September 27, 2006

Offensive notebook: Identity crisis

An early season loss never feels good but it can often provide valuable opportunities for a team that is struggling to find its identity. With a veteran running back struggling and a young quarterback emerging as a star, the Tide have certainly had an identity crisis to deal with on offense this season.

"At first we felt bad but I don't think any of us are dwelling on the loss," said wide receiver Keith Brown. "If you look at it, we all made plays that we weren't expected to make and I think as a whole we played pretty settled under the crowd."

"I really think John Parker Wilson had more winning plays as a quarterback in that game than anyone I've ever coached," said offensive coordinator Dave Rader. "He learns something with every game he's playing and every new defense he sees helps build that reservoir of experience. He's doing things he's just not supposed to be able to do yet."

Wilson, who is already back at full speed after working out some soreness from a big hit in the Arkansas game, said his success comes more from his supporting cast than from himself.

"You can't say enough about DJ Hall and Keith Brown," Wilson said. "Those two guys have a lot of catches and a lot of yards right now and part of the reason is the way they come out and practice. They come out every day and really lead the receiving corps and I think it shows on Saturday."

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