Derek Dooley Media Transcript (Sept. 24)

Sept. 24, 2012

(Opening statement)
"Just kind of summing up Akron, I always look at those three big things in turnovers, big plays and fourth quarter. We obviously did a pretty good job on all three. We were plus-12 on big plays, I think we had 16 of them on offense which is pretty explosive. We gave up four that we need to correct. We were plus-one on turnovers. Really good job by the defense getting three, but we were a little too loose with the football and that is something that is going to be a big priority this week. Even though we only lost one, we had a couple other opportunities to lose them. We have to get better. The fourth quarter was obviously a great quarter for us. We outscored them, 17-3, outgained them 167-19 and then were plus-one on takeaways. Hopefully we have learned a lot of lessons and we can go try to do that week-in and week-out."

(On injury updates)
"No real updates on personnel. We came out of the game pretty clean from an injury standpoint."

(On Georgia)
"We all know about Georgia. There is no sense in me talking about how good they are. They are probably playing as good as I've seen them in a long time. The quarterback is averaging 10.5 an attempt, the runner is averaging 9.2 an attempt, [they are scoring] 48 points and only giving up 16. They are probably one of the most talented defenses in the country, so we've got our work cut out for us. Hopefully we can take a lot of the lessons we have learned in the first four games and try to go play as good as we can play in Athens and see how it turns out."

(On the team's last game in Athens)
"We are a lot more prepared and we are certainly a lot better than we were two years ago. We didn't play very good down there and obviously need a lot better effort than what we put on two years ago."

(On short-yardage rushing situations)
"We had two that we didn't get. A.J. [Johnson] went the wrong way on one just trying to make something happen. He won't do that again. The other one, they kind of put everybody up in there, shooting the safeties real aggressive. We probably need to mix it up a little bit and give our kids a little better chance."

(On settling for field goals in the red zone)
"There were several factors for not scoring touchdowns. They were bringing the house, safeties everywhere, so we had a couple of protection breakdowns up the middle which forced a bad throw. It wasn't Tyler's fault, but we had a guy wide open on a double move and couldn't convert it. We had a drop, a couple of missed assignments getting a little loose on protection and then one time we were going to throw a slant to Justin [Hunter] and Tyler got stepped on as he was coming back. It was just a lot of little details and the pressure certainly helped them. We didn't execute like we needed to do on throwing and catching and protecting."

(On pass protection)
"[Tyler] got hit more this game than he had, but we've only given up [two] sacks which is one good thing. For the most part, our line is pretty good at pass protecting. We had some breakdowns in that game because of some of that radar stuff they were doing, which I really haven't seen that since the early 2000s from anybody. It's not hard once you work on it, so we adjusted to it and were fine."

(On Georgia having a balanced offense)
"They have a couple of runners, a lot of receivers that can hurt you and I think the biggest thing is the way the quarterback is playing. He is just playing with a lot of confidence. You can tell the confidence they have in them because they can open it up at any time. They hit a big play from the minus-five against Vanderbilt last week, where they got in the gun and shoot it right down the middle of the field. When you can call a game aggressively and the players are playing with a lot of confidence and that back is a real heavy, powerful guy."

(On playing in a hostile environment)
"It is [a concern]. The good news is that a lot of our guys have been in these environments, so it shouldn't be as overwhelming as it has been in the past, at least I hope it isn't. You look on offense and I think everybody except CP and Tiny played at Georgia two years ago. Defense probably not as many but we had a lot of hostile games last year, so hopefully you learn from it. You have to learn to enjoy playing in that kind of environment."

(On working Deion Bonner and LaDarrell McNeil in more)
"A lot of it depends on how the week of practice goes and what our confidence level is in their ability to execute. It didn't work out [last week] but we are going to play them eventually."

(On the backup tailback position)
"We're still searching a little bit. We have three guys we are trying to figure out right now. They all have different skill sets, all do different things and it is probably hard on everybody right now trying to figure it out."

