Tag Archives: Jeremy Pruitt

Nick Saban and “immediate self-gratification”

You may have heard that another highly-rated defensive back just left the Alabama program.

Redshirt freshman cornerback Kendall Sheffield is transferring from Alabama.

Sheffield, a five-star prospect in the class of 2015, became a topic of conversation early in the week after he did not attend Crimson Tide practices Monday and Tuesday.

A Sheffield family member told ESPN that Sheffield was informed on Wednesday by Alabama football coach Nick Saban that he would receive his release from the school. The release has the stipulation that Sheffield cannot transfer to another SEC school.

Sheffield, the nation’s No. 3-ranked cornerback in 2015, has returned to his family home in the Houston area. He was running second team at cornerback prior to his decision to transfer.

Naturally, this has generated a great deal of introspection amongst the Tide faithful about what Saban might have done to lead to the rash of departures… okay, I keed, I keed.  Over at Roll Bama Roll, the lede is “Another CB prospect from Texas sulks over the depth chart.”

Meanwhile, Michael Casagrande has a piece that claims to make sense about the kids leaving the program.  And surprise — it’s not you, Nick, it’s those damned youngsters.

What’s behind that? Each transfer is unique while still fitting into a shifting culture among athletes one year after leaving high school. Barton Simmons, the director of scouting at 247Sports, said the proliferation of transfers among players while in high school is a factor.

“It becomes much more less taboo, much more of a standard operating procedure,” Simmons said. “I think that’s been a steady evolution towards this. But I think that’s just a challenge that a school like Alabama has to face on an annual basis due to the fact that they recruit at such a high level.”

Yeah, cry me a river… except Saban’s been recruiting at the same high level for years, but it’s 2016 that’s off the chart in the departures department, as even Casagrande acknowledges:

A total of 26 Alabama signees from the classes of 2010-16 have transferred before exhausting their eligibility. The 2015 class’s five departures already equals the 2013 group’s total three years later.[Emphasis added.]

The funny thing here is the dog that’s not barking.  Nobody’s mentioned the change at defensive coordinator.  Think Jeremy Pruitt might have had an effect here?  If you’re not sure, you might want to check out Georgia’s 2013 recruiting class, peeps.  The man has a way with kids he didn’t recruit.  He’ll also do just fine with the kids he does pull in.  It was, um… gratifying to watch him work the recruiting trail hard while he was in Athens.

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Filed under Nick Saban Rules

“This is Coach Saban’s defense.”

Saban let his coordinators speak to the press this weekend, too.  If you’re interested, Jeremy Pruitt had some things to say related to his time at Georgia:

— Pruitt said he learned more about being a man coaching at Georgia under Mark Richt.

But what about learning more about coaching being a man at Georgia?

— At Georgia, they had to make up for having young players on back end of defense. It was different from Alabama and Florida State.

Good thing he was better at that than Todd Grantham was.

— Facing Alabama’s offense last year at Georgia, Pruitt said he was impressed with the size of the Tide players.

Weren’t we all…

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Filed under Georgia Football

Nick Saban locks in the Greg McGarity discount.

Jeremy Pruitt is signed, sealed and delivered… at less than the going rate.

New Alabama defensive coordinator Jeremy Pruitt will save the program a little cash.

Though he’ll be one of the highest paid defensive coordinators in the country, his salary will be considerably less than his predecessor. The deal approved Tuesday will pay Pruitt $1 million a year and spans the next three seasons.

Former Alabama defensive coordinator Kirby Smart made $1.5 million last season as the highest-paid assistant in the nation.

Not just a cut from what Kirby was making, either.  It’s also a cut from what Pruitt was getting paid in Athens last year.  Of course, once you add back in what Georgia still owes him, it’s all good.

Honestly, given the warm feelings between Pruitt and McGarity, I’m surprised he’s making as much as he is in Tuscaloosa.  Thanks, Nick.

 

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Filed under It's Just Bidness, Nick Saban Rules

Very pretty, Coordinator. Very pretty. But, can they win?

Al.com gets all number-y about Jeremy Pruitt’s career in this clip.  See if you can catch the hole in his resume.

Forget it, Jeremy.  It’s Athens.

 

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Filed under Georgia Football

Addition by subtraction, or subtraction by addition?

Alabama’s lost its defensive coordinator and its defensive backs coach, but it’s only gonna get better.

Last season, under secondary coordinator Melvin Tucker, Alabama was in a zone scheme more than we’ve seen in years past. That is not a coincidence either.

In 2014, Alabama faced an unreal 495 pass attempts, yielding over 3000 yards through the air and 24 passing touchdowns surrendered (24th S&P passing defense.) In 2013, Alabama faced nearly 30 passes per game, and gave up 13 passing touchdowns; still, opponents were very efficient, as the Tide was just 32nd in S&P passing defense.

