[su_spacer size=”20″] The Georgia Bulldogs are hurrying into the new football season … literally!
[su_spacer size=”20″] Since the Bulldogs’ 2015 preseason camp kicked off the first week of August, the talk of “fast tempo” has resounded throughout the ranks of the Georgia players.
And if you’ve been able to observe a Bulldogs’ practice, there’s no question the workouts are very high energy. The position groups, soon as they’ve finished one drill run — not trot — to another part of the field and race through another drill under the barking commands of their position coach. There is no wasted motion, none, throughout the two-hour practice sessions.
[su_spacer size=”40″] In the early portion of practice, Georgia’s incoming freshmen talked about tempo being the major difference between high school and college practices, and a number of the sophomores and upperclassman were using the term “up-tempo” as well, leading one to conclude that tempo is no longer just referring to a hurry-up style offense; rather, it is a training technique for the Bulldogs. It is a way of doing business for this team.
[su_spacer size=”40″] Said standout sophomore outside linebacker Lorenzo Carter midway of this year’s camp: “Our tempo, I feel like I’m out on the West Coast or something at a school that runs a hurry-up offense. We’re making sure we’re going as fast as we can and getting our conditioning in. We’re also being safe with it to make sure we get our breaks but when we go, we go! Our tempo is pretty high. All our conditioning is on the field and that tempo is keeping our engines going. Once you’re out there, you’re going as fast as you can.”
[su_spacer size=”40″] Redshirt sophomore tight end Jordan Davis agreed with Carter.
[su_spacer size=”40″] “I think it’s a faster tempo,” Davis said. “We’ve been two-spotting and I think the tempo is pretty fast. There is a lot of no-huddle in the offense again. As far as the differences in Schotty (offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer) and (Mike) Bobo I wouldn’t like to compare and contrast that. Two-spotting is designed to give more players more reps,” he explained. “That right there, it helps the offense be able to move at a faster tempo because you wouldn’t have guys just standing around watching the 1’s and 2’s go. Then the 3’s and 4’s would be going at the same time as the 1’s and 2’s.”
[su_spacer size=”40″] Jordan Davis: UGA is training for higher tempo, more no-huddle
[su_spacer size=”40″] But to some of the Georgia players, this year’s practice tempo isn’t any different than the pace the Bulldogs went through last season.
[su_spacer size=”40″] “The tempo is the same to me,” declared junior wide receiver Reggie Davis. “No huddle is no huddle. Plays are still called fast like last year so there’s no difference.”
[su_spacer size=”40″] “It’s basically the same tempo,” said junior split end Kenneth Towns. “We’re trying to move faster and the faster we move, the faster we run more plays and the faster the defense gets tired. So we’ve been moving at a good tempo. I’m expecting a lot of no huddle.”
[su_spacer size=”40″] “It’s really no difference, honestly, because we practice it every day,” related sophomore guard Dyshon Sims. “We rep it every day so from practice to the game, it’s no different except the coaches on the sidelines. It took a little while for me to get used to it, actually, just coming from high school practice and then the tempo of college you had to get used to it with a couple of practices but now it’s like second nature.”
[su_spacer size=”40″] And as for another Bulldog offensive lineman, sophomore tackle Aulden Bynum, he said he simply has no grounds for comparison, as to whether this year’s tempo at practice is any faster than in the past.
[su_spacer size=”40″] “I don’t really know,” said Bynum. “The last two years being with the Scout team, being with the 2’s this year is all new to me but certainly, we’re running a good tempo.”
[su_spacer size=”40″] Offensive coordinator Schottenheimer, who spent the past 14 seasons in the NFL, thinks his offense is moving at a very fast clip.
[su_spacer size=”40″] “It’s as fast as I’ve ever been around,” Schottenheimer said. “These guys are obviously used to it. It’s pretty impressive to tell you the truth. I’m very pleased with it. We’ve got some tempo packages we like, and when we go tempo, we go pretty fast.”
[su_spacer size=”40″] Brian Schottenheimer discusses his wide receivers and tight ends
[su_spacer size=”40″] But, conversely, Georgia’s second-year defensive coordinator, Jeremy Pruitt, says all the talk about a faster camp tempo this year should be taken with a grain of salt.
[su_spacer size=”40″] “You could probably go anywhere … if you inter-viewed the freshmen at West Georgia, Kennesaw State, and if you asked them what the difference in practice is right now, they’re all going to say up tempo,” said Pruitt. “It’s just kind of the nature of the game. When you get to college, it’s a little faster and it probably is not as fast as some of them think. There will be some point in time that the game will slow down and they’ll realize, ‘Hey, it’s not nearly as hard as I think it is.’”
[su_spacer size=”40″] So how fast on offense, and defense, will the Bulldogs go in Saturday’s season opener against Louisiana-Monroe between the hedges? Ought to be interesting.
[su_spacer size=”40″] For more articles like this, including player and fan photos as well as videos, check out Bulldawg Illustrated’s 2015 Season Opener digital issue:
[su_spacer size=”40″] Bulldawg Illustrated