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December 26, 2019

Kenneth Murray

Atlanta, Georgia

Q. What are the most important things you have to do to slow down Burrow and company?
KENNETH MURRAY: I think our coaches have done a phenomenal job giving us a game plan. For us, we'll have to stay in that and not try to get outside of that. Understanding that, you know, if we do our jobs and we do our jobs effectively, we get the results we want. Understand that's all it's going to take. That's all that we need to do.

We don't need to try to press and do anything extraordinary outside of that. I think that's what's going to be extremely critical for us.

Q. How have you approached the loss of these really good players?
KENNETH MURRAY: Well, it's been something that we've dealt with all season long. So it's next man up. I got confidence in everybody in the room. It's going to be next-man-up mentality. They have to come in and produce. I think our coach has done a phenomenal job of being able to adjust with the losses we have right now. So I think they've put us in the best position to succeed.

Q. The LSU run game, it looks like Helaire might not play. What have you seen from them? What do you expect? What do you need to do?
KENNETH MURRAY: I expect them to do what they do. I expect them to come in and run the ball effectively. It's going to up to us to stop them. They have some really good backs. I'm excited to get out.

Q. You've been here for three years. Been the guy for three years. Do you feel you've ever been as prepared for a game as much as this one in it just seems to me unusual on this time around?
KENNETH MURRAY: No. I think this is definitely the most prepared that I've been. I feel like this is the most complete team that we have. Again, offense, defense, special teams, able to play complimentary football.

Q. With Jalen's name recognition, and you saw his work ethic in terms of the weight room, did that speak to you as to what kind of teammate he would be?
KENNETH MURRAY: Yeah. You know, he came in, he lifted a lot of weight. He tried to out-lift me in the power clean, but that didn't happen.

No, he came in and worked. And I think that was something that you just -- you were able to see and take from it the kind of guy he was. I just think it was something that was extremely positive for getting a feel for how he was early on.

I think that that's something that hasn't changed. He's always been somebody who comes in and tries to go to work every day with a purpose. I think his ability to be able to spread that throughout the team has been something that he's done extremely well.

Q. Have you found that he's a serious dude, like he's almost on a business trip? He's locked in?
KENNETH MURRAY: Well, he still is human. So, I mean, we are still his teammates. So we joke around. We laugh around with him and everything. But, you know, him, just like anybody else on the team, me, when it's time for business, it's business. It's strictly business. It's strictly football.

There's a lot of things that are going on with us this season, and it's been extremely critical for us to be able to focus during those times. That's something that we've done effectively.

Q. So if you don't necessarily feed off him but you draw from him that focus on we have a job to do.
KENNETH MURRAY: Well, I think when it's time to be locked in on football, as a team, we've all been locked in on football. I think it's time to have fun, we've all had fun too.

I don't think the whole team is one person. I think it's been a collective effort.

Q. You mentioned this being the most complete team you've had. What has that process been like?
KENNETH MURRAY: It's been a journey. That's just like any other season. It's going to be a journey. We've been through the ups and the downs, and I think overall, as a defense, we've listened.

I think we've listened to our coaches and I think our coaches have put us in the best position to succeed. And we've learned a valuable lesson if we don't listen to the coaches, we don't get the results that we want.

So it's extremely critical for us to execute this week, come out and execute this game and play this game like it's no other. So I'm just looking forward to Saturday.

Q. What have been some of the areas where you guys are that much better than a year ago or two years ago?
KENNETH MURRAY: I think it's just, you know, the overall confidence level is definitely something that's up week in and week out. I think guys understanding that, you know, if we just do our jobs, then we'll have success. I think that's one of the areas that's been up.

I think just overall, just us understanding that we don't strain to the ball not to get yelled at by our coaches. We strain to the ball because it's a weapon for us. It's something that can make us extremely good. I think understanding that concept has been something that's been extremely important.

Q. How much did you hear externally or discussed of these are things we need to --
KENNETH MURRAY: Well, I think going throughout the season, you don't really care about what externally is being said. That's rule number one in our defensive rooms, whatever is said externally, we don't listen to it. We listen to everything that's internal.

During the times we weren't playing our best, yeah, we heard it. When we weren't playing to our standard, internally we heard about it. It was a big deal, something that was made known and Coach was in our face about it.

I think those times, we had to come to an understanding that during those moments where you want to make a play, it's not time to press and make a play outside of the defense. It's not time to try to do too much.

The way to get things turned around is by making the play, the routine plays within the defense. So I think understanding that and understanding that we all have to do our jobs and do it at an elite level is what has gotten us to this point.

Q. To go from some of the times when you're not feeling great about the performance to now and the kind of praise from LSU, does that mean anything?
KENNETH MURRAY: Don't mean nothing. I think as a group we've been through too much pain to let some words detour us from going out there and playing up to our standard or letting that get to our head and think that we're better than who we are. For us, it's going to come down to us focusing on our jobs. If we're not out there doing our jobs, at the end of the day the film doesn't lie.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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