Daily Dawg Thread: August 09, 2023

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Daily Dawg Thread: August 09, 2023

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Video/Transcript: Glenn Schumann and Todd Hartley Press Conferences

On process of finding a game plan for different offenses in the SEC…
I think you start first of all with when you go into fall camp right now, we try to challenge the guys with a lot of volume, and you try to anticipate problems that are going to rise in the future. Right now, what we do have is time to get reps, to teach, to correct. I think you need to be really forward thinking in terms of what issues are going to be presented in the future. You build a library of options to pick from so that when you get to a gameplan, you kind of know where you’re at. I always compare it to being in the kitchen as a chef. If you go in there and have a fully stocked pantry, a fully stocked fridge and have all your seasonings and spices, you can make whatever dish you want depending on who you’re cooking for. Each offense that you play, you need to cook a little different. When we are focusing on us, that’s like preparing food for your wife and kids at home. That’s our identity and what we are good at. Then the extra fluff in there, we need to build a library so we can pick from it and that makes the game planning process easier because we know what we have and what we can do well.

On keeping an elite defensive standard at Georgia…
“The thing about a standard is once you set it, you have to uphold it every single day. When we go out to practice today, we are not worried about the results that are going to come when we get to play our opponents this fall. We are worried about how we can uphold the standard today. We constantly measure things to hold guys accountable in terms of our results as a team’s defense in the prior day’s practice. We show it to them when we fall short. Then we have to be accountable of that and demand that we do better the next day. We chart things in terms of individual measures of things that really matter to playing great defense. The effort that you play with, you have to have out-hustle people ultimately to play defense. The physicality you play with, you have to out-hit people to play defense at a high level. Your competitive nature that we were talking about earlier, you have to out-compete people. The number one way that we are going to uphold the standard, because schemes change year-to-year based on who your best 11 players are, best 15 players, whoever it is, we are going to measure ‘Did we out-hit people? Did we out-hustle people? Did we out-compete people?’ If we do that, you’re successful playing defense at just about any level of football.”

On recruiting players who can play multiple positions…
“You have to have a home base. A home base for a guy like Javon Bullard could be the safety. The stars and the nickels, a lot of times, they are together, in terms of drill work, in terms of meeting rooms, and things of that nature. Obviously, there are skills that are different there than there are at corner. So, you have to have a home base, and you have to become strong in your home base first. Then you can grow what you can do otherwise. It is a big piece, and we always ask the question about game planning. ‘How can you fit our defense to what we need to do for that opponent?’ You want to have guys that you don’t feel can only do one thing because now, not only do you as a staff feel like you have to protect this guy or only use him this way, but the other team knows that as well. In terms of opponents attacking us, the more versatile our players are, we can’t necessarily say that we are just going to get this front to this formation, or this player is only going to line up to this coverage, or he is only going to line up to a safety. Are they playing left and right corners? Are the playing field and boundary? There’s a big difference. Or are they just getting up and playing ball and they’re interchangeable. A lot of football is in matchups, so if we can change the matchups by having versatile players, it is extremely helpful. For their long-term career development after college – if they are fortunate enough to be able to do that – they don’t necessarily have a say in what position they play at the next level. So, the more we can prepare our guys to be able to do multiple things, it gives them the chance to have longevity in their football career. Natrez Patrick played inside linebacker with me and was able to have two years in an active roster in the NFL as an outside linebacker for the Rams. He was able to cross train. He played third down in some packages for us, and then he was able to do that at the next level. We are also helping their careers if we teach them how to do more than one thing and become a well-rounded football player.”

 

 

 

 

On the development of the freshman outside linebackers…
“Today is practice six, and it’s the first official day in full pads even though we have been in shells. The game changes when pads come on, and it changed a little bit when we went from spiders to shells. It will change more today. Consistency decides who is able to help us. Being on practice six, everybody, no matter how experienced they are, still has a long way to go to get to the consistency and the standard we expect. Those guys flash, those guys have ability, those guys have traits whether it’s in pass-rush or in run defense. They are embracing what we are asking of them. Practice six, I could not have told you who was going to contribute in practice six of last year. We still have two scrimmages and really 25 practices before the first game. About18 of those are camp style, so we are still a third of the way. I’ll be better able to answer the question after those two scrimmages and those 18 practices.”

