Malcolm in the middle

Judging from what Grantham had to say on 680 The Fan yesterday, it sounds like there’s a pretty good tug-of-war developing between Georgia’s coordinators over Malcolm Mitchell’s role – or roles, to be more accurate.

On how offensive coordinator Mike Bobo feels about Malcolm Mitchell moving from receiver to cornerback

Well, he was originally recruited as a defensive back and a corner. The thing about Malcolm is, when you look at his size and his athletic ability, you are going to put him in the premium class of corners because of those types of things. And then you add in his ball skills and the way he can catch the ball — that is going to add another dimension to that. So what I think you are looking at is a guy who can be really efficient playing corner and do a really good job for us. From that standpoint there are always ways to get guys the ball on the offensive side. We will do what is best for the team, just like last year the best thing for the team was for Malcolm to play receiver. But as you move forward, just talking about his skill set, I think you are talking about a guy that can be a premium corner.

That’s lust, people.

The short-term call has already been made by Richt.  But what happens after Commings and Smith serve their suspensions if Mitchell comes out of the gate and knocks ‘em dead as a defensive back?  And what if the receiving corps struggles to pick up the slack caused by the move?  Either Mitchell takes on one helluva load, or Richt may find himself playing referee between Grantham and Bobo as the season progresses.

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21 Comments

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21 responses to “Malcolm in the middle

  1. Uglydawg

    What a great problem to have!
    He needs to go both ways. He would be a great help and also a great motivator to the other defensive backs. I think he would inspire the others to step it up a notch.
    On offense, all he has to do is “line up” and he’s effective, even if he doesn’t run a pre-determined route. The defense has to respect him. MM’s the kind of player that gets other receivers open.
    Play him both ways….he’s that special!

    • fuelk2

      My thoughts exactly. Better to have a guy on the field who is so good he can play both ways than a collection of guys who shouldn’t be on the field at all – and we’ve seen a little bit of that in the not too distant past.

  2. Ubiquitous GA Alum

    Once Branden Smith returns (Mizzou Week?), you could see Mitchell and him rotating b/w WR & DB … It’s a Win-Win as long as we win!

    • Jim

      Won’t happen for smith on offense when crowell is playing unless one of them gets a new number…

      • Bevo

        I just don’t think Smith isn’t going to be a better option at WR than guys like Conley, JSW, M Brown, Bennett, King, Wooten who are talented and run routes/catch balls every single day. It made sense to hand off to B Smith sometimes when we didn’t have any RBs but playing WR is a different story. We’re not going to miss B Smith on offense.

  3. charlottedawg

    Maybe I’m drinking a little too much of the kool-aid, especially in regards to todd grantham, but after reading the part about MM in David Ching’s Q&A, then reading Grantham’s verbal man crush on Mitchell, I’m REALLY want and expect to see Malcolm Mitchell the shut down corner. It’s one thing for Ching to think Mitchell’ll be a good corner, that sentiment increases exponentially when Grantham, a dude with nfl credentials and has already shown in 2 years an uncanny ability to identify and develop talent, calls the guy someone that can be a “premium corner”.

  4. Nate Dawg

    How exciting to actually see (hopefully) the next Champ Bailey developing before our eyes!
    Pass more kool-aid please!

  5. Dog in Nam

    Boykin had really good skills…best of the DBs…he’s gone and it is obvious that Coach feels like we don’t have that dynamic play making shut down corner with great hands although we have very good players;but, Coach G wants to mold a great one like MM…Champ Bailey was like that…MM has that kind of ability and , as such, is more valuable because he will catch all those like Commings dropped and will have himself in a better position on many more, and have a shot to catch them as well….MM will be able to take a great player out of a game….early on, he will be an unproven CB, so maybe, hopefully opposing OCs will attack him, and give him a chance….we had many missed opps for pick 6 last year…..the thinking is that MM will give us more opps and be able to close the deal when it’s presented to him….the NFL values a shut down cover corner with big time playmaking skills higher than it values a top rated receiver with great speed and hands….the shutdown guy has to be better than the special receiver to stop him, thus the higher valuation….he will be exciting to watch on D and a real scoring threat….now that we have the right D Coordinator and aggressive D back play and are no longer waving arms in the receiver’s face without turning to look for the ball, we are pushing it to the next step….Boykin did a good job of that…but now, our other guys need to make a play on the ball and catch it…it’s not good enough just to be there and in close coverage…need to get the ball when its there….and it takes really good players and coaches to do that….we have both…and we need to be very happy we have Coach G and staff to mold those great players they recruited for defense….to be the kind of playmakers it takes to have a NC defense…..Coach G can do it and is proving that every day.

