October 25, 2006

Coach Garner Talks Defensive Tackles

With the Florida game on the horizon, UGASports caught
up with defensive line coach
Rodney Garner to ask him some questions
about the upcoming game and the performance of his defensive tackles this season.

UGASports: How important is it for the
defensive lineman to get pressure on Chris Leak Saturday?

Garner: "It is very important,
it's critical. We just have to pin our ears back and hopefully we can
get him in some long yardage situations. Obviously for us to rush the quarterback
we need to play well on first and second down and that would help a lot. If
he is sitting there, it is third and short or third and two it is obvious we
are not forcing them to throw the football. We have to do a good down of stopping
them on first and second down."

UGASports: Are you changing who will
start at defensive tackle this week, benching Ray Gant, and starting
Kade Weston and how bad is Gant's back right now?

Garner: "Probably, he is limping
around, but if he is hurting that bad he needs to show up for treatment."

UGASports: How would you access the play
of Jeff Owens this season?

Garner: "Jeff is having a decent
year and I am sure like anybody he wants to make more big plays, but he is playing
really solid for us and he is probably the most solid guy we have inside."

UGASports: Is it disappointing this season
you have not had two solid guys at defensive tackle and you are switching guys
in and out opposite Owens?

Garner: "He has been the most consistent
this year and you cannot make excuses and that is the way it has been for us
this year. At times, Kade has shown us promise and Geno Atkins has
shown some promise. Dale (Dixson) has been a solid guy, but we really need guys
to step up and they have got to continue to get better at this point in the
season because we have a long way to go."

UGASports: How would you access the play
of the defensive tackles overall this season?

Garner: "They have played solid
and there is only one game that disappointed me. Colorado is probably the poorest
game they have played and from that standpoint they did not do a very good job."

UGASports: What is different about the
spread offense compared to the other offenses you see normally?

Garner: "They do a good job of
getting you to go East and West and they really take away your charge up field
especially if you have a threat at quarterback who can run the ball. That creates
an unaccountable guy and that puts a lot of stress on you. You have to be really
fundamentally sound and really attack which is hard to do when you are going
east to West. You can attack and create some bubbles and force them to cut inside
and not allow them to go East and West so much."

UGASports: Is there any other team that
runs a comparable offense to Florida that you play or have played recently?

Garner: "A lot of people try it
as gimmick. Obviously, West Virginia was not a gimmick, does a good job with
the spread, and does an awesome job with it. Ole Miss has dabbled with it and
I think a lot of people are dibbling and dabbling with it, but I do not know
if they are majoring in it as much."

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