LaMichael James interview with BCS press corps

LaMichael James interview with BCS press corps

LaMichael James runs for a touchdown for the University of Oregon.

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by KGW.com

kgw.com

Posted on January 6, 2011 at 12:24 PM

Updated Thursday, Jan 6 at 2:23 PM

Q. Can you talk about the importance to you of Gary Campbell and kind of what he's contributed to your career at Oregon?

LAMICHAEL JAMES: Yes, Coach Campbell, he is a great coach. He has been there I don't know how many years. He's had every running back he could possibly have. He is a great mentor for me.

He has been in every situation you can possibly coach in. He means everything to me. I think I would mean just as much to him even if I didn't play football.

Q. Can you say the same thing with Coach Kelly, his approach to the players? What he's like?

LAMICHAEL JAMES: He is intense. He is always the same. I can say he is very consistent on the things we do. He is always the same. He comes out and gives the program and my teammates energy all the time.

Q. Do you have fun with him? Is there a humor side to him?

LAMICHAEL JAMES: It is always fun. I have never seen him run down a kick-off, even though that would be really fun watching him run.

Q. When we see him, he is always just business. Every once in a while he might be sarcastic with us. With you guys, does he open up and have a lighter side?

LAMICHAEL JAMES: He does. I think that's probably why we close practice. He doesn't want you to see that side. He wants you guys to see the tough-guy role. He is a great coach.

Q. Can you give us a glimpse of what we don't see?

LAMICHAEL JAMES: I really don't know how much different it is. It is a different scale, but it is all the same game.

Just like playing anybody throughout the whole season, you got to win this game and take the same approach.

Q. Did it change your preparation --

LAMICHAEL JAMES: Not at all.

Q. -- going through that?

LAMICHAEL JAMES: You can't change your approach to the game. You have to stay consistent, what we have been doing. If you look at this game as bigger than any other game, then we are probably going to lose. You have to stay the same.

Q. How frustrating was it for those teams that took their time getting up off the pile, you know what I'm talking about, how frustrating was that for you and the offense just not being able to keep running your stuff?

LAMICHAEL JAMES: It is not frustrating for us. We look at it like we got them now, if you are going to lay down on the pile. You are not going to recover in 30 seconds or however long you take. Once you get up, we are going to keep going.

Q. Can you talk about the conference dominance in the Southeastern Conference? They won four straight national titles. Do you think the press makes too much about conference, "The Mighty SEC"? Are you anxious to get a chance to show your stuff against that conference?

LAMICHAEL JAMES: I don't think they make too much of it. They have won, so I really can't say anything negative. It is not like they are losing the championships.

I'm excited to play anybody. I don't really care what conference they are from. It is not the Pac-10 versus the SEC. It is us versus Oregon -- I mean, Auburn.

Q. Do you think there is any style in between conferences or just football?

LAMICHAEL JAMES: Just football. They put their pads on just like we do.

Q. Do you really not care about having the Pac-10 beat a SEC school? You have said that before. Do you really not think that you have something to prove to the Pac-10?

LAMICHAEL JAMES: No, not at all. We just want to win the game. We play for Oregon. We represent the Pac-10, but it is not the Pac-10 versus SEC. It is us versus Auburn.

Q. What role does your strength and conditioning play in how quickly your tempo is?

LAMICHAEL JAMES: It means everything. He is just like a coach. We were with him most of the time anyway throughout the off-season. He gets the tempo going for us. Just conditioning so we can play this way. You just can't go into the season saying, Hey, I want to play fast. It really starts right now.

Q. Do you worry about losing a step, not personally but like the whole team, just with the layoff and not being at game speed?

LAMICHAEL JAMES: No, not at all. We really practice hard. That's one thing I can say. I think we practice harder than anybody in the country. If you are going at that tempo every day, it really doesn't matter how long the layoff is.

Q. Did Texas recruit you?

LAMICHAEL JAMES: Yes, they did recruit me in the beginning.

Q. What happened there?

LAMICHAEL JAMES: I don't know. I really didn't want to go to Texas to be honest. I kind of wanted to leave.

