In a recent blog, Buck Belue strikes a sobering note amid all the talk about the Dogs’ new 3-4 defense being aggressive and heavy on the blitzing.
Remembering when Donnan’s Dogs went blitz-happy under the not-ready-for-prime-time Kevin Ramsey in 1999 and got burned on lots of big plays, Belue notes that NFL veteran Todd Grantham is no Kevin Ramsey and “surely his plan involves covering [wide receivers] downfield.”
Still, Belue says, “Spurrier is probably thinking this: Blitz us and we’ll have Garcia throw it out to 6′5″ Alshon Jeffrey, who’s working on 5′10 Brandon Boykin, 5′11″ Vance Cuff, or 5′10″ Branden Smith. Dog CBs might have tight coverage, but can they defend the jump ball? Just saying. Might want to get to the QB fast.”
A good point, and one that Mark Richt himself has made about the 3-4 defense. If you go after the quarterback and don’t get him, you put a lot more pressure on your secondary.
And while I really like the talent of the Dogs’ defensive backs and believe ultimately they’ll be a solid unit, they’re not terribly experienced and we still have the problem of those rather short cornerbacks that Willie Martinez loved to recruit. Questions about the defense are likely a big reason the Dogs don’t rank higher in the initial USA Today Unknown Aides Filling Out the Form for Coaches Poll.
As Belue notes, ace pass rusher Justin Houston “looks to be in for a big season in this system,” and the Dogs really need him to live up to those expectations, especially early on against Stephen Garcia and Ryan Mallett.
I’ve said it before: The in-progress renovation of the defense concerns me a heck of a lot more as the season begins than starting a redshirt freshman quarterback.
Your thoughts on Georgia’s defense, especially concerning the South Carolina and Arkansas games?
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