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Friday, November 14, 2008

Deleted Scenes: Week 11

Mark Richt on the 2006 Georgia-Auburn game: "That was big for Matthew, and it was big for Georgia. We had lost four out of five, we were 6-4 at the time just not a very good year. People were doubting us in a big way. To win that game in the style that we did, and for Matthew to I think that was the beginning of him not turning the ball over at the rate that he was turning it over I think he ran for 70 yards, he threw the ball well, and he made plays. That was huge for him. That three-game stretch for Matthew I think has come to define him."

Richt on the defense being given a short field: "We have been giving them short fields and we've paid for it. We have had seven drives starting inside the 41. We had a 41, 29, 25, 10, 9,4 and a 1. that's almost unheard of to have that many in a season let alone a two-game stand. The defense has taken the brunt of some of the scores, and they certainly have the right to make them kick a field goal in that situation, but it has really been sort of a team problem. It has been a special teams problems. We have had muffed punts, a muffed punt return, we have had kickoff return to the 4, we have had a 20-yard punt after muffed punt situation, have had turnovers that have put the defense in a bad way. As a team, I am not trying to throw the offense under the bus or the special teams or the defense, it is just a team game and we got to do better."

Richt on Kiante Tripp: "He first of all never played a season at that position. All we were doing was based on practice going into the season. I am sure getting moved around didn't help him. He was the right tackle getting locked in ready to go. All of a sudden he gets thrown to the left spot, which historically if there is pressure on an offense lineman it is the left tackle. You throw him over there in that spot and then we got some injuries happen and were trying to find the best spot at surviving at tight end, we are talking about taking a defense end and moving them, take him and move him there and he was starting to kind of get used to it and kind of liking it. All of a sudden he has to come back to o-line because of injuries. It has been a little bit of a tough year for him I think mentally because of all that changing. He is kind of like a redshirt freshman too even though he is not. As far as that position he is almost like a true freshman."

Richt on late-season coaching changes: "It is sad that it has to be that way. I was reading about the Oklahoma (assistant coach) to Clemson, and he was vehemently denying anything, and he probably didn't have any (interest). I remember when I was offensive coordinator at Florida State, I was approached by a few jobs over the years, and it's just a very, very difficult time of the year to be messing around with that. You have such a great sense of obligation to your fellow coaches and your teams, and you don't want to take the focus away from some type of a possible championship run. It seemed like we were in the mix just about every year at Florida State, and there was never a good time to talk about the possibility of a head job. It does hurt the focus of your football team. It hurt the focus in that Oklahoma national championship game that year. It changes the dynamics of everybody's focus. But can you solve it? I think the NFL has some rules as to when people can talk. I assume it's when the regular season is over. But rules are only as good as people will adhere to them also. You wish there could be a better way, another way, but recruiting is so crucial. I'm sure Clemson is wanting to hang on to their recruits, and they need to move forward in that way. You wish there was a better way, but I don't think there is."

Clint Boling on Stafford and Moreno: "They definitely make our offensive line look good. Matthew's just really easy to block for. He gets rid of the ball quickly and doesn't take too many sacks. Knowshon, all you have to do is give him a little bit of a hole, and he can make something happen out of nothing. They just make the whole offense better."

Mohamed Massaquoi on Stafford's last trip to Auburn: "I really don't think there is one defining moment for him. I think it's just been a gradual process where he's gotten better and better, and he's learned from his mistakes. I don't think there's one game where you feel like you've gotten over the hump because this is a very humbling league, but the more experience you get the more confidence you get."

Massaquoi on Stafford: "I honestly still think he's going to get a lot better than he is right now. He's still learning and improving his game on a day-to-day basis. I don't think he's played his best ball yet, I think his best ball is way ahead of him."

Asher Allen on the defensive miscues: "It's a lot of small stuff that happens, and the first game it happens, you try to correct it, the second game it happens, you try to correct it. But when it happens three times in three weeks, obviously that's a problem. We have a lot of people who are putting that on themselves."

Allen on the defense's mentality: "There were just some times in the games where you could just look at the body language, and people just feed off of body language and things like that. Just looking at our team's body language I just always have the memory of that Hawaii game in the back of my mind, how everybody was running around and you had so much energy and the past couple games there have been some times where we made some plays and haven't really celebrated and things like that. I feel like that's a part of the game. We should work on that, but I feel like it should be natural when you do things like that. It's been more of a relief at the end of games just getting out of them and things like that. We need to put more on ourselves, more responsibility before the game even gets there."

