The lessons of G-Day

I was a little surprised with some of the hostility I saw in the comments to my post about cutting off media access to spring practice.  Unlike some of you, I guess, I see value in what the beat writers are able to glean from their steady observation of the team this time of year.  A good example of what I’m talking about comes from this Seth Emerson post, where he describes a difference in approach to the G-Day game by Grantham and Pruitt:

That doesn’t mean G-Day won’t be worth watching. Most eyes will be on Jeremy Pruitt and the defense, trying to divine the noticeable changes he has wrought. I’ll have a story later in the week focusing more on this, but here’s my early guess on how Pruitt will handle G-Day:

- Plenty of players seeing the field, with playing time distributed fairly evenly. And if the first few weeks of spring practice are any indication, there will be some surprises on the initial first- and second-teams.

- Pruitt will focus less on pure stats and results and more on effort and fundamentals. That’s been his obvious focus the first few weeks, and he doesn’t appear to be in any rush to pick starters.

There could be something else at work here: The last few years of Todd Grantham’s tenure, there seemed an unstated but real competition between Grantham and Bobo. That’s not very unusual for a football team, and not necessarily unhealthy.

Still, it was obvious last year that Grantham and his staff were very happy to do well on G-Day and most of the other scrimmages. But now you have a much different dynamic on staff, which could lend to Pruitt and co. not caring if their defense gives up a few more first downs, as long as it means overall progress, at least in their eyes.

That bit about “an unstated but real competition between Grantham and Bobo”Yeah, that.  If that’s gone, how will that color your perception of what comes out of Saturday?

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8 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football, Media Punditry/Foibles

8 responses to “The lessons of G-Day

  1. It’s too bad that competition between Grantham and Bobo didn’t translate well to the competition with Chad Morris, Steve Spurrier, Cam Cameron, Gary Pinkel, Gus Malzahn, and Paul Johnson this year. Otherwise, he would probably still be in Athens. It’s easy in a spring game to know what the other side is doing since you have their playbook.

    • Oh, and this response isn’t a “I blame Bobo” post because Bobo bailed his underperforming defense out the last 2 years.

      • Otto

        Maybe last year but not the year before. In the SECCG, Sure CTG gave up 350 yards but equally as telling CMB’s offense only gained 113 rushing yards and gave up SIX 3 and outs. Again I am not taking blame away from CTG but showing that it is shared evenly. In that spirit, Bama averaged 22 yards per kick return. UGA returned no KOs and only 1 punt for 7 yards.

        • Good points all but Gurley had enough rushing yards in that game to take care of it – Grantham’s defense gave up an 11 point lead that the offense and special teams gave them. That defense two years ago with 8 future NFL players underachieved.

        • Hackerdog

          Bama’s defense surely had a little to do with that. In the SECCG, UGA scored 28 points against a Bama defense that averaged allowing only 10.9. Now, when your team scores almost triple what the other team averages giving up, you’re usually doing pretty well.

          The only team Bama played that scored more than UGA did was TAMU, who beat them by scoring 29.

  2. Scorpio Jones, III

    Wait a minute here…if G day is, as has been noted here several times..”.just a spring game” WTF difference does this alleged competition make, anyway?

    • Otto

      Nothing really, but it is something to write and talk about until the fall.

      I hope we don’t see much change in scheme Saturday (why give our competition tape?) but we do see improved fundamentals. I also don’t see the big deal with closing practice and actually kind of like it, the less Clemson and USC have on us the better.