The pleasure of uncertainty

Y’all can have the red meat comments from yesterday’s practice.  For my money, this was far and away the best quote:

… Playing faster will be the long-term goal. In the immediate future, Justin Houston expects a bit more confusion.

A week ago, he was pretty confident that the Bulldogs would be able to execute the defense quickly after the team studied the 3-4 scheme on film – watching new defensive coordinator Todd Grantham’s former Dallas Cowboys players run plays. Now that Houston has had his first chance to execute the defense on the field, he’s backtracking a bit on that enthusiasm.

“There was a lot of stopping and looking around,” Houston said. “It’s not as easy as it looks on film. Those guys in the pros make it look easy.”

To which I say, good.

You're not in Martinez-land any more, boys. (photo via Tricia Spaulding/AB-H)

After reading all the faux-confident comments from spring practices past about how that year’s model defense was tanned, rested and ready to GATA, it’s downright refreshing to hear an admission that there’s plenty of hard work ahead getting the defense put together to be an SEC-ready unit.  A little humility can go a long way.

Uncertainty cuts both ways, too.  This was my second favorite observation of the day:

… Coming off that same field, tailback Caleb King complained to teammate Nick Williams that Georgia’s 3-4 was going to be tough to compete against in practice this season. Despite any confusion among the defensive players, King was sufficiently impressed.

May opposing offenses this season share his impression.

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8 Comments

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8 responses to “The pleasure of uncertainty

  1. Bulldog Bry

    Thank goodness. I was afraid that the players were beginning to think everything would be handed to them. Seems like I’ve heard that before………

  2. Macallanlover

    Caleb’s comment is what I have been thinking about the defense for next year. Yes, we will make mistakes and be in the wrong position several times a game, resulting in some big plays (and a few easy scores), but we are going to benefit from confusion by the offense in their blocking assignments as well. We have never had an attacking, all-out defense at UGA, not under Erk, or that other guy so many love to love. Our blitz schemes were never well disguised, and both of those DC’s played bend-don’t-break. Not knocking either one’s UGA record, but we had some incredible talent on the field that allowed us to be dominating some year’s while playing conservative schemes.

    The most exciting thing about the 3-4 to me is the versatility of having so many fast athletes able to come at you from different directions at the last minute. This causes much confusion and leads to plays that stop drives, the downside is we will get burned by a 20+ yard run that should may have been held to 3-4 yards in the past.

    UGA has always had a conservative defensive philosophy, 2010 looks to be very different. We will love the increased number of turnovers and big loss plays that brings, but have to accept the downside of being aggressive, especially in Year One.

  3. Left to Right

    Reading the player comments earlier this week about how the 3-4 wasn’t that difficult to learn made me think 1) the quoted players don’t understand the new defense, and 2) they don’t understand that they don’t understand the new defense. Glad to hear that they now appreciate there is more to it than they thought.

  4. Sanford222View

    Well said Macallanlover. I hope the fan base understands this during the fall. There will be big plays in both directions with this new scheme.

    I am dreading the two guys who sit behind me this season as I know they will not grasp the risk/reward concept of an aggressive scheme. They are the ultimate arm chair QB’s always quick to claim how pathetic the Dogs are after any bad play. It always amazes me they don’t have major D-1 coaching gigs yet.

  5. Pingback: Spring Practice Day 1 Recaps « MrSEC.com

  6. Thomas Brown

    Is this really our weakness ? Or in fact, do we have 1 of the best defenses this up-coming season and feature on special teams, the 2 best kickers on any team ?

    Is it really our offense that indeed must be our focus ? Can we line up and run a play without penalty, or if we do, not fumble or throw an interception ?

  7. JasonC

    One thing that does worry me a little bit about Caleb’s comment is that technically UGA has seen at least one 3-4 defense before… Bama. So some of this stuff shouldn’t be completely new for the offense.

  8. Macallanlover

    His comment seems consistent to me, UGA looked pretty confused that night also, especially in the horrific first half. Just because we have seen before doesn’t mean we have solved the puzzle. The good news is our OL is experienced, they should be able to adjust to the blocking assignments created by a 3-4 defense. Having a DC who understands the defense very well should help the offense in preparing for it, plus seeing it in practice this Spring has to help. I just hope we get to see it again in Atlanta in early December.