Countdown to Kickoff
Week 5 Press Conference Transcript



Sept. 26, 2011

Head Coach Nick Saban

Opening Statement

“After watching the (Arkansas) film, our players really played hard. It was a very physical game that we had last week. Obviously, we always have things to work on, and I think the focus for the players should be what can I do to be a better player, and what do I need to do to help myself be a more consistent player, play smarter, as well as make my unit more effective by more consistency and everybody doing their job together so that we don’t have any negative plays, bad plays, missed assignments—things that we control. Guys competed hard in the game, played hard in the game. We had good balance on offense.  Defense did a really good job of limiting big plays. In a couple of circumstances, we had a couple of mental errors that led to big plays for them. Fortunately, because we were hustling and giving good effort, they never turned into big scoring plays.”

“We had some guys that had outstanding performances, even though I thought this was a great team win with everybody contributing. I talked about that after the game, being everybody in the organization—coaches, players, administrators, fans—did a great job of affecting the game with the noise. We do have some players of the week.  Barrett Jones and Trent Richardson on offense. On defense, Mark Barron, Dont’a Hightower and Dre Kirkpatrick. Special teams, Marquis Maze, Brandon Gibson and Alex Watkins. Those guys all did a really good job.  I was really pleased with special teams in the game. They made some positive plays on special teams that affected the game and really didn’t give any up. We need to continue to be able to do that, to control the field position. There are some areas where we’ve got to get better execution, and we’ll keep working on trying to do that.”

“From an injury standpoint, C.J. Mosley probably will not practice today, and will be out a couple of days for sure. He is probably questionable for this game, at this point. Eddie Lacy will probably not do much today, but he should progress as the week goes on, and should be okay for the game.”

“This is a challenge for our team, a great opportunity for our team to play probably one of the best teams in our league. No doubt it is one of the most difficult places to play and a program that has great tradition. This is a great opportunity, and I want our players to focus on what they need to do to play well. These guys have great players; we’ve got great players. Everybody needs to focus on what they need to do to play well.”

“Will [Muschamp]’s doing a really, really good job.  He did a great job for me for a long time. He did a great job for us for a long time. He’s been a really, really good coach and done a good job everywhere he’s coached and with everything he’s done. He’s done a really good job there. I think the biggest thing is they have some outstanding speed, especially on offense.  [Chris] Rainey and [Jeff] Demps have made a ton of big plays, whether it’s catching a short pass and turning it into a long run, or running a lot of sweeps and running plays that they’ve broken.  The quarterback is playing effectively for them in the passing game. They’ve got some other really good skilled players, good receivers. They’ve got good team speed, play well on special teams, and their defense is probably the best we’ve played against, at least this far, and maybe as good as any in the SEC. This will be a real challenging game for us, in all phases, but we want to focus on controlling the things that we control and what we do.”

On what makes Will Muschamp a good coach and how often they have talked:

“Will is a good coach because he is a great teacher. He is a really hard worker. He has got about as much passion and enthusiasm as anybody that you’re ever going to be around. He relates well with the players, and I think the players sort of feed off of his passion and enthusiasm in terms of the way he coaches and what he does. He believes in the fundamental discipline and hard work, commitment. Those types of things that are sort of fundamental to being successful. He has always done a great job. Will and I have a really good relationship. I talk to him on occasion. I don’t talk to anybody (during the season). I don’t come in and call anybody. I don’t talk to any coaches during the season. It’s not because I don’t like them or don’t want to talk to them, but I’m busy trying to do what we are supposed to do. Unless we have some business to discuss its kind of a mutual respect for what we are all trying to get done at this time of the year. We don’t really have a lot of time for chit chat, but if there is an issue or a problem that involves college football, sometimes we do talk. In the offseason, we talk quite a bit.”

On the Florida offense this year versus the Florida offense in the past few years:

“I think that this is a little bit more of a pro-style offense, but their strength as a team has been their ability to run the ball and consistently make big plays running the ball. They’re a great screen team. They have a very good passing game. They haven’t thrown the ball down the field a whole bunch, but when they have, they’ve been pretty effective doing it. They’re not the typical zone offense sort of spread. Mississippi State, old Florida. It’s not that. They do a great job of featuring the talent and the players that they have and what they can do well, which I always thought that Florida’s old offense did as well. Even though it’s a little bit different style, they’re still featuring the same players doing things that they’re very, very good at, which is making plays in space, running the ball on the perimeter, and making it difficult for you to match up sometimes based on their personnel groupings because those guys are running backs, receivers, that type of thing.”

