INDIANAPOLIS — New Georgia defensive coordinator Dan Lanning is a “workhorse” who will call more blitzes next season, according to departing UGA captain Jonathan Ledbetter.
The Bulldogs had just 22 sacks last season, tied for the second-fewest in the SEC and well off league-leader Alabama’s 42.
Ledbetter, who did his podium interview and bench press at the NFL combine on Saturday, put new co-defensive coordinator Glenn Schumann in the same class as Lanning.
“(Lanning) is a workhorse, man,” said Ledbetter, who played defensive end at UGA and represented the Bulldogs in the Senior Bowl. “You have guys like Glen Schumann and him who operate the same way, they run around and work so hard, it’s like they have their hair on fire, they always want more, they always want something better.”
Bulldogs head coach Kirby Smart ultimately governs the defense, but the coordinator wields a great deal of influence and ultimately calls the plays.
Ledbetter hinted that Smart wanted more pressures called from former coordinator Mel Tucker last season, and he indicated Lanning’s personality is in lockstep with that approach.
“We didn’t generate a lot of the sacks that we wanted to every year, and I think that’s something he’s working on, just the schemes and how the defense is doing things and the way Kirby wants it to look,” Ledbetter said.
“Toward the end of last year Kirby was like ‘I want sacks, y’all go get after it, y’all go do what you do,’ ” he said.
“I’m definitely expecting big things from the outside linebackers, there’s a lot of talented guys, definitely on the D-Line, too. Everyone is athletic, and they can move.”
Ledbetter said Lanning’s personality and the UGA personnel is what will dictate more pressure packages.
“I think it’s personnel and personality …. Kirby wants results, he wants sacks,” Ledbetter said. “You have a lot of guys in our outside linebackers group who are fast and able to run past guys and beat them with speed, so you have to use who you have , you have to use your weapons to the best of your ability.
“Georgia is always going to be a run-stopping defense first, and then you’re going to get after the quarterback. I don’t think that’s going to change completely, but I do think they’re going to get after the quarterback a lot more.”
Georgia football, 2019 NFL combine
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