When Georgia recently hired Warren Belin as a linebackers coach, it didn’t specify whether he would be responsible for the inside or outside linebackers in the Bulldogs’ new 3-4 defense.
Inside, Belin said Friday.
New defensive coordinator Todd Grantham will coach the outside linebackers.
“Todd and I will be working really together with the linebacker corps, [but] I’ll be focusing on . . . the inside linebackers,” Belin said. “There may be times in certain drills I may have to work with the outside linebackers as well.”
Completing what he called a “whirlwind” first full week on the job in Athens, Belin spoke with reporters on a conference call, his first media availability since being hired to complete the Bulldogs’ revamped defensive coaching staff.
Although acknowledging that inside and outside linebackers are distinct positions in the 3-4 defense in terms of skill sets, Belin said the core philosophy for both groups will be the same: “doing a great job with fundamentals and . . . playing with speed, being great tacklers and being productive players.”
“The outside linebackers, obviously, will be coming off the edge and bring[ing] a lot of pressure,” Belin added. “But we’ll also be bringing pressure with inside linebackers as well.”
Belin is a 20-year coaching veteran who was Vanderbilt’s linebackers coach the past eight seasons. He also served as the Commodores’ recruiting coordinator the past two years and special-teams coordinator in 2006-07. He said Georgia coach Mark Richt has talked with him and other assistants about “how we’ll divide up” special-teams coaching duties.
“We are currently working on some of those details and getting everything worked out, what we’re all going to bring to the table in trying to get better in our special teams area,” Belin said.
Three of Georgia’s four defensive coaches are new, with Belin, Grantham and secondary coach Scott Lakatos joining the lone holdover from last year’s defensive staff, line coach Rodney Garner.
As for how he came to be hired by Georgia, Belin said: “Coach Richt has been following my career for quite some time. . . . A couple of people recommended me to Coach Richt, and he followed through with that. After recruiting season was over, he contacted [Vanderbilt] Coach [Bobby] Johnson to ask permission. I came on the interview — had a really good interview with Coach Richt and Coach Grantham –- and I’m fortunate to have a chance to be a part of this great program.”
Since he has been on the job –- his first day was what he called the “whiteout,” the snow that hit Athens on Feb. 12 –- Belin has been busy. “I’m learning,” he said. “We’ve been meeting defensively as a staff, getting to know our defense and the package that we’re installing.
And he has started to get to know his players. “My philosophy for my players –- and I’ve sat down and told all of those guys the first day -– is: honesty No. 1, fairness No. 2, and then 100 percent effort and attitude on and off the field,” Belin said. “If you do those things and do them right every day, you have a good chance to be successful.”
On a different topic, here’s a story on the changes that will come to Stegeman Coliseum after this season.
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