“In the fastball world we live in, you better get guys in and out of the game.”

This is what superior depth gets you.

“I’m in a defensive line room where every single player can play all four positions,” said Rochester, a junior defensive tackle. “We try to stay in the best shape we can and let coach Scott (Sinclair) handle it.”

Sinclair, Georgia’s strength and conditioning coach, works to ensure Georgia’s linemen fit the desired mold of head coach Kirby Smart — in the weight range of 295 to 305 pounds and to possess speed.

Then, Sinclair carries the trust over to the practice field.

Georgia has 13 defensive linemen on its preseason camp roster, despite losing two veteran assets in John Atkins and Trenton Thompson after last season.

Whether hitting against live competition or dummies in practice, a group of three didn’t see more than two consecutive plays. Sinclair carries a systematic balance between aggressiveness and rest — regardless of the situation.

“Good, good, good,” Sinclair yelled during Tuesday’s practice at the indoor practice facility, sometimes giving distinct advice to a certain player. “Now get out of here.”

Smart envisions eight to nine different players rotating on the defensive line this season and is unsure who will fill out the group aside from the returning core (including Rochester, Tyler Clark, Jonathan Ledbetter and Jay Hayes). He carries the belief that a successful defensive front has to “play a lot of guys” due to players becoming worn down, and Georgia has the assets to do so.

Get after those assets.

How many teams will Georgia face this season that can match the Dawgs in the trenches?  And when’s the last time Georgia was set like that?



Filed under Georgia Football

38 responses to ““In the fastball world we live in, you better get guys in and out of the game.”

  1. Got Cowdog

    The rise of the machines. Faceless monsters who never get tired and never stop coming. The Terminators.
    I can see it. Especially behind the visor-ed helmets.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hogbody Spradlin

    Well, ya know that EVERY ONE of Climpson’s defensive linemen is an All American.


    • RangerRuss

      That’s right,HB. The shit shoveler’s O doesn’t have to be great because nobody will score on that D. They’re gonna set records!


  3. This is exactly why I like playing SCU later in the year, as their annual natty hopes had been squashed at that point with 4 or more losses, and their overall depth had been diminished due to injuries or fatigue. Regardless, in previous years our depth, much like our OL, had been our achilles’ heel, so it’s nice to see that these two areas are a position of strength for us.

    On the flip side, both UF and UT, who typically have solid depth, really will be struggling in that area for the next several years, and our talent plus depth edge over both should be too much for them to overcome.


  4. David Smith

    And when Julian said coach Scott, I was of the impression he was talking about his position coach, Tray Scott, handle where they play. Didn’t realize Sinclair was that involved on the practice fields.


  5. Dawg Vegas

    I get all tingly reading this kind of info. Or, I’m having a heart attack


  6. ETDF

    As an opposing coach and after reading this, would you be tempted to not make offensive substitutions during a drive? If the players are conditioned to play no more than 2-3 plays, it seems like making them play 9-10 without substitution would be problematic.


  7. John Denver is full of shit...

    Georgia will face 1 team that can match them in the trenches and that game will be in the SEC championship vs Bama.


  8. JCDAWG83

    Certainly different than the days of Weaver, Gilbert and Payne playing every snap.


    • The Dawg abides

      Or the D-line playing nearly every snap in the 2012 SECC game, when we were downt to 68 scholarship players. That was less than USC had, and they were on probation.


  9. JT

    IMO the lack of DL depth was the difference in the 2012 SEC game. The lack of depth on the DL is what allowed Bama to run the ball to a SEC win. I like we are playing USCe early. The heat will really test the depth of both teams where UGA has a huge advantage. I expect a competitive game early and UGA will pull away in the 2nd half. The depth of UGA on both lines of scrimmage and at RB. The UGA rb’s will have a huge 4th.


  10. CB

    This is where we might really feel the burn of missing out on Derrick Brown and Aubrey Solomon. Those two would be the starters. Thanks a lot Rocker.


  11. I keep hearing this is the best offensive line in 20 years. I would say that we have the best defensive and offensive lines in the history of the program.


