Ladies and gentlemen, your 2012 offense.

Seth Emerson takes a stab at predicting next season’s two-deep on offense here.  My overall impression?  Georgia looks to be fine at the skill positions and anywhere from a work in progress to downright scarifying on the line.

The good news is that if Gurley verbals today, the backfield looks pretty stout – stout enough that Emerson predicts a few more offseason departures may be in the works.  And it’s gratifying to see the depth that’s been developed at wide receiver.  Tight end won’t be the strength it was this past year, but it will still be important.

And that’s because the line still looks shaky (how many years in a row have I said that now?).  I think Theus is close to a lock to start, simply because I don’t think there’s anyone else ready to play the position competently.  And if Beard turns out to be ready to play, my bet is that Burnette moves to center, because I’m not sure Andrews is big enough to handle the position.  Right tackle makes me a little nervous, too.

Thoughts?

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65 Comments

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65 responses to “Ladies and gentlemen, your 2012 offense.

  1. Sneaky Short

    I am hopeful (probably foolishly) that #1 comes out a man possessed this season. I would like to see Crowell’s face if he went in to the meeting room and saw Marshall’s name above his on the depth chart. Crowell may well be the number 1 guy or buried on the chart, dont see him hanging around the 2 and 3 spots.

    • Will (the other one)

      I agree. When he was on the field and healthy, Crowell looked very, very good. The problem was keeping him on the field. If he gets his head on straight and tears up the weight room, he’s got 1,200+ yds potential.

  2. Silver Britches

    I think Gates can do a solid if unspectacular job at RT.

    • adam

      I was gonna say something somewhat similar…

      Basically, if Beard and Theus are good enough, I think we see Burnette at center, Dallas Lee at guard, and Gates moves out to RT.

      I wouldn’t be surprised if Watts, DeBell, or Andrews grabbed a spot either. Think the competition in the spring and summer will be good. Especially if the coaches challenge the oline (something to the tune of, “our offense this year depends totally on how good you guys can get.”). I’m sure Will Friend will be working these guys to death in spring ball to find the best 5 and then start building some depth. I agree with Leach’s idea about not cross-training people too much get them a position and let them stay there and get better. Hopefully our oline can rise to the task.

      • Cojones

        You are correct about the cross-training/dedication at line positions. My sneaking suspicions for the last two years have centered around that topic. Putting them there and letting them stay is problematic due to injury. Healthy and two-deep players can help that by preventing the humongous personal energy drains to those who can’t be relieved and subsequently get injured after tiring.

  3. Always Someone Else's Fault

    O-lines seem the most dependent on experience and the least dependent on the number of stars attached to the kids by the recruiting services. As a result, it’s the roster position most telling when it comes to position coaching and S/C programming.

    UGa will be fine this coming year — those two things both improved dramatically in 2011, and the benefits Y-on-Y tend to be cumulative.

  4. 202dawg

    “Tight end won’t be the strength it was this past year, but it will still be important.”

    Yes, because we used them so well towards the end of the year…

    • Silver Creek Dawg

      I know it’s chic to blame Bobo, but I seem to recall him being quoted as saying OC7 was seeing bracketed coverage consistently after the Boise game.

      That forced AM to look outside to the WRs to make plays. Consequently, we saw the development of Mitchell and Bennett.

      • 202dawg

        At least I tried to avoid using the words…

        Not saying the coverage wasn’t great, but they definitely couldn’t do all that AND stop the run so well. Something had to give…

        • mykiesee

          Well, they really didn’t have to stop the run. We did that ourselves running up the middle.

          • Will (the other one)

            And for some reason in the Boise game, running up the middle out of a single back set with no fullback.

    • Bevo

      Also, the lousy o-line play means you have to use the tight end for blocking more often.

      • Cojones

        Perhaps, by having players dedicated to that position, they can meld as a team in their blocking schemes and alleviate a great deal of the hidden causes that manifested themselves into O scheme breakdown.

  5. jferg

    I don’t know if anyone can accurately predict the starting OL—it’s a shuffling deck even when we have healthy, experienced bodies.

    RB will be neat to watch, indeed. I agree with the RSIV to FB comment. I have no doubts he could gain 15 lbs and be 250 overnight.

    With the numbers at WR, he should probably have done a 3 WR set as our starting offense. King, Mitchell, Brown/Bennett.

    • Dawgy45

      Samuel is certainly good for short yardage. Usually, very short.

      Actually, I would love to see Samuel used at FB (or any position) with great success. He has been a selfless player and a dedicated Dawg.

      • Normaltown Mike

        I wouldn’t be surprised if he was moved to Shot Put and Hammer Throw this off season.

