ATHENS – Obviously the most critical area for Georgia to shore up for this final stretch of the regular season is its special teams. I outlined the Bulldogs’ poor statistical standing in most facets of special teams earlier in the week.
Yesterday, coach Mark Richt provided some details as far as how much they work on special teams on a daily basis and how the responsibilities are divided among the assistants.
Here’s a quick look at what assistants are handing what units and some tidbits about practice and meeting time spent on it. Then you can hear from Richt as far as his philosophies on special teams.
Only defensive backs coach Scott Lakatos doesn’t have an assignment.
According to Richt, Georgia meets and practices specials team every day. Of course the specialists themselves — punters, kicker, snappers, holders — are practicing all day every day in practice. But as units, this is who much time is devoted to them:
Mon.—–40 mins———-25 mins
Note: According to the 2011 SEC Football media guide, 10 of the 11 league schools have a “special teams coordinator.” Only Mississippi State does not and, i that case, head coach Dan Mullen handles specials team, a la Urban Meyer.
In practice this week, it looks like Georgia has been working in on special teams a lot more of the front-line offensive and defensive. Can’t be sure who will be doing what until Saturday’s game against New Mexico State and maybe not then. Meanwhile, this is what Richt said regarding special teams play at his weekly news conference on Tuesday:
“Early in the year we were doing some things fundamentally extremely well. Then it got especially sloppy in this last ballgame. Guys were just not avoiding blocks in the right direction. If everybody avoids blocks properly, then you’ve got all your gaps taken care of. You have guys just kind of ad-libbing, then you get these creases. So that’s part of it, but also personnel. We are challenging a lot of the guys who play more scrimmage downs to get involved in more than just the opening kickoff. I think everybody can understand how crucial that that play is, so there will be other guys involved personnel-wise. We have to kick the ball in such a way that there is enough hang time to get everybody down there, too.
“We have some true freshmen on there. It’s the same bunch of guys that really did a fantastic job earlier in the year. A lot of it became fundamental. Are you running as hard as you should be? The main thing was are you avoiding blocks properly. The number one fundamental of that team is the number one thing we work on. For whatever reason, a few guys decided they would avoid any way they felt like. We’ll get that straight.”
– Chip Towers