Category Archives: Strategery And Mechanics

“… there’s no kid that’s ever sat back there on a kickoff and waved fair catch on the 1-yard line…”

You may have heard that the NCAA Playing Rules Oversight Panel just passed several new rules, the most prominent of which allows the receiving team to fair catch a kickoff inside the 25-yard line and have it result in a touchback.

This, of course, means the end of directional kicking as we know it (Jon Fabris would be turning in his grave, if he were in one, figuratively speaking).

Kirby suggests the obvious:

Georgia kicker Rodrigo Blankenship ranked second in the SEC and eighth nationally in touchback percentage last season at 71.3 percent (67 of 94). The national average was 42.4 percent, according to SI.com.

The Bulldogs ranked fourth in the SEC in kickoff return defense at 19.5.

“It could minimize the value of a good kicker,” Smart said. “If your kicker kicks a 4.4 (second) hang (time) to the 5-yard line, that’s a huge weapon because you couldn’t fair catch it. …It could take the weapon away. But we never told Rodrigo to kick it high and short. We told him to kick it out of the end zone. That’s what we want him to do.”

Just when Georgia gets its collective shit together on kickoff coverage… and on the receiving side?

Smart was asked if the rule change will alter Georgia’s approach.

“It’s not going to change anything,” Smart said. “We’re going to prepare for it and higher, shorter kicks will be fair caught. Kicks that we don’t think we can get to the 25, we’ll be better off fair catching. A lot of it depends on what type kicker you’re facing.”

And type of coverage team, too.  Which makes me wonder if there will be any change in special teams philosophy.  When the odds of actually having to cover a kick return decrease dramatically — and you have to think that 42.4% national average for touchbacks is about to go way up — does that affect your approach to constructing and coaching kickoff return teams?

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Filed under Georgia Football, Strategery And Mechanics, The NCAA

The art of making lemonade out of lemons

Found this of interest:

Sounds like ball control and efficiency are the keys to making the most out of what you’ve got, if you’re not a recruiting powerhouse.  Certainly, there’s more than one way to skin those particular cats, but if you were going to pick an offensive scheme that was best for running clock and keeping your defense off the field, what would you choose?

19 Comments

Filed under Stats Geek!, Strategery And Mechanics

Seek and destroy

Nice clip of Isaiah Wynn blowing up a hapless defensive player.

That’s just perfectly executed.

One can only hope we’ll be treated to something similar from Andrew Thomas working against Todd Grantham’s 2018 group in… Florida, right?  It’s hard keeping up with that man.

10 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football, Strategery And Mechanics

If it ain’t broke… eh, go ahead.

SOD’s a smart guy, so I guess KISS is a principle that doesn’t apply to him.

Through three weeks of spring practice, there’s no point using one catch-all phrase to define Derek Dooley’s offense that’s taking shape at Mizzou.<

The playbook is too cumbersome to file under one genre. Is it a spread offense? A pro-style model? A combination ? All of the above, and more.

“We’re throwing a lot at (the players), seeing what sticks,” said Dooley, the first-year coordinator, after Tuesday’s practice as the Tigers get closer to their April 14 Black and Gold game. “You kind of sling it up on the wall and whatever sticks you keep it going. You throw a little more on the wall, see what sticks and keep it going.”

Yeah, this is going to end well.

25 Comments

Filed under SEC Football, Strategery And Mechanics

Defense (still) wins championships.

Ask John Chavis.

Looks like he’s on to something there.

But by all means let’s keep screaming about Chaney needing to open up the offense.  Eyes on the prize, peeps.

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Filed under Strategery And Mechanics

“Matchup proof”

Those of you complaining about Chaney’s second-half playcalling in the national title game, okay, fine.  Just explain something to me, first:  how would you scheme around Da’Ron Payne, Minkah Fitzpatrick and Rashaan Evans?

Evans finished tied for the lead in total tackles with 74 including eight run stuffs and in pass defense he added six sacks and three pass break-ups. Fitzpatrick was third in tackles, had seven pass break-ups and an INT, and also made six run stuffs. Payne’s impact was quiet statistically (one sack, seven run stuffs) but he was the heart of the defense and regularly clogged up the interior for the Tide’s athletic backfield.

The result of Evans and Fitzpatrick being so good in coverage and versatile enough to each play two primary positions had the effect of making Alabama “matchup-proof.” Both of them could man your typical slot WR or TE without being overwhelmed and needing an in/out bracket from a down safety. That then freed the Tide to play both safeties over the top to help the corners or to bring extra defenders on the blitz. It was also nearly impossible to find a favorable angle or matchup inside with Da’Ron Payne owning the interior and rag dolling opposing centers.

Georgia was able to throw on guys not named Fitzpatrick and Evans and also ran the ball well on a few key third downs when Alabama got caught playing man coverage with our two heroes turning their backs to the backfield (until the Tide started dropping a safety to eliminate that problem).

The good news is they’re gone.

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Filed under Alabama, Strategery And Mechanics

Life in the post-I blame Bobo era

This is, I think, a fair observation.

… it also frees up Chaney to be more of what is known as a “walk-around offensive coordinator.” In other words, while he’s overseeing the tight ends, his focus remains mainly on the overall offense and all aspects of it. So he’ll still have the last word on what the offense looks like, what the strategy is and, yes, what plays are called.

It’s really on the latter responsibility that Chaney has attracted the most criticism from Georgia fans. Some of that is fair and some of it is not. Certainly he’s been known to call more inside dives than we think he should. But play callers are only as good as the players executing those calls. And Chaney has been through two seasons now of having to break in a freshman at quarterback and one of having to overcome substandard play on the line.

It came in response to a question about whether this would be the year that Georgia opens up the offense.  As someone who’s sat in the stands for decades and heard my fair share of fans basically complain about any single play call that doesn’t result in an immediate touchdown, I can’t say that query comes as a particular surprise.  Nor am I trying to defend Jim Chaney’s playcalling as immaculate.  But let’s slow down a little bit here.

Consider the following stats from the 2017 Georgia offense:

That looks pretty opened up to me, but, eh, what do I know?

And again, that’s with a true freshman quarterback who was thrust into the role unexpectedly and an offensive line that took a while to find some traction.

I suppose the bitching here boils down to wanting to see more deep passing, but, seriously, if you were Georgia’s offensive coordinator with the running backs and the receivers you had at your disposal to deploy, what would you have done differently?

Now 2018 looks to have a different set of variables in play — an experienced Jake Fromm, what should be an improved offensive line, the departure of Chubb and Michel, for starters — so it’s not unreasonable to expect Chaney’s playcalling to vary somewhat, at least within the confines of what Smart wants.  As long as they’re at least hitting the statistical marks last year’s offense did, does it really matter how they get there?

Maybe next year’s QOTD will be wondering if 2019 will be the year Chaney lets the running backs have the ball more.

36 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football, Strategery And Mechanics