Author Archives: tardawg1014

Quick GIF Reminder: Nick Chubb is a Monster


I think I just let this run, uninterrupted, about 25 times.

That is all. God Bless.

Quick Hitter: Who Makes Tough Catches for UGA?


Ran across this piece from the Macon Telegraph on a quick perusal of ESPN this morning:

http://www.macon.com/2015/04/18/3701172_georgias-passing-game-who-makes.html?rh=1

The article, to me, essentially is trying to measure a ‘clutch’ factor for wide receivers. I think it is quite a stretch to do such things, harping on the departed Chris Conley and Michael Bennett as purveyors of clutch in their time at Georgia.

I think this is a pretty silly premise, as all catches are made easy or difficult depending largely on separation and the quality of the throw. With more quick and shifty wideouts such as Isaiah McKenzie and Reggie Davis stepping into major roles, one can argue that enhanced separation will make these ‘tough’ catches easier.

It is informative enough as a look at the pass-catching depth chart for 2015, though, so go ahead and give it a read.

 

Dawgs Draft in Review: How the Class of 2015 Fits in the NFL


Another draft has come and gone, and Georgia continued to keep its strong NFL pipeline open. The Dawgs ranked #13 in draft player quality, a pretty solid ranking considering its one elite prospect has a torn ACL. The full list is here, and you’ll get a laugh at Florida ranking #4 due to the strength of its….offense…?…having six players drafted. WHO SAID WILL MUSCHAMP CAN’T COACH?!?

Todd Gurley, Rams (1st round, 10th overall): Obviously, most of the strength of this Georgia class lies in the monster RB Todd Gurley. The first first-round running back selected since 2012, Gurley’s landing spot is less than ideal. The Rams are weak on the offensive line (though strong behind Greg Robinson and Roger Saffold on the left side), and have a complete dearth of playmakers on the outside as long as Tavon Austin demonstrates a lack of receiving skills. To add insult to injury (no pun intended), the Rams play in the NFC West with strong defenses in Seattle and Arizona. Perhaps he can eat in two games against a depleted 49ers team, but who knows?

Former Auburn back Tre Mason had a pretty nice second half to his rookie season last year, but Gurley should have no problem supplanting him as the featured back. Fantasy ripoff Zac Stacy, though?

In case you missed it, Stacy’s response to the Gurley pick was swift, as he tweeted (and deleted) “YIKES”, followed by a trade request, which the Rams granted for a 7th-round pick.

FIT: D+. Gurley is going to be asked to be the workhorse here, and his career will likely be shortened by Jeff Fisher giving him the Eddie George treatment.

Chris Conley, Chiefs (3rd round, 76th overall): From a pure opportunity standpoint, Conley couldn’t have landed in a better situation. The Chiefs let Dwayne Bowe walk this offseason, and their receivers accounted for ZERO touchdowns last year. With their signing of deep threat Jeremy Maclin, there should be ample space to operate underneath for the combine wonder.

Additionally, Conley immediately becomes KC’s tallest receiver, as 6’3 journeyman Armon Binns and his 27 career catches are likely not to stick on the roster.

FIT: A-. WR was likely KC’s biggest need going into the draft, and Conley joins a 7th-rounder from Northern Illinois as new targets for Alex Smith. Only Smith’s inability to get the ball downfield keeps this from being a home run for Conley.

Ramik Wilson, Chiefs (4th round, 118th overall): The first three Georgia draftees will play their football in Missouri, which is just…odd. SEC country indeed, I suppose.

Ramik has a good chance to stick as a 3-4 inside ‘backer (where he played for his most productive Georgia year), as the Chiefs are a little light there. Derrick Johnson is a stud, and Josh Mauga had 103 tackles in his first year with the team. Depth is a major concern here, and the team’s run defense was not-so-good last year. Wilson should get a shot to move right into a reserve role and join the starting 11 if Johnson’s injury issues persist.

The fear here is that some are listing him as an outside linebacker, where he would be well behind former Dawg (and 2014 sack leader) Justin Houston, as well as aging edge rusher Tamba Hali and last year’s second-round pick, Dee Ford.

FIT: A if he stays inside, F if they see him as an edge guy. We grew to know and love Wilson as an inside ‘backer.

