First chink in the armor?

I’ve been looking to strap on my inner Munson since the start of spring practice and I think I’ve found my first area of legitimate concern.  Take it away, Sanders Commings.

Sanders Commings looks around Georgia’s secondary these days and doesn’t see the lineup he envisioned before the start of spring practice.

“It’s really different,” Commings said Thursday after the Bulldogs’ 10th spring workout. “One of our safeties is at linebacker now and one of our safeties is hurt, so it’s different communication with different guys talking to you. The goal hasn’t changed, though, because we’re all trying to play as one.”

Georgia had its secondary returning intact following the 2010 season, but that changed this winter when second-year defensive coordinator Todd Grantham decided to move Alec Ogletree from safety to inside linebacker. The other safety starter at the end of last season, Bacarri Rambo, sprained his right MCL late last month and will miss the rest of the spring.

Commings and fellow cornerback Brandon Boykin have been the defensive backs still standing from the expected quartet, though Commings is at a different position.

I don’t question moving Ogletree to linebacker – really, how many 235/240-pound safeties do you see in college ball these days? – and I know that some of this is exacerbated by injuries, but safety’s looking a little thin right now.

Thin enough that the Commings move may be permanent.  So, yeah, I’m a little nervous.

I’m guessing that Grantham is confident he’ll be fielding a much stronger front seven this season, which will take some pressure off the secondary, and that’s good as far as it goes.  But Georgia was often hurt last season by inconsistent safety play.  If they don’t get a player or two to step up, the best front seven in the world won’t save ‘em every time.

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31 Comments

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31 responses to “First chink in the armor?

  1. Regular Guy

    Agreed, but also agree that moving Ogletree to LB was (and still is) a no-brainer. He was already listed at 235 lbs or so before they even asked him about moving to LB……..and kids with his size of frame gain weight over time, not lose it. So realistically, he’s gonna be 245-250 lbs in the next year or two, regardless of position. And just like you said about how many safeties do you see playing at 235 – 240 lbs, well you see even less at 245 – 250 lbs. You just can’t be that size and have the fluidity and range needed to be a safety. Even Emerson has said he thought Ogletree’s ceiling was higher at safety, but I just don’t see that based on his physique.

    All that being said, I sure hope a couple of our guys can step up their play AND stay healthy at safety this year.

    • Normaltown Mike

      Plus if he starts ordering Pokey Sticks from Gumby’s, he gonna blow past 240 in no time.

      Mmmm. Pokey Sticks.

    • HamDawg11

      I wasn’t surprised that he moved to LB, but I was expecting him to move to the outside considering his speed. I’m sure Grantham knows what he’s doing and wants a headhunter up the middle.

  2. Spence

    This may be a blessing I’m disguise. Rambo played poorly enough last year to deserve losing his job but nobody stepped up behind him. Hopefully this can build some depth and competition, though I agree it’s scary as hell in the short term.

    • Spence

      In* not “I’m”

    • I agree. It’s scary now, but Rambo is far from any standard. Unless he is MUCH better than he was last year, and it’ll take a lot more than knowing the calls and the defense better for that to happen, we’re in trouble at Safety.

      We need somebody to push Rambo either out or up, and several others to fill the other spot. So let ‘em rep. With Spring almost over, this will have to go on for at least the first half of Camp.
      ~~~

  3. Huck

    Christian Robinson and Jakar Hamilton both out with concussions. I like the way we are practicing!

    • Dawgwalker07

      I don’t. They’re getting hurt.

      • TennesseeDawg

        In the spring so not to worry yet.

      • D^3

        If players aren’t getting hurt in spring practice I’d worry that they weren’t practicing hard enough. Players will get hurt, you just hope they avoid serious injuries like ligament tears or broken bones, which so far (fingers crossed) they are.

  4. crapsandwich

    After watching the stumbling, bumpling keystone kops last season trip over, run into each other with utter ineptitude, I am hoping the move of Sanders Commings is permanent.

  5. Greg

    Commings should have been moved to Safety last year. He’s not a “cover corner” by any stretch of the imagination. Better suited for Safety long-term.

    • Disagree greg. I was always impressed with his coverage skills and tackling ability last season. He has the height and speed to match up with anyone.

  6. Dave

    Grantham knows what he’s doin. You don’t win the SEC with pass defense. You stop the run. #1. Get your best 7 upfront and don’t let a guy loose for 100 yards on you.

