Anyone who’s watched Georgia’s defense this year has noticed broken coverages and pre-snap confusion. It’s no surprise then that on the subject of communication, the Georgia players and coaches don’t seem to be on the same page.
As it turns out, it gets loud at big college football games. The players are pointing to a need for improved pre-snap communication, claiming that hand and verbal signals don’t always make it through the entire unit.
“Our coaches always get on us about communicating in practice,” freshman cornerback Shaq Wiggins. “It’s different in a game than practice, a game is louder, so we hear most of the calls, and we learn the signals every day. But we just have to do a better job of communicating in the secondary.”
Todd Grantham isn’t buying the excuse. “That’s bull. Everybody knows the signals, they need to get ’em,” he insists. “I don’t know who was saying that but that’s part of your youth too, so they need to take it on themselves to get the call.”
It’s true that Georgia is young and inexperienced on defense, especially in the secondary. The pace and complexity of a major college defense has to have the heads of some of these newcomers spinning at times.
The thing is, communication was also identified as an issue by last season’s veteran and talent-laden defense.
Linebacker Christian Robinson also said poor communication is a problem….
…Jordan Jenkins said the communication problems are “one of the main things we’re trying to fix this week.”
“Everybody is guessing, well not guessing, but just some people don’t prepare well enough like some others do,” (Bacarri) Rambo said. “It’s just like they thought we were going to be in this call and one person said we’re going to be in this call, so everybody is on different pages.”
I expect that the defense will improve as the instincts of the newcomers improve and the game begins to slow down. Still, it’s going to take a bit more convincing to make me accept that the issues on defense are largely a factor of experience. This is just too much of the same stuff we heard last season. For one reason or another, both 2012 veterans and 2013 rookies are running into similar difficulties with the defensive calls.
I’m probably making this sound more dire than it is. LSU folks are talking about the same exact issues this week, and facing a good offense (or several of them as Georgia has) will make you question the very nature of your defense. If there’s one bright spot, it’s the universal agreement that Herrera is doing just fine getting the calls in and “is doing his part.” If you recall, this responsibility was one of the things that kept him from seeing more playing time last season.