(On Marlin Lane)
"We are looking for a lot more consistency, that is probably the biggest thing. Consistency in his runs, where he is hitting it, consistency in his pass protection. The thing coaches love is when they put a player in a game, they know exactly what they are going to get, no matter how good or bad it is. The things that make coaches nervous is when you put a player in a game and you have no idea what is coming. Just developing that kind of trust of knowing what we are going to get when we put this guy in the game, that is the challenge for all of them."

(On going right back to Rajion Neal after he fumbled)
"I've never been one to just hammer a guy on a mistake and he hasn't had the propensity to do that this year so I think it's an unfair label. It's kind of like the kicker who missed one PAT last week. We are going to try to give him more than one opportunity but obviously there is a point where we are going to make a change."

(On running Rajion Neal 20+ times a game)
"I think it just depends on his production and his durability. My answer is, if he is able to average 4.5-5.0 yards a carry then yes. If the other guys aren't, then absolutely, but the more guys you have that can get in there and do it, the better. You can manage them through the year a little better."

(On the challenge of stopping the Georgia offense)
"We have to win at the line of scrimmage first, play good scheme discipline and then have a lot of hats to the football because one guy isn't going to bring him down. It's very hard when he breaks through the first seven to bring him down with those little guys in the back. Scheme discipline, winning at the line of scrimmage on your man and then a lot of hats to the ball. Then you have to do it every play. That's what happens."

(On Georgia's style of offense)
"Dan [McCullers] didn't play last week, so he will obviously play a lot this week. It's just a different style of tame, a little more like what we saw against Florida in some respects. It's I-Formation, play action but they also have the ability to go spread you out and throw it."

(On Georgia QB Aaron Murray)
"He is playing with a lot of confidence right now. He has a very strong arm and a lot of snaps under his belt. They don't change a lot offensively in what they do, so it is that deliberate practice where he's had a lot of work at getting good at what they do. You can just see him triggering the ball a lot quicker than he ever has, he's a lot more accurate than he has been and that just comes with experience."

(On Dan McCuller's not playing many snaps vs. Akron)
"It just depends on who you play. When they are getting the ball out in 1.8 seconds, it's not an indictment on Dan that he didn't play. It just depends on who you are playing and we have a lot of defensive linemen. We just felt like going the other route was the way to go."

(On the Tennessee pass rush)
"I think we have a lot of improving to do. Probably not as bad as what the statistics might show from a sack standpoint, but we certainly have a lot of work to do. Nobody has really stood up and said I'm a dominant pass rusher in this league, not on our team. Most of these teams have a guy who can really get back there and effect the quarterback. I was pretty clear that nobody has proven that they could do it, so hopefully in time they will get better and better."

(On which version of the wildcat package they will use)
"It's going to be based on production but they are all different. They all do different things. A.J. is obviously a different body type, Justin King does some different things that the other guys can't and then Pig we're just now activating him. It's just a lot more stuff that you can do."

(On the reasons for giving up big plays)
"There are some differences in all of them, some subtle differences, but ultimately it is a combination of really screwing up up front in the gap control, and we were doing some different things against these guys slanting the line and the linebackers have to adjust and we didn't, so they caught us. Then it is an ability to get the runner down when he breaks through the line, which a lot of these we've been in man coverage so they are coming off a little later then they would in zone. We're not doing a good job of leveraging the football so that is the common if there is a common theme. None of them are excusable, you just can't give up plays like that running the ball and expect to win."

(On playing zone and man coverages)
"We've been pretty good in both, but we've probably gotten hurt a little more in man. I don't really have any to support that. We are holding our opponents to 5.8 (yards) per pass, which is a respectable number, and we are averaging 8.8. That is usually the number I look at to see if we are playing good pass defense. I don't understand the efficiency deal. We're pretty high in that but I just know how many yards are they getting every time they drop back and throw it over time. We can do a lot of improving. It is the big plays and it always is. We try to average about eight, that is a big number."