On Florida quarterback John Brantley:

“I think he has done really well. He has managed the games well. He hasn’t turned the ball over a lot. I think he sort of takes what the defense gives him and hasn’t forced a lot of throws. I think he has been very, very effective. They’ve been very effective. They have, statistically, the best offense in the league and have scored a lot of points.

On Trent Richardson’s performance through four games:

“Trent has done a really good job. I know that sometimes when people have high expectations for someone, they question how well he is playing. I never questioned how well he was playing. I just didn’t think that he was getting the opportunities. In the last couple of games, he has gotten some opportunities and really taken advantage of them and done a good job. Trent always does the right stuff and always works hard. He is never an issue, never a problem. He is a good practice player and a good leader, who affects people in a positive way. He is always ready to do his job well. When you have guys like that, you know that they are going to come through when they get the opportunities, and he has certainly done that in the last couple of games.

On the fastest players that he has seen or coached and how the defense is affected when they are preparing:

I guess the first guy that comes to mind is Willie Gault when I was coaching at the Houston Oilers. In the NFL, people played off of him 13 or 14 yards. He would just run down the field. He only ran three routes. He ran a nine, he ran a hook and he ran an out route. The guy was a really good player for a long time because everybody was afraid that he would run by them. With Jerry Glanville, we were going to run a bump and run no matter what and we did. We actually jammed the guy a little bit so we slowed him down and made it a little more difficult for him. I think that when you have that kind of speed, especially on the perimeter, that it’s so important defensively to keep leverage on the ball. I call it side boards on the defense, so people can’t run around you. Even the play that we had last year where Joe Adams catches a screen on this side and ends up going all the way down the other sidelines. Those are the kind of plays that you’ve got to really guard against. The backside players can’t relax either. You’ve got to press the ball and force the ball with leverage all the time at every position on the field. The backside support guy is just as important sometimes as the front side guy. Most people that you play, that isn’t an issue, but with these guys it’s an issue.”

On if Saban sees a lot of himself as a young coach in Will Muschamp:

“I can’t jump up and down on the sidelines any more like he does. I can tell you that. Will probably, of all the guys that we have had on our staff through the years, probably worked the hardest, did the best job, had the most passion, was probably as well liked by the players as anyone. You go from college to pro ball and he actually called defenses in Miami for a year. Those pro players aren’t very accepting of a guy, if he hasn’t coached in the league before. It didn’t take them long to gain full respect and confidence in Will because of the knowledge that he has and how thorough he is. I think that all players really appreciate when you help them play better. He is a good teacher, and he does a great job. It’s been so long since I’ve been a young guy that I can’t even remember, but I was a little volatile at the time too. I hope a little less volatile now.”

On how other coaches tend to want to simplify things when they have a young defense:

“Last year we made a lot of mistakes, but I think that we grew from making those mistakes. I have confidence in the players, and I have confidence in the players’ ability to learn. I think that a lot of coaches sometimes say that they’re making it simple, but I never wanted to be a guy that was making it simple but then not putting the players in the best position to be successful. You don’t want to make it so simple that they don’t have a chance. We have probably always erred on the other side, but I think that when you do, you are actually developing a greater capacity for them in terms of the amount of information that they can handle and what they understand and can adapt to in the game when things don’t happen in the game exactly like you thought that they might. In the last two years, it has taken a lot of adaptability on defense because we end up seeing, especially at the beginning of the game a lot of different things than what we practiced for. The fans might not notice that. Now that resource of information the guys have to go back and draw on is better. If we had made it simple, they wouldn’t know what to do, so the concepts that they have learned sometimes they can apply. It’s very beneficial to them.”

On how much of Saban and Muschamp’s similarities are from Saban’s influence and how flattering is it to see the similarities:

“You’d have to ask him who influenced him. I respect him. He did a good job for me. I love the way he coached the players, and that energy and that enthusiasm is something that not everybody on your staff has to have. I think that having people who have different strengths makes a great staff. It is hard to find guys that have that kind of passion and intensity that relate well to everybody in the organization. You’d have to ask him how I influenced him. I know who influenced me to be the way I am. It started with my parents and my high school coach all the way through George Perles, Bill Belichick and Don James. All of those folks had a tremendous impact on me because when you are growing up, you learn and then those things become your philosophy on how you want to do things. At that time in my career those people were the people who influenced me. Will has been around a lot of really good coaches, and I’m sure that he has taken a little bit from all of them.”

