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Writer: Don’t Expect UGA’s Defense To Be Average

Last season, first-year defensive coordinator Todd Grantham not only had to adjust to the college game — with its spread offenses — after several years in the NFL, but he also had to install and teach his 3-4 scheme to Georgia’s players.

Defense is about reaction.  It’s about the instantaneous processing of information.  The more time a defender spends thinking, the more trouble he’s going to have.  Seeing as how the Junkyard Dawgs were having to think about their new duties in a new 3-4 defense, it should’ve been no surprise that Grantham’s group finished fifth in the SEC in scoring defense and total defense in 2010.

But Mark Bradley of The AJC expects better things in 2011:


Spring games can distort, but this much was obvious: The Bulldogs now know where they’re supposed to be and what they’re supposed to do.  The switch to the 3-4 forced a lot of guys to think before acting which isn’t always the desired course.  As (linebacker Alec) Ogletree said: “We’ll be able to play much faster now.”


Faster?  Yes.  But better?  Yeah, maybe better, too. 

UGA should have eight starters back on defense this fall.  They will also trade a date with Arkansas’ high-flying offense for an early-season matchup with an Ole Miss squad that features inexperience at quarterback.  That’s a good trade.  Another positive: Rival Auburn won’t have Cam Newton — or plenty of other starters — in the fold this year.  And Grantham won’t have to face Urban Meyer’s wacky spread-option this season… an offense he never faced in the NFL.

In Bradley’s words, “There should be nothing average about Georgia’s defense this fall.”  We wouldn’t send their busts to the Hall of Fame just yet, but there is certainly reason for optimism in Athens when it comes to their D.

 




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