Georgia hired former Mississippi State defensive coordinator Chris Wilson in January and he has used his cool demeanor to get his points across.
It‚Äôs a reason his fellow coaches and his players have grown to respect him.¬†
‚ÄúI think Chris is doing a really good job,‚Äù coach Mark Richt said. ‚ÄúHe‚Äôs a very good fundamental coach. He gets on them. He‚Äôs very demanding, but he‚Äôs a good teacher. The guys really respect him. I think they really understand that he cares about them.‚Äù
Senior defensive end Garrison Smith said it all starts with the leadership of the defensive line coach, which Smith said is something Georgia has a lot of right now.¬†
‚ÄúEverybody is on board. He‚Äôs a great guy to be around,‚Äù Smith said. ‚ÄúHe‚Äôs a great coach. Everybody is listening to him and that‚Äôs the most important thing. We‚Äôve got guys that are really buying in to what he‚Äôs been preaching since the spring, when he got here. It‚Äôs all clicking.‚Äù
The defense will have to click on Saturday in Knoxville, Tenn., and the next test is against the Volunteers.¬†
‚ÄúWe‚Äôre getting better every week,‚Äù Smith said. ‚ÄúIt‚Äôs improvement and that‚Äôs what it‚Äôs come down to every day. We just seem to get better.‚Äù
Tennessee‚Äôs offensive line could possibly be the biggest challenge Georgia‚Äôs developing defensive line faces this season.
‚ÄúAs I said early on, this [Tennessee] offensive line is the best I‚Äôve seen,‚Äù Richt said. ‚ÄúNot that I‚Äôve seen a lot early on this year, but it‚Äôs the best one I‚Äôve seen this year. I do think they‚Äôre the class of the league and maybe the country when you talk about offensive linemen.‚Äù
For Wilson, the key to success lies in competition among his own defense.¬†
‚ÄúI think when you have competition you can eliminate some complacency, so that‚Äôs the one thing we have,‚Äù Wilson said. ‚ÄúWe‚Äôve got seven guys that we consider active and that can play a bunch of roles, and we usually play six to seven guys a game. It keeps our morale great and it keeps a lot of energy in your program.‚Äù