DERRICK HENRY // RUNNING BACKS ON THE RIGHT FOOT

During a recent interview, Derrick Henry kept things close to vest. The junior running back didn’t reveal much, but he did say the Tide’s running backs got camp started on the right foot.
On the outlook of the RB position:
We’re just competing right now, focusing on getting better. Yesterday was day one and we were out there practicing hard. So we’re just focusing on getting better every day in fall camp.

On the depth at RB: Guys aren’t really worried about that. We’re about the fundamentals. Make sure guys are learning and competing every day. That’s the thing about fall camp. You’ve got to come out and compete, get ready every day.

On what he’s seen from the younger RBs: Learning the fundamentals, learning the program, trying to get better, trying to get in shape, trying to become a good player. Just trying to get better.

On freshman RB Damien Harris: He’sworking hard, just like all the other guys out there. He’s learning and that’s what he’s going to continue to do as camp goes along.

On Kenyan Drake still having the same burst after his injury: Kenyan’s working hard from when he got hurt to the spring and to now. He’s doing a great job.

On being a veteran now: I’m just trying to lead by example in a positive way by just working hard and affecting the players around me in a positive way.

On his relationship with Bo Scarbrough: We’re both playing the same position, trying to compete every day and work hard.

On the differences between his first camp and this one: Just a lot more experience. You learn a lot more, you know more about the game. Just trying to get better every day. I’ve accepted the roles of a leader this year and I’m just trying to affect the guys around me.

CYRUS JONES // SKY’S THE LIMIT FOR SECONDARY

Senior cornerback Cyrus Jones also spoke to the media about the secondary.

On new secondary coach Mel Tucker:
He’s just another guy that brings energy to the team and demands a lot out of us as DBs and every player. You know what you’re going to get from him — high energy guy. It’s just a great guy to kind of learn from and pick his brain a little bit. Just able to learn a lot.
On placing emphasis on the defense attacking the ball: That’s one of them. That’s just overall kind for the DBs, every coach preaches that. We always want to attack the ball. That’s a big principle for us this last year and in camp.

On other things he’s focusing on: Just paying attention to details and doing the right thing all the time. Focusing on the little things even during small walk-throughs and things like that, taking it serious every time. No plays off.

On how his hip injury has progressed:
I feel really good. As close to one-hundred as I can be. No pain. It just feels really good to be back out there.

On what the first contact felt like: I’ve been doing stuff like that throughout the summer, so it wasn’t really the first time doing that, per se. I just felt good to be out there during actual practice with my teammates just working hard towards our ultimate goal which is the season.

On being the leader of the secondary:
I’m embracing it pretty well. I mean, I know my role. I have kind an obligation to fulfill for my teammates and the DBs. Just being a guy that’s been out there and experienced a little bit, I’ve been doing a great job of trying to help the young guys kind of get accustomed and make their jobs a little bit easier making that transition.

On not being on the preseason Thorpe Watch list: I’m not going to say disrespected, but, I mean, it is kind of disappointing. Me just being a competitor and knowing what I can do as a player, I do feel like I don’t get the respect sometimes. But it just adds extra motivation to me. I don’t take it personal. I don’t play this game for personal accolades. I know as long as I go out there and do my job and play to the caliber I know I can play, those accolades will come. But it’s all about the team.

On A’Shawn Robinson: I think A’Shawn is a real humble guy, quiet. He jokes around, and he has a personality too. It’s just certain guys, once they get around you and get comfortable with you, that’s when they’ll start to come out of their shell. He’s definitely one of those guys. He has to feel his way around and just get comfortable with you before he can be his true self.

On A’Shawn’s not looking his age: I mean, of course he doesn’t look his actual age. He definitely has that older look.

On the new summer rule that allowed coaches to work with the players for two hours a week: We took advantage of it as a whole group. Definitely the younger guys getting in there a lot. Me, I was using that time to rehab, I wasn’t really in the film room with them, per se. I know we got a couple of extra hours a week before the 7-on-7s, so those really helped a lot more so for the younger guys than the older guys.

On freshmen DBs Minkah Fitzpatrick, Kendall Sheffield and Ronnie Harrison:
I think all of them have great potential to be great players as long as they keep progressing and keep being coachable and stay in their playbook and know what to do. I think that’s the biggest part. We all know what they can do athletically or they wouldn’t be here. I just think it’s all about keeping their head down, staying on the ground and just getting in that playbook. Their experience will come with time.

On if those three freshmen will contribute this season: Like coach always says, the best players are going to play, so if they know what to do, that’s the biggest part. We’ll see what coach decides. He controls who steps on that field.

On the next step for the secondary:
I just think we have to be hungry at all times. I think we’re going to be one of the most well-prepared teams and secondary in the country week-in and week-out. I just think as long as we get our personal attitude under control and knowing what we’re going out there to do, coming out there with that chip on our shoulder, I think the sky is the limit for us.

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