If he can protect the middle of the field like the following GIF (B.S. penalties aside), Wilson will be just fine.

Damian Swann, Saints (5th round, 167th overall): Again, depends on where the team sees him playing. With Keenan Lewis and former Patriot Brandon Browner entrenched as the starting corners, the versatility Swann demonstrated in one year under Jeremy Pruitt is essential to his staying power.

If he is indeed a corner in the Saints’ D, Swann will also be competing with former Florida State corner P.J. Williams, a third-round pick who many mocks saw as a late first-rounder.

Rotoworld lists Swann as a free safety, where he’s clearly behind Jarius Byrd. Career starter Kenny Phillips was signed this offseason for depth as well, but he’s been completely unable to stay healthy.

FIT: C-. Swann’s best hope for a roster spot here is as a special teamer and sub package corner. While that’s all you can really expect as a fifth rounder, the Saints have invested heavily in their secondary over the past two years. On the other hand, 81.3% of 5th rounders at least play their rookie years with the team who drafts them, so he should be in NOLA for special teams and depth in year one.

Amarlo Herrera, Colts (6th round, 207th overall): ‘Marlo is a prototypical run stuffing, old school middle linebacker who may have missed his NFL calling by 10-15 years, but he has a good chance to stick for his first few years. The Colts have been awful against the run in recent years, and a division with Houston, Jacksonville, and Tennessee means that he’s playing almost half of his schedule against teams that aren’t exactly capable of chucking all over the field and exploiting his weakness as a pass defender.

D’Quell Jackson (140 tackles) and Jerrell Freeman (93) are Indy’s inside incumbents (alliteration!). Freeman is on a 1-year RFA deal, and Jackson is entering his 9th year in the league. From a depth perspective, Herrera should be able to find some time on the field.

FIT: A-. There aren’t many better fits for one of my all-time favorites.

Among the undrafted Dawgs, C David “Boss” Andrews to New England is good, because (spoiler alert) Bill Belichick tends to get the most out of all of his players, one way or another. Ray Drew is a Dolphin, Toby Johnson a Titan, and Corey Moore a Texan.

On balance, one feels for Gurley. The rest of the Dawgs’ draftees ended up in very good situations to display their talents.

 

SECual Healing- 4/28/15


Oops, I promised this would be a weekly thing.

What’s happening as we officially hit college football’s dead season?

ARRESTS! Last time we checked in, Alabama had three in four days. Tennessee WR Von Pearson has been suspended indefinitely for his part in an alleged sexual assault (which makes the title of this post sound bad). According to ESPN’s famed ‘sources’ ‘multiple media outlets’, that is now SIX Vols involved in some kind of sexual assault case this offseason. I’m not taking this any further, that’s awful.

Presumptive top-15 draft pick Shane Ray from Missouri was arrested for marijuana possession on Monday night, potentially costing him hundreds of thousands of dollars in draft slot revenue, or making him the perfect fit for the Raiders at #4.

Speaking of Missouri, Gary Pinkel has come a long ways with his back-to-back SEC East championships, far from the DudeYouPodcast days of naming coaching hot seat rankings as ‘Pinkel Watch’. He’s now the 10th coach in the SEC to command upwards of $4 million in salary.

And speaking of the draft, the annual (never ending) Mel Kiper/Todd McShay/rumor-mongering season is almost over. Thank God. Eight SEC players appear to be more or less consensus first round picks: Alabama’s Amari Cooper and Florida DE Dante Fowler will be gone by about pick 6, our very own Todd Gurley and the aforementioned Ray could fall anywhere from about 8 to 20, and LSU OT La’el Collins, Bama S Landon Collins, Kentucky DE Bud Dupree, and Florida OT D.J. Humphries all are likely to land in the second half of the first round.

Gurley is probably going to be the only Dawg with a destination heading into the weekend. Next off the board from UGA is probably combine freak/Star Wars hero Chris Conley, who, of course, turned heads with a 4.3 40 and a record broad-jump.

Ramik Wilson and Amarlo Herrera both slot as situational LB’s and special teamers at the next level, and should be picked in the later rounds, as well as CB Damian Swann.

