Daily Dawg Thread: December 28, 2022

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Daily Dawg Thread: December 28, 2022

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Transcript: Todd Monken, Stetson Bennett, Sedrick Van Pran Interviews – December 28, 2022

THE MODERATOR: We’re joined by offensive coordinator, Todd Monken, quarterback Stetson Bennett, and center, Sedrick Van Pran. Start with a couple of opening statements. Coach, just talking about preparation for this, a game of this magnitude, a semifinal game, does that affect preparation, and how has that been going for you?

TODD MONKEN: I would think what affects preparation probably the most is just the time in between when we played last. I don’t know how many days that’s been, but you’re never really used to having almost a full month off from the last time you played, guys finishing up finals, getting them going again, then you have a break for Christmas, which was well-deserved by our players and then getting them going again. But we’re excited to get back after it. We’ve had really good three weeks of preparation and a great start to this week.

THE MODERATOR: For the players, you guys have had an opportunity to do a lot of things while you’ve been in town for bowl week, go to a lot of events and activities. What’s the highlight of the week each of you so far been?





STETSON BENNETT: I think the highlight so far was when we were playing Family Feud, and I think we won that one. It was short lived. I think Ohio State won the next game. I can’t remember, but it was pretty exciting when we got that victory. SEDRICK VAN PRAN: I think for me the most exciting thing probably was talking to Andrew Young last night. He had a lot of things to say about the civil rights movement and different things like that. And as a guy who enjoys history, it was really good to kind of be around that.

THE MODERATOR: Awesome. Appreciate that. We’ll go right into questions. Q. Coach, I’m just curious, we can all see Brock’s extremely versatile, but could you talk to the mental bandwidth it requires to know that many different positions and play that many different positions in your offense?

TODD MONKEN: Well, we’ve had this conversation since I’ve been here about Brock, and what kind of worker he is, attention to detail, mental toughness that he has. And he’s really developed in a lot of areas. And it’s a credit to him. It’s a credit to his upbringing, his family. And like I said, there’s a lot of things you can do with him. He’s outstanding with the ball in his hands. He’s got an elite catch radius, ability to compete to go get the football. And so, again, he’s meant a lot to us in terms of this year in terms of having an AD out and his ability to make plays.





Q. Stetson, when you look at this Ohio State defense, what stands out to you about it and just what that defense does really well and how you guys will have to counteract it?

STETSON BENNETT: First of all, they have really good players and they execute their system. They try to cause havoc. They can come from a lot of different places. They do their assignment, and in order for us to be successful, we have to do ours. And that’s trusting Sed, whenever he’s making the calls and talking to him. But at the end of the day, they’ve got a really good football team. We’ve got a really good football team, and it’s going to come down to who executes better on Saturda

Q. The Ohio State players who were in here before y’all were asked what advantages they think they might have against the offense, and they said, we have advantages across the board. And I want to see if y’all wanted to respond to that. 

TODD MONKEN: Well, I mean, they should have confidence. They have a good football team. I’m not going to sit here and say that we think in terms of this X, Y and Z.  We have advantages. We have a good football team.  Our tape proves that. Their tape proves it. So at the end of the day, we got good football players. They got good football players. 

At this point, it’s going to come down to execution. It’s going to come down to our preparation that leads up to this, and it’s not going to come down to whether we think we have advantages or we don’t think we have advantages because at the end of the day, both teams have good players. It’s going to come down to doing the little things well in execution. 

THE MODERATOR: Stetson, do you see any advantages that they have? 

STETSON BENNETT: That Ohio State has? Yeah, certainly. Yeah. I don’t really want to get into the particulars right now, but obviously they were undefeated until the last game of the season. It’s hard to do that. And we were, too, last year until we lost to Alabama, and then we ended up winning it all. So we certainly are not taking Ohio State lightly. Like they said, they’ve got advantages all over the board. So we’re going to have to go play football. 


SEDRICK VAN PRAN: I think the biggest thing I would like to just focus on is like Coach Monken said, we both have good players on each side, and it really is going to come down to execution. I really have a lot of respect for Ohio State, their program and everything that they stand for, but also I have a lot of pride in Georgia football. So we just really look forward to continuing to prepare and just go out there and compete. 

Q. Question for both Stetson and Sedrick. I’m just curious, a unique relationship between quarterback and center. Maybe speak about how one has lessened the burden or maybe the workload on Saturdays between the other and how the relationship has developed. 

SEDRICK VAN PRAN: Honestly, I don’t think it’s less by either. I think it’s more of a trust that each guy will get the job done. And, also, a connection in knowing that if he tells me something or I tell him something, there’s no ego. It’s no — it’s nothing against you personally. It’s all for the benefit of the team. 

And I think understanding that, that genuinely the time that we’ve spent outside of football, it comes into play, and I really enjoy playing next to this guy right next to me. So at the end of the day, we both just try to make sure we get our job done and trusting each other for the team. 

STETSON BENNETT: Yeah, like you just kind of find that mold where you’re not — it happens smoothly, and I don’t think we’ve — we may have dropped two snaps. 

SEDRICK VAN PRAN: The whole time. 

STETSON BENNETT: Yeah, in practice. And it just it works, and like Sed said, nothing is personal. Nothing — like if he makes a right call, then he makes the right call, and it does not matter. Sed’s done a great job of growing and learning and becoming a smarter football player and a better football player. So I can lean on him more, I can trust him more, and I can just say little things, and then he responds, and I know what that means, right? It just comes little shorthand, easy speak. But that comes with time, and — why are you laughing? I don’t know. It’s been a pleasure and an honor playing behind him. 

Q. Coach Monken, how have you seen your offense grow and develop over the course of the season to now put you guys in the position you’re in today? 

TODD MONKEN: I don’t — you know, we went through last year, we lost George, and it forces you to adapt, and then you lose AD early in the year, and you’re forced to adapt, and luckily we’ve got other good players. Probably the most constant we’ve had is these two guys right here because the epicenter of what you do is your center and your quarterback. They make it go. They’re the ones that communicate upfront. 

So those two guys have been the reason we’ve been where we’re at along with everybody else and the continued improvement of the O line, the consistency there. But it’s hard for me to pinpoint, because in my mind, averages just make you feel good. At the end of the year, what’s going to matter most Saturday is that we score, we don’t turn it over. It won’t matter what we’ve done really up to this point other than our execution, how we practice this week and be able to put it on the field Saturday night. 

Q. Todd, when your all’s, for lack of a better term, benched Stetson after the Jacksonville game a couple years ago, what was his sort of journey like that you saw in that almost ten months before he really took back over? 

TODD MONKEN: Well, it’s a complete credit to him, and really nothing to do with me. All we did was try to bury him for the couple of years he was here, and all he did was continue to fight and compete and had every reason to say, you know what, I’m gone in today’s day and age in the portal and guys leaving. He didn’t do that. He wanted to be a Georgia Bulldog, wanted to be the quarterback for the Georgia Bulldogs. 

You know, I think that we’ve come out the other side probably better collectively. He’s very prideful, and we wouldn’t be where we’re at without him. And collectively we’ve improved. I’ve done a better job of coaching him.  He’s done a better job of accepting that part of it. He always had talent, always had ability. We talked about it last year getting ready for Michigan. You know, there was a back and forth about Stetson and J.T., and all I said was just look at the film. Just look at the film and the plays he’s made. And even this year, look at the plays that he’s made to get us where we’re at. And sometimes you don’t always make the right decision. You know, we’re human, too, in terms of who we play. And then you gotta reverse course and say you know what, we’re wrong, this is the guy. 

Q. Stetson, it’s not like you guys play any small games. They’re all in front of 75, 80 or 100,000 on national TV, but some of your biggest games have come on the biggest stages, playoffs last year, the opener, SEC championship. What is it about the biggest stages that brings out often the best in you? 

STETSON BENNETT: I don’t know. I think I — I don’t know. I understand the importance of it may be. I don’t know. And, again, if there’s no choice, it’s easy. Right? I mean, if you don’t give yourself another choice than to play well or win, then you don’t have another option and you don’t waste any time looking for that option. You spend all your time looking to win. So that’s kind of how I think about it. 

