Georgia defensive end Ray Drew spoke with the Times-Enterprise at the Yellow Jacket Invitational on Saturday.
Q: What are you expecting to see when Georgia opens spring practice this week?
I think I’m more curious to see how things are going to play out. We’ve got a new system in and a new set of coaches. I’m curious to see how people are going to take to the coaches and new system. That’s our biggest concern right now. Hopefully it won’t be too complicated. We know that we have good coaches in place and it works. [New defensive coordinator Jeremy] Pruitt had two at Alabama and one at Florida State. Expectation wise, I’m expecting to get everybody back and healthy to make a run at it, which we thought we would do last year. Last year, we thought we had a good chance at a national championship run. Then after the Tennessee game, everybody got hurt. It seemed like at the halfway point of the season, you went from a senior led team to a freshman and sophomore led team.
Q: With this being your final season, how do you feel about being one of the defensive leaders this year, especially given that was Georgia’s Achilles heel in 2013?
I wouldn’t say I feel pressure. I see it more as a challenge. If you look back at it statistically, we had probably one of the better run defenses in the country. ... Our third down conversions weren’t good. If we could’ve minimize those and get off the field half the times we were supposed to last year, I think that alone in itself would’ve changed the entire season.
Q: How much does the experience from playing in a tight game every week in 2013 (six games decided by five or less fewer) help you going into 2014?