Thursday, October 4, 2012

Tuesday Press Conference ~ Defense


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

Coach Mark Richt

On the play of the Georgia defense against Tennessee…

“Tennessee blocked pretty good, period. Sometimes you get movement and they create good space for backs, and they make good runs. There weren’t a lot of missed assignments. We had a couple of big runs against us earlier in the season when we didn’t really fit properly, and I’m not saying we fit perfectly every single time, but a lot of it was that Tennessee’s offensive line just got after us pretty good. They moved us around a little bit, and especially in the fourth quarter when they’re down a couple of scores, but they’re staying patient with the run because they’re having success with the run. We’ve got to do a better job of being able to defend the run, especially when people are down on the scoreboard. You’d think we could get them in a position where they felt like they had to throw the football, but there was enough time on the clock and they had enough success running the ball that they felt comfortable doing that.”

On Georgia’s defense against the run vs. Tennessee…

“If you look at Tennessee’s line, they are pretty stout. They are big, they’re physical, they have a bunch of starts under their belt. A year ago they didn’t have a lot of experience, now they do have a lot of experience. They executed well and they physically took it to us to a certain degree. Do I wish we would have played the run better? Yeah. If I thought we were playing a team that didn’t have the ingredients to run the ball well I would have felt even worse. People wanted to talk about our defense and whether it was going to be a great defense. What I said was what I’m most concerned about is when the game is on the line are we going to be able to make the play in the moment of truth. You can have great defensive stats, but if you didn’t get that one stop at the end of the game, you still might have great stats for the day but you lost. You didn’t stop them when you needed to. I was more concerned about are we going to stop people when we have to stop them, when it means the most. I think that happened in the Missouri game, and I think it happened in the Tennessee game defensively. I’m pleased with that.”

On adjusting to having all the starters back on defense…

“Any unit, the more they play together and practice together, I think the better they communicate and the better they play. Just like an offensive line, we always want to try to establish that front five as soon as you can because the longer they play together the better chance they have of working in tandem and getting their assignments right and their communication right. There is a lot going on, a lot of adjustments being made and the more everybody plays together the better chance you have to execute as well.”

On the plan for Malcolm Mitchell in practice this week…

“Monday and Tuesday are offense, and Wednesday was kind of the defensive day and it still is. There may be a couple of times when he may do some offense if the defense is working on base defense and he’s not getting any reps at that moment. Thursday we’ve kind of tried to split some of his reps. He’s primarily an offensive player and he’s in a state of readiness on defense. Not only has he been a kick returner, punt returner, but he’s also on our punt team. He’s been running down there trying to force fair catches too.”

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