Jarvis Jones: ‘We’re gonna … try to be the best defense in the nation’

Ryan Black covered spring football practice in Athens for the AJC on Saturday and filed this report:

ATHENS — Jarvis Jones accomplished a lot last season. He was named to nearly every All-American team. He was a finalist for the Butkus Award. And he led the SEC in sacks (13.5) and tackles for loss (19.5) for a Georgia team that won the Eastern Division.

But if Jones doesn’t replicate those stats and accolades in 2012, he said he will have failed to live up to his own lofty expectations.

“I can do better than I did last year,” Jones said after Georgia’s first full-pads session of spring practice Saturday. “I’ve definitely got to improve myself. . . . Anything less than what I did last year is a failure.”

Coming off such a dominant first season as a Bulldog after redshirting in 2010, Jones was asked if he feels he is now “the face” of Georgia’s defense. Always quick to deflect attention from himself, he dismissed that notion in favor of a team-oriented outlook.

“I’ve got a role to play. Everybody [does],” Jones said. “I think I’m one of the leaders on the team, and I’m definitely one of the players who my teammates listen to. We got a lot of leaders out there. We got Alec [Ogletree], Shawn Williams, Bacarri [Rambo]. . . .  We don’t try to stand out among each other. We all push each other and try to get each other to get the ball rolling. That’s why I think we’re so close. We’re headed in the right direction to do some good things this year. We all believe in each other, and we communicate well. We just enjoy doing what we do.”

Just a few months ago, Jones, Williams and Rambo had to choose whether they would return to Georgia or depart for the NFL. Jones said he did not try to push Williams or Rambo in either direction.

“I just told them whatever decision they [made] —- if they decided to go pro — I’m always going to be in their corner and believe in them and wish the best for them,” Jones said. “But they came back, and we’re gonna take this thing up another level and try to be the best defense in the nation.”

Since spring practice opened on Tuesday, the defense has dominated the offense in drills. Jones pointed out that part of the reason is that the defense brought back more experienced players, “especially up front,” where the offensive line is trying to replace three starters.

“[The offense] is getting a bit frustrated, but that’s what we want,” Jones said. “We want to put them in situations where they can learn and they can improve, so down the road when the season starts, we’ll be a much better team.”

As good as the defense looks to be this fall, the Bulldogs are young at Jones’ outside linebacker position, since both Cornelius Washington and Ray Drew have started to work into the rotation at defensive end. Jones said he isn’t worried, though, since his younger teammates are picking up things “real quick.”

Besides, to meet his goal of eclipsing the season he had last year, Jones admits there is still a lot he needs to learn himself.

“Coaches are still putting new things in there, teaching me new things, teaching us as a defense new things,” he said. “Even when you get to the pros, I think you’ve still got a lot of room for improvement. It never stops.”

– Ryan Black, for the AJC

144 comments Add your comment


March 24th, 2012
4:51 pm

Go Dawgs. The defense is going to be as tenacious as a well you know.


March 24th, 2012
4:54 pm


March 24th, 2012
4:57 pm

Keep chopping wood…


March 24th, 2012
4:59 pm

GATA! Going to be a great defense!

NC National Guard Dawg

March 24th, 2012
5:02 pm

Hopefully with Drew and Washington moving to DL, JHC will get some quality snaps at Outside L. I love the attitude of Jones and company. Looks like this D can be the new “Junkyard Dawgs” D. Go Dawgs!!!


March 24th, 2012
5:02 pm

Can’t wait. G-day game, read same summer publications then start the seasons. Dawgs roll through the season then we see how good they are in SEC championship game. If they prove true the national title game and people get offof Richt’s back. GATA


March 24th, 2012
5:17 pm

I really like Jones’ attitude and approach. Sounds like a real humble kid and good leader. DGD!


March 24th, 2012
5:31 pm

That experienced defense should serve us well at Mizzo in the opener. It could be an eye opener for the former Big 12 fans!


