Situationalizing

You can never do enough of it.

`’Basically, every day we start our team meeting with another situation.  We have the entire team in here.  We go through a situation.  One of them might be two minutes, and the offense has to get a first down to win the game.  We had that situation come up against Tennessee.  We weren’t able to do it.  Then we had to stop them because we had a sack/fumble.  So we did stop `em.  We got the ball back.  We did score.  So what we’ve tried to do is replay the situation.  I’ve spent a lot of time during this offseason talking to NFL teams, because these NFL teams deal with this every game.  Every game comes down to that.  College football, I think, 50 percent of our games come down to one score.  So if that’s the case, we’ve got to simulate those.  So every single day, except the first practice, we had end-of-game situation at practice.  I think it makes Jacob (Eason) a lot better.  It makes Jake Fromm a lot better.  And defensively, it’s been great.  We even had a situation the other day where we were gonna clock the ball with the clock running.  We had a first down and we went to spike the ball and the guy jumped offsides.  At the end of game, we had a 10-second runoff.  So we start the whole meeting with that, and I think that kids can learn a lot from these situations.  I mean, Jay Johnson’s a guy from Minnesota and he brought a list of situations they did there.  That’s so invaluable to me because you try to simulate those.  You talk to other coaches and try to simulate them, so we’ve done a lot of that this spring.”

I think that’s great, as far as it goes, but it does beg the question about what they were doing to prepare for specific situations last season.  Are they prepping this stuff more than they did in the spring of 2016, or was it just a case of last year’s work not sticking?

Whichever was the case, there’s a perception that things were certainly lacking in that department.

Georgia has placed a focus on situational football throughout spring practice. (Deandre) Baker knows all too well that the lack of execution in the game’s latter stages cost the Bulldogs on multiple occasions.

“It allows us to project the real-game situation,” Baker said. “In a game, we’ll know how to respond when we get in a situation, whether we’re down or up by 10. Or if we have to get the ball back or something like that. (Georgia head coach Kirby Smart) pointed out games like Tennessee, Kentucky – which was a big one – and Auburn.”

Root for the learning curve, I guess.

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36 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football, Strategery And Mechanics

36 responses to “Situationalizing

  1. sniffer

    Minnesota had situations?

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  2. Bulldog Joe

    This very encouraging. Last spring, everyone was learning a new system, adjusting to a new coaching staff at most positions, and working in a new temporary practice facility.

    I doubt they had much time left to practice end-of-half and end-of-game situations with a new head coach unaccustomed to managing the clock.

    Aside from the second half of the Missouri and Kentucky games, it was no surprise our opponents owned the final meaningful score near the end of each half.

    It is a mental edge championship teams have.

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    • Given we were told he was detail-oriented, this appears to be a not so minor detail that didn’t get managed. Clock management and end of game management are tasks that you don’t learn from watching (by the way, his mentor isn’t very good at it either). It takes practice. I guess we needed to practice the dive play into a stacked front more last year. On defense, there was no new system, so focusing on situational play should have been at the top of the list.

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  3. Mdcgtp

    More sarcasm? Or is this just straight criticism with a mix of second guessing?

    Is there anything this staff does that you don’t view with skepticism?

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    • They certainly have a loyal friend in you.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Mdcgtp

        It’s not about loyalty or friendship. I don’t have an opinion about stuff like this, but clearly you have chosen to view everything this staff does through the prism of your view of the 2016 season (which incidentallty one of the statistical premises you relied on was incorrect…check the change in Connelly’s Percentile performance from your throwaway season meme to the final figures)

        Figuring out what to prioritize in practice is part of his job. He was asked the question about it in the post practice press conference. Rather than give a bunch of coach-speak riddled with cliches, he gave an honest answer that conveyed information. No more no less. We don’t know the context around it, but ultimately, it does not matter. He is on the hook to win championships, and either he is going to do that or not. I personally don’t believe the 2016 season is a barometer for such, but apparently, it was for you, but yet again, you are unwilling to own that opinion.

        Liked by 2 people

        • He is on the hook to win championships, and either he is going to do that or not. I personally don’t believe the 2016 season is a barometer for such, but apparently, it was for you, but yet again, you are unwilling to own that opinion.

          I’ve been pondering whether it’s worth debating you on what’s in my mind — it’s always fun to have someone tell you he knows more about what you think than you do — but in the end, it’s worth pointing out the obvious: you don’t have to believe that 2016 cemented the fate of Kirby Smart, head coach, to be disappointed about the way the season played out. This is evidently a hard concept for you to accept, which means I’ll keep blogging my opinions and you’ll keep pissing and moaning about what I post.

