â€œFirst of all, and I havenâ€™t had a chance to meet very many of you, but I want to express my gratitude to the people of Tuscaloosa and the people of the Alabama football family and the community around for making our first time here and the things weâ€™ve done as a family feel welcome into the Deep South. Itâ€™s my first venture into the Deep South for myself and our family being from the northwest and the great state of Montana . Itâ€™s kind of interesting. I was able to get back for the three days of vacation that we took this summer to Montana . The Alabama name and what it does and the history and the tradition, itâ€™s amazing how far that stretches. I know theyâ€™re crazy about it here but we were in a little store up in Polson ( Montana ) and Iâ€™ll be darned if one of the checkersâ€”one of my kids was wearing their Alabama stuffâ€”one of the checkers stopped production and said, â€˜Wow, this is unbelievable. We have somebody with the University of Alabama at our store.â€™ It was a fantastic thing. And I do appreciate the history and the tradition and what this job entails.
â€œThat being said, I know there are a ton of questions. Iâ€™d like to start out with a few things right now (that) Iâ€™ll go ahead and tell you. Thereâ€™s a pretty good chance John Parker Wilson will be our quarterback, alright? I want to tell you this. Heâ€™s been fantastic to work with. I know some of the past, and any questions about the past I guess I could answer you about Fresno State and the Oakland Raiders, some places like that. But what I try to do is, (as) weâ€™ve come in here is rip off the rear view mirror. I canâ€™t answer any questions about what was. I can answer questions about what I expect to happen, and in JPâ€™s development, I have been very happy with the time he spent and the things heâ€™s done in the offseason to better himself as a player. I think some of the things heâ€™s maybe gone through are part of the position. I donâ€™t think they are all deserving. This is a great kid. Somebody who cares about the State of Alabama . Somebody who really cares about Alabama football and a guy who is doing everything he can to help us win games this year. And thatâ€™s one thing I can say Iâ€™m very proud of him, and I look forward to working with him as our relationship grows.
â€œIn his case, Iâ€™m his third voice. Iâ€™ve been in this situation before. That is a hard thing for the quarterback because even though changes arenâ€™t big, nuances are. And in this offense weâ€™ve been very fortunate in the past to put up some decent numbers and do some decent things. But at the end of the day itâ€™s all about wins and losses and we canâ€™t lose sight of that fact. If we have five yards of offense and win the game 3-0, itâ€™s the greatest game in the history of football because we won. And thatâ€™s what the bottom line is, trying to win the football game. Iâ€™m not caught up in a lot of the stats. Iâ€™m not a stats guy; never will be a stats guy. Stats will fall where they do. The key is to figure out a way offensively to combine your defense, your special teams and your offense into one unit to win the ball game. Thatâ€™s what the bottom line is. We have a luxury here of obviously having a great defensive staff. To say was I tested this spring by those guys? This guyâ€™s advanced over there on defense, Iâ€™m telling you. There are some really good things that those guys do, and that only helps you as a ball squad. Those are things that I wanted to get out there on the table as far as JP. And the development of the other quarterbacks that we have, I feel weâ€™re going to be able to have a little bit of depth there. Too early to tell. Was I happy with the 15 days of spring practice? Absolutely not, plain and simple. Although there have been games, and you could probably ask the people in the past that weâ€™ve been very successful with and scored some points and ran a team out of the building, and I wasnâ€™t happy with that either. So I guess where my mind set is that it is our responsibility to make sure that we are efficient in what we do; get the ball out of our hands; get rid of any turnovers and we put the ball in the end zone and the Red Zone. Is that going to happen? Time will tell. Iâ€™m not necessarily looking forward to the Clemson game or whatever game right now. Weâ€™re actually looking forward to todayâ€™s practice; looking forward to trying to win every play every drill we do and then weâ€™ll work on that as we go. We canâ€™t look down the pipe right now. Weâ€™ve got too much work to do in every individual drill.â€
On if heâ€™s had any â€œeye-openingâ€ experiences in the move from Montana to Tuscaloosa :
