Barrett Jones Says ‘Long Way To Go'
Nick, Saban stands with most football coaches in not being a stranger to the words Carlin chronicled. Insofar as Alabama football is concerned, Barrett Jones revealed the three words never to be uttered. And he didn't say them, only confirmed correct guesses with a nod.
The ‘H' word: Heat. The ‘T' word: Tired. The ‘C' word: Can't.
Jones, who was Freshman All-America last year as the starting right guard on Bama's national championship team, believes that early Alabama practices in Fall camp this week have been good, but concedes there is "a long way to go." The Tide had its third day of work Saturday, moving from helmets and shorts the first two days to working in shells (shoulder pads and hip pads) Saturday.
"As for the ‘H,' Jones considers that an advantage. "Not everyone plays in this kind of climate, so if we can get in shape to play in these kinds of conditions, we think that can be an advantage for us."
On Sunday, fans will have an opportunity to watch Alabama practice at Bryant-Denny Stadium. Gates will open at 1:30 p.m. CDT and the practice will begin at 2:30. Following the workout, expected to be about two hours, Bama players and coaches will be available for a brief time for autographs.
In a discussion of Alabama's offense in 2010, Saban said, "I think if the right tackle progresses, we're going to have a decent offensive line." Jones returns at right guard, William Vlachos at center, and James Carpenter at left tackle. Chance Warmack seems to be the man out front at left guard.
Jones has been impressed with two men working at right tackle, redshirt freshman D.J. Fluker (6-6, 340) and true freshman Arie Kouandjio (6-5, 335). ("Just call him ‘K,' said Jones.) Jones said that Kouandjio is "very talented. He has great feet, he's worked hard, and he's intelligent. All you can ask is that he work hard and he seems willing to pay the price."
Fluker has caught the eye of Jones as a hard worker. "He's worked extemely hard," Jones said, "and he's much better. He's improved a ton from last spring to now. It would be hard to say that anyone has worked harder than D.J. That's something we all respect him for."
Jones, a second team Academic All-America last year, was asked about Alabama's offensive philosophy and the potential of the 2010 offense.
"I'm excited about the guys we have on offense, the guys we have coming back," Jones adi. "We're extremely confident that we can be a good offense. But so far we've done nothing. We do have a lot of pieces of the puzzle, but thus far we've gained zero yards. We've got potential, but we have to transfer that into wins.
"As far as offensive philosophy, I'm a sophomore offensive lineman. I don't know offensive philosophy."
Jones, 6-4, 300, started all 14 games at right guard last year and is almost certain to be there again in 2010. But, he noted, "Coach (Joe) Pendry likes to mix things up, keep things fresh."
Jones said, "We want to improve our third downs and red zone play. When we get down close, we want to get six. When we have third down, we want to make the play to keep the ball and keep giving the defense a rest."
Asked if it was good or bad to be ranked number one in pre-season polls, Jones said, "I'd go with indifferent. We've got a long way to go to being number one or being number 100. We just need to be the best team we can be. This team has won zero games. We've got to establish our identity and camp is a good time to do that."
Barrett's brother, Harrison, was signed in February, but the tight end will not join the team until January. Barrett said, "He was looking forward to the opportunity, but he understands and I think he'll come back in the spring and be ready to go. He's gained a lot of weight since he got here. He came in at about 235 and he's up to 250, but you can never spend too much time in the weight room so he'll continue to get better." He'll be a grayshirt, meaning less than a fulltime student until January.
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