Some really juicy stuff from Chip Towers’ piece about the defense a week into spring practice:
3. Some of the early beneficiaries from the defensive coaching change appear to be Langley, Johnson and Floyd.
- Langley, a 6-1, 181-pound sophomore out of Marietta, started the first four games of last season as a true freshman but barely played and never started the rest of the way. He finished with just 12 tackles and 2 pass break-ups.
- Likewise, due to a number of factors, Johnson played only a bit role last season after coming to Georgia as one of the top junior college prospects in the country. First, he was playing behind Garrison Smith. Secondly, he was coming off knee surgery and dealt with some other nagging injuries throughout the season. But he’s healthy and a svelte 305 pounds now and the new coaches love his athleticism.
- The new staff feels Floyd was under-utilized last season. The 6-4, 220-pound sophomore started eight games and played in all 13 as a true freshman and his 6.5 sacks led the team. But Floyd was often got subbed out of games based on down-and-distance. The belief is he may the best overall defensive player on the team. [Emphasis added.] Expect Floyd to stay on the field more under Pruitt’s watch.
Well, now. I loved Floyd for his pass rushing skills, obviously. And he got better as the year went along setting the edge against the option (before you go there, better is not the same thing as great). But he looked lost in pass coverage, which is a big reason he was subbed out. If he’s gotten a handle on that, look out.
This, too, is
Dawg Porn of the first order interesting.
Much has been made about Pruitt’s intense demeanor on the practice field and he’s definitely very vocal in his coaching methods. But less has probably been made about why he’s that way. Not saying it’s better or worse, but former defensive coordinator Todd Grantham and most of his assistants (line coach Chris Wilson was very vocal) were more cerebral in their practice approach. They’d have their call sheets and go over them repeatedly with their respective positions players. Pruitt is clearly more technique oriented. His emphasis appears to be more about executing fewer sets well than trying to perfect multiple sets. [Emphasis added.] It won’t be until well into the fall before we know how the Bulldogs respond and perform. But coach Mark Richt and defensive players already have remarked about communication is better and there is less confusion over calls, particularly when the offense is in hurry-up mode.