Category Archives: Strategery And Mechanics

Beefing up

Here’s a good piece in Field Street Forum that gives an indication about where Kirby Smart may be headed with his defensive philosophy, based on some of the recruits he’s chasing.

While it isn’t surprising at all, this points to Kirby going with a defense with bigger linebackers. Of course this is what he did at Alabama, while Pruitt has been recruiting and using smaller/quicker linebackers the past two years.

Take a look at the difference:

Roquan Smith – 6’1 217
D’Andre Walker – 6’3 224
Natrez Patrick – 6’3 248 (will thrive in Kirby’s system)
Juwan Taylor – 6’1 200

Above are the weights of our linebackers after a season in the strength and conditioning program. If Jackson were to come to UGA, he would be the second biggest linebacker on the team the minute he steps on campus.

Need further proof?

Ben Davis is the #1 ILB in the nation and just named UGA his leader. He’s 6’3 240.

Bigger at inside linebacker… Smart’s not kidding about stopping the run.

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Filed under Georgia Football, Strategery And Mechanics

Smart and Pruitt

I still think it’s something of a longshot that Jeremy Pruitt’s still on the staff next season (Josh Kendall is reporting that Colorado State’s defensive coordinator and safeties coach Tyson Summers is on Smart’s radar), but if he is, I think it’s important to realize that his role is bound to change.

Smart isn’t Richt.  Pruitt won’t be given complete carte blanche to run the defense as was the case before the changeover.  One reason is because of Smart’s background; no doubt he has some specific defensive concepts he’ll want adopted going forward.  Another is based on the system he and Pruitt came out of.

And no, by that I don’t mean that you can expect Pruitt to become a mere functionary.  What I mean is that I would expect Smart to set an overall strategy and allow Pruitt to figure out the best way to implement that.

That’s not to say one way is better or worse.  Just different.  But you have to ask if Pruitt’s willing to operate going forward on that basis.

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Filed under Georgia Football, Strategery And Mechanics

“I like the preparation, but I don’t like the cut blocking at all.”

Interesting perspective on how much playing Georgia Southern and Georgia Tech back-to-back might help Georgia’s defense prepare here:

“Somewhat it will help them just because of the assignment,” said Georgia Southern coach Willie Fritz, whose team lost to Georgia Tech last season 42-38. “Someone on the dive, quarterback, pitch. Really, I don’t know all the background in scheduling. I’ve only been here a couple of years. I think originally it was intended for an under-center, triple-option like Georgia Tech runs and what we used to run before I got here. In that regard, there’s quite a bit of difference between the two teams.”

And Paul Johnson adds something to that.

“They really played three option teams in a row if you want to count,” he said. “That’s what Auburn is really. …You know, they’ve played against us. We’ve played against them. I don’t think there will be a whole lot of change. They played three fronts against us last year, that’s what they play against everybody. Nobody is going to reinvent the wheel in three days.”

Tactically, I think Johnson has the better argument.  Sure there are differences resulting from how the quarterback takes the ball, but in the end, Pruitt’s gonna do what Pruitt’s gonna do playing a run-oriented offense.  And Tech is likely to probe Georgia’s defense the same way Southern did.

“They stretch you from sideline to sideline and guys got to play off blocks on the perimeter and make some plays, so it’s got to help hopefully,” Georgia defensive coordinator Jeremy Pruitt said. “There are some things we can take away from it. We have to do a better job on the perimeter, we let some balls out on us. We were fortunate on a couple of others that were close to getting out on us.”

But I do think Fritz’ point about getting the repetitions from playing assignment football is the more important.  So maybe when Leonard Floyd says,

“It definitely gets us used to it,” said outside linebacker Leonard Floyd, who had a career-high 12 tackles and 3 1/2 for loss last Saturday. “As a defense, everybody has to do their job. You can’t do somebody else’s job. That’s how a lane opens up when you play those Wing-T type teams.”

… he and his teammates will be able to draw on their experience from their last two games to play like they talk.

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Filed under Georgia Football, Strategery And Mechanics

Regrets, he’s had a few.

Hello, hindsight.

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Filed under Georgia Football, Strategery And Mechanics

“I’m talking about the play-calling, so whoever calls the plays.”

You know, I took as much glee out of Ohio State’s meltdown after the loss to Michigan State as anyone, but now, as I hear the cries in the media calling out Ezekiel Elliott for expressing his frustration, I’m starting to backtrack.  Maybe it’s just me, but is there really that much difference in substance in this comment

“I’m disappointed in the play-calling. I’m disappointed in the situations that we were put in, and I wish it all played out differently,” Elliott said. “It is very disappointing. In the one drive that we had where we kind of had some momentum after we scored on the strip-sack, the plays we ran, we ran a lot of gap schemes and we were gashing them. You guys saw that on that drive. We had a lot of momentum.

