Q&A with Sedric Griffin

 

Sedric Griffin is healthy and ready to roll.

Sedric Griffin is healthy and ready to roll.

 

 

Sedric Griffin was one of the pleasant surprises in a season full of pleasant surprises last year.

Then a junior, Griffin had 53 tackles and three sacks last year. 

Hailing from the tiny town of Blair, S.C. Griffin talks about his reputation as a bulldozer on defense, trusting teammates, and his favorite linebackers in the NFL.

AJC: What’s the highlight of your hometown?

SG: One thing is we have a nuclear plant. As I recall from history lessons It might have been one of the first hydro-electric ones built in the United States. That’s one of the highlights. And the four-way stop.

 AJC: Everybody gather at the four-way stop and stare at each other?

 

SG: Yeah. And the corner store at the four-way stop. Everybody gathers there. That’s one of the highlights of my illustrious community.

 AJC: You go back home often?

 

SG: I try to. I love my family. We are a close-knit family. So, I try to go home.

 AJC: Other players have talked about you going full-speed all the time, is that the way you are off the field, as well?

 

SG: I’m a very laid-back guy. I’m Just kind of subdued all the time. Very cool, relaxed.

 AJC: What happens when you get on the field?

 

SG: I guess that all that energy has built up in me from being so subdued just comes out. Football is my passion, my love. When it something yo love you are going to give it your all. That’s what I tend to do.

 AJC: Which coach on staff is the funniest?

 

SG: Funniest coach? Coach Smith. He cracks a lot of jokes. It might be a tie. Coach Spencer is hilarious. I get a good laugh off Spencer.

 AJC: What do they say that’s funny?

 

SG: Coach Smith, he’s always cracking little side jokes. Coach Spencer is hilarious. He’s really wise.

The bowl trip, he’s out of the loop, he’s not in the pop culture thing. He said some funny things that everybody repeats now. I wish I could remember some of them.

But, it’s a tie between those two.

 AJC: A lot of people talk about the expectations between year one and year two with coach Johnson’s offense, but this is also year two in coach Wommack’s defense. Talk about the changes between year one and year two that you expect to see.

 

SG: Year 1 and Year 2…. Everbyody is fresh and new. Everybody wondered what he was going to do with the defense. Everyone wondered how we would adjust because we used to blitz with Tenuta. But in year two I expect everyone stepping their game up to the next level. Everybody going from a good defense to a great defense. We have the caliber of players to do that.

We all have this trust level with each other now. This comfortable feeling. It kind of hindered the defense last year. There wasn’t much trust there. Everybody wanted to do too much on defense and wanted to try to make the extra play instead of trusting the defense and letting the defense work for itself. That was when our team got into trouble when they’d over-do things and get out of position and this led to big runs or big passing plays. There’s big trust within the defense now.

 AJC: How tough was it missing the Georgia game?

 

SG: My knee was hurting so bad, I tried to jump up and down and cheer. That was not a great idea. I fought through the LSU game. That was tough also, trying to drag your knee around on the field. That was tough But I’m 1000 percent right now.

 AJC: Coach Wommack was talking about how tough the last two games were on the defense. He said ‘we defeated Georgia, but it was only because we scored 45 points.’ He said it seemed like the defense was in slow motion. On the sidelines, could you see that?

 

SG: I saw that. Just a lot of mistakes we didn’t make all year. Only takes one mistake to lead to a touchdown. A lot of things we didn’t do during the season we did in that game. In the LSU game, we had bad communication and not putting our eyes in the right place.

 AJC: Talk about the beginning of the schedule. It’s going to be a tough start. But the good thing about is if you get through it unscathed, it sets up very well for the rest of the year. How do you approach a season that will start as hard as this one will?

 

Honestly, I’m approaching the season like I have the last three. Same opponents that we’ve been playing the past three years. It’s going to be tough this year, but that’s what the offseason is for to get you mentally prepared for this long season. Twelve straight games, is tough, but that’s why we have a strength and conditioning coach to prepare us for stuff like this. We’re going to go out, take it one game at a time and give 100 percent and make sure we come out the victors at the end.

 AJC: Have you been helping the defensive line? Have you been helping the interior guys with their positioning and techniques?

 

SG: We’ve been trying to do a little film work on Tuesdays. I’ve been getting the D-line and showing them the signals and sets. When we go 7-on-7, they come out and practice their stunts, so we can get everybody up to par and be full-steam ahead when camp comes.

