Shane Beamer talked to the media about his tailbacks, and the Alabama Crimson Tide.
On J.C. Coleman ‘s status on Tuesday: “He looked better. I’ll be honest, at 12 noon today, I didn’t think there was any chance he was gonna play. After watching him out there today, I thought he looked good. I walked off with him and he says he feels good. The thing you worry about is that he hasn’t practiced in two weeks, and this [opponent] isn’t somebody that you just want to throw out [against] there when you haven’t practice in two weeks. There’s a lot that we’ve added offensively. He’s been in meetings, he knows it, but he hasn’t repped some of it. That’s a little bit of a concern. Physically he said he felt good. We’ll see how he is tomorrow. If he can’t go, obviously Trey is going to get the majority of the work, regardless. If J.C. can’t go then Chris Mangus will be our second guy, and he’ll be getting a lot of work also.”
On whether Chris Mangus is a guy who can play a whole series, or just a play or two at a time: “I think he’s going to have to take a series. I don’t think it’s realistic against these guys or any game to ask Trey Edmunds to take the entire game. We’ll have packages where Mangus will have to get in the game, or Mangus and whoever…two tailbacks, three tailbacks, they’re all in the game at the same time. There will be times where we’ll be specific that Mangus has to be in there on that particular play. And then there’s also going to be times – if J.C. can’t go – where I say ‘hey Chris, you’ve got this series just to give Trey a blow.’ We’re not going to throw [Edmunds] out there for 70 plays…if we’re fortunate enough to have that many (laughs).”
On whether he worries that Trey Edmunds hasn’t played before: “A little bit. You worry about a first game to begin with, you worry about who they’re playing, you worry about the atmosphere that’s going to be down there in Atlanta. J.C. and I were just talking about that. Whether it’s Chris Mangus , Trey Edmunds or Jerome Wright – who would be our third guy if J.C. can’t play – you’ve got three guys who have never even dressed for a game, much less played. So that’s a concern, certainly. But Trey’s a competitor, Trey’s made of the right stuff. He’s excited, I don’t worry about him from that standpoint. But first games are always tough, whether it’s a senior or a r-freshman.”
On whether the injuries and youth affects how the backs can be used in the passing game: “Not really. You know, it’s tough because we’re asking those guys to do a lot, Trey and Chris both. And then Sam Rogers, too. Sam’s a guy who I got no problems with him lined up at tailback. He knows it. So you try to crosstrain a lot of different guys. We’re doing a lot offensively. Normally you can say ‘Chris, focus in on this’, and we’ve got certain plays he can focus on, but now he’s got to know this and that. Passing wise, they’ve heard it, they’ve been here since spring practice. But there was a lot of coaching going out out there today with guys doing things that they haven’t done before.”
On what stands out the most about the Alabama defense: “Size. Size jumps out at you. Jack Tyler is a heckuva football player, but he’s not 240 like their two inside linebackers, who are 6-2, 6-3. They are really well-coached, they are really good fundamentally. Everybody talks about what kind of players they have, but they really are just fundamentally sound. You see them getting off blocks, they don’t stay blocked. They tackle well, you don’t see them missing tackles. They are really good, but they are really good fundamentally. So that jumps out at you, and then just the size. Sam Rogers for example at fullback, the entire preseason, whether we’re running the ISO or the power, he’s blocking guys he matches up well with – Josh Trimble and Derek DiNardo when we’re running the power, or Chase Williams or Deon Clarke if we’re running some sort of ISO. Now he’s going to be blocking Adrian Hubbard, who weights 260, or blocking CJ Mosley and those guys inside that outweigh you. So that’s the concern, and the thing that stands out.”
On whether he was on the South Carolina staff that beat Alabama: “Dang right, we beat them when they were #1, yes sir! It helps having guys like Alshon Jeffery out there, and Marcus Lattimore, and some of those guys. We were talented. I was watching that game on TV the other night…we were actually watching it yesterday in our punt team meeting as coaches. And just on our punt team, there were five guys – not counting the two wide guys – of the nine guys who were on the screen, five are currently in the NFL. That was on the punt team at South Carolina. There was some talent on both teams. The thing we did that game, we hit some big plays on offense, which you have to do on these guys. Logan I know talked about today about when opportunity presents itself, you have to capitalize. We hit some big plays on them with Alshon. Defensively, you have to hope they turn the ball over. Defensively, we hit Greg McElroy that day, we hit the quarterback that day, and we forced some turnovers. That’s the big thing. And we were able to sustain some drives, we were able to run the ball a little bit with Marcus. Sustain some drives, pick up some first downs, and we didn’t beat ourselves, which is critical. They had just beaten Florida the week before…for two weeks we heard about how great Alabama was and how unbeatable they were. We had just lost to Auburn over at Auburn, and had an off week to get ready for them. We had two weeks to hear that stuff. Our guys played their tails off. Garcia played well. Everybody played well. It was a good game. And then we went up to Kentucky the next week and lost (laughs). So much for that.”