One of the things that stood out for most was Tua Tagovailoa’s response in reference to their loss to Clemson in the National Championship last year.
Coming off that loss from Clemson and winning the National Championship my freshman year, they were both good. When you win, it’s a great feeling. When you lose, it isn’t a great feeling. It was good that we lost because what can you learn if you keep winning? You can’t learn as much. Being that we lost it was a good experience for our team entirely because a lot of our team has come back and it’s something that you don’t take for granted now. Winning is something you shouldn’t take for granted. How we go about doing things now and where we’re going with this is how we take ownership over our team, as far as the leaders on the team.
Was the “lack of leadership addressed during the off-season”?
We (as a team) didn’t address that, it was more so coach Saban addressing that to the team – that there was a lack of leadership. For a lot of us on the team, we knew that a lot of teams that were successful in the past had guys that took on leadership roles and took ownership of the team. Those were the successful years that Alabama had under coach Nick Saban. So we understand that we have to do the same if we want to be successful this upcoming season.
How is the dynamic with Taulia – not only being brothers, but being teammates now?
It’s fun, but we know that on the field it’s business. He gotta work, I gotta work. Everyone’s working for a job and a spot. Off the field, that’s my brother. That’s someone I got to take care of. I got to love on him. If he needs anything, I’m going to be there for him. There’s a switch that goes on on the field and a switch that goes off.
What do you have to say for all the “fan fest” surrounding Tua coming to SEC Media Days?
It’s awesome. But their support wouldn’t be possible if it weren’t for the guys I’m surrounded with…the O-Line, the guys blocking up front, running game opening up the passing game and the receivers allowing me to make plays. All that love and support wouldn’t be possible with the guys I’m surrounded with, it’s my teammates really.
Who’s your favorite receiver?
You’re gonna get me in trouble bro. Not a favorite receiver, but what I do like about our receiver core is that they don’t really care about themselves. They’re not selfish as people would think. There is no “I want the ball. You gotta give me the ball so I can win this award” and what not. These guys are all selfless. They will run as many “brotherhood routes” as they can. A brotherhood route is when they know they’re not going to get the ball, but they’ll run it just to get someone else open. That’s been the key to their success and that’s been the key to our success offensively.
What have you done or worked on this off season to make sure that you can stay healthy or on the field as much as you can next season?
Getting into the training room as much as possible is what I’ve been doing. Whether I feel the need to do it or I don’t. I’ve been in the training room more than I could ever imagine and I’m not even hurt. The times I was hurt, I was in there a lot and now I’m in there more.
What has it been like playing for coach Saban and what’s the most important thing he’s ever taught you?
Coach Saban is someone who’s really hard on you and not too many people like that. But I think you need someone like that in pretty much every organization to set the standard straight, set everyone straight, get everything the way it needs to be. The biggest thing I could learn from coach Saban is the discipline.
What do you expect this season from the level of competition across the field and is that going to be an extra motivator this year?
The SEC is a tough place to play in and I think it is the toughest conference to play in. You just have to bring your A-game every week. You gotta be consistent with it every week.
What kind of football player is Dylan Moses (linebacker) in terms of maturity and leadership? What kind of football player is he for this team? What kind of guy is he?
Dylan is not someone who talks a lot. He’s quiet. But when he goes out there, his playing is loud. I’m proud of him this upcoming season for taking on a leadership role where he ends up being more vocal. Aside from that, it’s who he is off the field and the relationships he builds with the guys on our team. I think he earns a lot of respect building the relationships he has with these guys.
.@Tuaamann when asked if he’s aware that he’s like a “mini Saban”: pic.twitter.com/uoKRBTVtte
— ESPN Honolulu (@ESPNHonolulu) July 18, 2019
*Transcript is not exact word-for-word*