Daily Archives: March 27, 2016

Name that caption, listen up edition

Every time I see a photo of Tracy Rocker…

rocker

David Barnes/Georgia Sports Communications

… I can’t help but picture him twenty years from now telling kids to get off his lawn.  And not needing to raise his voice to make them run.

Anyway, add on in the comments.

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“It’s a big help.”

If the most troubling thing about Georgia’s defensive front seven going into the season is the loss of experience, perhaps the least troubling thing is the returning coaching experience.

Georgia’s offense has been installing a fairly new scheme with a lot of new terminology and design.

On defense, the change hasn’t been nearly been as significant. A big part of it not only has to do with the fact head coach Kirby Smart coached with former Georgia defensive coordinator Jeremy Pruitt at Alabama, but that there are two holdovers from the previous coaching staff.

Outside linebackers coach Kevin Sherrer and defensive line coach Tracy Rocker were retained by Smart, which has made the coaching change a lot easier for these two position groups. In practice this spring, outside linebacker Davin Bellamy said he and his position mates haven’t had their heads swimming with a whole lot of new concepts.

“It’s fairly the same for us,” Bellamy said. “That group of guys we’ve had in that room have been together for a pretty long time, including Coach Sherrer. Things we’ve been doing on the field haven’t really changed that much.”

That also ought to help with the newbies, as players like Bellamy and John Atkins are able to provide support based on their familiarity with the position coaches.

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UPDATE:  The flip side is on offense, where some of the players are on their third offensive coordinator in three years.  Sony Michel is just two-for-two in that department, but this is still kinda tough:

Still, as is the case with most offenses, learning the terminology and verbiage is the biggest hurdle. Michel is likely learning a lot of the same things he has seen over the last two years except it is called something completely different.

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“The sexiest thing in football today.”

No, it’s not Lane Kiffin.  It’s the run/pass option (RPO).  Bruce Feldman has a good piece up about it that’s worth your time.

One thing that I really love about college football is how its lack of parity encourages creativity and experimentation with offensive and defensive concepts.  Just like some major college innovations eventually trickle up to the pros, the same kind of osmosis takes place from the lower to the upper levels of college ball.

Kuchar’s new study came out Thursday, and it’s a follow-up to the study on RPOs that X&O Labs produced in January 2015 that was by far the best seller the company has produced. As part of this project, X&O Labs tapped into some of the most prolific offensive coaches at the FCS, D-II and D-III levels. I suspect several of these guys will be working at the FBS level soon. Among them: Dustin Beurer, OC, Albion College (MI); Andrew Breiner, head coach,Fordham; Brent Dearmon, OC, Arkansas Tech; Brian Flinn, WR coach,Villanova; Jake Olsen, OC, Loras College (IA); Joe Osovet, former head coach, Nassau CC (NY); Drew Owens, OC, Western Connecticut State; Clay Patterson, head coach, Northeastern Oklahoma A&M; Matt Stansfield, run game coordinator and tight ends coach, Duquesne; and Pat St. Louis, OC, Morehead State. One of the coaches involved was D-III Texas Lutheran OC Andy Padron, who has since been hired as the co-OC at Bowling Green.

The 31-year Padron is a certainly a name to remember. The son of a Texas high school coach, he credits spending time learning from Hal Mumme to incorporate Air Raid pass concepts, as well as visiting Baylor every spring, and he took one of his favorite running plays from Chip Kelly’s Oregon attack.

Padron told me nearly 100 percent of his system is based on RPOs. Texas Lutheran was 6-24 the three seasons before Padron arrived to help turn TLU around, and last year the Bulldogs won a third straight Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference Championship and led the SCAC in nearly every offensive category.

“It gives the offense a chance to be right,” he said of the RPOs impact. “You want to make (the defense) wrong. You want to have to think fast.”

The battle between offensive and defensive strategies never ends.

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“There have always been guys playing basketball who arguably should have been playing football.”

Ian Boyd looks at the supply and demand of certain types of collegiate basketball players and thinks it’s going to have an impact… on college football.

Every year college basketball is producing 6’8″ 250 pound athletes that can’t shoot or move their feet well enough to provide a superior option at power forward over a perimeter player and are too short to stand out at center where the 6’10″+ freaks tend to congregate. The college game is starting to phase these guys out as well in favor of putting more perimeter players on the floor.

The inevitable result? A supply-side economic impact on the game of football, which has no end of opportunities for guys that are tall and powerful.

Meanwhile, football is moving in a direction where taller players are more and more welcome. Back when the game was all about the scrum and flanking opponents with big bodies at the point of attack, it didn’t necessarily pay to be a taller guy.

In a battle between a blocker and a defender the low man is going to win and it’s hard to be the low man if you are much taller than the other guy. But football is no longer being determined as much by these battles but instead by the kinds of physical confrontations that take place in the passing game.

I’m not sure I find that convincing, but it’s certainly intriguing.

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