Jordan Jenkins, photo by Sonny Kennedy,

Georgia Football: Tuesday Press Conference - Defense

Photo by Sonny Kennedy,

Photo by Sonny Kennedy,

Georgia head coach Mark Richt and a delegation of players met with the media Tuesday during the Bulldogs’ weekly press luncheon. They offered the following comments:

Head Coach Mark Richt

On defending South Carolina’s Jadeveon Clowney…

“There’s a lot of different things you can do on pass protection. One of the things is that if you slide your protection towards a guy like that, you free up your tackle not to block him one-on-one. Your tackle basically is responsible for taking him on an outside rush, but if he makes a move inside of him, there will be a guard waiting for him, so that’s one way. Another way is to try to even put a tight end to the side that he’s at and give him a little bit more to navigate as he’s coming through the line of scrimmage. The other thing is to have a back or a tight end off the ball who can chip on the way out. You can also design plays where you don’t hold the ball very long. Set your point, get up in the pocket and get the ball out quickly. There’s always your quick passing game where you may try to change up your blocking technique with the cut block from time to time. That might give him something to think about, but those are the things that you try to do. You can also sprint your protection to or away from him or move the pocket from time to time.

On the importance of Josh Harvey-Clemons’ return…

“Josh being back is big for us. He’ll be able to play in our base and our nickel scheme. Corey Moore, we believe, will be back, too, so we’ll be able to insert Corey as well. We still don’t want to lose the progress that we think Leonard Floyd is making. We want him to continue to get a lot of reps for us, so it’s going to be a little bit of a challenge to get Leonard, Corey, Josh Harvey-Clemons and Tray Matthews on the field at the same time, but we’ll figure it out.”

On Josh Dawson…

“He did very well for us (against Clemson). Josh was a guy that was brought in as an outside linebacker, but his body grew up to more of an end for us. He’s a guy that’s going to give us quality play and quality snaps. We expect a lot of productivity out of him for the rest of the year and the rest of his career.”

On the depth chart listing Garrison Smith at nose guard this week…

“I didn’t even look at that. I never look at that. I don’t know what to make of it, quite frankly. Garrison will play both positions, but it just depends on the situation. We really do roll our guys around a lot. It just depends on the personnel group that we’re playing and the matchups that we think are going on. Garrison does a good job at nose, but a lot of time it’s just a matter of trying to get more agile pass rushers inside rather than the big, run-stopping, space-eating guys.”

Connor Norman, photo by Danny Bishop

Connor Norman, photo by Danny Bishop

Safety Connor Norman

On the outcome of the Clemson game…

“I guess the only important stat is winning or losing, so it really wasn’t that great of a day. A lot of the guys grew up pretty quickly out there. I was happy to see how Brendan Langley played out there in the secondary, Tray Matthews as well. Those guys are growing up and they’re learning a lot. We learned a lot yesterday when we were watching the film so we’re just trying to correct the mistakes and get ready for Saturday.’”

On communicating with freshman S Tray Matthews…

“It was pretty consistent over the whole game. We were communicating every play pretty much whether it be him communicating over to me or me communicating to him. It’s usually safety-to-safety and then the safety will communicate to their corner. It was pretty good over the entire game. Obviously with the hurry up offense like Clemson had it had to be a little bit quicker so we were trying to catch up to that pace but overall Tray did a great job.”

On comparing South Carolina’s offense to Clemson’s offense…

“Clemson is a heavy pass offense, they’re hurry up but South Carolina is a great offense also. They line it up a little more and run it right at you. In that sense they have a really good running game and a great offensive line to do that. Not saying Clemson didn’t but they spread the ball out more and throw it around more than South Carolina does.”

Garrison Smith, photo by Sonny Kennedy,

Garrison Smith, photo by Sonny Kennedy,

Defensive Lineman Garrison Smith

On switching from Defensive End to Nose Guard…

“I do it all. I’m like the handy man, I’ll do anything it takes to get the job done. I played mostly at the Nose [on Saturday]. It’s all football for me. Wherever the coaches want me to play at. Whatever it takes to make the team win, then I’m not worried about my stats or anything like that. I’m all about winning and I’m all about the team. Big team, little me.”

On how badly he wants to beat South Carolina, being 0-3 against them in his career…

“You want every game bad. We don’t like losses and I don’t like losing. Nobody likes losing. We just have to go out there and do the best we can and try and get the W.”

On the mentality that Georgia’s season starts over on Saturday…

“I feel like since its conference play it’s definitely way more important, but at the same time every game is important. We just want to do the best we can and try and get a victory.”

Photos are copyrighted property of Sonny Kennedy Photography,

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