Communication breakdown

Man, I just don’t get this.

But in Saturday’s win over Tennessee, one of Barber’s punts was blocked and returned for a touchdown, tying the game in the third quarter. It was the second blocked punt for a touchdown this year.

So what’s the problem? Lynch took the blame a few weeks ago for the blocked punt against North Texas, saying he switched into the wrong protection coverage. This time, it appeared that Hicks just whiffed on his block, but Lynch again said it was miscommunication between the three of them.

“It’s understanding the scheme of what we do,” Lynch said. “It’s all about where the protection is, and who’s protecting who. Communication was kind of a barrier on it, and a block was missed. But the fault wasn’t on one person. It definitely goes as a group effort. It was one play that really changed the momentum of the game, luckily we survived from it.”

Lynch also said the crowd noise had an effect. The punt happened near an end zone, and Lynch said one of his teammates, Lucas Redd, told him he had to read Lynch’s lips when he made the call. Finally, senior Connor Norman missing the game didn’t help, as Norman was one of the key communicators on the punt team, lining up on the front line.

“People really don’t understand how well he does for us in that,” Lynch said. “He’s like a security blanket, almost, for the special teams. We get him back, and it’ll be a big deal for the punt team.”

I understand that.  What I don’t understand is why the punt protection group didn’t prepare for that.  Or the possibility of crowd noise affecting the call.  It’s not rocket science, or at least it shouldn’t be.  I know they care about getting it right, but somebody’s not staying on top of the small stuff.  And it’s killed them in two games now.

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49 Comments

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49 responses to “Communication breakdown

  1. It would also be nice if Barber (or whomever punts this week assuming he’s out) would have a sense of urgency punting the ball. But the special teams breakdowns are well into the when-not-if category for me. I EXPECT a breakdown to occur, be it on a return, a blocked punt/FG, muffed punt/FG or now, thanks to Sailors, we can add a stupid, WTF-were-you-thinking simulated snap penalty.

    • Puffdawg

      Yes, Barber needs to speed it up. He definitely takes his sweet ass time. Although I feel like he’s had a good year, at least when he gets it off. Sometimes I think our coaches have made it too complicated. I mean, it’s a freaking punt for crying out loud. It’s not a 5 wide triple reverse statue of liberty annexation of Puerto Rico. It’s a punt. Line up, snap the ball 15 yards backwards, block their guys, and kick the ball. Really, that’s it. The flip side is Artie, who’s been here forever, is probably not confused on the scheme and is just covering for whoever screwed up. Kudos to him for being a team leader in that regard. But, my goodness, it’s just a punt. Dial it back if we’re confused.

      • Flukebucket

        My feelings exactly. For full disclosure I have never been in the arena. But damn, it is a punt. Has punting really gotten into the realm of football quantum physics now?

      • gastr1

        It wasn’t a problem taking his sweet ass time last year. What’s changed this year?

    • ZeroPointZero

      Sailors has done too much good to be maligned for a BS foot stomp penalty.

      • Flukebucket

        +1,000. That guy was the only special teamer that stuck out in my mind. He definitely should not be disciplined because of some vague rarely called home cooking penalty.

      • Mayor of Dawgtown

        Yeah. It was a bad call. I replayed it 10 times and I have seen the same things done many times without that being called. I understand the Umpire called it and then had a smirk on his face when UT went for it. We need to root out these officials who have an agenda and at least expose them.

        • JG Shellnutt

          And by “expose” I’m sure you don’t mean slash their tires and burn their houses down, do you?

          • Mill Village Dawg

            An intelligent man would never openly condone such behavior.

          • Mayor of Dawgtown

            No. I mean expose that they have an agenda other than calling a game straight up so they won’t be working UGA games anymore–or any other game for that matter.

            • 69Dawg

              As far as exposing them if that were the case Wagers and Curles would have been gone years ago. SEC just doesn’t GAS.

  2. Merk

    Well the O line did not prepare for it being loud at clemson either

  3. Russ

    That’s my ringtone.

    Oh, and enough with the communication problems. Get it figured out.

  4. David K

    It’s because it’s easier to admit that you had a communication problem, or a noise problem, or some other mental lapse than it is to admit you got beat.

  5. AthensHomerDawg

    I’m thinking special teams likes to keep it close.

  6. BCDawg97

    Did I miss something or was it QHicks that let his man get inside rather than turning him out?

  7. sniffer

    Love to hear an explanation of this relatively new punt formation along the line. It appears there is 3-4 feet between linemen. How has this come about and why?

    • Castleberry

      We like the challenge of the new formation

    • AlphaDawg

      I noticed that too, we have a center with a 3 yard gap between him and the guard, they loaded the middle of the line up and simply rushed 3 or 4 up the gut, since the center has to worry about the snap, he at best only slows down 1 of those rushers. Stupid ass formation. Line them up like a XP and force the ends to run around whoever is the up back. It’s been done that way for 30 years and works pretty damn good.

