Daily Archives: January 21, 2015

The four million dollar man

Boy, this ought to piss off some of you.

Mark Richt has received a raise and a contract extension.

The head football coach’s contract has been extended two more years, through the 2019 season, and his salary is increased to $4 million effective this season. That’s an increase over Richt’s previous salary of $3.2 million, under a contract signed prior to the 2012 season.

We’ve come a long way from Belk Bowl retirement rumors.

By SEC standards, it’s a middle of the pack deal, but it sends a message of stability which is a good thing for the program and all I really care about.  Now, focus on winning the East in 2015 and take things from there, Coach.

105 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football, It's Just Bidness

It’s a new era in SEC football.

Florida joins Georgia in the race to build a new IPF.

If Foley’s thrown in the towel, that should give McGarity some measure of comfort, right?

47 Comments

Filed under Gators, Gators...

Somebody must have peed in somebody else’s cornflakes this morning.

Those of you who’ve missed Thomas Brown’s ramblings here might want to check out this tour de force.

It’s flattering that he still cares, I suppose.

121 Comments

Filed under The Blogosphere

Observations from the armchair, (belated) Belk Bowl edition

Hey, did you hear that Georgia faced its former defensive coordinator in the bowl game?  And that Louisville’s defense is really, really good?  And that Georgia’s long time offensive coordinator left for a head coaching job before the game, leaving the TE position coach to call the plays?

It turned out none of the Xs-and-Os talk mattered nearly as much as Nick Chubb did.

On to the bullet points:

  • The early surprise for me was how well Louisville’s offensive line played.  I thought Georgia’s defensive front got pushed around a bit early on, although UL wasn’t able to maintain that level as the game wore on.
  • What wasn’t surprising early on was Georgia pounding the Louisville defense with the run.  The steady, short gains on the ground seemed frustrating, but they were straight out of the Mike Bobo playbook and paid dividends in the second half.  And forcing Grantham to sell out against the run – something that grew, especially after Mason went out – led to one of Mason’s best throws of the season, a gorgeous 44-yard TD pass to Conley off of a play action fake that sucked in the safety who should have been in deep coverage.
  • Lilly did make a nice adjustment in the first half by throwing the ball on first down more to counter Grantham loading the box.  Again, though, it was only temporary.  Georgia had to beat what Louisville was doing defensively by grinding them down with pressure from pounding the run.
  • Mason really benefited from Lilly mixing more of the pass in on early downs.  He got into a nice groove throwing the ball in the second quarter.
  • Lilly also had to get Grantham’s defense out of its comfort zone, and that he did by going with some hurry up.  He really caught Louisville’s defense disorganized on Chubb’s TD scamper in the second quarter – the last guy Chubb blew past ran onto the field late and never got in the right spot.  Nick Chubb is tough enough on an eleven-man defense; effectively playing with one less man is almost unfair.
  • I’m not sure what was most satisfying to watch, third-and-Grantham all game or Georgia digging itself out of a first-and-ten at its own three with a monster 82-yard run by Chubb.
  • Georgia having a feel for how to match Grantham wasn’t a surprise, but the way Pruitt settled down and handled Bobby Petrino was, at least a little.  One key was that Georgia’s pass rush pressure improved as the game went on.  Another was Petrino’s decision to alternate quarterbacks.  Bonifant’s decision-making was questionable and led to some inevitable turnovers.  (Although it would have been nice for Georgia to have taken better advantage of some of those, they did have the effect of stalling Louisville’s offense at a time when the game was still within reach.)  And Bolin looked much less comfortable after the quarterback shuffle commenced.
  • Did Georgia see a better receiver all year than DeVante Parker?  Pretty impressive kid.
  • Mason’s injury sucked for a number of reasons.  I hate seeing a starting quarterback’s career at Georgia cut short for the second straight season.  And it led to an ill-advised throw by Ramsey, who was rushed in with no time to prepare, that was intercepted after Petrino’s other genius idea of the first half, a fake punt from his own 31, didn’t work.
  • If you don’t think Mark Richt was trying to send a message to Todd Grantham when Georgia sent Nick Chubb back out with a little over four minutes in the game and a sixteen-point lead, I don’t know what to tell you.  That was Evil Richt at his best.
  • Great play out of Georgia’s secondary all game.  Swann went out well, Sanders was terrific, Aaron Davis did his best against Parker… but it was Mauger whom I enjoyed watching the most, because the game illustrated how far he’s come under the coaching change.  It was a shame his play ended early, too.
  • My goodness, did Lorenzo Carter play his ass off.  It was fitting he got to put the exclamation mark on the end with that sack to close it out.  He was all over the field all day long.  I cannot wait to see what Pruitt gets out of him, Floyd and Jenkins next season.
  • Best special teams call of the day?  Keeping Hicks off the kick return team when the inevitable pooch kick rained down.  (In fairness, Hicks was an excellent blocker in the run game on the day.)
  • I’ve saved the best for last, mainly because I’m almost at a loss for superlatives when it comes to Nick Chubb.  Which, when you get down to it, is how I felt many times describing Todd Gurley.  I can’t think of any higher praise than making that comparison, unless you want to note the statistical company Chubb is now keeping.  As Munson might say – my Gawd, a freshman!  Chubb, Marshall and Michel is the other trinity I’m geared up to watch in 2015.

