Coaching ‘em up

Tell me you saw this coming after the Boise State game:

Inside linebackers: Mike Gilliard, who won the SEC defensive player of the week award on Monday, has been a revelation. Before the season began, it would have been laughable to predict the defense could thrive despite early injuries to Alec Ogletree and Christian Robinson. But after Ogletree broke his foot in the opener and Robinson missed two games with a foot injury, Gilliard and freshman Amarlo Herrera stepped in to help. (Safety Shawn Williams also moved down for a game.) Gilliard leads the team with 40 tackles, and in the 3-4 defense when an inside linebacker is the top tackler, that’s a good sign. (Last year, it was safety Bacarri Rambo). Grade: A+

To repeat something I wrote in a comment thread, Olividatti has proven to be a step up over Belin, who in my opinion did the best job of any position coach on the staff last season.  He’s been fabulous.

Richt expects Ogletree back in time for Florida.  That’ll create a formidable rotation at ILB of Gilliard, Herrera, Ogletree and Robinson.  It’s a long way from Richt’s complaint after the opener about losing the one player in Ogletree that Georgia could least afford to go out, that’s for sure.

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23 Comments

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23 responses to “Coaching ‘em up

  1. JBJ

    Agree. Olivadotti seems to be the real deal.

    Does anyone recall who we did play after Tree went down? Jeremy Sulek. Starting him against USCe is still a mystery to me. I realize Herrera and Gilliard needed experience with the defense, but damn.

    • Go Dawgs!

      + 100. I remember thinking that if that was the best we could do, then we were going to be in a lot of trouble. No disrespect to Sulek, but I think it’s fair to say that he’s a downgrade compared to Tree and Herrera and Gilliard. I don’t know if this was a situation where those guys didn’t know what they were doing yet and simply made a lot of progress in a short amount of time, or if the coaches just didn’t know what they had yet or what… I’m just glad that they got it figured out and got them onto the field.

  2. Juan

    The Sulek thing falls right in line with the offensive gameplan mystery.

    Did we throw that game on purpose…?

  3. Red Blackman

    Grantham seems to have surrounded himself with professionals. I would also give Lakatos extremely high marks in teaching shell responsibility and technique.

    I would be interested in getting Garner’s take on the difference between BVG, Slick Willie and Grantham.

    Never doubt the view from one’s own ass.

    Vampires suck…..no pun intended.

    • W Cobb Dawg

      Off subject a little, but Garner’s worked with some good DC’s. I thought Gary Gibbs did a good job in Donnan’s last season. And, as you mentioned BVG and now CTG. Also was at utk with Chavis, I think. It’s strange Garner hasn’t been considered a serious candidate for DC somewhere.

  4. Brandon

    It’s amazing that when you have good coaching backups and no names can come in and play well. That was one of the first things I noticed begin to deteriorate when Willy Mo took over the defense. In 2005-06, our frontline players would still be pretty good but when our backups got in they’d start missing tackles, leaving people wide open. The BVG coached back ups were always fundamentally sound even if they weren’t as talented and they were more ready to play when called on. Early results this year are that we are returning more to that time, that is great news, wins will

    • adam

      I’ve been praising Olivadotti everywhere I can to anyone who will listen. He’s doing an amazing job.

      And… maybe part of the old drop off (at LB specifically) was simply the difference between BVG and Jancek. Heard soooooooo many complaints about Jancek. He was consistently described as the worst coach on the staff by folks-in-the-know. No idea why a school like UGA had a guy like him around when we could’ve had someone like Belin or Olivadotti. Insane.

  5. TennesseeDawg

    I felt like before the seasonOlivadotti would be a huge hire considering his track record. This is yet more proof on the importance of solid coaching especially in the college game.

  6. AthensHomerDawg

    Now lets get the ST house in order.

  7. Cousin Eddie

    Would love to see more coaches from the Pros come to Athens. Coach O has sold me on NFL coaches. Find a NFL coach that would like to slow down a little as College doesn’t seem to be as much coaching as the NFL due to time restrants and turn them loose with talent and watch what happens.

    • adam

      pro coordinators and position coaches definitely seem capable of making the switch and flourishing. it’s interesting that head coaches don’t seem to follow that trend. and great college coaches failing in the pros is even more common.

    • King Jericho

      When you add in all the recruiting and traveling and all that a coach is responsible for, I feel like it’s even more work for a college coach.

    • Umich

      As a Michigan fan I’m thrilled with our new ex-NFL DC in Mattison. The difference between this year and last is jaw-dropping.

  8. Cojones

    This blog set up as a chance to recognize Gilliard, but Olivadotti gets the credit that he certainly richly deserves for getting all these guys into a secondary to be reckoned with. His success, however, should be shared by the good and hard work that darkhorse candidate Gilliard has performed. We have enjoyed the line and newcomers , but I really would like to see appropriate praise heaped on Gilliard, then Herrera. I just don’t see the praise that the stats say is due to Gilliard. Because no one knows anything about him? You see a reference to Valdosta every once in a while, but no personal data. What gives? Is there something that prevents us from putting him on our blogging shoulders and parading him around for at least a week?

    This guy is dynamite and may have secured a starting position for the rest of the year. I’d like to know a great deal about our newfound DGD.

    Sulek was no weak sister in my eyes since I caught his name several times after unwinding the pile. What precisely was wrong with his play? We have so many good secondary people that we begin to cull them as the season goes on. We all love ‘Tree, but I’m sure he wouldn’t like to see the accolades be preferential. Let’s give credit where it is due. Or correct me for not being able to see bad play.

    • austintwo

      Hard to say if Gilliard’s improvement is simply the light naturally coming on for a (RS?)Jr, or due to coaching – my guess is it’s both. The opportunity presented itself to the kid and he stepped up – sometimes seeing the opp clearly can make all the diff.

  9. Coastal Dawg

    Could it be the difference between practice players and game players? Some guys are work out warriors who practice great and impress the coaches. Others are learn on the field guys who get in live action and everything clicks. I suspect Sulek “got” the assignments and scheme better in practice but Gilliard and Herrera showed their mettle in the real application of a game.

    • Cojones

      Simple,nice explanation. Nothin’ lacking in any of them. Don’t know about the rest of you, but the play of this secondary is worth a good close look after closing our eyes for so long. Now we have guys coming out of the woodwork and excelling. The “Clean House” movement has done wonders for this team.

  10. W Cobb Dawg

    Funny how players respond to good coaching – starters and backups. CMR has been burned bad by hiring buddies, former players, graduate assistants, etc. I hope he’s learned a lesson and looks to hire the most qualified person available next time there’s an opening. Particularly since he seems to be a hands-off type of manager.

    • austintwo

      FYI, Olivadotti is a buddy of Coach Richt’s from when he was a ballboy at the U and Coach Richt was a player. Olivadotti’s dad was an assistant there.

      So he’s apparently the best of both worlds, LOL

  11. Bulldog Joe

    Good to finally see something positive to come from our decision to play Boise State, aside from that Nike bribe we took to wear their pajamas.