CFP National Championship: Alabama vs Georgia

Monday, January 3, 2022

Indianapolis, Indiana, USA

Lucas Oil Stadium

Alabama Crimson Tide

Brian Robinson Jr.

Press Conference

THE MODERATOR: Joining us is Brian Robinson Jr.

Q. Will Anderson just told us he's a car and he tries to keep his engine finely tuned. I was curious, what kind of car is Will Anderson? I thought he feels more of a tank but is he a Porsche, Jaguar, what is he?

BRIAN ROBINSON JR.: Will is more like a dually truck, one of those big old mud-tire, driving trucks. I can't really explain, but he's one of them guys who can get real dirty, get himself up and get ready to do what he did all over again. That's what you use those big dually trucks for, off road type of stuff.

Q. You had a couple of guys on the offensive line step up with guys being out with injuries. How did you think that unit played, and how did you see a guy like JC Latham take advantage of the opportunity he got?

BRIAN ROBINSON JR.: That's been the story with our offensive unit all year with guys going down and guys having to step up. So with JC coming into the game, he did a lot of great things for us during the game. I was just happy for him. I told him during the game, I was just like this is your moment. Don't turn back, just do everything you have to do to help this team win. I felt JC did that during the game.

Q. Last game obviously it's last game and this game is a new game. What things did you want to replicate offensively that worked last time?

BRIAN ROBINSON JR.: Just being real dominant up front. That's the main thing for our offense, just being the most physical team up front and just open up everything for us and our offense, running game, just stay consistent. Just give the quarterback time to make plays in the passing game, just be the most dominant team up front.

Q. Talking to Will, he was talking about putting the previous game with Georgia in the past. What's the balance for you in terms of flushing some of the success of that game and the lessons you learned from it to try to take advantage of that for the second time?

BRIAN ROBINSON JR.: With us playing them one time already, we could assume that they would come out and try to hit us with the same things that they played us with the first time.

But we've got to expect them to come out with some new things. We've just got to be able to adjust to it. I don't feel that we'll see the same thing that we've seen from them the first time we played them. I feel like they'll come out like a completely different team in the national championship game.

We can't get caught up on what we seen them doing in the first game; we've got to prepare for this this week.

Q. What was it like having coach Pendry back before the semifinal game. And did that contribute to, I guess, the physical nature of the game plan?

BRIAN ROBINSON JR.: Not really. He was still attending. He was just only back for one practice. All the other days that he wasn't at practice, we still had to go out and prepare and practice hard. So it really didn't make a difference with him not being there or him being there. We still had to go out and prepare the game plan the same way.

Q. Last year, when you were watching Najee Harris, looked like he kind of turned it up at the end of the season and was a big difference-maker. What did you learn from that run last year that he had?

BRIAN ROBINSON JR.: Just knowing how critical these games are. Win or go home. And when it's all on the line, you gotta go out there and give it your all to make sure you aren't the team that has to go home. As long as you're giving everything you can in your power to help this team win, everything else had just fall in place for you. That's kind of what I saw Najee do. I'm trying to kind of pick up where he left off.

Q. Growing up in Tuscaloosa, what was it like watching Alabama play in national championships? Do you have any memories that stick out to you? Any games that were your favorite to watch?

BRIAN ROBINSON JR.: Just watching Alabama play in national championships as a kid was like the biggest college football game you can watch. And anybody who truly loved football or just sports just loved watching their favorite team playing in national championship games.

And the one game that probably stuck out to me the most was the first one I got a chance to watch. That was the game versus Texas in Pasadena, Mark Ingram Heisman year. That was the first time I got to see them play in a big game like that. And watching them dominate, that performance, it really stuck out to me.

Q. What can you say about the impact that Nick Saban has had on your life from the recruiting point to where you are right now, what he's done for you and how he's commanded the best out of you?

