Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Richt invites Dabo and Steve-O into practice

Wait, what? With scant days left before a brutal opening to the 2014 campaign the head coach draws the curtain back for all to see?
Students and reporters received an unusual treat as the Georgia Bulldogs returned to practice after a couple days off. Mark Richt, who most days only allows the media to watch 10-15 minutes of practice, decided to let students and the beat media observe the second half of Tuesday's practice that was held in Sanford Stadium. Close to two thousand students sat in the baking sun to take in a lively mid-week practice. At its conclusion, Richt thanked the students and called for them to create an opening game atmosphere similar in intensity to what the Bulldogs experienced when they traveled to Clemson last year.
Photos and video were prohibited as part of the conditions to watch practice. We do have quite a number of observations though.
I have an observation too Radi - my invite was lost in the mail, so can I get a raincheck? Richt never does this kind of stuff. Not to make too big of a deal of it. After all, it was just an hour. But first you have pick axes taking the place of stationary bikes on the side, then you have open access to media and students and other spies. Next thing you know the team will have iPads instead of actual playbooks. Oh, wait.

Anyway, lots to glean from the media's extra 45 minutes of observation. They got plenty of looks from Quayvon at different positions, including tight end. Right now it wouldn't surprise me to see any name as the starting tight end a week from Saturday. Any name. Just pick one.

The defense sounds much more aggressive. They're reacting on their feet quicker and with confidence.
All of the cross training defensive coordinator Jeremy Pruitt has done is paying off as Green and Dawson also played the star. In other words, the secondary players were lining up in multiple different positions and it was tough to keep track of who was where in what coverage. Good luck to opposing quarterbacks in figuring that out. Oh, and the corners blitzed a lot so some guys lining up in the star may have just been there for that blitz. 
A lot of inside linebackers getting reps. Sounds to me like Pruitt plans to rotate them in and out, probably as part of specific packages. As important a position as inside linebacker is in the SEC, I like the sound of Kimborough and Carter getting plenty of action.
via Nabulsi

Most of all, I liked this nugget from Emerson:
It’s only practice, but Hutson Mason’s footwork looks improved. He had a bit of happy feet during his two starts last year, but during Tuesday’s practice he did a good job of being firm in the pocket, keeping his feet to the ground as the pocket came at him, then firing off a good pass.
I've slacked off on viewing the Gator Bowl as part of my Hutson Mason evaluation as I had promised. We looked at his performance in the Tech game here. Since then I've changed my thought pattern in terms of what I'd like to glean from Mason's two starts, especially given the fact that there was more than a month between them. When I rewatch the bowl game (hopefully in the next couple of days) I think I'm going to look as much for things like shotgun vs under center and tempo/pace of play more than actual stats.

The bowl game stats we can really throw out of the window considering the weather and Conley's injury. And I've consistently heard a lot of people say that Mason will be fine, but he won't be Murray. I guess I get that line of thinking. But the fact is that much of Murray's success was because he was truly an extension of Bobo on the field. They were in sync after five years of practice, preparation and live games. Right now, in 2014, of particular interest to me is how much Bobo adjusts to Mason. Even more so than how much Mason adjusts to live action.

"...otherwise it's a big play."

To me, it doesn't sound like Dabo and his defensive tackle are on the same page.
In the Tigers' latest intrasquad scrimmage Saturday, D.J. Howard had a 40-yard touchdown run, and not because he had a wide-open running lane. 
"We try to knock a guy down with our shoulders instead of wrapping him up with our arms. A good back will run through that," head coach Dabo Swinney said. "You've got to make tackles in space, otherwise it's a big play."
Anthony and Williams each hinted Venables has made some subtle changes to the Tigers' rush-defense scheme up front, to try to corral home-run threats like Gurley.
"It's developing good, because we know the scheme now," Williams said. "Everybody's playing where they need to play and being disciplined. We're not playing over each other, everybody has an assignment and they're sticking to it."
For those of you unfamiliar with DJ Howard, he's the redshirt senior tailback for Clemson. Here's a picture of Howard next to Todd Gurley.


(Hint, Gurley is the one on the left brushing some dandruff off his back.)

