Don’t jump to the wrong conclusion here — it’s not about control freaks gonna control freak. Kirby’s just concerned that some kid’s poor ol’ mama’s gonna learn her son’s been asked to run a jet sweep before Kirby’s had the chance to let her know himself.
Category Archives: Strategery And Mechanics
Judging from the continuing comments about increased situational work in spring practice, it’s area of major emphasis for Smart now.
Georgia begins every team meeting this spring with a different situation. Smart talked to NFL coaches this offseason, which he says deal with tight games even more than Georgia did.
“Every single day, except the first practice, we had end-of-game situation at practice.,” Smart said. “I think it makes Jacob (Eason) a lot better. It makes Jake Fromm a lot better. And defensively, it’s been great. We even had a situation the other day where we were gonna clock the ball, We had a first down and we went to spike the ball and the guy jumped offsides. At the end of game, we had a 10-second runoff.”
This, quite frankly, is what you want to hear from someone coming off his first year as a head coach with a few rough game management moments. Repetition and familiarity lead to improvement, hopefully.
It’s no different than what we wanted to see out of Richt early on in his career, too. The problem there was that he’d seem to fix one problem, only to let another one develop. The trick isn’t just learning from your mistakes; it’s making sure that you avoid a one step forward, one step back management style. Kirby is big on focus, so maybe he can dodge the trap that eventually brought down his predecessor.
Back when he was a freshman, Chubb caught 18 passes for 213 yards and two touchdowns. That was when he was Todd Gurley’s understudy the first five games, then the starter the rest of the way. But Chubb only caught nine passes the next two years, including five last year, when he played in every game.
Throwing to Nick Chubb in open space in the flat would sure seem like a useful option for a freshman quarterback breaking in to have, but what do I know?
`’Basically, every day we start our team meeting with another situation. We have the entire team in here. We go through a situation. One of them might be two minutes, and the offense has to get a first down to win the game. We had that situation come up against Tennessee. We weren’t able to do it. Then we had to stop them because we had a sack/fumble. So we did stop `em. We got the ball back. We did score. So what we’ve tried to do is replay the situation. I’ve spent a lot of time during this offseason talking to NFL teams, because these NFL teams deal with this every game. Every game comes down to that. College football, I think, 50 percent of our games come down to one score. So if that’s the case, we’ve got to simulate those. So every single day, except the first practice, we had end-of-game situation at practice. I think it makes Jacob (Eason) a lot better. It makes Jake Fromm a lot better. And defensively, it’s been great. We even had a situation the other day where we were gonna clock the ball with the clock running. We had a first down and we went to spike the ball and the guy jumped offsides. At the end of game, we had a 10-second runoff. So we start the whole meeting with that, and I think that kids can learn a lot from these situations. I mean, Jay Johnson’s a guy from Minnesota and he brought a list of situations they did there. That’s so invaluable to me because you try to simulate those. You talk to other coaches and try to simulate them, so we’ve done a lot of that this spring.”
I think that’s great, as far as it goes, but it does beg the question about what they were doing to prepare for specific situations last season. Are they prepping this stuff more than they did in the spring of 2016, or was it just a case of last year’s work not sticking?
Whichever was the case, there’s a perception that things were certainly lacking in that department.
Georgia has placed a focus on situational football throughout spring practice. (Deandre) Baker knows all too well that the lack of execution in the game’s latter stages cost the Bulldogs on multiple occasions.
“It allows us to project the real-game situation,” Baker said. “In a game, we’ll know how to respond when we get in a situation, whether we’re down or up by 10. Or if we have to get the ball back or something like that. (Georgia head coach Kirby Smart) pointed out games like Tennessee, Kentucky – which was a big one – and Auburn.”
Root for the learning curve, I guess.
Now, fellas, you shouldn’t do this unless you mean it.
… During some periods a select group of receivers, tight ends and tailbacks have been together, running routes under the direction of receivers coach James Coley.
They start in the middle of the field, and run the same route, whatever their position: Terry Godwin (receiver), Mecole Hardman (receiver), Isaac Nauta (tight end), Sony Michel (tailback), Brian Herrien (tailback), and others.
It all reflects one of those tweaks that Georgia offensive coordinator Jim Chaney is making to this year’s offense: Putting their players in the best position to make plays, and that includes putting certain players in the slot, where they would create either a size or speed mismatch for a defender.
“It’s been a change. Guys like Sony being in the slot,” inside linebacker Natrez Patrick said this week. “It’s a nightmare looking across and having to check Sony in an open field.”
I’ll believe it when I see it. But I’d really like to see it.
Sometimes it’s the little things that make me love college football. Especially when it’s player-driven, like this:
That crude simplicity is the dead snap’s most attractive feature. Once the ball is spotted, the center places the back point of the ball in his palm rather than gripping it like a quarterback arming a spiral. The nose is then placed into the ground so the ball is at a 45-degree angle with an inch of the ball grazing the turf. The fingers are spread, usually with one across the laces or seam to help with grip. Then with the wrist locked, the center swings his arm back like a pendulum and releases.
“Life changing,” Cushing said.
It was the same for former Vanderbilt center Joe Townsend.
Small hands, sweaty palms — that’s how he characterizes his mitts, which were at the core of his issues with the Commodores. His hands weren’t big enough to fully grip the football, and when the SEC swelter forced perspiration to slide down his arm, greasing the ball, he struggled to secure it.
Commodores guard Wesley Johnson suggested at a 2012 practice that he try a primitive sandlot method popular across backyards and barbecues. “Bear claw it,” Johnson said. Stick the nose into your palm and shuffle it back, he said. “Trust me, just try it.”
In the pre-practice walk-through, Townsend gave it an attempt. He didn’t tell then-position coach Herb Hand, but quickly Townsend was snapping perfect chest-high changeups the quarterbacks could easily gather. “Coach Hand said, ‘Joe, what the hell are you doing?’ I said, ‘I’m trying something out,’ and he said, ‘Well, come to me before changing s— up!'” Townsend remembered. “But it worked, and I did it throughout my career.”
Whatever works, brother.