Daily Archives: February 28, 2017

Today, in false bravado

You’d think by now Hugh Freeze would have learned to quit writing checks with his mouth that his… ah, hell, forget that.

Not likely this year, brother.

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UPDATE:  Check out who (almost) brings up the rear at this year’s SEC Media Days.

I guess they’re hoping Boom leaves ’em on a high note.

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Filed under Freeze!

More on that fresh set of eyes

Last week I mentioned that Smart hired another analyst, former Minnesota offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach Jay Johnson.  Marc Weiszer flushes out Johnson’s background a little, with a couple of quotes.

In one season at Minnesota, the Golden Gophers improved from 22.5 points per game in 2015 to 29.3 but ranked 107th in the nation in total offense, with a 357.2 yard average. Johnson and the Minnesota staff were fired after a 9-4 season.

The Lakeville, Minn., native and former Northern Iowa quarterback spent five seasons as offensive coordinator at Louisiana-Lafayette where his teams ranked in the top 35 nationally in rushing from 2012-14 and 10th in the nation in red zone offense in 2014 at 91.2 percent.

Georgia last year was 64th in red zone offense (84.4) while Minnesota was 36th (87.5).

“I was told by everybody who’s coached with Coach Johnson before that he does a tremendous job of taking advantage of weaknesses and how people have to defend him,” then Minnesota coach Tracy Claeys said last August. “I have to think in the red zone everybody has certain ways they like to play, and I have to think that he made good decisions on how to attack what they were doing.”

Penn State coach James Franklin, before his team beat Minnesota 29-26 in overtime last season, described Johnson as running an “efficient, balanced offense, uses multiple looks, formations, personnel groups, mainly two personnel groups, 11 personnel, one back, one tight end, three wide receivers, and 12 personnel, one back, two tight ends and two wide receivers. Big, physical line.”

Taking Franklin at face value, it sounds like Minnesota was running a lot of the same stuff last season Georgia was.  Minus the big, physical line, of course.

That being said, if Johnson’s got a few insights into successful red zone offensive play calls he’ll share with the class, it certainly can’t hurt.

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Filed under Georgia Football

Phil Steele’s got your returning starters right here.

Here’s why that matters:

For instance, last year there were 19 teams that returned 16 starters or more, including their QB. Of those 19 teams, 12 had a better record in 2016 than they did in 2015. Four had the same record, and only 3 of the 19 had a weaker record.

At the opposite end of the spectrum, there were 14 teams that returned 11 or fewer starters that did not have a returning starter at QB. Of those 14 teams, 0 had a better record. Of the 14 least experienced teams, 13 had a weaker record in 2016 than they did in 2015 and one had the same.

And here’s why that matters to us.

SEC
RK TEAM TOTAL OFF QB DEF
T3 Georgia 17 7 1 10
T3 Kentucky 17 8 1 9
T9 South Carolina 16 10 1 6
T9 Vanderbilt 16 9 1 7
T25 Auburn 15 8 1 7
T25 Missouri 15 10 1 5
T48 Florida 14 9 1 5
T48 Tennessee 14 7 0 7
T71 Arkansas 13 7 1 6
T71 Mississippi St 13 7 1 6
T86 Texas A&M 12 5 0 7
T103 Alabama 11 6 1 5
T103 LSU 11 6 1 5
T103 Ole Miss 11 5 0 6

That’s right. Georgia is tied for first in the conference and third nationally.  This will also mark Georgia’s first season with a returning starter at quarterback since 2013. (I don’t count Lambert last year, because we all knew he was just holding down the fort temporarily until the coaches moved Eason in.)  I don’t see how that can hurt.

As for the rest of the SEC, a few notes…

  • Yeah, I think we can discount Alabama only bringing back eleven.
  • On the other hand, Ole Miss is really adding up the suckitude for 2017.
  • Only three SEC teams don’t have returning starters at QB.  A sign of better times to come?
  • The top four teams are all in the East.
  • Missouri led the conference in total offense and was fifth in scoring offense.  The Tigers bring back all but one starter on offense this season.  Whoa, baby.

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Filed under Georgia Football, Phil Steele Makes My Eyes Water, SEC Football

If it’s spring practice…

… then it’s time for Roquan Smith to be nicked up.

Georgia inside linebacker Roquan Smith could miss spring practice due to a recent surgical procedure on his pectoral muscle.

If the injury forces Smith to sit out the spring, it would be the second year in a row he has been limited during this time of the year. Smith was originally deemed out of last year’s spring practice following wrist surgery but was able to participate in a limited fashion while wearing a black non-contact jersey.

Last year turned out fine for Roquan, so I’m not exactly sweating this one.  Still, it’s a shame that it looks like we’ll be missing a few familiar faces on the defense at G-Day.

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Musical palate cleanser, sex and guns and rock ‘n’ roll edition

A good friend of mine alerted me to this sordid tale of crime in my fair city.

Rock ’n’ roller Rick Derringer is 40-some years past his 1970s’ All American Boy phase. His flowing golden locks and shiny silver jacket is replaced by a short-cropped cut and a conservative business suit.

Derringer was dressed like that last week because he was appearing at the federal courthouse in Atlanta to plead guilty to a misdemeanor charge of trying to bring a loaded gun through airport security…

The aptly named Derringer got caught last month at Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport after returning from Cancun, Mexico. Transportation Security Administration officials found his Kel-Tec pistol in his carry bag after he left Customs and he went back through security to fly home to Florida.

Yeah, Derringer, gun, I get it.  But that’s not the best part of the story.  This is.

I asked Derringer, a diminutive and pleasant fellow, how he found Bruce Harvey to be his attorney.

“The FBI recommended him,” Derringer said. “The FBI agent was a fan.”

Sometimes you really gotta love this country.  Anyway, here’s a slice of seventies magic — live, with Edgar Winter, it’s “Rock and Roll, Hoochie Koo”.

Lawdy mama, light my fuse, indeed.

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