      • Will (the other one)

        If he has any pass-catching skill at all, he could be devastating a FB, as he’d be a pretty fast 250 pounder.

        • From the little I can recall, pass catching is something Samuel does very well from the RB spot. I think he’d be a more athletic version of Figgins back there at FB, and I thought Figgins did a great job this season. Just wish he got the ball more.

          Figgins and Samuel = DGDs

  6. Macallanlover

    I think the OL will be better next year. Absolutely no reason to feel that way except I think there is only one way to go with our run blocking. I hate that reasons for optimism are based on a true freshman, and a JUCO, but count me in. I am going to think positive on this, the last few years have been depressing as we faced 3rd, or 4th, and one knowing our chances of losing yardage was better than gaining anything. And it didn’t matter who is was against, D1 mid-major, 1AA, or stout DL from a rated team.

    I don’t know if it is the body types we recruit, I haven’t been a fan, or if we have made it too complex. Jesus guys, just get low and drive straight ahead. Pass blocking hasn’t been great, but when it comes to the ability to move someone back or open a hole, I rate us as a contender for the very worst. Something is just wrong here and it has been through 3 different OL coaches. I have never blamed Bobo before, should I get on board because of this?

    I think our offensive skills people are very solid. The D looks to be getting the key guys back, we just need to solve the OL problem and we will back to Atlanta…with a damned good chance at winning. Some coach, please, break this down and figure out where we are stepping on our shoelaces. You cannot win consistently without an ability to drive the ball on the ground occasionally, or pick up short yardage situations.

    • Agreed, for a couple reasons. For one, we’ll have more natural OTs. Beard is said to have the feet for it, then Theus, Debell, and Ward all have the feet and long armed frames for it. Glenn and Bean, bless their hearts, are simply not naturals on the edge. They’re too big, too slow, too stumpy.

      It’s not a sure thing, because it is a work in progress, but we have more than enough bodies, and talented bodies, to do the job extremely well if Tereshinski can whip them in to shape and Friend hones their technique. Beard, Gates, Theus, Dantzler, Debell, Ward, and Long at OT. Beard, Gates, Burnette, Lee, Houston(?), Long, Pyke, and Brown at OG. Andrews, Lee, Burnette, and Long at C. I think Andrews adds a solid 10-20 pounds, and takes over at C, leaving Lee and Burnette to keep their spot at G (unless Houston or Gates beats them out). That leaves RT between Beard, Gates, Long and Dantzler, LT between Theus, Beard, Debell, and Ward. Getting Beard in for spring is a huge boost. We’ve got the bodies, we just have to develop them.

    • Cojones

      This coming season will have me joining in with holding Bobo responsible for overseeing the O line along with Friend. It won’t be his primary thrust at work, but should be integrated better with the ground game- if they all stay healthy. If injury takes a toll, I hold coaches less responsible with what they have to cobble together(as in the past 2 yrs) to attempt O line game functioning. Here’s hoping for the best.

      • Cojones

        Along this same line of thinking, I’m going to demand more communication from the coaches when injuries occur. Of course they don’t want to come out and tell the opponent where we are the weakest, but hopefully they can let us have enough info to be able to empathize with line play and difficulties encountered, not from perceived lack of athleticism.

        • Cosmic Dawg

          You oughtta walk on in there and tell ‘em heads are gonna roll if they don’t start communicating with you more, Cojones!!
          ;)

  7. Greg

    My thought is that we wont be a top 10 team due to the combination of our OL and Bobo again. Expect a couple of more outcomes next year like SC and Mich St this season.

  8. Will Trane

    Bobo and Murray. The are the keys to next year. If Bobo becomes better at game plans and game management. He has to put better plays in the playbook. Murray, he just needs to execute the plays and like his OC, keep his head in the game and the ball secure.

    Searels killed the line the past two years he was on board. I think Will Friend is turning the corner. Center will be big. Can Andrews do the job. I’d find me a top center in this recruiting class.

    If Crowell can square away himself, get over his injuries, get over himself, mentally and physcially committ to the program, the running game should be better. With Marshall and some depth, this should make Bobo a better OC. Marshall and Crowell can get to the edge or outside. That changes a lot of defenses. Helps Murray in passing.
    I think Rome and Smith have the best catching skills of any TEs the Dawgs have had in awhile. Both come from top notch coaching and high school programs. Kids out of Valdosta High, Lowndes County High, and Colquitt County High do not like losing. Not something they are used to. Not only do they come to play, they come to score and to score often.
    Need more depth on the D line. Think they will be better, barring injuries, but most SEC teams will be better next year.
    S&C and spring / fall practice has to be very productive.

