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January 8, 2022

Jamaree Salyer

Indianapolis, Indiana, USA

Lucas Oil Stadium

Georgia Bulldogs

Press Conference

Q. From the offensive line's perspective, what's the biggest carry-over that you want to see from the Orange Bowl to Monday night?

JAMAREE SALYER: Just the physicality, just playing with that same intensity that we played with in that game. I think we knew we had our backs up against the wall. That's pretty much the name of the game, both teams have their backs up against the wall this time. Kind of playing for glory this time.

The same intensity and execution and being on the same page. I thought when we we're on the same page, we're very dominant offensive line. Not too many teams can mess with us. Just being on the same page, understanding the game plan and executing it at a high clip. And just play it with the same intensity, that's what it comes down to, to impose our will and take over the game.

Q. Obviously fantastic game against Michigan. What would you say was the biggest thing that changed between the SEC Championship game and the Michigan game for you? Was that about getting more healthy as much as anything else?

JAMAREE SALYER: Are you talking about for me personally or for the team?

Q. For you personally, talking about Jamaree at left tackle.

JAMAREE SALYER: For me, I just wanted to get more healthier for that game, just hitting rehab hard. I think just coming out with the right mindset. Understanding that a great challenge and a big part of our game plan was me doing my job, was McLendon doing his job. We took it personally to make it our best game so the team had a chance to do something special. I think we understood that going into it and that's what we wanted to do.

Q. Wanted to ask you about James Cook. What is different about him this year maybe than -- this year he's finally having the season that a lot of people thought he would have in his couple of years in Athens?

JAMAREE SALYER: I think he's more just understanding his leadership role, honestly. Helping his performance on the field, understanding that his leadership on the field can make him a more impactful player on the field.

I know a lot of guys look up to him take success in what he says. He's become more vocal leader than in years past.

As far as years past, Cook is going to be Cook. He's a Florida kid. They love football down there, they play football a different way. Not many things affect him, the weather or anything else. He loves the game of football and goes out and plays it hard every single day in practice.

The things you see on Saturday is the things we see in practice every single day. Guys not able to cover him when he's flexed out, him running really hard. That's just Cook. Not anything special to him. He just is who he is and he plays the game the right way. He's a special player.

Q. I had a follow-up question to what you just said about bringing the same intensity, because it felt like it looked a little bit different, at least from where we were sitting. Can you just describe the difference in the intensity level you felt you guys had against Michigan compared to maybe the last game that you had played?

JAMAREE SALYER: I think we just came out hot against Michigan in the Orange Bowl. We came out hot first drive. We got the ball first and things just started rolling. The ball started rolling down the hill. We were executing at a really high level. All the plays that were called, we were just kind of all on the same page, understanding not necessarily what we were doing but why we were doing it, at the same time.

I think that's even more important especially when you talk about a game like football where there has to be cohesiveness.

It kind of felt different. We all felt we were pushing in the same direction. I think that worked very well for us, especially in the first half we played really well. Had some things we had to clean up in the second half.

But we played a really great game. I'm proud how we played up front and on offense. Because it seems like we were really into our game planning and all pushing in the same direction.

Q. What can you say about the offensive line in general? You guys don't typically get the spotlight but championships are won in the trenches. What can you say about this year's line at Georgia and some of the guys that are there with you to guide them to the national championship game?

JAMAREE SALYER: It honestly has been a special group. Throughout the years you've always had a special group, but this group is definitely special to me. It's kind of my group now, being a senior. So it's a special group of guys.

Honestly I tell them all the time -- I've definitely been telling them as recently that it's been fun to be your guys' senior, to be the captain up front for you guys because they make it easy for me. It's not hard to get them to do the right things. It's not hard to get them to show up to things on time, do things the right way, to practice hard. Those guys just kind of do it.

They understand the goal. They understand what practice means. They understand what showing up on time and doing things the right way means. So it makes it easy to be, to be the old guy in the room. It's not like chasing around a bunch of kids. It's just telling guys this is what we need to do and they just kind of get it done.

And they're really great at accepting challenges and that's kind of been the theme of our team this year, just accepting the challenges that either the coaches may present or the leaders may present and just kind of rise to the occasion.

I'm definitely lucky and blessed to be able to have had this group, to be the captain of this offensive line group because it's a special group. I'm not sure there would be one like it again, to me, but, yeah, a special group of guys from young to old.

