Thursday, November 22, 2012

Tuesday Press Conference ~ Defense

FOOTBALL

Coach Mark Richt and a delegation of football players met with the media during the Dawgs’ weekly press luncheon on Tuesday afternoon. They offered the following comments:

Coach Mark Richt

On how Georgia will handle the triple option against Georgia Tech…

“I don’t know. We’ll find out how well we handle it against Georgia Tech. They are averaging 47 points over the last three or four games. They are just so explosive that I just don’t how we are going to handle it. We are going to have to find out.”

On Christian Robinson…

“I think he’s had a pretty good season. When Alec Ogletree was out for a while, the roles were different for Amarlo Herrera and Michael Gilliard and Christian Robinson, and when Ogletree came back it changed the dynamic of that linebacker group. I think he’s led all the way through. He’s had a tremendously positive attitude. When he’s getting his opportunities to play, he’s played well. He’s been playing more nickel stuff. Like you said this last game he was a starter and played a lot and played well. He made a bunch of tackles. He’s just very good at identifying things and trying to communicate it with his teammates. He’s always there with a smile on his face and ready to go to work. He’s just a great guy.”

“Is he overachieving? I think the fact that he’s very intelligent and very diligent, it helps him function out there, there is no doubt about it, but he’s a good athlete. He’s a good football player. A lot of people wanted him out of high school just like we did. He’s a good athlete.”

On the play of Branden Smith this season…

“Branden’s been great. He’s one of those seniors that you just love and appreciate. He has been effective for us offensively, defensively and with some special teams stuff. I see tremendous improvement in him in two areas. One is his intensity on a daily basis in practice. I think he’s become much more physical in his defending of the pass and his defending of the run. Sometimes a guy is a field corner because you don’t want him to be at the point of attack a lot in the run game. You don’t want him to be the guy that has to support the run a lot, but he’s become a very physical guy in that way, and he plays the screens much better. He plays the plays they get outside the field and the run game out there. He’s just tenacious as a defender. I’m just seeing big improvements over his career, and he’s become a really fine player.”

Linebacker Amarlo Herrera

On the Georgia vs. Georgia Tech rivalry…

“Being from Atlanta this is a huge rivalry for me. Even though it might be predominantly a Georgia fan base, it’s still split pretty evenly because Tech is right there in Atlanta. With me being from Atlanta, I still here about it when I go home. It’s pretty crazy. I’ve been a Dawg my whole life, so this game means a lot to me.”

On the importance of this game…

“You can never overlook any game on your schedule, especially these guys. Like I said before, they’re going to play their hearts out no matter what.”

On playing against the triple option offense for the second week in a row…

“It helps us a big amount going against this offense for the second week in a row, because you get a feel of how the cut blocks will be coming against you in a live game. It gives you an extra week of practice as well as game time experience on how to defend against those cut blocks.”

Defensive End Garrison Smith

On the Georgia vs. Georgia Tech rivalry…

“I wouldn’t say this game is bigger than the Florida rivalry, but I’d say it’s about the same. I try and treat every game about the same because it’s all a matter of winning or losing. I don’t want to lose against anybody; I hate losing more than I like winning. A loss against Tech might hurt more than some other losses but as long we go out there and do the best we can, then win or loss all that matters is that you gave your all.”

On the BCS implications of Saturday’s game…

“Everyone is focused on the game at hand. We can’t look too far ahead of anybody; we have to take it one game at a time. In order to have the best record, like we want to do, we have to take it one game at a time and focus on the task at hand and just do the best that we can.”

On playing against the triple option offense for the second week in a row…

“I wouldn’t say that we’re getting the hang of defending this offense; I would just say that our guys are trying really hard. You can never get the hang of this offense because it’s so good and so tricky. All you can do is go out and execute your assignments, which is what everybody is doing. Georgia Tech has some great coaches with Paul Johnson who has coached their team really well, and they all execute very well. It’s going to be a challenge trying to stop them."

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