Proposing alternate theories to the crime

We had a… ahem… lengthy discussion yesterday about what Richt might be up to by closing fall practices to the media.  Here are a couple of follow-up thoughts to that, both along the lines that Richt is simply breasting his cards so that he doesn’t tip his hand to Boise State’s coaches (okay, I’m done beating the poker metaphors to death now).

First, if you haven’t seen this quote from Richard Samuel in yesterday’s AJ-C, it’s worth a look:

Q: Surely some things have changed. How much would you say is different?

A: I’d just say the signals mainly; actually the whole play-calling situation. We’re doing a lot of no-huddle and a lot of high-tempo stuff, and that’s new to us. There are a lot of sight adjustments, so you have to be paying attention and focused and listening and hurrying up.

If that’s the case, that’s a big change from season’s past, when Richt wanted to control the tempo of a game as much as possible.  That would indicate two things to me:  one, Aaron Murray knows more and more what to do and two, Richt likes what he’s seeing out of the defense.

The other thing I wonder about is the shake up at safety.

Georgia ‘s starters at safety for the Boise State game are now set, and Bacarri Rambo isn’t one of them.

Richt said for the first time this preseason what some players have already said — that converted cornerback Sanders Commings and Shawn Williams are the starters at the position.

Richt called Commings “our No. 1 safety right now along with Shawn.”

Rambo was a starter last season when he finished second on the team in tackles with 82 and tied for the team lead with three interceptions. His second-team role has prompted uncertainty about his status.

“He’s done well,” Richt said. “They’re good football players. … With Sanders ability to play both, it just gives us better depth, but Rambo’s done well.”

There’s been a lot of speculation that Rambo’s been in somebody’s dog house, although to date none of that has been substantiated.  What if there’s a much less sinister possibility – that Grantham and Lakatos favor safeties with better coverage skills than Martinez did?  I’m not saying for certain that’s what’s going on here, but it’s not an unreasonable premise.  And as much as I like certain things Rambo brings to the table, there’s no question he whiffed a good bit in pass coverage last season.

Your thoughts?


Filed under Georgia Football

31 responses to “Proposing alternate theories to the crime

  1. I wanna Red Cup

    I would like to think that someone just worked harder and played better and that is why Rambo lost his starting job. If that is true, then this bodes well for this season and beyond. Keeping my fingers crossed that competition at practice and making guys earn starting time is the new rule of the day. I think Washan left because he wanted to be handed the job and was afraid of the competition he was going to face with Crowell.


  2. Spence

    Agree. Rambo underwhelmed last year, and there is a new emphasis on leadership and merit-based earning of a position. Not saying that he lacks those qualities, but the maybe the coaches think so.

    Sometimes I wonder if he was really that good as a freshman, or if it was just a comparison to Evans.


  3. TennesseeDawg

    I don’t see the big deal in Richt closing practices. I would if I were the coach of any team. I’m looking for the possible fake handoff/deep bomb pass on the 1st offensive play then hurry up from then on out.


  4. DawgFaithful

    Yes he blows assignments in the passing game but Rambo is talented. For some reason these coaches feel like they need to light a fire under his ass. Has Shawn Williams really gotten that much better? Last year he was splitting time with Hamilton, now he’s the bonafide starter over Rambo. What about Rambo at the other safetie position playing beside Cummings? Maybe Rambo’s not doing things the “Georgia Way”. I hope it works. We’re gonna need him if this B. Smith foot injury turns out to be worse than day-to-day. Most day-to-day injuries so far summer have been. I just cant see starting a true freshman at corner with Rambo on the benc


  5. Joe

    Nice luxury to have a former starter coming off the bench. It really is all good if he was beaten out.


    • Macallanlover

      That is my position too. Not only that, if Rambo is the competitor we have thought he is, that will be one determined young man when he is on the field trying to earn his spot back. I like it, like it a lot. Too many get hung up with the “starter” tag, there is playing time a plenty for all positions, With the exception of kickers and QBs, running new players onto the field is a part of big-time CFB these days. Which is why whether Crowell or Samuel gets the first snap is not going to determine anything significant about this year’s team. Truly becoming more of a “team” game than ever before.


  6. The Original Cynical in Athens

    Sanders Commings was arguably UGA’s best CB in several games last year. The kid has the skills to play MLB baseball. He is a big-time athlete for whom the light has totally come on. Not that big of stretch to say that he is simply the best DB on the club and that his skills need to be on the field somewhere.
    Safety play has been below mediocre for several years running, and while

    Rambo looked great as a freshman, that may have had a lot to do with the fact that he was subbing for the worst DB of the Richt era. I can’t see how this is anything other than a fantastic sign that quality depth is returning to the defensive backfield. It’s hard to remember the days when Greg Blue played a reserve role until his redshirt junior year, but hopefully those days are returning.


  7. Chip Bankhead

    With a lot of new/different pieces on offense, I am hopeful they’ve been working on a lot of new/different formations. I would like to think they’re experimenting with match-ups to against a 4-2-5 D. “Hurry up” has become one of those eye rolling terms of the Richt era for me, so we’ll see whatever that means.