ESPN ran a piece on what we failed to learn in spring games, including quarterback questions at two potential 2015 darkhorses: http://espn.go.com/blog/sec/post/_/id/100888/sec-spring-games-what-we-didnt-learn-3

On to some pseudo-football stories…

This is the most Tennessee thing to ever happen to Tennessee and could only happen in Tennessee.

Not a football player as I originally thought, but a shameless Mississippi State student grilled bacon on a George Foreman…in class.

That’s all we have this week, like I said: slow season! Worry not, Palmer and I will have more NBA as we move to round 2, and his annual draft live blog on Thursday night is a can’t miss.

 

Rambling Spring Thoughts: Gators Lurking?


When a team plays its football in a division where one can point to each program and say, “they have X, but they’re tragically flawed at Y…”, there is reason for optimism from its fanbase. This applies to Tennessee and their ‘sexy pick’ (I hate that term) status for 2015, to a lesser extent South Carolina if they can find a quarterback and a defense, and it applies to the Florida Gators. With offensive guru Jim McIlwain at the helm (or, better yet, Coach Boom and Jeff Driskel out), the Gators COULD surprise in year 1.

The D Will Still Be Really, Really Good

Losing Dante Fowler to the NFL hurts, but he was often injured and even more often disappeared in his three years in Gainesville. The Gators still return the best corner in college football (Vernon Hargreaves III), a sideline-to-sideline linebacker (Antonio Morrison), and more blue-chippers on the DL (in no order, senior Jonathan Bullard, junior Bryan Cox Jr., and #1 prospect Cece Jefferson).

With Hargreaves and Jalen Tabor manning the corners, and Marcus Maye and Keanu Neal at safety, Florida’s secondary should be top-notch in an SEC that has lacked good DB play in recent years.

Can McIlwain Find a Rashard Higgins?

Higgins is a Colorado State receiver who famously (if you follow this stuff as close as I do) was THE weapon in McIlwain’s last CSU offense, totaling 1750 yards and 17 TD’s on 96 receptions in 2014. In 2013, the focal point was RB Kapri Bibbs, who scored 31 (!!!!) rushing TD’s in 281 attempts.

Clearly, the M.O. of McIlwain’s offense is to find a workhorse and get him the ball. Question is: does Florida have that on its roster?

The name I’ve seen tossed around the most this spring is WR Demarcus Robinson, who led the Gators with 810 yards and 7 TD last year. Those are impressive numbers for a guy without a quarterback, but (spoiler alert) he is still a guy without a quarterback.

Matt Jones and Kelvin Taylor return at RB, but I’m not going to talk about them as I’m still trying to suppress memories of Jacksonville.

QB: Still the Issue

Treon Harris acquitted himself to the SEC pretty well for a true freshman. Even if a completion percentage below 50 qualifies as pretty well. Say what you will about Muschamp and former OC Jeff Roper’s offense, but they put him in a position to succeed as evidenced by 6 pass attempts against Georgia, and a 9:4 TD:INT ratio.

Scuttlebutt from a quick perusal of Gator sites (Chad Floyd: masochist so you don’t have to be!) is that former mega-recruit and redshirt freshman Will Grier looked better in spring ball. I genuinely expect him to be a problem in coming years, so hopefully a loaded early schedule like in 2014 will rattle the young gun’s confidence and ruin him as a player (crap, the schedule ain’t that bad).

The Schedule

Get ready to hear “Jim McIlwain: genius, national coach of the year” as summer turns to fall. The Gators open with New Mexico State and ECU at home, and open SEC play on the road against Kentucky before going for their 11th straight win against Tennessee. A 4-0 start is likely.

October represents a major step up in competition, as they go Ole Miss, at Missouri (who I still can’t peg and will later write about only to jinx them), at LSU, bye, Sunlit Libations Festival. If Grier has the confidence from a lackluster September schedule, a split of October puts Florida squarely in the running for the East. Because…

November isn’t much better than September. A trip to South Carolina on the 14th looms large, but otherwise they’re a win at home against Vandy from (obstensibly) a 6-2, 5-3 SEC season. They close with FAU and Florida State at home, and Florida State (mark my words) is going to take a MAJOR step back this year.

 

The defense is good, the offense is finally competently coached…Florida is primed to surprise this year. I hope I’m wrong.

NEXT: probably Auburn/Alabama before working back to the East.

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