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Sunday, February 8, 2009

Reshad's Rumblings and Other Informative Tidbits

See, I couldn't even make it 24 hours without posting something else. I have a story in Sunday's Telegraph on Reshad Jones' new outlook heading into the 2009 season, and I figured I'd pass along some additional quotes from our interview, too. So here's a bit of what Reshad had to say when we talked last week...

On what his offseason has been like so far after deciding to return to school...
"It's been kind of crazy, but I just knew I wasn't finished at Georgia. I looked at the pros and cons, and I know I haven't accomplished everything I wanted to accomplish at Georgia just me being great and helping my team be great. I just felt like I could use an extra year to make this program better."

On what he expects his role to be next year...
"I know a couple top guys left, but I felt like I was the next person in line to be the leader, and I didn't want to just leave the guys with nobody with any experience back there. So I felt like I could come back and help the guys out a lot, and myself. I just wanted to come back and be a leader in all aspects in the classroom, off the field, just in general. I had some more room to grow as a man, personally, and just mature, so I wanted to come back and mature mentally and physically."

On how close he came to leaving for the NFL...
"I was pretty close. I sat down and looked at all the pros and cons and talked to my grandma and granddad, and I just felt like I had to mature more. I didn't realize how close I was to graduation, and my grandma always preached getting my degree. I have 12 more credits after this, so I could graduate in December, so I felt like I would have accomplished a lot by getting my degree and maturing on the football field. It was my decision. I prayed about it, I talked to my grandparents, and I just felt like I hadn't accomplished everything here at Georgia I wanted to accomplish, and I just knew I had to come back."

(SIDE NOTE: Everyone always sits down to make a big decision. For once, I'd like someone to say, "I stood up and really gave it some thought...")

On his leadership style...
"I'm going to go in and try to be a leader, but I'm not one of them vocal guys like a Kelin Johnson. I try to lead by my actions on and off the field."

On the young guys he thinks could break out in 2009...
"I know Baccari Rambo is coming on pretty strong and working hard, and Sanders (Commings) has put on some weight. Coach likes a lot of young guys. The DB class that we brought in last year, I think all of them will help us this year."

On how he would rate his 2008 season...
"I think I had a pretty good season stats-wise, but I know I haven't played my best ballgames yet. That's why I say I haven't accomplished everything. Once I leave, I want to be known on everybody's radar as one of the top safeties in the country, which I think I am."

On Kiante Tripp's move back to defense...
"He's one of my close friends, and he's pretty excited to be on the defensive side of the ball. Since he's been here he's been kind of pushed around in different spots, but he's a team guy, so he's willing to do whatever it takes to help the team win. We need some defensive ends, obviously, this year, so I feel he just wanted to come back to defense to help the team win. He's a monster, he's big, once he gets everything down and keep working with Coach Fab, I believe he'll be a great player."

On what the offseason workouts have been like so far...

"I would definitely say the intensity has been turned up. I see a lot of guys working harder than they ever worked since I've been here. It's a lot different. The coaches are going into it a different way, I know all the seniors are doing every mat drill, the intensity is just turned up. We want to turn it on and do what we have to do to win ballgames."

On why the team is more intense this offseason...

"We fell short of our goals last year, and we had a lot of guys leave, underclassmen who could have helped us, so we need some guys to step up, and I feel like Coach is looking at it, too, like he wants guys to step up. I just feel everybody's bonding together just working hard right now, the hardest I've seen guys work since I've been here. The intensity is just turned up."

Couple other quick notes...

-- Don't know how many of you read my story in Friday's Telegraph on former Central Fellowship triple jumper Jamaal Parker, but he helped lead Georgia track & field to a nice weekend at Virginia Tech, setting a personal best mark of 52 feet, 4.75 inches -- the fifth best mark in school history.

"Jamaal keeps getting better and better and he if keeps at this pace, he has a good shot of finishing in the top two or three in the (Southeastern Conference) and a chance to be an All-American," coach Wayne Norton said in a UGA release.

