The three Alabama players at SEC Media Days 2014 were in front of the record 1,267 person media crowd in Hoover, Alabama today. Check out some of the highlights of their interviews.
Junior Wide Receiver Amari Cooper
When asked about new offensive coordinator Lane Kiffin, Cooper had this to say, “Coach Kiffin is a great coach and a great person to be around. He brings that quality to the team. I think we can constantly compete for a championship. Coach is a likeable guy. He wants every player to execute their job. He also wants you to have fun playing football.” Speaking of fun, Cooper was also asked about playing in front of the fans in Bryant-Denny Stadium. “It seems like they love the game more than the players. They are excited each week. It’s crazy out there.” Cooper on the passion of Coach Saban, “I wouldn’t say we are scared to perform. I think a lot of outsiders have a different perspective than the insiders do. Coach Saban is a great person. He is a great leader. When he talks, you want to listen to him. He’s a great servant and blessing to other people. That’s what I take from him.” Cooper was also asked about the end of last season. “It makes you aware of how losing feels, and you don’t want to feel that again.”
Junior Defensive Back Landon Collins
Landon Collins was asked about holding the team together while not knowing who the quarterback is. He said, “Well, we just take each step. Each player has different techniques, I mean, we just play with each one and if one goes down, we have to know the other’s techniques and his keys that he throws to and what he’s best at. So, we take each one…and we just keep our stance.” Collins was asked about his role in his brother’s decision to leave Louisiana. “Clearly I had a big factor in that because he questioned me day in and day out about ‘what should I do, what should I do’…it’s never easy for her (mom) to have both of her sons away from home.” When asked about using Auburn as motivation during off-season work outs, Collins stated, “Well, we haven’t gotten to them yet, but that’s going to motivate us because it was a dramatic loss for us to them this past year, but it’s going to be…we’re going to see how the team comes together.”
Senior Wide Receiver Christion Jones
Christion Jones on Coach Saban: “He is the number one person I’ve watched since I’ve been here for these four years. A lot of other players because when I came in there were a ton of All-American guys who were here to mentor me but Coach Saban always defines what he wants and that’s sort of what you have to do as a leader of the team. I feel like if the coach is coaching more than the players are then we’re not going to have such a good team. The less he’s coaching, the less he’s leading the team, then the leaders stand up and lead the team for him, it’s going to be easier on him. You have a good collective group that understands what needs to get accomplished.” Jones also talked about the end of last season being an example of leaders not leading and that created a division within the team. He said “fingers were pointed at the younger players, but they are part of the team too”, when asked about AJ McCarron’s comments about the younger players being entitled.
Jones on incoming quarterback Jake Coker: “Jacob has done a great job since he came in May. He’s been doing an awesome job with our wide receivers, with our coaches, learning and doing all the little things right, trying to become the quarterback that we want him to be. It’s a competitive job for him as well, and he understands that because we’ve got three or four other guys who can also help us win. They all compete and are doing a great job, doing everything that coaches are asking them to do and it’s fun watching them.”
Jones on the season opener in Atlanta: “It’s a great opportunity for us and our team. It’s a good motivation for us to play a non-conference team, a top non-conference team. It’s really a good aspect for our fans to come out to another state to show their approval for us. It’s sort of a tempo that we have to set, a standard that we’re going to set for our team and try to use that for our motivation and set a different bar that we didn’t set last year for our team.”
Jones on his role as a receiver: “The route running, becoming a more complete outside receiver, being able to get open at double coverage, single coverage, being able to play the ball well in the air is very important, using my speed against the defense when I’m in the slot. It’s a lot of things that I’m correcting as we speak, everyday. So I think these are the main things I need to work on.”
Jones was also asked about his role on the team in which he responded, “It really doesn’t matter what my title is, I would rather just be titled as a leader of the team. My role on the team has changed. I do consider myself a leader and I’m going to try to lead this team with the other leaders such as Amari and Landon and try to mold this team into a different type of path that we sort of mishandled last year, try to keep us focused for the whole season this year.”