Seth Emerson touches on something that deserves more attention as we try to evaluate the defense’s chances this season:
5. Front seven: Rotate like crazy up front, but not in the back
Defensive line coach Chris Wilson has a lot of unproven but intriguing options, and he’s vowed to use them. In fact, he refuses to categorize guys as nose tackles or end. He also may have more than just three spots available, if Todd Grantham emphasizes playing a 4-2-5. So it’s a sound strategy to go six, seven, eight deep on the line, whatever it takes.
Absolutely! I think… okay, more accurately, I hope that some of the problems Georgia had defending the run last season were depth-related on the line and that committing to a rotation this season will help offset the departure of so many defensive starters. I don’t know how much of what we saw last year was related to Abry Jones’ going out for much of the year and how much was due to Garner’s idea of who should play and how much, but it was clear to me that Jenkins and Geathers weren’t suited to be on the field for as many plays as they were deployed in the second half of the season.
I was encouraged by what I saw out of the linemen at this past G-Day. There’s more talent than I expected and if Wilson can really fashion a decent rotation of players that keeps them fresh throughout a game, the defense may surprise us by turning out to be more stout against the run than anticipated. It’s definitely one of the big things to watch in the opener.