Q. How tired are you guys of hearing about your record against Alabama?

JAMAREE SALYER: I mean, it's definitely motivation. I wouldn't say tired of it is. It is what it is. It's the truth. You can't really run away from the truth. That's what it is. That's our record. But we're not trying to make it an emotional thing, where you go out playing with emotions.

You want to be calm, collected and have composed attack. Play our game not necessarily play their game but be who we are. We're good enough at what we do. We have great coaches. We have great players and great game plan.

We are good enough at what we do. The record has been the record but we're -- this is a new game coming up. A different game, different environment. One different than I've ever played in. The stakes are different. We want to play this game. Not worry about the last few.

Q. What makes Will Anderson Jr. different from other guys you've had to block in your career?

JAMAREE SALYER: He's a very high motor guy. Freak athlete, very high motor guy. He can run. And he plays to the whistle. He plays to the whistle. Obviously very explosive player. Understands what he's trying to do and what he's trying to accomplish with every snap.

And he just plays hard. He plays the game the right way. He's a very talented player. You can kind of see that from him coming out of high school, that he was going to be a talented player because he was playing at a different speed than everybody else at that level. And he still is now.

It's going to be a great matchup. I'm very excited for it and it's going to be a good game. He's a great player, excellent player. I'm excited to play against him.

Q. Beyond with Stetson, what he's had to do to get to this point, is part of the reason that you as teammates are kind of drawn to him the way he carries himself? And how would you describe the way that he carries himself, as a person, not just a player?

JAMAREE SALYER: You know, as a person, I think Stetson is just going to be Stetson. He's like kind of quiet but he can be loud when he wants to be. Jokester. He's calm and collected. He's confident in who he is. That's just Stetson Bennett.

A country kid, south Georgia kid. He'll be that one kid that will walk into the locker room blast country music. That's just Stetson. He doesn't want to be a person that he's not and he's never going to be. And I think it's just the genuineness in who he is and what he represents kind of draws people to him because he's going to be Stetson at all times.

There's nothing anybody can do about that, can say to change him. He's going to be Stetson. And I think that everybody kind of draws to that just because we know that all times we're going to get Stetson, not somebody else.

Q. Looking at the schedule, looking at I guess the psyche of this and seeing what Alabama did, is it fair to say that Georgia hadn't really been punched in the mouth in a while? It's been a while since you guys lost. Is there a psychology to coming off a game like that? You mentioned coming out with that fire against Michigan. I just wonder if that's just the response of elite athletes when they have a failure like that at that level?

JAMAREE SALYER: I think it's interesting to me, everybody says we haven't been, quote/unquote, punched in the mouth. I think every Saturday you line up in the SEC everybody's throwing punches. You line up in those man fronts and you turn around hand the ball off, it's a bloodbath out there pretty much every Saturday, just like it is on their side. I think it's interesting everybody makes that narrative.

But they played a better game than us. They outexecuted us on that given Saturday. They had a better game plan. I think that's what it came down to. I think we understood that coming out of that game, and we wanted to make the adjustments that we needed to make. From an offensive standpoint. I know the defense has to.

I think that's what it comes down to is just making the adjustments, understanding that these are different stakes. Like I said, it's just different. And we understand that it's something we really want and understanding that things can be different this time. Doesn't have to be the same narrative over and over again. We control our destiny. Not anybody else. Not the media. Not Alabama. We control our destiny and that's how we want it.

Q. You mentioned the bond the seniors have. What would it mean to you to not only walk away with the national championship win but to become the most decorated senior class in the history of this program in terms of total victories?

JAMAREE SALYER: It's definitely special. Honestly hadn't even thought about that since before the SEC Championship, the last time we talked about it as a team.

But it's definitely something special to us. It's crazy, like, as you say, you have one foot out the door, you think back to all the different memories you have, your first time meeting certain guys, first time being on campus, first time getting recruited and showing up here. It's just kind of crazy as you walk down memory lane. But it's definitely something special we built here.

You remember the good days. You remember the dog days in Sanford Stadium, scrimmaging. And you remember all of those and you find yourself talking about them with certain guys and reminiscing.

It's been a fun ride, but the ride ain't over yet. We've still got one big mission left, and we're all excited for it. We're all excited to be here.

And I think it's -- just the craziest part about it is that we're here for. This is our senior class' first time being here. So we're excited for the opportunity and can't wait to go out and play in a great environment, great stadium, and it's going to be a fun time.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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