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Friday, March 25, 2011

A more in-tune Bulldog defense?

It will take until this fall to determine if the Georgia defense, in the second year of the 3-4 system, is actually better. So far this spring, however, the mantra around the team is that the defense is definitely “faster.”

Not because the players are physically quicker. But because they’re comfortable enough in the system that they’re reacting to the play more, rather than worrying about whether they’re doing things right.

“They are playing faster,” head coach Mark Richt said after Thursday’s practice. “They’re playing with a little bit more certainty as to what they’re doing.”

Richt said he could tell that players are getting better fundamentally.

“You’ve always got to learn what to do first. And then you’ve got to learn how to do it well,” he said. “Last year was a whole lot of time spent on just knowing what to do. And now that they have a better idea of what to do, they’re learning how to do it better. So the techniques are improving.”

The players echoed Richt.

Christian Robinson, the inside linebacker and appointed leader of the defense, spoke over and over about helping the player next to him. He meant that players are more focused on helping the next guy, rather than making sure they themselves know the system.

“It’s not making sure everybody is where they need to be. It’s more the technique things, little things, that just make it easier,” Robinson said. “It’s more work now because we’re focusing on those little things. But going out there is not an issue now. We can move faster, we’re already farther ahead than we were last season.”

Jarvis Jones was on the scout team last year, while sitting out his transfer year. But he said he could still tell there was a difference between last year and this spring.

“They know it more,” Jones said. “We’re going faster. We’re having fun.”

Another difference is the amount of returning starters. Last season the team had 10 first-time starters, but this year’s team – while it loses Justin Houston and Akeem Dent – returns six of its top 10 tacklers.

There are some position switches – Alec Ogletree to linebacker, and DeAngelo Tyson from nose tackle to end – but Tyson said the larger issue is the 3-4.

“The relief is everybody knowing the system,” Tyson said. “Because once you know what to do and how to do it, you can play unstoppable and fast. So the part of not knowing what to do, will keep you out there guessing and not playing full speed.”


Anonymous said...

Player-speak is just like coach-speak, both must be taken with a grain of salt. We heard a lot of tlak last year about how fantastic the 3-4 would be, and how much havoc they would bring to the opposition.

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

Is this the same group that said that our offensive line would be Georgia's strength and would be one of the best in the country and that our quarterback was the questionable issue before the 2010 season began?