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Friday, February 4, 2011

Will the Dawgs Look to the NFL or Elsewhere to Replace Belin.

With a little inspiration from the upright Senator.

The pro-set I-formation (although pro-set is a little deceptive because so few NFL teams still use the FB base set I-formation as their base formation) and the 3-4 defense. That is the best way to describe the overall philosophy of the Georgia Bulldogs on each side of the ball respectively. Unlike say the spread which focuses on speed and misdirection the I-formation is based on good old fashioned line em up and run right at em' football. That being said the most important position group of the Georgia offense is the O-line. Now I know the O-line is important for everyone but for Georgia it is especially important and Searles was not getting the job done.

The 3-4 can't operate without linebackers who can seamlessly transition between pass rush, coverage, and old-fashioned stop the run play. With that in mind the line-backers become the most important single position group on the defensive side of the ball. No disrespect to coach Belin he did a great job transitioning the LB core and more than likely helped elevate Houston to a first round pick. The question now arises as to his replacement. Grantham should have a huge say if not the entire say on the next hire and he may look to some old friends in the NFL for help. There is no shortage of NFL teams that run the 3-4 and Grantham has deep ties to the pros. What is that you say? How about Dick LeBeau? Hey a kid can dream can't he and at the rate the collective bargaining agreement is going LeBeau might have some free time. If the NFL is not an option then the trick will be finding someone in the col legate ranks with 3-4 experience. Two guys to look at are:

1. Kenwick Thompson- California LB coach: On the younger side at age 42 so you would assume a high energy guy looking to make a name for himself. The Pac 10 and Cal in particular aren't exactly known for defensive play but if he could move into the SEC meat grinder and have success he could elevate his street cred.

2. Leon Burtnett- Houston LB coach: Leon is pushing 70 and looks like he is no stranger to Grandma's cough syrup. We assume he is still coaching because there are nights between 1967 and 1975 that Leon can't really remember and the subsequent Court ordered retributions, child support, and gambling debts have left him in a "has to work" situation. His age has also resulted in tons on experience and based on the eye ball test he looks like he wouldn't shy away from a little Gary Patterson-esque yelling.

As for the replacement for Searles we think there are two guys that warrant a close look:

1. Cameron Norcross- Nevada O-line coach/running game coord.: Nevada runs the pistol, but Norcross runs an O-line that looks like a spread offense. This would require Richt and Bobo to make a few crucial changes (one of which would be no longer wasting a player at fullback in the I-formation). Imagine Murray in the shotgun with Crowell and CT in the backfield with him. No you don't have to go to a total spread and the power running game would still be a vital part of the attack but given Norcross' success (Nevada was the top rushing team in the NCAA last year) and the tools that Murray brings-- a change might be for the best. Hey look at the change to a spread Spurrier made when his O-lines were under performing and he picked up a big time running back recruit.

2. Greg Adkins- Syracuse O-line coach/ recruiting coord.: Recruiting, recruiting, recruiting. Adkins is considered an excellent recruiter and proved it in the 90's when he had a successful stint at Georgia under Donnan. Norcross is a better X's and O's guy but Adkins would mean that there would be no need for changes to the scheme and an upgrade in the recruiting venue.

1 comment:

  1. The Leather Helmet and GTP are both saying that Will Friend the O-line coach at UAB is close to being hired. Former SEC player, has experience at UGA, and has been a good coach. Nothing wrong with that hire if it happens.