          Will Smart and the program improve? I sure as hell hope so; I expect to see Georgia in the SECCG this season. But I’m not going to pretend to be happy about or whitewash the mediocrity of 2016 any more than I did 2010. If you can brush aside last season’s Nicholls and Ole Miss games without any further concern, more power to you.

          Liked by 2 people

          • Cojones

            Correct. It’s a coach thang. Know you could have washed two more games into that dissent, but what the hell!, you were dead on with those two.

            Our hopes were catered to with verbal lust last year before the season, so I think it’s justice to question each attitude lude we get from the coaches each week before this season. What did it cost us in team confidence for finishing strong and well by not introducing some simple semblance of the situational coaching last year, especially for not doing it with a freshman QB? Shit, just shit. I lose more respect for our coaching staff each time something like this surfaces.

            Damn! Ninety five k fans last year to help attitudes for players and recruits and what did we get? – 8-5. So far the greatest recruiters since ready-rolls have 2 recruits for 2018; is that concerning in face of the fan support not being returned and the recruits are getting that thrust into their faces by all the other SEC recruiters? Will filling the stands again override what may already be a nail in our future CF coffin? When do the fans stop their responsibilities to the team? When a resultant informs that the definition of insanity has been reached.

            I’m on a 2-cookie-a-day diet and will now repair to the porch , listen to the spadefoot and bullfrogs calling, eat my cookie slowly and listen for the livetrap falling on some dumbass immigrant squirrel or two that’s threatening my songbird feeders. I call them immigrants because it makes it easier to haul their ass off miles away and release them back into the wild (where all squirrels come from) after they have invaded my civilized world yard. The Corps of Engineers nixed my application for Big-Ass-Wall funds because I couldn’t justify calling the squirrels “Immigrants” in an American sense.

            The wife is really kicking up a fuss after I told her I’d release any squirrels caught into a Sunrise Service at sunrise. Just tryin’ to up the cacophony so that it may reach the ears of The Lord.

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          • Mayor

            I was going to sarcastically ask if this “situation” practice is for the players or the HC? But since that might offend someone’s delicate fee-fees I won’t ask that.

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          • No offense but it seems like every other post lately is taking a backhanded shot at KS. We all know that you didn’t like how the hiring was handled and that you think McG and the BM crowd are idiots. I don’t disagree but man this blog has become about as negative as it was during MRs last years.

            It’s the summer. Can’t we have some Kool aid instead of every other post picking apart something a second year head coach said to a dying AJC hack?

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    • Mdcgtp, you hit the nail on the head, I really wonder why there is so much negative tone directed towards Kirby on this blog…….

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      • I’m a Tech fan. I’ve just been fooling everyone for the last ten years.

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        • Hobdody Spradlin

          Surrender Blutarsky. That guy is clearly more sophisticated and knowledgeable that you. And erudite too. Yeah, that’s the ticket: erudite. You can’t beat erudite.

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      • The criticism has been fair, and the concerns about the performance of the staff last year are real. There haven’t been personal shots taken at him for his life outside of football like the Pastor Mark or other such BS comments from the last 5 years.

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        • Gaskilldawg

          Thank you, ee. Your post was 100% on the mark.
          I will wager that no one posting on this thread wants Smart to fail to do what he was hired to do (win SEC championships.) Valid criticism is just that. It does not mean the critic is rooting for him to fail.

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          • Macallanlover

            Agree with you and ee, voicing a concern doesn’t mean it isn’t meant constructively. We all expected some rookie mistakes, and we got them, but even the great Little Nicky still fumbles in critical situations, no one gets it all perfectly whether it be the coaches or players. Everyone strives for perfection and you usually get more things right when you are working for perfect. No one here wants Kirby to fail, that I have seen. But some want to give a blank pass for the first 3-4 years.

            I feel the situational drills were mixed in with new communication language last spring due to so many coaching changes. This spring situational drills stand out more and there is more time to spend on them with the adjustment factor eliminated/reduced.

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  4. Skeeter

    No way for Kirby to win. Offense improves, so what’s wrong with the defense? It’s like the old Jewish mother joke: Mother gives her adult son two shirts for his birthday, a blue one and a green one. The next time she sees him he’s wearing the green one and asks, “What’s wrong, you didn’t like the blue one?”

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  5. DoubleDawg1318

    Not understanding the cynical snark here. I think it’s good news we are practicing these things.

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    • Macallanlover

      100% agree, it would be negligent to not do so. Perhaps KS’s emphasis of this contributes to the responses but this has happened at all schools. Thought his remarks on yesterday indicated many positives, although I still miss getting more details of individual plays and players. Moar Kool-Aide, please!

