How red was my shirt.

This Andy Staples piece on the new four-game redshirt rule triggered a couple of thoughts in response.

First, he writes about the potential postseason impact:

Also, teams that reach non-Playoff and non-New Year’s Six bowls could play all of their freshmen in the bowl games. This carrot might keep a redshirting player more engaged during the season. It also could blunt the negative impact of veteran players deciding to sit out bowl games by giving fans their first look at highly touted recruits whose only action has come at practice all season. It essentially would turn bowl practices into another spring practice—except with a game against another team at the end.

So I’m curious — those of you who don’t think letting two schools scrimmage in a spring game is such a good idea because of the injury risk, how is this any different?

Second, the bulk of his article runs through the prism of Alabama’s quarterback situation, which — surprise! — isn’t exactly like Georgia’s, in that Hurts is on track to graduate this December, but it still got me to thinking about Smart, who has fretted on the record about the problems of consistently maintaining quarterback depth in an age of star accumulation and transfers.

Quite simply, doesn’t the new redshirt rule make Kirby’s life easier?  Let’s say for the sake of argument [ed. note:  emphasis added for the sake of… well, you know why.] that Fromm holds off Fields this season.  With the new rule, Georgia’s staff no longer has to bury Fields on the sideline to create class separation while hoping like hell nothing happens to Fromm’s health.  Instead, Fields can develop while serving as a backup in case of injury, play in several games to get acclimated to college ball and the program still gets the class separation between the two it desires.

Sure, having a competent third-stringer under that scenario will always be prudent, but it’s probably not as urgent a thing as it would have been a year ago.  Not to mention that the same thing goes for Jimmie Third String as it does for Fields.

In other words, it’s a good thing for both the coaches and the kids.  Which is why I share Staples’ mock surprise over the NCAA not screwing up the new rule.  Yay for everyone!

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16 Comments

Filed under Strategery And Mechanics, The NCAA

16 responses to “How red was my shirt.

  1. Bright Idea

    I like the rule and it will make these multi-million dollar coaches jobs easier. They need every break they can get!

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  2. junkyardawg41

    To your first question, I think there is a difference between cross school scrimmages and cross school practices. I would be all for practices — an opportunity to learn from other coaches on techniques and drills and fresh perspectives. Scrimmages would be very vanilla and I am unsure how that assists in bettering the team. I think that is where the injury argument comes into play. When you are going up against another team, the element of being super competitive comes out and increases the chances of injury. Is that a risk you would want to take for a scrimmage game? (I understand the same could be true with the current spring game construct I — just think it is a little more amplified with another squad.)
    As to how a bowl participation is different from a spring game/scrimmage? About 4 months of recovery if a player is injured in one vs the other. I know it’s not an either or because injury can occur in both — but that is a way of looking at it)
    To your second observation, I am in total agreement. I am very excited to see how Kirby and Co (and other coaches) manage the redshirt rule. I would be shocked if teams did not play every single scholarship player.

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    • Cojones

      Agree with your 4 months of recovery and commented the same below before reading your post.

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    • As to how a bowl participation is different from a spring game/scrimmage? About 4 months of recovery if a player is injured in one vs the other. I know it’s not an either or because injury can occur in both — but that is a way of looking at it)

      So it’s not a general risk of injury that concerns you, just long-term injury?

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      • Cojones

        General risk of injury occurs every day in practice and escalates when they have scrimmaging practice. Because we want them to practice, are we more callous about their health than if they are getting game experience when it counts and increases the “good thing”?

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      • junkyardawg41

        I think I would agree with that — a torn ACL in spring scrimmage means no playing time the following year. A torn ACL in a bowl might mean the player is available for the next season. Obviously a skill position would mean late in the season but a lineman for instance might be available at the start of the season.

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    • CPark58

      I wish they had cross team practices. Skill players 7 on 7, oklahoma drill between the lines, one on one board drill, H.O.R.S.E. between the place kickers, etc. I’m sure there is a way to keep score.

      Instead of a vanilla touch football game against the good guys, have a spring practice were UGA matches up against Clemson in isolated phases of the game. Or maybe even travel to Georgia Southern or Vadosta State where non local fans can see the team and help garner interest for the smaller teams without wasting a game.

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  3. The other Doug

    I think Fields sees action in one of the early OOC games in mop up duty, plays a good bit in a blow out, and over half of the UMASS game. Kirby will keep that 4th game if he is needed to spell Fromm in the playoffs or play significant time in a bowl game. If we had a solid back up QB then Kirby wouldn’t worry about saving Fields’ last game for the playoffs.

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  4. UGA ‘97

    “..yay for everyone…”

    Everyone includes The Saban School of Roster Management

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  5. Cojones

    “… ..spring game… …injury risk… …how is this any different?” Perhaps they will have longer to heal before fall play?

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  6. lakedawg

    Am I the only one who thinks Fields is not going to red shirt where Fromm gets hurt or not. If he is good as we think he probably is gone in 3 years anyway.

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  7. Russ

    What I learned from this is there’s no way Hurts doesn’t graduate in December, even if Saban has to assign three different “quality control” analysts to take his classes.

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  8. CB

    Is the rule retroactive. IE could Eason count last season as his redshirt since he only played in 3 games?

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