Alabama football: Players talk Fall Camp

The Alabama Crimson Tide has entered fall camp, and the players already have impressions about how this year’s team is moving toward its own identity. The players talked about what they learned from the 2009 national championship, and how those lessons can help the 2010 team. There is much more too. Read some choice quotes from the official transcript.

Senior Quarterback Greg McElroy
On coming into year two as the starting quarterback:
“I think I have come a long way in my development and understanding of defenses and I feel real confident now. I feel extremely confident in my preparation over the last 12 months to get ready for this moment.”

On what was learned from last season:
“Having experienced everything we did last year and being in a lot of different situations I feel I have a better understanding of what it takes to be successful here. Last year I was asking myself a lot of questions but this year I know what to expect a lot more than last year.”

On the identity of the offense this season:
“I don’t necessarily think what we do will be different but we may carry a different identity to a certain extent but for the most part we are going to try and do what we have always done. We are going to continue to try and be balanced and protect the football and make big plays when available. Obviously we are going to try and stretch the field and score as many points as possible so if that’s done on the ground or in the passing game it doesn’t really matter. As far as changing our identity I can’t see that we will have that much of a change.”

Senior Tackle James Carpenter
On being more comfortable in his second year in the program:

“I am very comfortable this year. Coach Pendry has done an excellent job preparing me for this season and making me a better player. Across the board on the offensive line we have gotten a lot quicker and faster from Coach Cochran so I feel it is going pretty well so far this camp.”

On what is getting worked on thus far during training camp:
“We are just working hard to try and gel together as a unit. We have been working hard on our conditioning and technique as well. I have just been trying to help our younger guys and show them how we do things here.”

Junior Safety Mark Barron
On helping the younger secondary get acclimated:

“I am just trying to show them the way we do things and the way we practice. I try my best to show them the tempo that we do things and the amount of work it takes to be successful.”

On being one of the leaders on the defensive unit:
“I don’t feel that it is too much pressure to the point of effecting how I play. I was comfortable with the defense last year and now instead of just knowing the plays in my head I have to be vocal as well this year.”

Junior Defensive Lineman Josh Chapman
On drawing from last year’s national championship:

“That was last year and now we have a whole new routine. This team this year needs to come together so we can work towards another one. We can take away from the positives from last year on how we all bought into Coach Saban’s system and we just have to do the same this year.”

On how camp is progressing with the defense:
“Camp is going pretty well. No one especially likes camp but it was one of the key factors that started us on the right path towards out success last season. This opportunity not only helps us on the field but bonds us as a unit off of it as well.”

Sophomore Linebacker Dont’a Hightower
On being the leader of the defense and making the calls:

“I was looking forward to this opportunity. Rolando [McClain] was a key part of our defense last year and we are going to miss his leadership. I look forward to stepping in and being the quarterback of the defense and making the calls and the checks. I want to be the guy the younger guys look up to so I am really looking forward to this season.”

On the development of the secondary:
“They are looking great. They may not have that much experience yet but I am very confident in those guys. They are ready to go, eager, talented athletes so we are going to try and use them to the best of our ability.”

On looking forward to returning healthy this season:
“It has almost been a full year so I am ready to go. You can see it on the film that I am looking better. My technique and pass rush are coming along so I am really looking forward to getting out there.”