ATLANTA — Intense Alabama defensive back Tony Brown was all business at media day on Saturday, two days before the fourth-ranked Crimson Tide faces No. 3 Georgia in the national college football championship game.
What about that shirtless pre-game warmup routine? Nope, not talking about that.
Those post-Sugar Bowl comments? That's in the past.
All Brown wanted to discuss was beating down the Bulldogs. He was so determined to steer interviews away from perceived distractions, he screened questions.
Brown greeted a steady stream of reporters with a question of his own: What are you going to ask?
Anything not about the game was pretty much off limits.
"What's important is this game we're about to play on Monday," Brown said. "I'm going to keep talking about how we're going to dominate on Monday. I don't want to talk about anything that happened last Monday. My mind can't be on that.
"That'd be living in the past. I'm going to talk about what we're going to do and we're getting prepared to do, not what we did. You can't live in the past at all."
The 6-foot, 198-pound Brown, who is seldom made available to reporters, gained attention after the Sugar Bowl win over Clemson by saying among other things he has viewed himself like a "silverback gorilla" since he was a kid, with an aggressive alpha male personality.
He's often the first player out of the locker room in pregame warmups, his chiseled upper body uncovered. It shows the results of his workout regimen but also, he said after the game, can be "an intimidation factor" for opposing players.
On Saturday, he was more cautious and determined to stay on task, often pausing for several seconds before responding to questions.
But Brown has always seemed to march to a different beat.
He is set to finish an Alabama career that has included multiple suspensions for the once-celebrated recruit. He was sent home for violating team rules before the playoffs to end his sophomore season and opened 2016 by serving a four-game NCAA suspension for unspecified reasons.
Brown is hoping to finish off his career on a much higher note, with a national title.
He is a former All-American in track and five-star recruit who has only started 10 games in his career. Brown remains a key backup and special teams player with 31 tackles but also seems to bring a different mentality from some of his more celebrated fellow Alabama defensive backs.
The heart of Alabama's secondary is the cerebral safety Minkah Fitzpatrick and cornerback Levi Wallace, who teammates have nicknamed "The Technician." Wallace jokes that he doesn't parade on the field shirtless because he doesn't have Brown's physique.
Not many do, or Brown's level of intensity.
"I think he's an alpha," Tide secondary coach Derrick Ansley said. "He's got an alpha personality. Very competitive. From his track and field days, he wants to win everything he does. He hates to lose."
Losing isn't something Brown and Alabama have had to cope with very often during his career. He also appears to have been embraced by Tide coach Nick Saban, who has a history of finding a soft spot for players who are trying to overcome off-the-field issues.
Before the Florida State game, a private plane carried Brown's ailing father from Texas in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey. Brown's father, Tony, had suffered a stroke during his son's senior year of high school.
Asked about his relationship with Saban, Brown pondered his words for some five seconds before replying.
"Coach Saban provides me, as well as all players, with anything in his power to help him on and off the field," Brown said. "He's provided me with as much assistance as he's provided any other player on and off the field, whatever's going on in their life and progressively growing up as a man."
Brown has his sights solely on winning the title and if he can help Alabama do that it would be one way to repay Saban.