Amid all the first-day confusion, one certainty: Rambo!

Bacarri Rambo is locked and loaded. (University of Georgia)

Bacarri Rambo is locked and loaded. (University of Georgia)

Most of what went on during the first day of spring practice was pretty predictable. The new coaches were noticeably vocal, snaps were divided evenly between the three quarterbacks, the defensive players looked pretty tentative as they found out putting the new 3-4 scheme into practice isn’t as easy as the Dallas Cowboys made it look on film, and everyone talked about how excited they were to be back on the field and looking ahead to a new season.

But there were a few reports that caught my eye. The Dogs had only four healthy scholarship wide receivers, as Israel Troupe and Marlon Brown wore noncontact jerseys (due to hamstring problems from the mat drills, Rentavious Wooten told the Athens Banner-Herald). Last year it was having a thin tailback corps that complicated spring practice; this year looks like it’s going to be the receivers.

The new-look defense didn’t just confuse the defenders. Brandon Boykin told The Red and Black that QB Zach Mettenberger “was saying how he didn’t know what was going on with the movement, so that’s pretty fun being able to confuse people.” And Nick Williams told Bulldogs Blog’s David Hale that tailback Caleb King complained the 3-4 scheme was going to be tough to compete against in practice. Not bad, considering the defense doesn’t really know what it’s doing yet.

Or should we be concerned that a not fully installed defense was already causing confusion on the part of the offense? No, I don’t think I want to go there just yet.

Meanwhile, although a lot is up in the air this spring in Athens, there appears to be one certainty, at least according to Williams, who was pleased by his move back to safety from linebacker. He told The Red and Black he thinks everyone other than Bacarri Rambo is competing for one open safety spot because “Rambo has his locked … he’s ready to go.”

I like the sound of that.

NOT ALL ABOUT BLITZING

New defensive coordinator Todd Grantham has talked about the importance of going after the quarterback in his 3-4 defensive scheme, but he explained to ESPN.com’s Chris Low that it’s not all about blitzing. “We want to attack people,” Grantham said. “And when I say that, that doesn’t mean you’re always blitzing. You’re attacking them mentally and physically. … You have to stop the run, but you also have to affect the quarterback. You can do that multiple ways. One is with pressure and the next way is by disguise. The quarterback likes to get a pre-snap read and know where he’s going to throw the ball. You’d like to be able to show something and then take it away.”

Grantham told Low his other goal for the Dogs’ defense this spring is to become more physical. “Being physical is being a good tackling team, because what that does is eliminate big plays, which goes hand in hand with not giving up a lot of points. If you’re giving up points, then you’re probably giving up big plays. But if you make teams go the long, hard way and don’t give up big plays and make them earn it, then you can usually find a way to stop them.”

Like I’ve noted before, Grantham is saying all the right things. Now he’s just got to get his players to execute.

107 comments Add your comment

Roaddawg80

March 5th, 2010
11:51 am

I hate it but FIRST!

UGA Grad 09

March 5th, 2010
11:51 am

UGA Grad 09

March 5th, 2010
11:51 am

The D

March 5th, 2010
11:51 am

I wont say it

The D

March 5th, 2010
11:51 am

NC Dawg

March 5th, 2010
11:53 am

Roaddawg80

March 5th, 2010
11:53 am

Boys you are just to slow! I would like to thank Mr. King first for just writing the article and second for the people who have stuck by me to be able to pull this off. Thanks and GO DAWGS!

NC Dawg

March 5th, 2010
11:53 am

#2 BAMA FAN

March 5th, 2010
11:58 am

Georgia has a lot of IF’s but I think the team will be good by the time they play the gators!! RTR

GATA!!

March 5th, 2010
12:05 pm

I have a serious man-crush on Todd Grantham! The Junkyard Dawg defense is back in Athens!

Dan

March 5th, 2010
12:08 pm

I’m a Tech fan – but TG is dead on that if you force a team to go the length of the field to score, the possibility of a stop goes up but so does the possibility of a turnover.

Dr Phil

March 5th, 2010
12:11 pm

I treated Coach Grantham after he was fired from the world champion Cleveland Browns and helped his self esteem so much that he now takes credit for the new world champion Dallas Cowboys defense(even though he didnt call plays).

slingblade

March 5th, 2010
12:13 pm

Bill, whose idea was it to have one day of practice and then go on spring break? Seems like 1 valuable day wasted.

JimDog

March 5th, 2010
12:20 pm

I am very excited about the new defense, the offense will take care of itself. I really like TG’s Yen to CMR’s Yang. Having the big vocal coach to get drive the defense makes CMR’s job of being the cool head coach easier. That was the way it worked best when VanGorder will still on the UGA sidelines. Cool and calculating on offense and in-your-face smash mouth on defense. It can be a potent combination.

Billy

March 5th, 2010
12:24 pm

Holy Toledo, Todd Grantham has me excited. GO DAWGS!

L-Dawg

March 5th, 2010
12:24 pm

SLINGBLADE…..

