Showing posts with label Demarcus Dobbs. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Demarcus Dobbs. Show all posts

Friday, March 26, 2010


Kwame Geathers has done some great work since arriving in Athens last summer to get himself in position to challenge for playing time. We all knew that, but it appears that Geathers has some game to go along with his 6 foot 6 inch, 308 pound frame. So much so that he has managed to impress his fellow defensive linemen with his play so far this spring. Brandon Wood and Demarcus Dobbs were quoted recently in the Red and Black as saying...

"...he’s moving fast and throwing people out of the way, and he’s going to be a beast.”

We certainly hope they're right.

Glory, Glory.

Thursday, March 4, 2010


DOMINANT. That was the word often used heading into last season when describing just how good Georgia’s interior defensive line could be. Thanks to the emergence of Justin Houston last spring, there was also a buzz surrounding the defensive ends heading into the 2009 season. At times these units played the way most Georgia fans expected them to…very well. Other times they did not. Maybe the most obvious sore spot for fans and the DAWGS defense was a lack of a pass rush and an inconsistent ability to stop the run. On the other hand, Georgia’s senior defensive linemen played very well down the stretch of the season and with the emergence of Houston and Cornelius Washington at defensive end, the DAWGS defensive line led a resurgence of a determined Georgia defense that managed to shut down Georgia Tech’s vaunted running game to end the season. As spring practice 2010 gets cranked up, there is a big hole in the DAWGS defensive line. Georgia lost five players that earned starts along the D-Line in 2009 to graduation, including three future NFL players in Geno Atkins, Jeff Owens and Kade Weston. Now, there is talent on hand to step into the gaping holes along Rodney Garner’s defensive front to be sure. The question is will the DAWGS young pups with new homes step to the front of the line and get the job done?


A couple of things are clear about the new 34 defense that the DAWGS will be playing…Georgia’s defensive line athletes will be asked to take on more of a role as a play-maker due to the one-gap style of defense Coach Grantham prefers, and we also know that despite where they are listed on the roster, all of the defensive linemen will be cross-training at all of the three positions that will play with their hand in the dirt. To better understand why this information is telling, let’s look at a one-gap defensive mentality as compared to the two-gap style.

Two things are vital to good defensive line play…playing with great technique and maintaining gap responsibilities. Depending on the play called and the philosophy of the defensive coordinator, a defensive lineman could be responsible for either one or two gaps.

One-gap responsibility is relatively simple: the defender attacks a hole and must take care of whatever business happens there. He is expected to tackle any running back who goes through that hole, or to force the running back to move laterally into the arms of another tackler. If the offense is passing, the defender's gap is his route to the quarterback.

Two-gap responsibility requires more discipline on the part of the defender. A defensive tackle may be responsible for both the A and B gaps on his side of the field. His job is not so much to crash through a gap as to read the play, occupy blockers, anticipate which gap a running back might choose, and clog it. The two-gap defender must quickly diagnose the blocking scheme (whether he is battling a base block, a reach block to seal an edge or a down/back block to get a ball carrier to the outside) and determine which of his gaps is more vulnerable.

Three of the DAWGS defensive line hosses from 2009, Justin Houston, Montez Robinson and Cornelius Washington, have been moved to outside linebacker this spring to take advantage of their pass rushing abilities. In recent days, the coaching staff has indicated that DeAngelo Tyson, Kwame Geathers, Derrick Lott and incoming freshman Mike Thornton will man the Nose position. The defensive end spots will be held down by Abry Jones, Demarcus Dobbs, Brandon Wood, Kiante Tripp and 2010 signees Garrison Smith, Dexter Morant and Brandon Burrows. Dobbs and Wood are the only two seniors among this group. This youth, coupled with the position changes, leaves a lot of things to be sorted out.

Every coach’s goal is to put his players in position to make plays. All indications are that Coach Grantham’s 34 style defense will be player friendly and will allow the DAWGS young and athletic defensive players to attack offenses, run to the football and have success early and often as they find their way in the new scheme. Of course, this is all conjecture at this point, but not for much longer. This is what spring ball is for. Soon enough we will know if the boys are out there mixing it up and getting excited about the opportunities to get after the football that most certainly await them. Youth will be served along the DAWGS D-Line this year and it all starts this spring. If there is really going to be a new identity of aggressiveness and intensity on Georgia’s defense, the evidence will be in the play of the DAWGS defensive line…regardless of their youth or relative inexperience at a new position.

