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Lakatos Talks About New Gig at UGA


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Lakatos Talks About New Gig at UGA

Here's the transcript of today's teleconference with new UGA defensive backs coach Scott Lakatos (pronounced LACK-ah-tose)....

*NOTE: Lakatos' deal is a one-year contract for $180,000.

Lakatos intro…

"I just want to take the opportunity to thank the University of Connecticut for the opportunity I've had the last six years to work with a great group of coaches and players -- a very hard-working group for a very successful stretch, I think. … Secondly, I'm very, very excited to come to the University of Georgia and take the next step for my family and my career. I'm very excited to work with within the community, the state of Georgia. The passion you have for football down here is very excited to me. I'm looking forward to working with Todd Grantham, who is a good friend of mine. And as I'm sure you heard from him, we're both very excited to get down there and start competing in that conference and expressing the passion we have for this game. Hopefully we can pass that along to the players and start to win football games."

On his friendship with Todd Grantham…

"It was probably a little bit of a mystery for everybody to figure that out, but Todd and I have been friends for probably about 15 years now. I met him when I was a GA at Syracuse in 1993 and I think that may have been his first or second year as a D line coach at Virginia Tech. The guy I worked for at the time was Phil Elmassion, who left Syracuse to go down to Virginia Tech as the D coordinator. My relationship with Phil, trying to learn defense and things, when I left for the University of New Haven to become defensive coordinator there, I spent a lot of time down at Virginia Tech. Going down there to visit with those guys and learn that package, I developed a pretty good relationship with Todd. We spent a lot of time together working on football, and I kind of followed him along when he went to Michigan State, I visited him there, I went to Indianapolis to watch when they were doing OTAs and minicamp and those things. I stayed in touch with him when he was in Cleveland and actually had him come visit here (at UConn) when he was with the Browns to discuss some schematic things, the pressure game they were using at that time that we took here and used during my stretch here. Just over time, we've always stayed in contact. We have similar ideas, similar philosophies, and finally had an opportunity to work together. I'm pretty excited about it."

On difference for secondary between 3-4 and 4-3 defense...

"Not really. They're both technically seven-man fronts. We had based out of a 4-3 here (at UConn) and that's been most of the things I've done, but we've had some 3-4 in our scheme as well. For me, those four guys in the back end, it's just a matter of where the open gaps are and what our responsibilities are in the run game may change a little bit, but as far as the pass game, the coverages are about the same: two deep, quarters, man coverage, three-deep, man free… those things are all the same, so there's a lot of carry over between those two packages."

On getting takeaways and playing aggressively…

"I think those takeaways come basically with guys being in position to make those plays when they come about. I think you put yourself in position by being fundamentally sound and that's one of the things I bring to the table with those guys on the back end. It's just really for those guys to master the technique that we're asking them to play and to be fundamentally sound that when it comes time in the game to have the opportunity to run, to make a play, to make an interception, to strip a ball or pick up a loose ball, fundamentally we're prepare from practice through reps and emphasis and those things. … That's something we'll definitely emphasize and practice and hopefully it will carry over into a game situation."

On moving from Northeast to Southeast on recruiting trail…

"I'm from the Northeast and the jobs I've had have been pretty much in this region, but the jobs I've had have had a lot of exposure to different communities. I've recruited in Florida, Louisiana, I've been in California, junior colleges, Kansas, Oklahoma. I've been around those areas and I've seen how important football is, particularly in the Southeast. So from an adjustment standpoint, I look at it like, recruiting is all about communication and hard work and getting coaches, players and getting in contact and being able to talk about your program and what you have to offer. Where I'm from vs. who I'm talking to -- when you present the opportunities you can gain by going to a school like Georgia, I think all those things are less important and it's more important that I can help prospective athletes make decisions."

On how he shut down South Carolina in the bowl game…

"I think it goes back to the thing we've been able to do at UConn is our players have been really great to work with here. During that four or five week span of time you have to prepare for bowl games, our players really put a lot of time into it and did a great job of studying film. They were really knowledgeable as far as what South Carolina was going to do offensively. We were very excited about having the opportunity to play an SEC team because we understand the passion down there and the way that people in the SEC community feel about their conference and I think our kids took that as an opportunity to show what UConn was all about. So they were pretty excited to play against those guys and we played that game with a lot of passion, then put it together with the things we knew about them and the matchups and the things we felt we could do against them. Then our kids went out there and executing the game plan, played with a lot of energy and were very physical. Then when they realized they could hang with those guys, they went through and finished the game off."

On whether he saw footage of UGA-South Carolina…

"We did. When you have four or five weeks to get ready for people, you have chances to watch a lot of people. We went through every game they played just looking for any advantage we could pass along to our players that we could use in the game plan. With that game, it was early in the year, so we did have a chance to see Georgia against them. I saw some of the guys on the field for Georgia that were making plays. They were pretty athletic, pretty fast and made some good plays. We recognized there were some good players running around on the field for both teams, but Georgia really has some guys that were very impressive."

On his relationship with Richt…

"We just met and spent some time this past weekend together. My relationship was with Todd. I know Todd was trying to get me hooked up with Coach Richt, so we had a chance to spend some time together. We've had a chance to talk over the past few days and gotten to know each other a little bit. He seems like obviously a very successful coach. The things he's done at UGA is incredibly impressive. I look forward to learning some of the things when you get involved with that type of program."

On his timetable on recruiting…

"I haven't had a chance to talk with any of those guys yet. We're in the process right now of figuring out how quick I can get down there. There are a few things I need to clean up up here and I'm planning on as of right now getting down there Wednesday evening and getting on the road Thursday and seeing anyone I need to see, getting in contact with the current players and getting in contact with the guys who have committed and whatever else I need to do before signing day."

On special teams responsibilities…

"I was just talking to Coach Richt when I was down there about that and that's stuff he's still working through and has a number of different options he could go, and he's going to explore all of those things. We didn't get into any specifics about that, but I think that's a decision he'll make and I'm sure Todd will be involved with as to whether to hire another position."

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Good read, thanks for posting.

I kinda chuckled at the part where he talked about passing on his passion for the game to the players and start winning some games. As harmless a comment as it may be.... Scott, you're not coaching at New Haven or UConn anymore buddy. :lol:

Gotta say I'm loving how passionate these guys are though... hopefully we'll start seeing a bit of discipline on the defensive side of the ball. I think that's been our biggest problem. Cuz when our boys would hunker down and really play like they wanted it, we had good defensive games.

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... hopefully we'll start seeing a bit of discipline on the defensive side of the ball. I think that's been our biggest problem.

I want to see that discipline return as well and certainly hope Grantham can bring that back.

I got so tired of watching the defense shoot themselves in the foot and give opposing offenses second and third chances with inopportune, dumb unsportsmanlike penalties. :angry:

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