March 24th, 2012
5:39 pm

Isn’t good to know the Dawgs won’t face a better defense than they do on the practice field?


March 24th, 2012
5:44 pm

Just added another commit. Johnny Oneal out of West Laurens..ILB…a thumper. Grantham keeps pulling them in….hopefully the AJC will get around to a story in the next few days!


March 24th, 2012
5:50 pm

Mizzou, USC and Florida….only three intersting games…out of twelve…………..YEAH…they should be the best defense in the country statistically.

…and the best offense, too, Mr. Bobo…or your head.

Hairy Dawg

March 24th, 2012
5:58 pm

This is great news! We goning to have a defense that displays dominants on other teams. Coach Richt knew what he was doing in hiring Coach Grantham. Now that we resrocked the talent and no more wet Willies our D is back to junk yard Dawgs type D. This is how Dawgs supposed to play. We knows we got the talents that just needs being exposed. Now we loaded up to beat down East and then whip Bammers or Lsuers in Dome. I really want to play the bungle tigers and Metzburger. Then we can show Metz why we cast him out and cut him loose when he started stinking. Our defense will put a hurt on the sorry bad QBs we play like chickens and gaytors.

Go Dawgs!

Hairy Dawg

March 24th, 2012
6:01 pm

restocked not resrocked


March 24th, 2012
6:24 pm

Jones does all his talking on the field, as it should be. He’s a humble kid and the epitome of a team player. Good things are ahead for JJ. DGD

Pulpwud Smiff

March 24th, 2012
6:44 pm

Has Cornelius Washington sobered up yet?


March 24th, 2012
6:44 pm

Yeah, while this is similar to our offensive ratings… We all know what happens when we play somebody good…. We lose…. Just like your joke of a Defense… You dawg fans are very delusional if you think your defense is anything but average at best! But hey, enjoy the grape kool aide….

Granthams The Man

March 24th, 2012
6:58 pm

Mizzou fans, talk while you still can!


March 24th, 2012
7:13 pm

Yeah for Ryan Black! He’s such a cutie! Go Dawgs!

Jarvis Jones...I love that kid!!!

March 24th, 2012
7:22 pm

What a leader. For young athletes and current Bulldog players, you should: watch, learn, and listen to JJ! That’s how you do it. His attitude reminds me of Herschel Walker. BIG TEAM…little me. Frankly, he could lead us to the title b/c his spirit and approach will rub off on other players.

JJ will go down as one of the best players in UGA history though he only played 2 years. Of course, he’s NFL bound after this year.


March 24th, 2012
7:29 pm

How many recruits has Tech gotten for next year?


March 24th, 2012
8:36 pm

Why don’t you haters stick to your on team’s blogs. Why do you even waste your time unless you don’t value your time.

Who me?

March 24th, 2012
8:39 pm

With some help on the O-line and the D stepping up, this team could be players in the East this year…


March 24th, 2012
8:50 pm

Like that attitude, now if we could get the offense and ESPECIALLY the special teams to have that same attitude


March 24th, 2012
8:54 pm

I can’t wait till football season. I can’t wait to see how much D improves. And I hope offense improves greatly


March 24th, 2012
8:56 pm

bitter dawgs fan

March 24th, 2012
9:05 pm

dawgs rule with defence, take them one game at a time—————–bamma trolls stink


March 24th, 2012
10:00 pm

Just think about this!

JJ was released by Southern Cal because of MEDICAL problems(sounds very much like The little Weasel Saban) and is pretty much an All American in everybody’s book. Hopefully he has improved on his MEDICAL problem and will show the world he belongs in the Elite Players in College Football.

JJ = DGD = Superman = Class Act

Gulf Shores Dawg

March 24th, 2012
10:00 pm

Love that Jarvis Jones! The whole team is coming together, fun time in Athens this Fall! I cannot wait….

Mobile Dawg

March 24th, 2012
10:30 pm

JJ is a stud, D should be formidable this year. Hairy, if Richt was as adept at hiring an OC as you say he was in hiring CTG we would be in business huh? Richt is in way over his head coaching wise….