  7. Wonderful-Ohio-on-the-Gulf Dog

    Tree broke into a starting safety’s job last year. The Dream Team has a number of highly regarded DBs among them.

    So Grantham may be counting on at least one and maybe even two freshmen coming up and making major contributions in the Fall. In fact, on the radio, Dasher or Nabuli quoted a HS coach who attended Saturday’s scrimmage as saying Georgia seriously needs DB help from incoming freshmen.

    Just hope the freshman class isn’t so much burned by the infamous 3-4 “learning curve.” Boise State coming up first doesn’t give our safeties any time to learn by doing.

    • W Cobb Dawg

      The coming arrivals of Swann, Mitchell & Marshall may have much to do with the move to safety for Commings. I expect to see at least a few ‘dream teamers’ starting on D by mid-season, particluarly at DB and LB, and of course Jenkins at NT. I just don’t see Rambo, Hamilton, Washington & Robinson being able to fight off the incoming talent. Normally, I’d be concerned at the Munson-level too, but our schedule is so easy we should still be abe to have a good season with the newbees.

  8. The Watergirl

    No worries Mr. Commings, you guys just stay out of trouble and the calvary is on its way to help this fall!!! As for concussions in the spring all i have to say is GATA I lover hearing about this hard hitting in spring practice. As for Rambo, if he plays like he did last yr. then he will be a special team guy for the rest of season. Last note learn how to COVER THE DAMN WHEEL ROUTE this spring!!!!!!

    • CoachSpurlock

      Hopefully, (we can always hope can’t we?) they have installed drills in 0-group time and 7-on-7 time to stop the wheel route. If they aren’t guarding the wheel route at least 20 times per practice now, just imagine how many times Boise scores with that play.

  9. 69Dawg

    The D we currently have will not slow BSU down. The over/under in that game will be 80. If our O can’t out score them the game is over.

  10. Moving TREE to ILB puts 4 scholarship players at ILB, leaves 4 at Safety & 5 at CB. Commings move reverses the DB numbers.
    I am as excited about the Dream Team as everyone else is but not many of them are going to move ahead on the depth chart above the players who are already on campus. However we need the depth & the competition. GATA.

  11. No One Knows You're a Dawg

    Grantham said in a radio interview today (790 the Zone) that this fall there may be as many as many as 8 starting defenders who are either starting for the first time or who have not previously played the position where they will be lining up. That really jumped out at me. He also said the defense would be young this year.

  12. sUGArdaddy

    It just makes sense because of Branden Smith. Grantham’s asking himself who his best 4 DBs are and the answer to that question is : Smith, Rambo, Boykin & Commings. NOT, Rambo, Commings, Boykin & Williams/Hamilton. So, the logical thing to do is move Sanders, who is a ball hawk and has the size to play safety.

    I’ve been wanting the move to quite sometime. And I’ve also been thinking that if we’re going to leave Smith on D, we’ve got to start the kid. It’s ridiculous to leave him on D as only the nickel guy when he could start in the slot.

    You can still move Sanders to the nickel back and bring in Williams if you like him better than Jordan Love. But I think Love’s gonna be pretty good one day.

  13. shane#1

    There are a couple of DBs coming in June that can play, I look for at least one to be in the rotation at safety. I also look for CTG to rotate players more frequently and change the lineups from game to game. Remember when he said he would look for mismatches?

  14. Don’t know if he will be starting game one but I expect that Corey Moore will be a starter at safety early in the season. From all the scouting sites/reports he is the safety coming in with the best coverage skills, which is what our safeties were sorely lacking last year.

  15. Slaw Dawg

    Well, my “inner Munson” is definitely out. From what I’m hearing, we have injuries all over the place (isn’t “we practically have nobody left to play!” a Munsonism?). The secondary’s a complete mess. Brand new starters at key positions. My God, who’s going to catch the football now that AJ and Kris are gone? A definite running back controversy looming. Did you realize there are other SEC teams that had better recruiting years than we did? The inevitable arrests haven’t even started to roll in yet. Not even an anointed UGA to walk the sidelines. How on earth will be stack up against Boise State without an UGA or wide receivers? Steve Spurrier will be smirking at us the very next week! We haven’t won a National Title in 30 friggin years, or an SEC title in 6! And all the rest of you people are giving calm, rational analyses!! What’s wrong with you all??? Yaaahhhh!!!!!!

  16. travis fain

    There’s a really good chance we’re f’d in the secondary. Also, possibly at linebacker.