Everything’s up for grabs.

If you sense a certain throw it up against the wall and see what sticks aspect to Georgia’s spring, I can’t say I blame you.  Jeremy Pruitt in particular seems to be indulging his inner mad scientist, moving players around like chess pieces.

Defensive coordinator Jeremy Pruitt, who also coaches the secondary, said it’s all about getting players ready to play multiple positions.

“We’re still searching all the guys,” Pruitt said. “There’s some guys you see at corner, there’s some guys you see at safety. We’re just trying to figure it out.”

As for the depth chart changes, Pruitt said it all depends on the most recent practice.

“We’re trying to give everybody an opportunity,” Pruitt said. “The guys that perform the day before, the guys that get to go with the ones the next day. We have no starters, we’re going off of what kind of production you had the day before.”

And how long will all of this continue?

“Till the freshmen get here,” he said.

Actually, longer than that.

“When they get here, they’ll have an opportunity to compete, just like these other guys. And two weeks into fall camp we’ll get them into spots,” Pruitt said. “Maybe there’ll be some guys this spring that kind of take that step, where you say, Hey I know I can count on him. But right now we’re just a work in progress.”

He’s not alone.  Mike Bobo appears to be getting in on the act, too.

“We’ve had our ups and downs, but way too many downs, this spring, in my opinion, ” Bobo said after Thursday’s practice. “We’ve gotta get better. We’re not executing at a standard high enough to win, or beat anybody right now.”

In fact, Bobo went so far as to say incoming freshmen have a great chance to play this fall.

“We’re gonna have to have freshmen play for us this year. Play meaningful minutes. Some of them possibly start,” Bobo said. “Obviously at the tight end position, at the receiver position, at the running back position, and at the O-line. There’s not enough competition at those spots. But you go through that during spring. But we seem at a little bit lower numbers because of the injuries to the guys.”

The difference – and no doubt some of this can be attributed to one side of the staff being new and another part of this to all the injuries to offensive players – in those two quotes is that Pruitt sounds like a guy trying to figure out where best to deploy his talent and Bobo sounds like a coach worried about whether he’s got enough talent to deploy.  Those aren’t the tunes we thought we’d hear being warbled this season, but there’s still plenty of time to update the playlist.

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20 Comments

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20 responses to “Everything’s up for grabs.

  1. Rebar

    I’ve been waiting to hear about Turman, the running back that was supposedly going to take most of the snaps this spring, but haven’t heard a peep. Sounds like now is the time for some of the young pups to shine.

    • I’ve also been a little surprised at how quiet things have been about Turman. Shaq Wiggins as well, I was expecting him to have a big spring…….we’ve heard way more about Langley than Wiggins, which surprises me.

      • Not surprised at Langley. As I’ve said all year he was as impressive as any of the new guys last year, in terms of doing some good things. Put another way, despite getting burned several times, his film looked about as good as any of the new guys.

        That said, it’s hard to get a take on anybody this Spring, the way Pruitt is doing things. And that’s fine, even good. We won’t know where Langley, or just about anybody else, fits in until at least mid-August. And for some guys, late August.
        ~~~

  2. Sanford222view

    Hopefully Bobo is just trying to fight complacency on his side of the ball. I do realize the OL is a mess though.

    • adam

      I don’t know, man…

      Hutson is not nearly as good as Murray, Mitchell and Scott-Wesley are out so we really only have 2 receivers of note, Marshall isn’t doing anything with contact, JJ Green isn’t at tailback anymore, we have 0 TEs except for a FB who is learning the position, we have 1 decent FB playing FB and he’s a walk-on, the guards who couldn’t beat out Dallas Lee (even with as much as he struggled last year) are now our only options at the position, and we have the same two tackles who got dominated by every defense with good pass rushers we saw last year. The offense probably doesn’t look very good.

      It will look a lot better if those OL guys improve or one of the incoming freshman is ready to go (last freshman OL who played well for us was probably Sturdivant) and when the receivers heal up, we add 2 more 5-star TBs and #4 gets back to full health, the TEs heal up (and we get 2 more), Mason gets more confident and comfortable, and Hicks gets back to playing more FB.

      I could understand Bobo being pretty justifiably unhappy with things right now.

      • Those echo my thoughts.

        I would add Rome, though he’s made some plays, has yet to play a high level. Hicks may play a role, but he can’t be counted on for TE. I think we’re pretty much counting on Blazevich to jump right in there, and Rome to come on in Camp. We’ll need some production out of Davis too, and maybe even Atkinson.

        But you laid it out well. All those problems are real, and the OL has a long way to go to be just effective. I think Bobo was being straightforward when he said “we couldn’t beat anybody right now.”

        And that’s with Gurley being great all week.
        ~~~

  3. doofusdawg

    I really shows just how lacking we were last year at the safety position. Pruitt is obviously hoping to get one of the corners to step up at free safety… allowing for mathews or mauger to battle it out for ss. I hope either langley or jj step up and I expect tt to go on a diet and move back to offense. Pruitt is apparently seeing first hand what grantham couldn’t see through his butt hole.

    • adam

      There is no difference between the two safety spots in Pruitt’s defense. That’s one reason he can be more experimental with the DBs. They also do all the same fundamentals now instead of being split into corners and safeties.

      • There is no difference between the two safety spots in Pruitt’s defense.