BY HAVING THIS ONE DAY OF PRACTICE, IT ALLOWS THE COACHES TO HAVE EXTENSIVE MEETINGS OVER THE BREAK THEY WOULD NOT HAVE BEEN ABLE TO DO IF THE FIRST DAY WAS AFTER THE BREAK.

Branden Smith

March 5th, 2010
12:39 pm

1….2,3,4,5 then the jawga bulldawgs dont take no jive. corch richt and aaron murphy are gonna be national champs. it is cleaya the jawga dawgs are heading in the right direction

Something to look forward to denotes

March 5th, 2010
12:42 pm

UGA and very likely, LSU and of course, the Gators and sometimes Alabama ( not lately, till 09 ) and on rare occasions, Auburn fans and UT fans have something to look forward to, regarding football. This is what makes southern football so much fun ……….SEC teams usually have great things to chew on over the spring and summer. Great anticipation makes SEC ball, what it is.

Firstly, we play in the SEC. THAT is good enough. Imagine turning down free tickets to an Auburn vs UT game or Alabama vs Florida or LSU vs UGA game. See? Most real football fans in this part of the world and nearly 97% of ALL TV sportscasters and writers would be at that game with bells on.

Compare the same free ticket opportunity to view an NC State vs MD game or NC vs VA game or a Tech vs Wake game, even though Wake IS a big tech rival. Here is another: Duke vs tech. Wow! I would pay NOT to have to view those games and family memebrs attended both of these punk schools. Grads rarely attend the games at either. Imagine that.

Then, we have to look at the top 10 after about a month of play. Usually, 4 or 5 SEC teams will be in the top 10-12. This is what I am talking about. We all know that Miami ( for years and years now ) is not what they were, nor is FSU. VaTech frankly, has never been anything to write home about. We all recall how UGA in the 07? Peach Bowl spotted VaTech about 4 tds and then UGA pistol whipped them. SEC vs ACC like with Bama vs VaTech and LSU vs VATech and GTech vs LSU and GT vs UGA for the last 10 years and on and on and on. Va Tech did defeat hapless KY in the 09 Music City. Whoopee for VaTech.

Next, is the MAJOR bowl participation for the SEC for years and years and years now.

Finally, the # of NC’s that the SEC has won.

SEC rules and the ACC is like the Mid America Conference. SEC schools are pumped up for Spring ball.

Go Dogs.

KJ

March 5th, 2010
12:42 pm

I still cannot understand why everyone keeps saying how “thin” UGA is at WR. Given how much they use the TE, I don’t think they ever use more than 2-3 in a formation, so what’s the big deal with “only” having 4 healthy ones (with the other 2 having minor hamstring issues)?

jp

March 5th, 2010
12:44 pm

i’m first haha

The Situation

March 5th, 2010
12:45 pm

RIPPED UP LIKE RAMBO!!!

Branden Smith

March 5th, 2010
12:46 pm

Jakar and Rambo will torment opposing players all year long. I see good days ahead for UGA.

Tim

March 5th, 2010
12:52 pm

KJ – I think what everyone is referring to about the WR’s and being “thin” is that we can’t afford to get anyone else hurt. Since there is only 4, they will be getting a lot of reps. Without getting much of a break, that can lead to them getting hurt. Plus that’s only 4 people getting reps and real practice experience. That will set the others back, especially since they’re young. But you’re right, with the type of TE’s we have that can definitely supplement the WR’s.

getthepicturenow

March 5th, 2010
12:52 pm

i love how haters like “dr. phil” bring up the Cleveland Browns in a weak attempt to make fun of coach Grantham, fact is he was over the defense the year they went 10-6 & just missed the playoffs. 06 i think? but thanks anyway dr. phil, now go back to giving oprah a back rub.

HUNKER DOWN

March 5th, 2010
1:03 pm

Can’t wait til fall. Go Dawgs! Sic em

Dr. Phil

March 5th, 2010
1:07 pm

I getthepicturenow, fat boy jumps up and down and yells and the Dawgs get all excited. Wait til you lose 5 games next year and you will be wanting me to counsel Coach Richt also.

NerdCentral@NorthAve

March 5th, 2010
1:14 pm

Its going to be fun watching all the teams destroy your “confused” defense this year. It should even be more fun than watching last years defense! You’ll be begging for Willie Martinez to come back by the 2nd month. Then we are going to destroy your hedges (again) at the end of the year. I can’t wait. BTW….nice job losing the best player in the state the night before signing day. Classic!

BBDAWG

March 5th, 2010
1:18 pm

I hate these IDIOTS that post First!!

