The Anderson move

I confess that this decision caught me by surprise:

New Georgia defensive coordinator Todd Grantham has stressed several times that he doesn’t need a gargantuan body to play nose in his 3-4 scheme.

He’s got one anyway.

Bulldogs head coach Mark Richt announced after Tuesday’s practice that Justin Anderson, who made five starts early last season at right guard, has been moved to defense. The 6-foot-5, 330-pounder is sitting out this spring because of a shoulder injury.

“We won’t see what he can do out at practice, but he can start learning the terminology,” Richt said. “We think he can do well there, because he’s quick and strong. He’s an explosive athlete.”

Richt’s got that last part right.  We’ve all been waiting for Bean to harness his obvious physical talent into becoming a dominant lineman.  Based on what I thought was a terrific performance on his part in the second half of the bowl game against TAMU, I had him pegged as my sleeper to step up and become a major contributor on the offensive line this season.

The good news about the move is that it’s an indication that the coaches are pretty satisfied with the depth on the offensive line, which I would think bodes well for those of us hoping for the successful return of Trinton Sturdivant.  The not-so-good news is that it’s an indication that Grantham is still casting about looking for a good mix of bodies to man the nose position in the 3-4.

Richt mentioned that Anderson was receptive to the move, but also had this to say:

“He knows if we lose a tackle or two offensively, he knows he would have to come back,” Richt said. “Right now, if everybody who’s projected to be healthy will come in healthy and make it through camp and all, we’ll probably keep him on defense.”

I hope this kid doesn’t wind up sharing space in Kiante Tripp’s no-man’s land.


Filed under Georgia Football

27 responses to “The Anderson move

  1. Irishdawg

    Bean’s from my hometown, and I know him, and he’s a good kid, so I really hope this works. He’s the strongest player on the team and is remarkably quick for a guy his size, so this might be a good fit.


  2. Richt-Flair

    Hope he’s got a nasty streak in him. If nose didn’t have the bodies before, it’s got em now. So Anderson, Geathers and Thornton will be the pure ones at that position?


    • 69Dawg

      As a former center I can’t imagine facing Nose guys this size in college. CTG keeps saying 1 gap but he is getting into the 2 gap Nose guys. If these guys collapse the pocket on the usual QB’s our CB’s will be getting the wounded quail passes for sure. The mobile QB’s still scare me some but with OLB’s handling the edge we should be ok.


  3. JasonC

    Your last statement is exactly what I was thinking when I read this.
    I understand system changes cause some shuffling, but I have to say the coaches have done quite a bit of shuffling in recent years and I can’t think of one that has been a huge success.
    The only 2 I can think of were with previous HC’s: Bruce Thorton and Robert Edwards.


  4. Gob

    I wonder how this will affect the “offensive line stability” pre-season meme we’ve all been hearing and taking comfort in.


  5. hailtogeorgia

    Two things:

    1. Was Justin Anderson the same guy who looked absolutely awful on a few drives in the first half of the TAMU game? If I can remember correctly, he (whoever it was) came in the game and within three plays, had atleast one false start and one completely blown assignment. For some reason, it seems like it was Anderson, but I could be wrong.

    2. David Pollack was a pretty good position change…he came in as a fullback.


  6. Charles D.

    Seems like a very strange move, and makes it sound like we don’t have any DT’s ready to go.

    I don’t think they make this move unless they expect Bean to be in the mix to start on defense.

    It’s very rare for an OL to switch to DL and speaks to Bean’s athleticism. I believe Phillip Daniels came to UGA after playing QB in high school and put on 100 lbs. Chris Terry started as a DT and wound up at OT, and most guys go that direction.

    Guess we will see. Hate that CMR threw in the caveat about Bean getting “Tripp-ed.”

    Sometimes I think that CMR needs to hire Ari Fleischer to come in and do media coaching.


  7. Pingback: Justin Anderson Moves to Defense « Football on the Brain

  8. Chuck

    It is fun to speculate about why something happened, but we should keep it in perspective: truth is, we don’t know why; just that it has been reported. maybe the O-line is solid; maybe Searels isn’t happy with Bean’s progress, and the coaches want to use his physical gifts in the next best place; maybe they need a bigger body than they thought at Nose; maybe, maybe, maybe. I have never heard a player complain about a change, so the coaches must have involved them in the decision. We think coaches should win games (and that’s right) but they should also develop players as players, students, people, and a change may be what is best for all. I can’t help but defer to the coaches on this whether it works or not.


