Sunday, January 17, 2010

A note on Grantham

Folks who tuned in to watch the Cowboys defeat at the hands of the Vikings today, may not have been awfully excited by Dallas' 34 points surrendered. This is especially true of UGA fans who were tuning in to get an idea of what UGA's defense might look like under Grantham. However, you have to realize that Grantham isn't in charge of Dallas's defense. He's in charge of the defensive line. That defensive line held Adrian Peterson to 63 yards on 26 carries. The 'Boys defense also sacked Brett Favre 3 times. Only one of those came from the DL, with the other two coming from Linebackers. The big breakdowns for the Cowboys today came in the secondary, where the coverage was good...but the quarterback and receivers against them were just flat out better.

Now...what does this mean for UGA? Pretty much nothing. Trying to compare how a group of pros perform against another group of pros will tell you very little in regards to how Grantham will coach our defense. On the other hand, the defense was hitting Favre often, and not sacrificing big gains to Adrian Peterson. They were playing with enthusiasm and vigor - something Dawgs fans have audibly missed for years. If Grantham infuses our defense with those two things as he says he will (and as is evidenced by the men he's been coaching), then the fans will be very happy with the result.

Now, on to personnel. Folks are curious as to what kind of recruits we'll be filling this defense with. Well, the 3-4 is a Playmakers' defense. Looking over the Cowboys' roster, you will see a grand total of ONE "official" Defensive Tackle. The rest of the defensive front (16 players) are defensive ends and linebackers. What does this mean? Look for the recruitment of serious ATHLETES. The 3-4 lives off having a big, mobile nose tackle who can clog running lanes, and then extremely athletic defensive ends and linebackers who attack the ball in both the run and the pass.

So far, Deangelo Tyson has received the majority of the support from outgoing seniors to be the man at nose. Brandon Wood had more tackles during this past season, so I'm sure he'll be one to step up and say "Not so fast, guys!" But to be honest, I'm looking forward to seeing what ol' Kwame Geathers might be able to do. At 6'6 320+, he's the biggest kid at the position right now, and if his pedigree and recruitment are anything to go by, he's gonna be a a pretty good player. Now, asking a redshirt freshman to come in and be the lynchpin of your defense might be a tall order. I think it's going to be very fun to see who ends up filling that spot. To be honest, I wouldn't mind seeing if Kiante Tripp shows up in that spot. He's big, he's athletic and thus far, he's done very little to be excited about because of numerous position changes. I think it'd be great to see him step up and fill a big role in this new defensive scheme. Now, that's purely out of a 'rooting for the underdog' point of view...not a "he's the best guy for the job" point of view. I have no idea who the best guy for the job is, and thankfully, I don't have to. That's why Grantham's getting 750K in 2010.

So far in the 2010 recruiting class, UGA has only one DT commitment, and he ain't a big guy. It'll be interesting to see if Grantham can wrangle another one or two with his "This is what the NFL is looking for" pitch. The DEs we have committed also received offers from FL, AL and USC among it definitely looks like we're bringing in the right kind of talent.

Also, looking at how many of last season's playmakers were younger guys, it's hard not to feel optimistic about the next couple of seasons, as Grantham installs his playmaker defense and really turns the Dawgs lose. It should be fun!

Go Dawgs!



Great job - keep up the good work!

Cousin Pat said...

Having watched the Cowboys DLine dominate the Saints at home during the regular season, I'm excited about Grantham at UGA.

The Saints this year are the equivalent of the NFL spread offense - they have so many weapons, you have to shut down everything to stop them. They also run screens with a good measure of success.

Except against Dallas. The DLine won that game (not Tony Romo) by shutting down Brees. They got after him (and he is mobile for an NFL QB), knocked passes down at the line, blew up screens and opened up gaps in the blocking for the LB's to get through.

And it isn't a huge difference in talent, speed or size. It was all gameplan that did it. Which handed the Saints their first loss, in the Dome.

Dawgs should watch reruns of that game, and see what they think.