Alabama players discuss SEC Championship game against Georgia - ABC 33/40 - Birmingham News, Weather, Sports

Alabama players discuss SEC Championship game against Georgia

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Eddie Lacy (No. 42) said Georgia's defense is very similar to Alabama's. (abc3340.com) Eddie Lacy (No. 42) said Georgia's defense is very similar to Alabama's. (abc3340.com)
C.J. Mosley (No. 32) said he is excited to play in his first SEC Championship game. (abc3340.com) C.J. Mosley (No. 32) said he is excited to play in his first SEC Championship game. (abc3340.com)
Atlanta native Chance Warmack (No. 65) said he is excited to play against the Bulldogs, a team he heard a lot about growing up in Georgia.(abc3340.com) Atlanta native Chance Warmack (No. 65) said he is excited to play against the Bulldogs, a team he heard a lot about growing up in Georgia.(abc3340.com)
Robert Lester called Georgia quarterback Aaron Murray a great athlete and manager of the game. (abc3340.com) Robert Lester called Georgia quarterback Aaron Murray a great athlete and manager of the game. (abc3340.com)

Six Alabama players including Eddie Lacy, C.J. Mosley, Chance Warmack, Kevin Norwood, Nico Johnson and Robert Lester talk about their upcoming matchup with third-ranked Georgia in the SEC Championship game.

Eddie Lacy, running back

On Georgia's defense:

"Defensively they are talented. They play physically just like our defense. I think that is what gives them the momentum that they have. Coming into this game we know that it will be a hard fought game. They are going to play for 60 minutes so we are going to have to come out and play 60 minutes as well."

On if he prefers to play stronger defenses:

"As a competitor yes you want to play in a game that they are not only going to challenge you but the other guys that are playing with you. From a competitor standpoint this is the kind of game that we like to play."

On ball security:

"Coach Burns does a great job in the individual part of practice going through ball security drills. Nobody wants to turn the ball over. Sometimes it happens and sometimes there are some that are worse than others. If we are on the goal line, ball security is going to be on your mind. You just have to keep it high and tight and know that if they don't tackle you they are going to try and rip the ball out, so we have to protect it."

On the familiarity with a defense so similar to Alabama's:

"They run the same defense as us, so going into it we know what the d-line and the linebackers are going to do. I don't want to say it gives us an advantage but it is something that we have been seeing every day when we hit the practice field. I think that helps out a lot."

On the difference in pressure from last year:

"There is a lot more pressure, but that is what we like. You come to Alabama to be in situations like this and play in games like this. I know that we are going to get ready for the game."

C.J. Mosley, linebacker

On his injury last year:

"After the injury happened I had some doubts, but when they got me in the doctor and they told me what was going to happen as far as surgery and being able to come back, I was fortunate enough to have a blessed season. I didn't miss any practice in spring ball or summer ball. I am very happy and very fortunate."

On the SEC Championship:

"For me it is my first go-around and I am very excited to be in it. The seniors and juniors have already played in an SEC Championship and they will know what to expect. Their experience and leadership will guide us."

How his role has changed from last year:

"Really I am just more vocal. It has been a fun experience for me. I have been able to talk more and talk to the freshmen. We are going to keep getting better. I am a quiet guy who doesn't talk too much, on the football field it comes natural, but in meetings and off the field I have had to step up."

Chance Warmack, offensive lineman

On the balance of the game:

"You always want to be balanced as a team, passing and running. You always want to be a two dimensional team, you never want to be one dimensional so the defense has to stay alert."

On Jarvis Jones:

"I have been hearing about him all season. I hear that he is an excellent pass rusher. I have watched him a few times on TV and he is a tremendous athlete. I am excited to play him. Football is a team sport. One person can't win the game. We are looking at the defense as a whole; they have tremendous athletes who can make good plays. We will get into it more as we watch film. Looking at the teams they have played this season they have done a good job."

On Georgia's improvement since the Florida game:

"They are a good team in every aspect that is why they are where they are right now. They play a physical game of football and you have to respect that as an opponent and you look for that in a game. I would not expect any less."

On the significance of this game:

"I would be lying if I said this game was not special. Our offensive line coach played for Georgia back in the day. I am from Atlanta. It will be exciting to play a team that you have grown up hearing about."

Kevin Norwood, wide receiver

On the offense:

"We were clicking on all cylinders. It is fun to click on all cylinders because we get the ball moving, put points on the board and keep the defense on the sideline, and let them rest their bodies up for the next series. It's going to be a tough one come this weekend because we have Georgia, and we know that they are going to have a physical defense. They are going to play physical, so it's up to us as an offensive group to move the ball and keep our defense on the sideline."

On leadership as the most experienced wide receiver on the team:

"They are definitely going to have to step up. Amari Cooper and Christion Jones have been doing a good job all season, great job at that. They are young, so the main thing they have to do is keep their head straight and stay focused at the task at hand and not worry about anything else. As the leader of this receiving corps, it's up to me to stay healthy also and make sure that the receivers are doing their jobs and make sure we are communicating throughout the week and staying focused.  We need to make sure we go in the film room and make sure we are preparing right."

On the mindset going into the SEC Championship game

"We have always just stayed focused on what we have to do and prepare each week, day in and day out for each team and stuff like that. We really couldn't control what was going on outside of our control. We were only able to control what we could control. It feels great to be able to play in the SEC Championship again. My freshman year I wasn't able to play. I wanted to. I was on the sideline, and I wanted to play. Now I actually get the opportunity, and I'm going to take full advantage of it."

Nico Johnson, linebacker

On the importance of putting pressure on Aaron Murray:

"It's going to be very important. If we let him sit back in the pocket, he can hurt you. It has shown all year. We are going to have to make him less comfortable in the pocket. That's one of our goals going into every game is affect the quarterback the best way you can, and that's what we are going to have to do."

On Kirby Smart's influence during the game:

"He sees things that we don't see. He sees things that happen before they even happen. Every time we come off the field, we are correcting things from the last series or things he thinks is going to happen the next series. He is Coach Smart; he is here for a reason. He just tries to make us understand where he feels like we are vulnerable at during the game, and he is going to make the right call to put us in the best situation to make a play."

On what he may have dedicated his season to:

"When I lost my mom, it was kind of difficult. I didn't know which way to turn. It just had me stuck for a minute. Coach (Scott) Cochran, thank God, he got me through that time. Every year, every time I go out on the practice field or the field, it's for her. She's the one who kept me motivated. She's the one who wanted me to get my degree and play my best no matter what the adversity or circumstance, so every time I go out, I try to give my best because you never know what can happen. You never know when my last football game is going to be, so I try to give my best week in, week out."

Robert Lester, safety

On the meaning of the SEC Championship game:

"Last year, we missed out on getting the chance to play in the SEC Championship. I think it's a huge stage to showcase your talent and going against a great opponent such as Georgia, it's going to be a great game to play in."

On preparation for Aaron Murray:

"That's exactly why Coach Saban makes us go ones against the ones. We see a great quarterback every day at practice. We are getting ready to face a great quarterback. I think AJ simulates a great quarterback for us for the game."

On thoughts about Aaron Murray:

"He's a great athlete, and he manages the games well. He knows exactly what to do with the ball when he is in pressure, and he has a great talent corps around him to distribute the ball."

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