Q. Why?

LAMICHAEL JAMES: I have been in Texas my whole life. If you can live somewhere else for free for four years, I think I might want to try that out.

Q. One of the announcers said you almost went to TCU, though?

LAMICHAEL JAMES: I did.

Q. Can you talk about that a little bit.

LAMICHAEL JAMES: That's a funny story that I really don't want to bring up. There is a reason I didn't go to TCU, and I really did like TCU.

LAMICHAEL JAMES: I can't do that. I will tell you after the game.

Q. What makes a great running back?

LAMICHAEL JAMES: Obviously you have to break tackles. Anybody can run through holes. You have to do the extra stuff right: Pick up blocks, score touchdowns obviously (smiling). I mean, a lot of things makes a great running back.

Q. Auburn statistically doesn't -- barely ranks in the top half of the FBS. What do you see on tape that makes them effective even though maybe statistically they're not some of the top-ranked defenses that you've seen?

LAMICHAEL JAMES: They have a great D line. Fairley is a great player. Bynes, No. 17, the linebacker, he is really good. They have a really physical defense. Any time you have a physical defense, they make plays. So it wears on you throughout the whole game.

Q. Do you notice they ratchet it up, play you differently after the half? Their point disparity was something like 81 fewer points in the second half versus the first half. Do you notice that when you are watching film, that they start a little slow or anything like that?

LAMICHAEL JAMES: Not at all.

Q. With everything you have been through starting back in February and then going on to an unbeaten season and being a Heisman finalist, can you he reflect back on that and talk about what you learned from your experience?

LAMICHAEL JAMES: I haven't learned anything. I'm going to continue being the same guy I was before. I have to live day-to-day and never look back to the past.

Q. Why are so many Texas running backs going to Oregon?

LAMICHAEL JAMES: I don't know. I guess they like Oregon or maybe they like me.

Q. Why do you like Oregon?

LAMICHAEL JAMES: Because of the speed, the tempo, I think that's the big thing for me, and the stability of the coaching staff.

Q. Do you notice a lot of things people are saying about the first layer of their defense is obviously really, really good but after that maybe they can be penetrated a little bit?

LAMICHAEL JAMES: I think they're all good. They have a great defense, really physical at all levels. I don't think it is just one layer. I think it is all layers.

Q. You see Arkansas puts up a huge point total, other teams did as well. Does that kind of get you a little fired up to go against them?

LAMICHAEL JAMES: Any time you are playing for a national championship, you are going to be fired up.

Q. What did it mean for you get the NFL thing out of the picture and put it aside? LAMICHAEL JAMES: It meant a lot to me.

I already knew my decision before I made it. I'm really just focused on the game. I really wasn't thinking about the NFL. That's really something that I'm not worried about right now. I'm worried about winning the game.

Q. Have you had a moment where you said, "I'm at the national championship"? I know you had your Heisman moment and stuff like that. Has there been time when you arrived and saw a sign, a press conference that you just kind of sat back and went, "Man"?

LAMICHAEL JAMES: Not really. I really don't look at it that way. If you don't win this game, then it is really not important to me.

Q. How different is this than what you guys went through last year in the Rose Bowl?

LAMICHAEL JAMES: I really don't know how much different it is. It is a different scale, but it is all the same game. Just like playing anybody throughout the whole season, you got to win this game and take the same approach.

Q. How frustrating was it for those teams that took their time getting up off the pile, you know what I'm talking about, how frustrating was that for you and the offense just not being able to keep running your stuff?

LAMICHAEL JAMES: It is not frustrating for us. We look at it like we got them now, if you are going to lay down on the pile. You are not going to recover in 30 seconds or however long you take. Once you get up, we are going to keep going.

Q. Can you talk about the conference dominance in the Southeastern Conference? They won four straight national titles. Do you think the press makes too much about conference, "The Mighty SEC"? Are you anxious to get a chance to show your stuff against that conference?

LAMICHAEL JAMES: I don't think they make too much of it. They have won, so I really can't say anything negative. It is not like they are losing the championships. I'm excited to play anybody. I don't really care what conference they are from. It is not the Pac-10 versus the SEC. It is us versus Oregon -- I mean, Auburn.

