Gettin’ buttah on special teams

The primary goals of the last two seasons were to fix turnover margin and opponents’ third-down conversion rates.  Mission accomplished on both.  So it’s good to hear Richt turn his focus to the largest open sore of this season, special teams play (or lack thereof):

“First of all, we know we have got to get better. It’s two things in my opinion that it could be – either what we are doing schematically or its who do we have on those teams. I guess it could be a third thing – are they actually doing what we are asking them to do. In all those areas we must improve. I think there’s going to be a high sense of urgency on our special teams to become more than just decent. We need to become really good. That’s one of the biggest things is that we try to become one of the top teams in the league and the country in special teams play. There will be some very heavy discussions about it.We’ll probably do more special teams work in the spring than we’ve done in the past.[Emphasis added.]  We knew we had a great punter, great kicker, holder, snapper and all that kind of thing, but we also knew we had some youth on some of those teams. We lost (Akeem) Dent, (Darryl) Gamble, (Demarcus) Dobbs – I’m trying to think of some of the other guys that were on some of these guys that were on that punt team – they were guys that could protect, escape and run and tackle a guy in the open field. We lost a batch of those guys and we were a little shy on linebacker depth and all that kind of thing, so we just have to keep recruiting those kinds of guys. If we got to put a bunch of starters on defense on some specials or starters at wide receiver or whatever you got to do – tailback. I don’t care what position, we got to get the best guys out there and understand how crucial it is.”

I agree that personnel was some of the problem.  But kickoff coverage missed Belin’s attention this season, no question about it.  There’s a lot Richt has to look at if this team is to make the next level in 2012.  The good news is that his recent track record at addressing shortcomings makes this promising.

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14 Comments

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14 responses to “Gettin’ buttah on special teams

  1. Red Blackman

    Linebackers and safeties.

    More Cootie, less Nick Marshall. And I like Nick Marshall…..just not on special teams.

    Special teams require speed and a total disregard for one’s health.

    Make it happen, Coach.

    • Cojones

      Red, wasn’t Richt implying that everyone is eligible and didn’t Ogletree get involved with the last two games? I think he is saying that the special athletes who can make these special plays are also good at not getting injured. Marshall or others may be in the thick of things next year on STs. One example: Mathieu for LSU was on kickoff coverage. These guys don’t have to play suicidal gunner, but could contain when the gunner misses or fails to get there.

    • Sep

      I like a Nick Marshall on the field. Damn good athlete.

  2. Lrgk9

    More Linebackers and Full Backs !

  3. Orl Dawg

    I agree with putting more LB’s and FB’s on coverage teams; but I would also like to see a couple of speed burners out there. Why not put Brandon Smith on the coverage teams? We need a couple guys who can fly down the field. Don’t give the other team a chance to get their feet moving before our speed demons get to them. Butler seemed to outkick the coverage sometimes. If we had a couple speed burners on that team, he wouldn’t be as apt to do that.

  4. W Cobb Dawg

    Do like we did with CTG. Quit screwing around and hire a real pro – and let him do the job. Enough with on-the-job-training and special teams by committee.

    • The Lone Stranger

      I don’t think coaching slots can be created into which new coaches can be hired. Richt would be forced to either consolidate multiple positions under a single new coaching heading or can someone to make way for a dedicated Special Teams – only assistant.

  5. CMR needs to be the OC, and let BOBO be the Special Team coach and QB coach, he then can keep his current pay scale. Now if he still fails on this, I do not know what will make him more successful.

    • AusDawg85

      I vaguely recall a time when CMR called the plays…and was accused of poor clock management and other HC issues because he was too distracted by play-calling. Cheers went up when he handed this off.

      Just saying….

  6. Cojones

    How about asking the NCAA for a Special Teams training staff because we are busy with bowl prep and recruiting? Worked for tOSU.

  7. A random thought on everyone asking for staters on special teams …..Boss Bailey . Hopefully everyone remembers that starters get hurt on special teams and if memory serves me right at a slightly higher rate than on normal plays. Was lucky enough to be on the field for one game and the speed and impacts of special teams was the most shocking/impressive thing I saw. Careful what you wish for.

  8. Coastal Dawg

    Linebackers and fullbacks make up a big part of special teams largely because of their size and speed. Those two postions were had the least depth so I can’t help but think that impacted special teams.