On what is missing in the vertical passing game:

“We had a couple of guys open last game and just missed the throws. We missed a couple of throws in other games too. I think that we need to keep working on it and developing the timing and the chemistry between players. It’s a little bit of a work in progress that our offensive unit continues to develop. I think that we have gotten better every week with our ability to create balance, have opportunities to make plays and if you have the opportunities you will make them. We had a couple in the last game, and I’m sure that we will make those plays in the future because we have capable players and we have a capable quarterback, two of them really, that can make those throws. I’m not at all concerned about it. I just think that we have to trust in our players and continue to trust in them because they are capable of making the plays and we will make them in the future.”

On Texas A&M joining the SEC, who else he would like to see, and if the coaches are getting any say in this at all:

“We play Florida this week, and that’s enough for me to manage and to worry about our team and what we have to do to get ready to play that game. I’ve always said that we have tremendous faith, trust, and confidence in our administration, our president, Mal, and the SEC commissioner to make the decisions about what’s right for the SEC in the future. Just like I don’t think that it’s my responsibility to change the uniforms around here. It’s not my responsibility to worry about who we think is the best fit for the SEC in the future in terms of expansion if that’s what is best for the league. I’m not saying that I think that it is or that it isn’t, I’m just saying that if those people think that it is, then they need to make those decisions. Texas A&M is a good school, and they’ve got academic as well as athletic tradition. It does open up a different market for the SEC, so there are positives and I’m sure that you could sit down and figure out some negatives if you wanted to take the time to do it. I don’t know a lot about it to be honest. I know that these sort of things get decided way above, and I don’t have any favorites. I just hope that the integrity of the rivalries that we have in our league do not get impaired by what is happening.”

On If Will Muschamp has influenced him:

“I think that just about every coach that you have association with, you learn good things and sometimes you learn maybe that’s not how I want to do it. That’s never been the case with Will. I learn from all of the coaches that I’m with. Everyone is responsible for a better way. Everyone makes a contribution to make the organization better. Will certainly made it better in a lot of ways, but so have a lot of other good coaches that we have been fortunate enough to have on our staff, and we have several other good ones here with us now. We appreciate all that they do and all of the effort that they put in and all that Will has done for us.”

On if a unit on the team has surprised him thus far:

“Not really. We are focusing on trying to get better, and I don’t think that there is one part of our team that doesn’t have some area that they can improve in somewhat dramatically. Every week you have new challenges. I think that to continue to challenge yourself to prepare and master those things is really the key to being successful. Consistency in performance is certainly important. So far we have been able to do that, and I hope that our team shows the moral character, moral toughness, whatever you want to call it, to overcome human nature and to continue to challenge themselves to play the best that they can and be the best that they can be. That’s always a challenge for all of us.”

On the leadership on the team and how important it is for players to be hearing things from other players as well as the coaching staff:

“I don’t think that there is any question about the fact that players probably impact each other more than anyone realizes. It was really interesting. We had a leadership seminar right before the season started. I might not have these questions exactly right, but I think that I can get the point to you. The first question to the players was how important do you feel it is, you personally, that you allow your teammates to know how you feel. Most of the players wrote that they didn’t think that they thought it was that important. We have coaches and other people here that can do that. Next question was, what’s the most important thing to you, and the unanimous answer was what my teammates think of what I’m doing. So to me that kind of answers the question that when you have good leadership and you have people that are involved with players, that probably is as significant as anything in terms of a team being able to continue to improve and play with consistency. In the game, I think that those guys can affect the game more than coaches when the game is going on. Someone has to step up and say the right things at the right time. There has to be a conviction and a belief and a faith from the other players that we can do this.”

On senior linebacker Chris Jordan:

“He is making some progress, and we are hopeful that he will be able to do some things today. We will see. We shut him down for a week. He came back and still struggled a little bit, so we decided on Wednesday of last week to shut him down and not do anything until today. We will see how he responds today. We are trying to help him. I know that he is frustrated because he really wants to contribute, but every time he tries, he continues to have issues.”

#30 Dont’a Hightower, Linebacker

On replacing C.J. Mosley if he’s unable to play against Florida:

“One good thing about us is we have a lot of depth everywhere. Whoever it is, they won’t be the equivalent of Mosley, but we have a lot of depth, guys who can come in and play different positions. That’s just the way Coach Saban recruits. Right now, I’m not sure how we’re going to do it, what’s going to be the rotation, but hopefully we’ll get into it today, and we’ll figure it out so we can get that chemistry built for Saturday.”

