Today, in technique will only take you so far

Here’s an interesting clip from last year’s Georgia-Florida game (I know, I know) that does a nice job of setting up the center’s multiple pass protection responsibilities when facing an even defensive front.

As pointed out, the center does solid work after snapping the ball, but if you follow the clip all the way through, notice what happens with Atkins after Dillard shifts to take Rochester out of the play with a double-team.  End result, the pocket breaks down and Del Rio is forced to move away from Atkins’ rush.

There are several lessons to take from that, but, bottom line, having better personnel than the other guy tends to pay off, even when the other guy blocks just like the coaches drew it up.

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13 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football, Strategery And Mechanics

Clear baggin’ and tea baggin’, just another day in Gawd’s Conference

uga-clear-bag-policy

Judging from the emails I’ve received and the comments I’ve seen splashed across the Intertubes, I gather plenty of you have heard the news already about the latest policy change to affect game attendance at Sanford Stadium.

Beginning with the G-Day spring football game, Georgia will implement the SEC’s clear bag policy for athletic events on campus.

The policy will be in effect for all ticketed events beginning in the 2017-18 athletic calendar year.

Bags or purses carrying personal belongings must be clear if patrons are to enter into ticketed events hosted by Sanford Stadium, Stegeman Coliseum or Foley Field. The SEC cites public safety and security measures for the league policy.

Hey, you know if there were valid reasons to criticize Butts-Mehre for enacting fan unfriendly rules, I’d be right there with them, but as Butt indicates in his article, that would be pointing the finger at the wrong Greg.  The culprit would be this guy.

In the interest of enhancing existing security measures at games involving Southeastern Conference schools, the SEC will implement a new security policy regulating the size and type of bag that may be carried into all stadiums in which SEC schools host games, beginning with the 2017 football season, it was announced Wednesday.

Although the new conference-wide bag policy will be in effect beginning with the 2017 football season, a number of SEC institutions implemented the policy during the 2016 football season. The policy was approved by a unanimous vote of the league’s athletics directors.

“SEC football stadiums are among the largest venues in the world of sports, so safety and security are issues that must always remain a priority for our events,” said SEC Commissioner Greg Sankey. “We believe this policy is an important enhancement to the security measures already put in place by our institutions.”

Fans are encouraged not to bring any types of bags inside SEC stadiums during football games…

That’s nice.  Although with all this talk about enhancing security measures and prioritizing safety, I can’t help but wonder what ol’ Greggy thinks about what just came down in the great state of Arkansas  — literally on the same day as his shiny new policy.

Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson has signed a bill regarding a person’s ability to carry a concealed handgun into various buildings at a public university or college into state law. However, House Bill 1249 will not allow all legal gun owners to carry a gun to a football game in the state of Arkansas.

Football games will be considered a “sensitive area,” which require enhanced training in order to be allowed to carry a gun into a football stadium. The law supposedly trumps any provisions already in place to prevent guns from being allowed on the premises.

“The enhanced level of training is very important, and I am convinced the public will be more safe,” Governor Hutchinson said. “This bill, in my view, reflects the view of the general assembly.”

Shit, I feel safer already.  I can’t wait to find out about what kind of enhanced training you can get to learn how to pack heat responsibly in a crowded, emotional, alcohol-laden environment.  (Do you have to carry your gun in a clear plastic bag?)  I mean, imagine how much more sensibly a moment like this would have evolved with a gun or two in its midst.

That’s a relief.  We’ve been plagued with so many of those rascals at college football games lately.

Back on earth, you have to wonder how this is going to sit with Sankey.  He may be getting handed his very own bathroom bill problem.

The University of Arkansas, nor the SEC or NCAA, have yet to comment on the law. One source closely connected to the bidding for SEC and NCAA championship events told GN the law will be “a popular topic at the SEC spring meetings” scheduled for late May in Destin, Florida.

Presently, neither the SEC nor NCAA expressly prohibits games from being played at venues where the carrying of concealed weapons is allowed, though it also hadn’t needed to be addressed previously because of laws against it.

According to NCAA’s site selection process policy guide in effect from 2018-19 until 2012-22, however, it seems possible that the law could create an issue.

“The NCAA expects all hosts to have policies in place for crowd control, fan conduct, safety of all participants, and other appropriate guidelines that support the NCAA’s position on sportsmanship and its commitment to operating the finest athletics events in the world,” the document reads. “Each host will be required to submit a safety and security plan upon the awarding of an NCAA championship.”

I sense this is going to work out well.  In the meantime, leave those nice Georgia bags you’ve been using for years at home, peeps. It’s for the greater good.

*************************************************************************

UPDATE:  Oh, well.

39 Comments

Filed under Political Wankery, SEC Football

If you can beat ’em, join ’em.

Nick Saban just hired the former Ole Miss offensive coordinator who had quite the resume against the ‘Bama defense.

While at Ole Miss, Werner helped orchestrate back-to-back upsets over Alabama, beating the Crimson Tide 23-17 in 2014 and 43-37 in 2015. He nearly made it three straight games last season, coaching Ole Miss’ offense to a 24-3 lead. However, a second-half comeback allowed Alabama to leave Oxford, Miss., with a 48-43 victory. The 522 yards Werner’s offense put up against the Tide during last season’s game were the most by any opponent all year.

Once again, Saban stays ahead of the game on the analyst front.  I’m guessing he’ll have a few choice nuggets to add for prep against his former program.

