Marc Weiszer posted a Q &A he conducted with Coach Martinez after practice yesterday. Here’s the key part:
Q: I know you did a lot of three man front, but you were bringing linebackers occasionally. What concerns presented themselves?
A: We blew three coverages. That was a concern. That’s huge. You can’t do that. In each one of the series, we blew major coverages. One guy makes a mistake and it just breaks down the whole defense. We gave up four big plays and three of them were in those last three series and everybody knows about the fourth one–that was the touchdown. What concerns is that we gave it to them because we blew coverages. That’s on us. Could we have tackled better? Could we have pass rushed better? Could we have done some other fundamentals better? Yeah. What concerns me is that we weren’t able to stay focused and concentrate and execute the defense–11 guys. One guy affected each one of those drives each time. We let a guy loose. We busted a coverage. We let another guy loose. That’s what concerns me. Whether we rushed enough or not? We mixed that up. We were rushing three, we were rushing five, we did six, we did seven. We brought back three. We knew that the go-to guy was Jared Cook and we were just trying to give him different looks and when it came down to it, we made sure that we tightened the coverage up against him and let him beat us. The bottom line is we won and guys found a way to make a play.
Martinez sounds a little frustrated – if you notice, all of his other answers about the South Carolina game are very short, but not this one.
What has to be of a little concern to Martinez is what the split stats for passing defense broken down by quarter show, namely, that opponents’ passing ratings are increasing each quarter throughout the game. Some of that can no doubt be attributed to playing backups late in the games that were under control, but not all of it can. Some of it also has to be the result of teams making effective in game adjustments on offense in response to what Georgia is running on defense.
10 responses to “Martinez reflects.”
“[O]pponents’ passing ratings are increasing each quarter throughout the game.”
Well, that’s a bit troubling for a defense that’s practicing in the 80s all week and will suddenly find itself in the high 90s on Saturday. The plus side, I suppose, is our DC’s confidence that he’s identified the problem. I still wonder about the pass rush.
Another plus, maybe? This week is against a much better passing game, but a worse offensive line. Coverage problems will have to be solved, though, against a QB that can make good decisions quickly.
Our offense certainly din’t help in the 4Q. We ran a total of 6 plays for 16 yards (Two 3 and outs) and held the ball for a total of 3:30. This excludes the 1 play after the game saving INT …
Also, as teams fall further and further behind/the running game gets completely stuffed (at least one of those has been true in every game we’ve played), teams HAVE to pass more and more. And if they pass more and more, they are going to (most likely) get more and more passing yards.
This is one of the reasons why pass defense is not as important as rushing defense, as an indicator of overall success on defense. A lot of stout defenses give up a relatively large number of passing yards because when they get ahead the other team starts passing out of desperation. Such one dimensionality rarely leads to an actual comeback, but it usually does add up to some yards if you just hit a few of those shots.
At the end of Saturday’s game, South Carolina NEEDED
(sorry for interruption)
At end of Sat’s game, SC NEEDED 7 points. They absolutely had to have a touchdown, but they weren’t down by oodles and oodles. They shouldn’t have been desperate, but they were entirely one-dimensional because we completely shut down their run. But, yes, a Spurrier-offense, if it throws over and over again, might eventually get in sync a bit. (Ignoring the fact that we blew coverages, which is just what happens sometimes. Human beings make mistakes…) Timing passes in the seams in the zone, over linebackers but in front of the safeties, to a tight end who is close to uncoverable b/c he’s fast like a WR but big like a lineman. How is that NOT going to work for them to some extent? But it didn’t produce any points, b/c one they got in the redzone they didn’t have room to spread us out and pick us apart in the seams anymore and so they had to either run the ball or force much riskier passes. And we all saw how that turned out.
Since it is “bad” to be an optimistic fan (at least that’s what most of the commenters say on Sat and Sunday after a close win…then they go away ’til the next time they get to complain about something), I will acknowledge that, yes, I’d like us to blow less of those coverages as the year goes on. I hope we get it figured out. I hope we get in even greater sync. But, people, when/if we do, then we’ll be impenatrable on D. Look at what this team is on a (likely) trajectory to become, and not at the fact that they aren’t perfect already in week 3 of the season.
The effectiveness of our gameplan and the sufficiency of our execution (even if it wasn’t spectacular) showed itself most clearly on SC’s second-to-last-possession on Saturday. 2nd and short; three straight passes; turnover on downs. They were too afraid to even try to run on us in an OBVIOUS running situation. They knew it and we knew it. And we tightened the screws on those three consecutive passes.
We only gave up 7 points, right? Man, I’m more concerned about the offensive line than the D right now.
We only gave up 7 points, but Rudy Carpenter is waaaay better than Smelley. If our DE’s don’t try to emulate Pollack on Saturday & relieve the secondary more then I think it could get ugly.
And, after watching the replay on css monday night I agree our oline looks shaky. But I have more faith in Searles then I do Martinez, especially in terms of coaching ability & making adjustments mid-game. What comes to mind when I read that Martinez interview was: excuses, excuse, excuses. Same song, different year. Ugh.
Ally, you may be one good looking dawg but, you are not on the right path here. Smelley had one of his best games of his life- that was no ordinary Smelley QB back there. Our defense gave up only 7 points to a SEC team with a QB playing out of his head. If we hold every SEC to 7 points we win out.- provided our offense can score some TOUCHDOWNS!
The SC game shook my confidence in the offense. While the defense made me nervous- it was only because our offense hadn’t done their part.
second half stats for passing this year very similar to first half stats (rating) last year. And I think we thought we had a pretty good D last year, right?
Thanks for the compliment HVL, i think. Guess we’ll have to respectfully disagree.
I’ve only seen the game once so I’m just going on what I saw. Yes, Smelley played better the 2nd half, but not great. And he’s no Rudy Carpenter – that’s a fact. That’s all I’m saying.
Yes, its I agree its a damn good day when you can hold an SEC opponent to 7 points, but offenses in the SEC this year so far are not that great.
All I’m saying is that we got little pressure on Smelley, hence the outrageous yardage he compiled in the 4th quarter mainly (even minus our 100 yards in penalties it was still impressive). Our secondary was gassed & got beat. Those things concern me.
And I COMPLETELY agree with your assessment of the offense. They certainly were a large part of the problem, expecially in the 4th quarter.
Bottom line – hope we play a lot better in Tempe or I still think it could be a long day in the desert.
Actually if you look at the number of attempts by opponents, the 3rd and 4th quarter are not much more than the 1st or 2nd.
What it looks like is we come out vanilla in the 1st and figure out what they are doing, tighten up in the 2nd quarter, then they make adjustments (and play against our subs in the first two games) and begin to make headway against us.