Thursday, February 6, 2014

NSD Review - abundant energy

Was a fun day in Athens. Lots of positives to take away from this year's class; of which MaconDawg points out and covers pretty thoroughly here. Overall I believe we addressed our needs and got the kids signed that we needed to get. For now I'd like to spend some time focusing on the coaching staff and some broader strokes.
  • The biggest thing I took away from yesterday can be summed up in one word - energy. Coach Richt has it and the fan base happens to have it too. Again, what a difference a month makes right? I don't think there's any question that the coaching staff was an exercise in chaos last season. However, yesterday we got to see the new staff all together and there's more cohesion there than we've seen in some time. I mean, Pruitt is living in Friend's basement from Pete's sake! 
    via AJC
  • Speaking of the new defensive coordinator, he wasn't as engaging as I expected him to be. But it was his first time in front of a small representation of the fan base and I'm sure everyone's expectations were set pretty high. Including mine. He had an air of intensity about him for sure. The question I remember him fielding was about bringing back the junkyard mentality. He pointed to a broad spectrum of goals he had for his defense and mostly glossed over the rather mundane question. Then later Sherrer addressed it directly, telling the fella who asked that they would most certainly be getting after it.
  • One of the more intriguing developments yesterday was the fact that Rocker will coach the defensive line as well as the rush end position. The presumption from there is that Sherrer will handle the linebackers while Pruitt coaches the secondary. That leaves the final assistant position to coach...??
  • Special teams. I said we wouldn't have a coach devoted to just this area. And we still may not. Maybe. But it's clear from comments Richt has made since the end of the season and especially yesterday that he has a definite plan and insists fans will be happy with the results. I expect things will shake out as far and the last spot on the staff and what the assignments are within the next day or two.
  • And it was a very young man who specifically asked Coach Richt about hiring a special teams coach. Richt also glossed over this one with a joke about who had set him up to ask it. The head guy appeared as relaxed and engaging as I've seen him in years. It certainly tables any and all discussion about him eyeing retirement sooner rather than later.
  • The lighter side was all Richt either. One of the funnier moments was when Pruitt asked Mike "Big Dawg" Woods where he could get his "hair" cut like that. Almost as funny as when Lilly came forward to field a question on tight ends and first asked that same young man why he wasn't in school.
  • Another thing that was clear yesterday was Richt getting his staff front and center with the microphone. In one sense this isn't a new development. In the time I've been going to Athens for signing day he's always had assistants field questions. But there was a bigger emphasis here yesterday. For instance, he asked the crowd to acknowledge Bryan McClendon's recruiting prowess. And at the end of their time he made sure everyone had had their chance to speak.
Relaxed. Yet energetic. A strange dichotomy. Perhaps most of the relaxed and easy feeling was coming from the crowd. I couldn't help but think how things might have been different had there not been any changes in the staff. Given the way things ended in Jacksonville, it would have been a much different mood on the floor yesterday. But as Blutarsky points out, the staff should be commended on how this recruiting class finished up given the staff changeover. While much of that credit should go to the assistants on Richt's staff, in the end most of it rests on the head guy's shoulders.

If every day is a good day to be a Dawg, yesterday the kool-aid was plentiful. And we were all eager to get a refill.