Friday, August 24, 2012

The Lakatos Way

Perhaps it's just the stark contrast to his predecessor as the secondary coach, but Scott Lakatos' development of his players continues to be the brightest spot from the defensive overhaul from a couple years ago. Well, maybe that's a tie considering how Coach Jancek put our linebackers into the days just after the Earth cooled. But my point is that our defensive backs have made a complete turnaround..

via
...as in turning around and actually playing the ball. As in having the confidence and ability to jam receivers, recover into position to make a play and be more than warm bodies roaming aimlessly downfield.

That's why this piece on Devin Bowman strikes a chord with me.
Listed behind Commings and Mitchell on the depth chart, Bowman readily appreciates the experience he is getting in learning from those two. Commings has had 103 tackles, 15 pass deflections and five interceptions in 42 career games with the Bulldogs, while Mitchell was rated by Rivals.com as the No. 1 cornerback prospect in the 2011 signing class.
Lakatos insists that determining playing time for Bowman is still a ways off simply because the Bulldogs remain in the early stages of implementing game plans for Buffalo on Sept. 1 and the trip to Missouri the following week.
"He's a guy who I think is going to have some sort of role," Lakatos said. "We're still developing him, but he's making progress that we're happy with."
A few years ago I have little doubt that the defensive back out of Ridgeland Highschool would be playing. If he wasn't needed as a starter he at least be thrown out there to cover a slot. But Lakatos has raised the bar. He's recruiting bigger, more physical guys. When Bowman was signed there wasn't much doubt about his speed, but his backpedal and physicality at the line of scrimmage needed development. And despite finishing the "package installation for the third time" Bowman's not quite ready to crack the cornerback rotation in front of guys like Swann, Smith and Mitchell. 

If there's someone that can get Devin Bowman ready, I think it's Coach Lakatos.