Dec 1, 2012; Atlanta, GA, USA; Georgia Bulldogs cornerback Sheldon Dawson (2) reacts during the third quarter of the 2012 SEC Championship game against the Alabama Crimson Tide at the Georgia Dome. Mandatory Credit: Daniel Shirey-USA TODAY Sports

Georgia Football: Defense


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 Sheldon Dawson…

“First of all, I was really happy to see him have success on that return against Kentucky. I think his teammate was about to tell him to stay back in there, and he just got tired of taking a knee back there and just came out of there and thankfully broke a couple of tackles and had a big return. You want a guy back there that has that type of faith and confidence in himself to really hit it up in there. Just watching him in practice in that role, I was just waiting for an opportunity for this guy to return a kick or two because I think he really has the potential to break kick returns for us. As a defender, I think I mentioned earlier that he’s very good in man coverage. I think he’s probably better when he’s pressing up tight rather than giving space, but there are a lot of guys that go into that category. He’s earned playing time with the defense as well as the special teams reps, but he’s a very valuable part of our team.”

On punters Collin Barber and Adam Erickson…

“By the end of the week, we’ll decide. It’s just how they’ve been performing at practice. It’s been more of a competitive thing, and we felt like Adam deserved the start against Kentucky, and he did a good job.”

Free Safety Connor Norman

On preparing for Georgia Tech’s offense…

“It’s a little bit of a mindset change, but at the same time it’s still assignment football like we play every week. It’s a little bit different of a scheme than you normally play against. I don’t think there’s that much of a difference. I really think you just have to continue to focus on your fundamentals and play through your assignments.”

On the cut blocking that Georgia Tech employs…

“I think the coaches have been talking about it more than [the defensive linemen]. I’ve been hearing about it for four years now so we definitely hear a good deal about that during this week. It’s tough to deal with, but it is just football and we’re preparing for it.”

Defensive End Garrison Smith

On preparing for Georgia Tech’s offense…

“We just have to be disciplined. This is the game that’s most important, and we just have to be disciplined and just do our job over and over and over again. No matter how boring it gets, you just have to do your job. It’s assignment football.”

On getting advice from his brother, who played for Georgia Tech…

“No, he never told me anything. He just told me good luck and to do the best I can.”

On Georgia Tech’s cut blocking…

“I don’t think any linemen look forward to that, but it’s football. We have to play against it so we have to deal with it. It’s tough but we have to deal with it and fight through it.”

On this being the final game vs. Georgia Tech in his career…

“Oh yeah, I take pride in trying to win this game. Your goal is to try and win every game so I approach them all the same. I just want to win, especially with this being one of my last games as a Bulldog before my career is over. It’s big. I’m looking forward to it. It’s going to be a great game.”

 

Tags: Georgia Bulldog Football Georgia Bulldogs Sheldon Dawson