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Friday, November 5, 2010

Q & A: Scott Lakatos

Scott Lakatos has had interesting first season at Georgia. The new secondary coach has seen his unit give up a ton of big plays, and endure a few weeks ranking last in the SEC in third-down defense.

Injuries and suspensions have been a factor, with strong safety Bacarri Rambo being the only player who has started every game. And Rambo has had an up-and-down year.

But it's not all bleak. Entering this week's game against Idaho State, the Bulldogs rank sixth in the league in pass defense, yielding 208.8 yards per game, and a recent run of interceptions have moved them to third in that category, with nine on the season. They have also escaped the basement in the SEC's third-down defense stat, moving up to 11th.

Lakatos spoke earlier this week about what's gone right, what's gone wrong, and indicated that the personnel changes will continue.

SE: How did you feel about the way things went in Jacksonville for the secondary?

SL: There was some good and some bad mixed in-between. That’s the way the game is. I’m sure they probably feel the same way. I’m sure there’s some things they feel happy about and some things they didn’t. That’s the way it goes in those games.

SE: How much did Branden Smith play and how much impact did he have?

SL: He played at least half the game, probably more than that. He was solid. He was where he was supposed to be. He obviously made a pick. He did a decent job on special teams from what I saw. He did a good job.

SE: While he was out, Sanders Commings stepped up. You’ve got Branden back there, Vance back there. How are you handling that now in terms of starting and playing?

SL: We’re basically basing it on how guys do during the week. It’s become a situation now finally where it’s competitive in practice. I mean all those guys wanna play, so they’re working hard in practice, so they’re getting better in what they’re supposed to do. And we’re just looking at it as the best guys are gonna play, and the guys that aren’t in there as starters are a play away from getting in the game. They have to know exactly what’s going on, so when they get in there, we can’t hold back.

SE: At safety, Bacarri Rambo and Shawn Williams have had moments, good and bad. How do you evaluate how those two have done?

SL: I think that whole position in general, those guys, are getting better. They’re all improving. Every day and week. There are sometimes when things come up and they’re a little bit out of position, and that’s what happens. When you play that position and make a mistake, everybody knows about it. It’s different than the guys in front of them. Everybody in front of them makes a mistake all the time and nobody really notices. At safety, or at corner, everybody knows about it.

SE: Is a lot of this learning schemes, learning the system?

SL: No, a lot of it’s understanding leverage, and where you’re supposed to come from to make plays. That’s one thing we always have to improve, is creating leverage on the opponent and maintaining leverage throughout the course of the play so we have a chance to make the play. When we get out of position, that’s when big plays happen.

SE: Is Alec Ogletree another guy that could get more time?

SL: Yeah, he’s another guy – all those guys are getting better. And Alec is getting a lot of reps in practice, and we’re evaluating him. He’s getting better as well. We’ll see how the remainder of the week goes along and see who we’ll roll out there.

SE: Does he (Ogletree) have the most natural ability of the group?

SL: He has some things that are natural that he’s very good at. He also has some things that he needs to improve on like everybody else. We haven’t found the perfect player yet. We’re looking for him, but we haven’t found him yet.

SE: Has this been a frustrating year for you? I mean with the third down defense being what it was, and the big plays.

SL: When you’re around the secondary, it’s easy to get frustrated, because the mistakes that we make tend to be big, game-deciding type of plays. But that’s the nature of the business. Because when you give them up you also to make up for them. So we’re creating some more turnovers, we’re getting our hands on a few more balls now. So throughout the course of the game people are going to make plays. The people we play are too good, they’re going to make plays throughout the game. And we have to make plays throughout to kind of even things out. The thing we have to stop doing is giving up plays in the big spots at the end of the game.


Anonymous said...

I saw the perfect player/teammate for 3 years, and he wore number 34.

Not living in the past - but that was a unique time.

Marcus said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

Too bad UGA has wasted money on hiring this mickey mouse coach from a mickey mouse school and a mickey mouse league. Now UGA has a worse mickey mouse defense.