Hot, hot heat

Here’s something to chew over.

In the estimation of first-year defensive coordinator Jeremy Pruitt, the 6-4, 230-pound Floyd was the most under-utilized talent on Georgia’s defense last season. Even so, the sophomore from Eastman managed to start eight games and collect 55 tackles and 6.5 sacks. Pruitt wants more out of Floyd.

Hopefully that will start with Pruitt not having Floyd drop into coverage, where he looked like a fish out of water last year.

Now, it’s drool time.

[Lorenzo] Carter, as it turns out, may allow the Bulldogs to do just that. Carter’s incredible physical prowess and 4.6 speed has allowed Georgia to put him into situations in which they’d normally be counting on Floyd. That, in turn, allows the Bulldogs to move Floyd around and play a game of “Find 84” with opposing offensive lines.

That’s not to mention Jenkins, who at 6-3, 252 has lost 20 pounds since the end of last season and is moving around better than ever. He plays the new “Jack” defensive end position that usually lines up opposite the Sam.

“He looks like a totally different player from the spring and some of last year’s game to now,” Sherrer said. “He’s a lot quicker, he’s a lot more explosive, he’s made a lot more plays. He struggled to finish some before; he was right there but just couldn’t finish. Now he’s finishing some plays. He’s playing with more confidence and he’s had a sensational camp.”

If you’re Pruitt – hell, if you’re me – you know the best way to protect a shaky secondary is to generate a fierce pass rush.  Given that the best rusher on the d-line seems to be in the coaches’ doghouse, where do you turn to generate the heat you need?  So, will Pruitt get creative with the deployment of his OLBs?  Does he have a choice?


Filed under Georgia Football

47 responses to “Hot, hot heat

  1. Any ideas how you get all three on the field at the same time? My thoughts are 3-3-5 in a third and long with Jenkins down at weak side end, carter and Floyd at olb; drop any one of the three and send pressure with the other two.

    I don’t see Floyd moving inside.


    • **My thoughts are 3-3-5 in a third and long with Jenkins down at weak side end, carter and Floyd at olb; **

      That should work. Which brings up a good question, and that is, when we’re in Nickel, how much will we see 4-2-5, and how much will we see 3-3-5? I have no idea, but it’ll be interesting to see. There’s a pretty big difference, especially on the LOS.

      • Why only send two of them. On third and longs take your chances with 5 in coverage and send 6. The other team either has to keep in at least 1 blocker making it 6 rushers and 6 blockers, that means Floyd, Jenkins, and Carter all with 1v1 matchups and only one of them has to win to disrupt the play. That still would leave 5 to cover 4. If they keep more into block our numbers advantage in the secondary get even better. Sure you would give up the occasionaly big play but we did that last year dropping 8. At least this we we make as many big plays as we give up. Obviously not every 3rd and long but to me that would be the gameplan more often than not.

        • Beware the draw. Plus send only 2 of the three makes for a blocking nightmare: unpredictability.

        • Rebar

          This is where the wheel route comes in that has always killed us, sending six and leaving the underneath open to the crossing pattern of linebacker trying to keep up with someone running full bore. I hope they have learned from Pruitt that position and passion equals perfection.

    • adam

      Some of the media guys have seen Floyd practicing inside. I think that could seriously happen. And it may be him instead of Ramik. It could explain all the comments about how the depth chart is meaningless.

  2. Interesting. My 2 cents…..

    If you’re going to have Carter, Floyd, and Jenkins on the field at the same time, then I’d expect to see Floyd at an ILB position in certain situations. Not necessarily as a Will or Mike all the time, but perhaps Money, which often lines up like an ILB when we’re in Nickel.

    Floyd is good enough against the run to play inside. Not saying Carter isn’t, but I don’t see him playing inside. Jenkins is the Jack, so him either. It would be Floyd, IMO, and I’d expect Pruitt to move him around inside the box.

    We know Floyd is a threat off the LOS. So we know he’d be a threat with a head of steam if Pruitt sends him. And he has the speed to run plays down, which is key to playing inside.

    • South FL Dawg

      I like this. And we’re down a concussed guy inside anyway.

      My takeaway from this is that Pruitt is focused on talent whereas Grantham was focused on scheme.

      • Pruitt is focused on talent whereas Grantham was focused on scheme.

        Interesting observation. It think there’s a great deal of truth to it.

      • My takeaway from this is that Pruitt is focused on talent whereas Grantham was focused on scheme.

        The guy who wouldn’t substitute, who frequently proclaimed he wanted his eleven best on the field at any time, was more focused on scheme than talent? I’m not buying that.

