Nick Saban has the attention of his players, and Will Anderson has the ear of his teammates.
A loss to Texas A&M was all it took as the mood in Monday’s media availability turned intense.
Coach Saban doubled down on his ‘don’t waste a failure’ statement, but he followed it by challenging everyone in Alabama’s program to respond better.
“Sometimes, the best lessons you learn are when you have failings,” he said.
Brian Robinson spoke first in player interviews.
The fifth-year senior harped on the importance of executing the small things and how failure to do it hurt the Tide against the Aggies. Robinson said the team entered workouts with intensity.
After suffering a defeat, he said the players want to come back stronger.
“You see the looks on everyone’s face,” Robinson said. “You feel the energy of people wanting to come back and get better and all the little things we can do to fix.”
Will Anderson Jr., a sophomore, was very emotional. The talented outside linebacker expressed how badly he cares about seeing the defense take football seriously. He has been speaking for weeks about how football needs to be the most important thing for the Tide.
Anderson’s words didn’t sink in during preparation for Texas A&M, and a loss was the result.
In a short interview, he left his passion at the podium.
“We need to focus,” Anderson said. “It’s nothing other teams are doing. We are getting in our way. Football is the most important thing. It is the standard here, and it’s going to be that.”
He said the word “focus” several times. Robinson named Anderson, Phidarian Mathis, and himself as vocal leaders in the locker room.
He also said other older players have been on great teams and ok teams that are leaders too.
It is time to see the players that care about the game emerge. Alabama needs more than Anderson to be engaged on defense. No one likes to lose; however, failures have a way of bettering people. Crimson Tide fans expect to see an angry team the rest of the season, starting this week.
On Saturday, Alabama will travel to Starkville (Miss.) to battle Mississippi State.
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