HOOVER, Ala. - Alabama quarterback Greg McElroy doesn't believe the Crimson Tide will be content after claiming last season's national championship with a 37-21 defeat of Texas.
Tide coach Nick Saban isn't allowing it now, nor has he for months.
"Coach Saban came down on us immediately after the game because we didn't play well in the fourth quarter," McElroy said. "That's the great thing about Coach. He never allows you to sit and relax. As a player, I don't want to have that complacency and that sense of relaxation.
"I want to feel pressed and to strive for something, and we understand that this year is a new year and that no one will hand us the trophy because of what we accomplished last year."
Alabama opened SEC media days Wednesday, and there was talk of the Tide bidding for another title and even a brief mention of McElroy applying for the Rhodes scholarship. Most of the conversation, however, dealt with the current rash of NCAA inquiries regarding players receiving improper benefits from agents.
Tide junior defensive end Marcell Dareus is being investigated for attending a Memorial Day weekend party in Miami Beach that an agent may have provided.
Saban believes there are three areas of responsibility in these incidents, starting with the college's role of educating players. He added that the NFL Players Association should monitor and control what agents do, but what really drew his ire were some of the agents.
He wishes there could be a one-year suspension for any agent who affects the eligibility of a college player.
"It's not fair to the good agents," Saban said. "There are a lot of good agents out there that don't do this stuff. They're not out there chasing guys and giving them money and breaking rules, flying them all over the country and sending girls after them and that kind of stuff."
Dareus, who knocked Texas quarterback Colt McCoy out of the BCS title game and returned an interception for a touchdown, reportedly told Alabama officials that he was the only Tide player at the party.
The 6-foot-4, 306-pounder from Birmingham is among the more experienced Tide defenders considering the unit lost nine starters. There is proven talent at each level with Dareus, linebacker Dont'a Hightower and safety Mark Barron, but Tide players already were being asked about adjusting without Dareus.
"The good thing is that our defensive line is very deep," McElroy said. "It's one of our deeper positions even though the experience isn't there necessarily. We have a senior in Luther Davis coming back. Josh Chapman has played in a lot of games. The uncertainty of that is a bridge we will cross when we get to it."
Said Hightower: "If something happened to Marcell and he misses a game or two, I think we'll be just fine."
Alabama opens newly expanded Bryant-Denny Stadium on Sept. 4 against San Jose State and welcomes Penn State the following week. The clear strength of the Tide is the tailback tandem of Mark Ingram and Trent Richardson, while the clear concern is a kicking game that is expected to be handled by freshmen.
"Our fall camp is probably going to be the most important that we've had since we've been there," Saban said.