Tailback U

March 5th, 2010
1:20 pm

Bill
I am not worried about confusion now but if they look confused
in the G day game will you panic a bit or take the position
that it is just a longer process than we hoped for ?
Just curious , we are not accustomed to this big a scheme change
and I am not sure of what a reasonable expectation should be
in terms of progression . What signs will you be looking at
to feel good in terms of timetable and the team’s progression ?

poopdawg

March 5th, 2010
1:21 pm

I wish Richt would allow the QBs to get hit in scrimages. It would give the coaches an idea how they will perform in a real game. I not saying putting them in ” bull in the ring” just allow contact during scrimages. It might help some other positions as well.

slingblade

March 5th, 2010
1:24 pm

I agree poopdawg, they need to be hit in the spring but not the fall. If the percieved starter goes down in the spring, then at least you have until the first game to get #2 ready.

Dawg in Atlanta

March 5th, 2010
1:31 pm

This photo must be over 20 years old, it is an antique and possibly worth something.

http://i530.photobucket.com/albums/dd347/billdawg57/University_of_Georgia_Bulldogs_Humo.jpg

30-24

March 5th, 2010
1:33 pm

hey nerd central…check out my name to the left. still hurts dont it? what about 73-66? which one hurts more? ill tell you. neither b/c it is your rear end that hurts… go dawgs!

Dawg 3/20

March 5th, 2010
1:36 pm

Dr. Phil

March 5th, 2010
1:44 pm

Is the reason behind the constant change in uniforms because Coach Richt is Schizophrenic like Hershel?

ga gator

March 5th, 2010
1:49 pm

Dr. Phil, kind of old with the Hershel jokes.

JB

March 5th, 2010
2:11 pm

Florida’s rep is unreal. If we would of had all the things happen to us in the off season as they’ve had, they would be calling for us to give up football. Their coach quits, then doesn’t. Their very good DC leaves and a couple of other coach’s. Most of that defense gone and of course, the player ( Tebow) that made that offense work is gone. Brantley played mop up with 4-5 touchdown leads and the other teams had quit by then most of the time.. I think they have serious issues. Talent yes,……and issues. Me thinks they struggle on offense big time this year.

ron_mexico

March 5th, 2010
2:12 pm

it’s always funny the techies on here running their mouths…it’s like me going on a gator site and running my mouth…haha

D Fence

March 5th, 2010
2:14 pm

I cant decide who’s funnier: Andy McCollumm or Al Grogh? You goons from Tech are more jealous of UGA than AU is of Bama. Just keep working hard on your Iowa gameplan – oh what. They beat your butts too.

McDawg

March 5th, 2010
2:15 pm

the problem w/ our defense the past 2 yrs was getting pressure on the QB-until that is resolved our problems on D will not be solved

take away the turnovers last year and it was not as dismal as it looked but we can’t compete for an SEC title until

a) we take care of the ball

b) pressure the QB

MontyP

March 5th, 2010
2:20 pm

Everybody knows that there was never any movement by a Willie Martinez defense. They just lined up almost the same way every play and the offense knew how to attack the UGA defense. Play by play announcers commented about this every game last year.

SOUTHGADAWG88

March 5th, 2010
2:20 pm

Nobody hits QB’s in practice there is just too much invested in your starting QB.We have weapons aplenty on offense so I’m not worried about WR depth.Bend don’t break with an attitude is what it sounds like Grantham is saying to me.I hear that the CB’s will not have as much run support responsibilities under the new scheme… leaving Smith and Boykin free to concentrate on pass coverage.I think we could have two shut down corners this year.

TXDawg

March 5th, 2010
2:20 pm

Hey Branden Smith….who is Aaron Murphy??

kauai dawg

March 5th, 2010
2:20 pm

It’s day ONE but all is well and sounds good. Wish spring break wasn’t happening now but was a good idea to get them on the field before the break. Like what the new D is showing early.

Go DAWGS 30-24

TXDawg

March 5th, 2010
2:21 pm

Now that we have a Rambo on Defense, all we need is a Terminator and it’s lights out for opposing offenses!!

THWGT

March 5th, 2010
2:24 pm

TX, I believe Branden Smith was making fun of the idiot congress woman from Floriduh…

Gratefuldawghead

March 5th, 2010
2:28 pm

I thought Rambo should have played more last year!

#1 total dog

March 5th, 2010
2:32 pm

If you think UGA is confused, imagine how confused Florida will be on Oct. 30 trying to stop the 3-4 defense that Grantham taught Alabama.

Flo-Ri-Duh!

March 5th, 2010
2:35 pm

I saw Rambo play against Hawkinsville in a playoff game 3 years ago. He was primarily a running QB. He could throw but his receivers couldn’t catch the ball. Hawkinsville had a very good and fast defense (4th in state) and Rambo looked like a fox being run down by a pack of wolves. He showed elusiveness in the 1st quarter though he was gang tackled for little if any gain most of the time. As the game went on he was crushed time after time but never quit. In the 4th quarter he finally scored a TD with Hawkinsville safely ahead.

#1 total dog

March 5th, 2010
2:51 pm

I grew up watching Rambo play, then moved to Athen around the time he came to Georgia. I can say this, he’s the best I’ve ever seen. Take it from me, Iv’e watched him since High School