    • Gaskilldawg

      Can’t argue with your comment on the DL, but I am partial to the O Lines of the mid 1970s. Beginning my freshman year through last year of law school we had the following All-American offensive linemen: Craig Hertwig (1974); Randy Johnson (1975, and was All-SEC first team in 1974 on same line with AA Hertwig), Moonpie Wilson (1976 and on the O-Line in 1974 with AAs Hertwig and Johnson and with AA Johnson in 1975); Joel Parrish (1976, on o-line in 1975 with AA Johnson and AA Wilson); and George Collins (1977, started on 1976 line with AAs Wilson and Parrish). During those season we also had O-linemen who were All-SEC but not All-American: (Chris Hammond (1972), Mac McWhorter (1973, on the same O-line as AA Hertwig and AA Johnson), Mack Guest (1978) and Matt Braswell (1978) . Viewed another way, we had the following seasons with multiple starters who at some point were AA or All-SEC linemen:

      1972: Chris Hammond and Mac McWhorter
      1973: Chris Hammond, Mac McWhorter and Craig Hertwig
      1974: Randy Johnson and Craig Hertwig
      1975: Moonpie Wilson and Randy Johnson
      1976: Moonpie Wilson, Joel Parrish and George Collins, all of whom were All-Americans
      1977: George Collins, Matt Braswell and Mack Guest
      1978: Matt Braswell and Mack Guest (along with Ray Donaldson, who was All-SEC in 1979 and Nat Hudson, who was All-SEC in 1980)

      That is 7 consecutive seasons in the 1979’s in which our offensive line featured multiple players who were All-SEC or All-American worthy.

      In addition to the decorated linemen of that era, we had two starters who did not make All-SEC or All-American who were good enough to play in the NFL. Paul Ferson was on the 1972 line with Chris Hammond and Mac McWhorter.

      Steve Wilson played for about a decade in the NFL. He was an All_NFC lineman with Tampa Bay. He was a starter on the 1974 line with All-Americans Randy Johnson and Craig Hertwig, and on the 1975 line with All-Americans Moonpie Wilson and Randy Johnson.
      Think about it. The 1974 and 1975 1975 lines featured two All-Americans and a third who was All-NFC as starters.
      In seven season we had 11 linemen who were AAs, All-SEC or NFL players.
      I love our current line, but I loved the mid 1970s lines, too.


      • Milledge Hall

        I still think Ray Donaldson was one of the best, if not THE best offensive lineman to ever play for UGA.


        • 81Dog

          Saw Ray down at the old Stegman Hall one afternoon. You’d frequently see football players down there lifting in the winer or spring. Didn’t know who he was, just a massive, lineman looking dude in sweats. By himself on a basketball court, posted up on the low block with a ball. Took one dribble into the lane, snatched the ball off the dribble with one massive paw, spun effortlessly to the basket and dunked it viciously. It was shocking to see a guy that big move as gracefully as a cat, and to spring so effortlessly. I asked someone “who was THAT?” Oh, that’s Ray Donaldson, he plays football. No wonder he was a 10 year all pro.


      • RangerRuss

        Ken Helms was a letterman ’74-’76’. He was good enough to be drafted by the Colts in ’77. A wonderful human being.


        • Gaskilldawg

          Yes, he was an excellent center. UGA media as guide does not list him as a starter but my memory is that Helms replaced the injured starter at mid-season and was outstanding.
          What an outstanding group of linemen.


        • 81Dog

          A wonderful human bring? That’s not how I remember him. I did know another OL at the time who was a starter, dude told me Helms was the most talented lineman on the team, but also the laziest and most undisciplined guy on the team. Make of that what you will.


  12. Greg

    Don’t know why I have been worried about the DL for this year…..


    • Anonymous

      Honestly, it is because Kirby planted the idea in your head back in the spring. He talked repeatedly about the lack of depth on the DL. Now, that doesn’t mean there was (or wasn’t) a lack of depth, but he wanted people to believe it. The people he wanted believing it may have been recruits. The fans believing it as well may just be a side-effect.


  13. AusDawg85

    But do we have strength at long snappah??

    Liked by 1 person

    • Argondawg

      probably not. We should turn away a 4 or a 5 star so that we can get the nations best long snappah. Kirby would cut off a toe before he did that.


  14. Starting lineups are kinda irrelevant now, especially on D. No telling how many times over the last few years that the bulk of the game was played by non-starters. But, yeah, it’s a nice problem.

    On a kinda related note: anyone bother to listen to game radio last year and notice how many TEs were in the starting lineups? Lmao! Several times Scott Howard listed 4 TEs in the starting lineup.


    • I think this is all part of the misinformation game Smart plays, even with the local media. 2018 should be the year that media finally gets that Smart ain’t telling you anything about suspensions, injuries and lineups. What he does tell you will only leave you more confused.

      I kinda enjoyed seeing local media squirm over it. The AJC is now kinda fucked when it comes to Georgia football. Their only source will be ACCPD and even that may be kinda cut off.


  15. Dawglicious

    Could “Get After Those Assets” become a lexicon entry? I like it.


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