Alabama creating disrespect where there is none
|Saturday, January 7, 2017, 8:01 PM- -|
TAMPA, FL – Alabama has won so much that they are to the point of having to create something out of nothing.
At Saturday’s National Championship Media Day at the Amalie Arena in Tampa, the talk from the Alabama defense was that they “lost” the championship game in 2016 or they are the underdog to Clemson.
The message coming from several players was a little weird to those on the outside considering the Tide beat the Tigers 45-40 in last year’s title game in Arizona. However, the message of being an underdog and being disrespected is what Alabama head coach Nick Saban has made his team believe.
Alabama junior linebacker Rashaan Evans told TigerNet that Clemson’s offense and quarterback Deshaun Watson took them by surprise last year.
“Absolutely. I knew he was good but when you actually play against a guy first-hand, you really get to see his ability,” Evans said. “Deshaun definitely has that top ability. He's definitely a NFL type quarterback because he can play in the pocket and also get outside. It's going to be very exciting to see how he pans out this time with the fact that we've got a lot faster guys.”
And that while Clemson ran up nearly 500 yards of total offense, it was more about Alabama not doing their jobs than the Tigers having a good offensive day.
“I wouldn't say that we couldn't stop them. I'd just say that we needed to adapt to that kind of quarterback,” Evans said. “When you have a quarterback like that, you don't see them each and every game, so you have to learn to kind of adapt to his game – the fact that he can run and throw.”
The performance by Clemson was eye-opening and apparently led many of the Alabama defenders to question themselves.
“It was very motivating. It gave us something to look forward to. It gave us something to work on,” he said. “The fact that they scored so many times on us, it was kind of like, 'Wow, are we really as good as we thought we were?' When we went into the off-season, we tried to learn everything we could from that situation and the fact they scored so many points on us. From then on, we've just been watching nothing but film and trying to figure out different ways that we can stop them. I think this time we'll be ready.
“That's basically the way it was and that's why I say that the game last year, it really didn't count for us. The fact that they scored so many points, it was basically like an offensive game. This time, the fact that we've had that situation and we've had that experience, we'll be ready.”
Even to the point of saying that they don’t consider the game a win.
“We actually feel like we're an underdog. For some reason, we still feel like people don't really see how good we are,” he said. “I think people won't really realize how good we are until the dynasty is made, maybe. This defense, there will not be another one like it for a while. The fact is, we have a chip on our shoulder. The last championship we won really didn't count to our defense because we gave up so many points. If we don't blow out a team or win by majority, it doesn't count for us.”
This time around, Evans said they’ll be more prepared than ever for Watson and they are ready to show the world the real Alabama defense.
“To be honest, you've got to be smart. Deshaun has tricks and trades that he does. He'll be at the line audibling things even though you might be trying to disguise,” Evans said. “Basically, he's going to know what you're running. Some of the things you've go to do are play ball, trust your instincts and just try to affect him any way you can.
“We are very determined. Even though we got a win, that win didn't even count to us in our mind. Our defense, at this point, we're like, 'You know what, if we're going to go out, we're going to go out with a bang. Why not go out and win the majority?' It's that simple.”