Fundamentally, it never hurts.

Regardless of Newton’s playing status tomorrow, he’s responsible for at least this:

… Georgia defensive coordinator Todd Grantham has worked his players more this week than usual on tackling to prepare for Newton.

“When you do tackle him, he’s a big guy and he can make guys miss,” Grantham said. “You’ve got to pursue. You’ve got to make sure when you get on him that you wrap him up and you kind of hang on a little bit.”

He added: “You’ve got to accelerate your feet. You can’t let your feet die, because he’s a big guy. You’ve got to be aware he’s a stiff-arm tackler because when you come in to tackle him, he’s going to use his off hand because he’s a big, strong guy.”

If you’re a Georgia defensive coordinator, you can never work your guys too much on tackling.

Maybe sweating the small stuff is another reason, in a year that’s on pace to become the second highest scoring one of all time in D-1, that Georgia’s ranking in scoring defense has improved from 63rd in 2009 to 23rd so far this season.



Filed under Georgia Football

22 responses to “Fundamentally, it never hurts.

  1. Rick

    Although I would point out that it being the highest scoring season of college football makes it, if anything, *easier* to be ranked higher in scoring defense.

    Improving ~7 ppg over 2009 in such a year, however, is certainly encouraging.


    • I’m not sure why that’s the case. If scoring is up, that should mean that defensive scoring would reflect that as a general rule. To move up forty slots nationally would seem to indicate that Grantham’s defense is swimming against the tide.


      • Rick

        You wipe that out by using a “rank” as your metric. If scoring went up 10,000 ppg uniformly, each team’s rank would be unaffected.

        I can buy “swimming against the tide”, though, given that our scoring defense is down while the average is up.


        • I get what you’re saying. I wasn’t trying to use rank as a metric so much as give some context for a season in which Georgia has shown dramatic improvement in keeping other teams from scoring.


  2. Jace Walden

    Well, the record scoring could be a product of awful defenses as easily as it could be a product of higher octane offenses. Rick’s point is valid.


  3. The Realist

    Is it really a shock to anyone that the 2010 defense, with new scheme and all, is actually better than a WillieMart & Co. defense? I always thought I could do better… and I have to buy a ticket and get most of my technical knowledge from smartfootball & the like.


  4. gatriguy

    I’m truly convinced that in college football, the key to a good defense is attention to details much more than scheme anyway. BVG’s defenses weren’t schematically brilliant, but he would not tolerate missed tackles.


    • Biggus Rickus

      He also had four of the best defensive players Georgia’s seen in the last twenty years in ’03: Pollack, Thurman, Davis and Jones. Add in a few other future NFLers and the defenses from ’02-’04 were loaded. Whether it’s been lack of development or bad player evaluation, they haven’t had that kind of talent since.


      • AthensHomerDawg

        In truth…Pollack as a D player kinda fell in their lap?


      • gatriguy

        No doubt about that 03 defense. As for pure talent though, pretty tough to top the 2000 defense. Off the top of my head: Seymour, Stroud, Charles Grant, Jonathon Sullivan, Will Witherspoon, Kentrall Bell, Tim Wansley, Jermaine Phillips. I saw it broken down one time, every started on the 2000 defense played in the NFL. Biggest pissing away of talent ever.


    • W Cobb Dawg

      You’d have a tough time finding D coaches who can scheme better than BVG. He was easily the most irreplaceable assistant coach Dawgs have had since Erk.


  5. Ben

    This is both discouraging and encouraging. At the risk of being “that guy”, our coaches always told us, “head up, face in the numbers, lock your arms, drive your feet”. Now, these coaches were old school, raised on the idea that water was a reward for good play instead of, you know, a necessity of life.

    How this basic fundamental of tackling has not been taught and reinforced in really troubling. It’s also discouraging that this might not be getting taught to kids coming out.


  6. W Cobb Dawg

    Dawgs D has come a long way since last year – much more than expected. They’ve kept things close enough to win even the toughest games. We simply don’t have the talent to completely shut down opponents. Yes, there’s some tackling problems – and those 3rd down & long conversions drive ya nuts. But the O has been the big letdown.

    However, CTG needs to get busy on the recruiting trail. We’ve only got verbals from 3 front-7 players.


  7. Macallanlover

    We had better “accelerate our feet”, the only way to stop Cecil’s little boy is to hit him before he gets started and make him a tree that can be toppled. From what I have seen, once he gets rolling he is a bad dude. Our tackling of big folks, based on our game in Columbia, is not encouraging.