Q. Todd, to follow up again on Stetson, he’s often self-critical, but when he says that when he started with you that he was a guy who didn’t understand football, what would you say about that, and where would you say he’s made the most growth? 

TODD MONKEN: Well, I think he’s overplaying that way, way, way too much because I’m sitting here. The reality is Stetson is a very, very football-smart player. Maybe I had 

one too many verys. But Stetson is a very smart player.  He loves football. I mean, he sits in there, studies it, will be in there late. He wants to know everything about what we’re doing, how to do it better. He’s one of the rarer guys at this level that you can be quarterback controlled, and he can run it. He can get us in and out of plays. He can see it. Has a fantastic football mind. 

So to say that, like I said, that’s unfair to himself. It’s unfair to his preparation and what he’s done. You know, I do think there’s a point in a player’s progression where maybe — and this is a guess. We’ve never talked about that.  Okay, Stetson comes in, he leaves, comes back, what vision does he have of himself, you know, that, sure, he’d love to be the starter at Georgia. But deep down is he really thinking like, okay, I’m going to be the starter at Georgia. 

I think once you get a chance to play in meaningful games and you realize like I always believed I could play, because we played Arkansas my first year here, and thank God he came in the game and rescued our ass, because he played his rear end off and right there, maybe to him and us, we’re like this guy’s a really good football player. 

So I think there’s a little too much he’s putting on that about me and the fact that maybe it’s a combination of two things of like, okay, man, I can do this, and how do I maximize my measurable skill set. How do I get better, this that I’ve worked on gets better. And then for us, how do we try to find ways to maximize what he does well to give us the best chance to win. 

Q. Todd, how was Michigan able to create so many explosive plays and now this sort of chess match comes where you think Ohio State’s defense will react this way so we have to do this, et cetera? 

TODD MONKEN: Oh, you know, a couple of the plays at the end of the game came when they were trying to stop the run. So it’s kind of hard. The game was kind of at the point where they had to get a stop and they had a couple of long runs, but early in the game. They went zero and missed a tackle on hitch route. They were a second away from getting a sack, and they missed a tackle and he went the distance. And they had defenders run into each other one time on a wheel route. They caught him in a cloud coverage and hit across the field raised route. 

So they were able to take advantage of, you know, I guess you call sometimes a miss cue by the defense or some play action, but again, the game is really simple. I mean, it’s really, you know, how do we be explosive, how do we not turn it over. How do we get third downs. Do we score touchdowns in the red zone and how do we not lose our place and put you behind the chains. And they did those things. 

They were able to be explosive. They didn’t turn it over.  They held Ohio State at times. So it gave them a chance to continue to plug ahead. So like any — they’re no different than any other team you play, is if you’re not able to be explosive, you’re going to have a hard time scoring.  It just worked out in that game that Michigan hit some plays that gave them a chance to be explosive. And that’s in games we’ve had success against unless we’ve been significantly better if you don’t find ways to be explosive, you’re going to have a hard time scoring points. 

Q. Ohio State has a lot of depth upfront at the defensive line. They have a lot of talent on the edge.  What do you see from their edge rushers on film that stands out? 

TODD MONKEN: Well, they’re long and rangy. And I think the one thing they’re twitchy inside. I know you’re talking about their outside guys. They create issues with their looks. So you have to be careful and not chase ghosts, but you have to be prepared because they’re not afraid to pressure you. As these guys said earlier, from the field, from the boundary, different players pressuring you. So you have to be dialed in to what looks they’re giving you, but definitely their edge guys can create issues. 

Again, like any team that we’ve played in the past that have had really good players upfront, the best way to be able to negate that is to be able to run the football, be able to get the ball out of your hands, be able to protect, chip when you can. And if we’re able to do that and not be in long yard situations or get behind, then it doesn’t eliminate really good players, but it limits their ability to affect the game. 

That happened last year against Michigan. We got ahead early. We were able to run the football. We got it out of our hands. Against LSU with their edge guys, that’s the key to it. Otherwise those guys can really disrupt the game. 

Q. Coach Monken, a lot has been made of these Georgia practices over the past few years, but the bottom line is that there’s a work ethic and player empowerment that is kind of unrivaled across the college football landscape. In a week like this where emotions can be heightened, what sense of comfort do you take as a coaching staff knowing these players are going to come out and be accountable for each other in that practice setting? 

TODD MONKEN: Well, I think the biggest comfort you take is watching your guys work. You know, we can only go by what we see. You recruit good players. You have a structure and a system. And then you go to work. And like I tell the offensive staff, you know, I can’t call plays that I don’t see during the week work. I mean, that’s a rarity. 

So the looks that we get by the scout group and our execution gives you confidence to call it. And the exact same thing is true with your players is anybody that says, well, I’m not really a practice player doesn’t play. That makes no sense to me, because I can only go by in our staff by what you do every day and how you work and gain the trust of your teammates and the coaches as to when you put him on the field. 

And when that occurs, then you have a lot of faith of what the product will look like, because you’ve seen it every day and the work they’ve put in, because when you have talent and they play their rear ends off and they work and have attention to detail, the game is just a byproduct of that. 

Q. Coach, and I guess you can answer this too, Sed, being an offensive lineman. When they have edge rushers like that that are so prone to get on field and get after the quarterback, I guess how much does a play action impact that and maybe how do you attack that in the run game, take advantage of it rather? 

SEDRICK VAN PRAN: So when you kind of look at it, they really do have some amazing edge rushers. Those guys really get after it, super athletic, different things like that.  And as far as like the run game, you really just have to focus on what’s the staple of what we believe in. One of the things that we believe in here is running the ball. 

So no matter how athletic or no matter how gifted or God gifted somebody may be, you have to do everything in your might to fight to stand on what you believe in. And as the offensive line here at Georgia, we genuinely believe on being tough guys, and doing everything we can to help this football team win. So despite everything that they may possess, you have to give everything you have for this team, because it is everything, everything that we play for, everything that we work for. So despite their God-given talent, we have to go out there and give our all. 

TODD MONKEN: Yeah, I mean they got good players.  We got good players, they got good players. Let’s go. You know, I mean it is what it is. We’ve played teams that have good players. They’ve played teams that have good players, and it comes down to, you know, how we prepare and the plan that we put together for our guys to give them the best chance to be successful. And like I said, they’ve got good players. 

THE MODERATOR: All right. We’ll end it there. Thank you, gentlemen. 

Transcript: Brock Bowers, Broderick Jones, Kenny McIntosh Interviews – December 28, 2022

THE MODERATOR: All right. We’re going to continue with the Georgia offense and our final session. We’ve got tackle, Broderick Jones, tight end, Brock Bowers, and tailback, Kenny McIntosh. We’ll go ahead and just a quick opening statement from you guys. We’re asking all the players. Obviously you guys have gotten to do a lot of fun activities and different events throughout the week. For each one of you, what’s been the highlight of the week for you, the thing you will really take home, the thing that you are going to remember? 

BRODERICK JONES: I would say Family Feud. I’m so competitive. And Family Feud. I grew up watching Family Feud. I always wanted to be on the show. So it was a good experience, you know, just to be there. 

BROCK BOWERS: I’d say just hanging out in the hospitality suite at the hotel. I mean, just playing ping pong, playing pool and just hanging out with everyone. 

BRODERICK JONES: I’ve been beating him every time in pool, by the way. 

BROCK BOWERS: That’s a lie. 

KENNY McINTOSH: I would say Family Feud as well.  Just seeing those guys react as the game went on and Georgia ended up winning that. It was just a fun moment, a moment that I’ll remember, because I had the camera up walking around and putting the camera in front of my guys’ faces and stuff like that. So I’ll definitely remember that moment, just seeing them smiling and being able to enjoy themselves. 

THE MODERATOR: Okay. We’ll go ahead and jump into questions. 

Q. Broderick, a lot of really talented edge rushers, we’ve already talked a lot about in here. How have you gone about studying them? What do they bring to the table and is there any difference between 9, I think it’s 44 and 32? 

