Category Archives: Strategery And Mechanics

Rich Rodriguez is blowing up spring practice.

At Georgia, Kirby Smart is pushing for the entire state to show up for G-Day.

Meanwhile, at Arizona, RichRod’s decided the whole spring thing isn’t worth the trouble.

Spring football for colleges begins Friday. Really.

“Hell, the weather’s nice her year round,” Arizona coach Rich Rodriguez said from Tucson, where his team was set to hit the practice field amidst a forecasted high of 88 degrees. “Let’s enjoy it.”

Rodriguez is not the first coach to shift his 15 “spring” practices into February. Duke opened even earlier in 2015 (Feb. 6), while Stanford, Northwestern and a couple others have moved to late February. The stated reasons include giving players that suffer injuries more time to recover and freeing them up to concentrate on academics the rest of the semester.

Practices are spread out over seven weeks (which includes spring break), concluding March 25.

But Rodriguez is taking things one step farther. He’s basically decided to blow up the way his team practices altogether. The Wildcats’ 15 practices will overwhelmingly consist of individual drills and basic fundamentals. There will be only one formal scrimmage, no spring game and relatively few 11-on-11 periods.

Inconceivable!  Can you imagine the hue and cry that would arise if we were deprived of spring scrimmage stats?  How would we know that the coaches were starting the wrong quarterback without G-Day QBR to fall back on?

Even better, can you imagine if RichRod had taken the Alabama job and tried this?  He’d be run out of Tuscaloosa on a rail.

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Not to interrupt your midday drool…

Before you finish trying to compose yourself after reading this morning’s Eason/Chaney post, you might want to take a minute to think about what a couple of folks are saying about Charlie Woerner:

“What exactly is he? He’s a utility player that can do a lot of things,” Smart said. “He’s getting bigger, he runs track. He’s played defense, he’s played offense. He’s not a guy that’s coming in and looking for the high-profile situation. All he wants to do is come in and play and compete. I’m excited because having gone against Jim Chaney’s offense, I know the way he uses players like that. I watched him do that with Hunter Henry (at Arkansas), I watched him do that with guys at Tennessee. He’ll find ways to get the guy the ball and put him in unique situations for his body size and matchup. We’re obviously excited about Charlie.”

Woerner’s high school coach at Rabun County, Lee Shaw, believes his pupil’s skill set and size could make for some interesting mismatches down the road. Last July, when Woerner committed to Georgia, Shaw said his standout player should be able to allow  Georgia’s coaching staff – which has since changed – to move him around in various formations.

“(Woerner) presents mismatches because you can force a defense into different fronts,” Shaw said. “Then you flex Charlie out, or send in trips open and he’s a single receiver, and you force the defense into a scheme they don’t want to be in. Charlie’s that guy. That’s why I compare him to (tight end Rob) Gronkowski and how they use Gronkowski at New England.”

Cigarette?

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Filed under Georgia Football, Strategery And Mechanics

Goodness, I need a cold shower.

If this Ian Boyd post, entitled “5-star Jacob Eason is a perfect fit for UGA’s new offense, because he’s already been running it”, isn’t pure, 200-proof Dawg porn, I don’t know what is.

A little taste:

Eason doesn’t even need to have his feet firmly set in order to hit tight windows and make long throws down the field. He reminds SB Nation recruiting guru Bud Elliott of Drew Bledsoe with the way he regularly beats safeties on post routes and seam routes with his velocity and ball placement.

In terms of physical tools, there’s no doubt that this kid can execute any style of offense at a very high level, if he can learn to read defenses well enough to avoid mistakes. So exactly what kind of system is he going to be learning to attack defenses with at Georgia?

Jacob Eason in the new Georgia offense

Jim Chaney made his name in the college football world by unleashing an overlooked and undersized Texas HS QB named Drew Brees in a wide-open, spread offense at Purdue. That Purdue team won a split Big Ten championship in 2000. This was before everyone was unleashing overlooked and undersized Texans in spread offenses.

Chaney eventually entered the pro game but then came back to college at Tennessee in 2009 before joining Brett Bielema at Arkansas. From his time in St. Louis with Scott Linehan he picked up the art of utilizing TEs and diverse run games with varied blocking schemes and angles, which has defined the Arkansas offense under Bielema’s oversight.

