In any defense, not just Georgia's 3-4 scheme, the play of the inside linebackers is integral to the success of the whole defense.
The Bulldogs have the luxury, even with starter Alec Ogletree out, of having multiple players that are SEC tested at the position.
Sophomore Amarlo Herrera proved that on Saturday with 10 total tackles in the Bulldogs' 41-20 victory over Missouri. But don't expect him to pat himself on the back for anything.
"I was pretty happy, but its like, I'm trying to get better each week," Herrera said. "That doesn't satisfy me. I'm trying to get better each week."
While Georgia's defense held the Mizzou offense to under 400 yards of total offense and just over 100 yards rushing, Herrera isn't quick to heap praise on the play of the entire defense either.
"We played alright. We played decent. We gave up a few big plays but other than that we played good," he said. "We just need to come out, like we had two good second halves each week, if we can play the whole game like that, we'll be great."
The Georgia defense went into last Saturday's SEC opener without the services of four starters, and while Herrera says that the thought of those players returning is "scary" for opponents, he doesn't believe their absence has anything to do with the inability to put together two stellar halves through two games.
"All the games last year, we didn't have everybody," Herrera said. "We had different lineups for almost the entire season. That doesn't play a big part. It is just us."
According to the North Clayton product, those who have yet to play due to suspension are definitely ready to go.
"They are ready. They are out there every day," he said. "They don't take days off. They are working."
Herrera's 10-tackle performance against Missouri hasn't received a great deal of publicity due to the performance of All American Linebacker Jarvis Jones.
That doesn't bother Herrera though, as he is one of Jones' biggest fans.
"Nah. I want Jarvis to get all the attention because I want him to win the Heisman," laughed Herrera. "He's got a better chance of winning the Heisman than me this year, so I want him to get all the glory and all the attention, but he knows what we did and he knows that his play allowed me to make the tackles I made and allowed everybody else to do what they did."
Going into his second year as a regular for Todd Grantham's defense, one might think that the former four-star linebacker is still learning the ropes, but Herrera, as well as his position mates Christian Robinson, Mike Gilliard, and Ogletree, all have a strong understanding of what the Bulldogs are trying to accomplish.
"It's (the defense) not really that much because all of the linebackers know what each one does," he said. "Its not a lot its just like they are going to put who in the package that they feel better with at the time."
Through two games this season, Georgia has played a couple of spread offenses and will face another on Saturday in Florida Atlantic.
Herrera admits that he is ready to face something different, but is ready for whatever comes his way.
"Yeah, I like that (playing against the pro style offense), but we are ready for anything. So it really doesn't matter," he said. "If I'm in the box that means I am more comfortable than I am on the outside. I'll be able to attack the run because I know that is what they will be trying to do if they are in a pro set."
At this point in his sophomore season, Herrera has settled into one of the inside linebacker positions for the Bulldogs, but knows that he has to be flexible when it comes to being asked to play either position in the future.
Either way, he isn't too concerned.
"I play Moe. I don't know what position I'll play next week or the week after that, but I'm at Moe right now," Herrera said. "It's the real deal inside linebacker. It's just like the Mike."
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