An interview with:
THE MODERATOR: Eddie, if you could talk about Alabama as they enter the SEC Championship game on Saturday against Georgia?
EDDIE LACY: We basically are going to have the same mindset we've been having all year. We know it's going to be a tough opponent on both sides of the ball and on special teams as well. So we just have to come out and prepare the same way we've been preparing and expect a dog fight.
Q. I don't know how much you've seen of Georgia, but they've got two freshmen running backs. Both of these teams with you and T.J., and Georgia with Gurley and Marshall, can you talk about them? Do they seem comparable to you, as far as the tailback tandems from Saturday?
EDDIE LACY: I don't know too much about them. I don't watch football that much. I hear they're pretty good running backs, but our defense prides themselves on playing against good offensive opponents. So, you know, it's a challenge for our defense, the same way for me and T.J., it will be a challenge. We're just going to come out and take the challenge?
Q. The fact that you and T.J. rotate, how fresh do you feel in this game? Do you all come into this game pretty fresh?
EDDIE LACY: Yeah, we're a lot fresher than we would be if we were taking 20, 25‑plus carries a game. You know, the rotation we have helps out a lot in that department.
Q. How much do you guys consider where this game takes you in your motivation this week knowing that if you win, you play for a title? Does that factor in much at all this week?
EDDIE LACY: It factors in, but for us to get there, we have to focus on this week. So all our time and preparation is focused on this week because if we don't win this week, it doesn't matter. We're just going in taking it one game at a time.
Q. When you look at the Georgia defense, the three‑four, what do you think about it? Is it comparable to maybe a defense you run against this year?
EDDIE LACY: Now they get talented defensively. It's going to be a great challenge for our offense. The offensive line and running backs as well. We're going to watch film, and work on what we have to work on, and hopefully we'll be able to win.
Q. You mentioned your offensive line. Can you tell me what it's like to run behind them and how you see them as the season has gone on?
EDDIE LACY: Running with the offensive line, it's one of the best offensive lines I've ever ran with. I have a great group of guys. They come out, prepare hard, practice hard, and play even harder. They give us the holes that we need and they also hold up in pass protection which gives the quarterback enough time to pass. They're the best offensive line I've ever run with. I love each and every one of them.
Q. When you look at Georgia's defensive front, how do they compare to what you've seen this year already on your schedule? In terms of that, they have some big size at the nose guard spot?
EDDIE LACY: They're big and physical, but most defensive linemen are in this conference. So as far as the challenge of the offensive line, there shouldn't be anything different to come out and play like we always do.
THE MODERATOR: While we wait on some questions, can you just talk about your squad as you head into Atlanta this weekend versus Georgia?
DEE MILLINER: Very excited. It's a great accomplishment for our team to be in the SEC Championship game. We're just trying to come out, compete and be aggressive. Hopefully we can come out with the win on Saturday.
Q. Do you think this week will raise the profile of the reputation of your league even more? It doesn't even matter at this point externally, but it matters in recruiting after all the SEC has done in the last six years, do you think people even look at this anymore?
DEE MILLINER: I think it can help us a lot. Seeing two great teams in the game, and the way that we know we're going to come out and have to compete on both sides of the ball. It can help us out in a lot of ways. Just to show the physical way we play is probably different from the other conferences.
Q. You look at Aaron Murray and the Georgia receivers there and I think the top quarterback in the country in passing efficiency, and the Georgia receivers are having good games down the stretch here. What kind of challenge is that going to be for the Crimson Tide secondary?
DEE MILLINER: It's going to be very challenging. The different things that Aaron does back there throwing the ball and running it. The receivers are doing a great job of connecting with him lately. Just got to be able to lock in and focus on what we can do to keep being stable on our offense. To try to stop them for the most part.
But it's going to be a hard task because of the type of game it's going to be. We know it's going to be a competitive, physical game, and they're going to try to be aggressive, and they're going to try to keep that to a minimum.
Q. I don't know how far you are into study of Georgia and how much you've seen on TV, but how much does Georgia's offense remind you of the one you see in practice? The two quarterbacks are pretty efficient. Both teams have good tailback tandems. Are there a lot of similarities in these two offenses that will be on the field Saturday?
DEE MILLINER: Yeah, you could say that because we both are balanced running and throwing the ball. We've got two great quarterbacks with high pass efficiency. So you could say that in a way to try to come out with us on defense, and try to stop them with the run and try to just keep their passes to a minimum, hopefully we can do a good job of containing them.
Q. I know you all are number one in scoring defense and total defense. The two close games that you have with LSU and Texas A&M, I know they were both went over 400 yards. How much of that was the opponents and how much was mistakes that maybe you've fixed since then?
DEE MILLINER: It was great plays by the offense. The team we played made great plays, but we could have done a better job of containing them and doing better on our end also.
Since then we've been trying to focus in on the smaller things that we can do better to prevent those big plays and the things they were doing on offense.
Q. I know last year was an odd situation where the national title game was another SEC game, basically. But when a team makes the SEC Championship, is there a feeling that it is a National Championship in most years or do you acknowledge that next step afterwards?
