College football has gotten very used to teams like Clemson, Baylor and others like Urban Meyer's Florida running an offense that makes the defense account for the signal caller in a way it once didn't have to do. That leads to a new responsibility for defenders.
When a quarterback like Robert Griffin III is behind center the read option is that much more difficult. Clemson's Tajh Boyd, who is one of the top quarterbacks in college football, will present Georgia a significant challenge in this department. But South Carolina's Connor Shaw beat up the Dawgs with his legs last year, too.
Georgia is quite obviously working on that to start the 2013 season.
Also today the Bulldogs' offense worked on a slight variation of its own offense – with the Pistol formation. That formation was most notably used by San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick when he was at Nevada. The 49ers use it, too, but the Wolfpack was the college football version of it, and they've been running it for some time.
The formation is certainly different than Georgia's traditional I-formation, as it doesn't use a fullback… at least it didn't on Sunday morning. This could be thought of in a few different ways.
A) Georgia's running backs don't need a fullback – which seems like a stretch.
B) Georgia's fullbacks are not as good as the receivers or tight ends, so Georgia will remove the fullback from the field… go to the pistol and create matchup problems with multiple traditionally pass-catching positions on the field at the same time.
C) Mike Bobo just wants to add another wrinkle into Georgia's high-scoring offense.
The offense, in the pistol, gives away less in terms of where the running back shifts or is position. If the back is directly behind the quarterback there is no way for the defense know for sure where the back should go. Its just another way to cause confusion for the defense... create a little doubt.
But the pistol means slightly different footwork in the backfield. The drop of the quarterback is different, which means the false step (or the first step) of the running back is going to have to be timed up… that takes practice – which is quite obviously what is going on this time of year in Athens and across the country.
Do I think we will see the pistol in the future – yes. But I don't think its much more than sticking a wildcat package in for Marshall and Gurley. Anything that gets the ball into the end zone is what you want.
The number one inside linebackers today were Ramik Wilson and Amarlo Herrera. The number two inside linebackers today were Reggie Carter and Tim Kimbrough, who doesn't look as short as I would have thought he would… but he's not tall.
Joe Tereshinski continues to watch with Georgia's defensive line, which brings me to another point. I don't know if the defensive line is going to be better or worse, or what the future will hold on that front, but it is hard not to notice the different drills he has for his linemen… and boy he has a lot of linemen out there.
The guy I noticed, and I know this is dumb, but coaches like this sort of thing was De'Andre Johnson. First, he's not as huge as he seemed in high school. He was so much larger than everyone else back then he totally stuck out. But he was the first defensive lineman back after a water break, and he jogged it all the way back to new defensive line coach Chris Wilson. The reason I point that out is that the line was close enough to the water station that he really didn't have to jog, but him getting the water done and getting back to the station to be first in line was hard for me not to notice.
So that means he's good at that – I don't know if means anything more than that. Wilson, too, really isn't any different than he was on the camp circuit this summer – high-energy, loud and in your face. I think it was a time for a change – time will tell if this was a good one, but it's certainly different on the defensive line than it was with Rodney Garner.