Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Save the Crown Royal for Special Occasions

I am still feeling the effects of the Arkansas hangover. Boy was my prediction for the game off, way off. There will be no grading of the game, we won, but boy were we ever exposed.

I defended the defense following the Carolina game. I credited Garcia with escaping pressure and throwing underneath. Saturday night we witnessed Ryan Mallett, who is about as mobile as a circus clown on stilts, escape the pressure and throw it over the top. Repeatedly! Now it is just time to accept that our defense is a liability the must be mitigated.

I have but a few pieces of advice regarding the defense, and no, one of them is not firing Willie Martinez. We are playing great against the run, so how about we coach Bryan Evans to just forget about run support. From this day forward Bryan, your only job is to be the deepest player on the field, nobody gets behind you.

Let the President rush the passer. Cornelius Washington needs more reps. He is the pass rush, at least as far as we have seen this year. A back side corner blitz may also be appropriate from time to time.

Branden and Brandon, you guys are going to be great, but you have to find the football. Prince, you ARE better than that.

The talent is there on defense, we will get better. We have to. In the mean time, we have to acknowledge our shortcomings and protect ourselves from them. As good as Joe Cox looked throwing it around to AJ Green and his understudies, we have got to play a little ball control offense.

They old adage is you have to run the ball and stop the run. I think we do both good enough to be in every ball game. I imagine getting Mike Bobo to stop throwing the ball is a kin to making a junkie go cold turkey. Neither is going to be too happy about it.

Having AJ Green on your offense is like having an unopened bottle of Crown Royal. Sometimes you have to save your best for special occasions.

We need to protect our defense. The most effective way is to keep them on the sidelines. We have to get back to running the ball and eating clock. We need to exercise some patience. I do not mean Lane Kiffin patience, we have to win the game.

Cox has a great game, no doubt about it, but there is no way we can expect that same kind of performance against Tennessee, LSU, Florida or Auburn. I do not expect it against Arizona State.

With targets like AJ, Orson Charles, Tavarres King and the reliable Michael Moore the inclination to throw the ball all over the place is great. It certainly is exciting to watch, but the goal is to win the game and the risk reward ratio just doesn't make it prudent.

By running the ball and eating clock, we wear down the opposing defense. Ultimately, this will lead to our opponent attempting to establish a running game to rest their defense. This plays into our strength, stopping the run. As talented as our offense is, getting into a shootout does not play to our strength due to our deficiencies against the pass, even if the time of possession is even.

We should deploy a smash mouth running game, with play action passing to keep the defense honest. If we continue to wear the opponent down and dictate the pace, our defense will will benefit. This has been the blue print Mark Richt has utilized throughout his time in Athens. Let's get back to it and give the defense time to rest, and improve.


Bernie said...

Hmm...a sounds plan. I hope CWM reads your blog. Right now a defensive pulse would be cause for a swig of Crown.

Hunker Down said...

I agree to some extent, but if Cox and the vertical passing game are on fire, we have to fuel the fire. Remember how Greene torched LSU the last time they came to Athens. I would love to see that scenario again.

One upshot of our defense getting so many reps the past two games is that they have tons of failures to learn from. It does help. Success is a crappy teacher. Seeing your mistakes on celluloid definitely helps you improve.

Lastly, I thought our defense never looked tired against Arkansas. That was impressive based on how many snaps they had against SC and again how many reps they got in Fayetteville. They will get better. How much better? We shall see.

MikeInValdosta said...

Bernie, anytime I have a pulse is a good time for a swig of Crown!

Hamp,I think we really need to take a basketball mentality. We need to shorten the game and try to have one more possession and make it count each half.

We weren't tired against Arkansas because there drives were rarely more than 5 plays. As good as we looked offensively, I am afraid that is how bad Arkansas was defensively. With LSU and UT on the horizon, we can't expect to score like that.