January 11, 2010

Jefferson waits for the final piece of the puzzle

Monday was a mixed day of emotion for junior linebacker Brad Jefferson. Jefferson saw three of his teammates and friends, Jonathan Dwyer, Morgan Burnett and Derrick Morgan declare for the NFL draft. Those departures coupled with the departure of defensive coordinator Dave Wommack have made for an interesting week since Georgia Tech played in the Orange Bowl in Miami.

Jefferson is getting ready to play for his third different defensive coordinator since arriving at Tech.

"I think we will handle the change pretty well," he said. "It has happened before so we pretty much know the process. We know how to handle it. You hear the Buzz when the season is going on and the end of the year you hear names coming up, you just have to be prepared for things like this."

Like everyone else in Yellow Jacket nation, Jefferson is anxiously awaiting to hear who will be his defensive coordinator for his senior season. The players have discussed one candidate so far above all others.

"I have heard about Al Groh about him and he is about the only guy I have heard about," he said. "We just have to see what happens."

If Groh comes in the Jackets would probably go to his 3-4 defense he has used in the NFL and college and Jefferson is comfortable with that.

"Defensive change does not affect me, I will ball regardless. I will do what I have to do with whatever they give me," Jefferson said. "They can ask me to do this or that and I will. It does not matter to me. The 3-4 did not work too well this year, but we will see what it will hold. We tried to change the defense up and it really did not work out."

As far as replacing Burnett and Morgan in the defense go, Jefferson expects some of the freshmen and underclassmen to step up and fill their shoes.

"We have guys who need to step up and take their spots. The older players need to be the leaders and we need to get better as a team. We know some superstars just left this room and those are big shoes to fill. We just need to get to work. Those are two big shoes to fill on defense. We got guys who are ready to step up; they know they have to fill some big shoes. They need to beef up and get their feet big enough to slide them in there."

Jefferson sees the whole defense as an ever-changing puzzle with different pieces and the staff is preparing the younger players to take their place in the puzzle when a Burnett or Dwyer leaves.

"As this whole thing goes on, the next man needs to be willing and ready to step up. They always have to have it in the back of their head that they might be the next guy," he said. "You have to keep working and doing what you have to do."

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