Last week, Oklahoma head coach Lincoln Riley got in some hot water over comments he made about the Georgia defense. On Monday, one of Riley’s new assistant coaches shared his take on what Riley was really getting at.
Shane Beamer is the Sooners’ assistant head coach, tight ends coach and H-backs coach, but this time last year he was Georgia’s tight ends coach and special teams coordinator. Speaking at the Bruce Arians Foundation’s golf tournament, Beamer gave his take on his new head coach’s statement. '
According to The Macon Telegraph’s Jason Butt, Beamer said he was with his parents when he first read what Riley said. Beamer said he mentioned it to his mom, Cheryl, who chimed in, “You guys did shut them down that game!”
Even though his mother took some issue with those words, Beamer understood what Riley was saying.
“He came right back and said that it wasn’t a shot at Georgia, it was a testament to the offenses in that league,” Beamer said, according to Butt. “And it’s all about the plays you run, and the more you plays that offenses run against you the worse your stats from a defensive standpoint are going to be. And out there in that league everybody’s running 80, 90 plays a game. So you’re defenses are out there for a lot more if they can’t get themselves off the field.”
Smart declined to discuss Riley’s comments, saying, “I’ll be honest with you, I don’t get into all that stuff.”
Smart’s response fits what Beamer expected out of his former boss. Beamer explained that he doubted Smart would use Riley’s words as motivation.
“I think Kirby does a great job of not worrying what people on the outside say. I think that’s one of the great things about him is it’s all about, ‘Let’s just worry about us,’” Beamer said. “When players from opposing teams have said things for quote-unquote bulletin-board material, we never brought it up.”
Beamer was on the winning side of the 2018 Rose Bowl thanks to the Bulldogs’ 54-48 double-overtime victory over the Sooners. Now that he’s on the other side, Beamer said it’s evident how highly Riley and his staff view the Bulldogs.
“I’ve been out there for six months now, and it’s obvious in the six months that I’ve been there that the level of respect that Lincoln and the staff have for Georgia and the team they played that night in Pasadena,” Beamer said.