-- On the other end of the spectrum, there's the men's basketball program, which dropped its 10th straight game on Saturday at South Carolina.

Terrance Woodbury scored 20 in the 79-68 loss, but the rest of the box score was bleak as usual. Dustin Ware had an astounding 10 turnovers in the game (how is that even possible without getting benched?) and once again the differential on 3-pointers was a key. Georgia was just 4-of-17 from beyond the arc, while South Carolina connected on nearly 46 percent from 3.

The Bulldogs also continued to shake up the lineup, with Chris Barnes and Troy Brewer each getting starts. Meanwhile, Jeremy Price didn't see a minute of action. Not sure if there's an injury issue there or if that was a coach's decision. I'll look into it.

-- Also, a sad day for fans of "Shawshank Redemption." RIP James Whitmore, who played Brooks in the movie. Tim Robbins and (obviously) Morgan Freeman played the key characters in the film, but I've always thought it was Whitmore who made the movie great. As much as Freeman and Robbins' characters talked about finding humanity in prison, it was the character of Brooks who really displayed it in the most sincere form. Whitmore obviously had a lot of other great roles in his career, but this scene from Shawshank will always be one of my favorites.

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

Dear Reshad Jones,

If you haven't done so already, please watch film of Greg Blue in action. That's how Georgia safeties are supposed to tackle. Opposing wide receivers should be afraid for their lives whenever the ball is thrown in their direction. You're one of the most naturally talented college football players in the country, but seriously, it's time to start hurting people.

See you in the September. I'll bring the beers; you bring the pain.

Anonymous said...

Semper Fi Mr. Whitmore,
I loved your acting. Your Twilight Zone episode (1959 "We leave for home") was arguably the best one ever done. Of course your portrayal of "Mac" in Battle Cry (1955) was outstanding.
Btw he served as a Marine in WW II from 1944 to the end of the war. Semper Fi Marine.

Mike In Valdosta said...

Tomas Davis, Sean Jones, Terrel Bierra, Kelin (at about a buck eight five) all played with violence. Perhaps injury has something to do with it or maybe it was just how they practiced last year. I am sure he knows better than all of us that you cannot play safety on Sunday if you don't make the tackle. Next year, I doubt you can play on Saturday if you miss tackles. He will improve (via competition if nothing else) and we will be proud.

the anonymous suckup said...

David:

I've read in multiple places that Reshad Jones is moving over to strong safety. As I recall, CJ Byrd moved over to strong safety after Kelin Johnson left.

Here's my question: What's the reason for those moves? Is it because of a particular skill set - meaning that Jones would be better at strong safety than Banks, Knox, or Evans might be? Or does Martinez simply want his most experienced player at strong safety every year - which makes it more about experience than skills?

For me, I'd rather have a better hitter and tackler play strong safety.

David Hale said...

suckup: At this point, it's strictly an experience thing. Bryan Evans' move to safety came so late in the year last year that he really only had a chance to learn free safety, while Banks and Knox have mostly only played at FS, too. Reshad, however, has some experience at both positions and knows SS pretty well, thus making him the default candidate to move there. To your point though, if Evans develops well between now and August, he seems like a great fit there. Say what you want about the kid, but he's very fast and he loves to hit.

Anonymous said...

I love you david hale

the anonymous suckup said...

David:

Thanks for the response. In my mind, the strong safety should be a larger, more physical player - sort of like an extra linebacker. While the free safety should be more nimble and better at pass coverage - sort of like an extra cornerback. Are my assumptions correct?

If so, then I'm having trouble understanding why Evans would be more of a natural fit for SS than FS.

Carter said...

I think SS more or less just indicates that they are covering the side of the field on which the opposing team's TE is aligned, as is the case w/ SLB.

Also, my "word verification" was nitrate. Hot dogs?