When Tracy Rocker tells you to do something, you’d better do it.
Tag Archives: Tracy Rocker
Tracy Rocker couldn’t help but let out a scoffing laugh when asked if he was ready to name his top three or four defensive linemen for the coming season.
“Starters? Nah, man,” the Bulldogs’ second-year coach said. “I’m just trying to get them ready for practice.”
Of course, that’s somewhat exaggerated. After three scrimmages and a month’s worth of practices, Rocker has a good idea who is going to be taking snaps when Georgia tees it up against Louisiana-Monroe in a week. He just can’t be how sure they’ll perform.
“We’ve got four seniors there,” he said in reference to Sterling Bailey, Josh Dawson, James DeLoach and Chris Mayes. “So we hoping those guys can be solid for us there and hope a guy like John Atkins can come on for us and be a solid contributor there. After that, it’s just the young and the restless behind them. So we’re just hoping the old ones keep getting better and John Atkins and the young ones keep improving.”
Stay tuned, I guess.
Jordan Jenkins says the defense is playing with more of an edge this season because it reflects the demeanor of the defensive coaching staff (“They’re all nasty”). In particular,
“Nobody’s going to mess with Coach Rocker. At the end of the day when Coach Rocker’s out there, even now, nobody’s going to mess with Rocker…”
Gee, I can’t imagine where he got that impression from.
I just came across this Tracy Rocker story worth sharing.
Tracy Rocker sat in Mark Richt’s office, in the furthest corner of Georgia’s football facility, late last January. Rocker, then with the NFL’s Tennessee Titans, was interviewing for the vacant defensive line coach position in Athens, and he knew little about Richt. Namely, that the Georgia head coach, for all his stoicism, keeps a running monologue wherever he goes.
So, when Richt paused during the interview, suddenly deep in thought, and said, “Tracy Rocker…didn’t you coach Nick Fairley?”
Rocker shifted in his chair. He had, in fact, coached the dominant (and controversial) defensive tackle at Auburn in 2010. When Georgia visited Jordan-Hare Stadium that year, Fairley drew several personal fouls for spearing redshirt freshman quarterback Aaron Murray. Former Auburn assistant Trooper Taylor had to drag Fairley off the field in the fourth quarter.
“Yeah, I didn’t like that too much,” Richt continued.
Still, it didn’t keep him from getting the job.
I did a good bit of surfing on the Interwebs yesterday after learning that Tracy Rocker was joining the Georgia staff as the new defensive line coach. If I had to sum up the consensus of what I saw in five words or less, it would be first-rate position coach, indifferent recruiter.
But you know what? I’m not sure Richt cares about the latter too much. Consider this:
… As it turned out, he said Georgia’s need for a defensive line coach made for the perfect opportunity at the perfect time. He interviewed with the Bulldogs late this week and “finalized everything” on Saturday.
“Life is funny sometimes,” Rocker said. “Things work out sometimes. The Titans decided to go in a different direction and all of the sudden the Georgia job came open.”
Rocker said the Bulldogs did not press him to get to Athens in a hurry. He’ll remain in Nashville to wrap up his affairs and pack up his belongings “until the middle of the week.”
The hire came quickly, so obviously Georgia wanted the man, but here we are bearing down on signing day and nobody’s rushing to get Rocker on the road face to face with some high school seniors? (Remember, Richt took it upon himself to lock down Gaillard’s Georgia commitment by delivering the news of Rocker’s hire personally, and not having Rocker do it himself.) It’s not like Richt has a problem getting newbies out on the recruiting trail as soon as possible, either. Heck, judging by the speed with which Pruitt hit the road, I’m almost surprised he didn’t whip out his new cell phone at the introductory presser and call a couple of kids from there.
Maybe that’s an indication about how much esteem they hold for Rocker’s coaching talents. If so, it’s a helluva compliment. I’m looking forward to seeing how the defensive line play shapes up this year, that’s for sure.