 AJC: What’s the worst part of camp?

 

SG: The heat. Down in south Georgia, the humidity is ridiculous. Tring to gasp for air is even tough. The air is so thick and the sun bearing down on you. And I guess the long days. Get maybe an hour and a half rest between practices. Go to sleep, and it seems like you sleep for a hour and a half and then you’re right back at it.

AJC: What was your personal highlight from last year?

 

SG: Have to be the Mississippi State game. Third and 1, studying with Coach Wommack, he told us their tendencies and things they like to do. In the formation they lined up in, we noticed they tended to like to dive over the pile when they get close to the goal line. So I decided to meet him in the air. I dived over the pile and met him in mid-air and stopped him at the 1.

 AJC: Who do you like to watch in the NFL?

 

SG: I’m a big Ray Lewis fan. One of my new favorites is Patrick Willis. I seem to pattern my game after both of those guys. Very hard-hitting, very intense all the time. And great athletes. Patrick Willis is one of the best athletes I’ve seen in a long time at linebacker.

 

52 comments Add your comment

mmgtfan

July 21st, 2009
6:59 pm

Good blog Doug. You’re starting to come around. Keep it up!

Jack G.

July 21st, 2009
7:00 pm

The problem with the GT defense, is they practice all week against the triple option, but the teams they play on the schedule dont run the triple option.

Weak defense has always been a problem for CPJ teams.

The theory seems to be run up a big score, and hope it is more than the other team.

The Dude

July 21st, 2009
7:04 pm

Good interview, Doug. Keep them coming. A healthy Griffin will be essential to this year’s success on defense.

TechDan

July 21st, 2009
7:21 pm

Jack G.: They practice all week against scout teams that seek to emulate the offense of the next opponent.

addicted

July 21st, 2009
7:36 pm

Good post Doug….Really enjoying this series!

@Jack G, While that may be an issue, I think the bigger problem with CPJ’s earlier teams was that Navy did not have the size to stop anybody…

Jack G.

July 21st, 2009
8:47 pm

TechDan

I know tyhey practice against the scout team, but scout teams are just not that good.

Jack G.

July 21st, 2009
8:52 pm

addicted

I agree on the size of the navy teams, but CPJ has had defense problems everywhere he has coached.—-Maybe he concentrates a little to much on recruiting for the offense.

This post has taken a long time because I looked to the right and got distracted—-WOW

3>8

July 21st, 2009
9:10 pm

Jack, you cannot have it both ways…you said they practice against the triple option and then acknowledged they practice against the scout team? Did you miss a nap?

CPJ broke a few strings last year. Perhaps his defence this year will not be a problem.

FACT

July 21st, 2009
9:18 pm

The DAWG’S ARE COMING.

Jack G.

July 21st, 2009
9:40 pm

3>8They practice both Scout and 1st team offense. Of course I may be wrong, I havent been to practice in years and dont know how they do it theses days. The reason I havent seen a practice in years is old age. I still drive fine, I just cant walk. Old age aint for sissies.

Will

July 22nd, 2009
12:12 am

Jack, you’re making up the defense stuff about CPJ. The GA Southern teams he coached had some of the top defenses in Div 1-AA. Look it up.

ShutUpMutt

July 22nd, 2009
1:14 am

Fact,
The dawgs will come… and they’ll leave with their tail between their legs.

Jack G,
Take a look at CPJ’s win/loss record. I’d say whatever he’s doing… it’s working.

T-Rav and the Eastside Grainger

July 22nd, 2009
3:10 am

Jackoff, have you even looked at our recruiting class to back up your ignorant post about concentrating on offensive recruiting? What a degenerate ignoramus.

Joe Schmoe

July 22nd, 2009
8:43 am

I did not even realize that Griffn the “Man Child” did not play against UGA. Good thing for UGA. Our defense would of been a hell of alot stronger.

GOTech610

July 22nd, 2009
9:24 am

Guys, whoa take it easy on Jack G.

Jack, I wondered about that too when I heard we had hired CPJ. However, seeing this recruiting class defensive studs PJ has attracted my worries I had are resting. That and there were several games last year the defense played very well, MIA, Clemson, and MSU come to mind.

Let’s see how he does this year with a bigger, faster, more talented defense he’s ever had.