Snoop Dawg

March 24th, 2012
10:59 pm

I love the Dawgs. What happened to the D in the SEC championship? What happened in the bowl? Ok, I understand that Murray is stupid. But a great defense holds that line.
Jarvis is a hero. I love the leadership and focus and selflessness to team that he brings. The DC gets a lot of credit in instilling such a culture. Unfortunately, the problem is really the head coach. Until we get someone who is really focused on championships, the Jarvis Jones of the Bulldog World will get short changed. So will the fan base.

Snoop Dawg

March 24th, 2012
11:02 pm

Why is Mike Bobo still the Offensive Coordinator for UGA football? This is a total disgrace.

Aaron Murray is not all america ? What a hose job. Absolutely the Best QB in the nation, Heisman Trophy, National Championship just wait 'til next year !

March 24th, 2012
11:03 pm

AltamahaDawg March 24th, 2012 11:20 am

” ‘And, it always at the most important moment vs top teams.’

And that is obviously the exact time to pull your best chance to win and insert a less capable back-up.”
No, that is the exact time to put the same immature puny Loser back in to do what he always does.

Or, no, that is the exact time to not give anyone else an opportunity to show us if just maybe one of the other 5 quarterbacks could possibly do any WORSE than Aaron Murray at 0-7 vs teams who are 10-Win Season Opponents.

Mobile Dawg

March 24th, 2012
11:06 pm

Because Snoop, Mark Richt doesn’t have a clue as to how to build a championship team. He’s more loyal to his assistants than he is to the football program. The players, while all the hype says they love him, they don’t respect him, fear him, follow him. In short, we’re stuck with mediocrity in the near to short term.

Why has Mark Richt made AP Poll Top 10 only once after 2005 ?

March 24th, 2012
11:28 pm

Kingdaddy March 24th, 2012 2:32 pm

“Coach Bobo thinks he knows better than everyone else,but he’s DEAD WRONG. Defense and running behind a deep OL is what wins in SEC. PERIOD. A good ground game will take pressure off of Arron. MURRAY. If we throw less and run more, we’ll have less INTs. This will also control the clock and keep one of the Best Defenses in the nation fresh . Even Bobo should know this. I for one, don’t think Bobo knows his ashcan from a hole-in-the-ground …”
Can someone explain how this poster, who spent his entire day in here posting about how no one should post anything negative ever, thinks this is anything but a NEGATIVE POST ?

Or, like everyone else, we are to do as he SAYS and not as he himself DOES, right ?

Who passed away and put you in charge




March 24th, 2012
11:28 pm

Rambo had to come back….yes, he was an All-American…but 5 of his 8 Ints were passes thrown right to him…he dropped more than he caught and every end-around reverse pass for a TD that every team threw against UGA in the last 2 years, the TV read RAMBO….cuz he was the one biting and getting burned….if he works on that, he will be one of the best safeties we’ve ever had….Sanders Commings has dropped more pick 6’s than Matt Stafford, Joe Cox and Aaron Murray combined…Going Pro???? Yeah, they didn’t want to be a 5th rounder and an undrafted free agent!!! Go Dawgs!!!!


March 24th, 2012
11:29 pm

combined to throw, that is!!!!


March 24th, 2012
11:55 pm

Oh yeah, this will be a great defense….as long as they don’t play a ranked team. Then they get killed.

Why has Mark Richt made AP Poll Top 10 only once after 2005 ?

March 25th, 2012
12:12 am

Yes, I am not convinced that we have anyone back there defending the forward pass other than Malcolm Mitchell, myself. There isn’t a single Secondary Player whom Erk Russell would have put back there at what he called his Rover Position. We move anyone who could defend the forward pass to other positions.

From that standpoint, moving Malcolm Mitchell back there will prove to be a move that the defense cannot afford to give up.