        I know Pruitt wants more athletic safeties that have outstanding ball skills, are good covering the deep balls & man-to-man shorter stuff, as well as coming up and stopping the run.

        But exactly what do you mean by “no difference”?
        ~~~

  4. Ugh. It’s not too early to miss Aaron Murray I guess.

  5. Nate Dawg

    Man, that’s the anti-kool aid there, a? Especially from Bobo…

  6. Skeptic Dawg

    I am concerned about the O-line this season. This squad appears to lack tackles. I have less than zero faith in Theus and Houston. Mason may prove to be a solid QB, but with a poor O-line he will be fighting an uphill battle. Opposing D’s will load up to stop the run early on and force Mason to beat them. With a lackluster O-line this will be an overwhelmingly difficult task for any QB. So we pin our hopes on a depleted defense with a D coordinator? 8 wins may be the ceiling this season.

    • W Cobb Dawg

      Agree. The OL is always a question mark.

      Hard to believe we aren’t set at every other position on O. Mason = QB, Gurley = RB, Mitchell, Bennett, Conley, & more = WR, Rome = TE. Seems to me that’s a strong group of players to have. If we hadn’t switched Hicks to TE/H-back, I’d also have said we have one of the best FBs in the sec (and Douglas proved he’s no slouch). Obviously, injuries and injury recoveries are limiting some of those players for the spring. But I don’t understand CMB’s pessimism. Most coaches in cfb would love to have the talent we’ve got returning on O.

    • Sh3rl0ck

      The Dawgs have lacked Tackles since Trinton Sturdivant tore his ACL in 2008. Boling, Glenn, and Gates all did OK, but they were really top-end Guards playing Tackle.

  7. Pruitt sounds like a guy trying to figure out where best to deploy his talent and Bobo sounds like a coach worried about whether he’s got enough talent to deploy.

    True. The first is a good thing. I like the way Pruitt is handling it. He’ll get a much better eval doing it this way. When it’s done this August, he’ll know for certain what he has, and who can do what.

    Bobo should be concerned, and it’s not that surprising, especially with the injuries, as you point out. He’d be concerned even if he had everybody, IMO. The OL is, well, what it usually is. Kublanow gets banged up and, suddenly, what little punch we had in the middle is gone.

    Our OL recruiting is likely our #1 team problem now. Some think the incoming four OL are a step up (which wouldn’t take much, IMO) from what we’ve been getting, and that several of them can contribute this year. IDK. I hope there’s some quality in this class, because we need help now. And we won’t be starting more or less from scratch with the 2015 class.

    But we’ve got to take our OL talent to the next level if we want to be consistent on offense. Maybe not the top level, but the one below that. Another notch would like be just fine.

    Also, I wonder if Bobo, and maybe Friend too, have taken a page from Pruitt’s book, and are experimenting a little more, getting more reps in and being more thorough in the evals, and that might be a part of it on offense. I suspect so.
    ~~~

  8. mdcgtp

    To echo W Cobb, I have a VERY hard time with Bobo’s logic regarding skill players except TE. Malcolm Mitchell is the most efficient WR the school has ever had. Conley and Bennett are proven in their respective roles. Assuming JSW comes back, he demonstrated over a 4 game stretch that he is capable as well. Mason has cited the fact that Rumph appears to be much improved and poised to take advantage of his size and talent. Ball has stated that Davis is making progress to become a polished player who can use his speed and avoid being jammed. Hard to convince me that Gurley will be anything less than great. Even if Marshall ends up having to red shirt, which would seem odd given how actively he is participating in practice, we have Chubb, Michel, turman, and Douglas to carry 35-40% of the load. what is probability that none of the 4 is productive in that role?

    So that leaves QB, TE, and OL. The OL seems more than fine at 3 positions. As for the OGs, Kublanow and Dantzler have been hurt. That leaves pyke and beard. beard has always been up and down, but he has never been expected to be a bell cow. Further, Wynn is likely to show up ready to play, and while his future may be at OT, it would not surprise me for him to play OG. Ditto for Baker. Honestly, we may not have recruited a lot of 5 star OL, but we don’t have the numbers issues that have plagued us in the past.

    As for TE, Rome has been a bit player at best in his 2 seasons. he has shown flashes, but he has never been consistently healthy or a consistent performer. TE could be a weakness for us, and while we have had productive TEs in the past, I strongly believe that our RB which are all very good receiving backs can offset a portion of that.

    As for QB, he is trying to push the three backups by reminding them there is opportunity.

    I am not saying Bobo’s wrong, but I think he is sending a message to the team to finish spring practice strong…..

  9. Macallanlover

    Good post. Weakness at ol is obvious, and there are some questions Mason has to answer, but there are some strengths to build off of too. Offense will be off some from the past two years but the real concerns are on the defensive side if the ball. If they carry their share of the load fir a change, we can compete with everyone on our schedule. We will lose a few but no one looks unbeatable at this point. 9 and 3 looks like the most probabke at this stage.

  10. Bulldog Joe

    Sounds like the same old goldbricking problem on offense.

  11. AthensHomerDawg

    Well it’s odd that Cycle World in Athens has a Harley salesman that is the spitting image of Coach Pruitt. Just shorter. Shaved head. I did a double take. If my sons would have let me I would have asked for a picture with him. Alas… they are not as tolerant of my extravagances as they use to be. Next time I’ll take my bride. She is of better humor but tighter with the check book. ;-)