On whether it will be one person playing for C.J. Mosley or a rotation:

“It’s probably going to have to be. It’s hard to replace a guy like Mosley, a guy who can play in the box and still be able to run around with wide receivers. It’s going to be a combination of guys.”

On whether this is a football game or a track meet this week:

“Seems like it’s a little bit of both. Those guys from Florida are arguably one of the fastest teams in the country, but hopefully we’ll be able to contain those guys and keep them running east to west rather than north and south. It’s going to be a real good game. It’s always a good game with Alabama and Florida. We’re going to get ready for it and get prepare for it like every other game, and hopefully come out and play well Saturday.”

On whether the fact Florida now runs a more old style offense with two top ten rushers in the SEC signals a big change from what they’ve done recently:

“Yeah it’s a real big change. These last couple years, you haven’t really seen too many guys come out and put up big numbers like that not named Tim Tebow and Percy Harvin from Florida, but with (Chris) Rainey and (Jeff) Demps those guys are two very talented and athletic guys. I don’t put anything past them. It’s something you would almost expect from two guys of that caliber.”

On whether he thinks the critics are too hard on Trent Richardson:          

“I feel like it’s that way with anybody who plays for Alabama. I feel like everybody puts the knot on Alabama. There’s no doubt in my mind Trent’s arguably one of the best running backs in the country right now. I feel like these last couple games his numbers are improving dramatically. I mean he’s a real good running back. When his time comes up he always makes a play. He’s always there for his teammates, so I’m in it with Trent.”

On whether he feels like Alabama football gets criticized more than other top programs:

“In a sense I do. The only reason for that is, we played Penn State this year and a lot of people were arguing we weren’t as good as everybody thought we were. Playing teams like Kent State and North Texas then beating a really good team like Penn State, teams still didn’t really respect us. I feel like after the Arkansas game we’ve kind of set the tone and let people know we are for real.”

On how to keep that hunger in the locker room:

“It’s all about leadership and maturity. I feel like you can definitely tell this team is not the team that played last year. There are a lot of guys who have already been there and done that. We know what it takes and we know what’s going to prevent us from getting there and we’re not going to let anything like that get in our way.”

On what Dre Kirkpatrick contributes on the field personality-wise:

“Obviously a lot of swag. Everybody knows him for his swag. I feel like his swag is his attitude, and I feel like that’s the way he carries himself. He brings a lot of energy, but I don’t think there’s another guy out there who can replace Dre Kirkpatrick’s attitude. I mean he’s always ready to go. He wants to go against the best and be the best corner in the nation. He continues to work that way, not only on the field but in the weight room as well. I love being out there on the field, and I love being around him even when we aren’t on the field.”

On whether the players felt this game was particularly physical:

“I did. There were a lot of personal fouls, a lot of late hits, a lot of pushing and shoving. Some of that comes with football, but it was our first SEC game and we want to be the toughest team on the field and we want to prove that. Of course there’s going to be some pushing and shoving but we’re here to play ball, we’re here to be physical. We’re not going to let anything stop us from being physical and dominant.”

On whether a faster back like Jeff Demps and Chris Rainey can hurt a defense more that isn’t aligned properly:

“I feel like that’ll hurt anybody. Even when you are lined up correctly, Demps and Rainey are two very athletic and talented guys. Their quickness is what everybody kind of overlooks because they see the speed but not the quickness. From running sideline to sideline, it only takes one wrong step and they’ll cut it up field and they’re gone, so they have really good vision as well. Hopefully we’re going to get in the film room and see what those guys really like to do in the open field as well as their cutback reads, so we’ll be ready for them Saturday.”

#3 Trent Richardson, Running Back

On whether this is a big game:

“Oh yeah this is a very big game. Alabama and Florida has become a good rivalry. These are two of the biggest states playing head to head, two of the better stadiums in football, and it’s always been like that since high school. The boys have been in on me in the locker room about that, about Alabama and Florida high school ball. It’s always going to be a big rivalry.”

On how he could have been a Gator:

“I was in high school. I played for the Escambia Gators. But life goes on. I’ll always be a high school Gator, but now I’m Alabama. I’m rolling with the Tide now. Life does go on from there.”

