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Georgia players discuss departure of Lanning, changes made to the defensive staff
Athens, Ga. — Georgia head coach Kirby Smart recently said in a statement that Glenn Schumann and Will Muschamp will be co-defensive coordinators during the CFP semifinal against Michigan.
This announcement comes after former defensive coordinator Dan Lanning was named the head coach of Oregon, although he will finish out the season with the No. 3 Bulldogs in another role.
Georgia is currently ranked the nation’s No. 2 total defense, despite giving up a season-high 536 yards of total offense, and 41 points to Alabama in the SEC Championship Game.
It could be believed that the coaching change could affect the Bulldogs, however, that doesn’t seem to be the case.
“From the jump, we’ve always been a players-led team,” said inside linebacker Nakobe Dean. “So, even with Lanning being out, it hasn’t really been too much drop-off for us.”
Schumann followed Smart to Athens after serving under him at Alabama. The Valdosta native was then named Georgia’s inside linebackers coach in 2016.
Three years later, Schumann earned the title of ‘co-defensive coordinator’ with Lanning after Mel Tucker left for Colorado, but both have held that position until recently.
Now, Schumann will be paired up with Muschamp, who has a ton of experience as a defensive coordinator.
The former Georgia player-turned-coach was previously the defensive coordinator at LSU, Auburn and Texas.
Muschamp was also the head coach at Florida (2011-2014) and South Carolina (2016-2019) before returning to Georgia. Initially, he was brought in to serve in an off-the-field role, but took the special teams’ coordinator position after Scott Cochran had a brief leave of absence.
“We know what we’re getting with Coach Muschamp and Coach Schumann,” said safety Lewis Cine. “From the start, it’s always been like we’ve had a bunch of defensive coordinators with Kirby, Muschamp, all of those guys. It was like having four masterminds on the defensive side of the football, so it’s not like anything is going to change.”
Schumann has helped sign a majority of Georgia’s defenders throughout the last several seasons.
On the other hand, Muschamp has only contributed in a limited way since recently joining the staff.
Regardless, both coaches have garnered a lot of admiration and respect from their players, especially those on the defensive side of the ball.
“I would say it's their years of experience and their [numerous] years of coaching,” said Cine. “Everything they’ve done in terms of where they have been, the people they have coached, it gives them a lot of credibility for how much they know. That’s why I call them masterminds. For me, personally, I’ve learned a lot from both of them. They are both great coaches.”
Lanning’s departure doesn’t come at a convenient time, but Cine feels like Georgia is in great hands.
"Way before hearing about the Lanning job, it wasn't just one-man taking control of what's being said in the defensive meeting room,” said Cine. “It was all of them, whether it was Lanning coming up and talking, Coach Schumann coming up and talking. They all took turns talking about something different. We're not seeing anything new in that. Coach Schumann and Coach Muschamp have gotten up and talked about different things.”