With several young players cracking the 2015 rotation, and with Alabama’s inability to get its man-defense up to the levels the Crimson Tide is accustomed to, Tucker simplified the schemes, put an emphasis on creating turnovers, and went to much more of a zone look to protect against the deep shot that had been Alabama’s bane the previous three seasons. Alabama finished 3rd in S&P pass efficiency defense last season; really only being torched in one game against the Heisman runner-up. Alabama surrendered 13 touchdowns in 14 games, before allowing four to Deshaun Watson, half of which occurred in a wild fourth quarter.

With Tucker’s departure, Nick Saban brought in former Troy DB Derrick Ansley to compliment Jeremy Pruitt’s more aggressive scheme. And, yes, Pruitt is considered somewhat more aggressive than Kirby Smart, blitzing well over 60% of the time during FSU’s title run. Last season, a Georgia secondary that had been somewhat maligned in years past finished the nation with the No. 1 pass efficiency defense in the country, and Georgia had the No. 1 defense against explosive plays allowed. Both bode well for an improved Tide team that nevertheless finished 7th and 9th in those categories.

Bully for the Tide.  What does it mean for Georgia?  I’m not sure it means much, for one big reason:  Georgia’s front seven in 2016 isn’t going to be anywhere near the quality of Alabama’s 2015 front seven.  Tucker played a ton of zone because he knew he could get away with it, due to Alabama’s dominance up front.  And Pruitt blitzed a bunch last season because he had to enhance the pressure that Georgia’s defensive front usually delivered.  Given that both shoes are now on the other feet, isn’t it likely we should expect each to gravitate a bit more towards the other in their approaches?

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UPDATE:  Here’s some of what I’m talking about.

… The theory is that the previous defensive staff used Floyd and Jenkins’ pass-rushing prowess to “protect” the young secondary, which benefitted by being in better coverage situations.

Not surprisingly, Floyd and Jenkins agree.

“That definitely was a goal me and Jordan had set going into every game: Make the quarterback get rid of the ball as quick as possible so the DBs can cover,” Floyd said.

“We definitely wanted to take some of the stress off the younger DBs. Because we didn’t want to put them in a lot of man-on-man type situations,” Jenkins said. “We knew they were younger, and we just wanted to make it easier for the freshmen coming in.”

That doesn’t mean Jenkins thinks the secondary was overrated.

“Oh no, there are still some good athletes back there,” Jenkins said. “We just wanted to eliminate that from even being in the mindset. We wanted them to be able to go ball out and play without worry.”

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Filed under Georgia Football, Strategery And Mechanics

I haz a sad over Alabama happy talk.

Tide players just luuuve their new defensive coordinator.  Sounds like a problem – for Georgia.

“I mean, he brings a different kind of energy,” outside linebacker Ryan Anderson said. “He’s definitely more of a players’ coach. A lot of the guys are more willing to sell out for the guy because he’s willing to do it for us. It’s a different style.”

PAWWWLLL!  Kirby’s not enough of a players’ coach!!  They’re not gonna sell out for him like they did for Pruitt!!!

70 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football

Picking up the check

It’s not exactly a shock that Georgia’s on the hook for a fair amount of change with the dismissal of Mark Richt and his staff.  $6.2 million is the cost of doing business in today’s SEC.

The fun occurs when you break down that number.  Particularly with one Jeremy Pruitt.

UGA’s employment agreements with assistant coaches call for them to be paid through June 30 of the current year unless they have a multiyear agreement. Georgia then agrees to make up the difference if the coaches’ new jobs pay less…

… Pruitt, who is now defensive coordinator at Alabama, had two years remaining on their three-year contracts. So their monies will be paid over the remaining term, according to Andy Platt, the athletic association’s chief financial officer. That’s … $600,000 total for Pruitt, records show.

But wait, you say.  Jeremy Pruitt’s gone to work for the Rolls Royce of college football programs, in the same position he occupied at Georgia.  How is it possible that Georgia owes him money?

Likewise, it appears Pruitt is scheduled to make $1 million a year as Alabama’s new defensive coordinator. He succeeds Georgia head coach Kirby Smart, who made $1.5 million last year in the same role for the Crimson Tide. Pruitt made $1.3 million as the Bulldogs’ defensive coordinator last season.

Pruitt took a pay cut to work for Saban, except it’s not really a pay cut, thanks to the generosity of Greg McGarity.  I bet Pruitt smiles every time that deposit shows up in his checking account.

Hell, I’m a little surprised he didn’t agree to work for less.

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Filed under Georgia Football, It's Just Bidness