Be the ball, Danny.

Well, everybody in Athens sure sounds fired up these days.  Just listen to Marcus Dowtin:

“I look at the guys at my position and the people around that position with the Cowboys, and I just see the energy and how people are flying to the ball. It’s exciting. It’s something new and it’s something that other teams won’t be used to. With the athletes we’ve got, I think it’s going to be a shock to everybody.”

What’s the energy source, you ask?

The process is pretty simple, Dowtin said. Grantham explains how to run a certain play or coverage. He then goes to the chalk board and draws up the Xs and Os to make sure his players understand. Then they move to the film, where Grantham shows his former Dallas players executing the play at full speed.

“He basically says, ‘Put yourself in those positions and see yourself making plays,’ ” Dowtin said. “And that’s what you do to learn it.”

There’s an enthusiasm that comes with that type of education, too, Dowtin said. There’s a sense among the players that they’ve been let in on a secret, that this new coaching staff has unlocked some hidden potential the rest of the world wasn’t sure existed. Now, they simply can’t wait to unleash on the opposition this fall.

Admittedly, the mockery is a little unfair, at least in Grantham’s direction.  If you read the rest of Hale’s article, it’s clear that Grantham’s got a very strong sense of organization and good grasp of both an overall coaching philosophy and mastery of the details to enable that.

The question is how soon that translates into a sea change in attitude amongst his charges.  Getting pumped up watching Cowboys tape is fine.  Overcoming this sort of thinking is a lot harder.

… Speaking of which, this year’s mat drills supposedly have been the toughest ever but more A grades than ever are being given. The boys are really getting after it, Richt says. The team is really into it this offseason. There’s a lot of excitement. They’re working harder than ever, harder even than last year when we were told they were really into it and excited and working harder than ever.

Though now we’re hearing that not everyone was working all that hard, at least according to A.J. Green, who said “we thought things were just going to be handed to us and didn’t work as hard as we should.”

That, of course, contradicts all the energy and leadership talk we heard during the 2009 offseason.  And how that team, fresh off the loss of Stafford, Moreno and Allen, could have believed that things were simply going to be handed to it is rather astonishing.

At least it was until you saw the Tennessee game.  This year’s staff has its work cut out for it.

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9 Comments

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9 responses to “Be the ball, Danny.

  1. Brandon

    If WM was coming back I wouldn’t buy this “working hard” translates to on the field success theme at all, because I would be certain that our defense would still blow no matter what at least with Grantham there is a chance.

  2. Less talking, more up/downs, gentlemen.
    Go Dawgs.

  3. Maybe we want have to wait until grantham recruits the players he needs to play the 3-4.
    Maybe he already has them. ?. Depth.?.

  4. Mike

    Coming into the spring game, all teams are undefeated and all teams are excited.

    Do you think there will be any growing pains due to bringing in a brand new coaching staff for the defense and special teams, PLUS have a brand new defensive scheme installed?

    A defensive scheme that I have heard is much more complex than its predecessor, so much so that it is not used AS A STAPLE all that often on the pro or college level.

    Also, is there some level of concern with how defuse the coaching is for special teams. Did I read correctly that there will be three different special teams coaches?

    Finally, congrats on the big win in Athens last night. I was at the game and it was a fun college atmosphere.

    • Hogbody Spradlin

      “Coming into the spring game, all teams are undefeated and all teams are excited.”

      You’re right about that.

    • 69Dawg

      Will there be growing pains, yes of course, but unlike last year we get a soft open to see how it works.

      Apparently CTG thinks this scheme the way he runs it is not too complex. He has said as much. UGA will be running the One gap 3-4 most pro teams run a Two gap. I’ll take the coach’s word for the complexity.

      While the 4-3 is still the majority base set in the Pro’s more and more teams are going 3-4 because of the uncertainty and mismatches it causes the O.

      Heck we have had a fire drill coaching approach at UGA since CMR arrived. Fab was the KO coverage and Punt return guy but the rest were spread out. Now we have the Vandy guy doing KO’s, which he has done at Vandy for 8 years and CBM doing Punt returns, he actually ran them back for us.

      The key to all this stuff is still blocking and tackling and I’ll reserve judgement until the South Carolina game.

    • I think it’s only natural to expect some bumps in the road with the changes on the defensive staff and the scheme. On the other hand, they couldn’t do any worse on pass defense than the previous regime did. And if they can do a better job of coaching fundamentals, such as proper tackling technique, I think we’ll be pretty happy.

      As for special teams, the problem hasn’t been a case of too many cooks spoiling the broth, so to speak. It’s that Jon Fabris was a lousy chef.

  5. Bill King has a bad case of AJCitus.

    I just pray Todd Grantham does not get caught night putting!