Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

What I heard (and then saw) from GDay

Wasn't going to post on the spring game as I wasn't able to attend. We actually just listened to it in the car on the way home from vacation. But then I found that my DVR had recorded it for me, so I checked the film to verify what I thought my ears had heard. Here's some thoughts.

From Coach Schotty's guys:
Faton Bauta, GDay 2015. (via GeorgiaDogs)
  • The QBs. Pretty much verified where I thought we were here at the end of spring practice - a big arm and a big leader. If the big arm (Ramsey) is going to win the starting job, the big leader (Bauta) is going to make him earn it. The players have been saying for awhile that Bauta out works most everyone on the team. I don't know about you, but that's the kind of player I want under center. Time for the Ramsey to step up if he wants to be the quarterback for the University of Georgia. Being the backup makes you popular on message boreds. Being the starter requires a lot more than popularity.
  • Speaking of stepping up, that's the big difference I see between the two guys right now. Bauta is quicker to react, knows where he wants to go with the ball, both more consistently and more accurately. Even on the long completion to McKenzie, Ramsey held the ball too long. It looked to me like he knew where he was going to go with it and simply held it another second to fit the ball in there. That may work in mid-April, but in a few months, not so much.
  • The RBs. Not much to say here. Schotty clearly wanted to give his quarterbacks some live plays to air it out. The running plays were very vanilla, between the tackles type runs, and they didn't challenge the corners much if at all. What was great to see was how definitively Turman accelerated with the ball. His first 14 or so carries went for a total of less than 30 yards I think. Then boom! After a few seasons of piecing together this unit, I still pinch myself at the quality depth we have now.
  • The OL. Solid starting five and better depth than I expected. And let's be honest, they had their hands full (figuratively and literally) with Pruitt's front seven. All around I was very pleased with what I saw. Coach Sale has made a splash recruiting. Early indications are he can coach em up too.
  • The WRs. McLendon had to be busy in his first spring coaching his old position, especially after McKenzie went down. Still, they'll be a solid and diverse bunch, specifically if some of the August additions can contribute right away and JSW eventually knocks the rust off. Bonus: is a full season of a healthy Malcolm Mitchell too much to ask for Football Gods?
  • The TEs. Any worries about depth at the receiver position are lessened somewhat by what we saw from the tight ends. That play-action from Bauta to Jordan Davis was music to my ears in the car. I couldn't wait to see it with my eyes. Tight ends have flourished during the Richt era, but quite frankly we've needed more from this position the last couple seasons. Some depth here can only help this offense in the fall.
From Coach Pruitt's guys:
  • The LBs. You just have to start here because of the absolute embarrassment of riches Pruitt has at his disposal, especially on the outside. How long did it take you to remember that Floyd and Bellamy were in street clothes? Jordan Jenkins plays rent free in the backfield; Natrez Patrick reminds me of a young Lorenzo; and Lorenzo is making me think he was holding back during his eye-opening freshman season. The only disappointment thus far from this group is the fact that we won't be able to hear Munson's multiple attempts to pronounce Chuks Amaechi's name.
  • The DL. I thought Mayes looked great, Bailey too. One of the by-products of a vanilla running offense is lots of gaps for the d-line to fill. And they stood up to that challenge for the most part, as well as pressured the quarterbacks multiple times. And at the risk of pouring on too much praise for the linebackers, that squad is only going to make the defensive front look better and better.
  • The DBs. And while we're referring to symbiosis, the defensive backs stand the most to gain from a plethora of pass rushers. Bauta was forced to check down many times. Some of that was due to the pass rush around him, but it also showed the young squad in coverage was doing their job. I forget who McKenzie beat, but that almost deserves a pass as that task must be like trying to grab the leash of a lathered down greyhound rounding turn three. I really liked seeing Tramel Terry fly around and lay some licks on receivers. Malkom Parrish seems to be worthy of some of the praise he's received as well. And as we know from Signing Day, there's a lot of help coming in August. Overall, this is still a position of much youth, but it's so much more stable than a year ago, is it not?
From Coach Richt's guys:
  • Special teams were....disappointing. No punt rush and we still can't get a decent punt off. No kick rush either and Morgan misses a 42 yarder. It all adds up to this - four and a half months to find someone that can punt a football into a well covered area (preferably more than 32 yards downfield) and who is going to hold place kicks for our senior kicker.
That's pretty bare bones and really nothing earth shattering. But that's the way GDay is supposed to be, right? What'd I miss?