Q. Do you think there is any style in between conferences or just football?

LAMICHAEL JAMES: Just football. They put their pads on just like we do.

Q. Do you really not care about having the Pac-10 beat a SEC school? You have said that before. Do you really not think that you have something to prove to the Pac-10?

LAMICHAEL JAMES: No, not at all. We just want to win the game. We play for Oregon. We represent the Pac-10, but it is not the Pac-10 versus SEC. It is us versus Auburn.

Q. What role does your strength and conditioning play in how quickly your tempo is?

LAMICHAEL JAMES: It means everything. He is just like a coach. We were with him most of the time anyway throughout the off-season. He gets the tempo going for us. Just conditioning so we can play this way. You just can't go into the season saying, Hey, I want to play fast. It really starts right now.

Q. Do you worry about losing a step, not personally but like the whole team, just with the layoff and not being at game speed?

LAMICHAEL JAMES: No, not at all. We really practice hard. That's one thing I can say. I think we practice harder than anybody in the country. If you are going at that tempo every day, it really doesn't matter how long the layoff is.

Q. How is Seastrunk going to be?

LAMICHAEL JAMES: He is going to be really, really good. Hopefully he is better than me. He does great things for us right now. Once you get ahold of the offense, he is going to be a phenomenal running back for us.

Q. You have had a lot of things written but some of it not real flattering. Do you feel like you have been treated fairly over the last ten months?

LAMICHAEL JAMES: By my teammates, yes. By everybody else, I really don't care. I'm here for my teammates and the community back in Oregon. Everybody else, it really doesn't matter to me.

Q. Do you think Oregon will ever have one uniform?

LAMICHAEL JAMES: No.

Q. Why not?

LAMICHAEL JAMES: I have no idea. I mean, it is just -- it is just us. Everybody used to talk about our uniforms so much. Really, nobody really talks about them that much anymore. I don't think we will ever have just one.

Q. What do you think of Penn State's uniform?

LAMICHAEL JAMES: They are very traditional. I would rock them (smiling).

Q. You talked about Nick Fairley. Is it surprising to you he is so dominant after just one year of college football, Division 1?

LAMICHAEL JAMES: Even with Cam Newton, I didn't -- who even knew Cam Newton would be as good as he is today. There is a lot of college football players that are very dominant in one year.

Q. Your relationship with Cam, Heisman finalists, mutual admiration, what do you say about him?

LAMICHAEL JAMES: He is a phenomenal player. He is an even better person. I talk to him all the time. I have nothing but good things to say about Cam.

Q. How do you separate the friendship or now the game? I guess you are not going to talk to him any time soon.

LAMICHAEL JAMES: I talked to him yesterday. I mean, I don't play defense, so, I mean, we can keep our friendship cool, you know. Come before the game, probably not so much.

Q. How nice is it to get that press release out that you are coming back and you can focus on football?

LAMICHAEL JAMES: It was real big. It was becoming a distraction, like I thought it would. But I had to just get that out of there so I can focus only on football and focus only on this game.

Q. What kind of process did you go through to kind of evaluate that whole situation? I know the NFL has some rules that go with that.

LAMICHAEL JAMES: I actually really didn't think about it. The whole time I already knew what my decision was. It was just a matter of fact when I was going to release that. But, I mean, it was just me. I feel like I needed to come back for one more year or two more years or whatever it brings me.

Q. Talk about the size advantage that they have. Is that -- people look at it and they think they're not that much slower, but they are so much bigger.

LAMICHAEL JAMES: Have you ever seen any other team we played? Everybody's bigger than us. So I don't think that really matters. I think we are probably the smallest team in college football. Size doesn't matter at all.

Q. With the layoff, is there any worry that you guys have kind of lost your edge in pace of play?

LAMICHAEL JAMES: No, not at all. We had a layoff against New Mexico and we scored 72. So I think this layoff will be good for us.

Q. Talk about the second half. You guys have been so strong in the second half. They have been strong in the second half. I mean, there is obviously two confident teams. What's the impact of that when you guys finish strong like that?