  6. Cojones

    Charlotte, it’s not necessary to demean one players talents in order for someone to be used in their place when they physically won’t be there because of punishment, not lack of talent. Mitchell has dropped a few, including a big one in the LSU game, but we aren’t about to kick him to the corner because he isn’t perfect. Commings is no slouch either.

    The same reasoning goes for Grantham who Richt interviewed and hired as his D assistant coach. Because he now is coaching to our delight doesn’t mean that he did the trick in his first year. Part of his success comes from a change in S&C, moreover he hasn’t brought these players in on his lonesome. Richt has had a big hand in them all along with Rodney who has done his share on selling UGA. When you give all the credit to Todd, that is disingenuously creating a separation in the coaching staff as a team. Bobo has a stake in this as well since Mitchell has been producing on that side of the ball and to discount what he is giving up and making him vulnerable to ranters’s criticisms is even more disingenuous. Your continuous devotion to one coach over another doesn’t show you know very much about the team. Trying to make a popular coach the rubbing point for dissention calls for a little light to be shone on it.

    • Cojones

      Sorry, Charlotte. That rebuttal was aimed at Dog in Nam.

    • Dog in Nam

      Cojones…..will I get a reply from you based on my reply to your rebuttal? I would appreciate one , sir. Thank you

      • Dog in Nam

        sorry, still learning…the reply to which I refer can be found just below here…I put it in the wrong place…thanks

  7. Bob

    I can’t even pretend to second-guess the coaches on this call. Just have to defer to their judgment on this one. Usually, when they make a dramatic position change, it’s for the better. Tree to ILB, for example. As for MM to corner, I like it, but I really worry a/b offense.

    In his absence, we only have decent WRs: plenty of depth, good role players, fundamentally sound (for the most part). But, I still get fearful when I think back to how critical MM’s contributions were on offense. He was the only credible threat at the Boise game, for example. I just worry that, w/o him, our offense stalls out. Of course, if he adds a truly elite presence to our defensive secondary, our offense will get many more opportunities to move the ball and score points.

  8. IveyLeaguer

    I have to agree that Commings and Smith are average SEC corners. Not bad, but not great, either. If Mitchell is that good he needs to play corner, unless we can’t function without him at WR, like last year.

    • Dog in Nam

      I think Smith and Commings fall at least in the very good SEC corners category…..much better than average and way better than “not bad”…..Commings is a great one….MM is reported to be in that elite category…should be fun to watch the nickle packages with such talent abounding!! I think both Smith and Commings will be even better this year than they were last year, which as we all know, was a very good year for both.

  9. dudetheplayer

    In Grantham I trust.

