New start for Dogs’ defense: ‘In a sense everybody is a freshman’

Athens — Georgia’s defensive players seem excited and energized –- but still pretty much in the dark –- about the transformation to new coordinator Todd Grantham’s 3-4 scheme.

Some defensive tackles are wondering if they’ll become defensive ends, and some defensive ends are wondering if they’ll become linebackers.

“All we know is, we are putting on an audition for everything,” Cornelius Washington said. “So we do the best we can and let the coaches make the coaching decisions.”

Washington appeared in all 13 games (and started one) at defensive end last season, showing a knack for pressuring the quarterback. He seems to have  the makings of an outside linebacker in the 3-4.

But he said he hasn’t been told what position he’ll play or when a determination will be made.

He added that such uncertainty could be good for the team right now.

“I feel like it lets everybody have an audition, lets everybody at least be able to show what they can do,” Washington said. “I don’t feel like this season there is such a thing as a freshman player because everybody has an audition and I guess in a sense everybody is a freshman.”

His guess is that a number of players will get looks at a number of different spots during spring practice, which will begin March 4 and run through the G-Day Game on April 10.

“I feel like we got a lot of guys who can do a multitude of different things, so I’d say [Grantham] is going to try us out at a whole lot of different things and see who fits the best,” Washington said.  “We have a whole lot of guys who are willing to do whatever it takes. I just feel like we got to get the job done, and [the coaches] will make the decisions they have to make.”

Whatever his spot in the 3-4,  Washington is a fan of the alignment.  “It makes it harder for the quarterback to see what’s coming,” he said.

Washington, by the way, said his weight is up to 256 from the 224 at which he arrived in Athens.

——————-

A few other things:

99Dawg asked on the blog yesterday for an update on offensive lineman Trinton Sturdivant, who for the second consecutive year is rehabbing from season-ending knee surgery. Offensive line coach Stacy Searels said last week that his understanding is that Sturdivant’s rehab is “coming along great” and that he’ll be “ready to go” in the fall.

– Wednesday night’s 82-63 basketball loss at Auburn dropped Georgia to 0-8 in true road games this season. If you missed it, Travis Leslie had a double-double in the first half and finished with 19 points and a career-high 17 rebounds. But Trey Thompkins, who entered the game as the SEC’s second leading scorer and fourth leading rebounder, had more fouls (5) than shot attempts (4), fouled out with 8 ½ minutes to play and finished with just six points and four rebounds in 13 minutes of action. The Dogs won’t win many games, if any, with Thompkins on the bench.

– From earlier today: New linebackers coach Warren Belin’s salary.

- And please follow me on Twitter for the latest UGA news and notes.

104 comments Add your comment

J-Bo

February 11th, 2010
2:34 pm

jimmy

February 11th, 2010
2:45 pm

i hope we havethe players to run the 4-3

jimmy

February 11th, 2010
2:45 pm

i hope we havethe players to run the 4-3

Go Dawgs

February 11th, 2010
2:47 pm

Close Jimmy, very close.

gators nations

February 11th, 2010
2:52 pm

I wuz almos ferst 2 yall. Dog gone it. Dog–get it? Ha I em so phunnee.

theDingo

February 11th, 2010
2:59 pm

Do we have a DT that is big enough to play nose tackle?

k

February 11th, 2010
3:00 pm

Richard Samuel will thrive on D.

VAdawg

February 11th, 2010
3:03 pm

Does anybody honestly care if someone is first? I don’t see why people keep doing that. On the topic people should be talking about, I’m very excited to see our defense next fall. But I also think people should be realistic with their expectations. We lost a lot of players on defense and are inserting a whole new system with all new coaches minus Garner. Nobody should expect our defense to come out and lead the nation in scoring D.

Gratefuldawghead

February 11th, 2010
3:13 pm

Got to work better than Martinez’s “Wait and React scheme”

ghsclassof2012

February 11th, 2010
3:15 pm

theDingo- yes, this is not going to be like a lot of the 3-4 schemes in the nfl where the d tackle simply takes up space. The Dawgs will have a one gap d tackle. he will be a little quicker and smaller. go look up the dallas cowboy’s defensive tackles, our d tackles will have a similar role to what theirs do, if I’m not mistaken.

