Loading...
Alabama fans already know Jeremy Pruitt from his previous stops in Tuscaloosa, but what they might not know is just how much of an impact the Tide's new defensive coordinator has made everywhere he has been.

In the premiere episode of "The Numbers Game", AL.com teams up with WIAT's Lauren Sisler to break down the most important numbers surrounding Pruitt's impressive career.

Video produced and edited by Justin King (http://twitter.com/JustinKing)

The White team offense was to the left upon entering the locker room.

Shortly before kickoff of Alabama's spring game, White's offensive players were seated in front of a projector screen hanging from a wall on one end of the locker room with a message that read:

Be proud of what you put on film

Effort

Toughness

Discipline

Those are a choice!

Celebrate with your teammates

I stood there, read the screen and listened as offensive coaches talked to those players in advance of the spring game. But a voice got my attention from behind me, a deep, intense voice that drew me to the other end of the locker room.

It was new Tide defensive coordinator Jeremy Pruitt speaking passionately to the White defense, made up of Alabama's first-team defensive players.

That was one of my primary takeaways from being an honorary media coach Saturday, that Pruitt is more intense, passionate, fiery and entertaining than I realized.

With outside linebackers coach Tosh Lupoi standing nearby, Pruitt loudly emphasized to his players the importance of mental toughness.

"Don't wait to turn it on," Pruitt said passionately, later pacing as he emphasized to "get the ball."

Still pacing, Pruitt told his players "Here's the test" before eventually smiling and saying, "I'm planning on having a whole hell of a lot of fun."

The players liked that, which was clear through the noise and cheering as they rose from their seats and met with the offense in the middle of the locker room before heading out to the field.

It was more of the same at halftime.

After creating multiple turnovers in each of Alabama's first two spring scrimmages and after scoring three defensive touchdowns in the second scrimmage a week earlier, the Tide's first-team defense didn't create any turnovers during the first half of the spring game.

Pruitt referenced all of the turnovers in the previous two scrimmages before saying passionately, "We haven't gotten a turnover. Let's get three this half." Imploring his players to attempt to force fumbles, he said of the ball, "Get that sucker out. Get them stood up, rally to the ball and get that sucker out."

It didn't get three. But the White defense did seal the team's win with a takeaway, a late Ronnie Harrison interception in the end zone after the Crimson team had advanced to the 13-yard line and put itself in position for a late go-ahead position.

Led by Pruitt's defense, White won, 7-3, and limited the first-team offense to 131 total yards and seven first downs.

Here are some other observations from the media coach experience:

—— There were countless former Alabama players on the sidelines throughout the game. Among them were recent stars like Reggie Ragland and A'Shawn Robinson as well as former first round NFL draft picks such as Chance Warmack, Dre Kirkpatrick, C.J. Mosley, Trent Richardson, Mark Ingram and Andre Smith.

—— The White team was made up of the first-team defense and second-team offense. With the rest of the White team surrounding him, guard Alphonse Taylor, a starter last season currently working with the second-team, delivered a fiery final message before the team took the field for the start of the game.

—— After the game, the entire team gathered in the same locker room. Coach Nick Saban delivered an end of spring message, telling the team that it's "time to become a team." Saban said: We've got good players, but we need more of you to positively affect others on the team. He later went through what he described as the "Holy Grail" of what players should avoid doing during their time away from football. Of note, he reminded them that nothing good happens when you're out after midnight. 

Comments

Leave a Reply