(On whether Jacob Carter's success is because of player development or his will)
"I think it is probably a little bit of both, but most of it is a person's mettle. He wasn't recruited because he's not very fast, that is the reality, but he has gone in and has great hands, he's a very smart football player in knowing all of the positions, he is tough and he has a level of grit about him to go just out there every day and be very consistent. It goes back to what I said earlier. If you put Jacob Carter in the game, you know what you are getting. I didn't really expect a nine-ball for a touchdown, but he has earned the right to get on the field because it is a level of trust that you develop with players."

(On Tyler Bray)
"He was sick all of last week but I think he is doing fine now. He was really struggling."

(On Tyler Bray showing less frustration on the field)
"It was a big step for Tyler. There were a lot of conversations about how you manage what goes wrong in a game and how your body language and your thoughts and your words can affect other people, especially guys on the team. He made some bad throws early, bad decisions early and was frustrated wanting to get something happening but he really kept a nice calm about him and worked his way through the game. He got better and better and better as the game went on. That was a good step for Tyler.

(On working with Tyler this season)
He's been great. He acknowledges it. Tyler wants to be a good quarterback and he is on his journey of being one. I think his level of want-to and want to win and want to be a great quarterback is a lot greater than what might be the perception of many. We all bring things on ourselves, so his goal is to work his way out of that and prove to people, not only that he is a really good quarterback, but how important it is to be good and how important it is to help this team win."

(On how much freedom quarterbacks are given to check off on run plays)
"Very little because we would rather just do it ourselves as coaches. I think Tyler plays a lot better when he is playing fast and we are not putting too much on him outside of what he is really good at. We can change them easily. We go so fast it is easy for us to change stuff, but maybe we need to be a little more aggressive."

(On James Stone)
"He's been good. He didn't play as well this game as he had been. I think a lot of that jump stuff slowed our offensive line down a lot. That affected us. They were all jumping around and moving and then it slows you down so then you don't play as physical and aggressive. That's just part of learning but he's been a real steady hand in there. He has a heck of a challenge this week now. This sucker here is a pretty good nose and he is big."

(On Prentiss Waggner playing more safety moving forward)
"I don't know. We have a lot of different combinations. We were screwing up some pattern matches early in the game. All we did was clean up the pattern matches, it wasn't like we simplified anything in the second half. It helps with [Prentiss] on these throwing teams to be down in that kind of linebacker spot. You have a little more athletic guy, space player and then it was who is going to play safety. Last week, we put [Marsalis] Teague in at corner and Prentiss at safety. We could put LaDarrell [McNeil] in at safety and keep Prentiss at corner. We could put one of the freshmen corners in and Prentiss at safety. I think that hurt us on the long run. Prentiss is in the middle of the field and he hasn't played that in a while so he is in a little different leverage position. Brent [Brewer] is coming in at a different spot that he hasn't been at in a while. That's not an excuse but it is certainly a factor. It will be nice to settle in on what we are going to do and it was our first game without Brian [Randolph]. We've had Brian in that position for a year, 15 games, so you get a little comfort zone. We're figuring out what the best combination is."

(On whether Prentiss Waggner is better at corner or safety)
"I think he has strengths at both and some things he doesn't do as well at both. He's that hybrid kind of guy that can play both. Really it has more to do with who is the alternative at safety and who is the alternative at corner. Then what the matchups are and what they are running. You just try to piece it together each week."

(On Jarvis Jones)
"If you are not aware of where he is he can just wreck your game plan because of his athleticism and ability to win on pass rush and be disruptive in the backfield. He just has one of those playmaking personalities. He wants to make a game-changing play and they move him around a little bit. You just have to be very aware of where he is and you have to be very disciplined on how you block him, so we'll try to do both of those."

(On whether he will see more family going back to Georgia)
"No. I get more family at the home games than I do on the road and we stay in Atlanta, so that's one of the reasons."

(On the importance of third-down stops against Georgia)
"You have to stop them on first and second first. We've been pretty good at third, I think. 29 percent opponents which is not a bad number, so we've been pretty decent on third down but you'd better stop them on first and second. When the runner is getting nine [yards] a carry and then they are hitting that play action on second-and-five, third down doesn't do you any good. You have to do it all against these teams."





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