Dr. Kenneth Noisewater

February 11th, 2010
3:21 pm

looking forward to the new D in Athens

Nostradamus

February 11th, 2010
3:21 pm

In the year 2010, in the tenth month,
from the sky will come the great Tennessee passing game,
Da’Rick Rogers bringing yet another win to the great Vols in Athens.
And misery will once again rain down on the hapless UGA Bulldogs
Before and after, UT to reign by good fortune and win the SEC East.

georgia87

February 11th, 2010
3:22 pm

The only concerns I have is the D-Line, because we have to replace so many productive players and the 3-4 puts a premium on line play. We had a lot of young players play and show flashes of ability. But the back seven looked lost. I hope to see aggressiveness, even if there are occasional big plays.

where to get better info

February 11th, 2010
3:23 pm

we will be fine on d. most of our guys we recruited over the last few yrs are more suited for the 3-4. Alot of undersized linemen. LB’s will be good and I love the secondary……if they can learn the plays look out if not look out

Bob Sacamano

February 11th, 2010
3:27 pm

Just block and tackle.

anotherdawg

February 11th, 2010
3:38 pm

I’m with you VAdawg! Usually, these blogs start off the the same: 1st, or 2nd, or woops, I thought I was 1st. Then, after a few good comments or questions, they then resort to a pi$$ing contest with whose school is better, or hatefull negative crap. Nothing wrong with a little humor, but some are just downright annoying. Makes you wonder how many are over 12 years old. lol

RedandBlack

February 11th, 2010
3:42 pm

The Dogs will work and learn hard this spring to prepare for September. Everyone will be getting lots of new looks on both sides of the ball. The Bulldogs will be ready. Definitely better than the ought nine team. These Dogs will be biting. Go Dogs!!

tampabigDAWG

February 11th, 2010
3:49 pm

We can sit here and analyze a thousand different schemes that would show improvement over Willie Wonka’s defense. I think we will be productive on defense. We have a couple of young choices to take up the 1 Gap. They may need to put on some pounds and work on footwork which will be needed to work the O-Line to let a OLB get in on a blitz. We have good coaches in place and hopefully they can “coach up” better than years past. Isn’t that what NCAA football is about anyhow? To turn high shcool athletes into NFL prospects. That is what we have lacked. The natural ability has always been there in our players. We need an engineer to drive our Defensive Train down opposing offenses throats. Go Dawgs from a state where we are hated.

kiffy

February 11th, 2010
3:59 pm

A worthless prediction from Nostradumbass!

Will

February 11th, 2010
3:59 pm

Word is Coach Grantham and Coach L are amazed at the talent on this UGA Defense. They have players they can plug in anywhere they want at any time. Speed, size but lots of youth. This was actually a good year to change schemes as everyone expected. Looking forward to Gday 4-10. Everyone show up and get behind our young dawgs. Let’s put about 60,000 in the stands!

Starring Kam Fong as Chin Ho

February 11th, 2010
4:02 pm

tampabigDawg, I’ll raise my glass to the day we are hated even worse in Fla. For to be hated worse, we’ll have to beat the Gators more than once or twice a decade.

Bremen Dawg

February 11th, 2010
4:07 pm

Guys, we have the talent to run this 3-4. I bet Grantham can’t wait to get started.

Vick=Dog killing Thug

February 11th, 2010
4:10 pm

Man I’d like to make 190K a year. That would be sweet.

Blue Max

February 11th, 2010
4:12 pm

tampabigDAWG, I am from central florida and no one hates the dogs. When I moved here Dawgs were insulted because I told them we didn’t hate them.

TallaDawg92

February 11th, 2010
4:20 pm

From all of the interviews it seems like the players have really great attitudes about the team. I am very proud as a DAWG because they do not seem to be so caught up in the “me” of things. That provides the makings of a great TEAM. A TEAM of average to above-average players (and UGa has many that are well above-average) will whip a group of individual players every time.

GO DAWGS!!!!!

TallaDawg92

February 11th, 2010
4:25 pm

Blue Max

I live in Florida and conduct business all over the state. The Dawgs are hated here, except by Miami fans (generally).

oledawg

February 11th, 2010
4:30 pm

It certainly won’t be a sit-around and grab-ass team. If the competition is on the backs of the D and other groups, then let the best Dawg eat!!

oledawg

February 11th, 2010
4:32 pm

How about a column on the speed freaks on the team, no matter which class they are in scholastically.

John

February 11th, 2010
4:37 pm

I hope Mark Richt stays out of Todd Grantham’s way. Todd wants to put the best 11 on the field REGUARDLESS of class. Get after the quarterback (Georgia is famous for making subpar QB’s look like Heisman Trophy winners) Hopefully, a culture change will promote improvements all around.

Einsteindawg

February 11th, 2010
4:49 pm

First = Saint Simmons wannabes. I like CTG’s thinking in “putting our best talent on the field”. If Coach Richt had done this, he wouldn’t be on the hot seat now. How many SEC, ACC, or division II teams would Bryan Evans, Joe Cox,and Prince Miller have started? Played more than one game? Just my opinion.

jerry

February 11th, 2010
5:00 pm

3-fo’, shut the do’. Fo’ sho’.