On his relationship with Emmitt Smith:

“We’ve got a good relationship. He’s a busy guy though. He tries to give me as much advice as he can. He’s a real good guy. There’s really not too much you can really say bad about him. He’s a good leader. He always was. He’s a good role model. He’s a hall of famer too, so who wouldn’t want to look up to a guy like that?”

On whether Will Muschamp’s Texas defense was like facing Alabama’s defense:

“Oh yeah their defense is always going to be like Coach Saban’s. It’s very difficult. They come with a lot of blitzes. They come with a lot of different stuff we haven’t seen. Well, stuff we do see in practice. We know Coach Saban is going to prepare us for that. We’ll have to go against our defense the whole week. I know Dont’a is going to be coming at me, and Upshaw is going to be coming at me. We’re going to be going at each other just trying to be prepared for this game.”

On whether he thinks they might know Florida’s defense better than they do:

“It might be possible. Like I said, we’re just game planning from what we know they do. They do the same stuff we do, so we might just have an upper hand on them defensive-wise than another team.”

On what he admires about the style of Florida’s running backs:

“They never give up. They don’t like to go sideways much. They like to be one cut and go. I know they’re very fast and very quick. I got to race against Jeff Demps in high school. He was a senior when I was a junior. He’s very fast. He beat me in that race. I think he was the only person to beat me that year. Chris Rainey, we’ve always been really good friends through recruiting and stuff. I got to watch him play my freshman year. He came down to play Niceville, and I was injured. I was on crutches watching him from the sideline. He was a real good running back. He’s always been a real good running back. We’ve always had a good relationship.”

On how close his race against Jeff Demps was in high school:

“For the first 40 we were going at it, after that it wasn’t a race. He’s pretty fast. I think after 80 meters he was already like 10 meters, maybe 20 meters in front of me. That dude was fast.”

On whether he could take Chris Rainey in a race:

“In a 100? I probably could. In a 40, I would go against anyone. I’m not worried about a 40 race, but I know those guys. We’re good friends.”

On whether it’s weird to see Florida’s offense featuring running backs:

“It doesn’t shock me. I know those guys are going to put their time in out there some way. I’m glad they did put those guys out there on the field. It’s better for them, and it seems like it’s helping Florida out this year a lot.”

On whether he watches other SEC running backs:

“Yeah I get to watch a lot of them, before our games or after our games. Marcus Lattimore is doing a real good job. Chris Rainey and Jeff Demps, they’re doing an excellent job. There are a lot of boys out there, that boy (Michael) Dyer out there is doing a good job too. Everybody’s fighting to be that No. 1 running back. Coaches, they’re putting us out there, letting us go out there and compete. I think all of our coaches are doing a good job of that. You really can’t say who the better running back right now is because everybody is out there battling every week, and we have got to play in the SEC right now. Everybody’s out there playing and just really going against each other head to head.”

On how he feels about his performance through four games:

“I’m happy with what I’ve done, but I can never be complacent about it. I know I can get better. I have a lot to work on. The season is early right now. I still have to work on a lot of my pass pro. I missed a couple reads last week. I left a lot of yards on the field last week. I know I could have done better. In my head, 126 yard game is a good game, but I can do better.”



On what it feels like to play Florida and how he communicates that to the team:

“I just tell them it’s going to be just like our crowd out there. I’ve been to a couple Florida games and when I did go, their crowd doesn’t let down at all. It’s hostile out there, and I know it’s going to be wild. I know they’re going to bring everything because I know the Florida team, when they’re at home they get crunked up. That style of football is amazing.”

On whether he’s surprised that, as much as teams try to stop the run against Alabama, they haven’t scored a big play in the vertical passing game:

“No I’m not surprised. It’s going to come. We have a lot of good receivers out there. Stuff is just gelling together with us. If they’re going to try to stop the run with us, we might just get it this week. Like I said, AJ (McCarron) is doing a really good job. The offensive line is doing a really good job. The receivers are trying to get open as much as they can. I feel like I’m trying to do all that I can to help AJ with my pass blocking, as is Eddie Lacy. It’s going to come. You can’t think you’re going to get the big hit right off the bat. You just have to keep on batting.”

#4 Marquis Maze, Wide Receiver

On his return Saturday and some of the decisions he made on the cuts:

“It was all instinct. I knew when I slowed down if I had continued running the guy would have made the tackle or pushed me out of bounds, so I just slowed down to wait on the holdup guys to make the block. Once they made the block I just cut back.”