LAMICHAEL JAMES: It is going to be an incredible game. They are very competitive. We are very competitive. They play very strong in the second half and so do we. It will come down to mental mistakes, fundamentals.

Q. Does Oregon need to win this game to be stamped as a power -- a yearly power like Ohio State, Alabama, teams like that?

LAMICHAEL JAMES: I mean, I don't know. We got to win the game first.

Q. Do you think it will remain the power the next 10, 20, 50 years, Oregon? LAMICHAEL JAMES: If we keep winning. Q. What's the key to that?

LAMICHAEL JAMES: Practice harder.

Q. Keeping Chip Kelly?

LAMICHAEL JAMES: Right.

Q. What's the sustained drive? You guys are known to score very fast. As a running back, is it important to sustain drives and take the methodical approach? Do you do enough of it to really enjoy it?

LAMICHAEL JAMES: I guess so. It has worked so far, so I think we need to keep doing it.

Q. TCU has the same cleats in the Rose Bowl. Some of them are having traction problems.

LAMICHAEL JAMES: I noticed that, too. Hopefully the new filling will help us out a little bit. We have a couple pairs of cleats.

Q. TCU didn't bring backup. Do you have all your old cleats with you, a backup pair?

LAMICHAEL JAMES: We have some backups.

Q. What was the ultimate reason to stay?

LAMICHAEL JAMES: Academics. I need to get my degree, and that's the most important thing to me. You can't play football forever.

Q. Do you feel like that gets enough publicity, the fact that you've done the right thing in the classroom?

LAMICHAEL JAMES: No, not at all. Nobody wants to write that stuff. Everybody wants to write the bad stuff. The good stuff nobody really wants to write.

Q. You guys usually get some pretty cool gifts no matter what Bowl you go to. What did you get for this one?

LAMICHAEL JAMES: I got one of those.

Q. A camera? LAMICHAEL JAMES: A camera, oh, yeah.

Q. What did you get?

LAMICHAEL JAMES: I'm serious. I got a camera, and I got a surround sound system.

Q. Did everybody get the same thing, or is it kind of a thing where you got to shop a little bit?

LAMICHAEL JAMES: We kind of got to shop a little bit. Everybody picked their own gifts.

Q. What were the other choices?

LAMICHAEL JAMES: Oh, man. We had a lot of different choices. Some people got a couch, PS3, Xbox.

Q. A couch?

LAMICHAEL JAMES: Yeah. Darron Thomas got the couch.

Q. Traveling with Asper and Bair, they had their family. Was it odd to see them traveling with their daughter and wives and that sort of thing?

LAMICHAEL JAMES: Not at all. Those guys are around. Their wives are around, their kids are around. Hopefully that will help relax them before the game so they won't be too uptight.

Q. Are they different kind of guys when they are around their families? Obviously they are big, strong guys. How are their personalities different when they are around their kids?

LAMICHAEL JAMES: They are the same. I never really thought of it that way because they are always the same.

Q. Your relationship with Pernell brown, do you understand the criticism that some people have levied on you for that relationship? Do you understand that? Do you see why they do it?

LAMICHAEL JAMES: I don't care. If they want to do that, then it's fine. You can levy any kind of relationship I have with anybody. I know a lot of different people that came from different backgrounds. That's not going to make me not talk to that person. That stuff doesn't matter.

Q. You had that one-play drives, that long drive against Cal where you are on the field for eight minutes or so. Is there anything to the game plan of wanting to do that more to keep Cam Newton off the field?

LAMICHAEL JAMES: Not at all. We are going to go out and play our game. We are not trying to keep Auburn off the field. We are just trying to go out and win the game. Playing the way we have been playing from these 12 weeks.

Q. I'm from Alabama. I only know about LaMichael from what I have read and what I have seen. In your own words, can you describe to me who LaMichael James is? Can you tell me who you are?

LAMICHAEL JAMES: I'm me. I mean, I just can't sit here and say who I am. People who know me can tell you for themselves. But I'm probably not that guy that you read all that stuff about. That's really just not me. People are going to take what they want to say and what they want to write and they are going to write that. If you are looking from the outside in, things are, of course, going to look all bad from somebody I talked to, just the way the world is. So it is -- whatever.

