Notes from Sam Pittman's presser on Monday

Sam is scheduled to hold his weekly press conference at noon. I will post some key notes here as they come.

is it live streamed? ha! I wish

• South Carolina is a good team, solid in all three phases and it is playing with a lot of passion. Our crowd has given us a good home field advantage. I hope we can have a crowd this Saturday like we had last weekend.

• I thought Landon Jackson and Terry Hampton and Jordan Domineck all played well. We’ve got something there and a little more depth. Liked what we got from the receivers. The O-line needs to be more consistent. Defensively, we’ve got to play better in the back end. But it’s not like we’re not playing hard. We just didn’t cover them sometimes. You should show improvement in Week 2 and that’s what we’re looking for.

• Injuries: We’re not ready to say on Catalon’s situation. Slusher is in the same boat there, and Isaiah Nichols will be fine.

• Special teams is a passion for Shane Beamer just like O-line is for me. South Carolina is a good team and good in all three phases, especially special teams.

• Terry Hampton played really well. That would be the first guy right off the bat I’d say played well. Landon Jackson will get better and better. Transfer guys played really well on the D-line. Zach Williams played a bit faster than he did last season. Cincinnati had a good, physical offensive line.

• On SC’s defense: They’ve got a lot of good players. Their ends like to stand up a lot and one could be a first-round guy in the draft. Any time you’ve got good linebackers, which is a strength for South Carolina, you’ve got a good chance to have a really good defense.

• We don’t know what’s going to go on with Catalon and Slusher, but we’ve got to be concerned with the ones who we know can play. I’m not real concerned about the nickel spot. You hate injuries, but it’s a physical sport. We’ll have to find out on those guys, but if they’re not able to play we’ll figure it out.

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• Dwight McGlothern is going to be a good player. Got to be more consistent. Him running with the 3s in the preseason was in part because of injury. When we played LSU last year, I remember him making some plays, and I’m glad he’s here now. He is enjoying it here. He’s a gamer.

• Rocket ran the ball well Saturday after a somewhat slow start. You’re going to have some runs for 0, 1, 2 yards, but he stayed the course and ran hard. He’s mature beyond his years. AJ Green, on his first carry, that was the best I’ve seen him run since he’s been here. He showed the 10.3 speed hitting that hole.

• I like our receivers. I like them a lot. If we continue to practice and KJ Jefferson gets comfortable with all of them then the passing game will be just fine.

• Probably can see Khari Johnson playing multiple positions in the secondary. He can move around because of his versatility.

• There is a battle there at punter. If you asked Max Fletcher, he’d probably tell you he didn’t have his best game. I think he’ll get better. He will be fine, though.

• On Dominique Johnson: I hope there’s a chance he’ll play this weekend. We’re going to get him out there today and see what he can do. If we feel good about it … we were experimenting with him last week. We were trying to get him ready for a possibility that he could play vs. South Carolina. He will be in a green no-contact top today.

• I know South Carolina has some good guys up front on the offensive line. I recruited some of the guys on their line when I was at Georgia.

• Luke Jones played well in the opener. I was really, really happy with how he played. He’s got some things he wants to work on. His urgency has gone up since he’s been here.

• We played guys at linebacker exactly how we wanted to. Drew Sanders and Bumper Pool played the bulk of the reps, but the young guys Chris Paul and Jordan Crook played a bit as well. Paul finished with five tackles.

• Our coaches will have a staff meeting Friday night, and Saturday morning we’ll have 7 a.m. pre-game, special teams walkthrough and other walkthroughs. We’ll get to the Hog Walk about 2:10 before kickoff. It’s the greatest feeling in the world – aside from winning.

• Relationship with Shane Beamer: He lived in the same subdivision that I did at Georgia. We knew each other well. He has a wonderful, beautiful family. He’s just a really good man, good coach and energetic guy. I look forward to seeing him this weekend.

• On Rashod Dubinion and Malik Hornsby: Dubinion looked good, didn’t he? The play where Hornsby could have thrown the ball to Jadon Haselwood down the field, he made a good decision to tuck it and pick up a first down. Dubinion was very productive in tight moments.

• On Sunday nights, I study the opponent until 9 p.m. Then I recruit until 10-10:30 p.m. Last night, the LSU game was on, so we stayed in my office and we worked while it was on. I saw the last quarter or so of it.

Yet AJ only got two more carries the rest of the day… don’t get it…

I was a little bit leery of Luke at LT but he played very well Saturday!! Great job keep it up Luke!

Youdaman, along with you I have been waiting and hoping AJ Green just explodes. BUT—Dubinion looked awfully good Saturday. And I don’t see practice, so I have no idea how they look outside of games. AJ Green can fly. But other than two plays last season, he has not popped in games. So I am cool with the situation.

We really don’t know what AJ can do bc he’s never really been given the chance other than a few plays . I love Dubinion even made a comment when we signed him that he was going to be very good if nothing but special teams because his elusiveness but if you would have given AJ the ball in the same places Dubinion got the ball the other day he would have done just as good maybe more because he is faster and he’s 205 210 pounds. He hit the hole very hard and very fast the other day just like Sam said he did but at the end of the game he wasn’t in there. I just hate seeing that 10.3 speed spend the game watching it… but it is what it is. I’m just curious to what he’s doing wrong to not be out there.

I wonder if AJ’s lack of carries is related to issues with pass pro. That’s not uncommon.

Well he missed a lot of camp with an injury last yr and that put him behind in a lot of things in fact they said the first time he’d ever been hit was in the Texas game. We’ve heard he’s gotten better in pass blocking. That’s the thing you don’t never really hear why he’s not getting more time . Rocket obviously is real deal and deserving of starting and I believe AJ should get 7-8 carries a game with his speed,but I can already see what’s about to happen. DJ will be coming back soon and AJ will get less carries because Dubinion already getting some of his carries now…

I’m just afraid we’re going to lose him because we’re not going to be using him. You don’t see too many guys running 10-3 100 M that are 205 lb. There’s obviously more to being a great running back than speed but if you look at his high school highlights you see he’s got plenty of moves to get in the open field and when that happens he is gone! But this is the last I’m going to talk about it by now everybody knows I think he should be getting the ball several times a game in some form or fashion

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Running backs either can see the holes, or they just run. Great speed is little benefit if you can’t see the hole. Part of this is running with your head up, but the other part is really being able to see the game as it unfolds. DJ has that capability, perhaps Dubinion does too - he kind of reminds me of Emmitt Smith.

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AJ has it too just hasn’t been given enough carries to show it to you… go look at his high school highlights.

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I agree….I want to see more of him (AJ) in games….think he can be a darn good RB the more opportunities he gets.

Patience on Green. He will get his chances in the weeks ahead, and I feel good that he’ll produce.

We’ve got a lot of games to play against a lot of good teams that hit hard. Sanders getting 20 carries a game is unlikely to be sustainable over the whole season. He’s likely to get nicked up some, and this staff always gives one or two guys a chance to spell the starter-and if they get hot to get more chances.

We are lucky to be four deep at RB(once we get Johnson back) because all four of those guys are going to be put in situations where they need to make plays as the year rolls along.


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