Tide notebook: Alabama knows about Va. Tech offensive coordinator
by Marq Burnett
mburnett@annistonstar.com
Aug 27, 2013 | 2436 views |  0 comments | 19 19 recommendations | email to a friend | print
TUSCALOOSA -- Alabama is familiar with Virginia Tech’s new offensive coordinator Scot Loeffler.

Loeffler spent last season as Auburn's offensive coordinator. So, Alabama linebacker C.J. Mosley said that in preparation for the season opener against the Hokies, the Tide is watching tape from Auburn’s 2012 season.

Alabama is also watching Virginia Tech’s spring game to prepare for the Hokies' personnel groupings. And the team is confident having faced Loeffler just last season.

“As far as the game plan-wise, yes,” Mosley said. “But it’s a different team and different players. So we’ve got to be ready for when the game time comes because every game, there’s always going to be something new. We’re going to have to make adjustments either pregame or at halftime. At the end of the day, we’ve just got to play football.”

Mosley compared Hokie quarterback Logan Thomas to a former Auburn star.

“He’s like a version of Cam Newton just because of his size and running ability to do some of the same things,” Mosley said.

DEFENSE OVERLOOKED: All of the off-season talk about Alabama has centered on its offense. The rebuilt offensive line is the biggest question mark. Quarterback AJ McCarron and skill position players like Amari Cooper and T.J. Yeldon get all the praise, which leaves the defense to take a bit of a back seat.

“That’s fine with me,” safety Vinnie Sunseri said. “They can always boost up whoever they want and rightfully so. Our offense is amazing. We got great receivers, great running backs and a great quarterback.

"The offense line is doing unbelievable. If we’re behind them a little bit, that's fine with me. We don't like the hype, we just go out there and play. We're players.”

Mosley isn’t concerned with the lack of buzz surrounding the Tide’s 2013 defense.

“Not so much, because at the end of the day defense wins championships,” Mosley said. “So that’s kind of the Alabama standard. It’s always been about defense. The offense has to do what they have to do to make plays, and we have to do what we have to do to keep them on the field.”

PEANUT BUTTER AND JELLY: Safeties HaHa Clinton-Dix and Sunseri are expected to lead the Tide’s secondary this season. The two have developed a chemistry that earned them an interesting nickname last season.

“It was kind of funny, last year my first pick came on the same day as his first pick and his second pick came on the same day as my second pick and my mom was calling us peanut butter and jelly,” Sunseri said. “She said we go good together. We’re a little different, but we go good with each other.”

So who’s peanut butter and who’s jelly?

“Yeah, (the name) is sticking a little bit,” Sunseri said. “I’ll call him jelly every now and then. I’ve got to be peanut butter, because I’m a little stronger than he is.”

Sunseri recalled working with Mark Barron in 7-on-7 drills when he and Clinton-Dix were freshmen as the time things began to click for them.

Clinton-Dix playfully uses another word to describe Sunseri.

“To be honest I give him one word, crazy,” Clinton-Dix said Monday. “He doesn’t care. ... You never have to tell him to pick it up at all. He gives 110 effort, no matter if he’s hurt, limping, or doesn’t have any legs, he’s going to give his all until he passes out. That’s a crazy dude.”

Crazy is a compliment, Sunseri said.

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