Q. What does Darron Thomas mean to this offense?

LAMICHAEL JAMES: He means everything. He is the point guard of this offense. He makes all the right reads. He makes the play call sometimes. He just does everything for us, the correct way.

Q. You guys have made a habit of running away from teams in the second half and Auburn has made a habit of shutting teams down in the second half. When you watch tape of them, what stands out about what adjustments they make or what they do in the second half?

LAMICHAEL JAMES: I don't know what they do, but they do a great job at it. We got to come out and play hard through four quarters, like we do in the off-season. Even if we win by one point or half a point, if you can. We just want to win the game. We are not trying to run away. We are just trying to win.

Q. What's the best thing about playing in that offense that you play in, the up-tempo snap the ball, play, snap the ball, play, and just keep going?

LAMICHAEL JAMES: It makes teams where they can't sub. That really is a big key for us. When they can't sub, most guys get tired. They have the wrong personnel group in. And we really excel on that.

Q. What's it like watching guys get gassed in the second quarter and things like that and seeing that you are already getting to them?

LAMICHAEL JAMES: It is really fun. When that happens, it can make the score go up. We want to play faster and keep going and step on the gas even more.

Q. How do you think you will respond to the next level when you are done with academics, to a totally different level where it is not nearly as fast? Is it going to be way too slow for you?

LAMICHAEL JAMES: Probably so. At least I will be in very good shape.

Q. Looking back to the beginning of the year, did you expect to be in this position? Did you expect to be undefeated playing for the title, Heisman finalist, playing against the Heisman winner?

LAMICHAEL JAMES: Not at all. I didn't think like that. The thing I think about is just winning every game. That week I just want to win that game. You can't really look ahead and say I want to win a national championship. People think about that, but doing it is two different things. We were just trying to take it one week at a time.

Q. What is it like to play for Coach Kelly? He is an aggressive play caller and they build him up as an offensive mastermind. What's it like working with him, I guess?

LAMICHAEL JAMES: It is fun. He really is a good coach. He puts us in good situations to excel. I think he is probably the best coach in the nation, you know, especially -- he is an offensive line coach. He just comes up with some stuff that I'm like "wow." He makes us very feel comfortable in the game plan.

Q. What's it like being with him in the film room when you are breaking down plays and talking about how you are going to beat the defense? Does he say some stuff and you are like, Whoa, I never thought about that? Do you know what I'm talking about?

LAMICHAEL JAMES: Most of the time I don't know what he is saying. He is so smart, I don't know what's going on. It is just simplify for me a little bit, because he is really an offensive mind.

Q. What was the result of your evaluation? Can you review for me the process of coming back and making that decision?

LAMICHAEL JAMES: Actually, I was going to come back anyway. I was just letting people sweat a little bit (laughter). Not really. But I had made my decision a long time ago. I knew I was going to come back last year. I haven't finished my degree yet. That's the most important thing to me. So can't play football forever and I don't want to play football forever. Hopefully I will get my degree and I will get a job one day. Q. Where do they have you pegged in the draft?

LAMICHAEL JAMES: They told me not to say. I think if it didn't come back in the top three rounds you didn't get your evaluation back. I got mine back. You can take it from there.

Q. Do you feel crisp right now after practicing? You have to deal with the layoff, but do you feel crisp, like this offense can achieve what it did during the regular season at that pace?

LAMICHAEL JAMES: We do. We feel very good. I feel very confident with the way we have been practicing. We have been practicing really hard. Everybody is dialed into this win. Ten o'clock curfew. This is a business trip for us. We want to win the game. It is not about having fun, because it is no fun if you lose the game.

Q. Did you make an exception on the curfew for the basketball game last night?

LAMICHAEL JAMES: No, those guys are going back to Eugene today. I'm just kidding. We stalled them out a little bit.

Q. You said you guys like to have fun and whatnot. Cliff Harris initially started calling the national championship the "nattie," quote, the "nattie." How do you feel about that? Do you think that's fun? Do you refer to it?

