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October 22, 2012
Shawn Williams is ticked off and he doesn't care if some feelings get hurt along the way.
That basically sums up a six-minute interview with the Bulldog senior safety, who Monday in a rare moment of candor rarely seen in college sports, questioned everything from the defense's focus to playing too soft on the field.
With unbeaten Florida (7-0, 5-0) up next, Williams felt something had to be said.
"I don't care who they have running the ball. We've just got to stop playing so soft - the D-line, linebackers, corners, safeties, everybody. I don't know what it is," Williams said. "It's frustrating because I'm sitting here giving it all I've got and I feel like we've got some guys in a whole other different place."
Williams said he's got something in mind if some of his teammates don't turn things around.
"I don't know but I'm trying to figure it out," Williams said. ""I'm trying to see if I need to take somebody's helmet off and slap them to see what's going on. We're not playing with any emotion right now - period. We're not playing with any emotion right now."
The statistics bear Williams out.
Georgia (6-1, 4-1) goes into Saturday's game in Jacksonville (3:30, CBS) ranked eighth in the SEC in scoring defense (24.1 points per game), ninth in total defense (367.4 yards per game) and 10th in rushing defense (167.9 yards per game).
"We've just got to stop playing soft and quit worrying about every other thing but football. We need to worry about football and let everything else take care of itself," Williams said. "I don't know if they're worried about the NFL, messing up, games down the road but we've just got to do what we do and play football, play football physical because that's what we're going to need to do to win."
Fellow safety Bacarri Rambo was not surprised with Williams' comments.
"I see Shawn as a leader and whatever he says I stand behind it," Rambo said. "He just wants what is best for the team. Of course, some guys aren't playing to their potential. He just wants those guys fired up and to play the way we're supposed to play."
Right now, Williams said that hasn't been happening.
"I don't know. I just started looking at it lately and I just know we're playing soft," Williams said. "We're playing soft up front."
Nose tackle Kwame Geathers couldn't argue the point.
"It's true. Shawn knows what he's talking about," Geathers said. "We're playing soft."
Williams was particularly critical of the Bulldogs' penchant for starting slow defensively.
"No matter what you see you've just got to react and play football. Right now we're not seeing stuff, we're not reacting and we're not playing football," Williams said. "Right now Florida is playing very physical, and they're coming out with the intention of man-handling you. I'm looking forward to seeing what we will do.
"Somebody is going to get punched in the mouth. It's going to be us or them and whoever gets punched in the mouth, they're going to have to take a step back and say what are we going to do now? Are we going to give in, or are we going to fight back. That's point blank what we've got to do."
Williams said he's already seen Georgia get punched in the mouth too many times this year.
"We're not doing anything about it," he said.
Williams also wasn't shy about teammate Amarlo Herrera, who in his opinion, should never come out of the game.
"Me, personally, if I was the coaches, I can't tell them what to do but I would have Amarlo Herrera in the game more. I would not bring him out," Williams said. "I would leave him and Ocho (Alec Ogletree) in the game. As a player, that's what I want. I want to see Amarlo Herrera and Ogletree in the game at inside linebacker. I don't want to see anybody taking them out of there. I feel those are two guys who will go out and give everything they've got, even if they mess up. I feel they will get to the ball. That's what we need - get to the ball."
Why not Christian Robinson and Mike Gilliard?
"I don't know what he's doing better than them," Williams said. "I don't know if he's getting around blocks, getting off blocks or what but he gets to the football and that's what we need, to get to the football and tackle."
Williams said he's not the only player who feels this way.
"I just think I'm the only one who is coming out and saying it what's on his mind," Williams said. "I been telling everybody all week that whoever asked me I was going to tell what's on my mind. They need to hear it."