NFL | NCAA Football

NCAA College Football: Georgia Hired Mel Tucker and Other Thoughts

Kirby Smart has found the missing puzzle piece to his staff at Georgia.

Various sources are reporting that Mel Tucker, the current defensive backs coach at Alabama, will follow Smart from Tuscaloosa to Athens where he will take over as the program’s defensive coordinator. Tucker has spent the last year with the Crimson Tide. Prior to that, he had spent time in the NFL as the defensive coordinator with the Chicago Bears and before that served in the same capacity with the Jacksonville Jaguars.

Tucker also served as the interim head coach in Jacksonville when Jack Del Rio was fired in 2011. Tucker won two of the teams five final games.

Tucker was instrumental in making the Jaguars defense viable and amongst the better units in the league while with the organization. He came to the Jaguars in 2009 as part of Del Rio’s staff from Cleveland (2008), where he was replaced by Rob Ryan. Upon his arrival in Jacksonville, he worked with a unit that showed regression rather than progression in his first season. The following year, Tucker proved he was more than capable of handling a Jaguars team in desperate need of a makeover.

Despite a 5-11 record that season, the Jaguars ranked 11th in points per game (20.6), and sixth in yards per game (313). The team also forced 16 fumbles that season, tied for sixth in the league. The offensive may have struggled to perform, but it was Tucker who oversaw a unit that got better as the season progressed.

He agreed to remain with the team for the 2012 season in the same capacity under Mike Mularkey.

Both Tucker and Smart will be on the sideline on Monday night when the two coaches and the Crimson Tide face Clemson in the national title game.

MARK RICHT MAKING CHANGES AT UM

The Palm Beach Post is reporting that newly hired head coach Mark Richt is making some changes to the coaching staff that was retained at the University of Miami when the former Georgia front man came back to south Florida.

Richt told Hurricanes wide receivers Kevin Beard he was “going in another direction,” Beard said in a message to the Post. That means Beard is now both a former Hurricanes wide receiver and a former Hurricanes wide receivers coach.

Beard was a former Hurricanes player and member of the 2001 national title team. He was hired by former head coach Al Golden as an assistant director of player operations and was promoted to receivers coach last year.

Beard did interview with Richt for a position on the current staff, but he was not hired and is now looking for work. Right now, the only open position on the coaching staff that has not been filled is at wide receiver.

A LOOK AT THE NFL DRAFT

It is never too early to look at mock drafts. There are several out already as the first 20 slots have been filled by non-playoff teams in the NFL. While underclassmen are still deciding whether they will forego their final year in school and declare for the draft, teams have already begun the process of ranking players and studying game film.

The Senior Bowl in Mobile, Alabama is at the end of this month and the Scouting Combine will be held in Indianapolis in February.

Joey Bosa, the defensive end from Ohio State and tackle Laremy Tunsil, a product of Mississippi could vie for the top overall pick this year. Tennessee, by virtue of a 3-13 record, has the top selection in April.

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