        • Why not? Just curious. Grantham played favorites – big time.

          • That’s the point. Playing favorites isn’t about scheme. It’s about the talent, a lot of which he recruited.

            If you want to talk about the biggest difference between the two, so far it looks like communicative skills.

            • FWIW, I don’t consider Grantham a good judge of talent. I think he’s very biased in that regard. And I don’t think talent, in and of itself, was why he played the favorites game.

              We’ve seen enough already to demonstrate that, IMO, since Pruitt opened things up to everybody.

              • I do think their teaching skills, which is primarily communication, is like night and day. Grantham is a lousy teacher, or was at Georgia.

              • We disagree on his ability to evaluate talent. But that, again, is not the point. I don’t understand why you guys believe he focused on scheme.

                • Actually, talent is not the best word. I should have said football player, which is more than just raw talent. But I still don’t consider him a good judge of talent.

                • I don’t understand why you guys believe he focused on scheme.

                  I’m really surprised at that. Because I know you know your stuff. I’ll give it a quick go. Two examples:

                  Why did he leave Herrera on the second-level island by himself in 3rd-&-long situations? Because Herrera was fast, quick, and could cover like a blanket?

                  Why did he call defenses that put our ILB’s 7 yards deep and called for them to read and react from there, without firing, when the situation was 3rd and 3? Because he had so much confidence in our DL to handle two double teams and stop the play without help?

                  Now these are crazy questions, but they’re honest. These situations occurred repeatedly. The only reason I can think of, that would cause Grantham to do something so stupid, is he was married to his system and his favorites, and put that above winning the play itself.

                  I can think of no other. If there’s a legitimate answer, I’d sure love to hear it.

                  • Herrera played because he was the one guy who knew the signals.

                    I can point you to plenty of situations last season when the ILBs were deployed differently than you described.

                    I’m not trying to defend Grantham here. But I just don’t see enough of a difference in scheme between two guys who use 3-4 as a base but play plenty of 4-2-5 in a pinch, even if they have different ideas about the type of players they might deploy.

                    • I think I get your point, and it’s a valid one.

                      But I would say, other than the structural base, there’s not a lot of similarity in these two systems. One is aggressive, the other passive. One is read-and-react, the other is attack. One is a back-to-front-concept, the other is front-to-back. One prefers size, the other speed, quickness and agility. And so on.

                      Sp Pruitt’s system is built on those concepts and philosophies, which are very different from Grantham’s. I don’t know how much different it’ll look when we line up, probably not that much. But it should look very different once that ball is snapped.

                      That’s just my take. Like everybody else, I’m just waiting to see it.

                    • adam

                      Grantham’s problem was never that he wasn’t aggressive enough. His scheme was not read and react and he blitzed like crazy. He was very aggressive.

                      Pruitt’s defense is built back-to-front in that he is a DB coach and wants us solid in pass defense and coverage first and foremost. Grantham, a DL and OLB coach, wanted to stop the run up front above all else and try to play good coverage behind a good front. Both of those can work – the 2011 defense that Grantham coached was very good most of the time.

                      Wanting faster players vs wanting bigger players is not a difference in scheme, it’s a difference in personnel philosophy. But even then… Grantham moved Ogletree to ILB because he wanted a rangy guy there. He just wanted guys who looked like NFL players coming out of high school and Pruitt is ok with taking smaller guys who can run and letting them grow and gain size in college.

                    • Again, I’m not questioning that there are clear differences in the two coaches’ approaches.

                      I just don’t understand the assertion that Grantham was focused on scheme and Pruitt is focused on personnel.

                    • I just don’t understand the assertion that Grantham was focused on scheme and Pruitt is focused on personnel.

                      That’s far too cut-&-dry, too broad of a sweep, in itself, and that may be what you’re having trouble swallowing. If so, you’re right not to. My response to SFD was that I thought there was some truth to it. And I do. But of course they both focus on scheme, and they both focus on personnel.

                      It’s just that Pruitt seems to be more flexible and open-minded when it comes to his personnel than Grantham was. And much more flexible when it comes to matching personnel to various offensive situations. And on and on. The differences seem quite dramatic to me. But we won’t know how it all really looks until after the SC game, really.

                      We’ll know a good deal after Saturday’s game. But we can be relatively certain there will personnel and position changes in the 2 weeks leading up to SC, because of Pruitt’s flexibility. Which he has, because ALL of his guys have been repped and given equal opportunity. And ALL have been taught the same way, as they should be.

                      So there are more guys prepared at every position, and that not only develops depth but gives you options. I’ll be shocked if we don’t see a dramatic increase in our development and depth this year, and if we don’t play more people when those opportunities arise.