  8. LRGK9

    Can you say “Wheel Riute?”


  9. LRGK9

    Emm – Wheel Route


  10. SouthGa Dawg

    On Richt and the offense, FSU was no huddle throughout the 90s. People have a misconception thinking that Richt is tied to a certain offensive scheme (sprint draw on 1st down…). Dooly ran the veer in the 70s then converted to the I with Herschel. Smart coaches adapt to their personnel.


    • Will (the other one)

      I think a no huddle would also say they feel better about the WR situation than we do, as you need at least 6 WRs you can count on to do no huddle well.


    • Stoopnagle

      Some might recall he brought that tempo with him to Georgia, but Phil Fulmer complained to the SEC (supposedly) and policies were implemented that slowed it down. That is, until Urban Meyer showed up and then it was a good thing.

      or maybe I misremember?


      • Cojones

        Yes, Greene ran it a lot. It is like putting the 2-minute drill to each O series. Don’t know about the name association, but had a sense of the change and timelines. And don’t begin to claim the misremember title I have earned fully on this blog!
        ( If memory serves me right.)


    • Hogbody Spradlin

      Picking nits SouthGa, but we switched from veer to I in 78. 77 was a gawdauful year (5-6).

      You’re right about the personnel thing though. The I formation was tailor made for Willie McClendon, conference player of the year in 78, and true freshman Buck Belue frequently came in handy. The 20 point comeback in the 78 Tech game was a glorious moment.


  11. W Cobb Dawg

    I agree with others that Commings is just the better player. I don’t believe there’s an agenda behind the change. With the incoming dream team talent, I think we’ll continue to see some younger backups emerge as starters during the season. Won’t surprise me to see Drew displace C.Wash. Swann, Marshall, Moore, Herrera, etc. – a lot of talent fighting for playing time. it’s a good problem to have.


  12. AusDawg85

    Xon, can your alter-ego research the recruiting rankings of our corners over the Richt era, then find a really good defensive stat ratio that surely proves Rambo is the greatest corner of all time? Of course, anyone who refutes this is a hidden gator fan.

    /pot stirred
    /misses JDawg for sheer laughs
    /notices Senator is hovering over ban button…shuts-up for rest of the day


    • Cojones

      AusDawg, you’re just being a pisser, but you’re funny at it. The Senator gives a well-deserved “Harruump” from time to time, but it is usually needed(in my case at least) to prevent bloggers from running away from his premise which is usually spot-on(except where I disagree with him). Lately, I find myself siding with him , but you have to know the kick I am getting from inserting a flake of paranoia in his mind (“Harruump, the last thing I need when trying to keep a blog on point is this clown taking my side. What’s he up to?”).

      So it goes in the early days of our dimentia.


    • Xon

      I’m sorry I was away yesterday and missed my chance to capitalize on this.


  13. 69Dawg

    Rambo was second on the team in tackles, this says more about the D than anything else. If your safety is making that many tackles somebody up front is not doing the job. Rambo appeared to take any fake offered by the O and the long pass to the LA Laf TE was a glaring example of being faked out of his jock.


  14. Hesitant

    What’s been missing in all the speculation about Rambo missing time is the fact that he has been hesitant since the hit in the auburn game that knocked him out. Whether it’s fear of another concussion (understandable) or something else, he allows the ball carriers to come into his grasp rather than laying wood on them. He registered a lot of tackles because our D line allowed a lot of players through and he was in good position. We had no one that the coaches had confidence to replace him with last year though, and now we do.


    • Cojones

      Beat me to it. Was going to make that concussion point plus Moore having a penchant for throwing accurately downfield and more often than other QBs. Makes his living on short ones over the middle, but we should be (and I think are being) wary of his long ball.


  15. doofusdawg

    maybe defensive coaches want to get the best 11 on the field in terms of match ups against who we play… boise is smaller and they throw more… lattimore will try to run between the tackles… my bet is that rambo is already slated to start against carolina.


  16. ScoutDawg

    Does anybody remember Rambo being carried off of the field, looking like he was heading to the MORGUE. OR the game saving play he made on that very play? Who knows how long it takes to recover from a hit like that physically, as well as mentally. I think we are going to have one hell of a defensive backfield this year, Rambo included.


  17. Butthead

    hahahahaha…you said “breasting”


  18. The Watergirl

    Im having a mental flashback of David Greene running down the field with his left hand motioning for no huddle. We were at our best when our offenses were quick hitting and got into rythmn. Last couple of years we have been going at a snails pace and its time for a change


  19. Anon

    What I read from that is, maybe, just maybe, the coaches are trying to put the best players on the field after all. I don’t know if this has been said already or not. Coach said Rambo is still doing good, but maybe they feel Commings is something really special. So they move Rambo to second string to make way for someone they feel is truly a difference maker and not just a good player. Does thatmake sense?