 

 

 

 

On recruiting tight ends to play at Georgia…
“Recruiting is a group effort, and it starts with the head coach. There’s not a better recruiter in the country than Kirby Smart, I’ll tell you that. When you have Coach Smart’s influence, it’s not as hard walking into a living room when you have Coach Smart behind you. The other thing is the power of the logo. When you have that G on your chest and you walk into a school, you get instant credibility and respect. The fact that you have Georgia on your shirt and you have Coach Smart as your head coach, that makes the job not as hard. I think the thing that we do a good job of here at Georgia is investing in relationships. I think we do a great job of getting to know recruits as people and not just as prospects and as players. I think that’s where we win out most times is people appreciate the genuineness we have. We’re real, and we tell them how it is. Some like it and some don’t, but most people appreciate how open we are with them.” 


On keeping players happy in a deep tight end room…

“Kids are happy when they get reps, and I think we do a phenomenal job at Georgia of getting kids reps. One, that increases their development, and two, it keeps them involved. The way we practice here is unlike any other place in the country. The way that Kirby organizes these practices, there’s not one person standing around ever, not even the injured guys. Kids are constantly getting better, and if they feel like they’re working and getting developed, then naturally they’re going to be happy. At some point, there’s only one football, so you have to find a way to get your playmakers involved and show them that they can have an opportunity to have a chance in the game plan. These guys, specifically in my room, are a special group. I think that they’re very well connected and truly care about each other. We talk about feeding the fire, being truly selfless and putting the team first in all that we do. You’ve got to check your ego, and in today’s world, checking your ego, especially when you have five-stars and four-stars, is hard to do. At this place, you’d better learn to do that real fast, and I think that my guys have done a great job of doing that.” 

On Brock Bowers’ impact on the team…

“He’s such a special kid. Any box you create, he checks it. The kid is the hardest worker I’ve ever met. He’ll be the first one to breakfast. He’ll be the first one to the training room to get his ankles taped. He’ll be the first one in the media room. He’ll be the last one to leave the field. If we do a 10-yard sprint, he’ll be the first one to win the 10-yard sprint. If we do a 30-yard sprint, he’ll be the first one to win the 30-yard sprint. I think that’s what makes him special. He’s got extreme talent – he can run, he can jump, he can catch, and he’s tough – but what makes him special to me is his competitiveness. He is the ultimate competitor. The kid doesn’t want to lose at anything. I need to see Oscar Delp get reps. I need to see Lawson Luckie and Pearce Spurling get reps, and when I take him off and limit some of his reps, he gets pissed off. He’s like, ‘What did I do wrong?’ and I’m like, ‘Nothing, buddy. Just stand right here, it’s okay.’ You should want it that way. Kids should be pissed off when they don’t get their reps. That tells you that he wants to be great. I’m just thankful for the opportunity that I get to coach him. He’s such a great kid.” 

On Oscar Delp’s development… 

“I’m very proud of how hard he’s worked. He was another one of those kids who was a projection tight end. Whatever the ratings were, we don’t look at that. He was rated highly as a tight end. I looked at him as a player, and obviously we liked what we saw from tape and from camp. He had such a long way to go. He put himself in a position to contribute last year, and he did that. When it mattered the most, when Darnell Washington came out in the semifinal game, he was able to in there and perform at a high level. Even from the Ohio State game, the growth that he’s had from spring to summer to now has been exponential. I’m very proud of how hard he’s worked. He knows that there’s a void with Darnell leaving that we’ve got to have at the point of attack from a tight end standpoint. He knows that he has the potential to fill that void, so he really had to attack his blocking technique, his run game fundamentals, his pass protection fundamentals and he has done that. When he came in, that’s what he liked the most. From where he came in to where he is now, I’m very pleased with how hard he’s worked to get himself to this point.” 


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Greg is closing in on 15 years writing about and photographing UGA sports. While often wrong and/or out of focus, it has been a long, strange trip full of fun and new friends.