We are approaching the 4th game of the season and you can hear the rumbles. Before we look at the rumbles, lets look at what we have and are seeing. This is just on the field observations. Any talk of the off the field issues and the Fulmer Cup is to be left to others to post.
- New DC and Defensive Staff except Rodney Garner
- New Defensive Scheme
- Redshirt Freshman QB
- Ineligible wideout in AJ Green (4 Games)
- Questionable play calling by Mike Bobo
- Where is this great O-Line we heard about
- Conditioning issues
So where do we go from here. Lets take a look on defense first
- New DC staff - After years of having to deal with the terrible defenses under good ole Willie, CMR mad the change to bring in Todd Grantham and a new staff. And I always feel that a coach or a coordinator needs 2 years at a minimum. So I'm not going to harp to much on the coaches on this side of the ball. But they better start earning those checks by fixing some of the issues that were left over from last year. Such as the fundamentals of coverage and tackling. So lets check with this staff after the season. Remember, they are learning the players, just as the players are learning the coaches.
- The 3-4 Scheme - This will take some time. I'm not totally on the 3-4 band wagon as we have built and recruited for a 4-3 defense. Until we get some mass in the middle. Do I think we can run the 3-4 without the bulk, yes. But we would need some outstanding LB play to counter the size issue. Currently our OLBs are playing pretty good, but the middle guys need to step up to cover this lack of size in the middle.
- Redshirt Freshman QB - Aaron Murray has play great. He has an arm and he is getting better at reading the coverage. My one gripe is he holds the ball to long and for his health he needs to speed up that clock on when to dump the ball. This is especially important since the line and RBs are having issues protecting him. Also impacting his growth is the play calling by CMB (Mike Bobo). I have said over and over that I think the talent we have had in the years past overcame the piss poor play calling by Bobo. I have never been a fan of his, dating back to when he played at Georgia. Nothing personal, but he just bugs me.
- Life without AJ - This has been discussed to no end, and I will not say anymore on this. If you want my thoughts, here is my post on it.
- Play calling by Coach Bobo - As I said earlier, I'm not a fan and never have been. But what is going on now is just mind numbing. Why run a 20 yard route when you need 3 yards at the end of a game. His plays leave no outs for this young QB. Aaron is trying, but Bobo isn't helping matters. Also, we heard about the use of the TEs and how great they would be in the offense. So far, they are a forgotten breed. I remember in past games, Bobo saying he forgot about players. So someone please go slap Bobo with a TE so that he knows we have them. So if you run 20 yard routes, have the TE come across the middle about 5 yards out. At least then you have an out for Aaron. Remember, we have some blocking issues and no way we can wait for the wideouts to get open.
- O-Line issues - This year we heard about how great the O-Line will be. How it would be a great asset in helping Aaron grow and develop. Well so far, I see some massive issues. We can't block, we are not opening holes for our RBs, and basically all we are getting is a QB on the run for his life on a good number of plays. If I'm MSU this week, I send the house on nearly every play.
- Conditioning Issues - I heard it after the South Carolina game, but not so much after the Arkansas game, but it's still out there. Our guys looked beat. I know these noon games are brutal, I know it's hot, but there are a good number of the 120 schools out there that play noon games and we just look tired and slow at the end of games. What fundamentals we have on defense fall apart as we get tired. Now I never played college ball or HS ball, but eyes don't lie.
So where do we go from here. First step away from the ledge. We don't need to carve up the staff after 3 games. We loved CMR for years. But I do believe that he has used up his 2 mulligans (2 SEC rings). If the ship is not righted this year, you can kiss the offensive side of the ball good bye and that will be the last straw. Next step is a new coach.
I'm not calling for heads at this point, but CMR needs to do something now. The first and foremost is teaching his coaches not to toss the kids under the bus. If Aaron is holding the ball to long, then that is a coaches problem. Maybe the reason he is holding it too long is the plays take too long to develop behind a O-line that looks more like a strainer than a dam. Same goes for the defensive side. If a kid blows the coverage, address it to the player not the media. It's okay to say some assignments were missed, but there is a way to do this. If the kid continues to miss reads, then either the kid needs less playing time or better coaching.
I'm not at practice, so I'm not sure how things are handled. But I can tell you this, if the coaches continue to call out players in the media, the fan support for those coaches will dry up quickly. We are talking about 18-22 year old kids, they need to learn how to handle them. I know fans, and I have been guilty of this, call out players for bone headed moves, but we are not being heard by thousands.
This was not intended to be an "Off with their heads" post, although it started to sound like it. Maybe we need a change and maybe not. You can read some of my thoughts on this here via the Dawg Gone Blog.
I will continue to pull for the dawgs and the kids who play, forgive me if I cuss you from time to time. But I may lose the support I have given the coaches.