Appalachian State’s head coach thinks his team is gonna get Georgia’s best shot.
Daily Archives: August 16, 2017
After a hard day on the recruiting trail, a coach just wants to relax.
Of course, if said coach is a horndog, he doesn’t want to relax alone.
On the morning of Jan. 19, 2016, University of Mississippi football coach Hugh Freeze tweeted a quote: “Look not back on yesterday—so full of failure & regret; Look ahead & seek God’s way—all sin confessed u must forget.”
Later that day, the coach flew to Tampa, Fla., as part of a recruiting trip using the school plane, according to documents reviewed by The Wall Street Journal. A few hours after the plane touched down at 5:30 p.m. in Tampa, his school phone registered a call to a number linked to a female escort service in that city, according to phone records reviewed by the Journal.
Given what we know about SEC recruiting, that means there was a lot of relaxing.
Although school officials had previously declined to characterize the alleged misconduct, Ole Miss athletic director Ross Bjork said in response to questions from the Journal about Freeze’s travel that the university’s investigation uncovered “calls of a similar nature” over the course of several years, often matching up with travel logs showing the coach’s use of the school plane. The school said it examined his travel logs from peak recruiting times—often November, December and January—when Freeze would travel out of state, using the school plane and other public resources.
“When we say pattern, we are describing other phone numbers that when you Google them pull up similar type websites, services, however you would describe them,” Bjork said. “We took action swiftly.”
When the school presented its findings to Freeze, the coach admitted his misconduct and agreed to resign, school officials said.
Public transportation. Public communication. I don’t know whose carelessness amazes me more, Freeze’s or Bjork’s. Considering only one of the two is out of a job, I guess that answers my question.
Filed under Freeze!
That transfer really tied the passing offense together.
One other thing from Smart’s presser yesterday worth noting:
Do you see Ahkil Crumpton contributing as much as a receiver as you foresee as a return specialist?
‘’Blessing in disguise, because he’s really run great routes. He’s really good in and out of breaks. He’s got great hands, big hands for a small guy. He snatches the ball out of the air. He plucks it. He’s done a really good job. The tough thing is, he’s in competition with Mecole (Hardman) some, Terry (Godwin) some, Mark Webb has worked in the slot some. So his specialty is returning, but he’s not a one-trick guy. The guy goes in there and does really well. I’ll tell you what now, he is physical and feisty. He doesn’t mind getting up in there and blocking and competing. He gets slung around sometimes, but it’s the fight in him that I’ve really enjoyed.”
I don’t want to read too much into that, but it’s beginning to sound like Georgia may have some viable options — note the use of the plural there — in the slot, which may in turn explain some of the rationale behind Smart’s pleasure in seeing Godwin contribute out wide. If Godwin’s blocking has improved to the point of viability, I don’t think I need to tell you that it’s a plus if he can take an outside spot that went to guys last season who were valued more for their blocking than their receiving skills.
Filed under Georgia Football
Getting special on special teams
I really try hard not to drink the preseason Kool-Aid, but when Kirby pushes a cold glass of tasty beverage into my hand, it’s hard to resist sometimes.
Here’s what he had to say about special teams at yesterday’s post-practice presser (say that three times in a row, fast).
In terms of special teams coverage units, what are you looking for to shore up those areas this year?
‘’Number one, is a great kick because the best way to shore up your areas of coverage is to kick the ball where it’s supposed to be, how high it’s supposed to be with what hang time it’s supposed to be done with. We’ve improved first and foremost in that area. Rodrigo (Blankenship) did a great job of kicking off in Saturday’s scrimmage. He had some of the best hang times we’ve had. David (Marvin) did as well, but Rod had a little better hang time. Punting, Cam (Nizialek) got great placement and hang time. But, the number one thing, coverages have fast, big guys. We’ve got a lot of starters playing on our punt team. We’re still assembling the kickoff team. The goal is to have guys buy in and realize the importance of it. It’s not a down off. So we have a lot of competition. That’s the biggest difference I noticed from last year. There’s a lot of guys fighting for spots on special teams because they know that if they don’t get those spots, they might not make that travel roster. So we’re looking for fast guys that make good decisions.’’
How many of the true freshmen do you think might make these units?
‘’I don’t know an amount. I mean, Swift was showing up. Mark Webb was showing up. Walter Grant is showing up. Several guys…Nate McBride is showing up. There are a lot of guys that are showing up. They’re all in the mix, and I think after Saturday’s scrimmage we’ll know more of the 2-deep on the special teams. And there’s some real good competition. But that’s where those guys are going to make their waves early.’’
Seriously, what’s not to like there? He knows what he wants, mechanically speaking. He’s aware that the talent level on the coverage units has to improve. And it sounds like he’s found the lever to motivate guys to want to participate. I don’t know about you, but that checks all my boxes.
