No offense, but Kirk Olivadotti must have been watching a different special teams program than the one I saw last year. For once, the stats don’t lie.
Given the rules and the absence of the two freshmen likely to start at punter and placekicker, there wasn’t anything for us to see at G-Day, but it’s nice to hear that special teams have been on Mark Richt’s mind this offseason.
“The goal in the spring for the special teams was to get a lot of guys involved and do a lot of drill work that will help us. First of all, evaluate, ‘Can a guy do what we’re going to ask him to do. Can he get off a block. Can he tackle in space? Can he protect a kick?’ ” coach Mark Richt said. “We were just wanting everybody to understand that everybody and anybody could end up on a special team — a starter, a second-teamer, whatever it is.”
Unfortunately, there won’t be anything close to a finished product until fall practice kicks in (see what I did there?). There’s a lot left to do to get ready.
“My guess is, we will have more live kicking reps in the fall than we’ve had in a while,” Richt said. “Some of that is because we’re going to be breaking in a new punter and a new kicker. They need to be under pressure as much as possible, and it’s hard to create that pressure unless you’re doing some live situations.”
Georgia consulted with college and pro coaches this offseason.
Olivadotti indicated that the kickoff-coverage team will have changes in personnel “just because guys will have different roles. We talked to some different people and brought some different ideas in, but it wasn’t a wholesale change about what we did. Sometimes you bring people in and you realize that you’re kind of doing stuff the right way. You can pick up little things that help you.”
I only hope I’m not coming out of Sanford after the Buffalo game saying that level of special teams play isn’t going to cut it against Missouri.