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  6. W Cobb Dawg

    I, for one, agree with Brother Bluto. if this team prepared for ‘situations’ on ’16, citing the ut loss is inexplicable. It would be difficult to defend the Hail Mary pass worse than we did.

    And I’m skeptical ‘situational prep’ put us in position to win that game. It was entirely on Eason’s ability to create. The staff sure as shit shouldn’t be taking credit for that magical play.

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    • Macallanlover

      My concern is with the defense employed against the Hail Mary, what did they learn from that? You are right, it was almost impossible to screw that up any worse, from the deployment of personnel, to the lack of pressure, to the positioning when everyone knew exactly where the ball was going, and how that many defenders lacked positioning. Epic fail.

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      • Mayor

        Yeah, deploying your tallest defenders and having them get BEHIND the guys they are defending against the Hail Mary in the EZ…and rushing with 3….not too bright.

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  7. Rebar

    I would be very encouraged if these classes were for the coaches; I think everyone can agree that 2016 was “Learn while you Earn” for the coaching staff and that is where the problem is for those of us who hope Kirby will do well, but won’t hesitate to say that several of the losses we had last year was on the coaching staff. People have to stop being so thin skinned about criticism of Kirby; hope he improves this year. Go Dawgs!

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    • dawgtired

      “People have to stop being so thin skinned about criticism of Kirby”
      Agree. If memory serves me, every time CMR blundered something, SB blogged his thoughts of disappointment or questioning. And, there has been plenty of supportive blogs both for the previous regime and the current one. I don’t always agree with every SB view but from what I can tell it seems pretty much a ‘call-it-as-I-see-it’ type blogging.

      Now, I for one like the situational type practices. I helped coach kids soccer for a couple of years and found it was the best way to help the kids understand the reasoning behind the technical side of the coaching. I’m all for it. Keep it up Kirbs. The more situational reps the better.

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  8. I love the “focus” and “emphasis” talk of the off-season. Reminds of TE position talk every year and then they’re hardly used. I consider the hype articles on Charlie Woerner his death sentence. How many passes did he catch last year and how many did the other freshman catch? Jackson Harris had an amazing last spring.

    I don’t know how many times I’ve read “the OL will be better because Kirby had placed emphasis there. Well, yeah, I’m sure he placed emphasis on not losing to Vandy and Tech too.

    My point? I think I’m finally over the off season hype and I’m ready for this program to just go do something good. Even great. I’m certainly over fans going on about Smart because they finally got a Georgia boy who places emphasis and has a lot of fire. Just go out and win and then talk them up!

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    • I don’t know how many times I’ve read “the OL will be better because Kirby had placed emphasis there. Well, yeah, I’m sure he placed emphasis on not losing to Vandy and Tech too.

      I know it’s not fair to hang Kirby with this, but how many times did we see Richt focus on a shortcoming, fix it, only to have a new problem crop up that had to be addressed the following season?

      I’d like to be optimistic about the new focus, but I’m overdrawn at the faith bank.

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      • Skeptic Dawg

        “I’d like to be optimistic about the new focus, but I’m overdrawn at the faith bank.”

        Welcome to my world sir! I asked for this. Even welcomed the idea of wandering in the wilderness for a time if that’s what it would take. Well, now I find the bourbon flows freely and the cigars are awfully fine in these parts. Outside of that, not too much going in our favor. Sadly, this feels like a spot I have been in before.

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        • The thing is the potential of wandering in the wilderness wasn’t necessary. We didn’t conduct a real search to see who was available and whether they were open to come to Georgia. We watched what happened at UF when Corch left and Boom was hired. We saw the opposite at Alabama when they ran off Shula and hired Saban. If we had conducted a real search and determined Kirby was the best available, fine. It’s clear none of that happened, so here we are hoping this works out.

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          • Gaskilldawg

            Agree 100%. I really hope Smart bails McGarity out on this one.

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            • Mayor

              It wasn’t just McGreedy. It was that whole faceless cabal of boosters and hangers-on at B-M and the AB. If this thing with Kirby doesn’t work out THOSE GUYS are the ones who should be runnoft along with the AD and the coaching staff. If Jere Morehead has a hair on his ass he should be the one to do it, too.

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  9. DugLite

    I like hearing that the team is talking and working on game situations. I can only hope that along with final drive type situations that they are also talking about when to knock the ball down versus going for the interception. Sometimes, not even end of game hail marys, an interception on 4th down is like or better than a punt for the other team. Sometimes a safety is better than giving up a TD with a bad snap on a punt. If the other team jumps offsides on defense then all receivers should run a post pattern because it’s a free play, etc..

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