Jeremy Pruitt may be new to Georgia, but he’s not new to football or defending hurry-up offenses.
Pruitt will be in charge of one of the most underachieving defenses in college football the last few years, taking over for the departed Todd Grantham, who left for greener pastures at Louisville. Pruitt’s decision to leave FSU for Georgia was surprising, and he should make an instant splash for the Dawgs’ defense.
Everyone has voiced their opinion on the NCAA’s shelved 10-second proposal, with the large majority against the proposal. Count Jeremy Pruitt in that majority, and he’s a defensive coordinator.
Pruitt talked about up-tempo offenses with SI.com, and, overall, he spoke truth about the proposed change and defending up-tempo attacks.
“How do they go fast?” Pruitt asked of up-tempo offenses. “That’s the first thing you’ve got to look at. How do these offenses go fast? Obviously it’s got to be the verbiage. Their calls have got to be very simple — not simple in scheme, but simple in getting the call.
“I think from that perspective, you’ve got to go that way on defense. You’ve got to make your calls where they’re one-word calls. To me, that’s the first thing you’ve got to do as a defense.
“As far as the speed of the game and all that, in my opinion, I just think you’ve got to change the way you coach a little bit,” Pruitt said. “If [offensive coaches] can coach and get the plays in and get them called, I think as a defensive coach, you’ve got to adapt and be able to do that yourself.
“And coach Saban would probably kill me for saying that, but that’s just my opinion.”
Would he have a differing opinion had Auburn beaten FSU in Pasadena for all the marbles? Eh, perhaps, but I’m not betting on it. Pruitt said defenses have to adapt, just like they have for every single scheme change over the history of football. From the single wing, to the spread and, now, to the increasing speed with which offenses play, defenses have had to adjust their style of play in order to stop the newest offensive trend. It’s happened over the course of time, and it will happen again.
Pruitt says simplifying defensive verbiage and quick class is the key. He will adapt to the up-tempo attacks just like Nick Saban and Alabama will adapt.
Read the entire Pruitt interview on SI.com. here.
Photo Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports