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Wednesday, January 4, 2012
Alabama lands in the Big Easy

By Chris Low


NEW ORLEANS -- Alabama’s football team arrived Wednesday in the Big Easy with cameras snapping their every move at the airport and a jazz band playing in the background.

It was very much a circus atmosphere.

But the players insisted that this week was all about business.

“I’m shaky right now talking about this, just getting off the plane,” Alabama junior running back Trent Richardson said. “I couldn’t even sleep on the plane. I’m ready for this game. I’ve been waiting for this game for the longest. We made it here, and we’re going to make sure we try to finish this thing off right.”

Junior linebacker Dont’a Hightower said the players would open with a curfew that was somewhere in the midnight to 1 a.m. range, which will undoubtedly get earlier as Monday night’s game approaches.

Hightower said violators would be sent home, even if they’re a minute late.

The lure of Bourbon Street is strong for college kids, and you’ve got the added dynamic of this place crawling right now with both Alabama and LSU fans.

When the players do go out, they’re going to be swarmed.

Richardson doesn’t expect any issues.

“You’ve got to make sure you don’t run into the wrong things and don’t get in any trouble,” Richardson said. “We’ve got a pretty good team. Everybody has their head on right. Ain’t nobody going to look for any trouble. It’s strictly business for us, and that’s to get a ‘W’ on Monday.”

Senior safety Mark Barron, who suffered an injury to his ribs in the regular-season finale against Auburn, said he’s back to 100 percent and that the injury won’t be an issue in this game. He had been limited in past practices.

“They’re not bothering me anymore. I’m good to go,” Barron said.

One of the themes that Alabama's players have repeated ever since that 9-6 overtime loss to LSU back on Nov. 5 is doing the little things right.

“We didn’t pay attention to detail like we should have,” Barron said. “We have to make sure we capitalize on our opportunities in this game.”

Alabama offensive coordinator Jim McElwain and several of the Crimson Tide's offensive players will meet with the media on Thursday morning. The Crimson Tide will then practice at the Superdome on Thursday afternoon.