ATHENS — When Jeremy Pruitt was an Alabama assistant coach, the team would spent part of practice on what it called a “gimmick period.” In order to prepare the defense for anything, Alabama’s offensive staff would concoct plays and schemes meant to throw off the defense.
As Pruitt remembered it, one Alabama offensive staffer was particular good at it: Jim McElwain, now Florida’s head coach.
“Coach Mac, he had some of the best ones, in the gimmick period,” Pruitt said. “So we’ve had to work on a lot of those. He had a lot of them.”
That bit of insight could better prepare Georgia this week. But if it does, there’s an equal amount of both sides.
Georgia and Florida both have four assistant coaches who were at Alabama in recent years:
– Georgia has Pruitt, linebackers coach Kevin Sherrer, offensive line coach Rob Sale, as well as strength and conditioning coordinator Mark Hocke.
– Florida has McElwain, defensive coordinator Geoff Collins, offensive coordinator Doug Nussmeier and defensive line coach Chris Rumph.
“We’ve got too much information,” Pruitt said about all the indicators they could find from looking at Alabama film. “You’re looking going through all the playbooks in 09, 10, 11 and 12. We’ve been chasing a lot of ghosts here for the last two weeks, that’s for sure.”
Pruitt also said McElwain has “a great imagination on the field and a great imagination off the field.”
McElwain also heaped praise on Georgia’s assistants, singling out Sale, who was an off-field staffer at Alabama when he was there.
“They brought in Rob Sale who I think is one of the finest young offensive line coaches in the country,” McElwain said. “And a guy that I was kinda angry they picked up, to be honest with you.