"I think we've already had a little bit of time to reflect, and one of the things that I know for a fact affected how we played defense was how we prepared, how we practiced. I know that we practiced different this year. It was directly attributed to the number of injuries we had in camp. So we already began to address that issue when we practiced in the bowl. We probably tackled more in our bowl practices than we did all season long, and I think our defense improved. I think the defense had a better edge, I think we tackled better, I think we had more swagger going into that ballgame because we knew we prepared the way we had to.
"We kind of bit the bullet a little bit. We had a couple guys get banged up. We didn't think we'd have Dobbs, but Dobbs actually played. I think that was part of what we needed to address was making sure we practiced like we needed to. I know there's risks when you tackle somebody to the ground, but if you don't, there's a risk you don't do well in a game you need to have it the most.
"There are other things. We'll address personnel, make sure we've got guys in the right spots. We'll make sure we're asking guys we're asking guys to do things they're able to do. We've got to be honest with ourselves about whether or not or how we're going to create pressure, whether it comes from individuals or more from scheme. We've got to look at all those." (emphasis added)
If Richt does all those things -- particularly more tackling, scheme changes, and better player utilization (ie. having the right people in the best spots) -- it'll go a LONG way towards addressing many of my concerns.
On the personnel side, I mentioned this in the comments earlier -- Richard Samuel is a key player the team needs to look at from a position move standpoint.
Many coaches would look at a player who is big, strong, fast, relishes contact, was an elite high school linebacker, and who fumbles or bobbles the ball regularly and they would say...."That is a linebacker." If Samuel doesn't learn to hang on to the ball, he's not going to play. That's pretty evident by his decreasing minutes to bobbled balls ratio this season. Giving him a long look at LB in the spring makes enormous sense to me.
Having him at LB is particularly intriguing given the speed we're facing in Jacksonville. The idea of having a guy with Samuel's wheels going against Demps and Rainey is much more appealing than a guy with Gamble, Washington, or Dent's feet. Richard is blessed with great speed, but it won't do him any good on splinter patrol due to fumblitist. He's a kid to watch.