And, yes, WILL is correct. GA Southern did have a stout defense.

FACT

July 22nd, 2009
9:24 am

I’m a sad Dawg fan reading the Tech Blog!

PB

July 22nd, 2009
9:59 am

Nice job Doug.

Also, my seats are in the North End-zone where Sed made that hit against Miss S… it WAS a thing of beauty.

Supersize that order, mutt

July 22nd, 2009
10:02 am

Great interview, Doug, and thanks for including a photo. It’s always nice to see closeup pics of the players you are talking to or about.

Mutts-R-Stupid-especially-journalism-majors

July 22nd, 2009
10:15 am

You know, the AJC has improved greatly in the last year, better writing, better content, and they got rid of that dead wood wooten. I had canceled my subscription well over a year ago, but I just recently renewed it for 13 weeks. Lets see just how fair and balanced the ajc will be with respect to Ga Tech vs UGAY.

Pi$$onaDawg

July 22nd, 2009
10:50 am

Better questions and still personal insite in the players life. A better Blog by far. Jack our young DBs last year seemed to do well practicing against CPJ’s O during the week and on Game Day against whoever.

reebok

July 22nd, 2009
11:20 am

Nice interview. Tech’s defense doesn’t have to be great, just solid…the O will put up a lot of points and hopefully eat up a lot of clock.

Tenuta’s defenses tended to play great for three quarters and then wilt late…too much time on the field due to Chan Gailey’s 3-and-out offense.

Huh?

July 22nd, 2009
1:43 pm

“Take a look at CPJ’s win/loss record. I’d say whatever he’s doing… it’s working.”

Um, okay. The guy has a .730 winning percentage as a head coach, which is nothing to write home about. And that is mostly inflated by his days at Georgia Southern. As a D-1 coach he has only won 62% of his games. That is just flat out MEDIOCRE as all hell my friend. You Techies kill me with how absolutely clueless you are. Ignorance is bliss I suppose….

Hey Huh?

July 22nd, 2009
2:33 pm

FACTS THAT MAKE ME HAPPY ABOUT YOU….The fact that you took the time to do research on Paul Johnson’s winning percentage throughout his career. The fact that you are on the “georgia tech sports blog” daily. The fact that you are so angry with tech fans….I love it man…keep talking trash….

Huh?

July 22nd, 2009
2:43 pm

Yes, that “research” took a lot of hard work. I had to google “Paul Johnson”, click on the wikipedia link, and then scroll down to the bottom of the page to find his win-loss record. The entire arduous process took an excruciating 2 minutes. I am exhausted. Time for a nap.

Hey Huh?, you may have heard of this thing called the “internet” by now. I mean, you’re on it right now. What’s so great about it is that people like myself can easily call you Techies out on all your bull**** now. Gone are the days that you can just pull things out of your butt and get away with it. I’m sorry if this upsets you. Hey Huh? needs his blankie.

Hey Huh?

July 22nd, 2009
3:33 pm

Doesn’t upset me one bit. As you can clearly read above your comment… “FACTS THAT MAKE ME HAPPY ABOUT YOU”. “Happy” being the key word. I love that you looked up PJ’s record. And I love you read and comment on the TECH BLOG daily (and yes as your reading this your address bar above you says “georgia-tech-sports). I’d rather have you over here talking with us than on that lame ass Dawg Blog. You know the one I’m talking about right? Oh wait, you probably don’t since you’re always here talking with us “Techies” who apparently you “hate” so much. Keep lookin up our stats and reading about our team. Gotta love Dawg fans that show a lot of interest in all things Tech. Bet ya can’t wait for next november huh lil’ fella? Bet you’re thinking UGA will wipe the floor with Tech and you’ll be here to shove it in all of our faces….My question to you is…what if that doesn’t happen. What if you wait all this time and UGA loses to Tech again? What will you say then?

GTDhoo

July 22nd, 2009
3:47 pm

@ Huh? There’s only one winning percentage I care about and that’s 1.000. That would be CPJ’s percentage against the “dawgs”. That didn’t require much research at all….

GT4Ever

July 22nd, 2009
3:51 pm

HUH, Funny how your beloved CMR only has a 73% winning record and was 8-4 in his first season with the UGAYs. It will all come out in the end. You as well as everyone else knows CPJ is an excellant coach and GT will continue to get better. Believe it!!!!!

chris o bomb

July 22nd, 2009
4:04 pm

our linebackers and secondary are our strong point on defense, and i dont see setback even with an injury this past week.

im more concerned with our special teams than d line as of now.

thwg

Huh?