DEE MILLINER: We take every game that we play as a real big game, because it's the next game on our schedule. But this game, the SEC Championship, it's a big game for us. It gives us a chance to win in the SEC going against a great team in Georgia, which is going to be a competitive game, aggressive. But we try to focus in on each game. We know this game is big, because it can help us out getting to the next game. We're just trying to focus in on this one game and do the most that we can do to help ourselves out.
Q. You guys as a defense are ranked number one in the country, despite losing all the talent you did off last year's defense. Is it a simple matter of having a bunch of four‑star, five‑star elite guys. Is it Coach Saban and Coach Smart's defense? What is it?
DEE MILLINER: It's just a lot of guys that are buying into what we're trying to do here. The standards that have been set around here, And the guys are doing the little things and playing the roles like they're supposed to. Also the coaches, it always goes back to the coaches doing a great job of teaching us and helping us learn the things that we need to do so we can have a great team each year.
Q. Is that something that comes from being in a place that has great defense, is there motivation to be just as good as the one before you?
DEE MILLINER: Oh, yeah, always. When you play with a team that has a great defense or had a great defense before you got here, you want to keep the standard going each year to keep the reputation going each year you come in.
THE MODERATOR: C.J., could you talk about your team as you enter the game this weekend?
C.J. MOSLEY: We just come into this game treating it like it's the next week. We've got to make sure we stay folk under the circumstanced and don't worry about the small stuff and all the media and things like that. We've got to focus on our job and our game plan.
Q. I apologize to go off the subject a little bit, but this is a guy you face this year. Do you think Johnny Manziel deserves to win the Heisman Trophy?
C.J. MOSLEY: I can't really speak on that. I can't focus on how he did throughout the whole season. He had a great game against us. He did what he had to do to come out with a win against us. Overall he's a great player, but I'm not really focused on that right now.
Q. When you look at the two Georgia freshmen running backs, real physical, good speed and everything, have you all faced anybody like that this year? Is it going to really be a challenge to try to slow down those guys?
C.J. MOSLEY: We haven't really faced a team that has a one‑two punch like that. That's one reason Georgia's offense is pretty explosive. Then again, we're going against two great running backs each day in practice, so we have to use that to our advantage and make sure we do our best to try to contain those guys.
Q. Kind of a follow‑up to that, like you said, you both have good tailback tandems, efficient quarterbacks, both had receivers that have overcome injuries, how similar are these? When you start studying Georgia, do you see a lot of similarities between Georgia and Alabama this season?
C.J. MOSLEY: Yes, there are a lot of similarities. The have the type of football they play, and we have ours. When it comes Saturday, it's going to come down to who executes the best and eliminates the most mistakes in the game.
Q. How confident are you in your defense? The fact that both LSU and Texas A&M got over 400 yards, do you think y'all have learned from that and moved on? Just kind of talk about that and the fact that y'all give over 400 to those guys?
C.J. MOSLEY: Those two games, we knew and the coaches knew and they told us that the defense, as far as the defensive standpoint, we didn't play our best. We know we didn't. We made over 70 or 80 mental errors in that game, and that's really not us. Those games happened for a reason. They got those type of yards and plays for a reason.
So after that loss, we kind of got back to the basics of doing what we have to do. Just doing the little things we do every day in practice, wrapping up, tackles, foot work, once you lose sight of those things, that's when the big plays start to happen.
Q. Georgia has a three‑four defense and has gotten better over the last few years doing that. You guys have the three‑four, and number one defense in the country after losing so many guys. Is there something about this system that kind of works?
C.J. MOSLEY: Yeah, it's a great system. But you have to have great players and players that are willing to work and willing to do the right thing and execute their jobs for the system to work. The D‑line have to hold blocks and get certain guys, the linebackers have to play their role and stopping the run and the pass. You have to depend on and believe in the secondary to defend a pass when we're blitzing and rushing. So overall, it's a great defense. But we have to make sure we have guys that are very comfortable and committed to doing their job.
Q. I know you haven't played Georgia as a program since 2008. But when they were coming on as a defense and just getting ready to play this year, I know you only worry about the Georgia offense, but do you ever look at what a defense like Georgia is doing?
C.J. MOSLEY: I've done some comparisons between our defenses because we do some of the same style, some of the same things. But overall we've got to focus on what the offense is going to do. We've got to trust and believe our offense is going to do their job and be accountable to making their plays when they can against their defense.
Q. How valuable have the seniors been on this team to sort of navigate you guys through some things that you had to go through? Especially guys like Robert and Barrett and Damion who are fifth year seniors?
C.J. MOSLEY: It's great. As I've been here, I've seen those guys step up more and more as a leader. Every week we have a Thursday thing when the leadership gets up and really just they've been through this situation. They've been in the championship. They've been to the SEC Championship. They've won; they've lost. So this is going to bring more experience to the younger guys and me too because this is my first SEC Championship game. But we've got to treat this game like it's another game. We've got to prepare right, and have the same amount of I days in practice just like we had in the last ten games that we played.
Q. You talked about treating it like it's another game. How's that even possible when you consider the stakes on Saturday and what comes after that if you win? How's it possible to treat it like another game?
C.J. MOSLEY: Just having been accountable and having the right mindset. Why I try to do so much more for the last game if you didn't do it the first 10 games. If that's the case, we weren't getting off from the git‑go. We have to make sure everybody's doing the right things and staying focused and blocking out all the small
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