A big little thing for Jeremy Pruitt

It’s sort of tucked away in Seth Emerson’s assessment of what the pre-spring defensive depth chart looks like, but it’s kind of a big deal if Georgia’s going to take steps to improve a so-so performance in opponents’ third down conversion rate:

WILL LINEBACKER (MLB)
Starter:
Ramik Wilson, Sr.
Top backup(s): Reggie Carter, Soph.
Don’t forget: Ryne Rankin, Soph., Johnny O’Neal, Soph.
Not here yet: Wilson was a consensus first-team all-SEC pick, blossoming after two seasons of mostly coming off the bench. He could still get a push from Carter, but it’s more likely that Wilson will retain his spot but come off the field in certain situations. So could Herrera. Bostick moved down from safety during last season, when he was redshirting because of a summer injury. His background would indicate that he brings an element of speed that the inside linebacker spot has been missing since Alec Ogletree bolted for the pros…

Not to take anything away from Wilson’s and Herrera’s performances last year, as both were warriors who played the run well, but if there was anything close to a gimme for other team’s offenses it was running patterns that isolated a receiver on whichever Dawg ILB was left in coverage.  Pruitt has to find somebody who’s quick enough to stay with a receiver on a crossing pattern and – unlike the case under Grantham – is solid enough to deploy on third down in substitution for one of the starters.

With good reason, reshuffling the deck in the secondary is going to get most of our attention in the spring and in August, but this is something else that bears watching.

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9 Comments

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9 responses to “A big little thing for Jeremy Pruitt

  1. Timphd

    There were times last year when I screamed at my TV for them to blitz both Wilson and Herrera because neither could cover and there was a better chance of sacking the QB than having them defend a pass.

    • Macallanlover

      Amen, we were totally inept at LB coverage of receivers. I just hope it was assignment related and not talent.

  2. mcTryre

    Given CTG’s struggles with player mental development and time-and-place personnel deployment, one could argue that we don’t yet know what many of these players can do. Pruitt appears to be a meritocracy guy and lacking ego and/or lack of flexibility to bend Xs&Os to personnel rather than the converse. Not a “Green Notebook” guy it appears.

  3. I Wanna Red Cup

    I never understood the failure to substitute any at the middle LB positions last year and believe that we are going to see some different personnel on the field on those 3rd down plays to see if we can get someone who can cover the crossing route.

  4. Pruitt has to find somebody who’s quick enough to stay with a receiver on a crossing pattern and – unlike the case under Grantham – is solid enough to deploy on third down in substitution for one of the starters … this is something else that bears watching.

    Absolutely. Wilson and Herrera might be DGD’s, but they can only do what they can do. This was a glaring weakness in Grantham’s defense and offenses exploited it.

    Wilson has a chance to improve enough, if he wants it bad enough and everything falls into place for him, IMO. But more than likely we’re going to have to develop that. And it’s a prime need.
    ~~~

  5. bubba king

    Herrera is the slowest LB I’ve ever seen at UGA…and rarely makes a tackle by himself or with initial contact…you could hand Charlie Weis the ball on a toss sweep and he would beat Herrera to the edge…the only thing more pathetic is how great he thinks he is…

  6. DawgByte

    I’ve got serious issues with Wilson’s tackling fundamentals. How many times did we see him making high tackles, either allowing the ball carrier to slip his grasp or gain extra yards after contact? Far too many for my liking. There was a reason why Wilson’s stats were so gaudy – not being able to stop anyone on 3rd down.

    I’m looking forward to seeing what Bostick and Carter can do.

  7. W Cobb Dawg

    “Pruitt has to find somebody who’s quick enough to stay with a receiver on a crossing pattern and …”

    Maybe our CBs will jam the receivers at the line, instead of playing 10 yards back. I don’t automatically fault Herrera and Wilson, and won’t be surprised if one or both end up in the nfl. It’s not lack of talent. It’s not the HUNH. It’s our D coaching – preparation, positioning, tackling, etc., etc. – the fundamentals. We’ve been a fundamentally flawed D for the better part of a decade.

    • We’ve been a fundamentally flawed D for the better part of a decade.

      No argument here. Not on that point. It’s been frustrating, disappointing, all those things.
      ~~~