July 22nd, 2009
4:04 pm

“Doesn’t upset me one bit.”

Sure thing bud. Just as cool as a cucumber. Aren’t you the one that wants to punch me in the face? LOL.

“What if you wait all this time and UGA loses to Tech again? What will you say then?”

What if pigs started flying out of your butt? What if? What if? What if? Okay, lets play the what if game. What if Georgia Tech beats UGA again this year? What will I say then? Well, lets go over what I will NOT say first. I will not cry like a little girl about how the refs jobbed us out of the win like a Techie. I will not talk trash about how some other team beat Tech because my team couldn’t like a typical Techie. I will not make crybaby excuses about how academics prevent us from competing with Tech like a typical Techie. In sum, I will NOT be a little sore loser panty waste like a typical Techie. Now, on to what I will say. And lets get one thing straight right here and now Hey Huh? A Tech win in November will not make me go away. I am not like a Techie that goes in to hiding for 7 freaking years and then comes out of the woodwork when his team finally flukes in to a win. I will still be here making you cry. Got it? Good, lets move on. Okay, what I will say if Georgia Tech beats us again in November is this: Georgia Tech fans are the biggest effing joke on the planet and the worst in all of sports. Starting a see a pattern here genius? Win or lose, the result is always the same. Tech fans are a total disgrace.

I look forward to your calm and levelheaded response Mr. Cool Guy. Good day.

Hey Huh?

July 22nd, 2009
4:10 pm

Ok 1 question….

Are you this much of a douche to Tech fans in real life or only when you’re behind your computer?

Try to give an honest answer and not some sarcastic comment….if that’s at all possible for you….

Huh?

July 22nd, 2009
4:12 pm

“HUH, Funny how your beloved CMR only has a 73% winning record…”

Try 79% you clueless goob.

Arguing with Tech fans is like playing checkers with a 5 year old. Honestly, I should just take the high road and let you win. I should stick with arguing with other SEC fans. Its much more challenging.

Huh?

July 22nd, 2009
4:21 pm

I’ll give the answer that will probably make your blood boil even more: Only when I’m behind a computer. What can I say? Its the anonymity.

I think you need to take a deep breath and settle down. To steal a line from a Georgia Tech great: Its just a game dawg!!! Good day to you sir.

Hey Huh?

July 22nd, 2009
4:22 pm

“Arguing with Tech fans is like playing checkers with a 5 year old. Honestly, I should just take the high road and let you win. I should stick with arguing with other SEC fans. Its much more challenging.”

If you hate arguing with us so much…WHY ARE YOU HERE EVERY DAY OF YOUR LIFE on the GEORGIA TECH SPORTS BLOG? Will you ever “take the high road”. Something tells me you won’t. Something tells me your dumbass will continue to be here every day.

GTDhoo

July 22nd, 2009
4:59 pm

@ Huh?
“I will not cry like a little girl about how the refs jobbed us out of the win like a Techie.”

-See Tech’s last win streak during the serious (granted it was a while ago). Specifically the goal line fumble that UGA fans are still whining about

” I will not talk trash about how some other team beat Tech because my team couldn’t like a typical Techie.”

-See the LSU v. GT game this year

Maybe you specifically don’t do these things, but saying it’s a typical Techie thing is just ignorant. All fans do it, UGA fans included.

StingerSplash

July 22nd, 2009
5:26 pm

JackG,
TechDan is right. The defense won’t see the option during practice, unless the opponent that week runs some option. Why would you practice against your own offense from Aug. 1 until the end of the season? You’re not playing your own offense. You’re playing someone else’s offense.

pensacola dawg

July 22nd, 2009
5:36 pm

Hope he does not go out after dark on the tech Campus which is now rated as one of the most dangerous college campus’s in the US!

Not Disappointed

July 22nd, 2009
7:28 pm

Great article Doug. Sedric appears to be ready to play football.

Sorry, I’m so late. Man, it’s almost time for some College Football. I do look forward to September.

superDawg

July 22nd, 2009
8:54 pm

Hey huh. i’m here to say you suck as a tek fan.If you muster up any thing in NOV.it will be a nervous break down because your beloved bee’s got trounced by UGA and the BS you guys spit out will be put to rest.Can’t wait.tuck fech!

