I was a little surprised with some of the hostility I saw in the comments to my post about cutting off media access to spring practice. Unlike some of you, I guess, I see value in what the beat writers are able to glean from their steady observation of the team this time of year. A good example of what I’m talking about comes from this Seth Emerson post, where he describes a difference in approach to the G-Day game by Grantham and Pruitt:
That doesn’t mean G-Day won’t be worth watching. Most eyes will be on Jeremy Pruitt and the defense, trying to divine the noticeable changes he has wrought. I’ll have a story later in the week focusing more on this, but here’s my early guess on how Pruitt will handle G-Day:
– Plenty of players seeing the field, with playing time distributed fairly evenly. And if the first few weeks of spring practice are any indication, there will be some surprises on the initial first- and second-teams.
– Pruitt will focus less on pure stats and results and more on effort and fundamentals. That’s been his obvious focus the first few weeks, and he doesn’t appear to be in any rush to pick starters.
There could be something else at work here: The last few years of Todd Grantham’s tenure, there seemed an unstated but real competition between Grantham and Bobo. That’s not very unusual for a football team, and not necessarily unhealthy.
Still, it was obvious last year that Grantham and his staff were very happy to do well on G-Day and most of the other scrimmages. But now you have a much different dynamic on staff, which could lend to Pruitt and co. not caring if their defense gives up a few more first downs, as long as it means overall progress, at least in their eyes.
That bit about “an unstated but real competition between Grantham and Bobo”? Yeah, that. If that’s gone, how will that color your perception of what comes out of Saturday?