Georgia safety Shawn Williams didn't have a lot of kind words for his defensive teammates following Saturday's 29-24 win over Kentucky. In fact, he told media that he thought Georgia's defense was playing 'too soft.'
"We've gotta stop playing soft. We're playing too soft defensively," Williams told media. "That goes for D-line, linebackers, corners, safeties. I don't know, we're not playing with the same attitude we played with last year. I don't know what it is."
Some things you should probably keep to yourself.
After reading his comments in the paper, Williams sought out coach Mark Richt to apologize. And Richt, after getting over his initial shock that one of his players would publicly make those comments, tried to diffuse the controversy.
"It's not an issue. It's really not an issue," Richt said. "I did talk to him this morning about it, but it was more him coming to me. I think he read the comments and didn't like the way - not necessarily how it was reported, but how he read it himself. He was like, 'That's not really the tone or at least what I'm trying to communicate in my heart.' But he's an emotional guy, and he wants to have success, and he wants to have to try to motivate not only himself, but his teammates to play better. That's not necessarily a bad thing. But you'd just as soon not have it as public as it was."
While Richt seemed understanding about the whole deal, Williams' teammates weren't as forgiving.
Defensive end Garrison Smith said he learned about the comments after his roommate showed him the article on the Internet.
"And I was like: Oh ... okay," Smith told the Macon Telegraph. "It's definitely shots fired."
In addition to saying the defense was soft, Williams also called out the linebacker play and said Alec Ogletree and Amarlo Herrera should play more, which didn't sit will with Christian Robinson and Mike Gilliard, who also play linebacker.
"No one wants to hear that. No football player wants to hear they're soft," Robinson told the Macon Telegraph. "That's not the way I go about it."
Herrera agreed with Williams' comments (of course he did) and defended his teammate.
"It needed to be said sometime soon. Somebody needed to stay something. So he took it upon himself to say it.
"It could've been a better way of saying it, but now that it's said, it's said, you can't take it back. People need to take heed and step up."
The defense needs to get over this and pull together if it hopes to be ready for No. 2 Florida this weekend. The Gators are undefeated and have the No. 3 rushing offense in the conference. Georgia allows 367.43 yards per game and 24.14 points per game. Now is not the time to have infighting among defensive players.
But defensive lineman Jarvis Jones thinks Williams' comments might actually help the team down the road.
"I felt like that woke a lot of guys up," Jones said.
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