                    • adam

                      I agree with you on all that, IveyLeaguer.

            • I would say grantham went to elaborate lengths to scheme around the talent that he considered his best 11 or 12. It’s a bit of both. Hard to say which was the tail and which was the dog.

              • Bobby

                Maybe this is the way to reconcile the debate:

                I think the scheme Grantham wanted to run made a big difference in how he evaluated who his most talented players were. For example, in his scheme, he was fixated on the big LB/hybrid type at star; that’s how you get Leonard Floyd playing that position in the Clemson opener as opposed to a CB in JHC’s absence.

                • I think the scheme Grantham wanted to run made a big difference in how he evaluated who his most talented players were.

                  Great point. I agree.

                  And further, why I think he targeted a lot of the wrong recruits. Some of them just weren’t right for the current college game, as Pruitt is now demonstrating.

                  For example, I remember when Grantham first arrived, he insisted all year that Ray Drew would be an OLB. Started him off there. And that notion was never anything but ridiculous, as some of us pointed out at the time. I don’t care how much you wanted run a pro defense, that was never going to be successful.

                  • Bobby

                    Yea, I remember when Drew had a couple of sacks against Vandy his first year, and I was thinking “finally,” but I couldn’t help but thinking how much better he would be with his hand on the ground.

    • W Cobb Dawg

      I thought putting Carter inside – forcing the opposing QB to throw over his 6’6 frame might create problems. Not sure how good ‘Zo is against runners coming right at him or fighting off interior OL blocks.

      • adam

        Lorenzo is probably less than an inch taller than Floyd and 84 has more experience and more size. I think he can do what you’re talking about.

      • Cojones

        These snapshots of players are great, especially those from the opposing QB’s perspective. Let’s don’t forget the hidden evil of interception that Pruitt has placed in their minds. Fast and tall says we have WRs on D.

        Can’t friggin’ wait.

    • I could actually see Floyd inside theoretically, but I just haven’t heard much about him practicing in that capacity. Then again, he did start out star last season. He may have been a fish out of water, but it certainly seems like he could sit back and tee off at inside on a third and long, while Jenkins and Floyd give them hell outside.

      Plus it’ll be really interested to see what kind of stunts and crashes Pruitt could mix in. Lots of versatility out of 3-3-5 on third and long.

    • Irwin R Fletcher

      FWIW- On one of the Gentry/Seth podcasts this week, Gentry mentioned that Floyd WAS playing inside during one of the practices where media could observe…so there’s that.

  3. Spike

    Oh my.. Late Dawg Porn.. GATA!!

  4. watcher16

    Lord have mercy, I’ve got the vapors

  5. I Wanna Red Cup

    I think a big difference between TG and CJP is TG seemed to want his inside LBs on the field all the time. On some of those 3rd and longs one or both should have been on the sideline while a faster guy was in to cover the crossing pattern. No substitution at all, except for DL. I think we are going to see some depth develop all over the D this year, and better conditioned athletes tearin it up in 4th quarter. GATA

    • No substitution at all, except for DL.

      And I strongly believe that only happened because of Wilson. I think Wilson insisted. Otherwise, it wouldn’t have happened, as it never happened until last year, when Wilson arrived. Garner was part of that, I feel sure, but it still wouldn’t have happened without Wilson, IMO.

      And we can thank Wilson he did insist. As a result, his guys not only played better, but developed, and that’s about to come in very handy for us this year.

  6. DawgPhan

    Floyd has been practicing at ILB and Carter might be pushing Wilson onto the 2deep.

    Seems like the Carter talk has been picking up as we get closer to the season.

  7. Raindawg

    I just want to go to sleep and wake up at 5 o’clock Saturday afternoon.

  8. I’m late to this party but two things: 1) who is the DL in the coaches doghouse? 2) seems like folks are expecting Carter to play a lot this year. I must not have kept up on his progress like some of you have because I haven’t heard that much about him.

  9. Irwin R Fletcher

    One thought that keeps bouncing around this morning when thinking about rolling out a new secondary for the 2nd time in two years against Clemson…

    At least UGA isn’t rolling out a new front 7, too. Think about last year…Bailey, Dawson, Floyd, Wilson, and Jenkins were all new starters. There were 7 new starters on the field…8 if you count Norman….Norman is a DGD, but just to reiterate…we started Conner Norman against Sammy Watkins with a green pass rush and almost won the game.

    The front 7 is a real strength. The tendency is to believe the db’s neutralize that strength, but I still think you build a defense from the front to the back.