â€œThere have been some eye-opening experiences. This thing they call humidity? Itâ€™s something thatâ€™s awful new. You kind of enjoy yourself so when you do get some time to be able to go out and sit on your back patio, and sometimes you canâ€™t because youâ€™re dripping with sweat. But I tell you what, the great part, I will say this, and this is not by any ways to say anything about anywhere else, but, this deal they call Southern Hospitality? Iâ€™m speaking for my family; Iâ€™m speaking for myself: it is a term that is used in other parts of the country, but until you experience it? It is a great thing. The people are fantastic. When we talk about Southern Hospitality, I canâ€™t say anything better.â€
On whether â€œQuarterback Friendlyâ€ or â€œPlaymaker Offenseâ€ are accurate terms for his offense:
â€œFrom a background standpoint, there are a couple of things that means. Number one, like in the game of basketball, youâ€™ve got a shooter. Youâ€™ve got to figure out ways for that guy to touch it and get open shots. Anybody thatâ€™s seen anything that weâ€™ve done before, weâ€™ll do some disguised formations, some motions, some shifts to uncover a guy that needs to touch the ball. Itâ€™s pretty simple when it all boils down. If youâ€™ve got a playmaker or a couple of playmakers, and in some cases you are really fortunate to have multiple playmakers, (your goal is) how to figure out what they do best and then put them in situations to be successful. When we talk about the quarterback position, I think sometimes as coaches we force them in to systems. Whatâ€™s a system? Itâ€™s our responsibility as coaches to find out what these players do best and put them in situations to their advantage as far as how they feel comfortable. So part of building a system is around the players you have. And so I donâ€™t know where the â€œQuarterback Friendlyâ€ term came from, but he better throw completions.â€
On whether he was surprised to hear from UA head coach Nick Saban about the coordinatorâ€™s job:
â€œThe first time Coach Saban called, I had no idea that there was anything happening here. Believe it or not, out in California the Tuscaloosa News doesnâ€™t arrive on the front porch so I wasnâ€™t quite aware of what was going on. When Coach Saban first called, I hung up because I thought it was one of my buddies messing with me. But did it didnâ€™t come as a total surprise? Absolutely. I think he and Coach (Hill) had maybe talked but he, Coach Hill, hadnâ€™t mentioned anything. At first thatâ€™s how it went. How he dug up this name, I donâ€™t know. But you know what? Iâ€™m glad he did.â€
On whether he has an offensive philosophy he may â€œpreachâ€ to his players:
â€œYes. I think one of the things is part of the background of where weâ€™ve grown up and the systems weâ€™ve been in, but, number one is to be physical and make sure that the team that youâ€™re playing knows that they better bring their lunch because weâ€™re going to come after you on every play. So I guess (also) an idea of developing that, â€˜Look, when we hit the field, weâ€™re here and youâ€™re in for a long day.â€™ Thatâ€™s number one. Number two is, guys, in a game of football and a game of life there are ebbs and flows. What we try to do is preach the fact that weâ€™ve got to stay on a level surface. We canâ€™t get down. We canâ€™t get up. What we have to do is do this. And we try to preach a â€˜win this playâ€™ philosophy. And what I mean by that is in the game of football, if youâ€™re lucky you get 65-70 offensive plays, thatâ€™s 70 individual events that occur in the game. The key is to win the majority of hose individual events. Now you have a chance to be successful and win the ball game. So the idea of ripping off the rear view mirror (of) what happened on the last play and not letting it affect your play because youâ€™ve got to go out and win the next play, those are the things that I try to preach.â€
On whether UA has enough playmakers in its offense:
â€œThere are guys who have individual skills that some do some things better than others. It is still in progress. Those 15 daysâ€”itâ€™s amazing in the pro game youâ€™ve got all these (open days), youâ€™re with these guys all the time. So you are able to kind of develop a little more personality of who these guys are and what they can do. So this is really an important training camp because itâ€™s an evolution of the 15 days we had. And, have those guys all come out? Iâ€™m not going to put a name on anybody because itâ€™s still a discovery stage. The thing weâ€™ve got to do right now is make sure conceptually everybody understands their role – everybody understands what weâ€™re trying to accomplish. And at that time itâ€™s amazing how playmakers kind of emerge.â€