Humpday Hilarity - lettuce, whores and hockey

A man in a Washington supermarket tried to buy half a head of lettuce.  The very young produce assistant told him that they sell only whole heads of lettuce.

The man persisted and asked to see the manager.   The boy said he'd ask his manager about it.  Walking into the back room, the boy said to his manager, 'Some asshole wants to buy half a head of lettuce.'

As he finished his sentence, he turned to find the man standing right behind him, so he added, 'And this gentleman has kindly offered to buy the other half.'  The manager approved the deal, and the man went on his way.

Later the manager said to the boy, 'I was impressed with the way you got yourself out of that situation earlier.  We like people who think on their feet here.  Where are you from, son?'  'Canada, sir,' the boy replied.

'Well, why did you leave Canada?' the manager asked.   The boy said, 'Sir, there's nothing but whores and hockey players up there.'

'Really?' said the manager.  'My wife is from Canada.'

'No shit?' replied the boy.  'Who'd she play for?'

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Helmet AND jorted SEC schedule

For your reference and viewing pleasure, Kerri is back with her annual tradition of taking the SEC Helmet Schedule and maximizing it to its full potential. If you approve, make sure and embiggen, click, save, and most of all, give @ugakerri a follow!

Volition, The Georgia Way

Pretty cool video. I couldn't help but be somewhat amused by the looks on the freshmen faces as they had only been on campus a matter of days when the Navy SEAL veterans took over summer camp. But aside from that mild amusement I'm glad this team got this experience.

Coach Venables' kryptonite?

Relating (albeit loosely) the Clemson defensive coordinator to a superhero may be a stretch. But the guy knows a thing or two about stopping offenses in their tracks, especially on the ground.

Enter Todd Damn Gurley.

In Death Valley last August Gurley amassed 154 yards, and did it in only 12 carries. That was good for seven yards more per carry than what he averaged the rest of the season. The rest of the Georgia running backs carried it 29 times for 68 yards.

So perhaps I should relate Gurley to the Man of Steel and hope that Venables hasn't tapped into ore deposits from the planet Krypton the last few months. Because I wonder how many times this replay has been rewound and restarted in the Clemson defensive coordinator's head?

Bubba Gurley

He may not qualify for the 2015 Masters Tournament, but it doesn't take long for the nation's best running back to learn the old golfing motto - You drive for show and you putt for dough.
Gurley took up the sport in May at the recommendation of Bulldogs kicker Marshall Morgan and punter Collin Barber, both avid golfers. He’s just as blunt in his critique of his early trips to the driving range. “I sucked pretty bad,” Gurley said.
But Gurley is much improved now after visiting the range two to three times a week this summer. So far, his greatest golf accomplishment is making a birdie. He’s also figured out one of his strengths: putting. “That’s where the money’s at,” Gurley said with a laugh.
And a former UGA golfer can show you how to spend some of it too.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Grantham's Towel vs. BMFP

Toddie. Dude. Petrino's always gonna score more baby.

My favorite part (well, my second favorite part) of this whole story about the feud between Louisville's head coach and it's defensive coordinator is this quote:
“He’s a mean guy,” said Jamaine Brooks, a former Louisville defensive tackle who left this past spring. “He cusses you out. You’re never doing enough. He’s still Bobby Mother------- Petrino.”
Other than that, (insert sarcasm font) I'm real torn up about Todd not getting a honeymoon on the back of Petrino's hog. At least he can rest his laurels on his big raise until the NFL comes calling (end sarcasm font).

Monday's Meatloaf - a tale of two gameday Saturdays

Mike is a Georgia fan. And like the rest of us he has been looking forward to spending Saturdays this fall in Athens. It's been a long off season and the time has come to make plans for tickets, tailgates, away trips, and ringing that Chapel Bell!

But Mike gets busy. Between work, mowing the yard, feeding the dog, watching 13+ hours of the SEC Network a day, and reading Bernie's Dawg Blawg he loses track of time and the suddenly the Clemson game is here!

The excitement is at a fever pitch. Mike hurries home from work the Friday before and begins to pack the car for the next day's journey to Athens. "Did I remember the tailgate chairs?" he asks himself. "Check! Did I remember the tickets? Check!...Have I checked the latest football odds? Check! Did I get enough beer? What about the gas for the generator? I'll get that on the way in the morning."