    • El Dawgo in El Paso

      The formation doesn’t matter-the return team still has to defend it until the punt is kicked. If they fail to spread out then our ends are eligible and we can pass/run it for a potential first down. Same philosophy with the swinging gate on the extra point.

      Problem is when your 3 up backs allow rushers to split them and not funnel them outside. Missed assignment, lack of concentration, no discipline, whatever the excuse. It’s why every single snap in the game counts and the minute you take one off, the game can quickly change.

    • MinnesotaDawg

      You nailed it. Our formation, coupled with a missed assignment, is the reason for the blocks. Basically, our punt formation is vulnerable to blocks because it allows/invites rushers to come up the middle b/c they can get through the initial line of scrimmage unblocked. Puts a lot of pressure of the three punt protectors who HAVE to pick up any/all guys who come through the big gaps in the middle or else the punt is going to be blocked. They are the punter’s only protection. It’s even more difficult b/c these rushers have a ten-yard head-of-steam by the time they hit your protection wall and could knock your protectors back into the punter.

      In a more traditional punt scheme, the offensive linemen block inside-out (meaning that the only guys who should be left unblocked, un-chipped are on the outside of the line). Because these outside guys have further to run (simple geometry) they’re not likely to get to the punter before he gets it off. In this scheme, the three/two protector unit will pick up anybody that gets through b/c of a missed assignment or some really fast dude off the edge. Unlike Georgia’s scheme, these protectors are another layer of security rather than the punter’s ONLY blockers.

      Why are we doing it this way now? Presumable b/c it allows us to get down the field faster and better defense possible returns. But since our vulnerability under the new scheme has been exploited with disastrous results twice in the last three games–I think it merits a change.

      • Macallanlover

        ^^^^^This is it. Tighten the formation, stiff anybody trying to get through, and make them run around the long way. Isn’t that hard. But leaving large gaps and having someone matador one of the guys taking a straight line with a head of steam will usually result in something bad.

  8. He may be right. On the first punt, when Barber got run into but it wasn’t called, they almost blocked it. Theus snaps the ball and doesn’t block anyone, and 4-5 guys run up the middle. That’s what N. Texas did. 3 guys form the wall behind our line, and 5 on 3 isn’t good, especially when Hicks misses.

    On the second punt, we adjusted, squeezed guys towards the middle, and blocked all but 2 or 3 of their middle rushers. On the last punt, we didn’t make that adjustment. My problem with this is that it’s not rocket surgery, and if you see 4-6 guys in the middle over the center, SOMETHING NEEDS TO BE DONE. Lynch can blame crowd noise, but N. Texas blocked one doing the same thing, UT almost got one, and by the time they did get one, we should have had a simple signal to tell people to squeeze to the middle.

    He may just be trying to help a teammate out, or if not, everyone needs to be fired immediately. Which coach is in charge of punts?

    • AlphaDawg

      Just noticed your comment, I agreed with your assesment above. This isn’t rocket science. Do we not have a Grad Assistant who can be ST coach.

  9. stoopnagle

    Killed?

    Merely a flesh wound. We’ll call it a draw.

  10. Dog in Fla

    @ Russ – “That’s my ringtone.” – #karma says when communication breakdown led unit to being dazed, confused when levy breaks, it’s time to substitute ringtones

  11. Well, one thing is for sure, Page shreds that solo like an opposing team through our punt protection.

  12. DugLite

    As bad as it is it still is not as bad as watching the Chinese fire drill of Joe T 3 jumping around everywhere before the ball is snapped. And one other thing, the holder on the extra point in the UT game should have gotten the game ball.

  13. SC DAWG

    We don’t have a special teams coach!

  14. Hogbody Spradlin

    You forgot Strother Martin.

  15. Bulldog Joe

    Ooooooooooooooooooooooh, suck.

  16. Derek

    All of that is “coach-speak” for Q whiffed. They shouldn’t sell out a teammate and they should tell the press any other bs just to answer the question, but we saw what happened. Same thing happened with Lumpkin in 2006 vs. UT.

  17. Will Trane

    Hicks may have “wiffed” on his block for whatever reason…probably a call from a pissed fan in the stands saying do not let it happen again, reaches back for it, and Barber is hollering it is on the bench Hicks. Punt blocked. That was the communication problem. But if you look closer some UT player due sights in Hicks coming across the field. Hicks stones him.

  18. Will Trane

    Hicks delivers text message with layout hit to UT player at 15 yard line. Made me miss my call. Sorry man, when I can get my ass up off the field I’ll ask Coach Jones if you can use our phones to communicate, Look Hicks we use the same punt formation you all do. Don’t get so pissed because we blocked it.

  19. Robert

    We just needed to get the Led out. GATA.