  10. Dog in Nam

    Thanks Cojones, I accept some of your criticism….particularly with regard to my dissing mr. Commings of whom I have been and remain a very big fan…I think he is in a very good class of DBs and my intention was merely to talk about the potential that all the coaches see in MM….I apologize to Sanders as i didn’t mean to compare and contrast or even to criticize about not making the interceptions….I just meant to say that the coaches, all of them including my good friends coaches Garner and Richt, are extremely excited about the potential of MM, as much excitement as I have seen since the days of Champ Bailey’s arrival….but, I am very pleased with the play of Sanders Commings and he will make a very good pro…..I should just keep the compliments in the order of greater and maybe even greatest for while…Sanders is great, and I didn’t mean to belabor anyone’s mistakes…we all make them, but he is still a great player who will be very good in the NFL….as far as the coaches go….you will be hard pressed to find anyone who has been more supportive and less critical of this staff and these players and the previous ones…..I believe Coach Richt is an excellent coach and can and will lead us to more SEC and National championships…..Coach Garner is a very good friend of mine and I have always not just supported him, but way beyond that….same with all the coaches….before I fell on some recent misfortune, and while I was able, i was a top level supporter of the Dogs, yes financial to be sure, but in many other ways, including supporting them and cheering for them….I am not able to express that in such a financial manner at this time, but I am as strong of a UGA supporter as you will find out there, and I am not disingenuous in any manner about the Dogs or their coaches or players….i know much better than to give all the credit to Todd or any one coach, but to not recognize what he has brought to the table would be foolish…..putting that nasty label on me, however indirectly, is a mistake by you for which I quickly forgive you, because even though I consider my self a decent writer, I am no wordsmith such as yourself, and I have been isolated for a while and need to get back into the pracice of good self expression…it has slipped a bit…I am new to these blogs and I will try to do a better job of accurately expressing myself while not being uneccessarily critical of any players as that is not my style…I really enjoy the Senator’s and your comments….we may already know each other…I don’t know, but if and when you are talking with Rodney or Mark please tell them that their good friend, Bill, from Viet Nam said to say hi and best wishes for the upcoming year. I have been over here for a while (going on 6 years now), and I have not yet had the pleasure of meeting the newer coaches on the staff, but my record for support of the coaching staff and staffs has been really good and it is my intention to keep it that way…I don’t agree with everything Coach Richt does, but I always support him because the few things I disagree silently on are minor and not so important to the big picture and what I think really doesn’t matter anyway…Coach Richt makes me very proud of the Georgia Bulldogs….Cojones, please keep up the stellar work you contribute here…you are important to UGA particularly in this all important new media on which we now converse……Apologies to Sanders Commings…he is a great player and thanks for your criticism

    • Cojones

      Sounds like to me you can express yourself quite well. I made the mistake of reading too much into your comments about Grantham because I’m stupidly sensitive to some who want to use Grantham and drive a wedge in the staff as a team. On rereading your comment, you didn’t hit that mark that my paranoia perceived.

      While your comments are heartfelt and are fan expressive, I have to reiterate that I am not a writer and those who are on this blog cringe when I post. Not from my words nor intent, but for the crass mistakes when using the King’s English without the accent. By not being careful to place commas correctly plus through misuse of other diacritical marks, I’m afraid there are more good writers here who hold their powder and refrain from condescending remarks than I would like to know. Most know I’m just having a good time with most remarks, trying to be humorous from time to time, curmudgeon at other times, potstirrer of the first order ; all remarks uncomfortably pointing towards a possible personality disorder concomitant with advancing age.

      Your open expression of feelings is something that I like reading when we are discussing the Dawgs. I think it takes love and courage for anyone to open up about something they admire. Your pleasant reply to my quick-trigger criticism has an affect on me that others will relish and want to emulate;- that of making me feel lower than whale dung for accosting a good Dawg fan. Peace. I enjoy reading your replies. We can still disagree on trivial matters, but we won’t disagree about loving this bunch of players and staff. I will read that into all your words in the future.

      By the way, the one who holds his powder the most is the Senator and for all the right reasons.

      • Dog in Nam

        Well, thanks for that and I am happy to be on here with you guys…..the excellent writing here by the pros and the posters is very entertaining for me and fills a friendly void regarding my previous associations as mentioned….this blog does that for me, and I just now realized that. I’ve been reading it for quite a while, and I will try to remain as primarily a reader, occasionally offering my point of view. As you must know, you are an excellent creative writer. I did not think you were one of the writers, just a poster; but, as such, you are quite the contributor here and this blog is important as it keeps some of the less sane writings counterbalanced in this new media we all use to express our feelings and opinions about our Dogs. We are the media. The Senator does a jam up job of capturing that energy and putting it on display. and yes, he is a fabulous writer; thoroughly entertaining and accurate: a sometimes difficult combination. And those things to which you refer that are accompanying you in your journey are not those to be associated with personality disorder; don’t know what you call them, but they also accompany a fine bottle of Chateau Montrose. Thanks for the kind remarks

  11. Chadwick

    Give me a pass rush and I’ll worry about corners later. If Grantham and Garner can get the pass rush and blitz schemes right with the personnel then all will be well at CB.