On whether or not it is difficult to slow down when running:

“No. That’s the kind of player I am. It’s easy for me to stop and go.”

On his feelings going into the end zone once he got his first touchdown:

“I finally returned a punt. I got so close for three weeks, and now I finally got it.”

On what might be missing from the offense:

“I think it’s just the timing. It’s easy to work on. I think it’s just mostly the timing. It just takes time. We have a young quarterback, so it’s just the timing.”

On trying to take more opportunities down field or doing it every so often:

“I think we try to do it at least three or four times a game. That’s what our offense is based on - the run and big plays and explosive plays, so I think it’s something we need to work on and get the timing down.”

On getting ready to play Florida and possible flashbacks about his touchdown pass:

“No not really because it was last year. It’s a different year. Florida is a different team and I’m just ready to prepare and get ready to play them this Saturday.”

On whether the wildcat is still a part of the offense:

“I’m not sure. That’s a question for Coach Saban or Coach McElwain”

On the Florida defense:

“They are pretty good. They are fast and athletic. They play hard and don’t give up, so I think it’s going to be a good game.”

On whether he thinks it’s going to be like going up against your own defense since Will Muschamp learned a lot under Nick Saban:

“I think so because when we played Texas in the National Championship two years ago it was basically the same defense as ours. I think it shouldn’t be much different from what we’ve seen with Texas.”

On whether he still takes any motivation from the 2008 game:

“It’s just an afterthought. It’s a different year, so you have to approach this game a different way than you did last year.”

On whether he thinks Florida has a little extra motivation after last year’s game:

“Yes, they have home field advantage this year. They have a new coach and a new drive. They are undefeated.”

On what he has heard about playing at Florida:

“I haven’t heard much about playing down there, but I’m excited to get the opportunity to play down there.”

On where he thinks has the coolest atmosphere in the SEC:

“I would say LSU and South Carolina.”

On AJ McCarron:

“He is growing. Not too many guys can go to Penn State and play like he played. He’s young and he makes mistakes, but he works hard at practice and he is progressing each week.”

On AJ’s pin-point passing ability:

“It doesn’t surprise me at all because he makes those throws at practice, so I’m very confident in him as a quarterback.”

 #99 Josh Chapman, Defensive Lineman

On the effectiveness of the stopping the run on Saturday:

“I feel like stopping the run was one thing we did well. They got one little run on me, but I knew it was my fault. We played good, physical football on Saturday, but now it’s time to move on to the Gators. They have two good running backs that are just like racecars out there. They are fast.”

On how to contain the Florida running backs:

“It’s about going out there and dominating their offensive line and setting an edge because those guys like to go outside. When they get outside and turn that corner, they are fast. It’s just about being physical upfront, making them one dimensional and making them throw the ball.”

On how to replicate the Florida running backs in practice:

“We’ve got a lot of guys that are fast. We don’t know who they are going to use yet. Our scout team has always been good at giving us a great look. It’s hard getting a look at those two track stars, but we will be ready.”

On whether his role changes with those types of running backs:

“You always have to secure the middle because sometimes you never know when those guys are watching the field and trying to get the defensive line worn down by starting the game with screens. Everybody is going to come out amped up, and that’s when they try and hit you with the screens. I try to go out there and run them down if I can.”

On whether there is a difference in the offensive makeup of Florida:

“They’ve always had some speed guys. It’s no different than what they’ve always had. They’ve got guys that just take the ball the distance. We’ve just got to go out and play Alabama football, which is being physical.”

On whether it is different with Charlie Weis’ offense:

“They try and run more power football, which is what people try and do most days. It’s about doing your job.”

On when the last time was he chased a running back down:

“Probably in practice when I tried to chase Trent (Richardson) down. If I got him, I don’t think I could go the next play.”

On whether he thought Alabama was playing more physical against Arkansas on Saturday:

“Yes. When you turn around from carrying the defensive line, you see your cornerbacks out there making big hits like that. You know we’ve got some hard hitting corners and safeties. Seeing it and hearing it makes me want to get a hit in. We play physical football all the way around. Guys want to see who gets the big hit. We got some hard hits back there.”

On whether he likes countering the finesse teams with power:

“We try to get guys to run sideline to sideline. That’s what our defense is known for. When you get guys to the football you just got to get the big guys on the little guys and wear them out.”

