Daily Archives: August 24, 2013

Malcolm Mitchell goes for it.

Pretty simple strategery

Receiver Malcolm Mitchell was asked after Friday’s practice whether he had trust in a kicker once they got inside the 35. To be fair, the name of the kicker was never mentioned, but Mitchell expressed optimism either way.

“I’m not too worried about that,” Mitchell said. “Our kicker, I believe in him. I think he’ll hit it, without a doubt. So I don’t think there’s any pressure with that.”

Then Mitchell smiled.

“But if we get that close,” he said, “I think we might as well get the most points.”

That certainly eliminates the second guessing about whether Marshall Morgan would have hit that 45-yarder.

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Just stop.

Aaron Murray doesn’t play like he’s got a chip on his shoulder, but judging from this, he may have the opportunity to develop one.

But, hey, at least we’re assured he’s better than Jevan Snead.

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Filed under Georgia Football, Media Punditry/Foibles

This is how a good team gets really good fast.

They didn’t get near the hype that their immediate predecessors did, but last year’s recruiting class is getting something else - starting positions:

Out of 17 signees, nine are projected starters: Gurley, Jenkins, tackle Theus, safety Josh Harvey-Clemons, cornerback Sheldon Dawson, fullback Quayvon Hicks, outside linebacker James DeLoach, place-kicker Marshall Morgan and punter Collin Barber. And three have started or are verging on it this year: Marshall, defensive lineman John Taylor and tackle Mark Beard.

Add to that this…

By the way, the two players who signed in 2012 but didn’t qualify? They were Leonard Floyd and John Atkins. Both got academically eligible, signed a year later and are now factors on the defense. Floyd has been the talk of preseason practice.

… and that’s a pretty remarkable level of contribution from a relatively small class.  Somebody did a helluva job with talent evaluation last year.

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Filed under Georgia Football, Recruiting

Finish the read.

Mark Richt, I think we’ll all agree, is a pretty good quarterbacks coach.  And it’s nice to wade through the hot seat, schedule talk and whatever annual noise there is about him to find some good Xs and Os stuff from him.  Here’s something from Chris Brown, in an excellent piece about the learning curve at the position:

… As defenses have become increasingly sophisticated, quarterbacks now need more options than simple key-defender reads provide. The answer was the progression read, which forces a quarterback to look at one receiver after another until he gets to the first open man. The progression read removes the need to look directly at defenders, but it doesn’t mean a quarterback should be looking directly at receivers, either.

“I don’t tell our guys to look at a defender,” Georgia head coach Mark Richt said at a coaching clinic. “If our quarterback is looking at a defender, then his vision is too tight. Let’s say he looks at the Will [weakside] linebacker and the Will linebacker flies out to the flat. If he flies out to the flat, I better hit the slant, right? Well, what if the Mike [middle linebacker] runs that way and picks your slant? It’s because you told him to look at the Will.”

The quarterback isn’t looking for defenders. He’s looking for passing lanes — open windows through which he can throw the ball. “I tell them to look to the area,” said Richt. “You look to the slant area, to the curl area. If there’s nothing between you and him, throw it in there. If there’s someone in the throwing lane, then go to the next read.”

Sure, it’s just one part of the package, but it’s what he and Bobo have had Aaron Murray drilled on for four seasons.

Watch this clip at the 1:32 mark and then the replay and you can see Murray scan the field as the play develops before throwing to Marlon Brown.

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Filed under Georgia Football, Strategery And Mechanics

Okay, you can officially start getting nervous now.

They’ve gone from counting on Tray Matthews starting against Clemson to this.

Richt also sounded guardedly optimistic, while cautioning that the missed practice time could affect his playing time.

“We hope he’s healthy enough to play. We think there’ll be a good chance of that,” Richt said. “But how much practice time to that, I don’t know how much he will get. So it’ll be hard to say what his role is gonna be.”

I know there are times when Richt tries to play it cute – gosh, I wonder who will be handling kicking duties in the opener? – but this doesn’t strike me as one of them.  Matthews hasn’t fully participated in practices in a while and time is getting short.  Hoping seems appropriate.

So I’m hoping the front seven is ready to pick up some of the slack.  Otherwise, Murray, Gurley and company better not miss, because the Dawgs will need every drop of offensive production they can get.

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UPDATE:  Chip Towers lays on the pessimism thickly.

Secondary is huge concern. Defensive coordinator Todd Grantham, secondary coach Scott Lakatos and Richt have generally downplayed the injury and youth situation in the defensive backfield. Don’t be fooled. This is a huge deal and a major liability heading into the Clemson game. Tray Matthews’ hamstring and shoulder injuries in preseason camp were a major setback, as was, of course, Josh Harvey-Clemons getting suspended. Equally as disconcerting was strong safety Corey Moore going down with a knee injury. I don’t see him playing at all against Clemson, at this point. So at this juncture, your starting safeties are former walkon Connor Norman and true freshman Quincy Mauger. Meanwhile, neither Matthews nor Moore competed in a single full-speed scrimmage since practices began Aug. 1. So even if they do play against the Tigers, imagine the shock to the system it’s going to be to be asked contain Sammy Watkins and Martavis Bryant and the like with Tajh Boyd at the controls. Barring more injuries, Georgia’s OK at the corners with Damian Swann and Sheldon Dawson. But it could be a long day in Death Valley for the defensive backs.

Gonna be interesting, that’s for sure.

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