In an age where schematic complexity tends to focus around the passing game, Chaney’s diverse run game is a unique challenge, with its myriad of false keys and varying blocks for linebackers to recognize. After setting the table with these schemes and putting TEs on the field, Chaney then sprinkles back in his spread passing game.

Chaney’s development towards becoming more TE- and run-focused is crucial for Eason, particularly if he’s asked to step in and play soon. An offense built around a multiple run game that deploys TEs on the field is often an easier one for a QB to manage, since it generally only relies on the passing game to punish defensive responses to the run. Also, it’s easier to hit 6’4″+ targets in the middle of the field, especially if they are running free after faking a block.

I’ll let you have some privacy now.

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Filed under Georgia Football, Strategery And Mechanics

Yeah, but he had a cool towel.

Interesting story, bro.

Kirby Smart shared some of the finer points and intricate details of what went into Alabama’s defensive success with high school coaches at a clinic in Atlanta last week.

When the new Georgia football coach opened the floor to some questions after speaking for more than 50 minutes, one coach asked him a question: “Kirby, how long did it take those guys you have to learn all that stuff?”

Smart, the former Crimson Tide defensive coordinator, said it was a great question because the complexity of the defense is something he said had been used against him in recruiting.

“Everybody negative recruits really against Alabama, but they did the same thing to (coach) Jeremy Pruitt when he was at Georgia, ‘You can’t learn all of it. You can’t play as a freshman,’” Smart said.

One can only imagine what other coaches had to say about Todd Grantham in that regard.  Actually, I’d prefer not to think about that.

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Filed under Georgia Football, Recruiting, Strategery And Mechanics

“And I was smart enough to say, ‘If you can’t make it at quarterback, you could be a heck of a tight end…’”

Yeah, Mark Richt was such a maroon for suggesting that to Cam Newton… oh, wait.

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Thursday morning buffet

Rise and shine, peeps.

  • A Big 12 championship game could mean as much as $2.5 million-$3 million per school each season, but Bob Bowlsby claims the odds are no better than 50-50 that the conference suits will have a vote on it.  Uh hunh, right.
  • Deposed Mizzou president says football player’s strike was “the equivalent of throwing gasoline on a small fire”, but he is “willing to accept some of the responsibility for what happened”.  That’s mighty white of him.
  • Further tales from the wussification“You can’t assume this is safe for these guys anymore, which is a bummer.”
  • Ian Boyd explains why the free safety is the most important position against the spread.
  • Here’s an early (way too early?) look at Georgia’s 2016 depth chart.  Kendall Baker seems to be a guy to keep an eye on.
  • With regard to recruiting rankings, Bill Connelly posits that the ‘Bama bump is real.  And it’s spectacular okay.
  • Stewart Mandel hits on the same thing I noted a couple of days ago about the direction Big Ten recruiting is taking these days:  “There’s a twinge of hypocrisy to see this happening up north, where fans have long cast aspersions at Southern schools for what they perceived to be ethically questionable methods of ‘roster management.'”  You’ve come a long way, baby!

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Filed under Big 12 Football, Big Ten Football, Blowing Smoke, Georgia Football, It's All Just Made Up And Flagellant, It's Just Bidness, Recruiting, Strategery And Mechanics, The Body Is A Temple

Future football

Chris Brown takes a look at where the game of football may be in 50 years.  His best guess at change may surprise you.

This is why it’s likely that, within the next 50 years, the size of the field will be enlarged by increasing the width from 53 1/3 to 60 yards, for the same reasons the NBA created and keeps pushing the three point line back: to create more space. And while purists might resist, the size of the field is arbitrary and no other change could more subtly open up the game (with potential safety benefits) than expanding the width of the field. It’s also less abrasive to the game than the change most of the coaches I spoke to expected—or, rather, feared: the removal of two or three offensive linemen so that the sport was more like the seven-on-seven passing leagues that now dominate the offseason for high schoolers.

Gawd, could you imagine Baylor’s offense with another six and a half yards worth of field to operate in?

There’s a lot of other cool stuff in there worth a look.  Although my favorite bit is about anything other than looking down the road.

Over the last few months I’ve asked a number of coaches at a variety of levels what they thought football strategy would be like in 50 years. Given that, as a profession, coaches tend to be focused on immediate goals—the next practice, the next game, the next play—the response I received from one small college head coach was typical: “First, hell, I can’t predict how strategy will change next year, let alone in 50 years. Second, it doesn’t matter, because in 50 years I will be dead.”

Now that’s the game I know.

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