“Honestly, we didn’t see those plays for the rest of the game. Those plays weren’t called anymore. I asked for those plays to be called, and they weren’t. It just hurts. It hurts a lot because of how we lost. I feel like we just weren’t put in the right opportunity to win this game. We weren’t put in the right situations to win this game.”

“I think I do deserve more than 11 carries,” he said. “I think I really do. I can’t speak for the play calling, I don’t know what was going on or what they were seeing, but honestly, it didn’t work out. It wasn’t working.”

… from what Nick Chubb had to say after the Alabama game?

“I know I wanted to run the ball more ‘cause our passing game just wasn’t in rhythm,” said Chubb, who ran for 146 yards to tie Herschel Walker’s streak of 13 consecutive 100-yard games. “It would’ve been great to run the ball because things were actually starting to open up. If we could have threw the ball off running the ball we could’ve had a better passing game.”

Chalk it up to Things Dumb Offensive Playcalling Makes Star Players Say and move on, methinks.

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Filed under Big Ten Football, Strategery And Mechanics

Monday morning buffet

Fuel up, folks.

  • The Georgia Way  – it’s not just for the athletic department anymore! (h/t Lrgk9)
  • How was this kid not ejected from the game?
  • Add Iowa State to the coaching carousel list.
  • They’re just now getting around to figuring out how to fill all the bowl game slots?
  • Les Miles’ fate at LSU sounds like it’s moved from the if to the when stage.
  • Stuff like this probably doesn’t help.
  • Does playing Georgia Southern’s triple option help the Dawgs prepare to play Georgia Tech’s version?
  • Speaking of Tech, the season’s been disappointing enough that even the denizens at StingTalk can’t work up much an argument against Georgia being installed as a 4.5-point favorite.

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Filed under ACC Football, Big 12 Football, Georgia Football, Georgia Tech Football, SEC Football, Strategery And Mechanics, The NCAA

Offensive malpractice

This, in a nutshell, is what drove me crazy watching the game last night.

Kolton Houston knew the final play, or what proved to the final play, was in good shape when the Georgia left guard got to the line and saw Georgia Southern had bought into the three-wideout look, and had two safeties back.

“They were in the perfect look,” Houston said. “And I said: This play has got a chance to spit. And sure enough she went right down the pike.”

Sony Michel did indeed go right through the middle for the game-winning 25-yard touchdown on Georgia’s first play of overtime. The blocking on the play was perfect, and Michel did the rest.

But the rest of the game didn’t look so good blocking-wise for the Bulldogs, at least from afar.

It didn’t look that good up close, Seth.  But I digress.

The offensive line has struggled for a good part of the season.  To make matters more challenging, the staff decided to undertake a wholesale reshuffling of the o-line for Georgia Southern.  That, in turn, invited the exact response Georgia got from the Eagles’ defense.

“They definitely dialed up and brought everything but the kitchen sink at us,” Theus said. “They were twisting and bringing stunts and all kind of pressure. We had to respond to it, but we did a good job, had a good gameplan for it. And tried to make out adjustments as best we could.”

They blitzed.  They stunted.  But basically they loaded the box every opportunity they could.  And what was frustrating about that was that Schottenheimer had a very obvious counter at his disposal, which was to play out of three- and four-wide sets.  Especially with the latter, those forced GSU to play with six defenders in the box and that meant Michel had room to operate.  Add in that the Eagles’ secondary was nothing special in pass coverage, and it was an obvious tactic to stick with.

Unless you’re Brian Schottenheimer, I guess.

I’m definitely not someone who qualifies as having been in the arena, but it’s straight out of Offensive Coordinator 101 that your playcalling should start (and end) with taking what the defense gives you.  Instead of sticking with that, we saw a bunch of I-formation and twin-tight end sets that were nothing more than an opportunity to flood Georgia’s offensive line with more defenders than it could handle.  That’s exactly what they got, too.

Theus was honorable enough to deny that the personnel changes had an effect, but you couldn’t help but see that Long was overmatched and there were communication problems throughout the game.  Yet, Schottenheimer kept calling plays that left them susceptible to GSU’s scheming.

This, again, is part of a pattern I’ve seen this season of setting players up to fail that’s been the worst part of the coaching job we’ve gotten out of the staff this season.  It smacks of the approach they took with letting Bauta start the Florida game, while limiting his first team reps in practice and not altering the game plan from what hadn’t been working.

I don’t get it.

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Filed under Georgia Football, Strategery And Mechanics