Mark Richt’s assessment of the new defensive scheme strikes me as being realistic:
“The 3-4 is a good aggressive, attacking style and it’s one where we have enough personnel to run it effectively,” Richt said. “The question is, how well will we do it, how many mistakes will we make along the way, and when we make the mistakes, what’s it going to cost us? On the other end, hopefully we’re going to pressure people enough to get them to turn the ball over more than we did a year ago.”
One thing to hope for is that the increased emphasis on fundamentals offsets some of the costs of mistakes from the change of scheme. Which is what I think Richt is getting at with this quote:
… Richt said the game plan for now is to build a foundation this summer, then throw as much of the new defensive playbook at the players as possible during the first few weeks of fall camp. About two weeks before the season opener, coaches will pare down the plays and come up with a game plan that will hopefully be a bit easier to implement on game day. For now, however, Richt said he’s taking more solace in the impressive approach his coaches and players have shown this offseason and worrying less about the new scheme.
“It’s not so much what you run as how you run it,” Richt said. “I think Todd has got a presence about him that guys respect, and I think we’re going to get after it.”
I’m not sure what’s funnier, watching the SEC pundits try to rank this year’s group of starting quarterbacks or their ranking of the coaches. Actually, skip that – with Finebaum’s howler of a column today, it’s the latter. Here’s what he has to say about his third-best coach in the conference:
3. Bobby Petrino (Arkansas): After a stunning 41-9 mark at Louisville, fans are still waiting for Petrino to put it all together at Arkansas. On paper, his record in Fayetteville (13-12, 5-11 SEC) is unimpressive. However, fans believe this could be the year the greatness of Petrino comes out again.
By that standard, Dan Hawkins is poised on the brink of becoming one of Finebaum’s five best coaches in America.
Here’s another special teams matter in Athens that looks to be settled.
… Logan Gray appears likely to continue his role of receiving punts in field-position situations where returns are not set up; his job in this capacity is to decide whether to fair-catch the punt or let the ball go.
For those of you who have your panties in a wad about exposing A.J. Green to injury by letting him field punts – a group that Mark Richt isn’t included in, by the way – how do you feel about putting your backup quarterback (at least for now) in a similar position?
I was going to make a snarky comment about how a certain game from 2005 was missing from the list in this post, but after a careful reading, I think there’s a bigger point to be raised: has any program managed to gain national prominence as quickly as Boise State has on such a thin resume?
This is a team that’s made its bones on dominating a weak regular season schedule year after year (as far as I can tell, BSU boasts exactly one regular season road game win against a BCS-conference opponent – a game that didn’t make that list for some strange reason – rarely plays a ranked school during the regular season and since 2001 has only played two BCS-conference opponents in the same season once) combined with two BCS wins against one of the most notorious postseason underachievers of the past decade and another mid-major program.
And, hey, good on ’em for getting where they are. But when I compare BSU’s resume with what programs like Florida State, Miami and Virginia Tech have done to become national contenders, it’s not as strong.
Which isn’t to say necessarily that the Broncos don’t deserve to be on the national stage this year. But if they don’t beat get Zabransky’d by Virginia Tech in this year’s opener, perhaps those holding the program out as élite shouldn’t be too surprised if there’s a fair amount of disagreement about that evaluation.
The DaVaris Daniels recruiting saga – more accurately, the Phillip Daniels saga, since dad is the one doing all the public posturing – grows more uncomfortable by the day. I’m by no means a recruiting guru, so maybe someone who is can explain whether Phillip Daniels’ stance is a reasonable one.
… This is about Phillip Daniels’ frustration with the recruiting process, specifically with regard to his alma mater. He believes the Bulldogs should have offered his son by now based on his high school production, his video and the fact that Phillip Daniels is his father.
Meanwhile, we know Georgia is fully aware of DaVaris Daniels. The Bulldogs are actively recruiting him. He has been invited to past and upcoming camps, though he has yet to attend any.
Georgia, of course, can’t comment on recruits per NCAA rules. But clearly it must have some sort of reservations or else they would have offered by now.
The reservations seem to center around not having seen DaVaris Daniels in person to evaluate him.
… The main holdback seems to be the fact that DaVaris Daniels hasn’t been on a visit or attended a camp at Georgia. That, Phillip said, has been an issue.
“Their Junior Day, we got a letter the week it was happening inviting him,” he said. “With my schedule, that’s not good. I’m in D.C. at least four days a week. Between his schedule and my schedule there’s a lot of conflicts. I’ve got to have some time to work things out. But all they have to say is, ‘Phil, can you bring your son down?’”
You can’t question Phillip’s devotion to the program and that’s certainly to his credit. DaVaris seems to have the credentials to play at a big-time D-1 program. But you have to wonder if this public airing of grievances is in the best interests of either the program or the player, no matter how well-intentioned. After Texas Tech, I can’t imagine there’s a coach out there that isn’t privately concerned about any parent willing to push his perceptions of a son’s treatment to the press. Here’s hoping that this situation works out to everyone’s satisfaction.
Here’s one of the weirder analogies you’ll hear from the recruiting trail:
Safety Pat Martin from J.L. Mann High School in Greenville, S.C., took a visit to Tennessee last weekend. He left Knoxville favoring the Vols. In fact, he fell in love so much with UT that he “married” the Vols.
“I see it as this: Tennessee is my wife, the other schools are my girlfriends,” Martin told VolNation.com. “It’s going to take a lot to get me to divorce my wife. I’ll be back to Tennessee twice in July, once early and later in the month.”
Dude, just beware. Those long-distance romances can put a strain on any relationship.
And it’s not like your wife hasn’t done her share of flirting before.
So Tennessee has had its midlife crisis. It purchased that sports car, dyed its hair, lusted after the young blond. It was fun while it lasted, I suppose. Now Tennessee has to pick up the pieces: reconnect with an old friend — put Phil Fulmer’s name up somewhere, anywhere — clean last season from the memory banks and move forward with a new flame, this one more willing to connect for the long-term than last year’s flavor of the month.