Georgia Football: Defense

Mark Richt, photo by Sonny Kennedy, http://www.sonnykennedyphotography.com/

Mark Richt, photo by Sonny Kennedy, http://www.sonnykennedyphotography.com/

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

Coach Mark Richt

On continuing to develop defensive consistency…

“I’ll just say this – I was pleased with how we finished that last game. Other than that one play, there was a string of some great defense being played, just to allow us to get back into the game without trying to do some desperation onside kick. The way the game was going, even after the first touchdown, you’re wondering if you should kick an onside or not. The goal was not to do that, especially the first time around, and with the defense getting that three-and-out, we had the faith to kickoff again. The other thing was just kicking off deep. Our coverage team did a spectacular job down the stretch when we were kicking the ball off at the end. We got them on the ground inside the 25, and one time they had the penalty so I think they started on the 10. When it was really counting the most, play after play after play, our offense, defense and special teams were kind of great until the one play. Other than the one play, we played pretty darn good as a team in general.”

On the strengths of the defense…

“I think they’re playing hard as heck and trying to get better.”

On Chase Vasser…

“Chase has been a good special teamer for us, and he’s played some good snaps throughout his career. He’s a guy that really got hurt going into the season with an injury this year that kind of kept him out of just about all of camp. While that’s going on, you’ve got other young guys getting in there and getting opportunities and making some plays, and it just didn’t work out for him this year, as far as getting a lot of reps.”

Inside Linebacker Amarlo Herrera

On the talent returning on defense next year…

“We will be a whole lot better. Everybody will have a full year of experience of playing football and being in the game and being in a tough situation. That’s good for us. A lot of these guys have been in tough situations. We’ve been in tough situations, we’ve been in heart-breaking games, so when you deal with that and you know how it feels you don’t want to be in that position again.”

On making the transition to the college level…

“When you come from high school I don’t think the game is as long and I don’t think it’s as physical, and you’re probably the best player on the field. You haven’t played college ball before and you don’t know what it’s like until you get out there.”

On what will help the defense improve next year…

“Everybody will have a full year of experience. With that full year you understand the game a lot better. You understand what you have to do to be on a championship pace and win a tough game. You know what you have to do in a tough environment to come out on top.”

On if the expectations were too high for the defense this year…

“No, we’re Georgia. We win around here. It doesn’t matter if you’re a freshman straight out of high school, we’re supposed to win.”

Defensive Lineman Garrison Smith

On playing his last game at Sanford Stadium on Saturday…

“I will definitely feel [the emotions] but I’m going to try not to. It’s definitely going to be emotional because it’s your last game but it’s not really a sad feeling. It’s just your next step in life. You’re moving onto your next place.”

On what his career at Georgia has been…

“These four years have just been life. Life is full of ups and downs. You’re going to have sun sometimes and then sometimes you’re going to have storms. It’s a rollercoaster; you never know what’s going to happen but you have to just deal with it. We’re going to have good years and bad years but that’s just life, you’re going to have good days and bad days.”

On this season in particular…

“This isn’t the year of the storm. There have just been a few little thunderstorms. There haven’t been any monsoons or anything. There aren’t any typhoons going on. Unfortunately we’ve had the injury bug, and that’s tough. Not just for this season, but for the players that are hurt. That’s what is most important. No player ever wants to deal with injuries and my heart goes out for those guys. It’s hard to win any game when you lose so many key players, but you still fight and compete in every game and we’re still in every game. We have so many young guys that we’re dependent on and they just don’t have the experience. It’s just tough but at the end of the day I’m proud of everybody. I’m proud of this team. I don’t have any complaints, I’m just proud of this team.”

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

Topics: Amarlo Herrera, Garrison Smith, Georgia Bulldog Football, Georgia Bulldogs, Mark Richt

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