Daily Archives: April 19, 2016

$65,000 and a box of Trojan Magnum Condoms (excstasty)

No, that’s not a song title.

It’s what was in Ludacris’ contract to perform last Saturday.

Open records request, for the win!

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Filed under Georgia Football

“That’s the thing that separates the men from the boys.”

Admit it – there’s a tinny little voice in the back of your head that occasionally pipes up and says “Kirby was just running Saban’s defense at Alabama.  How do you know what he can do on his own?”.

This probably won’t do much to shut that little voice up.

The first thing to know about Alabama’s defense is that it’s Saban’s defense. Always has been and always will be, as long as he’s there. But he said it’s incorrect to think that he’s pressing every button, making every tweak and calling every play.

“We make changes as we go, but at its core, the system stays the same,” Saban said. “There’s so much diversity in the offenses you face now — the spread, no-huddle, four open, regular formations you always see and then people go spread out of regular formations. The key, to me, is that you know how to adjust the system to everything or at least you’re giving yourself a chance. And then the special situation things you do, whether it’s the pressures you have on third down, those are the things you’re always looking to improve on, and it has to be a little bit relative to the players you’ve got.”

Saban, despite being the face of the Alabama defense, is continually looking for assistants who challenge him and aren’t afraid to think outside the box. But at the end of the day, the buck on defense stops with him.

“People have input in all these things, and that makes the system better,” he said. “But I at least know how to fix it when it goes wrong, and I can help them fix it and help them adapt to things. My role is more to help them prepare the game plan of doing what we have to do and, philosophically, how we need to play. And then I try to help teach the players where I can in certain areas.”

It’s the risk you run when you hire someone without previous head coaching experience.  (Which has been the case with four of the last five head coaches at Georgia, by the way.)  You can go on all you want about how impressive the resume looks, but until you’ve seen the new guy in action, you never know.  When it comes to the product on the field, we’re all hoping it doesn’t turn out to be a year of “what would Saban do?”, but right now, hope is all it is.

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UPDATE:  Then again, Kevin Scarbinsky says Kirby won the spring game debut contest with Saban.  You gotta start somewhere.

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UPDATE #2:  Kirby has a rebuttal.

“I always felt like, one of the niches is if you can recruit the SEC you can be a head coach in the SEC,” Smart said. “I had that. I might not have a conference championship or a national championship as a head coach, but I had the recruiting factor. Which is critical in this league.”

Which is nothing to sneer at… but couldn’t Richt make a similar argument when he was hired?  That in turn leads to this Nick Saban question:

“He’s asked from time to time, ‘What’s going on? Why don’t they win more?'” said Smart, recalling questions posed about Georgia by Alabama coach Nick Saban. To which he replied, “I don’t know that. I’ll never know. They won good, they just didn’t win big.”

Maybe it takes more than being an outstanding recruiter.

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Filed under Nick Saban Rules, Strategery And Mechanics

“Today, delivering the eulogy is Jim Harbaugh.”

The decency barriers keep coming down.

Best of all, with unlimited texting, it’s easy to multitask at someone’s funeral!

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Filed under Recruiting, The NCAA

Résumé building

Between the weather and the play on the field, last year’s Alabama game was about as miserable an experience as I’ve ever sat through.  Reggie Ragland explains (h/t) it was a pretty good time for Kirby Smart, though.

As we go through more plays, it’s apparent that Georgia could not move the ball. Exacerbating matters, it was a wet day in Athens. “It’s always great take it to fans,” Ragland says. “Especially playing at Georgia—[then-defensive coordinator Kirby] Smart’s alma mater. It’s always good to get the win for Coach Smart, and now he’s the head coach over there.”

Pounding the Bulldogs between the hedges probably helped open the job that Smart took.

“It helps out a lot,” Ragland says.

I suspect Florida helped more, but, yeah, I get his point.

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Filed under Georgia Football, Strategery And Mechanics

Thank you for your $upport.

