Over at Pro Football Focus, Gordon McGuinness pitches how Georgia could be a CFP contenda in 2017. He cites three factors, none of which are particularly controversial, but skips past something that I think is at least as important — improvement on the offensive line. Strangely enough, he posts a graphic that’s validation of that.
Look at what happened to Eason under pressure last season, compared with the rest of the time. Contrary to what you might expect, not all of his pressure-related woes can be related to handling opposing blitzes; in fact, he handled blitz situations relatively well.
Line play steps up, you’ll get a more productive starting quarterback. No wonder Jim Chaney’s crossing his fingers that Sam Pittman can work a little magic this season.
Word is that Georgia has offered this former Texas Tech defensive tackle the opportunity to join the 2017 class. Fehoko already has generated a ton of interest, so this will be an early test of Tray Scott’s recruiting prowess. (Not to mention Smart’s roster management skills.)
I’ve always wanted a little Polynesian/Pacific flavor on the Georgia roster, so go, Tray, go.
I guess I shouldn’t be surprised by the amount of angst that cropped up in the comments following my post about Jeff Sentell’s interview with Aubrey Solomon’s mother. It’s hard to let go of a gauzy, romantic image that you’re invested in, and for many, the ideal of a football program that doesn’t stoop to making business decisions when it comes to roster management is a powerful one. (As powerful as the ideal that student-athletes are already more than fairly compensated for the privilege of playing. But I digress.)
Anyway, whatever else one might say about the Process, romantic it ain’t. Kirby is being paid to win. In his mind that includes pushing roster management aggressively. The issues with Carter and Blankenship arose because Smart was at the edge, numbers-wise, with the 2017 class before the four underclassmen stepped up to announce they were staying. That decision — and would any of us have preferred that they leave for the NFL? — meant that Smart had to do a lot of re-jiggering on the fly.
I’m not defending the way the Carter situation was handled. Smart botched that by not stepping up and telling the kid himself. But he’s being paid to put together the best roster he can and that’s what he’s trying to do.
Let’s not forget that one big reason Mark Richt is no longer gracing Athens with his presence was due to his lax roster management. Fielding a team with less than 70 scholarship athletes is no way to go through SEC life, son. That’s not a mistake Smart wants to repeat, or even be in the vicinity of repeating.
You can argue there’s a happy medium between the two, but it’s a lot harder to implement that in real life than it is to argue about it. Just ask the coaches at the two other programs that Solomon was interested in at the end, who’ve done more than their share of cutting off commits when it suits their roster management goals.
Speaking of which, before some of you lionize momma for speaking truth to power, remember that Solomon committed early on to Michigan, way before Carter and Blankenship were points of contention. And if getting an explanation from Smart about the way he handled those situations were as important as she told Sentell it was, she sure had a funny way of going about getting that.
As someone wiser than me suggested, sometimes when a kid signs with a place a long way from home, it’s as much about getting away from something as it is the destination. If so, there wasn’t much Smart could have done about that. Not that such is going to matter much to the romantics among us.
One new Texas staffer had a bit of a “wow” moment in January when he realized the locker room had no sound system. Instead, players were blasting their music via one small Bluetooth speaker an offensive lineman brought in to share.
The Texas locker room upgrade is now looking to make the facility more technologically advanced with individual video screens and more connectivity.
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