With the change of UGA’s defense comes some guessing on our part as to what players will play where in Pruitt’s base 43 defense. There will certainly be change as to which players suit Pruitt and his scheme.
If, and many of you have, reviewed Florida State games under Pruitt there are a few self-evident truths on his Philosophy of defense:
First, expect the unexpected. Where you may view your football in the traditional sense, say for example Safeties, and having certain players playing a Free Safety and Strong Safety does not so much exist with Pruitt. He will move corners to Safety, Safeties to corners, Safeties to linebackers and rotate around to where honestly you cannot tell who is playing what until the snap of the ball. Pruitt designs his defense to confuse opponents, maximize his talent and take advantage of matchups.
Second, expect to go smaller on defense, with more speed. We now are seeing that with the offers going out. Gone are the days of needing a six foot corner, or a 330lb nose. His linebackers at FSU, were larger Safeties at many SEC schools. It is all about getting to the ball as quickly as possible and making the tackle or breaking up the pass play.
Third, expect to learn new terminology. Mike and Moe, Will and Sam, the Star position, will all be useless typecasting with his defensive scheme. At the very least even if we keep the nomenclature the roles will be so vastly different from the way Grantham schemed them, that any concept of what you knew before will be shaken by the changeover. Pruitt is a plug and play coach and could care less if you call them a Moe, Tom, Dick or Harry. By the way Pruitt does not believe in depth charts either.
Fourth, expect changes in personnel with new players starting. This will be a fact, and the players that started last year may not necessarily start this year. There will also be changes in the position players that will play. The most interesting to me will be the Linebackers, especially with our depth at OLB and ILB. There could be wholesale changes here with a few moving to DE and deciding who plays the OLB spots could prove a real battle. Even Amarlo and Ramik may well see their playing time reduced at ILB.
So here we are to step into our Spring practices in March with Pruitt and staff beginning the teaching process and player evaluations. This is going to be a most interesting Spring as we sanitize ourselves from the ways of Grantham.