ago:
"I remembered it being a lot louder than I expected.  That place gets loud.  We just played a good game and didn't finish the way we needed to.  I remembered it rained a lot on Friday and I thought we weren't going to throw the ball at all because it rained all day.  We did well we just didn't finish the game."

On one thing sticking out from last season's Arkansas game:
"The two-minute drive to end the game was awesome.  The stadium was quiet then we'd hit a pass and then they'd go crazy.  It was just something that I'll always remember.  It was just two-minute and we go downfield and throw a touchdown pass to win the game.  It was a pretty special moment."
On Matt Caddell's catch against Arkansas last season:
"That was a pretty good one.  That definitely ranks up there.  It's good to watch.  I've seen it on the highlight video.  He just made a great play on it.  It was pretty sweet win."

Senior center Antione Caldwell:

On looking forward to Arkansas game:
"It usually takes more than a day or two to recover from an Arkansas game.  I started watching film of them and as usual they are pretty big up front.  I know Earnest Mitchell, I played against him a couple times.  He's probably the best one we will see all year for sure.  It's going to be another physical game like it always is."

On last couple of Arkansas games:
"Normally, whoever wins this game goes on to have a pretty good year.  It's one of those swing games that we've had.  It's going to be another physical game.  We look forward to preparing as hard as we can for it and getting after in on Saturday."

On Arkansas' defense:
"They pretty much do the same thing.  They like to do a lot of man coverage and try to beat you with the front four or five.  The defense is pretty much the same.  Of course, I haven't watched the offense.  I don't know much about it.  We just have to go out there and play our style of ball and get after it."

On Alabama offense this year:
"I think it's an overall understanding.  We just all understand what we are trying to do, especially with John Parker.  Coach McElwain's done a phenomenal job with him, just breaking stuff down.  I hear him talking to him, and he simplifies things.  John Parker has done a great job with him.  I think that's probably what it is.  Just recognizing stuff a lot faster and getting the ball out faster and all that."

On importance of controlling the clock against Arkansas:
"It's going to be very important.  I'm approaching it just like I've always approached it.  I know they've always had great backs and they run the ball a lot.  It's going to be important just like it always is.  We have to control the line of scrimmage and we are going to prepare to do that this week."

On true freshman John Michael Boswell's play:
 "He did a great job.  He played really fast.  That's always important on the offensive line.  I don't know if it's because he was scared or nervous and had no choice, but he did really well.  We're proud of him and we are just going to build on it."

Senior safety Rashad Johnson:

On being anxious about SEC play to start:
"It did seem like it took awhile.  We are very anxious.  It was a different feeling this morning watching film, there was a lot of excitement and emotion after the meeting.  We went in and worked out.  It's just a good feeling going around right now.  I'm ready to see how we practice today."

On Justin Woodall's play:
"He has done a great job.  This summer he did a great job of working and becoming more vocal out there.  He did a great job of holding off his competition and fighting for his position.  Now, he's just playing with a lot more confidence.  He had a great game on Saturday.  You could tell as the game was going on he was getting more confident with the things he was doing.  He was just reacting and not thinking at all."

"He's a big guy.  He's got a big frame.  When he gets a chance to lay a lick on somebody, he doesn't mind doing it.  Coaches aren't going to put someone out there that isn't going to hit and he does a great job of doing that."

On facing Arkansas without Darren McFadden or Felix Jones:
"It's definitely different.  Those guys seemed like they were at Arkansas for a while, and dominating teams every week.  They are going to have a great attack set up for us.  We are going to do our part and get our mind right to defend their offense."

On last year's Arkansas game:
"Last year we came out and jumped on them.  It seemed like we let up as the game went on and they found a way to get back in it because they had some great players who were making plays the entire game.  I think that's a big thing for us this week. If we go in there and we jump on them like we did last year we have to keep on them because they are going to come back and they are going to keep fighting the entire game."

Junior running back Glen Coffee:

On starting SEC play:
"We try to approach every game the same.  Just know we have a conference game coming up, we have that mentality that we have to step it up even more.  We have to bring it up another notch."

On practicing no-huddle situations:
"It helps with the intensity level.  You don't really have time to relax.  You have to focus on what you have to do on the next play.  It does help."

On importance of controlling the clock against Arkansas:
"It's very important.  If we control the clock, that means we have the ball in our hands and their offense is off the field.  That's always one of our keys going into any game."

Sophomore receiver Earl Alexander:

On getting involved with the offense:
"It was great.  Just to get out there and make a few plays.  I felt great to be able to do it."

On receivers getting more involved in last week's game:
"Basically, it started up front with the line.  They gave John Parker time to find us downfield for big plays.  The line did a great job of protecting him and made him feel confident.  Just the time was important."

On offense for receivers:
"Coach McElwain just simplified the whole offense for everybody.  All we have to do is get out there and play smart and play fast.  We just have to make plays.  That's our job to get open and make plays.  Coach McElwain did a great job of calling the right call."

On what type of receiver he is:
"I feel like I'm just an all around receiver.  I feel like I can be a possession receiver but I feel like I could make plays downfield also.  Whatever we need I feel like I can do it."

On liking man coverage:
"No doubt because once you get off the line, it's all you.  I feel that with my physical ability it's not a problem for me to get off the line."