If there’s one area that can improve rapidly based on recent recruiting success, it’s special teams. Sure, there are always going to be a few super subs who make their marks there, but generally speaking, it’s just like any other area in that greater athleticism likely leads to better results. Lord knows after last season, they could sure stand for some improvement there.
Filed under Georgia Football
Today, in skinning the offensive cat
This reads like one of those posts where the author thinks he’s got a unique insight on something, throws some stats out, but really has no idea where he’s going.
Champions simplify; they do not diversify.
When considering the many challenges facing the 2017 Georgia Bulldogs offense, Bulldogs fans might keep that axiom in mind.
Yes, the development of sophomore quarterback Jacob Eason remains the most significant factor in whether the offense excels or sputters. Yes, the line needs better play from returning veterans or an infusion of help from newcomers. Yes, a receiver or two must deliver some big plays to alleviate pressure on Eason and the running back duo of Nick Chubb and Sony Michel.
All those aspirations are fine, but another goal keeps getting attention this preseason: diversifying the offense…
Using so many potential weapons sounds good in theory, but it doesn’t actually happen so frequently. Indeed, statistics show that spreading the wealth is not necessary to win a championship.
Diversifying the offense doesn’t necessarily mean using every skill position player on the roster in equal measure.
A look at recent national champions is informative.
The past five national champions: Clemson (2016), Alabama (2015), Ohio State (2014), Florida State (2013) and Alabama again (2012). For the most part, they did not spread the wealth. Instead, they fed their best players.
Well, duh. Does anyone really think that Elijah Holyfield’s and Nick Chubb’s carries this season are going to be roughly equal?
It all goes back to something Mike Leach wrote in Swing Your Sword.
… To me, a balanced offense is one where each skill position touches the ball, and every position contributes to the offensive output. There is nothing balanced about running it 50 percent of the time and throwing it 50 percent of the time if you are only utilizing two or three offensive skill positions and only attacking part of the field…[Emphasis added.]
… I think it’s almost impossible to have a great offense if you have only one or two guys touching the ball. That one guy had better be really, really special, a Hall of Fame type of talent, like Herschel Walker was at Georgia in the early ’80s…
… People get overly impressed by that artificial balance, where it’s half run, half pass, but with only a couple of players touching the ball. You can run the ball every snap, but if you’re in the wishbone, and everybody touches the ball, that’s real balance. Or you can throw the ball every snap, and if everyone touches the ball, that’s real balance.
If you’ve got that otherworldly talent, in other words, feed the damned beast. In the absence of that, you take advantage of what the defense gives you and if spreading things around best enables you to do so, go, dog, go.
Nick Chubb is going to get the ball a lot because he is an All-American-level talent. As we sit here right now, there isn’t a similar type player in the receiving corps. It’s only reasonable to expect Jim Chaney’s offensive strategies to reflect that. You can diversify looks and formations and still get the ball in the hands of your best players. It’s all a matter of figuring out what works best and implementing that.
Filed under Georgia Football, Strategery And Mechanics
“I’d be the first to tell you that I was hard on Terry last year.”
As somebody who thought Terry Godwin was woefully underutilized last season, I’m glad to hear he’s back in Kirby’s good graces. This is profuse praise:
“As far as depth of routes, running the routes, catching the ball, making plays, blocking people,” Smart said. “And a lot of that was from outside. It wasn’t just inside. He can play inside. He does great with it. But he’s become more valuable to us outside. And I mean value as far as vertical threat. Just catching the ball.
“He’s very consistent in what he does. He made a couple plays out there today, where you start seeing the guy is really becoming the guy that we expect him to become.”
Chaney is right there, too.
“I think Terry’s done a wonderful job,” offensive coordinator Jim Chaney said recently. “He’s put a few pounds on. He’s gotten stronger. He looks a little faster to me. Terry, once again, is familiar with the offense, and he’s doing a wonderful job out there.
“I think he’s got exceptional hands. I think his mind’s in a great spot. I think his attitude’s fantastic, and I love how he’s working right now.”
The guy has the best hands on the team. He needs to be deeply involved in the offense. It sounds like his coaches are down with that.
Filed under Georgia Football
“I don’t know what I’d do without an Uga.”
I’m a sucker for stories about Georgia’s iconic mascot, and this one certainly serves. I love this bit in particular:
In the years since Uga’s beginnings, the mascot has graced the cover of Sports Illustrated and appeared in multiple movies. When Georgia won the 1980 national championship, Uga III received an inscribed championship ring.
“He didn’t have a finger,” Seiler said. “So I wore it for him and still do.”
That’s one ring you’ll never see for sale on eBay.
Filed under Georgia Football