Saint Simons & Ramble On Spoon Nightly

July 23rd, 2009
8:24 am

You QB was sacked at the end of Rudy. Even in movies Tech sucks!

chad

July 23rd, 2009
8:43 am

superDumb

That may have been one of the hardest post I have ever had to read. You must be ugay journalism major. “Ain’t Life Grand” (WSP) THWG

Rudy Was Offsides

July 23rd, 2009
9:31 am

Hey Pensacola, are you afraid of the big scawy city little guy? Awww….poor wittle guy… Hey don’t worry. I’ll take your seat this year in the stands since you’ll be too scared to come downtown and go to the game. Wus.

Spanky

July 23rd, 2009
10:44 am

UGA fans- just because a word ends with an “s”, it doesn’t HAVE to have an apostrophe. See FACT @9:18pm and superdawg @ 8:54

Minnesota Jacket

July 23rd, 2009
10:44 am

Sorry I haven’t been on lately everybody, I can tell that HUH? still is sleeping at his mom’s trying to buy himself an identical trailer for him, his sister, and their kid. I can tell that UGA fan’s are starting to get excited with all of the big bold letters they see on the internet with their bat call of “DAWGS” because frankly we all know they can’t read and just like to look at the pictures.
So now that all of the everyone all ready knew this type of stuff said we can get on to the bigger issues which actually mean something. All of the talk about hour offensive line will be weak I understand but don’t understand why people can’t remember how (this is being said as if nobody was injured and such) that the whole last part of the season that our o-line ended up being the same unit we are starting this year with. Thus they are going to be a better unit because they have been in the trenches together all ready and will only become a stronger unit this year. Question for all of you though does Nes become a better passer IF we give him better blocking, or is he just not a good passing quarterback?

Hayseed Dixie

July 23rd, 2009
11:37 am

Good interviews, Doug. It’s nice to get a more 3 dimensional look at the team.

Anybody care to corroborate Sedric’s assertion that the Defense was selfish, looking for the big play more and that led to some meltdowns?

That’s great if they play more team-oriented. As long as they get out of Morgan Burnett’s way when he decides to take over. ;)

Hayseed Dixie

July 23rd, 2009
11:41 am

@Minnesota Jacket

Passers always benefit from solid O-line play, but I think the key quote from Nesbitt (here in Doug’s blog) was that he’s thinking less and executing more. Nesbott, indeed.

Personally, there was nothing more frustrating that watching Reggie Ball attempt to go through a receiver progression on the field.

Hey Huh?

July 23rd, 2009
3:30 pm

Gotta love your answer….It pretty much sums you up…

Are you this much of a douche to Tech fans in real life or only when you’re behind your computer?

“Only when I’m behind a computer. What can I say? Its the anonymity.”

Maybe you should rethink that. I think you should openly tell Tech fans how you feel about them in person. Get it off your chest man. It obviously angers you enough to show up here every day. I know you like to hide behind your computer but… speak your mind…out loud. Don’t be nervous. It’s called “trash talking” for a reason. I trash talk with all my Dawg fan friends. It’s fun. I also trash talk with strangers. Both parties end up usually getting a good laugh. I think you must have a lot of built up frustration to be spending this much time on a TECH blog when you absolutely (apparently) HATE TECH fans. So maybe a little therapy would be to openly admit your hate out loud. If you’re in a room with a bunch of “Techies” why don’t you tell them how you really feel. In fact…I have a great idea…. Come to the UGA/Tech game and tell me and my section (121 row 5) how you feel. There’s a few scary lookin guys in my row(think they’re former players) but I’m sure you’ll be fine. Just say everything you say on this blog. Open up and tell us how you feel…. Ok little guy?

Supersize that order, mutt

July 23rd, 2009
4:36 pm

Hilarious post, Hey Huh? LOVED it!!!

Too Easy

July 23rd, 2009
5:04 pm

GTDhoo: 1.000 (as portrayed by you) isn’t really the ‘percentage’ you meant, is it? Thought you guys were numbers guys.

Try selling out a 55,000 seat stadium.....

July 23rd, 2009
6:44 pm

To Try seeling out...

July 23rd, 2009
8:04 pm

Try actually going to the school you support so much…