September 22, 2009

Smith addresses line concerns

For Georgia Tech defensive line coach Giff Smith there have been many coaching challenges this season. After losing three starters who are all playing in the NFL now from the 2008 team, Smith is rebuilding his line with a group of less experienced players. With starting defensive end Robert Hall out indefinitely with a knee injury, Smith has a lot of work to do this week to get his players ready for North Carolina on Saturday.

Logan Walls will start on Saturday. What other changes do you have in mind for this week?

"He played better than Jason Peters did and that is how we do it in our room. Whoever plays the best gets the nod as the starter. Jason will still play a lot and I expect him to respond accordingly.

Will Anthony Egbuniwe start in place of Robert Hall?

"Anthony will start in place of Robert and we will back Anthony up with Izaan Cross and Osahon Tongo."

Are you going to try anyone else at the defensive end position like Anthony Barnes?

"That is what we got and that is what we are going with."

Are there any plans to burn any of the redshirts for a guy like Emmanuel Dieke?

"Not at this time."

What did you see from the line when you watched the film? Were they manhandled or was it a good scheme by Miami?

"It was not as much as manhandling as it was fundamental stuff. We did poorly as a defense. The 11 guys out there played poorly. It was bad and we had our share of mistakes just like every other group out there. Fortunately, mistakes are correctible. It was not that there guys were so much better than we were, but it was the fact we did not play very well. That is including everyone on the defensive front. They got to see it on tape and understand it. I expect us to rebound well this week."

How much did having three games in 12 days affect the physical or mental performance of the team especially when you are only rolling four guys at DT and DE?

"Nobody played more than 48 snaps and you can use that as a crutch. We just did not play well. I told my guys I would much rather play games than be practicing if they are worth their salt. That is looking for excuses and when you are call upon to perform that is your duty to go out there and perform."

What do you focus on when you look at North Carolina's offensive line?

"We have to be sound in our technique and responsibilities from the front and back end. If we do that and play properly, we have a chance to perform well."

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