Milroe Got ‘Last Laugh’ on O’Brien
Jalen Milroe has this press conference thing down to an art. He displayed those skills, which mirror those he shows on the field, again at Thursday's Rose Bowl Alabama offense's news conference. Here's a look at what the Tide quarterback had to say in L.A.
On relating to Nick Saban despite the age gap
"It's funny, since the time I stepped foot on campus, he's been the same person every single day, the same person since I've been here. I don't know what it is. I think some secret formula that he built up to allowed him to be the person that he is to this day. I don't know what that secret formula is, but he's something different, and he's separated himself from other coaches, for sure.
"Since I've been here I have not seen him like that excited after no win at all. Like we'll have a good win, I'm talking about we're excited after the game, we're happy. We get to the locker room, he's just like ready to leave. I'm like, man, we just won. You know what it took to win? He's a unique guy. But that's what makes Coach Saban."
On if Alabama intimidates opponents, even unbeaten Michigan
"A hundred percent. This A means a lot to people. We take a lot of pride in wearing the A. What it comes to opponents, it's a hard task to beat down Alabama. It's a credit to Coach Saban, how well he coaches, the supporting cast he has with his coaching staff and his medical staff and everyone that's all a part of it, his recruiting staff, as well.
"It's a lot of contributing factors that allow a team to be successful, and then when it comes to playing another opponent, like I said, it's a hard task to take down Alabama, so it definitely is intimidating."
On what he's learned about Michigan
"They're a physical team, play really hard, have a veteran group that play well together because they have great chemistry. There's a reason why they're undefeated. They force a lot of turnovers. They play disciplined. They're fast to the football.
"They have a lot of components to them that make them successful, and statistically you see that, and it's evident when you put on the tape.'
On the evolution of his relationship with Tommy Rees
"This is the first time I had an OC that played the position, that played the quarterback position. I see quarterback in the lens of him as a play caller. I think I'm very receptive of his coaching because he played the position, played at a high level at Notre Dame, and now that he's coaching. He's able to coach the position, and I'm able to absorb it as much as possible.
"It's been great. It's been great having Coach Rees here. Honestly I'm trying to build as much as possible and be the best quarterback I can be."
On what Michigan does to cause turnovers
"Got to start up front. Up front they have really good defensive line, good edge rushers on the outside. Their interior D-line play really hard, physical. They do a lot of stunts, do a lot of picks up front, which is something that we're trying to prepare as much as possible for that circumstance because they do a really good job forcing pressure on the quarterback, making him throw the ball and affect him as much as possible.
"That is something we have to prepare for, and they're really good at it."
On how he's improved throughout the season
"I think the biggest thing was embracing hard. For a quarterback to strive in the SEC and to play at an elite level you have to hard, because there are a lot of uncertainties while you play the position, and with that, you have to have the right proper mindset. So I think that's the biggest thing is having the right mental to approach the games, approach the week, and approach everything that goes on with being a starting quarterback, especially in the SEC.
"I think that's the biggest thing, trying to learn as much as possible."
On former OC Bill O'Brien telling him he needed to change positions
"How would you feel if somebody told you you suck? The biggest thing for me was be true to myself. I had an opportunity, and I seized it.
"There's a bunch of positions I could have switched to, but look where I am now, so who gets the last laugh?"
On bouncing back from the USF game benching
"God makes no mistakes. Biggest thing for me is follow through with God's plan and lean on him, not on my own understanding. That is something that I truly took to heart, and I have a great support system around me that will lift me through anything. During that situation it was big for me to lean on my Lord and Savior and also my family, and that was something that got me through that situation.
"But also I took it as a learning moment, looked in the mirror, figured out some things I need to improve on. At the end of the day it's all about being the right teammate, being the best teammate I can be. I lean on the family acronym 'Forget About Me, I Love You.' That was critical when I went into that week.
"No matter who was in, I prepared the same way, but at the end of the day, when it was an opportunity for someone else to play, I was just trying to be the best teammate I can be."
On being considered a true passer
"When you look at me, you don't think I play quarterback. You think I play DB, tight end. You don't think I played quarterback. Growing up when I went to camp they labeled me as a receiver or they saw me as not playing the quarterback position. With that, I beat all odds by playing quarterback, and that is something I try to do as much as possible, be an efficient quarterback, be the best version of myself playing the position, because at the end of the day I want to be the best that I'm doing right now.
"I think passing is the biggest thing, because as a quarterback, it's a lot of elements of your game that you need to be clicking. Number one is playing quarterback is throwing the football because the ball can get there quicker than my legs can. That's something that I emphasize when it comes to the off-season is to get me to where I'm at now because that is very important, a very important piece of an efficient offense to move in the right direction."
On how LANK [Let All Naysayers Know} has embodied this team
"LANK was a model that we came with through the off-seasons. It was good for our team. But we have a great support system around me, like I talked about earlier, because our marketing team does a really good job marketing it. All we do is pitch our ideas and they take it off and push it to different outlets and allow us to build a brand off of it.
"They do a really good job off of that. And that goes for the LANK and also 'Grave Digger,' as well. Our marketing team does a really good job with that, and they do a good job just allowing us to focus on football, and they do all the marketing pieces for us."
On the progress this year of Isaiah Bond
"He's constantly willing to grow. When you have a player like that, that is something that's hard to beat, because he's continuously trying to grow. He's continuously trying to be the best teammate he can be. He's continuously trying to be the better version of himself when he hits the practice field because practice would allow you to be successful in a game. He's done a really good job preparing.
"He does a really good job physically getting his body in shape, and so I'm just proud of his development because he's constantly willing to grow.
"I think it's a product of how he practices. When you have a guy that practices really good, he's going to have some plays for him within the system, within the game plan, and with him, he's a consistent receiver. He does a really good job at practice. That allows him to make plays an Saturdays.
"As a quarterback, to have a playmaker like that is great. For him to come through in those type of plays [like at Auburn], it's really good for us, and I'm just proud of him, and I'm happy to have him as a teammate."