McGee: Keeping in mind that “underperform” is a relative term, it’s hard to imagine that Georgia can replicate what it did in 2021. Big pieces are missing from that historically great defense and Stetson Bennett’s time as a folk hero among the fanbase seems to have lasted about a week. Will the Bulldogs win the SEC East? Probably. Will they win double-digit games and play in Atlanta in December? More than likely. Will that be enough? Not a chance. I just heard a click. I think Schlabach just unfriended me.
Schlabach: Who is going to beat Georgia during the regular season? Tennessee? Florida? The Bulldogs won’t be nearly as good as they were on defense last season, but Kirby Smart and his staff have recruited exceptionally well.
That works as a rebuttal, although I would have gone with “probably and more than likely are doing a shit ton of heavy lifting there”.
McClendon is working with an offense that just so happens to include his nephew as the starting right tackle.
“It’s good seeing him around,” said Warren McClendon, a redshirt junior. “What was it, my eighth grade year? That was probably my first visit here. He was the coach and then he left. Just having him back is awesome.”
So, how long had you been out of diapers, Warren, when I watched your uncle grace the field as a player? Sigh.
There’s something else I want to focus on from spring practice that merits a separate post. Take a look at something from Graham and Seth ($$) about the quarterbacks:
It hasn’t been all good for Beck though. He did throw an interception in a team drill on Thursday. Smart has mentioned previously that Stetson Bennett has “banked a lot of reps,” during his Georgia career, so this might be a case of trying to give the QB room a deeper look. That being said, the staff has elected to pull Bennett from 1st team during drills in favor of Beck at times in the last couple of weeks. On at least one instance this week, Beck was subbed into the first unit after Bennett made a poor play. Some observers feel the pressure from Beck has caused Bennett to press at times.
Only time will tell if Beck can put serious pressure on Bennett for the starting job, but right now he is executing in an impressive way. G-Day should be interesting.
Stetson Bennett was called out a few times on the mic by Smart, wanting more leadership from his quarterback. That backs up what Smart said publicly after Tuesday’s practice. It was observed at Thursday’s practice that Vandagriff and Carson Beck were getting most of the reps, with Bennett standing next to Todd Monken and going over the play calls. So a dual purpose of giving the young guys reps while the starter and play-caller got some mental reps, so to speak.
It’s early, so I don’t want to read too much into this — for one thing, there’s some credence to be given to the notion that Bennett is a known quantity, so giving Beck and Vandagriff a majority of the early reps makes a certain practical sense — but I can’t help feeling like there’s a sense the coaches are trying to find some way to push Bennett in a way I never sensed with Daniels or Fromm when they entered spring practice as the number one.
The question is why. Is Bennett suffering from some sort of post-natty complacency? Is Monken trying to find the lever that motivates Bennett to up his game from last season’s effort? You got me, but it does seem like there’s something going on.
Seth Emerson ($$) has a post up this morning about what he’s seen and heard from Georgia’s spring practices so far, and a fair amount of it parallels what Graham Coffey reported a couple of days ago.
So, rather than repeat a bunch of stuff, I thought I’d share two… um… arousing bits of Dawg porn from Seth’s post:
- Arik Gilbert is standing out, which should be no shock. He had a catch in a team drill in which he split the linebacker and star, who weren’t tackling but they could barely touch him anyway, and an observer said it would have been a touchdown.
- (Offensive line) Depth isn’t a problem according to this coach, who opined that Georgia’s third-team offensive line was as good as half the O-lines in the SEC: “It’s scary the collection of talent they have assembled.”
One thing Seth brought up that is worth repeating is that there were probably more folks than usual willing to speak about what they saw last week — on the low down, of course — because Georgia’s staff hosted a coaching clinic, with a bunch of high school coaches watching practice. Anyway, enjoy!
The Cindis of the basketball world crashed and failed before any could reach the Final Four, but for Chris Vannini, who’s an advocate of CFP expansion, that’s a feature, not a bug.
Yeah, who needs a compelling regular season and conference playoff, anyway?
Football’s postseason expansion will be driven by money, like every other one (including college basketball’s), so I can’t really get too worked up by his “CFP expansion cannot fail; it can only be failed” take. It would have been a lot quicker to admit to a love of brackets and call it a day, though.