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November 26, 2018

Jonah Williams

Atlanta, Georgia

THE MODERATOR: We're joined by Jonah Williams.

JONAH WILLIAMS: We're really excited about the opportunity that we have, having worked hard to run the table this season. And our next week's challenge is a great team, this Georgia team. And we obviously played them last year in the national championship, but (indiscernible) down to business. (Indiscernible) talking about last year, it was really about what we can do this year, moving forward. So we're excited about this challenge ahead of us.

Q. You and Tua are having a great year throwing the ball, throwing the ball much more than in the past. Have you had to put extra time on your pass protection and blocking to prepare to say -- the Alabama team you played on earlier in your career, where a little more run-oriented? How has that worked out with the offensive linemen?
JONAH WILLIAMS: I wouldn't say that we're putting more emphasis on anything. Our goal as an O line and offense is to execute whatever play Coach obviously calls in. If he calls in a pass play, our job is to protect Tua and allow him to make the throws he needs to make calls.

And of they call a run play, our goal is to block everyone up and try to make plays for our running backs. I don't really think we put an emphasis on one of those more than the other. I think that our goal is just execute the play called, and we obviously have a lot of playmakers both with quarterback, receivers and running back and tight ends. And I think that as-on O line, we really want to facilitate their success, be it a run or a pass.

Q. What is your impression of the Georgia defense, watching them on tape the last few games?
JONAH WILLIAMS: Georgia's obviously extremely talented, extremely well coached. Coach Smart and Tucker do a great job over there. Their players play really well within their scheme. They also have a lot of talent. I think that goes without saying.

So it's our biggest challenge, both because they're a great team and because it's the next game. And I think that they're going to give us their best game, so it's on us to give our best game as well. So that's what we're preparing for this week.

Q. You guys have been so dominant this year. Who is the toughest team you've played?
JONAH WILLIAMS: I think that with the slate we played in the SEC, I think you can't really sit here and rank teams as far as who is the best. I think that each team poses different challenges both as far as scheme, personnel. I firmly believe the SEC is the best conference and we play those guys week in, week out.

And I don't know if there's a best team that I could say that we played. I think that all of them have been really good and pose a lot of threats. And you can't ever be lax because each week you play great opponents. So I think that's kind of our mindset is I think that we're battle tested, but we know that Georgia is a very good opponent as well. So we have to prepare for them the same way we have for everyone else.

Q. How has Tua evolved over the season?
JONAH WILLIAMS: I think Tua is an obviously extremely talented guy who also works very hard, and it's a combination we love to have here at Alabama. We obviously have talent but talent can only take you so far if you don't work hard week in, week out. And I think that's what he's been doing.

I think he executes the offense extremely well. He's able to make plays happen and find open receivers and know how to distribute the ball in the scheme of our offense. And so it's exciting as an offensive lineman that we have somebody back there who can make the plays happen.

We're in a position to set him up to make the plays and when he's able to do that it's really exciting. I'm not a quarterbacks coach, so I'm not in a position to comment on his mechanics and the more finer details of this game. But it's obviously exciting with the points he's able to put up and the production he's able to have, working so well within our offense.

Q. When you look at Georgia's defense, what really jumps out at you as the biggest challenge for you guys?
JONAH WILLIAMS: I think the defense as a whole is a huge challenge, I would say, and how well-coached they are. You don't see a lot of mental assignments and busts on film as well as their talent level, I think that across the board there's not really a soft spot within their defense. And so that poses a lot of challenges for us as an offense, because it really comes down to us executing.

We obviously have talented guys, too, in a good scheme. But we know that we have to play our best game to be successful against them.

Q. Jonah, when breaking down this Georgia defense, how comparable is this Georgia defense to Alabama's defense?
JONAH WILLIAMS: I think obviously as far as scheme goes, Coach Smart having coached here, there's some similarities. I think that he's also three years removed, so it's not a carbon copy. And we're obviously three years removed with a few different DCs since his time here. So I wouldn't say it's identical in that sense.

But I do think there's some similarities. And the biggest thing is just the way that they play, the manner in which they play. I think that how well they're coached allows them to play very aggressively because they're confident within their scheme and they know everyone else is doing their job as well.

So I think that I wouldn't say that it's identical as far as scheme goes, but I think there are some similarities in which, the style they play.

Q. If you could, take me inside the huddle. What kind of huddle does Tua run, and is it always a serious huddle?
JONAH WILLIAMS: Yeah, I think that when we're out on the field and everything, I think that it's all about execution. It's all about, there's not a lot of time for any extracurriculars when we're out there. But I think Tua is a good motivator.

Off the field he'll come up and say, hey, thanks for that protection there, that type of thing. It's always exciting to hear from the quarterback, when he's having success out there, giving credit to everyone else as well.

So I think when we're on the field it's obviously just executing the plays that are called. But off the field he's a good leader.

Q. Even before the quarterback controversy, with the quarterback controversy way back last winter, your coach said whoever is going to win that job has to win the locker room. Jalen had done it as a starter. How did Tua do it? Was that accurate? Did he have to win the locker room first?
JONAH WILLIAMS: Yeah, I think so. I don't think there's only one person that can win a locker room, per se. I think if you're going to be the starting quarterback, then you have to everyone's respect. And I think all our quarterbacks have everyone's respect from the locker room.

I think that Tua's obviously a likable guy, and he comes to work every day. Despite some of the stardom that he probably gets as far as attention from the outside, he doesn't really carry himself in that way. And as an offense, it's exciting to see the guy who is kind of at the lead of it to be working as hard as everyone else. So I think that that's one of the big ways that he's kind of one of the team is just his approach each day and just kind of how he leads us.

Q. How much does it help to win the locker room when you win the National Championship coming in and leading your team back?
JONAH WILLIAMS: Yeah, no, I think that certainly helps.

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