- Alex Scarborough, ESPN Staff Writer
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From now until kickoff in Arlington, Texas, we'll be counting down the days before Alabama and Michigan get the season started. Today, we move to No. 10 and what it means to UA football. See all the previous editions here.
There's been a lot said about the 2010 Crimson Tide football team, the one that came in as the preseason No. 1 and failed to defend the title. It's been the hot topic of the summer, and much has been said about how this year's team hoped to avoid the same fate.
Here's a selection of the best quotes from players and coaches about not letting 2010 happen again:
Cornerback Dee Milliner: “Yeah, we know that it’s going to be like the 2010 season, that once again we’re going to be the young secondary. We have a lot of experience in the front seven. They say we’re going to be a weak point, but we’re going to try to be prepared for that and turn it around.”
Linebacker Nico Johnson: "It plays a lot because of the older guys who were here, we understand how everything went. We didn’t get off to a good start that summer, everything was different. We tried not to go back to that. Try to relax and have fun with everything we’re doing, and work hard. That 2010 was pretty much a letdown year, but there were a lot of things that we didn’t’ do right. We want to correct all those things now and keep moving forward."
Guard Chance Warmack: "Sometimes coach reminds us why we had the season we had in 2010. But it’s always important to never look back, but always look forward. You understand the mistakes you made in the past, but it’s always good to know that you can learn from those mistakes. Not really based off of what you’ve done in the past that caused you to fail or to be short handed, but what you can learn to improve to be better in the future. So we look at those things in 2010 and we try to act on those things now so we don’t make the same mistakes."
Quarterback AJ McCarron: "I think it fell back on the leaders back then. Coach will tell you. We didn't have a lot of leadership. We had a lot of great players coming back, but I think the team kind of felt like everybody went their own personal way, tried to look out for (themselves) following the '09 season and help their draft status personally. What a lot of guys lose is, when they're going through that process, is that if the team wins, a lot more guys get drafted. You get drafted off the success of the team, not just personal success. It's hard to do that. A lot of guys know that. We've got a lot of older guys on here, we've got a lot of younger guys. It's going to be a good mix-up. Young guys just have to come and be ready to learn. You've got to have young guys who want to listen and want to learn. We do. Hopefully we've got the ingredients for a great season. We just have to put everything together and get everybody going."
Coach Nick Saban: "I think everything was different. We lost a whole lot of good players from the 2009 team. I think in some ways, especially to start, when you lose nine starters _ your punter, your kicker, your long-sanpper, maybe four or five starters on offense. We lost like 15 starters from the 2009 and we had like 26 seniors on that team."
3dGreg Ostendorf and Alex Scarborough