Corvey Irvin on facing cut blocks: "That's part of football though, so you really can't complain about the cut blocks. That's why you practice and work drills to prevent the cut block. We really can't blame it on, oh well we're being cut. That's why we didn't make the tackle. No, that's why we practice. Defeat your block, then go make the tackle."

Reshad Jones on why Georgia wasn't ready for Kentucky: "Basically they'd been playing with two quarterbacks all year. We didn't know he was going to play as much, but they felt like the quarterback run and the option was working, so I guess they went with that one quarterback."

Rennie Curran on the defensive problems: "Guys are working hard, but we've just got to play smart, play assignment football. Sometimes guys try to do too much and it gets us out of position sometimes, not doing our assignment. We've just got to continue to trust each other, just know that we're all going to take care of each other's business."

Curran on what caused the defensive problems: "It's preparation because the better prepared you are, the less likely you are to have things like that happen, miscommunications or not being in the right place at the right time, not being aligned and ready when the ball is snapped, and those are the things that we just have to work on in practice and be more efficient at. Everybody has to be on the same page, and when you've got nine guys all doing it, and two guys not doing it the right way, that will mess up your whole entire defense."

Curran on what can be done to solve the defensive problems: "Individually we all just have to put it upon ourselves to do things right and just make sure that we get the extra work in the film room and go all out in practice and make sure we're on top of our game and doing our job, because if somebody's not pulling their weight, it puts extra pressure on other guys who feel like they have to make plays and do a lot of things that can hurt the defense. If we're all on the same page and we're all pulling together, it will show."

Curran on whether the D's struggles have been a surprise to him: "It definitely is surprising for me, just knowing how hard we work and knowing how hard I work. I try on every play, fire around and play pretty much as hard as I can. I know I speak for the rest of the guys, too. We all play with a lot of intensity and effort. We all play with a lot of heart, but it's little things, mental things, little mistakes here and there that let things get out of hand. It's all about playing smart, everybody doing their job. It's not all about playing hard. You've got to do things right, and that's what we've been realizing."

Curran on the criticism of D-coordinator Willie Martinez: "You look at it and it does affect you and all but you know at the end of the day, those people who are talking probably have no idea what goes on on the practice field or in our meetings or anything. It's just from the outside looking in, when you see that many points go up, you know you're going to have no choice but to point fingers at somebody, and usually the first person who gets pointed to is the coach. In their minds, he has control over what we do, but really it's just us, us as players. We're the ones that have full control over what happens, and Coach Martinez is not out there on the field. People can say, oh, he needs to blitz more and he needs to do this more, but at the end of the day, it doesn't matter what scheme he runs or what call he makes, if we're not executing, it's not going to make much of a difference. He can call the best defense out there, he can change everything around and put us in the best position, but if we're not running to the ball and playing assignment football, it's not going to make any difference."

Darryl Gamble on the defensive problems: "I think the scheme is there, I guess it's more of us as a whole. I'm not trying to single anybody out, but I think the scheme is there and the calls are good, but we're not executing to our ability."

Gamble on changing the defensive mind-set: "Not only for us, but the seniors, they have three games left, and we have to try to do it for them. A lot of things have been going on with the team. I think the seniors have been trying to highlight everything, so everything can go out smooth these last three games, some guys like Corvey, Dannell, even Rennie, all of them had something to say, and I think that kind of got our focus in the right perspective."

Gamble on finding leaders: "Everybody is capable of saying something that will affect the whole team, but I think they just felt like it was needed and took advantage of that time to get us in the right mind-set."

Gamble on not being ready for Kentucky: "We went over it, but from watching film, I didn't see Cobb as that much of a runner. I think a lot of guys after their film studies, they didn't expect them to run the ball as much as he did. But I think it's something we should have adjusted to."

Brannan Southerland on the 2006 UGA-Auburn game: "I just remember a lot of people not giving us a chance. I think Auburn was ranked No. 5 at that time, and I don't think we were ranked at all. No one had given us a chance, but we practiced hard and we went in there prepared, and we went out and took care of business."

Southerland on this year's Auburn game compared to the 2006 game: "There are some similarities, just completely the opposite. The tables have turned. The thing we have to guard against is we have to treat it like any other Auburn game. They might not have the best record, but they have tons of athletes and tons of talent on that team, and we know they have the coaches and the players on that team to beat us."