LAMICHAEL JAMES: Have you ever talked to Cliff? Cliff says some pretty funny stuff all the time. It is just the way Cliff is. Sometimes I don't know what he's saying with his little words that he's using all the time. Cliff calls a guy a nattie, so everybody calls it the nattie. But Cliff is a great player. I don't even know -- the stuff he says, he is a funny guy.

Q. What kind of stuff did you see in terms of slowing you guys down, the tricks people did, getting up from the pile slowly and faking the injuries? How much did you see of that from defenses to slow you guys down?

 

LAMICHAEL JAMES: I don't know. I really didn't pay attention to much of that stuff. I see a couple times, I can't really say the player is hurt or when he's not hurt. I really don't know about that part of the game. I see a lot of hands on the hips, a lot of fundamentals, a lot of broken tackles, a lot of blitzes that are not really blitzing as hard. You can really tell when teams get tired.

Q. Can you talk about the way your team offensive line goes about their business? The guys that aren't projected to be first- and second-round draft picks and yet they protect you. You have found some holes. How does the offensive line go about its business maybe not being All-American guys?

LAMICHAEL JAMES: They run. They work hard. Probably not the most talented line in the country, but they really work hard. I mean, each and every day they are out there working. They run. I mean, they run so much. So, I mean, they are probably going to stop us maybe one or two tries. But we are running so much because they are running so much, eventually we are going to break one.

Q. In your games that you always play, you are so used to getting all the attention. This might be the first game where you are get the second most attention next to Cam Newton. Do you like that?

LAMICHAEL JAMES: I don't care. I don't really -- attention doesn't win ball games. So it doesn't matter to me. If attention won ball games, then I would be upset.

Q. How big of a game changer are you Monday?

LAMICHAEL JAMES: Hopefully will be a big one. I have been practicing hard. This is a big game and hopefully we will get the win.

Q. You are facing an underrated unit like your defense that kind of go under the radar. Do you feel like you are facing a group that is quite imposing actually when you look at them on the field?

LAMICHAEL JAMES: They're good. They're big. They're strong. They make plays. They're a physical team. So we got to come out and cover that.

Q. Have you ever met or do you know anything about Phil Knight? LAMICHAEL JAMES: Yeah. I don't know about his personal life, but, you know, I know about -- I know him.

Q. Nice guy? Any impression?

LAMICHAEL JAMES: Yeah, he is really nice. He is really down to earth. If you see him, you would never think he was a billionaire, just a normal guy.

Q. What's it been like playing for Chip Kelly these past few years?

LAMICHAEL JAMES: They are completely two different people. Coach Kelly, he's a way, way different coach. It is really fun playing for Coach Kelly. He really is a great coach.

Q. With school being back, what is this like for you here? You spend two hours. What are you doing schoolwork-wise when you are here?

LAMICHAEL JAMES: I do schoolwork just like I do in Eugene. I'm reading. I'm online, doing stuff on my BlackBerry, just like going to school in Eugene. Just without the teacher.

Q. What classes or what specifically?

LAMICHAEL JAMES: Mostly my sosh class and ASL class. They have videoconferences for us. So I think it is a neat deal. You have to take care of school no matter if you are not there. So I think it really helps us out.

Q. Has this been a different focus than the Rose Bowl, maybe fewer distractions? The Ducks have taken it a little bit differently.

LAMICHAEL JAMES: Yeah, you got to take it differently because we lost the game last year. We don't want to do the same thing we did last year. I think we were physically prepared for that game last year, but I don't know if we were prepared mentally. I think that's why we lost the game.

Q. This year different mentality?

LAMICHAEL JAMES: Yeah, completely different atmosphere this year.

Q. Josh Bynes, Auburn middle linebacker, is a guy that doesn't get much attention. Have you seen anything on film? Does he impress you at all?

LAMICHAEL JAMES: I don't know why he doesn't get much attention. I think he's a great player. I think he is one of the top linebackers in the country. He makes a lot of plays. He doesn't miss very many tackles. He calls the defense, it looks like. He really gets things set up. I think he is a great player.

Q. You said that when you were recruited by Oregon that you had no idea where Eugene was. Can you kind of tell me what your impressions of Oregon were when you were growing up? Did you know anything about the school or the football team or anything when you were a kid?

