Category Archives: Georgia Football
Really, David Paschall deserves some sort of mention for the… um, restrained way in which he describes the Hindenburg-like performance of last year’s Georgia defensive backfield here:
Pruitt looks to improve a secondary that was young last season and had to learn on the fly, which resulted in several disastrous moments.
Jeremy Pruitt may be out of the same Saban defensive school as Todd Grantham, but there’s at least one way in which he’s different. While Grantham claimed that he didn’t need a behemoth manning the nose guard position, he sure was happy using 360-pound monsters like John Jenkins and Kwame Geathers as space eaters there.
Pruitt told reporters Wednesday that he’s looking for slimmer, sleeker players. That’s especially true up front.
“We’re trying to get a lot of our bigger guys down,” Pruitt said. “Personally we feel like everybody’s a little heavy. We’d like everybody a bit faster. That’s our preference. We’re trying to slim up just a little. Including the coaching staff.”
Defensive end Ray Drew said he’s now about 282 pounds, after playing at 287 last year. His goal is to be at 275 by the fall.
“It’s that little 1/10th of a second that counts,” Drew said. “There were a few times last year where I had an opportunity to make some plays if I was a step quicker here or a step quicker there.”
I can’t argue that the move doesn’t make sense when you’re trying to catch running quarterbacks in spread attacks. But how will it hold up in the face of a power offense running out of twin tight end sets? (Of course, given how Alabama’s running attack mauled a Georgia defense with Jenkins and Geathers, you could certainly argue Pruitt’s approach couldn’t generate any worse results.)
Per CBSSports’ Pat Kirwan, Aaron Murray was voted the toughest quarterback to face by the SEC defensive backs Kirwan interviewed at the Senior Bowl and combine.
That seems unlikely. Aren’t most SEC games by definition big games?
Tracy Rocker talks about what sold him on coming to Georgia:
“What got me here was Jeremy Pruitt, just a conversation with him, talking about what he was looking for and he was trying to put together,” Rocker said. “He got me in front of Coach Richt, and we hit it off and saw eye-to-eye on some things and wanted to go in the same direction. And everything took care of itself from there.”
Hmmm. I wonder if Nick Fairley’s name came up in the conversation.
Bruce Pearl says Tom Izzo called Mark Richt for advice on his team overcoming mounting injuries.—
Pete Roussel (@coachingsearch) March 07, 2014
Gosh, and here I’ve been thinking that losing all those players had nothing to do with going 8-5 last season.
Weiszer’s got a good story on Hutson Mason. One thing to keep a close eye on this spring is his mechanics, which sound like they still need a bit of polish.
“There are just some things he does with his drop that we’re going to try out this spring,” offensive coordinator Mike Bobo said. “It will be interesting how to see how it works. Hutson’s a guy that we’ve got to do a good job keeping on balance sometimes. His feet get a little bit too close together and he kind of gets up on his toes. A little bit looking at Tom Brady more of how he keeps a good base in the pocket is what I was showing him.”
Aaron Murray struggled with his footwork at times, but overall made good progress in that department (especially last season), so it’s not like we’re looking at the end of the world here. But a lot of Murray’s shortcomings in that department came from inconsistent offensive line play, something that wouldn’t surprise me to be much the same in 2014. And as Mason himself observes, it’s not like he’s got the luxury of working things out over a four-year career.
“Every little thing you have to do as far as preparation as far as holding guys accountable bringing guys along that need to be brought along, you can’t really sit here and say, ‘I’ll figure this out or get my feet wet,’” Mason said. “You’ve kind of just got to go all in. If that’s my point of view, win, lose or draw, I won’t have any regrets because the regrets will come if I didn’t say I didn’t go all in. At the end of the day, I can’t look back and say I can do this different next year because there is no next year.”
Let’s hope he’s a quick learner.
