Georgia Football: Tuesday Press Conference - Defense


Jordan Jenkins, photo by Sonny Kennedy, http://www.sonnykennedyphotography.com/

Jordan Jenkins, photo by Sonny Kennedy, http://www.sonnykennedyphotography.com/

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

Coach Mark Richt

On the defense…

“All we can do is what we can do, and that’s to give them the plan, line them up and play hard and fast. Hopefully we can continue to get better at tackling and communicating and all that. You talk about the teams that we’ve played, and we’ve played some pretty good offensive football teams. I’m not trying to make an excuse, but when a defense plays against a team that can really move it and score and has some veteran quarterbacks, you’re going to take some dings. You have to make some big stops like we did in that South Carolina game. That goal line stop was really the game changer, and sometimes that’s what has to happen. You look at Alabama and the Texas A&M game this season. I think most people would say Alabama’s defense is pretty special and has been over time, but Texas A&M put 42 points on the board. 49-42, I don’t know who would have predicted that kind of score with those types of teams. You keep fighting like mad to not give up big plays. You fight like mad to get turnovers. You fight like mad to find ways to get a big stop and a momentum-changing stop somewhere along the way, and that’s what we’re trying to do.”

On reviewing the defensive game plans…

“I think the plans have been fine. People have a hard time giving other people credit sometimes. Nebraska is a pretty good offensive football team. Alabama was a pretty good offensive football team, obviously. We played Alabama, we played Nebraska, we played Clemson, and they’re a pretty good offensive football team. South Carolina has a lot of maturity and they’ve done some very good things offensively as well. Last week we gave up seven points on defense, as the other 14 were given up on special teams. We held them to seven yards rushing and only about 200 yards total. There are just some good teams out there, so you have to fight like mad and do what you need to do to win the game as a group.”

On Jordan Jenkins…

“He’s playing the run pretty good. He’s coming off the edge and forcing quarterbacks to get up in the pocket. That’s part of his job – containing the quarterback and getting him to move up in the pocket. Hopefully we’re pushing the pocket up front to the point where we’re disrupting the guy’s timing and things of that nature. He’s gotten a few knock downs, and he’s playing hard. That’s what we’re asking him to do, and the sacks will come in time.”

On Leonard Floyd…

“Leonard plays really hard, and he has some good pass rush ability. He has overcome a lot from when high school ended to getting here. There was a different road that he had to take, but I’m really proud of the job that he did in getting in position to come back. There was never a question in his mind that he wanted to come back to Georgia. We didn’t really have to re-recruit him, which I appreciated about him. There’s something about a guy that knows that he wants to be a Bulldog and how hard he will practice and play and be dedicated to the cause. He’s just a great Bulldog right now, and we’re happy we got him.”

On John Taylor…

“John is playing inside, obviously. He’s a nose guard. The biggest thing with John, quite frankly, is to keep his pads down. He tends to want to get up and see what’s going on sometimes, and he plays too high. If you play high at all in that position, you’re going to get moved out of there, no matter how big and strong you are. If he will keep his pad level down and learn to read his blocks from down there rather than trying to look around in the backfield, he can really become a very good football player. As long as he wants to sightsee, he’s going to get moved around a little bit.”

On Corey Moore and the rest of the secondary…

“Corey Moore being back from his injury was very helpful. Getting Josh Harvey-Clemmons back was good, so that helped a lot. Tray Matthews is growing as we go. Quincy Mauger has put himself in a position where with all of the other injuries to players, he’s gotten a lot more reps than maybe he would have otherwise. He’s taken advantage of them, and we like what he’s doing on special teams. We like what he’s doing in practice and the opportunities he’s had. We’ll probably see a little bit more of him, and we’ll see some of Connor Norman. As far as the corners are concerned, Shaq Wiggins got in the game a little bit and Sheldon Dawson got in the game a little bit more. We’re trying to build more depth in that area. Brendan Langley has been playing a bunch, and they’ve all been learning. The more times you go through it, the better off you should be in the future.”

On former Bulldog Justin Houston…

“I saw that he had 4.5 sacks in the game just this last week. That was a big day, and I happened to just catch a glimpse of him coming off the sideline and coaches congratulating him. We’re just really happy for Justin. We have so many guys in the league right now. We get a list where we find out what all the guys are doing on a weekly basis. There’s over 45 guys right now playing pro ball if you add the Canadian Football League guys, so it’s fun to see some of the guys realize their dreams. Justin had the body type and the work ethic, so I’m not surprised at all to see him do well. They probably went crazy when they measured his hand size. The guy had 4.5 sacks, so what are you going to say.”

Amarlo Herrera, photo by Sonny Kennedy, http://www.sonnykennedyphotography.com/

Amarlo Herrera, photo by Sonny Kennedy, http://www.sonnykennedyphotography.com/

Inside Linebacker Amarlo Herrera

On preventing big plays on special teams…

“Everybody just has to run down the field and do what we need to do. We just need to not try and do anything special or out of character and just try and make the play.”

On the team’s mentality heading into this game…

“This is just an SEC game. That’s how everybody looks at it. I don’t think we look at it the way that everyone else looks at it. We’re just playing football and just trying to get the next win. It’s a good thing right now but by the time the game gets here everyone will probably be hyped and juiced up.”

On Georgia’s win streak at Sanford and the impact of the crowd…

“I really didn’t even notice that. We don’t really pay attention to stuff like that so I don’t think we really even know a lot about that. It’s a good thing though. It was definitely loud for [South Carolina]. Surprisingly, North Texas was pretty loud too. There’s no doubt that this week it will be rocking.”

Jordan Jenkins, photo by Sonny Kennedy, http://www.sonnykennedyphotography.com/

Jordan Jenkins, photo by Sonny Kennedy, http://www.sonnykennedyphotography.com/

Outside Linebacker Jordan Jenkins

On his lack of sacks through the first three games of the season…

“It’s definitely something that’s been eating at me a little bit. I just sat down and watched film and talked with Coach Grantham a little bit. It’s just something where I have to stop trying so hard to get a sack and just let it happen naturally. There are also some things that I can fix. I noticed that I’m not really rushing at a good angle to allow myself to get a sack. That’s another aspect that I have to think about and what I’ve really been focusing on this week.”

On the advice his father gave him in improving his game…

“He gave me a lot of advice. We watched the game Sunday morning and he keeps sending me extra stuff to help improve each week. He’s said that I really need to start using my hands more. Saturday I felt like I wasn’t really rushing that well. I talk about improving my technique a lot but in the game I got caught up in the heat of the moment and went back to some of the stuff that I thought would work. I just need to get back to the basics and do what I need to do to get back to getting some sacks.”

On Coach Mark Richt’s ability to keep the players motivated…

“Coach Richt can get pretty fired up. People don’t think he shows emotion, but he can get pretty amped up and pretty hyped up. This past week we really thought that he gave one of the best speeches he’s given in the past year or two. I really got pumped up after that. I know it wasn’t a top-10 team, but they were still a good team and it really got me pumped up to play that game after that speech.”

Photos are copyrighted property of Sonny Kennedy Photography,
http://www.sonnykennedyphotography.com/

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Tags: Amarlo Herrera Georgia Bulldog Football Georgia Bulldogs Jordan Jenkins Mark Richt