Heavily favored Alabama didn’t have a problem launching some pointed barbs at its rival’s direction Monday afternoon to kick off Iron Bowl week.
Alabama players met with the media after coach Nick Saban’s weekly press conference and gave the Tigers a few quotes for their bulletin board.
It started when center Ryan Kelly was asked what kind of challenge it would be to face defensive end Carl Lawson.
“I honestly don’t really know who that is,” Kelly said, according to University of Alabama beat writer for Times Daily Newspaper and Decatur Daily Alex Byington.
Lawson missed all of last season, but he made a key play in the fourth quarter of the 2013 Iron Bowl as part of a breakout true freshman campaign. He stopped Alabama running back T.J. Yeldon on a fourth-and-one deep in Tigers’ territory to force a turnover on downs.
Kelly’s comment was at odds with the thoughts coach Saban shared on Lawson earlier in the afternoon.
“To me Carl has always been a really good player, a really good rusher. He’s got some power to go with. You can’t just take for granted that he is just going to try to run by you. I think he’s a really, really good player. I think some of the plays he makes does impact and excite some of the other playes on their defense.”
While Kelly’s slight of Lawson was a subtle one, Alabama senior defensive back Cyrus Jones didn’t hold back his thoughts on a lackluster group of Auburn wide receivers.
“They’re pretty good players, you know, athletic, fast. I don’t think they’re nothing special, honestly, but we still can’t overlook them,” Jones said. “We still got to prepare for them like we’re playing the best guys in our conference.”
Earlier this season, Auburn dismissed last year’s leading receiver D’haquille Williams. Ricardo Louis is the Tigers’ top receiver this season with 585 yards and two touchdowns.
Louis had a simple response via his own Twitter account.
“Say less,” Louis tweeted.