Glory, Glory.


Thursday, February 25, 2010


Ah, spring. The time of year when hope springs eternal for each of the 120 full members of Division I Football Bowl Subdivision and the last bastion of news of substance for those of us that follow college football 365 days a year until the dog days of summer when fall camps get underway. In honor of the opening of spring camps around the country, especially the one in Athens, we present the first installment of a series of pieces that will take a look at some of the things we here at the BEAST hope to see come out of the 2010 Georgia Bulldogs spring practices.


Since arriving in Athens, new defensive coordinator Todd Grantham has found sure footing at every step, winning over the fan base and the players as he has prepared us for the installation of his favored 34 defensive scheme. One Grantham quote that got my attention was this one…

"…we're more of an aggressive style 3-4. We're going to play one-gap defense. We're going to attack block up front. We're going to rush the passer. Our outside backers are going to be what we call edge-setters. They're going to be aggressive. They're going to be coming. They're going to be solid setting the edge on the run but we're going to develop those guys as pass rushers. The inside ‘backers, we're going to call them Mike and Moe, they'll be downhill guys to the ball.”

Being a defensive minded guy, this was music to my ears. I hold firm to the belief that while defenders must play their responsibilities within any given scheme, there are certain positions that must have a disruptive impact on the opponent’s offense and the defensive end (in a 4-3 scheme) or the outside linebacker (in a 3-4) is one of those positions. Through the first part of last season, that disruption coming off the edge was one of the key factors missing in Georgia’s defensive attack. Much too often the DAWGS were forced to rely on the blitz to generate any pressure at all. Once Justin Houston returned from his two-game suspension the DAWGS started to get off their chains and get after the quarterback with more regularity. Houston led Georgia in sacks last season with 7.5 and the DAWGS managed just 28 sacks as a team during conference play which placed them fourth in the league. Down the stretch of the 2009 season, the defense began to see consistent pressure from Cornelius Washington, Demarcus Dobbs and Montez Robinson (MR90) off the edge and that carried the DAWGS to their final position in the conference statistical standings.

Everything is new on the defensive side of ball this spring for the DAWGS…scheme, philosophy, coaches and coaching techniques. Word came down just this afternoon that Houston, Washington and Robinson have been tapped to run in the OLB positions in Grantham’s new 3-4 defense and that Marcus Dowtin, Christian Robinson, Darryl Gamble and Akeem Dent will be holding down the two ILB spots with Richard Samuel seeing time at both inside and outside linebacker.

Now that we know the basic distribution plans, I want to see indications that these changes implemented in the spring will lead to an explosion of disruptive plays for the DAWGS defense in the fall.

The players that will be lining up at OLB seem to have all the ingredients needed to become a top-tier unit. Houston seems poised to have an all-conference caliber season in 2010. Washington has prototype size and speed. Dobbs is the productive grizzled veteran of the group and Robinson has already earned conference player of the week honors. I think this group has tremendous skill and a fantastic opportunity to really break out in 2010. There is plenty of speed and strength here and with the right guidance I believe this group can be very special for the DAWGS.

Courtesy Kelly Lambert

Looking at the inside linebacker positions, the options appear no less promising. Dowtin has shown great physicality and tenacity. Robinson impressed when given the opportunity to play last season. Dent brings a physical presence as well as experience to the group and Gamble has displayed a knack for making plays during his time in Athens. Gamble is one player that I think will benefit greatly from Grantham’s aggressive style of play. There have been times when I have questioned whether Gamble is hard-nosed enough to play in the middle, but when turned loose to rush the passer and attack the football, I believe Gamble can be very successful.


When you add the speed and strength that Samuel will bring to the linebacker corps to the fact that Dowtin has been quoted as saying the 3-4 scheme “is not that hard” to learn, the prospects for the athletes lining up to play at the linebacker positions to have impactful seasons for Georgia really seem bright.

The 34 defense that Grantham will be installing this spring is predicated on an attacking style of play that pressures the quarterback and disrupts lanes and timing in the rush game. Every defensive position on the field plays a role in the ultimate productivity of the unit, but the athletes in Georgia’s linebacker corps are the key to successful implementation of the new plan. If there are signs out of Athens this spring that the ‘backers are finding there way in the new plan and will be able to play fast and free come the fall, I will certainly be pleased and I believe that everyone in the DAWG Nation will be very happy with the on-field results.

Glory, Glory.