BRODERICK JONES: Yeah. I really don’t try and just single out one specific player at a time. I would rather just watch the whole scheme of the game just because of, you know, they switch so many people out every time. So I just try and look at the scheme and how they will play if certain people were in. I just don’t try and single out 44 or 9, even though they are great pass rushers. You know, they will be a big challenge for us. But I believe at the end of the day, it’s really about the defense as a whole and the way we play, and not just the specific two players. 

Q. Kind of gotten glimpses of Stetson’s swagger throughout the year, the Tennessee game with the call me sign after that. Any funny stories in the huddle of him just talking trash, getting you guys fired up about the next play, something he sees open, guaranteed victory kind of thing? 

KENNY McINTOSH: Let me think about that real quick.  You said funny moments of Stetson in the huddle? I can remember — let me think. I can remember we were playing, I think this was Kentucky, just being so cold out there. Being the quarterback, you gotta be able to call plays. And looking at the wrist band, he’s shivering, because — and he said a word wrong, and we all knew what he was meaning because we were looking at it too as well, but just being there, being cold out there shivering and stuff like that and he was talking funny and we laughed about it, but we also knew it was time to go out there and play. 

THE MODERATOR: Brock, what about you, funny Stetson stories. 

BROCK BOWERS: I can’t really think of one right now.  That was like the only one I was thinking about was when he would come to the huddle and be like, man, I can’t even feel my hands right now, it’s so cold. That was kind of the only one I could think of right now. 

THE MODERATOR: We’ll come back to you. Keep thinking. Broderick, what do you got? 

BRODERICK JONES: I really can’t think of anything either. I ain’t even gonna lie. Not in the huddle. But I could say just like being around him, he’s a very funny person, you know, just in general, every day on a daily basis. He’s a great guy to be around. 

THE MODERATOR: We heard in the last session about his flip phone. What’s going on with that? 

KENNY McINTOSH: You said flip phone? See, in the huddle, it’s more serious. You can’t say that in the huddle because we’re playing the game. We’re focusing and stuff like that. But just being around him, you know, day to day, he’s hilarious. Got a flip phone. We all question him about it because he got an iPhone as well, too. We don’t know why he got that flip phone or where this came about. But he just walks around with his flip phone. Or swagger I see, he’ll go and throw on the Louis Vuitton duffle bag or anything like. He don’t wear things like that. He’s not into things like that. So when he do it, it’s just a funny moment.  The team loves it and laughs about it. He’s a character. 

Q. Brock, I talked to you after the SEC championship game and you said one of the challenges would be last year you coming off a loss and had a really great month and really drew on that loss to ramp you up into the playoffs. You said that would be the challenge.  That was the last I’ve heard from you. How has the last month been and where did you find that motivation you had from a loss last year and this year coming in undefeated? 

BROCK BOWERS: Yeah. We have the drive because obviously we were playing for the national championship and that drive helped us, and also, I mean, I feel like there wasn’t really a dip in our performance at practice or anything. And we’ve just been working all month. So I feel good about our preparation and everything. 

Q. I’m just curious, we all know you’re extremely versatile as a tight end and H, play a little running back as well. What does it require mentally to retain all the information it requires to play that many different positions, and how long did it take for you to really absorb the full depth of the offense? 

BROCK BOWERS: Yeah, I think last year, like every single week they were putting in new plays and that would kind of mess with my head a little bit. And I was still scrambling last year, but this year, I felt more like focused, and I mean, just able to retain all that information. And it definitely helped being here for another year. And I mean, you eventually kind of like learn everything that’s going on during the play just by doing it every time and just seeing other people do it. So that helped. 

Q. Broderick, I’ll ask you the same question I asked Sedrick. In your opinion, what has allowed the offensive line to really develop and get better over the course of the year, I guess, specifically over the last month or so? 

BRODERICK JONES: You know, just being able to go against the talent that Georgia has on the defensive side every day in practice, you know. That pushes us every day, helps us get better, helps us grow. You know, just upholding the standard on the O line, just being able to play as a unit and not as individuals. We really look at that more so of just trying to play like thinking about something else, you know. We really want to be a unit and play for one. So I believe that’s what it is. 

Q. Going back to Stetson real quick, he’s obviously got great numbers throughout his starting career, but in big games, it’s been pretty crazy. The playoffs last year and LSU this year, he has 800 passing yards, nine touchdowns, no picks. What have you guys seen from him in those biggest of big-stage moments? 

KENNY McINTOSH: I just say how comfortable he is.  Like you said, he done played in a lot of big-time games and he’s seen it already. So just how comfortable he is to go out there and change the play call when we’re in one or get us out of different looks or protections or anything like that. It just helps this team a lot and just shows how smart and how much of a leader he is and how much he means to this team to be able to do the things like that and help us be successful. 

BROCK BOWERS: I’d say just his confidence going into it, and I mean, the focus and the preparation and everything leading up to the game just helps him a lot during the game. And I mean, he just comes out and performs on the big stages. So that’s really good for our team. 

BRODERICK JONES: Yeah. I would piggyback on what he said. Just like the confidence he brings within himself.  You know, like he’s very confident about his game, very confident about the game plan and what Coach Monken has implemented. You know, just being able to showcase what he can do being at the size he is, you know, just being that way on and off the field, like his calmness throughout the storm, you know, he never lacks. So I can just say that. 

Q. For all you guys, it’s not often you get to spend some quality time with a living legend. Just curious your takeaways last night with Andrew Young at the Ebenezer Baptist Church? 

KENNY McINTOSH: Being able to listen to them guys last night was definitely an experience I remember. Those guys done been through a lot. And for us to be where we’re at now to say we’re playing with a different gender, now this time, this year go around now, so being able to see things change and be able to be on the team with another race shouldn’t be able to control the relationships we have or anything, the outcome in the world and stuff like that. They went through a lot and I took a lot from them because I’m in the position they was at like when they was talking about college. So being in college playing with my brothers, I call them my brothers, you know, I just look at it as a blessing to be able to be here where I’m at now because back in the day, it wasn’t like this. 

THE MODERATOR: Brock, how about you? 

BROCK BOWERS: It was awesome just to hear his experiences, and like he’s been through a lot, and just to — I mean, I guess still be that sharp at 90 years old, I mean, it was pretty amazing to see him up there and talking and interacting with everyone. So, yeah, it was definitely awesome to hear him talk about his life experiences, and yeah. 

BRODERICK JONES: Yeah. I can say the same. Just him being 90 is crazy, I will say that. And, you know, just him telling us stories. He told one story about Herschel Walker and how he had met Herschel Walker and how he asked him how he could be like someone in a race. I can’t remember who it was. 

KENNY McINTOSH: His sister. 

BRODERICK JONES: His sister, yeah. And he told him he had to do 100 on pushups, 100 sit-ups and find a hill every night to run up and down. So that was just a great moment, you know, just listening to the stories and how he came up and just learning more about what happened and what went on back in the day. You know, it was a great experience just to sit there like live and watch him and watch him talk about his past events, what had happened in his life live because I was sitting in the front row right there, you know, locked in, listening to everything he was talking about. So it was a good experience. 

Q. For each of you guys, Stetson was saying that Coach Monken has really helped him understand the game of football a lot more. For each of you guys how has Coach Monken helped you develop your understanding of the game of football over the last three years he’s been here? 

KENNY McINTOSH: I would say Monken is an intelligent offensive coordinator. So he knows — the way he takes the game is so serious, and he knows things that I don’t ever think of. So just being able to pick his brain, even if it’s running a route, picking up a block, foot work, anything.  He just gives us little ticks and stuff like that we can carry on for the next level, because he’s been there, and that’s somewhere we want to go. 

So, you know, just buying into and listening to what he’s saying has definitely taught me a lot, because he’s been an offensive coordinator at the highest level. And he knows what he’s talking about, so I just listen to him. 

