ATHENS — OK, here are a few addendum’s from Tuesday’s post-practice interview opportunities. Todd Grantham, Mike Gilliard and Jarvis Jones talked about Shawn Williams’ comments on the defense and a few other things. So here they are kind of raw and unabridged:
SENIOR LINEBACKER MIKE GILLIARD:
On Williams’ remarks about Amarlo Herrera being the better linebacker . . .
“As a man, I wasn’t hurt at all. I felt disrespected. And, yes, I definitely took it personally. Today in the linebackers meeting, I stood up and told them, ‘no disrespect to Amarlo and Ogletree, but when I read that I felt disrespected and I’ll definitely taking it personally. But there’s no issue between me and Shawn Williams. All it is is fuel for the fire and basically its given me motivation to go out there and give 100 percent. And that’s what I did today. You can ask any of my teammates. I was upset today at practice today any time the ball came my way I tried to knock the [expletive] out of him.”
On the response of the defense to Williams’ remarks. . .
“He called us out. Us as linebackers and asa defense as a whole, we’ve just got to deliver. This week, that’s what I plan to do. You best believe whoever’s carrying the ball, I’m gonna know the (expletive) out of them.”
On talking to Williams on Tuesday . . .
“He told me it was nothing person. Then again, by saying their names, he said my name without saying my name. I took that personal. I feel like when another man calls me soft, he’s disrespecting my manhood. So all I can do is go out there and deliver. It just gave me motivation. You best believe, on Saturday I’m going to be ready. And as a defense as a whole, we had a great practice. We flew around the ball, tried to hit hard. That’s what we’re going to continue to do for the rest of the week.”
On how he might have handled . . .
“Me, personally, I never would have told the media something like that. I’d keep it in-house and talk to the defense. I would have sat down and talked to the defense and tried to resolve the issue then and there. But there’s not going to be any issues after this right here. It’s just if another man calls me soft, I’m gonna show him there ain’t nothing sweet around here.”
JUNIOR OUTSIDE LINEBACKER JARVIS JONES
On Williams’ remarks . . .
“Everybody knows Shawn is a very passionate guy. He loves this game of football. Looking back at last year and this year, we’re playing down a level and not executing like we’re supposed to. I feel like that woke a lot of guys up. Guys understand where he’s coming from and definitely respect him. It wasn’t like he was throwing anybody under the bus, coaches or anything like that. Personally, me and a lot of other guys feel like it was just a challenge for us to go out there and just re-focus ourselves and get back on the right track and play the defense we’re known for playing and that’s smash-mouth football . Last year that’s the kind of football we played and that’s what Shawn is looking for, the team that played hard, that ran to the ball, that hit people, that got sacks and turnovers. Obviously we haven’t been that team and that’s what he wants to get back to.”
Has the controversy had an effect . . .
“Oh, yeah. Guys were turned up on both sides of the ball. They really pushed themselves to get better. I definitely think we got better in a lot of area today. Guys were giving everything they had as far as the mental stage and physical.
How might he have handled it . . .
“I’m more of a quiet guy; I’m not that vocal. I probably would have just called my defense in together and talked about it. But sometimes you have to look into different ways to get your team’s attention. Shawn was coming from the heart with it. He definitely got our attention. So we’ve just got to look past the negativity of it and what other people think. We understand where Shawn’s coming from. We’re a brotherhood here. We’ve just got to keep grinding and keep getting better this week.
“I know what kind of guy Shawn is and I know how he meant it. He’s just challenging us to get better and just push ourselves physically and mentally.”
On practicing Tuesday after sitting out since Oct. 6 with an ankle injury . . .
“It was good to get out there and move around a little bit,” said Jones, who hasn’t played since injuring his right ankle against South Carolina on Oct. 6. “Everybody’s working hard and focusing, and it was good to get back out there with the guys. I feel good right now. It’s just Tuesday, and I’m still getting better.”
DEFENSIVE COORDINATOR TODD GRANTHAM
On Williams’ comments . . .
“It’s no big deal. Shawn’s a passionate guy. He cares about the way he plays and the way the other guys plays. I think it was probably taken a little bit out of context from the way he meant it in some ways. But really you’ve got a guy who wants to win and cares about his players and he’s ready to move on.”
On whether he had any advance notice from Williams . . .
“Shawn and I are pretty close and we talk. He’s a guy who wants us to play well and physical and do those kinds of things. So, you know, I don’t know.”
On Williams making lineup suggestions . . .
“Players have opinions. Everybody’s got their opinion. I have my opinion about (reporters), too.”
On how he addressed the situation with defense . . .
“We always have meetings before practice as a team. I let him have the floor for a couple of minutes and basically explain what he meant and what he cares about. The most important thing is getting ready to play Florida and it’s really not an issue. So we moved on with practice. “
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