The defensive front and GATA

Jason Butt puts together one of those “five things we know” lists and while some of what’s there we’ve hashed out a bit here, there are a couple of things he mentions that are worth noting.

Summer crucial for defensive line: At least for Georgia’s season-opener against North Carolina, the defensive line will be down two key contributors. Chauncey Rivers (second marijuana arrest) and Jonathan Ledbetter (underage possession of alcohol) are suspended for it, with Rivers missing Georgia’s first three games.

It’ll be imperative for Georgia’s other young defensive linemen to make strides this summer during voluntary workouts. Michael Barnett and DaQuan Hawkins are coming off of minor knee injuries and will look to heal back to 100 percent before preseason practice begins in August. Georgia lost four linemen up front, including Chris Mayes and Sterling Bailey. Sophomore Trent Thompson will be counted on to provide more of a leadership role on the defensive line in 2016.

More pass rushers needed: Davin Bellamy and Lorenzo Carter will have big shoes to fill this season but have the talent and physical ability to get it done. Bellamy emerged last year as a productive player and Carter has been commended for his work ethic this spring, evidenced by being a recipient of the team’s Coffee County Hustle Award. Behind those two, however, are some unproven outside linebackers. D’Andre Walker had 4 sacks at G-Day and could be primed for a bigger role in 2016. Chuks Amaechi played well in spots last season and should be good to go once he’s healed up from labrum surgery.

Freshman pass-rushers Chauncey Manac and David Marshall will also have plenty of opportunities to get on the field early. It also remains to be seen how much cross-training Georgia does with Natrez Patrick, who could move from inside to outside linebacker in certain substitution packages.

Ordinarily I’d say the idea that you’re going to get a major contribution right out of the gate from of a true freshman defensive lineman showing up for fall camp is farfetched (admittedly, not impossible, though), but the opener against North Carolina is one of those situations where necessity appears to be the the mother of invention.  Is Mel Tucker on the mother, so to speak?  You’d have to think he, Smart and Rocker will be doing a lot of brainstorming in August trying to find pieces to fit around Thompson.  And more than anything, Lorenzo Carter needs to make himself into the real deal this season.

The more I look at Georgia’s front seven, especially the line, the more I think it may hold the key to Georgia’s chances more than any other area on the team for 2016.  That includes you know whom.

8 Comments

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8 responses to “The defensive front and GATA

  1. doofusdawg

    I too believe that the d line is the key to the first game and will set the tone for september. Thompson, Adkins, Hawkins and Young need to stay healthy and become a force in the middle. Help will mature as the season progresses but September will be razor thin.

  2. Macallanlover

    Thought 2nd offense penalty was 1/2 the season, or was it four games for football.. If so, Rivers will miss more than three games. Thin at a position you cannot be weak at in the SEC. Some of the freshmen will have to play, ready or not.

  3. Cojones

    Pass-rushers will be able to rush the passer depending upon the D dialed up by the coach. Their recognition that the play called is the wrong one and having to fall back in protection instead will form any mistakes they may evidence. Only good coaching can cure Freshmen mistakes of recognition or of false recognition intentionally induced by the offense they face. We have young players with speed who should show well when pass rushing.

    I think our line is adequate to stop the rush and that helps the SEC-uninitiates gain confidence. And that lets those young fleet linebackers come up to help clean up and put’em on the ground.

    The O line is the key to this team’s success, the same as it was last year. Offensive blocking is what I want to see, both at the line and downfield. We could see the problems our QBs had when that cog isn’t working correctly and we saw good QB play when it did.

  4. Defense looked sharp on some key plays early in the Spring game. That level of consistency couldn’t be maintained for very long IMO. I think we have the talent and staff to have a pretty solid defense.

  5. W Cobb Dawg

    Wonder whether Rochester will be added to the suspension list for the BB issue. At least he’s a space eater until getting coached up and strengthened up.

    Definitely need sohomores & freshmen DLs to step up this year.

  6. JCDAWG83

    I’m hoping Carter will have a breakout year. To me, he has been something of a disappointment. He is an incredible athlete but his athleticism hasn’t transferred into his being a great football player yet. Maybe the new coaches can figure out the key to getting his potential to become reality.

  7. Cojones

    Well, stick Briscoe on your list for determination of two misdemeanors. Couldn’t we get a few O people to act as minders for the D?

  8. Jeff

    D’andre Walker flashed good stuff on special teams last year and in the G-day game. While I agree that Carter and Bellamy need to have/are on the cusp of having break out years, I honestly think Walker can finish this season as our best pass rusher.