  9. Mike

    Just a note of caution. In a 3-4 scheme, the nose guard play is crucial. I assume this guy is not being counted on to be the starter? If so, then breaking in a guy that has not played NG before in a brand new defensive scheme is a recipe for some long afternoons.


    • hailtogeorgia

      I understand what you’re saying, but really, we’re breaking in a guy that hasn’t played NG before in a brand new defensive scheme regardless of who we have lining up across from the center. NG in a 3-4 and defensive tackle in a 4-3 (DeAngelo Tyson) are very different things.


  10. Brian Spaulding

    I like this move. He’s a beast and it looks to me like he has a nasty streak.

    Also, let’s not forget he was worth 2 penalties a game on offense so that should help with that issue as well.


  11. Pingback: DawgsOnline » Anderson on the move

  12. I think the O line is not only solid, but is 2 deep. Moving “Bean” to the DL helps with some of the problem it has with depth. With him & Geathers at nose, maybe Tyson can play more at DE. The D will be ready by season’s start. Bet On It.


  13. Puffdawg

    I am shocked, SHOCKED, I tell you that you were surprised by this. Somebody was all over this back in early February (notice comments on link).

    You should listen to me more often SB! Three months from now I’ll be copying and pasting comments from the healthcare debate!!!


    • Lucky guess. And I see Mac was riding on your coattails. 😉


      • Puffdawg

        My cousin’s girlfriend rode to school with a girl who’s dad got his shoes shined by a guy whose brother knows the former highschool teacher of guy who used to play four square with a recent UGA letterman…


      • Macallanlover

        I am quite comfortable following Puff’s blocking, on most issues anyway. 🙂

        If Bean is one of our true wide-bodies, and has the strength and athleticsm he is reputed to have, this seems a very logical choice. We have no one, repeat zero folks, with experience at the NG position going into 2010. Bean was unlikely to make a large contribution at OL unless we encounter another of those mind-boggling injury streaks we seem to hit every 2-3 years. OL is our biggest, and deepest, strength area if you roll TE into the analysis. Small downside, and a decent percentage bet for the staff to make, imo. I hope we can add him to the list of “trans-genders” who make a huge impact at UGA.

        It is also getting comfortable when I find myself on the other side of issues from SB. Makes me revisit my opinion when I am playing 2nd chair and sitting at your table these days. I fully understand if you feel the same sir.


        • Can’t say I do, Mac. You often post things I agree with. It’s just that it’s more fun to respond to the other stuff. 😉


          • Macallanlover

            True dat. It makes for lively banter as we all wait patiently (not) on what we all can agree on, and love so much. Then the dissection can start all over again. The odd thing about this group is the Monday Morning QBs don’t usually agree during the season, and even if they do, they would rather fight about the next game/season than heal the wounds by slapping each other on the back in agreement.

            Even the off-seasons are interesting with the characters you have assembled. When I look at the calendar, I get depressed wondering how I will make it, but when I sign on there is always another subject, or two, that requires some research of the memory bank, or other sites. Good stuff.


            • Puffdawg

              I must confess that my search engine is worn out from trying to keep up with the ad hocs and quid pro quos of the board. Pesky lawyers.

              Can we all sing around the camp fire now?


              • Macallanlover

                Not being of that persuasion, and leaving my naive idealism behind me long ago, I cannot follow you there, Puff. But feel free to come out of the closet if you wish. In this day of YouTube and IPhones it will certainly be recorded and noted for posterity.


    • NRBQ

      Heaven help us.


  14. Hoshney

    Our OL was average as HELL last year and should be better this year though I am not as confident that it will be “great” like many of our fans think it will be

    We still have some guys with 1-2 years of experience on the OL though they can blow plays like crazy


  15. Puffdawg

    By the way, speaking of personnel changes in the offseason, I’m kind of surprised we haven’t heard more about Durham. He’s not a change per se, but his presence will be every bit as important this season as the solid TE rotation we’ll have. He probably isn’t a game breaker, but he’ll provide a lot of stability in the wake of the loss of Moore.