Georgia Football: Simpler Defense Will Work Wonders in 2014

By Matt Maddux
georgia bulldogs DC jeremy pruitt
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The Georgia Bulldogs‘ defense has really struggled in the past few seasons. There has been a combination of things that have caused the team’s defense to struggle and the most glaring factor has been the difficulty of the system. Under former defensive coordinator Todd Grantham, the Bulldogs’ defense never seemed to really get its act together. For one reason or another, Grantham’s system was just too difficult to understand.

Last season, the Bulldogs were very young in the secondary and needed a defense that freshmen could understand. It was obvious throughout the season that Grantham never really understood this concept. In almost every game, the Bulldogs’ defense seemed like they never knew what they were doing. Players were always standing around with their hands in the air wondering what their responsibility was.

Yes, freshmen are expected to struggle at times, but it seemed as though it wasn’t only about the inexperience of the players; it was also about what their coach was teaching them. Many of the players complained about how difficult it was to understand Grantham’s playbook. It was said that several players approached Grantham asking him to simplify his system. Of course, he never did and that didn’t help the cause either. It’s hard to want to play for a coach when he won’t listen to what you have to say.

Luckily for the Bulldogs, Grantham left the program to take the defensive coordinator position with the Louisville Cardinals. This might have been the best thing that has happened to the Bulldogs’ program in years. It was obvious that the defense was never going to be capable of stopping opposing offenses under Grantham.

After the departure of Grantham, the Bulldogs hired the Florida State Seminoles‘ former defensive coordinator Jeremy Pruitt. This move seemed to light a fire in the Bulldogs’ program. Pruitt has been around successful defenses and knows what it takes to put a competitive defense on the field. He coached for Nick Saban and the Alabama Crimson Tide. As the secondary coach for the Tide, Pruitt was part of two national championship teams.

Pruitt was then given the defensive coordinator position at Florida State. In his first and only year with the Seminoles, Pruitt helped lead the program to a national title. His defense was first in the nation in scoring defense, allowing only 10.7 PPG. The defense also finished in the top 5 in several other categories.

The Bulldog faithful are excited about what Pruitt can bring to the program. Georgia head coach Mark Richt is 100-percent behind his new defensive coordinator. Richt has mentioned several times that he is excited about the future. It was obvious that Richt was never really a fan of Gratham, but who can blame him? Grantham could never get over his own ego when it came to coaching and that just doesn’t fly with Richt. Expect to see a major turnaround in the attitude of the Georgia Bulldog nation.

Matt Maddux is a SEC Football writer for Follow him on Twitter @Dawgomatic229, “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google.

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