*From Alabama Media Relations*
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. - The University of Alabama held its annual pro day Wednesday with 13 draft-eligible Crimson Tide players participating and all 32 NFL teams in attendance.
There were three NFL head coaches and three general managers in attendance. The head coaches included Sean Payton (Saints), Marvin Lewis (Bengals) and Chip Kelly (Eagles) and the general managers were Mickey Loomis (Saints), Jerry Reese (Giants) and Rick Spielman (Vikings).
Alabama head coach Nick Saban was impressed with the turnout of NFL scouts and the way his players represented themselves on and off the football field.
"We feel like when it comes to development of players to play football, a lot of guys really want the opportunity to play in the National Football League," Saban said. "To get this interest and representation from the league to give our players are opportunity is certainly what we would like for each one of our players to have.
"You have such great relationships with all these players and hate to see them leave. You certainly do appreciate the great job they've done of representing the program while you're here, but you're also extremely excited and happy for them to be able to have an opportunity to fulfill their dream of being able to play at the next level."
Draft-eligible Crimson Tide athletes that participated were: Kenny Bell, Deion Belue, HaHa Clinton-Dix, Cade Foster, John Fulton, Adrian Hubbard, Cyrus Kouandjio, Cody Mandell, AJ McCarron, C.J. Mosley, Kevin Norwood, Tana Patrick and Ed Stinson.
Players started the day in the weight room where their weight, height, vertical jump and bench press were checked. After finishing in the weight room, they moved to the indoor football facility where they did the standing broad jump, ran the 40-yard dash, preformed agility testing and position specific position drills.
The NFL Draft will be held May 8-10 at Radio City Music Hall in New York City. Get all the latest information on the team by following @AlabamaFTBL on Twitter and Facebook and AlabamaFBL on Instagram. General athletic news can also be found at UA_Athletics on Twitter and Instagram and AlabamaAthletics on Facebook.
Head Coach Nick Saban
On the turnout at Pro Day
“I think this is how we would like for it to be. We feel like when it comes to development of players to play football, a lot of guys really want the opportunity to play in the National Football League. To get this interest and representation from the league to give our players are opportunity is certainly what we would like for each one of our players to have. So, this is an exciting day. It’s a sad day in a way because you have such great relationships with all these players and you hate to see them leave. And you certainly appreciate the great job that they have done representing the program while they were here, but your also extremely excited and happy for them to be able to have an opportunity to fulfill their dream of being able to play at the next level.”
On if their success in past seasons prepare them for days like Pro Day
“I think that we try to get our guys here to do is compete one play at a time like it has a history and life of its own. Do it for 60 minutes in every game that you play, trying to get the players to focus on what is happening right now. I always use the term ‘be where your feet are’. Don’t worry about what happened yesterday, don’t worry about what is going to happen in the future. Do what you can do to effect what you are doing right now. I think players that can do that can perform better in circumstances like this because they are focused on what they are doing rather than what the outcome is going to be or what someone is going to think about it or what happened last week or what happened at the Combine. It is just a lesson in effecting what you can effect now in terms of getting what you want in your future.”
On receiving questions about the health of Cyrus Kouandijo’s knee
“I’m not a doctor but Cyrus played every game here since he came back (from the knee injury). He never missed any time, never missed practice because of it. So if you look at history being the best indicator of what the future is going to bring, he has been able to perform extremely well. So that is all I can go on in my experience with him. It wouldn’t be a concern for me because I’ve watched the guy perform after his injury very effectively.
Alabama Pro Day Player Quotes
#32 C.J. Mosley, LB
On his pro day experience:
“It went well and I ran a good 40; we did the position drills and I got a little tired but I think after today most of the scouts were impressed. I was all about the power workouts and talking with different organizations and showing my football knowledge.”
On what he has to prove to NFL scouts and coaches:
“Everybody can see my tapes and they know what type of football player I am, so today was all about showing my ball work, my knowledge and myself as a person – aside from my work on the field, it was all about just being me.”
#71 Cyrus Kouandjio, OL
On what he did, didn’t do, and plans to do for a possible second Pro Day:
“I didn’t do any timed workouts like the 40. My plan for this Pro Day was to do field work and my foot work to show what I can do on the field, and then on the 8th [of April] I’ll do the running stuff. My goal is to show a dramatic increase from the last time I got timed.”
On how he felt during Pro Day compared to the Combine:
“I felt a lot better because it’s my home and I felt at ease - there was no sense of nervousness. I just went out there and did what I was born to do.”
#83 Kevin Norwood, WR
On his best attributes and what he has to offer pro teams as a wide receiver:
“Just the same thing I’ve been doing – giving my best day in and day out, working hard, staying dedicated, and being dependable on and off the field like making big plays when we need it. The same thing I did here except get better at it.”
On what he thinks AJ’s best skills as a quarterback are:
“He’s a game manager – he gets us in and out of the huddle quickly and calls the plays when we need it. He’s great at getting us where we need to be and it’s up to those receivers to get open for him.”
#10 AJ McCarron, QB
On his Pro Day experience:
“It felt great – from hearing [concerns] about arm strength and deep outs and comebacks, I felt like today should silence all that. I threw it deep early on in the workout and I threw it deep later on so it was a good day.”
On how today’s Pro Day compared to other high-pressure situations throughout the season:
“This is the easy part – I’ve been playing football since I was three years old, and I don’t get nervous before games or big moments so I loved this. This was my chance to make it all count and to fulfill a dream I’ve had since I was three. I was just having fun.”
On how he felt about his performance at the Combine:
“It felt great and again, all the talk was about my arm strength but that’s just people talking that don’t know [me]. I needed to work on my mechanics and I did. I had time to work on myself and my personal game and master my craft.”