I thought I’d share some quotes from Mark Richt about what’s behind the hiring of his last two defensive coordinators. Start with a couple of things he said when he hired Todd Grantham. One:
“There were so many names that crossed my desk and people calling from all around that recommended people and when Todd’s name came up I was very interested in learning more about him. The more I learned about him the more excited I got about him. It just so happens that a lot of coaches that I know in the business know Todd and know of what he’s done in the past and know of his football knowledge. I think a lot of people in the college game who have spent time with Todd and grown as coaches, let’s face it, the NFL is really the cutting edge of football and Coach Grantham is one of the best minds out there. [Emphasis added.] And it also turned out that my brother in law, Brad Johnson, who played quarterback for the Cowboys at the tail end of his career and was there last year and got to know Todd as a coach … and was highly impressed with him and his energy and how he would teach and the respect that players had for him.”
“I think it is particularly valuable that he has a wealth of experience on the defensive side of the ball at both the NFL and collegiate levels…”
Here’s what Richt has to say about where his head’s at now:
“You could have great scheme and poor tactics, and you’re going to have no success. I’d rather have less scheme and more tactics and more fundamentals because I think we’ll have a better chance of winning. That is what is happening right now,” Richt said.
To answer the question in the header, no, I don’t think Richt is abandoning defensive scheming. But it’s pretty obvious he’s blowing off all that NFL-based expertise for something more practical, something that Grantham gave plenty of lip service to, but never seemed to instill in his troops. Will that pay off, or will we be reading about a new approach from Richt in a few years?
A little nosh for you…
- Kevin Sumlin says TAMU’s spring football game is worthless for his team.
- Here’s a look at who’s in the mix to start at quarterback in Clemson’s opener against Georgia.
- John Infante suggests that Mark Cuban take on AAU ball instead of the NCAA.
- Greg McGarity, on piped-in music at Sanford Stadium: “…we have an opportunity to do certain things that will get our crowd excited in a proactive manner, rather than in a reactive manner.” I have no idea what that means.
- Michael Elkon has an intriguing look at how the unionization effort by the Northwestern players might impact college football transfer rules.
- Nick Saban says he’s powerless to remove an injured player on the field playing a HUNH offense (”So you can’t do anything. You’ve got to call timeout to get a guy out. And if you tell a guy to get down, that’s really against the rules, and they boo him out of the park.”). Mark Lewis, the NCAA’s executive vice president for championships and alliances, emphasized that an injury timeout already exists. Good to see everyone’s on the same page.
- With Gary Pinkel’s latest raise, nine SEC head coaches make more than $3 million per year.
- Athlon ranks the 10 best SEC quarterbacks of the BCS era.
Here’s what Richt had to say about the 10-second substitution rule yesterday.
“I support the officials being in position to call the game. I think you can go so fast that an official is out of position. There ought to be something in there to help the officials be in position to call the game, for their safety and for the integrity of the game, so to speak. I think that’s important. I think that not many people snap the ball faster than the 10-second timing that we’re talking about. If everybody snapped the ball right at 10 seconds, they’re flying and they’re going fast. I don’t know how much it would even affect us, but do I think that the rule should change? I don’t think the rule should change. Should it be modified somewhat if it needs to be to help the officials get in the right spots? I’d say yes. I think we’re in an off-year for rules changing, and the only way a rule can change is if it has a player safety issue involved in it. I think it’s more of a style issue than a safety issue. That’s what I think.”
Some of that is probably colored by Richt’s own experience trying to import the no-huddle offense into the SEC a decade ago. But some of that is probably colored by the pace at which Georgia runs its offense now.
Here’s a rundown of the entire SEC in the last two seasons in terms of offensive snaps per game:
1. Ole Miss: 79.8
2. Missouri: 75.5
3. Georgia: 74.6
4. Mississippi State: 74.2
5. Auburn: 73.8
6. Texas A&M: 73.8
7. South Carolina: 72.5
8. Vanderbilt: 70.8
9. Florida: 68.9
10. LSU: 67.7
11. Tennessee: 67.7
12. Kentucky: 66.8
13. Alabama: 65.9
14. Arkansas: 64.7
Given that Mason likes running the hurry up, I don’t see that ranking dropping much in 2014.