BROCK BOWERS: Yeah. I mean I learned so much since I got here. Like in high school, I really didn’t know anything about like what to look for like on film and like opposing defense and everything. And when I got here, he taught me so much about how to know if someone’s coming like on a blitz or what coverage they’re going to, like presnap reads and everything like that. And I mean, just having the knowledge he has and being able to share it with us, it’s just — I mean, we gotta listen to him just because he knows so much. And it definitely helps me a lot. 

BRODERICK JONES: Yeah, I would say the same thing Brock said. You know, just like with everything that he knows, it’s hard just not to listen to what he has to say sometimes, because he knows so much. He’s been there.  He’s done that, you know, at the next level. We’re all trying to get to the next level. So just being able to pick his brain and figure out things that you may have not known or you may have known and he can give you a better understanding still just because he knows so much about it, you know. Picking his brain, just learning more about defenses, you know, schemes, you know, what they may do, just based off what they look, just based off the looks that they give. 

So I believe that’s a great thing for him to do, you know, just being able to coach every position, too. Like he doesn’t just single out one position like quarterbacks. He watches the wide receivers. He watches the tight ends.  He watches the O line. You know, like and it’s just great just being able to get that coaching. 

Q. Broderick, question for you. Recruited by Sam Pittman, signed by Matt Luke, playing under Stacy Searels, what has the journey been like first of all?  What have you picked from everybody? And talk about the year under Stacy and how you guys have progressed. 

BRODERICK JONES: You know, I don’t look at that too much just because of so much of me being still with my brothers, you know. Like that helps a lot, being with them, coming in every day ready to work. But at the same time, it’s been a great experience with all the coaches, being able to pick their brains. I really didn’t get to play under Sam Pittman really, but just when he was recruiting me, I still was able to get a couple of nuggets from him and learn a little more. 

So I will say, and then Coach Searels, he’s a great guy.  He’s a hard-nosed guy. He has an old-school type coaching mindset. So it was a little difficult to me at first, but I’m getting used to it. We have a great relationship.  We may goof around a little bit, but at the end of the day, we get the job done. 

Q. This is for all three of you. Obviously the last time you played was the SEC championship game earlier this month. That’s a long time to not play a game from then until now. I’m curious what each of you have done personally to stay locked in and prepared and how antsy are you just to play this game? 

BRODERICK JONES: I’m really antsy. I’m ready to play just because I don’t like sitting around waiting. I’m an impatient guy. I’m ready to get to the point. So just being up here in Atlanta, you know, I’m from Atlanta. It helps a little bit keeping me locked in with my team, my brothers.  We may goof around a little bit in the hospitality room, beating him in pool. I’ve been beating him in pool. He can’t beat me. Just being able to have fun with my brothers, it keeps us a little bit motivated and ready for the big day when it comes. 

BROCK BOWERS: Yeah. I mean, I’m antsy, too, ready to play. It’s hard to wait a month. And I think like our coaches did a good job on, I guess, keeping us locked in.  And I mean, just doing as much stuff as we can in order to be ready to play. So I think that helped us a lot staying focused. 

KENNY McINTOSH: Definitely. I would say our coaches definitely kept us locked in. They want us to win 24 hours.  Each and every day, we’re doing something to help this team get to where we want to go. I’d say even when we had a little break home, guys still, we wrote down things that we wanted to do to help this team before we left, and I can just tell you what I wrote. I wrote that I was going to watch film and catch 100 balls a day. 

So just being able to do those little things. And like the guys said, I’m ready to play, too. It’s hard to wait a month.  So just doing little things like that to get back in football mode slowly, but surely, I would say that definitely helped us to keep us focused and dialed in for this game. 

Q. Broderick, do you ever get jealous that Jalen gets to come in and play offense and look cool and you guys always do the dirty work and you never get to sack guys, hold up number one fingers, anything like that? 

BRODERICK JONES: No, man. I don’t get jealous. I just come here ready to do whatever I have to do for the team, just like him. Him being a bigger body and being so dominant, having him behind me, it makes my job easier a little bit anyway just because he can come through more people and make a hole. Like all the running backs gotta do is follow him and it’s a touchdown just because he’s so big. You can ask him. 

But just having him behind me, like it gives me a little bit of extra confidence that being so close, and so like just me and him, like having the relationship we have. It’s so goofy, but at the end of the day, I’m always proud of what he has done and what he has accomplished as a man. So I just look at that as that. 

Q. Broderick, another one for you. Turned into a really counter heavy football team this year. You as a tremendous athlete at the left tackle position. What does that play allow you to do? You seem to enjoy it.  When I watch you on film, you seem to enjoy that particular play. 

BRODERICK JONES: I do like counter. He like running behind me, too. I mess with the running backs and quarterbacks all the time. Just because I’m so athletic and I can do it so well, I really do like pulling and just showing my athleticism, just getting out in the open field and just running a lot, because at the end of the day, it’s a great scheme, too as well, just because you never know what we can do. We can go outside to the edge. We can get to the edge. We can go inside. You never just know where it can hit. So just being able to follow the running back to follow me, I think they like that very well. 

KENNY McINTOSH: Definitely. I’ll say definitely. Love running behind him in plays like that because he’s going to get out and run. And when I say run, he’s going to run past the safety and you gotta catch him so you can get behind his block. But just seeing it in practice, man, I remember I first seen it on film, Kirby be watching in the team room, I just seen him running down the field. Like I said, like a gazelle just floating down the field, like moving, too. Hitting like 19 or something like that. You never see O lineman doing that. It’s just crazy how athletic he is, and it brings out a lot for the running game. 

Q. Brock, while you and Darnell Washington both play tight end, it’s kind of a different spot with him being in line and you going out in the slot sometimes, taking H back duty. So can you talk about that relationship and how doing different things for each other can open each other up? 

BROCK BOWERS: Yeah. I feel like we’re kind of two different players, just size wise and skill set, and I think having him on — him with me just running the ball or in the passing game, they both help, and I feel like he’s such a versatile player, too, just being able to maul people in the run game and get out there and beat people one on one and catch it over people in the passing game, too. It’s just like his size and ability is just insane, and it definitely helps my confidence out a little bit out there. But it also just opens everyone else up, too. 

Q. So earlier the Ohio State defensive side was in here, and they said they saw some advantages everywhere on the field. Do you guys see some advantages that they have, and what advantages may you have on your side of the ball? 

KENNY McINTOSH: I’ll say advantages we got is just how connected we are as a team to go out there and play. We done had some tough wins this year, which makes us different — stand out from last year’s team. We had to pull out our composure during some games we had to play.  This team fought back. I believe we were down two touchdowns or something like that and fought back and won. 

This team shows so much connection and resiliency. Just go out there week by week, practicing how we practice and going out there on Saturdays to execute and buy into the game plan and going out there and doing what we do. So I’d say that’s our advantage, how connected this team is and the composure we have. 

BROCK BOWERS: I mean, I’d say that our connection as a team just helps us a lot. And like Kenny said, being in those close games helps us as well. We didn’t really have that last year, and I feel like that just made us that much better and closer as a team. And I mean, at this point everyone, their defense is going to be juiced to play, and everyone is a great player, because you have to be to get to this point. So I’m just excited to see what happens out there on Saturday. 

BRODERICK JONES: I just believe Bloody Tuesday gives us an advantage. I ain’t even gonna lie. Bloody Tuesday, you know, you just gotta come in with this different type of mindset, just ready to maul somebody in practice. Even though he a brother, you know, between those lines, nobody is friends. So you just gotta do what you can to make it out alive. So you just gotta be prepared and be ready. And us going against each other, you know, trying to kill each other out there on Bloody Tuesday, I think it makes the games easier for us. 

THE MODERATOR: All right. We’ll end it there. Thank you, gentlemen. 

Video/Transcript: Will Muschamp, Chris Smith, Smael Mondon, Jr., Chaz Chambliss Interview – December 27, 2022

Coach, we’ll start with you. Just a quick opening statement on transitioning here to Atlanta and bowl prep and how it is going so far. 

