Friday, February 7, 2014

So...about Ekeler. And then Helow.

Hey, I was at least right about the how quickly it would happen. Although that brings some questions to mind as to the timing of the official announcement, when I look back at how the news traveled for the other two assistant hirings, it pretty much follows the same progression - media leaks that someone is likely the guy, cautionary comments about nothing being official, few days pass, media leaks that the official announcement is imminent, and then the official announcement.

That progression could mean a number of things, such as proper vetting and background checking as well as dotting i's and crossing t's in terms of contracts. But with Ekeler there was a few extra days in there it seems when things appeared to be in a holding pattern. Whether that's because of the last minute recruiting push towards signing day, other candidates or just simple feet dragging, I don't know for sure. But what truly matters is Richt completed the staff with a guy Pruitt wanted and that wanted to be here in Athens too.
Are there any pictures of this guy with
his feet on the ground?

But about the roles of the defensive's quite the shakeup. Or is it? For those of us outside the arena it's just tidier to have things organized in ways that make sense. Sure, it took some adjusting when we went from Martinez's 4-3 base to having two linebackers coaches under Grantham's 3-4. But we made it. 

However now it seems a bigger adjustment having the "regular" inside linebackers and secondary guys, but then one who is in charge of the SAM and the STAR and another who has the defensive front and the WILL. Well okay, if that's the way we just Pruitt.

Organized into neat, understandable categories is nice. But Does it make sense in terms of preparation? Or efficiency in practice? My guess is either Pruitt had designs of this organizational structure as a best practice development, or he's tailoring the staff to their own proficiencies. Perhaps both.

One remaining question that looms, or at least one of the bigger ones, is how exactly George Helow fits in. He was a grad assistant at FSU. He's announced he was leaving and the presumption is that he's following Pruitt. He was even mentioned as a possible assistant early on when names were being bandied about like flies on a porch. If he's going to be a grad assistant in Athens, that brings me back to one of my original questions - how many grad assistants can a program have? I presume four. And if that's true we're losing two of the ones we had from last year.

You may be wondering "Who cares?". But I think it's a bigger deal than some think. Certainly enough to warrant some thought. Kelin Johnson is a great addition to the GAs. I think Helow would be as well.

Regardless, I'm glad the searches for assistants are over. Remains to be seen just exactly what Richt has up his sleeve in terms of special teams. If nothing else, it should add plenty more intrigue to spring practices and GDay.

Most of all, welcome to Coach Ekeler. Everything I've read has been high energy and driven by results on the field. We're glad to have you as part of the DawgNation!