More thoughts from Mark Richt about a hybrid defense:
Q: Did you have to redo a lot of things with the defensive staff took over with [Lorenzo Carter]?
A: I think he was excited about Jeremy (Pruitt) coming in and was kind of wondering who his position coach was going to be. When (Tracy) Rocker was able to help him understand that’s kind of what Rocks been doing. He coaches four down linemen. Like I was trying to explain earlier, the way we run our 3-4 is identical to how people run their 4-3. Other than our end man to the line to the weakside is in an up position and a lot of other people just put his hand in the ground and go. The other thing he realized is when people go to a three-receiver set, a four-receiver set, which is mostly what we see now, we’re in what we call nickel and once we’re in our nickel look, usually we have four down linemen. Those guys that were outside linebackers are a lot of times on the line of scrimmage rushing and a lot of things we’ll do if he’s more comfortable rushing with his hand on the ground, we’ll do that. If he’s more comfortable rushing staying in a two-point stand. It’s like Jarvis (Jones) liked to be in a two-point stand. Jeremy, this is Jeremy now, he kind of wants them to be in the position they like the most that they’re the most comfortable in. There are sometimes when you play zone read teams where you’ve got to read that quarterback exchange and you’re trying to be in position to see what you’re doing, we’ll probably be more up in a game like that. There are certain games where you’ll play a prototypical pocket passer, you’ll probably put your hand on the ground.”
It sounds like they’re trying to adapt themselves to the current reality of college offenses, which is that variety rules. The snide part of me says that might be a concept harder for a former NFL guy to grasp.
Interestingly, though, Richt goes on to say that there’s always been some form of this adaptability at work in Georgia’s defensive schemes.
Q: So would you call Carter a defensive end or outside linebacker?
A: It’s a slash really. Because even when (David) Pollack was here, he was a defensive end the way we termed but if we brought a certain blitz, like fire zones people talk about. You bring a sam and mike linebacker strong and Pollack’s on the backside, he’d drop into coverage but he’d drop from his hand on the ground. Now, Lorenzo or a guy like that or what Jarvis was doing, he’d be in the up stance and drop or rush. That position even when (Todd) Grantham was here, it was about a 90 percent rush guy. The will was a rusher. He would drop on occasion.”
Yeah, and I cringed every time I saw Floyd do that this past season. Hopefully that gets coached up this year.
(And before anyone asks, no, I don’t think it means anything that Richt refers to his current DC by his first name and his former DC by his last one. But feel free to suspect otherwise.)