WILL MUSCHAMP: We had a really good practice, a week in Athens. I thought our guys worked extremely hard, came back yesterday, had another good practice. And we’re excited to get started again today. Appreciate the Peach Bowl and obviously the College Football Playoff and what they do for college football, and we’re excited to be here. 

THE MODERATOR: Chris, just talk about your transition and how the bowl week experience has been so far. I know it’s only been one day, but how are you guys settling in? 

CHRIS SMITH: It’s been a great transition so far. I’m from Atlanta, so it’s great to be able to get back home. We had a good event last night with the team, a lot of great camaraderie and a good competition, and we’ll have many more with the week coming. 

SMILE MONDON, JR.: Like Chris said, it was a smooth transition. I’m not necessarily from Atlanta, but I’m from a little bit down the road, Paulding County. So it was good to be back home, close to home. 

CHAZ CHAMBLISS: Smooth transition. Everything was great. And same with Smile, around the same area, too. 

THE MODERATOR: We’ll go right into questions. 

Q. Will, wondering about the dynamic between you and Glenn. Can you give us a picture, when you’re conducting meetings, are you both up there? Do you trade back and forth? Obviously you’ve run your own show for a long time. So how does that dynamic work? 

WILL MUSCHAMP: It’s been outstanding. Glenn has done a phenomenal job this year, does a great job relating with our players, sending the message through our head football coach to our players. The expectation doesn’t change, and I’m really proud of these guys sitting with me today and how they’ve approached this season of what we perceived to have lost last year, the guys we lost on our defense and how these guys have handled this year. 

Glenn has done an outstanding job. He’s a really good football coach. We take turns as far as the installation process is concerned, but there is a lot of voices in the defensive room, starting with Coach Smart and myself, and we have an outstanding defensive staff. So it’s not anybody running a one-man show. It’s a lot of people involved in what we’re trying to do, and obviously the expectation we understand on defense at Georgia to be elite. That’s what our goal is at all times, and we understand that, and you leave your egos on the shelf and understand what you’ve gotta do and what your role is in the organization to be successful. 

Q. Coach, when you look at guys like Smile and Jamon as well, just how key are the inside linebackers to what y’all do in terms of defensive scheme and what allows you all to be so good on that side of the ball? 

WILL MUSCHAMP: Well, those guys have had a phenomenal year. Both Smile and Jamon, taking the role that they’ve taken, again, from last year. In our defense there’s a lot of communication involved. Obviously Chris can sound board that as well, but a lot is communicated up front based on formation recognition. A lot of this is happening in a tempo setting where it’s very fast, there’s a lot of things going on. And these two young men have done a phenomenal job of getting us in the right spots defensively, because we have a lot of things that we check based on formation and things. And these guys do a great job of communicating those things to our defense along with Chris, and Malaki and some of the other guys. 

Q. Coach, it’s been a crazy last few years to say the least. When you took the analyst job here, did you envision that you would be standing where you are now 15 to 18 months later as the co DC? 

WILL MUSCHAMP: No. Whether you’re the head coach or the coordinator or position coach or an analyst, do the best job in the job you have in your role in the organization, and Coach Smart does a great job of identifying what your job is, and this is your job description, and do it at a high level and let the chips fall where they may. And for some unfortunate circumstances, I ended up being on the field last year, and do the best job you can with the job you have. 

Q. Coach, and for the players, what’s the most impressive part of C.J.’s game? 

WILL MUSCHAMP: Wow, I mean I think he’s an elite passer. That’s the first thing that jumps out. He can make all the throws. He puts the balls in catchable areas where a lot of just don’t have that talent to do that, a lot of people don’t have that talent to do that. And he certainly can. I think it was Michigan State two years ago he takes a zone read 70 yards for a touchdown against Northwestern. This past year, with 5:30 left to go in the game, designed quarterback run out the back side. So he has legs and athleticism to evade in the rush and create off-rhythm plays which is obviously very difficult to defend, but the number one thing that jumps off the film is his ability to throw the football. 

CHRIS SMITH: I would say he’s an elite passer, very poised with his game, and you can tell they run everything through him. Like I say, like Coach say, he got legs. He can pretty much do it all. He’s a Heisman finalist, and that just says enough for the kind of player he is. 

SMILE MONDON: Pretty much agreeing on what Chris and Coach Muschamp said. Elite passer, with really good ball placement. He puts the ball where his receivers can have a chance to make a play. So that’s hard to defend. 

CHAZ CHAMBLISS: Just a great player overall. The offense goes through him. He’s a great passer, and he can show his legs when he wants to. 

Q. Two-parter here. First for Chaz. Being thrust into the lineup with Nolan going down, do you feel like you’re playing more confident as the season progresses. And, Chris, you had a very similar situation where Richard went down in 2020. Is there any advice you give to younger players in how to catch up really quickly? 

CHAZ CHAMBLISS: Yeah, obviously with more playing, the more confidence you have the more snaps you have under your belt, the better you feel when you go out on the field. Experience is invaluable when you go out there, and just try and take advantage of every snap. 

CHRIS SMITH: It’s crazy you ask that, because I have this conversation a lot, just telling players how you make sure you need to be ready when your name is called with the situation and how I was able to get on the field. I just made sure I was ready and prepared, just doing everything I can in practice and building that connection with my teammates and my coaches. It just really paid off when it was time for me to be able to step up, and I just kind of try to preach that to the younger guys, like just make sure you’re ready when your time come. 

Q. Coach Muschamp, getting Jalen Carter back healthy obviously was a huge — been a huge part of the defense’s success. Just kind of talk about what that has meant and what his presence has allowed the rest of the defense to do. 

WILL MUSCHAMP: Well, he’s somebody you gotta account for every snap. He can change the game certainly inside. He’s a very disruptive guy in the run game and in the pass game. So that’s something that’s — a guy that’s very disruptive. And you gotta account for him every snap, and sometimes it’s hard to help in protection for an inside player. It’s much easier to chip on the edges and be able to have some protection. You can turn the protection.  We’re very aware of that, that we’ve gotta create situations where Jalen is one-on-ones, and that’s what we try and do as much as we can. 

Q. For some guys in interviews this year talk about bloody Tuesday. Can you tell me what that is? And it sounds like it would be a culture-building kind of thing. 

WILL MUSCHAMP: It’s today. 

CHRIS SMITH: Yeah. It’s today. It’s basically our hardest day in practice. That’s when we get after it the hardest, and we feel like that’s what this program is built on, bloody Tuesday. 

Q. Chris, Ohio State has the two 1,000-yard receivers.  Are there any comparables to any other wide receivers tandems in the SEC you faced to those two guys? 

CHRIS SMITH: I would probably compare them to actually the last game we played, LSU had a lot of great receivers as well as Ohio State, and they all bring different things to the game as wide receivers, but they’re all special talents at the end of the day and something that we have to be able to account for and focus on. 

Q. Coach Muschamp and Chris Smith, if you could speak about the guy to your left there in the age of the transfer portal. He’s a guy that stuck it out, and now he’s an All American and an NFL prospect. And, Chris, if you could weigh in. Down the road at Hapeville Charter to sitting there where you are today. 

WILL MUSCHAMP: That was great practice fields at Hapeville Charter you had. I’m a huge Chris Smith fan.  And I agree. I like how you phrased the question of the age of the transfer portal. Here’s a guy that doesn’t really hit the field till his fourth year, or third year, and then going into his fourth year, and has played — in my two years at Georgia, has played phenomenal, has played outstanding football. Extremely bright, extremely intelligent, very competitive, great leader. A guy that’s really affected people around him in a very positive way. Physical player.  I mean, all the intangible attributes, you can’t — I wouldn’t stop. We’d be here for a while. And what he has meant for our program and what he’s brought to the University of Georgia, and his last two years have been pretty amazing how he’s played. 

CHRIS SMITH: Yeah, I would just say it’s been a long journey for sure. Like you say, in the age of the transfer portal, you got a lot of people in your ear saying you’re second string here or you can go somewhere else and start, but I just stuck it out and just built that connection with my teammates and my brothers and just continued to work. And all I can say is hard work pays off at the end of the day. 

