Bobby Johnson Weekly Football Press Conference
October 28, 2002
We were just very pleased we were able to win a football
game, and we were extremely pleased by the fact that all the
phases of our team had to perform well at the end of the game
and in the fourth quarter. We had to execute a punt that we
downed inside the five-yard line, the defense had to stop
Connecticut, the offense then had to score. Then following
a kickoff, we had to stop them on defense and we forced an
interception. All those things had to work in order for us
to win in that situation, and they did. I was very proud at
the way our guys executed.
Q: Do you think Alabama is now the best team in the SEC,
especially with Georgia suffering several injuries?
They are awesome on defense. Their front four, which
is actually a front eight or nine because they keep running
them in, are huge and they can run. They are pretty impressive.
Offensively they know they are going to be taken care of on
the defensive end, so they are going to be efficient, protect
the ball and do things they have to do to win. They have weapons
on offense to, but in most games they dont have to use
Q: Do you think the Alabama coaches have been able to use
their NCAA sanction as a motivational tool?
A: You are going to have to ask them (Alabama coaches)
that, but I dont know what they are telling them. They
are telling them the right things. Obviously, they have some
pride in that program. That is one of best programs in history
over the years. Sometimes things work against you, so you
use it to try and motivate. They are doing a good job at it.
Q: In your game plan, are you preparing for Alabama to use
both quarterbacks (Tyler Watts and Brodie Croyle)?
A: They do a good job with both of those quarterbacks.
They both are very efficient and explosive. We are basically
preparing for the system. They are a little different, but
they (Alabama coaches) pretty much try to do the same thing
with both quarterbacks. We prepare for the system and dont
care which one plays. Both have shown that they can move the
football and lead the team.
Q: How does it feel entering this week coming off a win instead
of a loss?
A: Its a lot better coming in off a win. Its
just an attitude. You feel better at practice, you feel better
going to class as a player, and you feel better as a coach
when watching film early in the morning. Its not nearly
as bad. Then you watch the film and you see Alabama. That
kind of dampens you a little bit. It is a lot better, though.
We enjoyed it. I was proud of our guys. They didnt fold
and kept playing hard. Connecticut played a really good game,
and they have big and fast guys, and if we didnt play
well we were going to lose the game.
Q: Do you feel you are catching Alabama at the right time
after its big win over Tennessee last weekend?
A: In theory, it would best time you could pick. After beating
Tennessee, you look ahead and see Vanderbilt and their record
and history, you wouldnt expect them to be sky high.
Q: How does Alabamas option attack differ from Vanderbilts?
A: Not a lot. They do a very good job with it. They
scheme it very well. They do a lot of the play-action pass
off the option like we do. We are going to have to be well-prepared
to stop their option, and hopefully they will have to be well-prepared
to stop ours. When you havent seen the option for a
while from the other end, it takes a while to get back to
Q: Can you assess Jays (Cutler) play since coming back?
A: I dont think he ever lost it. While playing
a very good Georgia team, I think he played well. Jay did
some great things for us the other night. He is still making
some mistakes on some calls and checks we have to make. He
still makes freshman errors like trying to get the ball somewhere
he shouldnt try, but he made some great plays for us.
I think Jay is just going to get better and better. He is
big, hes physical, hes got a great arm, he can
run, so we look to build on Jays talents. He is just
one of those guys we are going to build on.
Q: What did you think about the ESPN GameDay segment on the
No Cursing Policy?
A: I think everybody liked it, but I havent seen it
yet. From the reviews Ive gotten, they said it was pretty
well done. I think it made a little fun of us, but I think
it is a good message to send. Were proud of it. Were
not judging others, but we like the way we run our program.
Q: What is the players attitudes heading into such a big
game this weekend?
A: Our guys havent backed away from anybody. I
think they look forward to playing every game. After you come
off a loss, you dont have that pep in your step until
Tuesday or Wednesday, but we had a good practice yesterday
and they were concentrating. The fact that Alabama is having
such a great year, us coming close last year to beating them,
and us coming off a win will all help. That helps our preparation.
Q: Is Alabama as physical a team as you have seen all season?
A: Their defense reminds you of those old Florida State defenses
where you just cant breathe. They just smother you,
and you just hope not to go backwards. They are that tight.
They can outscore you on defense if you are not careful.