OK... everything I'm going to write in this post is based on other people's smart knowledge. I'm what one would consider a "Fan Only" football guy. I'm not - and never have been - a coach and have the football mind of a gnat. But, writing about the Broncos is definitely fun so I thought I'd actually put in some effort and research a couple pages of the Internet before I took another nap. Just don't say I didn't warn you... and feel free to correct me.
Jump across the INVISIBLE BLUE line for more...
So, apparently, for a 3-4 defense to work well, it needs a big, strong Nose Guard to fill the gap between the Center and one of the Guards. If he can do that, he occupies two OL, which frees the Middle Linebackers to better pursue any action on the 'inside' and seriously limit an opponent's ability to run inside.
Many say the Nose Guard is the most important position in a 3-4 defense; they also say Middle Linebackers are a close 2nd. Because Georgia has a strong middle LB corps (see prior post about #9 Alec Ogletree), they have the potential for a potent D this year if their Nose Guard fulfills his (or should I say their) much-hyped potential.
Word on the street has it that Coach Richt (who the Bulldawg faithful claim is a pretty cool church-going guy who practices what the good Lord preaches... nice job Mr. Georgia AD) had read all about the 3-4 and knew the NG was gonna be important for his defense, so he went out and tried to get himself a good one. Lo and behold, he landed a beast of a NG for the next two years: much-celebrated Junior College transfer John Jenkins. This guy is 6'3" and 351 lbs. I think he can bench press a small pickup, but maybe that was the Hampster. All was lined up and ready to go for Mr. Jenkins until two things happened:
- The current NG (6'6" 351 lb Kwame Geathers) said to himself, "Self, if you wanna get some snaps next year, you'd better get your behind workin'!" Then he went out and had a sandwich - or 500. He also got himself a workin' and earned himself the Defensive MVP of Spring Camp. Nothing like a little competition to stoke the flame.
- Mr. Jenkins comes into Fall Camp thinking he's gonna be The Man, but can't get through the 1st day of practice due to heat exhaustion and almost immediately injures his hammie. Recovery time has been extended ad infinitum, but Coach Richt reassures the Dawg faithful that John will be ready to roll come Bronco game time.
For now, it looks like Geathers is gonna start. But don't count out Jenkins. He wasn't highly sought-after for nothing. 700 pounds of strong quick-footed Nose Guard is scary. And that's just what Georgia has. There's a high chance the outcome of the game will depend on who wins the battle of the trenches. And the battle of the trenches when Boise has the ball will probably depend on whether the NG can plug the gap.
I'll keep my eye on the Dawgs' NG (#99 or #6) at all times, but especially when The Hampster tries to navigate himself to that INVISIBLE BLUE end zone.