Q. Coach, kind of operational question. Last year I think Coach Schumann was in the box. This year both of you guys are on the field as co defensive coordinators. What goes into the decision of who’s in the box, what’s in the box, who’s on the field, why are we on the field? 

WILL MUSCHAMP: What’s best for our football team.  There’s a lot of things that go on from the standpoint of offensive personnel on the field, who’s identifying those 

things. Being on the field, a luxury we have is Coach Smart, a guy that’s been defensively as good as anyone in the country for a long time. So you’ve got those eyes on the field. Myself, Coach Schumann, Tray Scott, and then Chidera does a great job in the box as far as relaying the information. And that’s kind of — to be honest with you, going in the first ballgame, we didn’t know how it was going to go. And it’s gone well for us. We’ve had good information. The bottom line is us making the proper adjustments immediately and being able to get those information by series so we can make sure our players understand the information and how an offense maybe is attacking us or something they may be doing different we hadn’t prepared for and making sure we’re getting that information as quickly as possible. And that’s the big part of that, and we’re able to do a good job, and Chidera has done a nice job in the box of being able to get that information, along with everybody on every play has something they’re watching. It’s not just watching the game and watching the ball. You got something you’re looking at and making sure that we make the corrections when they occur. 

Q. Chris, LSU had some success passing the ball in the SEC championship. Just as a secondary what have you all kind of been focusing on this month to get ready for this passing attack for Ohio State? 

CHRIS SMITH: We’ve just been focusing on our technique and fundamentals. It’s been when a month that we’ve had to be able to practice and get prepared for this game, and just locking in on a game plan. That game is in the past.  We know we didn’t perform our best and we can perform better, and that’s what we want to do for this game on Saturday. 

Q. Chris and Smile, part of the week obviously is the extra activities you guys are going to be partaking in.  Two parts, is it a distraction, a welcome distraction, something needed with the magnitude of the game awaiting you this weekend? And I noticed that one of the events is basketball. Only five guys can shoot.  Who’s the one guy taking the last second shot? 

CHRIS SMITH: Well, first of all, I would say it’s not a distraction. It’s kind of the opposite. It kind of brings you more of a connection with your teammates and being able to spend that time and having fun activities you aren’t usually be able to do. We played like Family Feud last night, and that was really fun, like a lot more fun than I thought it would be. And on who’s that last shot, I’m going with Malaki Starks. He’s one of the best basketball players I’ve seen. 

SMILE MONDON: I feel like it’s only a distraction if you let it be. If you go about it the right way, it’s just going to be fun, connecting with your teammates. As far as the last shot, though, I’m staying in the linebacker room, I’m going with Trezmen. Gonna let Trezmen or Sorey take that last shot. 

Q. Are you thankful that he’s not going with you in the linebacker room? 

CHAZ CHAMBLISS: We’re kind of different in the linebacker rooms, inside and outside. We’re separate rooms. 

THE MODERATOR: Am I to understand that neither one of you guys want to take the last shot? 

CHRIS SMITH: I’ll shoot it if I have to. Somebody pick me, I’ll take it. 

Q. Will, I guess last time we talked to you, Malaki Starks hadn’t done what he’s done this year. Just from a former safety yourself, what has allowed him to come in and be so successful his first season playing in your all’s defense? 

WILL MUSCHAMP: Well, he’s very coachable. Obviously, God has blessed him with a lot of ability. He’s a guy that at Jefferson High School played both sides of the ball, was an option quarterback, so he only really played defensive back about half the time. So there were a lot of firsts for him last spring when he came mid year. Made tremendous strides from day one of spring ball through the summer, going into training camp. But being very coachable, very bright, very humble young man, always eager to get better, to improve. 

 Always striving to get better, always understanding he’s got room to grow as a player. And Larry and Tisha, his parents, great family, great young man and has had some really bright moments this fall. He really has done a nice job. But I think as much as anything, you go back to being very coachable and understanding things he’s gotta improved on every day, and obviously God’s blessed him with some ability. 

Q. Coach, how advantageous is it I guess for Georgia to be able to stop teams from running the football without dedicating a lot of bodies to the box, kind of allowing them four downs and those two backers, to handle their business and allowing your really good safeties to kind of control the passing lanes? 

WILL MUSCHAMP: Well, if you’re able to play more split 

safety and be able to cloud the coverage a little bit for the quarterback, it certainly helps. And if you’re able to do that with Jalon and Oz and Zlo and those guys do a great job of controlling the line of scrimmage. And we’re able to do that, that certainly is advantageous for you. To be able to rush the passer with four guys rushing, that’s — gives you really good shot defensively. And that’s key for that, and that’s something that controlling the running game’s been good. We gotta continue to find ways to affect the quarterback. 

Q. I’ll ask, Coach Muschamp, last game out for Ohio State, their only loss of the year. Is there anything that you see on tape that Michigan did that you guys will try and do? Is there a blueprint there? Is there anything to that? 

WILL MUSCHAMP: No. We do what we do. But Ohio State is up and down the field the first half, and Michigan got off the field on third down and they had a couple of turnovers. 

THE MODERATOR: While they’re thinking about it, I’ve got one for you guys. This is your third game in this stadium this season, which is really unusual. Curious if you think is there really an advantage to you? Is there a greater comfort level for that? Do you feel you have an advantage in any way? 

CHRIS SMITH: I wouldn’t say it’s an advantage. I feel like both teams are going to be locked into the match. And we’re not going to be worried about the outside. We’re going to be worried about what we gotta do on the field.  So I don’t think it’s no advantage. 

SMILE MONDON: Yeah, like Chris said, I don’t necessarily think it’s an advantage. 

CHAZ CHAMBLISS: I don’t think it’s an advantage at all.  Playing-wise, both teams are going to play hard. It’s a one-game season right now, so it’s all or nothing. 

THE MODERATOR: Coach, any thoughts? 

WILL MUSCHAMP: Matters who plays the best in those 60 minutes. 

Q. Coach Muschamp, can you take us back to January 1st, ’93 and the Citrus Bowl the only time Georgia has played Ohio State. What do you remember from that game? 

WILL MUSCHAMP: It was a good win for the Dawgs. We had a pre not game, but I guess a luncheon, and Herbstreit got up and threw a pass across the room, I knew we had a 

Glenn Schumann, Jamon Dumas-Johnson, and Zion Logue Interviews – December 27, 2022

GLENN SCHUMANN: Yeah. I just first want to say that I appreciate the Peach Bowl and the College Football Playoffs for the opportunity to be here. Appreciate all you guys in the media for your coverage, and just have been really pleased with our guys’ approach in this post-season practice, and they’ve embraced everything we’ve asked them to do, and I’m excited to get to see them play. 

THE MODERATOR: Jamon, your thoughts on bowl week and what that experience has been like so far. 

JAMON DUMAS-JOHNSON: Pretty good. Had a chance to really bond with my teammates and experience the College Football Playoffs for the first time in my career. So it’s been fun. It’s been cool. 

THE MODERATOR: Zion, you guys started off strong winning the Football Feud last night, but then dropped the second one. How do you feel for the rest of the competitions? 

ZION LOGUE: I feel very confident. We really shouldn’t have lost the second one, but things happen sometimes.  It’s been very fun being around my teammates and being around those guys last night. It was good to see that. 

Q. Glenn and Jamon, one, what allows Georgia to be so successful at that inside linebacker position year in and year out, and Glenn, how much have you seen Jamon and Smile really grow this year stepping into such a bigger role? 

GLENN SCHUMANN: I think that anybody who comes to play linebacker at the University of Georgia accepts the responsibility of what that entails, and I think there’s a high standard for anybody who comes into that room, and I think those guys have been successful because they’ve held themselves to that standard. They’re their own harshest critics a lot of the time, and they’ve remained humble despite having success, and I think that goes for everybody in that room. They’ve prepared the right way, and preparation is ultimately what leads to success, and those guys have done that the right way. 

Q. Talking to the other group, and they told me it’s bloody Tuesday for the players. What does that mean, and why does that help build the culture at Georgia?  What would we see if we were at practice today? 

