"There's no doubt that this is the best conference in the country, and I feel like the University of Georgia is the best school in the conference. I wouldn't be here today if I didn't think so," he said yesterday at his introductory press conference in Athens.
Everyone says the right thing in their opening press conference.
Witness Todd Grantham on January 22, 2010: "There is something special about Athens. I understand the passion of the Georgia fans, and I understand who they want to beat. My standards are that high, and higher. This was a chance to come to a program that has won and is still hungry."
But what caught my eye is what Pruitt said to Atlanta Journal-Constitution columnist Jeff Schultz:
"A lot of people try to make football harder than what it is," Pruitt said.
Forget the window dressing that all press conferences are. Forget that Pruitt has only been a defensive coordinator for one year of his life. Forget that Pruitt has only been a paid college coach since 2010.
Forget those things.
What he did in that quote was exactly nail the problem at Georgia over the last year – Todd Grantham's defense was simply too complicated on a weekly basis – too cumbersome for young players to learn, and you could see it on Saturdays.
Youth, by nature, brings its own set of problems for players. But complicating that with a complex defensive system made matters worse for the 2013 Bulldogs.
And before you start getting riled up about how Grantham was an idiot – slow that down. The guy can coach, but it was time for a change. It is time to do one thing really, really well before moving on to the next thing.
Complex things only work when they work – right?
Jeremy Pruitt will be successful at Georgia if he, in many ways, just gets out of the way and lets the players play. No, its not that simple, but its not so complicated that you would have a 119-page playbook.
This is defense – not rocket surgery.
Simple worked at Florida State – at least it sure seemed to – and simple can work at Georgia. The Bulldogs' offense, under Mike Bobo (who many think is a total moron because he doesn't trick you while he's scoring 40 on you), doesn't apologize for running off tackle instead of running reverses.
This defense, no matter what, was going to be better because of the players' experience in 2013. But it has a shot to be very, very good over the next two years if the likes of Shaq Wiggins, Jordan Jenkins and Josh Harvey-Clemons are asked to go get it rather than think too much.
Go just and play. Go and do it.