Rader On The Record

Following Mississippi State's 24-16 win over Alabama Saturday, Mitch Dobbs of BamaMag.com questioned Crimson Tide Offensive Coordinator David Rader. Here is the transcript of that interview.

Alabama Offensive Coordinator David Rader got into the subject of evaluation of the Crimson Tide offense.

Rader: We go to the drawing board every week. We evaluate what the opponent has done throughout the season. We evaluate what we've done. We see ways that other people have attacked them and been successful with them, and we take some of the things we see and what we do and put it together and say this is the best way to get into the end zone.

I hope we haven't crossed the line where the guys worry about it now and instead of saying "Yeah, let's score." Instead "Oh, here we are. What are we going to do now?"

We don't score. So I've got to do a better job of preparing our guys to score touchdowns because we're right there. To me it's epitomized by John Parker's play at the end of the half, you know? We have a good play called. There may have been somebody open, there may not have, but for sure it opened up right in front of John Parker and he's a good runner. He slammed his body as hard as he could in there. He's done that on many occasions in our two-minute drills in practice. I truly thought he was going to be in and we come up a millimeter short. It's kind of a microcosm of where we are right there. Good effort. Do good things, just not enough to get in the end zone.

Dobbs: Is there room to ask, and this may be stupid, philosophical questions about what you're doing, if you're going in the right direction or not? If you're ever going to get that next millimeter or not?

Rader: I hope I can answer that question. The evaluation takes place immediately. What could have been done different and how'd they play us, and it will come again as we prepare for the next game. I'm not real sure about what you mean by philosophical.

Dobbs: Is there questioning the big picture, the philosophy, the principles of what you're trying to get done?

Rader: I'm not saying this to be to be sarcastic, but the big picture is, what you're alluding to is to score touchdowns and win football games.

Dobbs: But that's an OUTCOME.

Rader: No, that's what we're attempting to do. We've thrown it. We've run it. We've play-action passed it. We've run ‘naked's and boots. We've run draws. We've run screens. We've run fades. We've run slants. We've run outs. We've done a variety of things, and not just to say because we were grasping at straws. We did that because our offense allows us to do that and our preparation says this is the best way to attack the team that we're playing. I feel real secure that no one has really sunk their teeth into "they're going to do this play when they get down there" because we haven't done that. I'm just really stuck on the philosophical thing because our offense allows us to do a lot of things and we've tried to do it by air and we've tried to do it by run. Last week I thought we'd turned a corner because. John Parker did a nice job on the first drive to get us down there, especially on the post play to DJ, to get down there. You needed points. Sure it would have lifted our bench – no question about it. And that's one of the reasons that we went for it at the half, because we felt like we could get in and we would have had that boost into halftime.

Dobbs: Do you lose the line of scrimmage more times than acceptable down in the red zone? I hear coaches all the time ‘You've got to win at the line of scrimmage.' How is your assessment of that?

Rader: I have the notes right here and I haven't gone through them yet. I don't know. Did we go backwards much down there today?

Dobbs: I don't know.

Rader: I'm sure that can be thrown into the hat. I'm not real sure how to define lose the line of scrimmage. Does that mean turning people loose, or not getting push, or not making the right call-

Dobbs: Have success in the terms that you define success on the line?

Rader: The only way to define it is to score touchdowns and win and right now we're not real successful. It cost us today. It cost us dearly because we couldn't get it in. I really want to answer your question and I feel like I'm going in circles. I hope you don't think I'm trying to be evasive or anything, but we truly take what we think is best into that area to score and we didn't get it in, and we have to get it in.


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