Should I bother to point out that Kirby Smart, who certainly faced the brunt of Werner’s game planning in the Tide’s two losses, went hunting for an analyst of his very own and managed to grab the former Minnesota offensive coordinator whose offense managed to finish within fifty-five spots from Ole Miss in offensive yards per play last season.  (Even Chaney managed a better finish than that.)  Nah, I guess not.

48 Comments

Filed under Nick Saban Rules

“That’s the fun of football.”

Those of you who object to a spring game between two schools because of the (perceived) increased injury risk, how do you feel about spring practice in general?

You know who spring practice isn’t particularly good for? For veteran, established upperclassmen who have already been through two or three of these things. Like they say about that other sport that’s going on this time of year, for the guys who already know the playbook, are physically and mentally fit and have proven themselves in real games that actually count, you just want them to survive and advance through spring football.

Georgia has several players who fall into that category this year. Tailbacks Nick Chubb and Sony Michel come to mind immediately. So do outside linebackers Davin Bellamy and Lorenzo Carter and safety Dominick Sanders. These are just a few of the players who probably could do just as well lifting weights and running regularly and reviewing their playbooks and game video a couple times a week.

How to get the most out of star players such as those guys without the undue risk of injury is one of the great balancing acts coaches all over the country will be trying to manage this spring.

“I think as a coach you’re always worried about that,” Georgia coach Kirby Smart said of protecting star players from injuries during the spring. “I know some coaches in college football who have the philosophy that if you’ve played 1,000 snaps in your career — which, let’s be honest, we’ve got a couple guys that have done that — is spring (practice) going to get them better.”

You may think I’m being snarky, but I’m really posing this based on statistics.

It has been a while now, but the NCAA did a study back in 2007 in which it determined that spring football had the highest injury rate of all sports – 9.6 injuries per 1,000 participants. The second-highest rate was women’s gymnastics (6.1), followed by men’s wrestling (5.7) and men’s soccer (4.3). The next was men’s football in the fall, with a 3.8 injury rate per thousand, or one-third of spring football.

That considerable drop in injury rate was thought to be because fall practices were generally less physical than in the spring. Coaches feel like they can risk it with no games to worry about every week in March and April. And, of course, players have the rest of spring and summer to recover.

Not coincidentally, spring practice durations were cut back to a maximum of 15 per year shortly after that study was published. And only a limited number of those can be of the full-pads, full-contact variety.  [Emphasis added.]

That’s not a perceived injury risk, that’s a real injury risk.  So, what about spring practice?

Personally, some of this reminds me of the people who opposed Todd Gurley running back kickoffs because he might get hurt, despite the fact that he was the most prolific returner on the team (and like he couldn’t get hurt as a running back — which he did).

Perhaps we should leave it up to the noted philosopher Lorenzo Carter.

But you know what else? These guys like to practice and to hit. They enjoy what they’ll be doing out on Woodruff Practice Fields the next month a lot more than the agonizing off-season, strength-and-conditioning training they’ve been put through since late January.

“I mean, I kind of want that,” Carter, the rising senior outside linebacker said of going through full-contact drills. “That’s the fun of football.”

Fun of football — is that even allowed anymore?

14 Comments

Filed under College Football

The opposite of coachspeak

If you want to know why I have a soft spot in my heart for Mike Leach, one reason is because you never know what he’ll say next.

That immediately brought this to mind.

And that’s the thing.  There aren’t that many coaches that can get me to Gram Parsons in one shot like that.

The dodge ball comment on the end is just a bonus.

20 Comments

Filed under Mike Leach. Yar!

“I think Georgia is the enigma in the East…”

Here’s a really nice piece from Ed Aschoff that illustrates why it’s so hard to get a handle on what Kirby Smart’s program should be capable of this season.

Here’s the thing:

We think Georgia should be really good this year. Maybe not really good, but SEC East champion good.

Soon, a large contingent of media will likely pick the Bulldogs, who return 10 starters from a pretty solid defense and have a young superstar in the making at quarterback, to win an SEC East that’s still a mess.

You have the Nick Saban clone in Kirby Smart entering his second year as head coach after signing the nation’s No. 3 recruiting class.

Honestly, we (that’s media and your average consumer of college football) keep wanting to believe that when Georgia should win the division it should, well, win the division.

So 2017 leaves us with a red-and-back conundrum. Are we ready to confidently anoint Georgia as the SEC East favorites?

Confidently?  Are you nuts?

Actually, no.

The truth is we really don’t know and we won’t know for months. Those 10 returning defensive starters to a unit that ranked in the top five of the SEC in scoring, rushing, passing and total defense sounds so enticing. The fact that the sensational running back duo of Nick Chubb and Sony Michel returned to help uber-talented quarterback Jacob Eason kinda makes us want to pencil Georgia into Atlanta … twice.

But we have to show some restraint and patience.

Restraint and patience are warranted because we’ve been there before without the expected results plenty of times.  At some point, you’ve got to cross the finish line if you want to change the perspective.

Make sure you read the quotes from anonymous SEC coaches Aschoff cites.  There are plenty of logical reasons to expect a contender this year, but logic by itself doesn’t win titles.

52 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football

It’s Junior’s world, and Florida Atlantic is just living in it.

Sure, I doubt this lawsuit has any legs, but the notion that any athletic director would hire Lane Kiffin and expect a normal college football program environment as a consequence baffles me.

4 Comments

Filed under Don't Mess With Lane Kiffin