Battle of the replacements

With the kids heading back from spring break, there’s an interesting contrast shaping up for the rest of spring practice in the defensive back seven.  Both levels saw a bunch of talented starters leave, but the similarities end there.

If the spring hype is to be believed, a starting four at linebacker is coming into focus:  Wilson and Herrera inside; DeLoach and Jenkins on the outside.  (DeLoach’s shot is the most tentative, given Vasser’s experience, which is a trait Grantham values.)  Those coming in now and in the summer will be valuable for depth purposes, but I’m starting to get a welcome sense of stability at the position.

Compare that to the secondary, where, outside of Damian Swann starting at one of the corner positions, it’s about as wide open as it gets.  In fact, it’s so wide open that it’s hard to say that much of the two-deep will get locked down before the players coming in this summer arrive.

If you think that makes me nervous about facing Clemson’s offense in the opener, you’re right.

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27 Comments

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27 responses to “Battle of the replacements

  1. Will Trane

    Replacements are always a factor in any sport. Maybe more so at UGA than other places. We seem to have a litter go early every year to the NFL. Then we always have issues with commitments who change in the last week of signing. And the AD can never lock in his coaches. Such is the piss poor management job in Athens. No doubt personnel management is not taught in the Terry High School of Business.
    Speaking of replacements. Should UGA drop the men’s basketball and baseball programs. It is the same old stuff every damn year, and McGarity is like his predecessors.
    UGA…a univeristy of the nill.

    • Sanford222View

      Happy Monday to you as well!

      1) Litter leaving early every year to NFL – you mean like every other top program in the country or SEC?

      2) “Commits” changing mind last week of signing – they happen both ways and not many were actually commitments. Seems you are over stating Tunsil situation.

      3) AD can never lock in his coaches. What does that even mean? Only coach we have lost recently that Richt didn’t ask to leave was Garner.

    • hailtogeorgia

      Who pissed in your cornflakes? A university of the nill? What does that even mean?

      • Dog in Fla

        Perno.

      • The other Doug

        UGA Baseball was swept over the weekend by TAMU. None of us really care though, and it gets Will’s panties in a bunch.

      • Skeptic Dawg

        A university of nill = an unwilling/will not university. As in, the UGA athletic department (read Greg McGarity) is unwilling, or will not, decide to become competitive in baseball nor basketball. It is highly unlikely that GM fires Fox and McGarity in the same year.

        • hailtogeorgia

          I don’t think there’s any reason to fire Fox at this point in time. Barring landing a top-tier college basketball coach (which our last coaching search proved we aren’t able to do), what in the hell will firing our current coach accomplish? Set us back ANOTHER several years in building a basketball program?

          The Fox Hounds improved considerably throughout the year, and there’s some good, young, talent on the team. If KCP comes back, the team can be a tournament squad next year.

          On the baseball side, I agree…it’s time for Perno to go. Hell, he should’ve been gone two years ago.

  2. Cojones

    There is no way with time left in the day for some of these SEC neophytes to get enough practice experience sufficient not to make them a target in the Clemson game. Grantham’s correct, they must arrive early into their place on the team.

    What a choice: Smart guys that are not athletically endowed as other players but understand the system vs choosing an athlete who can operate anywhere, but hasn’t been in the playing crucible long enough to know the system. Another choice exists between semi-vets who don’t seem to know the playbook yet vs Freshmen who are entering and know little yet.

    Those choices should keep us busy with speculation all summer right on up to game time. Only half can be decided immediately after Spring game. Spring Practice and Game are shaping up into an exciting period. Go Dawgs!

    • Just Chuck (the other one)

      Think you’ve nailed it on the choice the coaches have. For me, given decent physical skills to start with, smart trumps strong and fast. Smart gets better with experience and good coaching. Not always true for strong and fast and I’d rather not see physically talented players running around all season making the same mistakes.

      • Cojones

        Which makes for a very interesting Spring Game. Some of these newbies and semi-vets will be grinding early and through the summer or their opportunity will vanish with them by Fall. Good Luck would-be Dawgs.

  3. My unsolicited advice to the D, especially early in the season: get to the quarterback. Otherwise, we might be in trouble.

  4. If that’s the 4 at LB, they’re much thicker than last year’s 4 some. That may mean they aren’t as explosive in big plays, but much sounder against the run. Those 4 seem a lot more like a traditional 3-4 LB unit size wise than last year’s crew.

  5. Bulldog Joe

    This is UGA, so first they have to win the battle of the piss cup.

  6. ChilliDawg

    So can we stomach yet another MM move to shore up the secondary if things are “iffy” after the Spring???

  7. Macallanlover

    I understand the nervousness Senator. I am before at least half of our games anyway for any number of reasons; not knowing how games will play out is what makes it such a great sport. I may hate myself before September is over but I am feeling more confident about the defense than I probably should. It is a combination of knowing our offense affords the opportunity to make some mistakes, and recognizing we haven’t been a shut-down defense for several years anyway so we won’t be much worse than we were last year. Perhaps I just like having hungry, talented players fighting to make their mark now that they are getting their shot.

    Clemson is the type of offense that gives us fits regardless of who we put on the defensive side of the ball so I concede some offensive success to them. I just feel we have a very good chance to outscore them in the opener. Maybe not, but a disrespected group would then be even more motivated the following week for the conference opener….and that game is much higher on my list if I have to choose.

    • Dawganova

      I feel ya buddy. I am way less worried about our defense playing beyond the low expectations, and doing well against Clemson et al, than I am about the offense playing below the lofty hype. The Dawgs, God bless em, seem to shoot themselves in the foot year after year in the hype department (I realize that is a HUGE generalization and not completely accurate) and I have a feeling the trend will continue.
      The only thing that makes me feel differently about this year is Murray and a couple of backs who, fingers crossed, seem like class acts. I think if the offense can overcome the hype curse then we could do some amazing things even with a young defense that, although green, is very hungry.

    • Cojones

      Pretty much agree, Mac. The diff to me is in a perennially weak D at Clemson not holding past the half against Murray and Co. Yep, Boyd and their O will fly some points onto the board consistently since they match fairly even to ours in talent and team scoring personality.

      We finally slowed the short pass and the D contained last year to win 2-3 games that we wouldn’t have won had that not happened. Waiting to see how they have mastered it inside the twenty as they did last year before passing judgement on this year’s D. I read excuses last year that were believable, but later saw they weren’t.

      Hope Sanchez is correct about those larger LBs stopping the run.

  8. PTC DAWG

    55-27 We roll Clempson.

  9. rugbydawg79

    I think we win all 3 in september–but I always worry about the gators–however I am known to drink the kool aid—GATA

  10. Mayor of Dawgtown

    Worry now is premature. When summer practice is over and these questions still remain–then you can sweat.