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Georgia finalizes defensive coaching staff, titles

Mark Richt AP

With its 2014 recruiting class finalized, Georgia has done the same with its defensive coaching staff.

After a couple of weeks worth of various reports, Georgia on Thursday confirmed via a press release how head coach Mark Richt will parse out his various defensive coaching assignments.  The new-look staff will, of course, be headed by defensive coordinator Jeremy Pruitt, who left Florida State for the Bulldogs last month.  As expected, Pruitt will also be in charge of the Bulldogs’ secondary.

UGA also confirmed that Mike Ekeler, who spent 2013 as USC’s linebackers coach and was first connected to UGA last week, has been hired and will serve as inside linebackers coach.

“I was extremely impressed with his knowledge and energy during the interview process,” Richt said of Ekeler. “He was highly recommended by many coaches and administrators with whom I talked and we’re very excited that he’ll be joining our staff.”

The hiring of Kevin Sherrer had previously been reported even as his title wasn’t.  Sherrer will officially be in charge of “Sam Linebacker and the Star position or nickel back.”  Tracy Rocker, whose hiring was announced last week, will coach the defensive line.

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3 Responses to “Georgia finalizes defensive coaching staff, titles”
  1. woebegong says: Feb 6, 2014 12:02 PM

    Now Coach Pruitt should be able to start assembling a game plan with his new coaches as to how they will approach training and who they will like at their positions. Of course, with 3 new CB’s recruited yesterday, there is still a lot of practice ahead to see where the cream will rise to the top. Hopefully, the previous CB’s will respond to his style and teaching, and do a much better job this year in pass protection. He also has a 5 star DE coming in, that most of the recruiting services say, is college ready to play already, so I expect UGA’s defense to be much improved over last year.

  2. shavager says: Feb 6, 2014 10:41 PM

    Gawgia defense has drastically improved IF these coaches get this team playing FUNDAMENTAL football-that’s something Todd Grantham seemed to forget about. Left out of Grantham’s defensive scheme was the fundamental techniques of TACKLING, containing the end of line, assignments, and getting the correct signals in BEFORE the play and not during. No doubt that Grantham knows defensive football and schemes–application was his failure for Dawgs players-they seemed to never fit, were constantly out of position or looking around as if unsure of assignments-and it was reflected on Dawgs team of ’12 that challenged ‘Bama for the SEC title even with 12 future NFL players on the roster. I’m betting these new coaches will make Dawgs fans forget about Grantham real quick this year.

  3. woebegong says: Feb 7, 2014 8:21 AM

    Grantham’s biggest problem, as I think his new team will find out in a year or so, is trying to bring an NFL defense, with a playbook as thick as the offensive one and incorporate it at the college level. He expected freshmen CB’s to be able to step right in and follow all of his various formations, right from the start. He forget that college kids have a learning curb and it takes more than 30 some practices to teach what he expected them to perform on the field. He is probably much more suited for the NFL than college football.
    I believe Coach Pruitt will fashion the defense more around his players capabilities and will teach them how to play defense. He has a pretty good staff assembled to help him out, and I believe DAWG fans will see a marked improvement on defense this year. If Coach Pruitt, calls the defensive set ups that utilize the players abilities as he says he plans to do, he will be successful. Grantham expected the players to adapt to rigid defenses that a lot of them were not comfortable with. The myriad of different formations often left them out of position on plays. Even the defensive leaders often found themselves out of position and the wrong formation was in place to stop a play. Coach Grantham acted sometimes like he expected the other teams offense to go with the defense that he had called. For new kids on the block, it is pretty hard to follow that practice and have success on the field. I want to see players, especially in the backfield, reacting to the play, not chasing to catch up to it.

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