Sunday, August 7, 2011

So Far, So Good

Nothing earth shattering has come out of the first few practices, and that's a good thing.  So far, it seems like the guys receiving the most individual praise are Branden Smith (I can buy that one) and Richard Samuel (ehhhh....not so much).  Supposedly Samuel's added size and strength has turned him into a beast of a running back, and trust me I would love nothing more than to be proven completely wrong, but it's not like he didn't already have good size and speed before, yet he demonstrated no ability to:

  • Consistently - or even inconsistently, for that matter - break tackles
  • Make people miss (which if you can't break tackles, you need to be able to do this)
  • Have the vision to see that even though the play is drawn up to go one direction, there is a HUGE hole that has opened up the other way if he would just for ONCE cut it back
  • Be patient enough to allow holes to develop
  • Maintain possession of the football
So you see, it's not like he was just one or two fundamentals away from being an SEC caliber tailback.  I don't in any way doubt his work ethic or desire, I just don't think he has the needed God-given instincts. Again, I would love to be proven wrong, but until I see him doing it during a game, I will disregard any and all preseason hype about him coming out of practice.

On the positive side though, here are some things I actually AM getting a little excited about:
  • Our tight ends.  If Bobo will show some creativity - and yes, I do think he has it in him - our personnel groupings can create some nightmares for defensive coordinators.  Assume a personnel group of 2 WR's, Orson Charles, Bruce Figgins, and a tailback.  Due to the flexibility of Figgins & Charles, we could line up with any of the following:  (1) Conventional 2 WR's, Charles at TE, Figgins at FB, and a TB (2) Split Charles out to give 3 WR's, keep Figgins at FB, and a TB (3) Split Charles out to give 3 WR's, move Figgins to TE, with the TB as a single setback (4) A 2-TE set with Charles & Figgins, 2 WR's, and single setback.  Every one of those creates different lanes and matchups on the field, and has to be defensed differently, with potentially different personnel needed by the defense.  Depending on how the defense lines up, Murray should be able to get us into the appropriate formations for success.
  • Believe it or not, I'm getting excited about our secondary.  Boykin has always been solid, and I think the praise being sent Smith's way is probably legit, because he looked really good in the spring game too.  Add in Rambo with another year of experience, the young guys who are coming in, and Sanders Commings contributing at both CB and safety, and I think we're going to see a totally different secondary.  
  • A renewed sense of passion in Richt.  Look, we all get stale from time to time in our jobs.  It's easy to sit back and say "Yeah, but he's paid $3 million dollars per year to not be stale", and I get that, but he's still human.  Look at Urban Meyer, the man was on top of the world, with arguably the best job in college football, yet he still got burned out.  You could see it all over his face the entire year last year (and yet they still managed to beat us...ugh).  And I think you could see that in Richt the past couple of years as well.  But from the quotes and soundbites we've gotten from him on his speaking tour and dealing with the players, I am actually drinking the kool-aid that I think his passion for success has returned.  If it's true, that can only mean good things for UGA Football.
  • Aaron Murray - ok, so we've all been excited about Murray for a while now, but I loved how he spoke about how much he can still improve his game.  He's never come across as anything less than genuine, so I don't think this is just him paying lip service to what everyone wants to hear.  I believe that he genuinely wants to strive for perfection.  I believe that he wants to be a guy who can put the team on his back and carry them to victory, and I love that he is not resting on his laurels.
Being that this week is the first full week of practices, I'm sure we'll have plenty more to talk about.  

-Rev.

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