Cody Readies For Every Game Same Way

Over the years, sportswriters have had some tough moments in dealing with Alabama Coach Nick Saban. But probably nothing was tougher than what the media accomplished in Saban's Wednesday afternoon briefing.



The Alabama coach was asked about the upcoming meeting of Crimson Tide junior nose tackle Terrence Cody going against Georgia's freshman center Ben Jones. Nick Saban didn't provide the Bulldogs with any bulletin board material. He said that Jones is an excellent player, a man Saban wished had picked Alabama. Jones is from Centerville, little more than half an hour's drive from Tuscaloosa.

Saban said that is was impressive that Jones could start at center on a fine Georgia offensive line as a freshman.

Then Saban said, "Terrence Cody has less on his plate."

It's not often one would suggest that the 6-5, 365-pound Cody has less on his plate than anyone. Not one sportswriter giggled.

What Saban was saying, of course, is that the job of center is one of the most complicated on the football field. The center typically calls the offensive line blocking scheme, has to make the snap to the quarterback (sometimes in spread formation), and then has a blocking assignment.

Bama's coach added that the 6-3, 300-pound Jones is very quick and it will be important not to let him get out and block on Alabama's linebackers.

Cody, Saban said, has a less complicated role. "But he is difficult to block, which makes a good defensive lineman," Saban said.

Cody has been more than difficult, at least for one man. Arkansas has the Remington Award winner at center and in his one try at one-on-one with Cody, Jonathan Luigs wasn't able to handle that assignment.

Cody was generous in his evaluation of last week's match-up. "He gave me some hard plays and I gave him some hard plays," Cody said. "It was a good match-up."

One of the telling moments of the 49-14 win over Arkansas came just before halftime in Fayetteville. The Razorbacks had first and goal at the one and failed to score. Cody was one of the principals of that goalline stand. "That set the tone," Cody said. "Stopping the ball on the one-yard line showed the world that we're going to be hard to score on."

As for going against a true freshman with one college start under his belt, Cody said, "I'm practicing for him just like I would if he was a two- or three-year starter."

Cody knows he won't be attacked only by Jones. He said he expects to always be double-teamed and works against double teams in practice. He said he has learned a lot in his short time at Alabama after having played at Gulf Coast Community College in Mississippi the past two years. "I'm working on a lot of things," he said. "Hands in. Playing with my eyes."

So he has some things on his plate.

He said practices this week "have been hard. We've been going after it. We've been going back to work, going back to basics."

Cody said, "We get a good lock in practice" from the scout team. He said that Demetrius Goode has been playing the part of Georgia star tailback Knowshon Morino in practice and that Goode has done a good job on his cutbacks and as a receiver on screen passes. He said Alabama will have to get "about three guys" around Morino."

He added, "It's going to be exciting. Our job will be to carry out our responsibilities."

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