OEJ

February 11th, 2010
5:05 pm

With this new defense the only thing to be concerned with is the D-line..Will we have the right guys at the end and nose guard position. Dont be surprised if there are players that you thought would be starting wont be. The players we have are really good, its all about how hard they practice. I can see UGA starting, or playing a few true freshman on defense

What??

February 11th, 2010
5:30 pm

Athens — Georgia’s defensive players seem excited and energized –- but still pretty much in the dark

What is new? They were in the dark every game for the past two years!

We will see if these new coaches are better at evaluating tallent and making adjustments during games.

Jaydawg

February 11th, 2010
5:35 pm

VAdawg at 3:03. Because Bradley keeps saying KUDOS! to all these idiots that have nothing to do but to log on and state FIRST!

Señora Weeb

February 11th, 2010
5:37 pm

It’s UGA, party school and home of goon-athletes and bail bondsmen.

What decent person really cares? ;-)

Louie Jr.

February 11th, 2010
5:38 pm

Louie……where have you been? You did not get arrested down at the Atlanta Eagle, again?

superDawg

February 11th, 2010
5:50 pm

Gone fishing.

shane#1

February 11th, 2010
5:52 pm

CTG will probably alter lineups according to down and distance and other factors to gain match up advantages. All NFL teamns do this. So look for a few full time starters and a lot of role players. If everything is kept simple and each role player is given a specific task and well schooled in that task UGA could have one hell of a D. Some of the Dog LBs and DBs looked confused under Coach Willie. I wonder if maybe they were over-coached and were thinking too much out there on the field instead of reacting to the play. If you have to stop and think on the gridiron the O is already a step ahead of you.

Jona

February 11th, 2010
6:04 pm

Señora Dweeb

I think you’ve mistaken UGA for the jail road crews in Knoxville. Don’t call them volunteers for nothing. They all volunteer to do the road work just to get out of their cells.

run the ball

February 11th, 2010
6:28 pm

What is CMR’s record when we have a back to rush for over 100 yds? Run the damn ball.

Mr. Know-it-All

February 11th, 2010
6:29 pm

John Kincade is a blowhard that knows nothing about sports. What a a–hole.

Blue Max

February 11th, 2010
6:57 pm

run the ball, did you come up with that on your own? Everyone runs the ball when they are not behind and passing!

Kincade is a Klown

February 11th, 2010
7:07 pm

Mr. Know-it-all,
How right you are. Kinkade is a complete jacka$$.. I stopped listening to 680… All of their shows suck… 790 is much better for the morning and afternoon drives.

MESSENGER

February 11th, 2010
7:23 pm

Turner Field 5-7 Georgia tek Lost again 12 May 2009.

Then

Bounced from Tournament by Southern Mississippi Rusty Old Chandler Stadium

3 College World Series Appearances, 0 National Titles, Georgia tek.

6 College World Series Appearances, 1 National Title, UGA Diamond Dawgs

47-28 UGA Diamond Dawgs in The NCAA Baseball Tournament

195-148-2 UGA Diamond Dawgs over Georgia tek in Baseball All-Time.

We own your butts in this sport too.

1-6 Georgia tek is against UGA Diamond Dawgs at Turner Field

This coming season, as in every other sport, UGA’s Diamond Dawgs feature the

SoS # 8 UGA

SoS # 35 Georgia tek

Georgia tek always plays nothing but cupcakes, and then wonders why it cannot beat UGA

680 the Klown

February 11th, 2010
7:32 pm

Laurentino in the morning is just as bad as Kincaid. Mazzone needs to hang it up. Buck sucks and Kincade blows. 680 the Klown.

CatsFly

February 11th, 2010
7:42 pm

We’re always bashing the ACC, but I just saw a pre-season All-American Team listing 3 defensive players from UNC as 1st team AA’s. Greene (Uga) was listed as well. This is not the 1st time that UNC has that many defensive AA’s on the same team (two years in a row under Mack Brown). Maybe we should give credit where credit is deserved. There are good players in every league and on every team. But 3 on one side of the ball on one team!

Quick05

February 11th, 2010
7:43 pm

I dont like the 3-4 because usually if you nose tackle gets hurt there goes your defense. and we dont currently have a space eater too my knowledge. BUT I am optimistic that every thing will workout.

Dostoyevskiy

February 11th, 2010
7:50 pm

Which would be a better switch, UNC to SEC or UGa to ACC?

Iraq Dawg.... Hooah

February 11th, 2010
7:53 pm

Rembrandt

February 11th, 2010
7:54 pm

Dostoyevskiy….I think UNC fits best where it is. I think UGa would benefit from moving to ACC. It football would probably be even better, as it would continue to recruit well in the deep South, and would expand its recruiting into NC and Va., as well as into the MD/DC area. It would also possibly give UGa the boost it needs to bump them into a first-tier academic institution.