Q&A With Linebacker Craig Stevens

Freshman strongside linebacker Craig Stevens talks football with Inside the Auburn Tigers. As a part of the 4-3 and the nickel packages, Stevens is seventh on the team with 31 tackles.

Craig Stevens Profile

What's the mood been like in meetings and in practice this week?
We're just going at it like we've always done--just focusing on the next game. It was a tough loss. You just have to forget about it and move forward.

How did you take the loss personally?
I was kind of upset, because it takes it out of our hands a bit for the SEC championship.

With the way Auburn's schedule is set up every year, you always have a couple of big games at the end. Does that help to stay focused?
We can finish up strong still. If we go to Georgia and get a victory there, it would be a good thing for us. If we can do that and finish it up with Alabama, that'd be real big.

As a young guy getting more experience each week, do you feel like you're improving?
I think I'm doing a lot better compared to what I was doing toward the first game of the season. I am a little bit more comfortable out there on the field and I don't really think about the crowd while I'm out there. I just go out there and do my job.

What specifically have you gotten better at?
When I'm out there on the field I think I'm just a little more focused. I don't worry about what other people are doing or what their job is. I'm just doing my job. Early on in the season I was worried about what other people were doing and trying to make plays for them instead of worrying what I had to do.

And your tackling also looks stronger...
That all comes with being focused on the field. Early on, just running around, you find yourself in the wrong position to make tackles.

What have you seen on film from the Ole Miss offense?
From what I've seen they are all right. They gave Florida a run for their money, too.

What do you think of BenJarvus Green-Ellis and their quarterbacks?
From the games I've seen he looks like a hard runner, but our D-line is playing well and that should help us out... I already knew about Brent Schaeffer. Now I'm finding out about the other quarterback. We should be ready for both of them.

When the D-line can control the line of scrimmage, what does it do for the linebackers?
It frees us up a lot. When they're not playing good it makes it easier for the offensive line to slip out to the next level. When they are causing havoc and all it frees us up a little bit. We don't have that many blocks to get off of to get to the tackle.

The linebackers have been beat up all year, but now you're starting to get some more bodies back with Tray Blackmon and now Merrill Johnson...
I think we're still getting better at the linebacker position. We had a lot of people hurt early on, but everybody is getting back. I'm a little beat up, too, but everybody should be pushing through it.

What's wrong with you?
I banged my elbow up a little bit at the Arkansas game and it's still hurting a little bit. I wear a brace on it now.

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