ZION LOGUE: You see a lot of flying around, a very physical day from everybody, from offense to defense, even in the special teams. High tempo. It’s going to be very fun. 

THE MODERATOR: Jamon, please explain bloody Tuesday. 

JAMON DUMAS-JOHNSON: Bloody Tuesday is a day where we go after it. Just like Zio said, final round, getting to it, a very physical day for us. Sometimes you see blood.  Sometimes you don’t, depending on how the players go at it. But that’s one of the days we get after it, play the game before the game. Tuesdays is just different in Athens. 

GLENN SCHUMANN: Bloody Tuesday is really about there’s a lot of first and second down in terms of what the plan is. There’s a lot of team run. There’s a lot of good on good. And ultimately, I just made this statement in there with the print media, but when you look at it, it’s what these guys put into it. So they embrace the fact that today has to be a physical day. There’s gotta be a lot of contact, and that they really set the tone for what a bloody Tuesday is. 

Q. Coach Schumann, this is for you. With so many great defensive minds on the staff, how do you guys handle the defensive play calls in-game? 

GLENN SCHUMANN: Yeah. I think a lot of the decisions are made throughout the course of the week, and so there’s a plan in terms of what the situation is in the game, in terms of where they are on the field, what they’re doing offensively. And we make our decisions collectively about how we want to answer that. And there’s a lot of conversation between drives about where do we go from there, and then we just follow that plan the next time we’re on the field. 

Obviously, there’s some situations where decisions have to be made rapidly at that point, and there’s not a lot of conversation there, but that’s where you go back to your preparation and your discussions ahead of time, and you just kind of follow that blueprint. But it’s done collaboratively. It’s something that everybody shares a piece in terms of what part of the game plan it is. And then we just try to enact that as a staff when it’s going. 

Q. Just curious, at what point in your career did you think you had like full retention of this defense where you were completely confident in everything that you were calling? 

JAMON DUMAS-JOHNSON: I say spring, you know. Like I said in my first interview, as long as you pay attention to your first year and not lollygag, and I came here to do what I’m doing now, and possibly make it in a year or two. So that first year I took it seriously, paid attention to a lot of things, took letting that Colby take me under his wing and teach me certain things. He really just took me in and learned the defense hand to hand. And I’m here now, and it paid off, and I give a lot of credit to him for taking me under his wing and teaching me the things he taught me. 

Q. Getting ready for this game, you take a look at C.J., was there one play, one game, one moment where you’re like, all right, he’s different? 

GLENN SCHUMANN: I think in general when you have an extremely talented player like he is, it’s never one play.  Consistency is what makes somebody different, and he’s consistently accurate. He has great touch. He’s a good decisionmaker, and he trusts his play makers around him.  So I think that all those traits sound easy, but they’re tough to have on a consistent basis. So he’s consistently accurate. He consistently has good touch and decision making, and he trusts the people around him. And I think his consistency is what makes him different. 

Q. Glenn and either player, you saw how the loss last year to Alabama sort of helped motivate you guys, and I thinking Coach Smart’s comment was recenter you guys after the loss going into the playoffs. Do you think that’s any sort of concern with Ohio State, that after losing their last game out, that you might be getting their best? Does that constitute any sort of edge at all that they might have? 

GLENN SCHUMANN: I think that we get everybody’s best shot, and I would expect in a College Football Playoff that we get our opponent’s best shot regardless of what’s happened in their season to this point. And we’re really focused on making sure that we bring our best, and regardless of who we’re playing, and that’s kind of how we’ve gotten to where we are, and I know that our guys are preparing to play their best. And they’ve been motivated internally throughout. So our guys, they’re motivated. I’ll let them speak, but that’s what we’re focused on is our motivation, our performance. 

ZION LOGUE: I think I answered this question over in that room. I don’t think it’s a big thing. Last year it was a wake up call for us because we knew that it was a one-game season from that point on. So I think it was everybody stepped up on their conditioning. If they needed to hydrate better, they got hydrated better. It was just the little things because we knew we had to step up in Miami to go handle business in Indianapolis. So I think that loss really woke some guys up and put things in perspective for us. 

Q. Glenn, I know you mentioned C.J. trusting his play makers. What stands out to you about the weapons that he has around him, from Marvin to Emeka, to all the different weapons around him? 

GLENN SCHUMANN: I think it’s a really well-rounded offense across the board. It’s obviously certain guys get more of the accolades, but the receiver room is deep, whether it’s both guys outside. It’s the play makers in the slot, the tight end has done a really good job on vertical balls, and as a blocker, the running back has been — running back room has been by committee, and it’s been productive throughout. Everybody who’s been in there has run the ball well. 

And I think when you look at that, you have a talented offensive line with great size. So it’s a really well-rounded offense. And that makes it easy to trust the guys around you. But they each have their own skill set, but I just think it’s a really well-rounded offense. 

Q. Zion, I’m curious, you play a position here at Georgia that rotates a lot. How do you make sure you’re ready to go when your number is called and when your package is called? 

And conversely, Coach, how do you get guys to be ready to go right now when their number is called to get on the field? 

ZION LOGUE: I think we do a great job of that throughout practice. We get guys — a lot of schools really probably don’t practice the way we do. We even get walk-ones ready, so at any time in the game, you’re ready to go. But just the way we rotate, we gotta get guys on and off the field. We try to make practice harder than the game. Like we try to make game situations in practice all the time. So when the time comes in the game and we need it, we can just revert back to our training. 

GLENN SCHUMANN: I think there’s an understanding in the room that if you’re on the field, you’re a starter and that we view everybody that way. And if we’re willing to put you in the game, or if we’re willing to prepare you to play in the game, then we’re willing to put you in the game. And how much you play is based on your preparation, but we don’t shy away from having strength in numbers and playing our depth and staying fresh. And I think the players embrace the fact that if a D line makes a play, he makes the play for the whole defense, but also for the whole unit. 

Same in the linebacker and the secondary, there’s a lot of selfless guys that appreciate their teammates and they’re willing to share some of the success with each other. And I think that element, that helps with their preparation because they know we’ll put them in and play them and they support each other. 

Q. Coach Schumann, C.J. talked a little bit about being recruited by Georgia last year. And he said they probably finished second to Ohio State. Coach, or any of the players, remember getting acquainted with him through the recruiting process, if you guys thought Georgia had a shot? 

GLENN SCHUMANN: You know, I didn’t have a lot — I didn’t really have any interactions with him because that would be something Coach Monken and the offensive staff would have been recruiting him. So I don’t really have a comment on that. 

THE MODERATOR: This is for all of you. Obviously you guys are deep into film study on Ohio State’s offense.  What team do they remind you of in the SEC that you guys are familiar with? What style of play do you think they are? 

ZION LOGUE: I’ll tell you two teams, Tennessee and LSU, just because those guys, they run it a little bit too, but they can sit back in the pocket and let it fly around the field a little bit. I think we respect their quarterback, just like we did those two teams. And college football respects their quarterbacks as well. So I think those are the two teams that I would stack them up against. 

JAMON DUMAS-JOHNSON: I agree with Zion. Just the depth both of them teams had, Tennessee and LSU, compared to Ohio State, definitely wide receiver room.  Plus the good quarterbacks they had, at the time, the quarterbacks they had, arm length, vision, and the legs, and them — not shooting picks on their running backs, but they had good backs, too, but not able to show them up because of the wide receiver room that them three teams have in common. 

THE MODERATOR: Coach, what about you? Who do they remind you of? 

GLENN SCHUMANN: I think it’s fair because of the passing success to make reference to those two teams. I also think they run the ball at a high level. They’re running the ball for almost 200 yards a game, which Tennessee runs the ball well. I think there’s some carryover to Florida in terms of the type of sets and run game they have as well and some of the passing game concepts that show up there. So I think there’s little pieces. I mean, guys, football is — you can watch six different teams and see carryover from each team, so there’s a little piece of what they do offensively in everybody we’ve played to an extent. 