Todd drifts off to sleep and awakens the next morning eager to hit the road, and with no idea how greatly complicated things are about to get.

Once at the tailgate things slowly unravel. It's unnoticeable at first. But between the drinking, the eating, catching up with old friends Mike hasn't seen in a year, not to mention the big win 'tween the Hedges, by late evening he finds himself wishing he didn't have to make that drive back home. All of his buddies are asking him for a ride downtown on his way out so they can continue the party. The hotels are booked and his friends only have floor space left. He's left with listening to the late games on satellite radio while he makes the trip back home.
From reader Trey, Lorenzo Carter strikes a selfie
pose a very happy Dawg fan.

"Do I really want to sleep on a floor, or should I just call it a day and head home?" Frustrated, Todd ponders his limited options wishing he'd planned a little further ahead.

Today's Ingredients
- With only days to go before the opener, Blutarsky looks at where things stand in terms of position battles.
- The wide receiver position has had some bumps and bruises so far, but Kimberley focuses on one that is ready to make a name for himself.
- MaconDawg wonders who wants to be a "star" and how that position may be different under Pruitt than it was behind the towel in recent years.
- Tyler looks at a "blogger-sized" player that we hope will be the next Damien Gary.
- Groo peeks at the schedules of the Dawgs' opponents.
- Krisi found Trip Frix's in this week's Dawg Tweets.
- Picture day was Saturday and Greg has some photos from Rob Saye of the players behind the scenes.
- Garbin uses the Georgia-Clemson rivalry as a backdrop in recalling one of his favorite players from the 1980s - John Little.
- From the Blogging doesn't pay the rent file, do you have all the tickets you need this season? That link gives you access to parking passes, season tickets, individual game tickets, both home and away! 100% Guaranteed and No Fees!
- Saturday's post got AHD all reminiscent and he fell into a google hole that helped him find Robert Edwards as the head coach of the Greene County Tigers. How 'bout that Dawg!
- Lastly, hey Chiefs're welcome.

Bernie is a Georgia fan. And like the rest of us he has been looking forward to spending Saturdays this fall in Athens. It's been a long off season and the time has come to make plans for tickets, tailgates, away trips, and ringing that Chapel Bell!

Athens Football Rentals
But Bernie gets busy. Between work, mowing the yard, feeding the dog, watching 13+ hours of the SEC Network a day, and writing for Bernie's Dawg Blawg he loses track of time and the suddenly the Clemson game is here!

The excitement is at a fever pitch. He hurries home from work the Friday before and begins to pack the car for the next day's journey to Athens. "Did I remember the tailgate chairs?" he asks himself. "Check! Did I remember the tickets? Check!...What about the gas for the generator?...I'll get that on the way in the morning." And then his lovely wife reminds him, "You big dummy, remember how you planned ahead and booked a house through Athens Football Rentals just last week and now we get to spend the whole weekend in Athens, not just most of the day...ya big Dummy??!??"

The family gets loaded into the car. They head towards Athens where they have a nice dinner, a comfortable night's sleep, a short walk to their friends' tailgate, thoroughly enjoy a big win at Sanford that night, celebrate with some friends, a short walk back to their rental home, and then another good night's sleep.

Twelve days folks. We got this!


Pruitt's tough love

More than halfway through camp and the defensive backfield situation is as clear as mud. Swann seems an easy bet to start. So does JJ Green. At times.
via Vorhees

It's been the hot question ever since Pruitt took over in January. Is there reason for discouragement just 12 days out that the starters haven't emerged? I don't think so. And the players don't seem concerned about it either.
As proof, Pruitt needs to be able to trust his secondary. He’s trying to find who knows the calls, who recognizes the formations and who knows what to do with both once a scenario arises. In practice, Pruitt, always vocal, has been particularly loud when talking to Green.
Green doesn’t take it personally because he knows the pressure and challenges will only get tougher as the season progresses.
“We’re the ones that if you can take him in practice, you can take him anywhere,” Green said. “You can take the criticism of 90,000 fans. It’s a great thing that he’s caring like he does.”
The answers will come. Until then, the questions (and the criticism) will have to suffice.