ATHENS, Ga. — Georgia second-year defensive coordinator Jeremy Pruitt is a former Alabama defensive back who coached the Crimson Tide secondary from 2010 to 2012. Pruitt spoke to the media this week for the first time since the season kicked off:
Q: Is this week a little different for you?
A: "When you stay in this business for a while, you develop friendships, and I've got a lot of friends on the staff there. There are some good friends there and some guys who gave me opportunities that I'm thankful for, but I'm not going to be playing any plays, so it's just another game."
Q: What's the biggest thing you learned from Nick Saban during your time at Alabama?
A: "I learned a lot of good things. I worked for him for six years in a lot of different capacities. I worked in the weight room and in academics. I was in player development and then got to be the DB coach for him, so it's hard to name one single thing. I had an opportunity to learn a lot of things from him."
Q: What are the keys to beating one of his teams?
A: "You better play with toughness. That's one of the trademarks that I think they've established over the last seven or eight years. You better find a way to create turnovers while not turning the ball over. Alabama has a really good tradition of running the football, so you need to be able to stop the run."
Q: Have you gotten with the offensive coaches to talk about (Alabama defensive coordinator) Kirby Smart and his tendencies?
A: "Not really. I would say there are some similarities as far as what we both do on defense, so our guys have seen it over the course of the spring, summer and fall camp."
Q: Coach Saban has compared your defense to some of the strong ones he's had. That's a pretty good compliment, isn't it?
A: "There is not a lot of body of work, either. You're talking about three or four games, so we've got a long way to go. Coach Saban's teams have done it over and over and over, and that's what is hard to do."
Q: In your one year as Florida State's defensive coordinator, how familiar did you get with (current Alabama quarterback) Jake Coker?
A: "Jake is a phenomenal athlete. I recruited him in high school, and a lot of people don't realize that he was the Mobile basketball player of the year. He's a really good competitor who can make all the throws. I'm not surprised at the success that he's had.
"The year I was at Florida State, there was a quarterback battle with him and Jameis Winston, and the race was tight the whole time."
Q: Now that you're at Georgia, do you regret recruiting (tailback) Derrick Henry to Alabama?
A: "I regret recruiting a lot of them. We tell guys that we hope Georgia is the right place for them, but if it's not, there are a lot of good people at other schools. He's with some good people."
Contact David Paschall at email@example.com or 423-757-6524.