Friday, April 9, 2010

2010 G-Day: Roster Observations

David Hale has got the rosters for tomorrow's game posted over at his blog. You can check them out here. Here are my quick observations.

1. It looks like the first team offense is on the red team and the first team defense is on the black team.

2. All three quarterbacks are listed on the red team meaning they will all split time between both. It will be interesting to see who goes out there first when the red team goes on offense. My bet: Logan Gray, just based on experience.

3. Caleb King will not play, which means another shot for Carlton Thomas to put on a show. If only we could get him to do it on Saturday's in the fall.

4. I'm looking forward to seeing Rambo and Jakar Hamilton out there on the field at the same time.

5. The black team got shafted in the receiving department. Brown, Troupe, and Figgins against AJ, Wooten, King, Durham, and Charles - that just isn't fair!

6. With the lack of receiving threats on the black team, do you think we'll Branden Smith take some snaps on O?

7. I would love to see Aaron Murray throw a his walk-on brother. That would just be funny.

8. After coming forward as the "man in the cab", what kind of reaction will Dontavious Jackson get when he carries the ball for the black squad?

9. Remember how exciting it was to have Bogatay on the roster last year. Does anyone really care now?

Thursday, April 8, 2010

2010 G-Day Preview - Part 3: "Don't Blow my Cover"

Todd Grantham’s complete overhaul of Georgia’s defense is not complete with just the shift from the 4-3 to the 3-4. Georgia’s secondary is also getting a complete overhaul in the former of new defensive backs coach Scott Lakatos. Lakatos has essentially been given a clean slate in the secondary this fall as the graduation of Prince Miller and Bryan Evans in addition to Reshad Jones leaving for the NFL leaves 3 spots in the secondary up for grabs.

Much has been written during spring practice about the complete change in coverage philosophy. Brandon Boykin, Georgia’s lone returning starter in the secondary, has raved about the technique and footwork the Dawgs have been taught already. On Saturday, I want to see the Georgia secondary holding coverage longer. I want to see safeties step up and prevent short dump passes to the tight end and running backs from going long distances. And I want to see improved tackling and fewer penalties.

The most interesting thing to look at on Saturday is the individual performance of the players competing for starting jobs this fall. I assume Bacarri Rambo will be the starter at one safety spot, leaving two positions open. Branden Smith and Vance Cuff are the favorites to win the other corner position. The remaining safety position is wide open, but I am excited to finally see Jakar Hamilton out on the field.

Two more days until football!


Wednesday, April 7, 2010

2010 G-Day Preview - Part 2: “Bring the Rain”

The 2009 Georgia defense was a complete and absolute failure. A team once known for putting constant pressure on the quarterback was reduced to a team more famous for letting Jonathan Crompton look like an All-SEC quarterback. Georgia managed to win 8 games last year in spite of the defense and it was clear that regime change was needed. Georgia fans got their wish in the hiring of former Dallas Cowboys line coach, Todd Grantham.

Grantham brings with him the 3-4 defense, a departure from the traditional 4-3 defense that was run under Willie Martinez. The new defensive scheme means players in new positions, such as former defensive end Justin Houston now lining up at rushing outside linebacker. The defense is designed to get more pressure on the quarterback, which was seriously lacking last year. Hopefully, more pressure will not only lead to a lower third down conversion rate for opponents, but hopefully a few more turnovers to boot.

This Saturday, most of my attention will be on the linebackers. With so many guys in new positions (including Richard Samuel now at linebacker), it will look a lot different than it did in the Independence Bowl. A few sacks on Saturday would be nice as well.

G-Day Preview Part 3 – “Don’t Blow my Cover” – coming tomorrow.

Just 3 more days…


Tuesday, April 6, 2010

G-Day Preview: Part 1 – “Less is More”

This Saturday marks the end of Georgia spring practice for 2010 and it culminates with the annual G-Day game. One of the most intriguing stories of the spring is the battle to see who will be Georgia’s new starting quarterback. Zach Mettenberger has looked strong in both scrimmages, but his arrest in early April has him facing at least a 1 game suspension and most likely a back up job to start the year. Logan Gray has shown improvement, but a poor showing in the first scrimmage hurt his chances at winning the job. The front runner continues to be Aaron Murray, who has looked impressive in both practice and the scrimmages. And while Coach Richt is expected to name a depth chart to begin fall practice (though he will not be ready to name a starter), the question I keep asking myself is does it really matter.

Georgia will return 10 starters on the offensive side of the ball this fall, including a veteran offensive line, a talented duo at running back, and the best receiver in the country. This year, the quarterback will be asked to do less in the offense, and I say that is a good thing. For all of his faults, Joe Cox was brilliant at times for the Dawgs last season. Take a quick look at these two statistic lines:

55.8%, 2588 yards, 24 TD
55.9%, 2584 yards, 24 TD

The first line belongs to DJ Shockley during the Dawgs 2005 SEC Championship season and the second line belongs to Joe Cox last season. The major difference between the two is DJ only threw 4 picks, Joe threw too many to count.

To have a successful season under center in 2010, the Georgia signal caller does not need to put up 2,500 yards and 20 scores. These are figures that are often only seen by experienced Georgia QBs. The running game of Caleb King and Washaun Ealey should provide the firepower to keep the Dawgs in the end zone on a consistent basis.

What I am looking for on Saturday is the quarterback who embraces the “less is more” mentality. We need a little less Stafford and a little more David Greene under center this fall. The player who can find the right balance between making the big play and also knowing when to take a sack will give Georgia the best chance at success this fall.

Only four days until football…at least for one day!


Monday, April 5, 2010

It's Opening Day!

"Baseball is a pure game, an orderly game. The reason the uneducated think it's a dull, slow game is they don't realize the intricacies involved on every pitch." - Lewis Grizzard

This is a Georgia blog first, but today is one of my favorite days of the year. The Braves take on the Cubs to open the 2010 season and unfortunately I am stuck in the office. Let's hope Bobby Cox's final year brings winning championships back to Atlanta.

I'll be back later this week for my G-Day preview.