LAMICHAEL JAMES: I didn't know about Oregon. I didn't even know where it was until they recruited me.

Q. Had you heard anything about the football team or anything? How did you -- how did it get on your radar?

LAMICHAEL JAMES: I don't know. I mean, that seemed like it has been so long ago. I would see it on ESPN a couple times. But I still didn't know where it was. It took me a while to figure out where it was. I realized it was by Washington and California. So that kind of helped a little bit. I have never been to any of those places either.

Q. You have had to do a lot of these the last few weeks. What's the question you have been asked the most and what was the last time you heard a question that you haven't heard before?

LAMICHAEL JAMES: They are all the same now. Hopefully we can tape this right here and anybody who wants to interview me can play it back.

Q. Is there one thing people have wanted to know more than anything else?

LAMICHAEL JAMES: I don't know. I'm sure. I just can't think about it right off the top of my head. Yeah.

Q. Have you learned anything new about Fairley in the 30-plus days you have had to watch film?

LAMICHAEL JAMES: Have I learned anything new about Fairley? He's good. He uses his hands really well. He is quick. He is a phenomenal player. Hopefully we can get him tired.

Q. Is that the best antidote to what you can do is to get him fatigued?

LAMICHAEL JAMES: There is no way you can stop him. He is a phenomenal player. He will make his plays. And hopefully we can counter those plays. Every good player will make plays. Hopefully we can get him really tired.

Q. Have you seen him fatigue on film, LaMichael, during the season, that maybe he is a guy that does tend to get tired in the second half?

LAMICHAEL JAMES: Hopefully. I don't know how many teams he has played with our tempo yet. So I really can't justify that yet. So hopefully we will be running fast in the whole defense this time.

Q. Can you talk really quickly about Kenjon and a little bit about your impressions of him and what you guys kind of went through this season with the concussion and everything?

LAMICHAEL JAMES: Kenjon, Kenjon is my best friend. We are really close. Kenjon is a phenomenal player. He probably doesn't get a lot of attention, but he does great things for us on special teams, running back. I mean, I really can't say enough about Kenjon. He is funny. He has a funny haircut. Everything about Kenjon is really funny. Without Kenjon, this would be a tough year for me.

Q. I know you were really emotional when he went down in the game with the concussion. Can you kind of talk about what you were emotionally going through?

LAMICHAEL JAMES: I didn't know what was going on. Seeing your best friend get hit like that, it is like seeing your best friend get hit in a car crash. They are not moving. You don't know what's going on. I was kind of emotional. I had no emotions whatsoever because I really didn't know what was going on. I hate to see any kind of player get hit.

Q. If you had one moment that you could envision in this game, what would that moment be?

LAMICHAEL JAMES: The clock clicking 0 and we winning the game.

Q. What's your first reaction when you start to see an opposing defense, those first early signs of fatigue, you come back to the huddle, what happens?

LAMICHAEL JAMES: That's Darron. That's all Darron. Once he sees that in the offensive line, they relay that really well with us. They tell us they are getting tired. We want to go faster. And that's when Coach Kelly, he starts putting plays in left and right. You really want to get the tempo going with those guys are tired.

Q. How can you tell?

LAMICHAEL JAMES: You can tell. Fundamentals. They go out to win, though. They don't tackle as well. They don't blitz as well. A lot of things going on in the whole process when that starts to happen.

Q. Any way to put a premium on how important big plays would be in this game? I think you guys and Auburn lead the country 27, 25 touchdowns, 25 yards or longer. How important do you think -- not to have to go the distance.

LAMICHAEL JAMES: Oh, man. Hopefully we will get big plays and they don't. I mean, that's the simple way to put it.

Q. What's his best suit?

LAMICHAEL JAMES: I think they are all good. I don't know.

Q. You are taking sociology and ASL? LAMICHAEL JAMES: Those are just two classes. Q. How was the game last night? LAMICHAEL JAMES: Good. Really a fun time for us.

Q. Are you a Blazer fan out in Oregon?

LAMICHAEL JAMES: No. Everybody in Oregon loves the Blazers. Maybe I shouldn't say that. I'm a Blazer fan (smiling).

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