Time: The Key To Georgia's Return To Defensive Prowess

Brennen SCorrespondent IApril 6, 2010

The Bulldog Nation is filled with anticipation as the hope of returning to defensive dominance spreads.

The University of Georgia, known for its smash-mouth style of football has recently taken a step backwards defensively, and there was a unanimous sigh of relief when Head Coach, Mark Richt, decided to part ways with defensive coordinator Willie Martinez, at the end of last season.

Many Bulldog fans scratched their heads in January when Coach Richt hired Cowboy's defensive line coach Todd Grantham, but it didn't take long for Grantham to win the hearts of skeptics.

Grantham's promise of an aggressive and attacking 3-4 defense has the Bulldog Nation fantasizing about fumbles, sacks, picks, and big hits.

However, what many fans—myself included—have forgotten, is that installing a completely foreign defensive scheme for players who were not recruited to play in it, is going to take time.

Of course we would hope that the defense would at least improve from last year's 38th ranking, and I believe that the defense can improve, but again, we should not expect a drastic change.

If we look at the history of the defensive guru of college football, Nick Saban (who wanted Grantham himself to coach defense while he was coaching for the Dolphins), we see a guy who has transformed the mindset at programs like Alabama and LSU. However, the defensive prowess of those teams was not automatic. It took a couple years at each program to get the players for his schemes, and to become a force.

So from the looks of things, the Georgia Bulldog's defense could be in for some rocky moments this season, but that is no reason to discount improvement.

Recruiting players for the 3-4 scheme and adding depth will happen in time.

The important thing for our defense this season is to solidify fundamentals and establish a future where opposing offenses again fear playing the Junkyard Dawgs any given Saturday. 

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