On C.J. Mosley:

“He’s a great guy and a great player. He’s athletic and fun to be around. Last year around this time he ran one back. I think he will be back.”

On whether it is an insult or not when opposing teams avoid running between the tackles:

“That’s something you have when you have a different type of football. I don’t like it. It’s fun to play a double team, but we’ve got guys out there that can do both.”

On Jesse Williams:

“Jesse is doing a good job. He’s feeling very comfortable playing in this defense. I used to have to tell him to go here and go there, but now he’s trying to tell me. He’s really comfortable and can play well. Quinton Dial is also doing great at this level. He’s going to be a great player.”

#75 Barrett Jones, Offensive Lineman

On whether he thinks Trent Richardson is living up to his potential:

“I think he’s doing a great job. I think he’s scored a lot of touchdowns and gained a lot of yards. He runs extremely hard. I don’t think I’ve ever questioned how hard he runs. He will continue to step up for us and be big for us as we get into the meat of our schedule.”

On the differences he sees in the Florida defensive line:

“Florida has always had a good defensive line. It’s going to be a big challenge for us. I’m excited to get in the film room and to learn about them. One thing is that they do run similar schemes of what we saw with Texas in 2009, so that might be a game I pull out and watch. I don’t really know for sure yet because I haven’t watched, but I know they have a lot of talented players. It’s definitely going to be a challenge.”

On the pass protection the offensive line has given AJ McCarron:

“I think we’ve done a pretty decent job. There are a few calls we need to clean up and they showed us some looks that messed us up a little, but you have that every week. You come out with something new that you haven’t seen yet, and you can’t account for everybody. I think we’ve done a pretty good job but we can always get better.”

On whether the pass protection is key in getting the vertical game going:

“Definitely. It’s giving him that one or two extra seconds, and that’s what we want to do, give him time to get down the field.”

On the feeling in the locker room after a fake punt or change of call at the line is made:

“I was joking saying that that’s got to be one of the most exciting plays in Alabama history. We are so known for being vanilla, but that was awesome. I came off the sideline and some of the special teams guys were quiet and said stay out here because we might fake this. I turned around and watched and it was just an awesome play. It was fun to see.”

On why he thinks there are more fake punts and fake field goals this year:

“I have no idea. We faked a punt at Penn State too. We just saw two opportunities where it would be good for us and both of them worked out, thankfully, even though Brad (Smelley) missed the hole in the first one. I still give him a hard time about that.”

On if having a good defense behind you makes it easier to take chances:

“I guess so. I definitely am not the one calling the fake special teams plays. If I was, and I knew I had a great defense behind me, that would give me some confidence to take some chances.”

On whether he sees a difference in the team from the first to the fourth quarter:

“That’s what we work towards all the time, that’s no secret. Coach (Scott) Cochran holds his fours up, so that’s what we want to do is dominate people in the fourth quarter and be in better shape. Coach Cochran does an extremely good job of making sure we are in shape to where we can do things like that in the fourth quarter. As the game went on, we were able to run the ball more efficiently and more effectively. I think that’s something that has been a staple around here for a long time. As the game goes on, we continue to wear down our opponents.”

On having his brother, Harrison, line up next to him for a couple plays against Arkansas:

“It was awesome. I think it was an accident because I was actually at right tackle at the time. He was in the right spot. It really was fun, and I hope somebody got a picture of it. That’s something we got to do in high school, and we always wanted to do it in college. It was cool to get to do that against Arkansas.”

On how the atmosphere at Penn State can prepare the team for Florida:

“I think it’s great. That’s why you want to schedule a non-conference game like that. It was good for AJ (McCarron) to get some experience and a lot of our guys. A lot of the responsibility and communication is on the quarterback, especially in loud environments, and it’s just something that takes practice. It’s hard to simulate that at practice. Anytime you want to check anything or change anything in the line of scrimmage you can’t just say it. You have to walk around the line and make sure everybody knows and understands it. You’ve got to give your signals to your receivers. It’s a lot of hand motions. It’s good that he got that experience.”

On how well he thought the offense communicated in that atmosphere:

“I think we did a pretty good job of communication and we learned a lot. We will be working on it a lot this week too.”

On how the big plays the team has made might affect SEC play:

“It’s a great feeling as an offensive lineman knowing that it can break at any time. It inspires you to do a little more downfield blocking and get those extra blocks. We know that we have playmakers like Trent (Richardson), Eddie (Lacy) and Marquis (Maze) who can break a big play at any time.”