There are those games where it’s a mystery how Georgia wins.  (Sometimes the losses are even more inexplicable, right?)  This wasn’t one of those.  Georgia was better prepared than Louisville, as well as more talented.  Both showed.  The result was inevitable.

You hoped going in that the Dawgs would play well enough to wipe the bitter taste of the Georgia Tech loss from their mouths, and maybe ours.  Overall the season was a disappointment, but I think at least that was accomplished.  At the least, it’s the basis from which to prepare for the next.  So, when does G-Day get here?

20 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football

Gee, where have we heard this before?

If you’re not reading the great LSU blog As And The Valley Shook as a general rule, you should be.  And right now, with the new hire at defensive coordinator, it’s an especially interesting read if you’ve been a Georgia fan over the past six years.

LSU has gone from a very traditional 4-3 guy in John Chavis to a coach in Kevin Steele who plays multiple fronts.  Sound familiar?  It ought to.  Take this analysis of the 3-4 for starters.

It’s important to lay out the scheme before addressing the question of whether or not LSU can fit these looks. People commonly assume the 3-4 is only what Saban runs, in style and personnel, when that’s far from the truth. There are many variations and possibilities. When Steele tells Lamar Louis they may incorporate 3-4 looks, that may be an easier way of him talking about the 4-3 under, in terms of roles/responsibilities. Louis has played both Sam and Will (weakside) during his time at LSU. Perhaps Steele thinks he may be best deployed as a will in the 4-3 Under, to take advantage of his athleticism. In that sense, he would function much more like a 3-4 inside ‘backer than a true 4-3 Will.

All that talk about 4-3 under, 4-3 over and personnel matches could come straight out of a half-dozen posts pretty much every Georgia blogger was writing about Grantham’s schemes when he showed up to relieve Willie Martinez.  Best get ready for that learning curve, Tigers fans.

Then, how familiar does this sound?

The primary knock on Steele comes from the heat of the moment in gameday situations — when it’s easy for emotions to boil over.

“He’s gotten caught up in the emotions of the game,” said Detillier. “You can lose focus and let one play affect how you call the next one. A coordinator has to have a level head there.”

Dr. B, formerly of the Clemson site Shakin’ the Southland, now available here, echoes those sentiments and says that Steele struggled to teach and translate all his knowledge to players.

“I think that Steele’s overly complex NFL-style set of adjustments led to his downfall,” said Dr. B. “He didn’t simplify his system. He just can’t pare his stuff back enough to communicate it to a player.  I really thought that our defense had too many checks and adjustments to be made on every play, and we suffered paralysis by analysis in every game.”

That’s discouraging to hear when a lot of the talk going around is of adjusting LSU’s current defensive scheme and being “multiple.” As important as simplicity can be on offense it is paramount on defense, where players are already forced into reacting to what the offense is trying to do.

Hey, it’s déjà vu all over again!

Steele and Orgeron are better recruiters than Grantham and his staff were, so it’s not a totally fair comparison, but this has all the makings of an interesting case study for us to follow for the next couple of seasons.  We’ll see how it goes in Red Stick.

13 Comments

Filed under SEC Football, Strategery And Mechanics

Right now, aiight?

I know it’s Nick Saban, which means it doesn’t mean a whole helluva lot over the long haul, but you can’t tell me he’s enjoying this.

Alabama football coach Nick Saban made his annual visit to a Senior Bowl practice Tuesday, and he did so knowing that Lane Kiffin was still his offensive coordinator.

How much longer that’s the case is not known. ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported Sunday that Kiffin was a “front-runner” for the offensive coordinator job with the San Francisco 49ers, and Saban could not say for certain if the former Tennessee head coach would be back for a second season in Tuscaloosa.

“I can’t say that right now,” Saban told reporters in the Mobile suburb of Fairhope. “I know Lane is committed to us right now, and he’s doing the best he can to help recruit and do the things we need to do to have a better team next year. We’re hopeful that will continue.”

Nick Saban doesn’t do that hope thing real well.  I bet it’s a lot of fun for him to try to sell that to recruits.  Right now, that is.

5 Comments

Filed under Don't Mess With Lane Kiffin, Nick Saban Rules

The war’s over, man.

Georgia suddenly has openings for five – count ’em, five – new support positions, two offensive quality control coordinators, two defensive quality control coordinators and a special teams analyst.

If you needed proof that something’s gotten into the water at Butts-Mehre, there you go.

40 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football