Knowshon Moreno on last year's Auburn game: "That was special, just having the blackout and everyone being so excited about it. We really fed off that environment and the fans and stuff like that, but we still had to go out there and play, and it wasn't easy."

Matthew Stafford on the UGA passing game: "There have been some teams that have done a good job of slowing us down, but on a pretty consistent basis we've been able to throw the ball pretty well, and those guys are making great plays."

Kris Durham on Stafford's game: "Matthew's always had the confidence. He's just one of those guys that just has a natural swagger. It doesn't matter what happened the play before, if he threw a touchdown or an incompletion, he's still going to go back there with confidence and just let it rip. He's just a smart quarterback who always keeps his poise and focus."

Durham on how well Stafford is playing: "I think this is probably the best that he's played. Hopefully he's going to play better this week and next week and from here on out, but it seems like he's become more vocal as a leader and has kind of taken over the offense and is just leading the way. He's got so much freedom in the huddle that he's become more confident and just trusts himself more."

Tony Ball on running against Auburn: "It is going to be a challenge. They play great defense, and they are extremely talented. They have some athletes that can run. We've got to look at our base runs and determine what's our best matchups and how we need to fit up against their best players and how we match up. Then we work on the little things to execute our base runs. We can't let them take away our best runs."

Ball on the offensive line: "I think our offensive line has done a great job of not allowing penetration in the backfield. If you studied the offense, the backs have been protected in the backfield. That's all you can ask the offensive line to do initially is not allow penetration in the backfield, and they've done that. As a result of that, they've given us a chance to read the defense and make the defense do what we want them to do, and that's all we can ask. So if they don't allow penetration, and we do a great job of setting our track and pressing our track, then we've got a chance."

Ball on teaching the younger players to pick up blitzes: "You've got to know where they normally line up, and then by formation, what are they giving you different. Somebody on that defense is going to give it away, and that's where I have to make sure I'm studied up to find those keys to help them. They know, if we're in our base personnel, what's their top three blitzes from the tight end side? What's the top three blitzes from the split end side. OK, here are the blitz keys. Those are the kinds of things you've just got to know. They can't give them all to you at one time, so when we get up there, we say, OK, here's the front, now here's the keys.' I'll try to keep it very, very simple. See where the safeties are. Find out where the linebackers are. OK, now look at that key. It's not real difficult if you just get up there and look one, two, three, got it."

Jon Fabris on the injury to Justin Fields and others: "All the reps that he's gotten, just flush them down the toilet. Now you're working with someone who's had no reps. It's not like offense and defense where you have a first team and second team in practice and guys are always getting reps. You don't have enough practice time to give two guys reps in the kicking game. He might have a couple key backups that you hope know a little bit of everything, but you don't go two-deep. If two guys get hurt, it's a chain reaction on that sideline that you can't even imagine. You might be in a game, the starting linebacker's hurt, and all of a sudden, you can't use (his backup). And it may not be that they tell you you can't use him, it's just that his tongue is hanging out so bad from playing all the defensive snaps, he just can't go anymore. So now you're coaching up someone on the sideline who hasn't practiced one day all week and putting them out there. I started six or seven freshmen the last two weeks on punt return. There's just no experience."

Fabris on working with walk-ons: "You feel like a minor league manager that develops talent, and about the time those guys are ready to make your minor league team really, really good, the bigger squad takes them away from you. That is the advantage of working with walk-on kids that nobody else wants. Even though they may give up some things physically, if you can keep those kids with you for three years, you can teach them so much more. They may be physically limited, but they know more and they care more."

Fabris on Andrew Williams: "He does No. 47 proud. He plays the game the way it was meant to be played. He cares, he'll hit you, he hustles. He does all the things people used to do, but now it's not the norm, it's the exception. That's what you like about guys like that. They care. They know more, often times they're smarter, and heck, they're playing for free. Why else are they out there? They must like something about it. You don't have to beg them to play. Not like scholarship guys who, frankly, some of them are sorry as gully dirt."

Fabris on preparation: "You like to think there is a focus and an intensity every day and every week. I'm not one who believes in hindsight. I believe in foresight. Every play in every game was won or lost days before, weeks before and maybe even months before. Every meeting you didn't pay attention, every drill you sluffed through, somewhere down the road, it's going to bite you."

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