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Thursday, November 11, 2010

Ye Olde Mailbag

It's been an interesting week, and it's not over yet. Georgia is headed into the eye of the college football storm on Saturday, and we get a front seat.

While we await the craziness, let's dip into the mailbag and try to provide a bit of insight. Or something resembling insight.

Was it Cam Newton on the grassy knoll?
- Mike McGraw (via Twitter)

I don’t wanna start any rumors, but did they ever solve who launched that missile in California?

What are the odds the NCAA sends a paratrooper into Jordan-Hare Stadium to issue an injection to keep Cam Newton from playing?
- Lucas Puente (via Twitter)

Would they really need to do it via paratrooper? And wouldn’t that be a little ostentatious? I’d think they could just sneak somebody in the locker room.

Seriously, I’d still expect Newton to play on Saturday … but you never know.

As for the actual game this weekend, what do you hear from Grantham regarding the actual strategy of containing Newton? Are bigger bodies in the middle the answer? Gap discipline?
- Kenneth

Not sure if bigger bodies is an option, since Kwame Geathers has spent much of the week on an exercise bike. Gap discipline is something they need to do every week – and have done that with inconsistent success.

Grantham was asked earlier this week about what you do to stop Newton, and here was his answer:

“First of all, you’ve gotta make sure that you play the blocks, because their blocks are pretty good. Their offensive line is pretty physical. Their receivers do a good job of blocking. Their backs block. There’s an option element to it, so you’ve gotta make sure you’ve got that taken care of.

“So basically you’ve gotta play assignment football. You’ve gotta play physical. And when you do tackle him, he’s a big guy, he can make guys miss, so you’ve gotta pursue. That’s important. You’ve gotta make sure when you get on him you wrap him up and hang on there.”

Am I wrong in thinking that to beat Auburn we must force Newton to throw? I haven't seen Auburn play much but it seems he's much more likely to beat u on the ground.
- Wes Hutchison

I agree. I guess we’ll find out Saturday if that’s correct or just thinking too simplistic. But the obvious fact is Newton is much more dangerous in the open space when he has the option to run or throw.

The question is whether Georgia will be able to condense that pocket – it’s not just getting Justin Houston and company to provide a rush from the outside, but for DeAngelo Tyson and Akeem Dent to stuff the middle, preventing Newton from going up the middle. Because of his size, all Newton needs is a little room, and he can push his way to a couple extra yards.

1) I know there’s been a lot of grumbling the last couple of years regarding the S&C program, but has anyone done an actual analysis/comparison to other schools? How many people work in the S&C as opposed to Bama, Florida? What kinds of programs are emphasized at those schools vs. UGA? Who’s best at measuring football strength, from an NFL scout’s perspective?

2) Seems like next year the OL will be breaking in some new faces on the depth chart. Who out of the redshirts is most prepared (Benedict, Long, etc.), who has a ways to go and what are your thoughts on the “rising” possible starters (Harmon, Lee, Burnett)

- Graham Garrett

1) As far as size of the staff, Georgia has four people assigned to that role, which is as many, if not more, than other programs. South Carolina, for instance, just has two or three people. When this season winds down, I promise I’ll look into this further. It’s the offseason where the weight work really becomes vital. And to be honest, having just started in August, when practice began, my exposure to the strength and conditioning program has been limited.

2) All of those guys have been getting their licks in practice, except Chris Burnette, who has been hurt. Given that, Georgia will be happy that Ben Jones has another year of eligibility. I know they do like all those guys – with A.J. Harmon and Dallas Lee getting singled out early in the season. And don’t forget Kenarious Gates, who has actually started and been a factor. The line may not face much of a drop-off next season, especially if Trinton Sturdivant has another offseason to get his knee back to full strength.

On to another multi-question submission:

1) We will be losing a lot of contributors this year to graduation (Clint Boling, Brandon Wood, Demarcus Dobbs, Josh Davis, Darryl Gamble, Akeem Dent). Who is in line to replace them for next year?

2) Which (currently redshirting or non-contributing this year) players are at ILB versus OLB? For instance, Brandon Burrows, Richard Samuel, Jarvis Jones, Dexter Morant, etc...

3) Who is going to play fullback next year when Chapas and Munzenmeier are gone?

4) Parker Welch, really? As Newton?
- Matt Sanders

1) See above on Boling and Josh Davis. At defensive end, Abry Jones and Derrick Lott are the veterans, and there’s a chance T.J. Stripling and Dexter Morant could be moved down to end. At outside linebacker, don’t forget Justin Houston, who is probably NFL-bound. But Jarvis Jones will be eligible, Stripling could factor in if he’s not at DE, and Cornelius Washington is back. On the inside, Marcus Dowtin and Christian Robinson are back, along with some guys you mention in your next question.

2) Samuel is an inside guy, not big enough for the outside in a 3-4. Burrows and Morant are outside guys, while Jarvis Jones will probably get to play wherever they think he can do the most damage.

3) Zander Ogletree is getting a lot of work there, so it’s probably no accident he wasn’t redshirted. After that, they’ve got a slew of walk-ons they feel won’t hurt them.

4) Parker Lewis wasn’t available.

Where should I go to lunch today?
- Thinking Bulldog (via Twitter)

Really, can you ever go wrong with Weaver D’s? I usually prefer Subway, but let’s just say the one nearest to me has, er, inconsistent quality of service. And what’s with the total lack of swiss cheese in Athens?

Just wondering if there had been any response to the article after the FL game where our D was basically accused of being out of shape and gassed. Any possible change in Strength and Conditioning after the season?
- Jayton

Some people have made a good point, that Georgia actually outscored Florida by two touchdowns in the second half, so that would indicate the conditioning wasn’t that bad. Like I said last week, do you take the comments on one Florida player as an entire indictment of the strength and conditioning?

I don’t want it to look like I’m defending the S&C program at all costs. I’m not. I just have to be honest in that it’s hard to evaluate, without having been around during the offseason, whether being out-physicaled at times is a result of the program, or talent.

Again, I also don't mean to be evasive, on this and occasionally other matters. I hope that people learn as we go here that if I don't have an answer, I'm not going to pretend I do.

That sort of relates to some of the questions I got during the A.J. Green investigation a few months ago. Since the actions of the media are coming up again as it relates to the Newton story, I hope you all see that I will always err on the side of caution, and what I definitely know to be true. And my emphasis will be on bringing you information and insight, whether it's good or bad for the program.

OK, off the soapbox, back to monitoring Twitter for the latest on Newton.


Anonymous said...

May I remind folks that Florida wasn't the only team that made comments about our players being out of shape. South Carolina players made the same comments. Heck, it doesnt take a rocket scientist to see that our LOS are getting beat time after time. UGA still had problems with run blocking against Idaho State. Unacceptable ! Okay its time for the blind homers to chime in now.. Have at it.... even though you know its the truth!

BCDawg97 said...

Subway? C'mon now Seth. There are plenty of "local" establishments - Taco Stand, Jot em Down BBQ, The Grill, Mexicalli, Royal Peasant, among others.

Anonymous said...

Peaches, Fresh-air, Blind Pig to add to the list... I'm not concerned about the O-line going into next year like I was earlier in the season. You'll basically have 4 spots with guys that have had significant starts in Sturdivant, Glenn, Jones, and Gates. I'm more worried about our WR's. King will get the other team's best guy which means Brown or Wooten will really have to raise their game. I don't see a true freshman coming in and being a difference maker and Michael Bennent will be fine but not a game changer.