- David Ching, ESPN Staff Writer
With less than a week left before his dual-threat experiment begins against Buffalo, Georgia's Malcolm Mitchell visited with reporters after Monday's practice.
Mitchell has begun practicing a bit more at his old position, receiver, after spending most of the spring and preseason at cornerback, in order to be prepared to play both positions this fall. He filled in reporters on how much work he is getting on offense and defense and how much his defensive knowledge has improved during preseason practice.
Here is some of what Mitchell had to say:
Have they been working you on offense some?
I started getting more reps on offense just in case, just to make sure I know everything. If the time comes where I need to step in a couple plays, I’ll be able to.
Do you know all the plays on offense now?
You have a couple new plays here and there, but the majority of it I know.
How comfortable are you on defense?
Right now I’m feeling very comfortable. I know I can get the job done. I have to focus and just play.
How much do you think you’ll play on defense?
Right now I have no idea. I have no idea how much they’ll use me on offense or defense. But I know my role right now is just to be there and that’s what I’m going to do.
Are you playing more at boundary or field corner?
Really all of it. I guess just to make sure I know the whole scheme and I can play all of it.
Which one do you think you do the best?
Star’s probably the hardest one. I really like that. As far as boundary and field, it’s basically the same thing. It’s just working with a lot more field. I feel comfortable playing any one.
The star is basically the nickel?
Yeah, when the nickel comes in.
That’s the one where [Josh] Harvey-Clemons works? Who else?
Yeah. Damian [Swann]. Really us three.
Does all the moving around make your head swim?
It’s been OK. When you learn anything new at first, it’s going to look like a different language. But right now I’m comfortable with all of it, so if they call it I can run it and just get the job done.
Now that the season is here, do you ever look over at the receivers regret or worry about what the future holds?
At first it’ll bother you a little bit, but right now I really won’t worry about it because the decision’s been made. It’s been put in process, so at the end of the day, that was a choice that I’ve just got to deal with right now. I feel like it’s going to work out good either way. But when I look at the receivers, I know I’m going to be back over there eventually or I’ll be doing both. So as long as I can do both, it doesn’t matter how much of which one I do.
What was the main thing you wanted to work on this month, cornerback-wise?
Probably just knowing what to do and when to do it. Knowing what to do, it’s fine, but you’ve got to know when to do it. In some spots you’re inside leverage, some you’re outside leverage, some you’re 5 yards off, some you’re 9 yards off, so it’s a lot of stuff. You’ve got to know what to do, when to do it and it’s all adjusting to the offense. So you’ve got to see something and adjust to it before they call the play.
How much did you know how to do and when to do it at the end of the spring?
I knew a lot, but nothing compared to the level that I know now.
You feel like you could play every down now and you didn’t in the spring?
No [laughs]. No, it wasn’t going to be no way. I’d have been out there asking.
Why do you say that?
Because I know what to do, but I’m not sure [in the spring]. And not being sure is very dangerous because if I feel like I know what to do, but I’m not sure about it, I might not do it. And if I might not do it, they might score. But now I’m sure about it. During the spring I was looking back, asking the safeties just to make sure. Now they make a call and I know what to do, so we’re just rolling with it.