Tide's Arenas Ready for a Bigger Role

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (AP) - Javier Arenas is Alabama's return specialist, but he expects to earn a bigger role at cornerback.

He said he loves being on special teams but can contribute on defense.

His role was already a big one Saturday against Mississippi, even before he made it onto the field on the Rebels' final series as the sixth defensive back.

Arenas' 54-yard return set up what proved to be the Tide's winning touchdown and he gained 164 yards returning kicks and punts. The performance earned him SEC special teams player of the week honors.

Arenas ranks second among the league's punt return men, behind Florida's Brandon James. Saban said the sophomore "has special return ability."

Arenas is averaging 16.1 yards per punt return, seven more than last season. But he objects to a reference to his improvement.

He said he hasn't improved at all. The difference this season, he said, is that he's more confident in his own abilities.