BRIAN ROBINSON JR.: With Coach Saban, he always had faith in me since day one when he recruited me. He trusted that I was going to come here, do everything I needed to do to be successful. And since my time here, I can say he's done all that, he's done everything in his power to help me, just continue to grow on and off the field.

And, like I said, he held his word with everything he said he was going to do for me to help me be successful.

Q. How surprised are you to know that you guys are still an underdog to a team that you beat fairly handily a month ago? And do you think that might be another boost for you all?

BRIAN ROBINSON JR.: Being the underdog is just one of those normal feelings. Sometimes we always feel like the underdog even when we expected to win a game. Just a mindset that our team have, just a mindset that our team live with, just having that underdog mindset.

I feel we'll be motivated. We'll come out with the underdog mentality and be ready to play.

Q. This year, half of your career statistical carries and production have come in one single year after five years at Alabama. I guess my question is how did you mentally and physically prepare to carry the workload for Alabama? And my second question would be, how did you mentally handle those years of knowing that your opportunity will eventually come?

BRIAN ROBINSON JR.: Obviously I knew that the workload was going to increase tremendously. I had to prepare for that in the offseason, spend extra time training and just conditioning my body, preparing myself to play a season that I really didn't know what to expect. I just knew that I was going to be expected to do a lot more. So I had to kind of put myself in a position to do that.

From the following years, just as the years go by, I just felt like I couldn't waste that time just because I wasn't playing a lot or on the field as much as I wanted to be, I still had to train. I still had to prepare the same way as my opportunity was going to come at any moment; and with this being my opportunity now, I just felt like I'm preparing myself for it over the years, but working hard and still training hard.

Q. What's the dynamic of having this rematch without John Metchie available, obviously an important piece of your offense, and what's your challenge to run as effectively against Georgia as you did in the semifinals?

BRIAN ROBINSON JR.: With John being down, obviously creating more opportunity for the younger guys, I feel like they've been doing a great job. So I just feel like we can kind of play again for Metchie, where we need them, from some guys on the team.

For me to just continue to protect Bryce, give him time in the pocket, give him time to step up and use his arm to make plays and just be real firm in protection, continue to be firm in pass protection, which allows Bryce more time where he can make more plays of his own.

Q. You mentioned sort of your path and how you had to be patient to get the spotlight. When you talk to recruits, guys coming on campus for visits, things along those lines, guys who were your friends, how do you tell, or maybe how would you describe to them the experience of even though you don't play as much at Alabama at first, you're still getting better. Do you impart that to people to kids who are considering Alabama, your patience will pay off because even if you're not playing you're still improving?

BRIAN ROBINSON JR.: Well, sometimes I had to explain to some of these recruits that everything is not going to necessarily be handed to you, but everybody has their own story. Some people have just different opportunities. Some guys come in and they're granted the opportunity after their freshman/sophomore year. Some guys like myself had to wait four years beside four or five great players before they really get an opportunity to play.

But everybody's story is just different. But regardless of when your opportunity is going to be granted, you still have to prepare for it. But when they open the doors for you, if you're not ready for, the opportunity, and you didn't prepare yourself for it, then you wasted your time complaining.

So I just spent less time complaining about when I was going to get an opportunity, just spending more time training working towards what I was going to do when I did get the opportunity.

Q. Coach Saban said earlier that you never want to lose a game, but the A&M loss was probably good for you guys in a way that it just sort of propelled you guys to play a lot better and closer to your standard. What along those lines did you see after that loss that helped you get to where you guys are right now?

BRIAN ROBINSON JR.: I can say I saw more interest in practice, how we prepare. After that loss, guys started to reflect on how to prepare that week and all the things they could have done or could have done better, just how to prepare themselves for the game, which would have helped us win the game.

So guys just had to start preparing better, working harder, just spending more time in the film room, just continue to learn and continue to get better so that those same mistakes don't come up in the next game that affected us in the game versus A&M.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports
115865-1-1045 2022-01-03 17:56:00 GMT

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