But, if you look at the defense closely, you can clearly see 12 players who are and have been our Starters – all 12 of whom are absolutely gone after this 2012 season.

It’s a one-year window for Mark Richt and would have served him far better to have his extension actually come up after this season, rather than now.

By the way, why is there not a


turned on daily for when Mark Richt actually does sign this extension ?

3 times the AJ-C has announced that Mark Richt got his extension.

3 times.

However, in fact, 3/25/2011, Mark Richt has FAILED to SIGN the EXTENSION November, December, January, February, and now March is all but over.

April ?

The National Press is going to get past this local hype-machine Kool-Aid crowd saying how Mark Richt has his Extension and point this out.

Again, this is good for Mark Richt.

This will be his best season. He starts out # 6 in the nation in all the polls for 2012. He has the most leadership on his Defense he has ever had, led by Jarvis Jones, Consensus All-America and the


That’s already after 1 year. I felt that he, as the # 1 player at his position in the 12-year UGA Bulldogs’ history, should have turned pro after last season.

That’s not because I want Mark Richt to fail: Mark Richt doesn’t need me to want him to fail when in 26 games to-date against Opponents who end season 10-Win Opponents, he has beat 8; and Mark Richt has a 1-year window to do well this season; sure, he will return his Offense intact for 2013, but he will have lost his ENTIRE DEFENSE.

Jarvis Jones should have left to the League because he has already proven that he is durable and that the neck is not an issue, as our UGA Doctors told everyone 2 years ago when they let him go over his neck; and another season in The SEC will not alter that with the question still hanging out there after 2012 as well, so he should have left – that’s for himself, as he above everyone else knows that his very next play could well be his last, ever – so, take the guarantee and put the money in the bank. Good Heavens.

Still, I am thankful that UGA fans such as I get to see daily of the 22 position players that we’ve ever had, that he stands alone as the # 1 linebacker in our entire storied defensive history. Defense, like offense and special teams is a team sport where you are better as a team than the sum of the individual parts and strive for team goals – all of which just makes me wonder if any of all these great leaders we have on this team for 2012 as players will teach Aaron Murray what he should have been doing 4 years ago when he 1st came to Georgia and be a leader like



March 25th, 2012
12:32 am

#1 defense to not play Bama, LSU, and Arkansas maybe

Dawgs got beat by every good team they played last year – Boise, SCAR, LSU, MSU

So overhyped……..


March 25th, 2012
12:43 am

well, they will play LSU, ALA or Ark if they make it to the SECCG


March 25th, 2012
12:44 am

only problem…will they make it with UGA

Why has Mark Richt made AP Poll Top 10 only once after 2005 ?

March 25th, 2012
12:45 am

“Isaiah Crowell continued to work almost exclusively with Aaron Murray.”

“Freshman Keith Marshall did, however, take some handoffs from second string quarterback Hutson Mason.”

This is further proof of what EVERY POSTER has said about Mark Richt during his 12 years as our head coach, although he hasn’t signed the contract to continue.

(1) Have we learned NOTHING after a year and half now with Isaiah Crowell that he in no-way is going to be the exclusive tailback for UGA even in 2012 ?

(2) Mark Richt continues this harangue that he wants Hutson Mason to continue to not see the field at all in 10 games as he did not see the field for so much as a snap in 10 games, yet, NOT REDSHIRT.


March 25th, 2012
12:47 am

This is the solution to ALA and these false NCs…change the ranking from top 25 to top 32.

Take those 32 and pair 1 against 32, 2 against 31 etc on the fist week

thats 16 (bowl games)

then the next week its reduced to 8 (bowl) games

then the next week it’s reduced to 4 (bowl) games

then 2 (bowl) games

then the REAL Championship (bowl) game…that adds up to 31 bowls.