Q. For the players, Coach is saying Tuesday’s practice is good on good and one versus ones, et cetera. Does Stetson talk trash? Is he a good trash talker or does he make you guys laugh like, really, that’s what you’re going to go with today? 

ZION LOGUE: Honestly, I haven’t ever gotten Stetson mad enough for him to talk to me, but you definitely see it on the field. I think that showed when we played Tennessee because that whole week he was getting phone calls. I think he got literally 800 phone calls the night before the game. You see him during the celebration when he was talking about calling me. He’s definitely got some moxy in him, but it doesn’t come out a lot in practice. 

JAMON DUMAS-JOHNSON: For me when I’m looking at Stet, it’s strictly business throughout the week. We’re not trash talking against them. They’re not talking against us.  Both sides are strictly business leading up to the game.  So, no, I haven’t seen Stet. We don’t talk trash in practice.

 THE MODERATOR: All right, gentlemen. That’s it. Thank you very much. 

Honorary Captains Announced For Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl

In keeping with its tradition of recognizing notable team alumni, officials announced today that Mike Doss and Champ Bailey will be honorary captains for their respective alma maters at this year’s College Football Playoff Semifinal at the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl between No. 4 Ohio State and No. 1 Georgia. The two will join the team captains at midfield for the pregame coin toss prior to the 8 p.m. ET kickoff on Dec. 31 in Mercedes-Benz Stadium.

Representing the No. 1 Georgia Bulldogs will be Hall of Fame defensive back Champ Bailey. A 2018 inductee into the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl Hall of Fame, Bailey was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2019 and the College Football Hall of Fame this year. The former first-round pick played for the Bulldogs from 1996 to 1998, intercepting eight passes, catching 59 passes for 978 yards and recording five touchdowns. The 1998 consensus First Team All-American was awarded the Nagurski Trophy, recognizing the nation’s top defensive player that season. Bailey was a two-time First Team All-SEC selection (1997, 1998) and was also named to the SEC All-Freshman Team in 1996. He received the first UGA Vince Dooley MVP Award and led Georgia to consecutive Bowl wins at the 1998 Outback Bowl and the 1998 Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl, where he was named Defensive MVP. In Georgia’s 35-33 win over Virginia in the 1998 Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl, Bailey was a factor in all three phases, recording three receptions for 73 yards and a touchdown on offense, two tackles and a pass breakup on defense, to go along with five kickoff returns for 104 yards.  Bailey played for a total of 15 seasons in the NFL with Washington and Denver, earning First-Team All-Pro three times, Second-Team All-Pro four times and was named to the Pro Bowl in 12 different seasons. His 12 Pro Bowl selections are the most for a defensive back in league history. He finished his pro career with 52 interceptions, including a league leading 10 picks in 2006 and NFL record 203 career passes defended.

Bulldogs in the NFL – Week 16


George Pickens, WR: Caught the go-ahead 14-yard touchdown pass with 46 seconds remaining and finished with five catches for 57 yards for the Steelers. Ranks third among NFL rookies with 700 receiving yards and fifth with three touchdowns.

Zamir White, RB: Landed on the Raiders’ inactive list with an ankle injury.


Ben Cleveland, OL: Placed on the Ravens’ inactive list as a healthy scratch.

Justin Houston, OLB: Appeared on 36 defensive plays with no stats for Baltimore, which clinched a playoff berth.

Nick Moore, LS: Snapped on four field goal attempts (three successful) and three punts for the Ravens.

Roquan Smith, ILB: Led Baltimore with 15 tackles, including one for loss. Stands sixth in the NFL with 145 tackles.

Lorenzo Carter, OLB: Posted five tackles for Atlanta.

John Fitzpatrick, TE: Designated to return from injured reserve on Tuesday, starting the 21-day evaluation period following an undisclosed injury, but was not activated for Saturday’s game by the Falcons.


Tre’ McKitty, TE: Caught a 10-yard pass as he appeared on 31 offensive plays and four special teams plays for Los Angeles, which clinched a playoff berth.

Sony Michel, RB: Was on the Chargers’ inactive list as a healthy scratch.

Jamaree Salyer, OL: Appeared on all 68 offensive plays, plus four more on special teams, as Los Angeles rolled up 314 total yards.


Trey Hill, OL: Appeared on five special teams plays for the Bengals, who clinched a playoff berth.

David Andrews, OL: Appeared on all 56 offensive plays and helped the Patriots post 285 total yards.


James Cook, RB: Carried 11 times for a career-best 99 yards, including a 27-yard touchdown, caught a 9-yard pass, and made a tackle after a Buffalo interception. Ranks eighth among NFL rookies with 462 rushing yards.

Isaiah McKenzie, WR: Had a 6-yard rush among his 23 offensive plays for the Bills.


Tyson Campbell, DB: Had seven tackles, including one for loss, and defended two passes for Jacksonville. Ranks fourth in the NFL with 14 passes defended.

Travon Walker, OLB: Landed on the Jaguars’ inactive list with an ankle injury. Stands fifth among NFL rookies with 3.5 sacks.


Charlie Woerner, TE: Appeared on 25 special teams plays and one offensive play with no stats for San Francisco.


Quay Walker, ILB: Posted one tackle and defended a pass for Green Bay. Ranks third among NFL rookies with 106 tackles.

Devonte Wyatt, DL: Had one tackle and a quarterback hurry for the Packers.

John Jenkins, DL: Appeared on 22 defensive plays and seven special teams plays with no stats for the Dolphins.

Channing Tindall, OLB: Appeared on 13 special teams plays with no stats for Miami.


Jake Camarda, P: Punted five times for a 48.8-yard average, kicked off six times, and held on four field goals, including the game winner in overtime, and an extra point for Tampa Bay. Stands fourth in the NFL with a 49.0-yard average.

A.J. Green, WR: Appeared on 20 plays with no stats for the Cardinals.

Jonathan Ledbetter, DE: Registered four tackles for Arizona.


Leonard Floyd, OLB: Registered two tackles, including a sack, and three quarterback hurries for the Rams.

Derion Kendrick, DB: Made a tackle on his lone defensive snap and appeared on six special teams plays for Los Angeles.


Nick Chubb, RB: Carried 24 times for 92 yards and caught a 10-yard pass for Cleveland. Ranks third in the NFL with 1,334 rushing yards and fifth with 12 touchdowns.


Chris Conley, WR: Appeared on eight special teams play and five offensive plays with no stats for Tennessee.

Monty Rice, ILB: Led the Titans with nine tackles.


Lawrence Cager, TE: Was active, but did not see any action for New York.

Azeez Ojulari, OLB: Posted two tackles, including a sack, before leaving New York’s rotation with an ankle injury.

Andrew Thomas, OL: Played all 69 snaps at left tackle, plus four more on special teams, helping the Giants post 445 total yards, and made two tackles after turnovers.


D’Andre Swift, RB: Caught a 13-yard pass and rushed four times for 12 yards for Detroit.


Jordan Davis, DE: Appeared on nine defensive plays with two tackles and five special teams plays for Philadelphia.

Nakobe Dean, ILB: Logged 25 special teams plays and one defensive play with no stats for the Eagles.


Mecole Hardman, WR: Has been designated to return from injured reserve following an abdominal injury, but was not activated for Saturday’s game by the Chiefs.

Malik Herring, DL: Was on Kansas City’s inactive list as a healthy scratch.

Practice Squads

Cardinals: Javon Wims, WR

Chargers: Mark Webb, DB

Commanders: Jake Fromm, QB

Giants: Tae Crowder, ILB; Solomon Kindley, OL

Rams: Richard LeCounte, DB

Reserve Lists (IR, PUP, NFI, COVID)

Bengals: Elijah Holyfield, RB

Commanders: Eli Wolf, TE

Falcons: Justin Shaffer, OL

Giants: Isaiah Wynn, OL

Packers: Eric Stokes, DB

Raiders: Jordan Jenkins, OLB 

Rams: Matthew Stafford, QB

Titans: Ben Jones, OL

Vikings: Lewis Cine, DB

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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.