A couple of spring practice notes

On the defensive side, something I mentioned previously as a good reason for Rodney Garner to stay in Athens – the opportunity to expand his coaching experience by learning to coach in a 3-4 scheme – appears to have some validity.

… Since Richt came on board in 2001, Garner has coached Georgia’s defensive tackles, but that job has changed quite a bit since Grantham came on board as the team’s new defensive coordinator.

In the 3-4 defense — which employs three down linemen and four linebackers — Garner’s coaching responsibilities have expanded from the two tackles he used to be responsible for to now include the entire line and, on many occasions, the rush linebackers, too.

“His responsibility has really grown,” Richt said. “When we do pass skeleton, Coach Grantham will still be there, but Rodney is handling the pass rush. So the outside linebackers who are working on their rush skills, Coach Garner is now teaching pass rush from inside and out. His responsibility has grown, but he’s excited about it.”

And on the other side of the ball, necessity – in this case, the numbers game at wide receiver and tight end – once again proves to be the mother of invention.

“It’s going to be good to have those guys just to confuse the defense, not knowing if we’re in a two-tight formation, or spread, or three receiver look,” quarterback Aaron Murray said.

Both White and Charles played tight end and receiver in high school. They have the size to hang in the trenches, blocking or catching passes over the middle, but also the quickness to flex out wide.

Playing the matchup game, Georgia can flex either Charles or White, or both, if a linebacker is trying to cover them.

The possibilities are endless.

“It’s going to pose a great threat,” Murray said. “It’s going to be pretty hard for the defense. You look at our defense now, we come out with two tight ends, and they think we’re going to be in a two-tight formation and we split one out, or we split two out and they’re in a base defense. They’re not ready to handle four receivers. It causes it a lot of confusion just because of their athleticism.”

Quibble if you like over Bobo’s occasional playcalling lapses.  He does have a good grip on what he can do with his scheme overall.


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17 responses to “A couple of spring practice notes

  1. J Stephenson

    I get tired of people ragging on Bobo, hell no one is perfect.

    The fact that he got the points out of this team with Cox and no running game early on is a miracle in my opinion. Plus he is still growing as a play caller. Mark Richt was not the best play caller when he took over either. Give the man some time. And props for last season. I know the LSU and OSU games sucked, I saw em too. But remember that long missed pass early against LSU just barely missing Green. If that pass hits, well I have a feeling it would have been a different LSU game.


  2. Bill M.

    I think people are underestimating how big of an assett the Tight ends will be for Murray (yeah, i said it). Just thinking back over the CMR era, when we’ve had a great tight end like a Leonard Pope or Ben Watson, they’ve played large roles in the passing game always waiting in the wings as an outlet. Also having Figgins will be a big help in the run game, could end up being pretty lethal.


  3. Will Trane

    At the end of last season Georgia was a team that would have given any top 10 a very tough game and a strong possibility for a loss. Why? Bobo had an “O” line that was set and in sync; the RB’s had come around; and the TE’s changed the field in deepth and width. Those factors were not there early but beginning to show in the Florida game. Plus the LB’s could not get to the outside and DB’s had too much run support and field to cover. That is changing in the 3-4. When you hear CMR mention Gardner and the team understanding inside – out then you begin to understand how the scheme cuts the field.

    And speaking of inside – out, the Diamond crew looks like they have a lot of outside – inside hitters. Look at some of their hitters and tell me how their circular hand path started and what their bat head speed is. Perno’s weakness from the time he set foot on the field is never understanding the importance of a pitching coach. I like Perno and he is a very good manager. But he needs a pitching coach. The team is erratic because they can not set a line-up. The catchers and pitchers need to learn to get on the corners and stretch the stike zone. There are no power hitters and pitchers on this team. Bat speed and location can be taught.


  4. Macallanlover

    The versatility of our “hybrids” is one reason I am not as concerned about depth as others. Obviously a run of injuries could change that, but the athleticsm of Charles and White does provide an offset. Taking a neutral stance on Bobo, I do hope UGA mixes the sets often this year and I would love to see us return to using the middle of the field with our passing game.


  5. sUGArdaddy

    Everyone complains about play-calling…every fan…of every team. It’s hard to argue w/ Bobo’s overall production. And, unlike Martinez, I have a hard time looking around at other coaches and offenses and saying, “Why don’t we get that guy?” or “I wish our offense was like that.” When we’re rolling, we have one of the most balanced and beautiful schemes out there.

    And we’ve done pretty good winning w/ smoke and mirrors w/ some of the O-lines we’ve thrown out there in recent years.


  6. 69Dawg

    Bobo must have an evil (stupid) twin. The Ok State opening drive was a thing of beauty and then the evil twin took over.

    The other problem with Bobo is that in the spring we are always looking at innovation on O (still waiting on that Logan Gray package we heard so much about). So the multiple sets with the TE’s thing is at this point a pipe dream. I will be looking for the 2 TE sets that shift to 4 wide next year but then I believe in the MNC too.

