July 2, 2009: Dawg Post Presents: A Conversation with Mike Bobo

With Dean Legge; Video, photos and production by Dean Legge

Dean Legge: I know every season is different – what are you expecting from this team?

Mike Bobo: I’m really expecting us to finish and play with consistency for four quarters. If you look at our losses last year that’s not something we did well. We were not consistent for four quarters – we were up and down. We would play good in some instances and then disappear. I think that’s our number one goal. Our goal and motto at Georgia has always been to finish every game, and finish strong. At some points last season we didn’t do that for whatever reason. I think the guys are working hard. I think we have a tight group of guys. How the team comes together this year… you never know. But I am excited because they are really working together, and I am very excited about this year.

Legge: It seems like this offensive line might be one of the best ones y’all have had since maybe 2002?

Bobo: Well I think they have the potential to be good because you have all of the guys coming back who have played. Coach Searels and I were talking the other day, and we are returning eight guys who started at some point last year. We still are relatively young with only one senior in that group. The big word is potential. Hopefully we will come together this year and have the line that we want to have here at Georgia. I do think if we can have some continuity there on the offensive line – guys staying healthy – this year and possibly next year we have a chance to be pretty good up front.

Legge: When you start thinking about some of the guys y’all have pulled in this past few years – weather it is Orson Charles, Rantavious Wooten, Marlon Brown of Carlton Thomas – there are some different types of players that Georgia has not had in the past. What do you think about those guys.

Bobo: It is exciting. It is exciting for us on offense. We have guys that when they get the ball in their hands they can do something with it. That’s the thing – you have to have guys who can make plays. It is hard to grind things out, and get first down after first down. You have to make big plays. You have to have explosion plays. That is what we were able to do these last couple of years, and hopefully these guys will do that, too.

Legge: You fell to Florida and Tech, and I can’t remember you (Mike Bobo) losing to Georgia Tech – it has been a lost time at least. How important is it to get back on the right page of that?

Bobo: It is very disappointing for us as coaches and players – we take pride in that game (Georgia Tech) every year. It is our arch rival. It is the number one rivalry in the state. It is Georgia Tech. They whipped us. They came out and played better than us and made plays. I think it fueled the fire for our guys a little bit for the rivalry. They are going to be better than they were last year, so it is going to be a big test for us. It is defiantly in the back of our minds – that is something we are going to work hard for this year… to represent better in that game.

Legge: Why is Joe Cox special to you?

Bobo: Just is work ethic, and the way he’s gone about things the last five years. I think it was very fortunate for him to come in and redshirt under a guy like D.J. Shockley, and see how he approached things and how he did things. And then to play behind Matthew Stafford – a guys who is extremely talented, and who had won a lot of football games for us. Joe never waivered. He was the same for us every day in every practice. I think Joe is ready for this year. The players are excited (about Joe). It does not matter if a player is offense or defense – if Joe says do something those guys do it. He is the type of guy you want to run your program.

Legge: How comfortable are you now, a couple of years into it, calling plays now? Is it second nature now?

Bobo: You would like to think that it is second nature – a lot of it is preparation going into a game.

Legge: Is that why July is so important – to get that stuff squared away?

Bobo: We try to get it done by July, so that I can have a little time with my family in July. Most of it is done, the summer scouting, by July. Preparation week in and week out – most of the time you have an idea of what you are going to call in those situations because you have a practiced. You never want to call something because… if your kids have not practiced it, and then the play doesn’t have success then the kids are going to wonder what is going on. You have a plan, you put it in, and then, the main thing as a coach is that you want your players to believe in that plan. What we call is going to work. When we call this play in this situation it is going to work because we have executed it all week. But there are times in games when you have to make adjustments. The main thing I have changed over the last couple of years in calling plays is trying to be more conscious of putting the ball in the playmakers’ hands instead of just calling a play that looks good because they are lined up in this defense or that coverage. Is the play going to a guy who is dependable when we hand him the ball – is he going to make plays? The bottom line is that the kids have to make plays.

Legge: Last this here… it is a bit of a strange question, but I was talking with someone on the way here, and they said: "I wonder if you were Bobo, and you were going into the BCS National Championship Game, and you have a magical wand… leaving Joe Cox out of this… of the three guys who you developed, which were Greene, Shockley and Stafford – of those three guys who do you put in there as the starter.

Bobo: David Pollack at defensive end.