Daily Archives: August 5, 2015

“First of all, I work for a great university. Our athletic director is the best in the country. He’s the best I’ve ever been around.”

Ah, Greg.  It sucks when they’re taking long distance pot shots at you, doesn’t it?

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Filed under Georgia Football

I didn’t need to hear that, thanks.

If you’re looking for your media-induced daily downer, this’ll have to do, I suppose.

And it’s all why the Rams spent the 10th pick in the draft on him as a perfect element to Jeff Fisher’s goal of simplifying the Rams’ offense and establishing a ground-and-pound identity. In a strange swap, Gurley arrived in St. Louis right as former Rams offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer (and his verbose, complex scheme) left to run the offense at UGA.  [Emphasis added.]

Damn it, man!  Next you’re gonna tell me he called the plays behind a draped towel.

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Filed under Georgia Football

Man, that horse is a long way out of the barn.

Jeremy Foley won’t get fooled again.

In what amounts to a Will Muschamp Clause, the University of Florida’s contract with new head coach Jim McElwain contains a provision under which the school will be financially protected if fires McElwain without cause and he takes a job with another Southeastern Conference school within 90 days.

That’s what happened last year when Florida fired Muschamp, who was owed a buyout of more than $6 million and then signed a three-year contract to become Auburn’s defensive coordinator at $1.5 million this season and increases of $100,000 in each of the next two seasons.

After Florida announced Muschamp’s firing Nov. 16, he coached the Gators final two regular season games.

About two weeks later, he moved to Auburn.

The contract provision covering Muschamp’s buyout from Florida did not include language that many coaching deals have regarding a requirement for the coach to make efforts to seek new employment, with the income from that job offsetting the amount he would be owed by Florida in installments over remaining three years of the deal.

And before having to face Muschamp on the field, Florida had to deal with him during a recruiting period in which Muschamp was credited with helping lure several of the Gators’ top high-school recruits to Auburn, including defensive end Byron Cowart from Seffner Armwood in Florida who was rated as the No. 1 overall player in the country.

Well played, Agent Muschamp.  Well played indeed.

You know how in the movies, the CIA will award a spy its highest medal of honor in a secret ceremony and not even allow the medal to be shown publicly?  You think Butts-Mehre does something like that?  If not, in Boom’s case, maybe it should.

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Filed under Gators Gators

One coach to rule them all…

For me, the most remarkable moment from the opening of preseason practice was the media asking Jeremy Pruitt how much he is The Guy.  Pruitt, to his credit, deflected the underlying premise nicely.

After one season as Georgia’s defensive coordinator, Jeremy Pruitt’s presence has been felt.

The defense improved over the course of the 2014 season and has high expectations entering year two. A few hires with ties to Pruitt were made following his own addition — including inside linebackers coach Kevin Sherrer and strength and conditioning coordinator Mark Hocke — would signal some additional influence he’s allowed to have on this program.

When asked about it, however, Pruitt said he hasn’t been handed any more control than a defensive coordinator may typically have.

“We’ve got one boss around here and that’s coach (Mark) Richt,” Pruitt said. “As a head coach, your assistants kind of help make who you are. When you sit in a room and you start saying who are some names, who are some guys we can bring up.”

There’s a whiff in that exchange of that same uneasy smell I got from the Belk Bowl presser when Richt was asked if he was aware of the rumors that his job was in immediate jeopardy.  (Not that it’s Pruitt’s fault.)

I don’t know that this is a case of perception is reality… I kind of doubt it.  But in any event, perception is weird.

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Filed under Georgia Football

Clues to the new, ctd.

I know it’s a pretty popular perception that the program has underachieved over the past few seasons, in part because there’s never been a shortage of talent in Athens.  But I’ve got to tell you that based on the scuttlebutt I’ve heard from more than one source, it’s not a perception that’s shared by the coaching staff, at least not since the transition from Grantham to Pruitt.  Instead, there’s a feeling that Georgia wasn’t playing at the same talent level as some of its SEC peers, particularly on defense.

If so, it’s certainly good timing that the program is in the midst of its best run of recruiting since Richt arrived.  The 2014 class helped shore things up at running back (how many programs go seamlessly from a Gurley to a Chubb?) and special teams.  And the 2015 class… well, let Jeremy Pruitt tell you something about that in a low-key way.

No, they’re not going to overpromise.  But I do think they’re pleased with where things are heading on the talent front.  And it’ll be worth watching where that pays off this season.  We should see a fairly immediate impact on special teams, something that’s already been hinted at by Richt.  But I also will be watching the evolution of Georgia’s two deep as the season progresses.  I expect things will be far from static in that department, on both sides of the ball.

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Clues to the new: reading the first day of practice tea leaves

I am not going to insult your intelligence by telling you that there were any definitive answers yesterday to the quarterback competition.  That would be like G-Day trolling on steroids.

However, I will tell you that Seth Emerson had one observation from yesterday that indicates where the coaches would like things to go:

When Brice Ramsey sets his feet and releases a pass down the middle of the field, he unleashes by far the best looking ball.

I honestly think the job is Ramsey’s to lose.  But I mean that literally.  If he can’t give the coaches want they want to see from him over the next month, they’ll go with whomever they perceive to be the most competent game manager of the three.

And when I say “what they want to see”, believe it or not, I think that’s consistent mechanics first and foremost.  I suspect they can live with a few turnovers as the price to pay for a quarterback who can challenge secondaries deep.  But if Ramsey can’t get a handle on his footwork, he won’t mount enough of a threat to make it worth putting up with the downside of a more aggressive passing game.

Really, this reminds me so much of Aaron Murray’s beginnings… and it took Murray a while to get his mechanics in order.  Ramsey’s problem is that, unlike Murray’s first couple of seasons, his coaches have the luxury of a dominant rushing game to fall back on, can afford to look at a safer, less aggressive option at quarterback and not play him through a learning curve.

Sure is gonna make for an interesting August.  And maybe even opening game.

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Filed under Georgia Football

Wednesday morning buffet

Hump day.  Get ‘yer buffet on.

  • 100 years ago… Vanderbilt was a football powerhouse.
  • Three overrated college teams, based on advanced stats – and Georgia isn’t one of them.
  • Georgia opened preseason practice yesterday almost complete from a health standpoint.  Amazing.
  • The CFP announced yesterday that it’s expanding travel help to players’ families to cover the semifinals.  That’s a nice gesture, but it’s hard to see how you square that with amateurism.  Maybe someone could ask Stacey Osburn for a comment.
  • Pruitt on Leonard Floyd“So the good thing about Leonard is he can help everybody else right. Until we figure out the other pieces of the puzzle he’s gonna kind of do all three.”
  • More Pruitt“Sometimes your second team strong safety is better than your second team free safety,” defensive coordinator Jeremy Pruitt said. “So when you’re starting free safety gets hurt, it’s not real smart to put in the worse player.”
  • Even more Pruitt“This league is a physical league. You better be big up front. You better have big people so you can sustain over the course of the year…”
  • Matt Hinton says yes, the SEC West is that good.  Which makes you wonder what kind of expansion pressure will be brought to bear on the CFP if the SEC gets shut out of the semifinals because the West ate its own.
  • And Grayson Lambert sees a lot of similarities between what Virginia and Georgia run in their offenses.

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Filed under BCS/Playoffs, Georgia Football, SEC Football, Stats Geek!, Strategery And Mechanics, The NCAA