    What was lacking last year was a QB with an arm that could throw the intermediate routes. Cox with a bad shoulder was apparently better than Logan with a good shoulder and that just sucked. If AM can make all the throws that Matt could make and be a little bit better at protecting the ball then we are in fat city. If Bobo can just learn the art of taking what the D is giving as he did at Tech, then the O will be fine. If he still lets his evil twin call every other series then we are screwed.


    • NCT

      “The Ok State opening drive was a thing of beauty …”

      Call me old-fashioned, or just old, but the GT opening drive was a thing of beauty to me.


      • The entire game was a thing of beauty to me. I’ve probably watched the replay eight or nine times now.


        • Sparrow

          This is why having a 2 year old obsessed with the Dawgs is great. I have probably watched that game 20 times. I can talk to him about the play before it happens, telling him what to look for. Plus, when the camera isolates anyone on tech, he says “yucky football player”.

          He’s the best.


    • JC in Powder Springs

      69Dawg is right on point. Bobo is jekyl and hyde when it comes to playcalling. My opinion – I strongly doubt Bobo was calling the plays in the gt game – the O game plan was nothing like any other game I’ve seen the Dawgs come up with – even when they had great backs like Knowshon or Musa. I don’t mean to ‘rag’ on Bobo, but he’s not an SEC-calibre OC. Expecting him to become one after 9 years on the job is a fantasy. Finally, I’ll believe Bobo uses the TE’s (or RB’s or WR’s or O-line) effectively when I see it. If the Dawgs O was ranked in the nation’s top 25 just once in the past 9 years, then I’d reconsider the above comments. But I think the lack of productivity by the offense year-in-and-year-out backs me up.


  7. After reading all the blogs ,Comments, player & coach interviews, etc., I am still trying to find a reason for not being excited about the Dawg’s offense for the next 3/4 years. Can’t find one.
    That would include having CMB as QB coach & OC with CMR having a hands on with the QBs & the entire offense. ” Nothing has changed, but everything is improving”. Am I Wrong ?.


    • JC in Powder Springs

      Despite my ragging on Bobo (and once-in-a-while Richt), I agree with you. Grantham and the D staff are just what the team needed. The O-line should be solid. TE’s, WR’s and RB’s, kicker and punter – lots of proven talent. One of the 3 QB’s should be able to establish themselves. Looking from the outside – it’s a very solid and deep team – QB being the only question. This team SHOULD win 10 games or more. Plus, I think the other SEC-east teams are all worse than last year’s squads.


      • Mayor of Dawgtown

        I don’t want to jinx us but if the Dawgs get by potential stumbling blocks early in Columbia and against Arkansas in Athens there is a high probability of being undefeated going to the WLOCP. If we can get by them, there is a very good chance of going undefeated in the conference. If that happens, UGA will be undefeated going into the Tech game and….


  8. Tuffdawg

    We need to keep our eyes on Athens this summer and hold the coaches and players feet (and rear-ends) to the fire.

    The D and spec teams WILL improve, cant get any worse ( conf and nat’l stats).

    The question mark is CMR and CMB.

    Last year it was pointed out by many, including E. Zeier, how small and weak our players looked compared to SEC defenses. And we played like it most of the last 2 years.

    We MUST become the toughest meanest roughest team in the country. This is not volleyball or tennis or golf.

    The SEC dominates college football, and we must prove that we can compete with and beat every team. Period.

    Example – our backs MUST block with authority. Every time a defensive player dares to enter our backfield, he needs to get the living H#ll knocked out of him. This is guaranteed to slow down any defense.

    WE need to prove we can out-tough, out-man every team.
    We need to beat every team, yes undefeated in 2010.
    We must play in conf champ game Dec 4.
    We must fight our way back to Top 5 in nation.
    UGA can do it.
    Go You Hairy Dawgs!


  9. shane#1

    TuffDawg, One reason that UGA’s offensive players looked “smaller and weaker” the past two years is because, they were smaller and weaker. No senior O linemen in 2008, one soph and two true freshmen starting O line. One senior O lineman in 2009. A red shirt junior and a red shirt freshman at RB in 2008, red shirt sophmore and true freshman at RB in 2009. Both TEs banged up in 2008, leaving a red shirt freshman hybred as go to TE. In 2009, red shirt soph and two true freshmen at TE. Bobo WILL run the ball when his O line can compete with the D line, and since the entire starting line is back I look for the UGA QB to hand off a lot more in the coming season. If Sturdivant can stay healthy that will be a big bonus. So will a healthy Figgins.


  10. Hoshney

    Glad that we kept RG but it is very telling that NOBODY is ever knocking down his door for DC

    He must really have some bad things in his closed closet


    • Macallanlover

      Some folks are just better wing men than squadron leaders. No reason to assume there are hidden problems.