Ronnie Brown Q&A

Running back Ronnie Brown talked about his rookie season and his anticipated increased role in 2006 when he met with the media on Thursday. Here's what Brown had to say.

Q. You look bigger.

RB: "Stronger or bigger?"

Q. Stronger.

RB: (Smiles) "Ha. That's a good thing."

Q. Have you gained any weight?

RB: "Not really. I lost a little bit and then kind of gained a little bit back from lifting."

Q. Are you trying to get ready for more carries this year?

RB: "Yeah, I have been working hard in the offseason. I've kind of got that in the back of my mind that I will have to take on the duty of carrying the load a little bit more, but I'm excited about it."

Q. What do you think you need to improve from last year?

RB: "I think it's just getting off to a quicker start. Last year, unfortunately I missed camp and I think that slowed me down a little bit, but this year I have had a pretty good start, been through the offseason and things looks pretty good. I feel pretty good so I'm excited to see what happens."

Q. What do you and your teammates think about the possibility of Ricky Williams playing in the CFL?

RB: "I don't think anyone has mentioned it, really. I think everybody's pretty much just focused on what we have to do and how we can get better as a team."

Q. Do you get tired of getting asked if you can carry the load?

RB: "A little bit, but I'm excited about it. Like I said, it's the first time that I actually get the opportunity to start the season off with having to carry the load. I did it one season in college, but I don't think you can really compare that to this level."

Q. What was your initial reaction to Ricky Williams getting suspended?

RB: "That was one of those unfortunate things. I was kind of disappointed in the fact that something like that happened, but at the same time I was excited about getting the opportunity to do a few more things and being asked to do a little more on the offensive side of the ball."

Q. Have you talked to Ricky since he lost his appeal?

RB: "No, I haven't."

Q. Are you more confident than you were last year?

RB: "Yeah, I am a little bit more confident. I think it just comes with being a little bit more comfortable going into my second year. I got the feel of how things work and everything is going pretty smooth. I don't have to worry about too much."

Q. How much you were helped last year by not having to carry the complete load?

RB: "Yeah, I think so. I think that was helpful for the fact that I had someone like Ricky that I could learn from and, at the same time, split carries with, just ease in to it, and kind of get the feel for it. I think that was helpful and going into this season, I feel a little bit more comfortable."

Q. What did you weigh at the end of last season and what do you want to weigh at the start of next season?

RB: "I ended up at about 235 and I am around that area now and I want to play this season at about 230, somewhere around there."

Q. How much have you heard from Cadillac Williams about his winning Offensive Rookie of the Year?

RB: "Not a lot. That's not one of those things we talk about, stuff like that. I congratulated him, but he's really not one of those people that boasts or brags. He mentioned it, but it was just having fun."

Q. Did you rookie season surpass your expectations?

RB: "It depends on how you look at it. I feel like I came in and did what was asked, but for myself, I just kind of expected a lot more. I put a lot of pressure on myself."

Q. Do you feel like you have to be more of a leader?

RB: "Not really. We've got a lot of guys that take on that role, a lot of veteran guys. I'm really not too much of a vocal person. I'll play around, have a little bit of fun, but for the most part, I just want to go in, work hard and give some of the younger guys someone to look at as a model that's going to go out and work hard."

Q. What newcomers have impressed you?

RB: "A guy like Kelly Campbell. He works hard and comes in with a lot of energy and gets everybody going. That's good. There are a lot of guys out there doing everything that's asked."

Q. How is this year different from last year?

RB: "I think last year, just talking to Coach Saban, he pretty much told me before the season he was going to work me in and help me to adjust. I think we did a great job last year. This year going into it, I think there is a little bit more asked of me to do as far as being a second-year guy, getting a feel for it and having to take on that role of being the main guy."

Q. Does the team need to acquire another backup running back?

RB: "I don't think so. I think we a few guys that are capable of doing it — Sammy Morris, we have Gerald Riggs this year, Kay-Jay Harris, Travis Minor. I think between the group of us, we can do a good job."

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