08:21 AM ET 08.14 | Alabama football scrimmages are nothing new to Nico Johnson and Michael Williams, each of whom played for national championship teams in 2009 and 2011. And yet the two veterans couldn't believe what they saw Saturday in the Crimson Tide's first preseason scrimmage. "The first scrimmage, I've never seen intensity like that," said Johnson, a senior inside linebacker. Like what? "Everybody was game mode," Johnson said. "Sometimes we go into scrimmage, most of the time, the first defense struggled. We give up a lot of big plays, miss a lot of tackles. That didn't happen this time." ... Apparently, nobody was more intense than Johnson. "I saw a different Nico Saturday," said Williams, a fifth-year senior tight end. "He was more amped up."