There are currently 35 bowls (only recently they added 4 so we actually lose nothing and gain a real champ
32 does not really deserve a shot but since they play number one the 1st week they most likely will be gone anyway and 32 always gets a bowl anyway so you lose no integrity..and if you dig that deep you have no controversy on who is left out (number 33 will not bitch like number 9) and you get all 31 bowls (well there are 35 but you get the picture)
Its about doing away with controversy, keeping same amount of bowls and determine a real champ….solves all three problems with one solution
It’s a no brainer

Why has Mark Richt made AP Poll Top 10 only once after 2005 ?

March 25th, 2012
12:47 am

(3) Hutson Mason has spoken his mind, and as a definitive proof of this, he made it a CONDITION of him NOT TRANSFERRING that he be given instead a Redshirt 2012.

Score Check

March 25th, 2012
12:47 am

Coach Sick Satan = SCUM

Tweak your knee and you are left twisting in the wind.

Why has Mark Richt made AP Poll Top 10 only once after 2005 ?

March 25th, 2012
12:51 am

(4) Mark Richt continues – contrary to the AGREEMENT HE MADE WITH HUTSON MASON – and gives Hutson Mason the 2nd most snaps at Quarterback all Spring Drills and no doubt obviously all Fall Practices as well.

Why has Mark Richt made AP Poll Top 10 only once after 2005 ?

March 25th, 2012
12:53 am

(5) Keith Marshall is a BETTER TAILBACK FOR US than Isaiah Crowell. He is a better student, far FASTER, better conditioned, smarter, has better hands, and is a TEAM LEADER, who will not jaw at opponents and be suspended and take himself out of game, no fail drug tests.

(6) Mark Richt is making huge mistakes preparing our team, ONCE AGAIN 2012, as he has done all 12 years now. His loyalty to his coaches and to his Starters is unprecedented among head football coaches – especially in this case.

(7) Keith Marshall HAS TO GET SNAPS WITH AARON MURRAY, NOW, by Heavens.

(8) And, if you are going to REDSHIRT HUTSON MASON, you must DE-ELEVATE HIM from # 2 QB to at least # 3 in practice. You cannot have your cake, and eat it too. If we know that Isaiah Crowell cannot carry this team; and if we know that Aaron Murray is far from anything but maddening vs all the top teams, then this domination of the offense by the defense this entire Spring Practice should not lead to posts about how dominating our defense is when by measured results vs Michigan State, LSU, Boise State and South Carolina – the only 4 teams we played who season end made AP Poll Top 25 – we must get after the Offense failed as it is according to


ole yeller

March 25th, 2012
7:20 am

“JJ” was an all american in 2011 and he will repete again in 2012. If you want to see him play it will be this year. I feel he will go pro in 2013. If Coach “R” doesn’t do it this year with this group he may not have a chance to accoumlate such talent in his coaching like time. If the “O” line jells and i think it will and the “RB” step up, the Dawgs will be a hard team to beat. I have only two concerns. (1) Can Bobo step up for this team. (2) Can Murray step up for this. Both need to improve in NOT making mistakes that cost the team wins.

2nd Best

March 25th, 2012
7:58 am

Ga won’t even be the best Defense in their division.

Why has Mark Richt made AP Poll Top 10 only once after 2005 ?

March 25th, 2012
8:17 am

You forget that Mark Richt has to beat top teams, when you bring all that national championship talk in here because you know he faces 1 team in these 12 regular seasons’ games who made it to AP Poll Top 25 to end last season. This while he Lost all 4 games last season against teams who made it to 10-Win Seasons.

10-Win Seasons by Mark Richt Opponents :

Average Margin of Defeat : over 15 points game

22 points Offense Defeat per game
38 points Defense Defeat per game

When we play a team who ends 10-Win Season
Lose on the average by More than 2 Touchdowns

In other words, we are blown-out spectacularly.
It’s not just that we lose, and we definitely lose,
It’s how we lose.

The Offense is annihilated
The Special Teams’ are just obliterated
The Defense is demolished
The coaching staff looks like buffoons

In Mark Richt era, NC beat 29 ended AP Top 10
In Mark Richt era, he beat 3 of 16 end AP Top 10