November 20, 2009
Jefferson getting comfortable in his role
After a slow start, Brad Jefferson has been a machine over the last seven games by accumulating 57 tackles, including five and a half for a loss of yards. He has vaulted himself up the ACC charts and he now ranks tenth overall with 6.9 tackles per game. Jefferson has 76 total tackles on the season and with a strong finish could potentially reach the exclusive 100-tackle list for one season.
Jefferson credits his success to being extremely motivated to play better this year. He said, "The real motivation for me was that last year I was injury prone so I just wanted to come back this year and help out my team the best that I can. I'm trying to see the ball and making as many tackles as I can in order to help out the team."
Jefferson led the defensive unit with nine tackles last week against Duke including one that went for a loss of yards. The Blue Devils had some success on screen passes early in the game, but that all came to a screeching halt in the second quarter. Jefferson lived up to his nickname, Gladiator, by snuffing out a screenplay and then pushing the running back backwards before driving him into the ground.
He talked about his improvement in pass defense by remarking, "I've been reading screens pretty well by reading the lineman and then I just run up and make the play. I have gotten really comfortable within the defense and everybody was doing their assignments this weekend. When that happens, I have no choice but to make the tackle. The D-line also did a great job this weekend and we are starting to put it together."
The defense is peaking at just the right time in the season, as they will attempt to achieve their two main goals for the season over the course of the next two weekends. "We're going to the ACC Championship and we've been trying to get there and win that", said Jefferson. "We of course have the game next week against Georgia and I just want to win that game right now."
The team will get a much-needed rest this week after playing football for 11 consecutive weeks. Jefferson spoke a little bit about his weekend plans by saying, "I'm just chilling out and resting up. This is our first break during the season after a long stretch and we are just trying to legs back. I am going home with Morgan Burnett and we are gonna chill out. We might play some beats and freestyle a little bit."
Jefferson along with the rest of the players should be rejuvenated after a well-deserved long weekend. That could spell bad news for Georgia, especially since Tech will have the added motivation of seeking their first home victory against the Bulldogs in this decade. Sounds like just another losing streak for Paul Johnson to take care of with the winning attitude that he has already instilled in his players.
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