Saturday, July 23, 2011

Richt On Defense


DSC_2932Coach Mark Richt answered question before the medial Thursday morning at SEC Media Days.

Richt was asked about this years defensive expectations:

Coach Richt: I'm excited about it. I think we all know that when you learn something new, it takes a while to get good at it, takes a while to understand it.

Usually when it comes to football, the first thing you have to understand is, learn what to do. Our guys spent a lot of time trying to figure out what to do, what is my assignment, maybe not enough time on how do I do my job well, how do I become a master of my trade, how do I perfect my technique. We're spending a lot more time perfecting technique than figuring out what to do, so that's really healthy for us.

We've also had a chance to have an entire recruiting cycle to recruit towards the type of guys we need. One of the young men we recruited from last year's class is Johnathan Jenkins, a big giant nose guard who we think can do a great job of helping us make the 3-4 go. If you don't have a nose guard that demands double-teams and triple-teams once in a while, you're not going to free up your linebackers to do the things you want them to do. Just by virtue of the fact that Johnathan Jenkins was signed in February, I think it put a fire under Kwame Geathers, another giant nose guard we have in our program, he ended up being the MVP of the defense for our spring practices.Now we've got more confidence that we've got the type of guys up front to make it go.

Do I think it's a good matchup against a Boise State? I think the 3-4 really can match up well against any type of offense. It is very versatile. Todd understands it well. He spent the last 11 years in the league. He's been a coordinator in the NFL. He certainly is the man for the job. I have all the faith we're going to play so much better.

We played pretty darn good. Where we didn't play good last year is third-and-long. I can't tell you how many times we got people to that moment of truth where you want them, and teams were getting those third downs converted, and we ended up staying on the field another down or another series.

If we can get off the field when we get them in the third-and-long, we're going to be a whole lot better team.

With some of the depth issues, what is going to be your approach regarding the amount of life tackling? How will that differ from previous years?

Coach Richt: We have days scheduled where we'll be in full pads and we'll hook it up, tackle to the ground. We're going to block below the waist. It's basically called a competition day. There will be days we're in shorts, days we're in shells, days we're in pads. The days we're in pads, we'll get after it.

I'm hoping I don't lose my nerve, I don't get in a position to lose my nerve because of injuries. I pray that everybody stays healthy. But one of our issues a year ago was the fact that we didn't compete hard enough and we didn't finish well enough. In order to get good at those types of things, I think you have to practice that way.
So that is the plan going in.

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