Starting head count, part two

Seth Emerson posted his thoughts on the post-spring depth chart for Georgia’s defense yesterday.  It’s natural to expect the starting situation to be more unsettled than that of the offense, but it turns out not to be the case so much.

Take a look at who’s expected to line up in the base defense, for starters:

  • Garrison Smith is a lock for one DE spot.
  • Thornton’s won the nose guard job, in somewhat of a surprise.
  • DeLoach and Jenkins are the starting OLBs.
  • Herrera will man one of the ILB slots.
  • Swann starts at cornerback.
  • Matthews and Harvey-Clemons are the starting safeties.

That’s a total of eight.  Bailey and Drew are duking it out for the other DE starting job, Wilson is fighting to hold off Carter at ILB and Dawson was on his way to winning the cornerback spot opposite Swann until his injury setback.  That’s remarkably stable, given all the talk we’ve heard about having to rebuild the defense after everyone left for the NFL.

And when Grantham goes nickel, Harvey-Clemons stays on the field.  DeLoach comes off and another safety comes on.  That’s where it looks like the other big battle will be waged in the fall.

Now that says nothing about filling out the two-deep, where there are bound to be some significant changes come August.  But if you think there’s quality talent, you should be a little optimistic about how the defensive starting picture is coming into focus.

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25 Comments

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25 responses to “Starting head count, part two

  1. AlphaDawg

    With his size I thought Deloach was working at ILB?

  2. RP

    U can bet your arse Clemson will be testing that green secondary early and often.

  3. William

    Clemson will be airing it out anyway, green secondary or no. That’s their MO. However, it sounds like Grantham knows this and will be making sure his Nickel Package will be fierce. JHC, Matthews, and one more Safety, with Swann and ??. I’d like that I think.

  4. A freshman and a true sophomore starting at safety – play action passing scares the heck out of me.

  5. I think this defense is going to surprise a lot of people. It won’t be top-10/15 good, but it can be top-30 good, and that would be enough to get this team to 11 wins in the regular season.

    • Cojones

      That paraphrased “good enough” will depend entirely on how many pts our O can put up after the D allows the opponent to score.

  6. As stated above, play action does indeed scare the hell out of me, and that goes for both Clemson and South Carolina. Perhaps more so South Carolina, actually.

  7. Cojones

    We already are expecting their O to show well, but the decider is if their D can hold our O near to their scoring. Won’t happen.

    SC doesn’t have the O firepower to overcome what Bobo’s O Machine can crank out. Jadeveon is the only fly in the O. FU? Like the Neb pass D, FU’s vaunted “He is Peeing” D will be diced by Murray and company. LSU too.
    Might as well throw it in now; depending upon injuries to UGA, UK has a sneaky chance to again perform under the radar this year.

    • You are way too optimistic about some of those defenses.

    • RP

      Clowney is the only defense that really scares me as well. I do think we have enough talent along the o line and versatility in our schemes to game plan for him effectively. Unlike last year, no one else on that entire D makes me nervous. We’ve got some real physical backs and TE’s to help with him and it also wont hurt being at home where Murray and Andrews can communicate with their line more effectively.

    • Yeah…this seems too optimistic. I know SoCar loses a decent clip on defense, but the horrors of last year in Columbia are still fresh in my mind. And Shaw/What’s-his-name who throws it will move the ball on UGA from time to time. At this point I’m in believe-it-when-I-see-it mode re: UGA beating South Carolina.

  8. AthensHomerDawg

    The LSU vs Clemson game wasn’t nearly as close as the score. LSU made bank off of two turnovers and special teams . Other than that ….. 1 yard of total O in the 4th (Hill had nary a carry). 9 third down conversions vs Clemson at 36. Watkins was a non factor. Clemson had the ball for nearly an entire quarter longer than LSwho. Reminds me of a certain bowl game when the D was given the job of winning the game but there was no “tiger” left in the tank at the end. ;-) The game will be in the hands of the O line. There won’t be 6 sacks like Clemson enjoyed against LSU. They won’t shut down the Dawgs run game and we aren’t letting them have a TOP for an entire quarter longer than ours. Dawgs by 10.

  9. W Cobb Dawg

    I believe we’ll see more flux on the DL. Cept for Garrison Smith, I don’t believe anyone has separated above the pack. And there’s still plenty of new talent coming at just about every position on D.

  10. Uglydawg

    Clemson’s home advantage is worth something. Georgia is used to playing the very best teams in the country and that is worth something. While I worry about the athleticism of their QB, he’d better worry about the athleticism of some of Georgia’s defensive players…but Clemson is not going to be defensless as so many are expecting. They’re a big time program (esp for the ACC) and they have players. I think Georgia is going to be a little better on offense..balance with Gurshall, and a little better on defense. That should carry the day barring a bunch or turnovers or reverting to 2011 on S teams.

    • Cojones

      When imagining outcomes, I usually think of that team in it’s conference play. Then I imagine the switch-in of our O for the O of Clemson’s opponent. Clemson has individual talents on D who never seem to get in the D swim of things.( LSU is not as strong as purported by ESPN and thought we could beat them last year.)

      Teams’s talents rise and fall each year and when UGA was winning while rebuilding their O, others were “winning” by past reputation of players who have departed for the NFL. The shoot is on the other foo. Word of self-caution: Imagining our D in the game didn’t work out considering the ground game last year and just can’t imagine players in there this year. Most of my guesses are based upon a great Offense that we now have and one can expect Murray to score faster whenever we get scored upon.

      Last year’s SC brainfart makes us all cautious and for differing reasons. All reasoning put together would probably frighten the hell out of us.

  11. Keese

    If rehab goes well….Toby Johnson will be a wrecking machine on D line.

    • AthensHomerDawg

      HIs surgery was in November…… Bluto and I disagree about his playing DE or nose. 9 months is a quick turnaround for a RB and a big man takes a while longer . Johnson is probably up to 330 now. I don’t expect to see him this year. But who knows.

  12. Red Clay Hound

    I just can’t see Thornton getting it done at nose. If he was all that, we would have seen him last year when our DL was limited in number and gassed. Here’s hoping some of the younger guys can step up.