Georgia Defensive Coordinator Mel Tucker Discusses The Secondary
Defensive coordinator Mel Tucker talks with the media regarding UGA’s secondary, citing the progress of newcomers and a few key players.
Prior to Fan Day last weekend, University of Georgia head coach Kirby Smart made his two coordinators available to the press for most likely the only time this season.
Second-year defensive coordinator Mel Tucker discussed a number of subjects, including his talented secondary and the newcomers: Following are several of his remarks:
On the progress of the secondary
“We have Malkom Parrish, Dominick Sanders and Aaron Davis, who are all seniors and guys that have played a lot of football. They know what’s expected and I’m leaning on those to be leaders for us back there. Deandre Baker has some game experience so we’re looking to become more cohesive and work better as a unit to make more plays. We have seven freshman so we have to teach those guys what to do and develop them as a unit. We tell them ‘no child left behind’. We have to make sure everyone knows where to go by the time that game starts.”
“At the “star” position we have several guys that are taking reps there. We have Aaron Davis, Deangelo Gibbs, Tyrique McGhee and Jarvis Wilson all taking reps at that star position, so we want to figure out who can help us the most there. Maurice Smith did a great job for us last year and we need to replace that spot.”
On Tyrique McGhee preparing to play at both STAR and corner positions
“Well he did that a year ago. He played corner on both sides and the “star” position and he handled that well. We just map out his reps everyday. We script every rep in practice. A lot of times we’re doing work on both fields and have a lot of guys working at the same time. We have to make sure he gets his “star” reps and his corner reps on both sides and that hasn’t been an issue so far.”
On developing the secondary
“Deangelo [Gibbs] has very good size. He’s athletic and strong. He’s a guy that can do a lot of things in terms of block protection, but he’s also athletic enough to give you what you need in coverage. Ameer Speed has a rare size, which is a good thing. He has good length. He’s got really good balance and ball control. He has good athletic ability, runs well and he loves football. He’s got the talent that we like to work with and he’s working really hard at his craft right now. I’m really fired up about his up-size. Richard LeCounte is a see-ball-get-ball type guy. He plays very, very fast and is very instinctive. He’s a guy that flashes out there. All of those guys, at some point in time, remind why they’re here. We have to develop all of those guys and try to get them up to the point where they can go out on the field and play winning football for us.”
On freshmen contending for the cornerback position
“It’s kind of early for that. All of the guys that we brought in at corner will be able to help us. It’s just at what point will they be able to help us is the question. It’s a day-to-day deal with those guys because they have to learn what to do and how to do it before they can go out there in the game and help us. I’ve been pleased with all of the guys that we brought in so far. In terms of a lock-down corner, I’m not sure what the true definition of that is, but we need guys out there who can win the one-on-ones and win the contested battles. I think we have the guys that have the potential to do that.”