Alabama defenders discuss Notre Dame, BCS title game

Nico Johnson, Robert Lester and C.J. Mosley met the media in South Florida on Friday. (

Alabama players Dee Milliner, C.J. Mosley, Robert Lester and Nico Johnson met the media in South Florida on Friday to discuss Monday night's BCS National Championship game against No. 1 Notre Dame.

Their defensive coordinator, Kirby Smart, also joined them at the news conference before they all went back to work at Berry College for Alabama's second practice in Miami.

Offensive coordinator Doug Nussmeier and his quarterback, AJ McCarron, spoke about the game on Thursday.

CB Dee Milliner

On Everett Golson

"He's a great quarterback. He makes plays last longer by using his legs. Any time you've got a dual-threat quarterback that can run and pass the ball like he does, they can be a challenge at any time because he can make plays last longer with his legs. If he gets flushed out of the pocket he can create plays by running or he can look down field to throw the ball."

On Kirby Smart

"Its just the different schemes and things that he does against other teams, the way he looks at film and the way he goes about picking out plays to stop whatever they are doing. Players on the team are buying in on what he's trying to teach us and just going out there and executing the plan that he has each week."

On how it feels to finally get back to football

"It seems like we haven't played football in a really long time. We're just happy to be in Miami, it's a great city. We're out of the cold in Alabama; it's kind of hot down here. We're just happy to be back in the championship and to compete and come out on top."




DB Robert Lester

On practicing in South Florida

"I think by being outside here - we actually haven't seen the sun in a while - that helps us get into the game environment and is good for our bodies to adjust to the weather."

On experience of playing in another BCS National Championship

"It is a great environment being in Miami to play for a national championship. It is a great opportunity to play against a great team, I don't think it gets any better than this."

On this being his last game

"Of course it is going to stink leaving Alabama, it's all that I have really known. I have been with these guys for five years, wearing crimson and white for five years. To get into any other color is going to be different."

On the weather in South Florida

"The humidity was a little bit of a shock, but we were ready for it and adjusted. I am glad we are able to get some practices down here and get used to the weather. However, we are used to the heat from the Tuscaloosa in the summer and the beginning of the season. We'll be able to adjust quickly playing here in this climate."

On the game plan

"We are going to go into this game with the same goals we have had all season - stop the run and defend the pass. They are very talented with a mobile quarterback, great receivers and running backs."

On Notre Dame QB Everett Golson

"[Everett] Golson is a very mobile quarterback and we have to be aware of that. He can extend plays and we definitely want to limit that since big plays can happen. We'll have to stay disciplined on defense."

On head coach Nick Saban

"You definitely have to have thick-skin, but it is all a part of his plan. He wants to make you into the best player you can be. We have faced a lot of adversity with other team's fans causing distractions, but he keeps us focused. He is hard on us, but it is all for the good. Coach basically turns boys into men. He is on us about being on-time, details and the little things. By paying attention to the little things, it can bring you a long way in life."

On facing the hurry-up offense

"We have faced that several times this year and we will be prepared for it. You have to stay disciplined and get the calland get ready to go quickly."




LB C.J. Mosley

On preparing for Notre Dame rather than LSU for the National Championship

"It is different. That is one of the main things; it's a team we haven't faced before so it will be a new atmosphere [and] a new team. It's obviously something we have to adjust to. We've been practicing in the cold and in the rain back in Tuscaloosa so it's important to get the weather down and [get used to] playing in the heat."

On Notre Dame QB Everett Golson

"He's a great scramble quarterback [and] he's a great athlete so we have to do our best to try and maintain him. We have to do [what we can to] stop him from making the plays that he can make. He's a great player so like Johnny [Manziel] he's going to make the plays that he's going to make, but we just have to do our best to contain him."

On how this defense compares to other ones he's been a part of

"Each defense had some great things that they had, but you can't really compare each defense as the same. But I think we're up there as far as this year."

On playing with some young guys on the defense

"They are just stepping up when they have to. They have been consistent throughout the whole year. Not only little things like not letting the outside clutter get in their head, but also playing to the Alabama standard."

On being the favorite heading into the National Championship

"It's a championship game so being the spread or being the underdog really doesn't matter. Both teams are going to give it all they got [and] it's the last game for some of these players so everybody is going to lay it all on the line."



LB Nico Johnson

On third time in national championship

"It's a little bit different, different team. The focus is so important for this team [more] than any other team I've been on. Right now we're just enjoying the time, having fun with what we're doing, and practicing hard every day."

On adjusting to Everett Golston

"I don't think it puts pressure on us; he's a good player. But I think by playing the players we played throughout the year has prepared us for a player like him. We just know that we have to do our job as far as the front seven even more against a player like him. I think the last player we played similar was Manziel and everybody knows what happen in that game. We just have to try to keep him in the pocket more, try to make him less comfortable, and get at them the best we can."

Comparing Golston and Eifert

Similar just running, and using is speed a lot. They're both good athletes. We're going to have to be on our P's and Q's even more. He's able to be a pocket passer and pull it out and run it and can hurt you in both ways we're just going to have to be on it.

On Tyler Eifert

"I don't think we have [seen anyone like him]; he has size and speed at the same time. So we're going to have to be on our P's and Q's, technique, when we're guarding him, making sure we're not too high or too low on him. We're just going to have to play physical football throughout for 60 minutes."

On adjusting to Eifert's position switches

"Just paying attention to detail and watching a lot of film because if you don't like you said yourself, they move him around a lot and if you don't watch a lot of film and pay attention to detail that's where he's at his best."

On Nick Saban

"People think coach is an uptight person or something. When it's business time, it's business time, we respect that about him. When it's joking around time he jokes around a lot with us, all the time, especially in practice. We have fun doing what we do. He just expects a lot out of us. Coming here to 'Bama as a freshman, he's not going to coach you as a freshman or sophomore you are, he's going to coach you to the junior or senior you're going to be down the line. That's what makes us year in and year out be so good because we respect that and we understand that and we respond the right way to that. He's a laid back coach to me [and] this is my fourth year with him. [Coach Saban tells jokes] all the time."

On 2010 season lessons and focus of this season

"That we cannot worry about all the external factors; the only thing we can worry about is what we do week in and week out. And we kind of understood that throughout the year, we're not trying to repeat or anything like that. We're just trying to go out and whoever we're playing that week, we're trying to dominate them for 60 minutes. I think this is the best we've done since I've been here. We've refocused ourselves and understand there's room for improvement week in and week out and we just want to get better. We still feel like we haven't played that complete 60 minute game where we've actually played well throughout the whole game. It comes down to that fourth quarter where we've got to push through and get that win. We'restill searching for that complete 60 minutes and hopefully it's this game."