So, it’s not easy being an Ole Miss fan these days. Who knew?
This is good news for general managers, because teams are so desperate that they’ll draft basically any corner these days. Last year, teams selected 31 defensive backs in the first four rounds — up from 22 from five years ago, during the 2012 draft, this despite the fact that last year’s crop was not considered particularly great. Prospects who could be drafted Thursday include Ohio State’s Marshon Lattimore, Colorado’s Chidobe Awuzie, Alabama’s Marlon Humphrey, Washington’s Kevin King, LSU’s Tre’Davious White, Florida’s Quincy Wilson, and USC’s Adoree’ Jackson.
There are a few theories that explain the cornerback boom (and why it will last at least a few years), but mostly it comes down to the proliferation of the spread offense. The point of the spread is to overextend the defense by putting more receivers on the field. With an increased demand for wideouts, there’s an increased supply, forcing more elite athletes to choose other positions to get noticed. Upon switching to corner, those athletes are testing the “10,000-hour theory” of defensive back play, chasing teams like Baylor, Oregon, and Texas Tech all over the place. During the 2016 college season, 26 teams faced at least 35 passes per game — in 2006, only two teams faced that kind of passing barrage.
It’s led to some rethinking on troop deployment, too.
College corners are seeing more passes and more snaps. The hurry-up craze has led some college defenses to adopt a rotation system. Back in 2008, Aliotti was the defensive coordinator for Oregon and he started to treat his defense “like a hockey team,” rotating players whenever possible to minimize the fatigue caused by the fast pace. “We got to a place where we had 20 to 23 guys we could count on each game,” he said. “You needed to combat the passing. We’d switch out a linebacker and one or two corners per play, I don’t think anyone did that prior to us.”
Aliotti is now an analyst with the Pac-12 Networks, and he’s since visited with many coaches, including Alabama’s Nick Saban, to discuss how to utilize a similar rotation system. The idea has spread throughout college, Aliotti said. Ohio State has rotated their defensive backs in recent years, and could have as many as three picks in the top 15 of this draft.
The result? Mo’ backs and mo’ money for mo’ backs.
… Mike Farrell, national recruiting director at Rivals, said youth players have been figuring out what positions to play earlier on in order to “go where the money is in the pros.” The spread has made good corners a hot commodity in the NFL, and they get paid like it. According to Spotrac, there are 10 cornerbacks who average over $12 million a year; there are six receivers who average that. Josh Norman, Patrick Peterson, Joe Haden, Desmond Trufant, Stephon Gilmore, and Richard Sherman are currently on contracts worth at least $40 million guaranteed. Darrelle Revis is basically Warren Buffett.
Hmmm… I wonder if anyone’s shown Mecole Hardman this yet.
I know I shouldn’t take any pleasure out of someone else’s personal catastrophe, but it’s worth mentioning that Mark May appears to be out of a job at ESPN.
Okay, maybe a little pleasure… eh, okay…
… I mean, some Georgia booster was generous enough to fund it and it’s not as if the honoree is a bad guy, but is this the quintessential Georgia Way thing, or is this the quintessential Georgia Way thing?
A gift from a long-time University of Georgia supporter has created the Loran Smith Senior Associate Athletic Director for Sports Communications endowed position at UGA.
The endowment honors Loran Smith who has been associated with UGA for over five decades as an athlete and multi-talented staff member.
“We express our thanks and appreciation for this generous gift,” said J. Reid Parker Director of Athletics Greg McGarity.
To name a senior department communications position — do they really need to hire a specialist to put off an Open Records Act request, anyway? — after a man whose calling card for most of the fan base was years spent conducting inane post-game interviews is almost perfect, but topping that with having a booster pony up for the cost of the job rather than taking money out of the reserve fund to pay the salary takes it up to a 10.
Ah, fuck it. Excuse me while I go in a corner and laugh my arse off.
What does it say about the Georgia Way that Georgia’s athletic department’s chief financial officer leaves and McGarity decides there’s no immediate need to replace him?
I’m thinking it says he can find anybody in the office to run a deposit over to the bank, but, eh, what do I know?
Coming from a guy who bailed on his team mid-season, this is hardly surprising:
Steve Spurrier was already enjoying retirement but said he’s enjoying it even more after seeing some of the new NCAA rules, particularly the early signing period and players taking official visits in April, May and June. “I sort of liked an offseason. There is no offseason now,” Spurrier told ESPN. “It’s year around, and guys go, go, go, but a lot of guys like that. They don’t go to the beach. They don’t play golf. They don’t travel. They don’t do other things in life. I think it helped me last 30 years as a head coach because I did have an offseason.”
Serious question: of all the great head coaches in college football history, was Spurrier the least hard-working? If the answer is yes, that’s kind of a compliment, if you think about it.