Tries His Hand at Some Defense

ATHENS – It has been three weeks since Georgia played a football game, but head coach Mark Richt has been as busy as ever.

It's prime recruiting season, and Richt has been on the road as much as ever. A bowl game awaits the Bulldogs in just 11 days, and Richt has been busy studying film of Texas A&M. And of course, there are the lingering details about who the next defensive coordinator might be, and Richt has been busy narrowing down a list of potential candidates.

Even with all that going on, however, Richt is still taking some extra time out to spend with his defense as Georgia ventures onto the practice fields again – this time without three defensive coaches.

"I'm not trying to re-invent anything defensively," Richt said of his more hands-on approach to the defense. "My greatest role is to set some parameters and make sure that everything is being covered and that everybody not only has a plan schematically, but a plan to implement strategy."

Richt made his bones in the coaching business on the offensive side of the field, so plotting out the Xs and Os with the defense is a bit of a departure. But while Richt has had his fingerprints on the game plan more than normal, linebacker Rennie Curran said Richt's primary job has been offering leadership.

"He is just that motivating factor," Curran said. "He is just walking around and checking up on us during our drills. We haven't really gotten into the meat of our game practices yet, but so far he's just been making sure we are staying on task."

With the departures of defensive coordinator Willie Martinez and two other assistant coaches, Georgia's defense has been in the hands of Richt, two graduate assistants and Rodney Garner, the lone holdover from the previous staff.

While Richt called it a group effort to get the team prepared for Texas A&M's high-flying offense, defensive end Demarcus Dobbs said Garner has quickly taken on a lot more responsibility, too.

"Coach G has taken over the whole D line and has been pretty much the defensive coordinator as well," Dobbs said. "Things have been rolling pretty well, and Coach G is doing a good job divvying up time and giving his all."

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