Another way Kirby Smart is paying off early:  per Greg McGarity, $24.7 million has been raised for the new IPF in the form of donations and pledges thus far.

Hmm… if he plays his cards right, he may be able to turn a profit off the project.

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Filed under Georgia Football, It's Just Bidness

Huntley Johnson can’t save your ass now.

Once you’re an ex-Gator, dealing with the criminal justice system isn’t such a breeze.

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Filed under Crime and Punishment, Gators, Gators...

Taking stock

I thought it might be fun to look at each position group and match my impressions of where my expectations were before spring practice and where they’re at after G-Day.  Keep in mind this is far from expert.  All I’ve got to go on are Smart’s comments and what I watched in a controlled scrimmage.

But, hey, that’s what mid-April is all about.

  • Offensive line.  You’ve got a major transition in coaching philosophy – the third in three years, mind you – and a major reshuffling of personnel due to the departure of two seniors, so, yeah, expectations weren’t too high at the start of spring practice.  I’m not gonna say G-Day knocked me on my ass, but I saw some unexpectedly good stuff out of Lamont Gaillard as well as some expected enormousness from Ben Cleveland.  I’d still say the o-line is a work in progress and won’t be surprised at all if Tyler Catalina’s arrival for August practice results in another shuffling of linemen.  Unchanged.
  • Wide receivers.  As far as I’m concerned, as a group, they’re the most pleasant surprise of the spring.  Stanley and Chigbu look like contributors.  If the hands Reggie Davis displayed at G-Day aren’t a mirage, you can count him in, too.  I also noticed the receivers seemed more physical in their downfield blocking, something that was missing last season.  (Anybody catch that crackback block from McKenzie?)  Coley looks like he’s an underrated position coach so far.  Stock up.
  • Tight ends.  We thought they’d be good and deep and that Chaney would make more use of them than Schottenheimer did.  So far, so good.  Unchanged.
  • Running backs.  With the injuries and Turman’s departure, this group is thin.  Real thin.  Let’s hope Holyfield can contribute.  Of course, Chubb’s return would change everything.  Stock down.
  • Quarterbacks.  I’ve already had my say on themStock up.
  • Defensive line.  As a group, my biggest concern coming out of spring.  None of the injuries appear serious or long-term, but the suspensions for the opener are a huge worry.  There is some talent, but is there enough depth to hold up against a HUNH offense that’ll try to run 80-90 plays in the Dome? Is it realistic to expect any of the true freshmen coming in the summer to contribute right off the bat?  Consider me very nervous about the d-line right now.  Stock down.
  • Linebackers.  It’s funny how little I had to say about the linebackers at G-Day.  But with Reggie Carter’s return, it appears there’s a set starting four and some talent behind them.  The big question here is what kind of year does Lorenzo Carter have.  Unchanged.
  • Defensive backs.  I guess the easy reaction to take to giving up over 600 passing yards last Saturday would be panic.  Or despair.  But I can’t say I feel that anxious about it.  There were some break downs, but there were also some completions that were well defended.  There appears to be a starting foursome in place, but there also appears to be a lot of battling going on for playing time.  August will be big.  Unchanged.
  • Placekickers.  I’ll have to take Kirby’s word on this one, as G-Day didn’t fill me with confidence.  (Admittedly, Ham was the victim of some bad luck.)  I think I only saw one kickoff reach the end zone.  Not good, even if not unexpected.  Unchanged.
  • Punting.  Ramsey looks fine.  Did I mention Ramsey looks fine?  Good, because I didn’t see anything else and Kirby was honest enough to admit it’s an area of concern this spring.  There’s a punter on scholarship coming in the fall, which could be an even bigger thing than we might expect if Ramsey surprises us and wins the starting quarterback job.  Although it would be cool to watch the strategery that would flow from having the same guy run the offense and punt…  Unchanged.

Agree?  Disagree?  Let me know what you think.

 

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Filed under Georgia Football