    • Mayor of Dawgtown

      I know this is a stupid question but why should we have to be concerned that the UGA OC “becomes better at game plans and game management?” Why don’t we have an OC who is among the best at “game plans and game management” already? Why are we running an on the job training program instead of having first rate professionals coaching our team? How many games are we going to have to lose because of this before there is a fan/alum rebellion about this? I lost count at 5 in the last 2 years alone and that is a conservative number.

  9. Bevo

    “…the line still looks shaky (how many years in a row have I said that now?)”

    Too many.

    We once again will enter a new year with major questions on the o-line. I hope we are pleasantly surprised, but I’m not assuming the best case scenario since our o-line is almost never a strength.

    We haven’t seen solid o-line play in a long time. I’d really love to see what we could do with Murray and our skill players if we had a competent o-line.

    • ChicagoDawg

      OL production continues to be the least performing positional unit. Until it becomes one of the team strengths, GA will not attain the next level/elite status.

    • Cojones

      And you guys are indicting a coach for injury-incurred problems. The same ole same ole won’t penetrate any more now than when you tried to drum nonsense into everyone’s head before and attempting to make Bobo the scapegoat.

      The problem , dear Brutus, lies within our inability to rationally see the true difficulties accounting for the problems. You add nothing to the conversation by repetitvely getting personal about coaches in an attempt to convince others. Many of us see the problem in a different and brighter light than you present.

  10. charlottedawg

    I know it’s the offseason so the big things to talk about are projections and right now reccruiting but it’s worth keeping in mind pre season projections rarely happen as expected: positive or negative. As an example: this time last year we would have counted on the running game as serviceable and expected special teams to be a strength. on the flip side we would have been happy to see the defense improve to sucking less than they used to and an sec east title would have been considered extremely optimistic at best foolhardy at worst even with the schedule. For all we know the oline could suddenly become a road grader and the lbs and secondary forget how to cover and tackle. you just don’t know how a season’s going to pan out good or bad especially when our recruiting class is not yet finished and we don’t even know everyone who is or isn’t leaving. If i could make one suggestion it would be to stop saying the defense will be awesome that’s like 100% guaranteed to jinx them next year.

    • Cojones

      Agreed. By building up expectations, the scourging of the coaches begins before Spring Practice. When crap happens to good people, the expectations become a mandate and is used as ammo to try to undermine the team spirit that is so necessary across the board. Folks, pounding on the coachers, team and personnel when we are down won’t accomplish a thing, now or ever. It only gives hope to our opponent(s).

      • Except how does that theory play out in the real world? Mark Richt got raked over the coals throughout much of last year’s losing season. People said all that negativity on blogs, message boards, etc was gonna kill recruiting. End result, the Dream Team. It carried over all summer, and in to the season. End result, SEC East champs. Some of it is still going targetting individual players and assistant coaches. Again, the “it’ll hurt the team mantra”. End result, our recruiting is as good or better than ever, and we have returning seniors at a PC today talking about how focused the team is on the single goal of a championship.

        Point-what people say on blogs, message boards, etc has essentially 0 impact on what occurs with the program.

  11. DawgPhan

    is Sturdivant still on this team?

    • JasonC

      No, he decided to retire.

      • DawgPhan

        thanks..I couldnt remember what happened to him. Hope he gets/got his degree. what a crappy career.

      • The ATH

        Tough run for him – went from a likely first rounder to out of football through no fault of his own. Wish him the best.

        • W Cobb Dawg

          Really feel for Sturdivant. Best OT we’ve had since Stinchcomb and injuries end a very promising career. We’re absolutely snakebit on the OL. I guess it can only get better.

    • Cojones

      Richt said , “No.”

      • Junkyard Dawg '00

        Things would have looked so much better the last few years if only he could have stayed healthy. I know it’s easy for people to criticize the coaches for the OL problems but its not from lack of recruiting.I’ve read it somewhere… probably on this blog, but we’ve had more recruits on the OL over the last 5 years than the powerhouses of the SEC. Yet through injuries and attrition, we’ve had a very difficult time building depth. I see some good things happening with Friend, and I’m looking forward to another year of off-season training from JT. If Year 2 of the OL and strength training pays off like Grantham’s 3-4 defense, look out!

  12. Normaltown Mike

    “And that’s because the line still looks shaky (how many years in a row have I said that now?)”

    Was 2002 the last time we had a really good OL across the board?

  13. Lrgk9

    Murray has got to get rid of the fumbles and pick sixes.
    Killing us against the top competition.

    • Cojones

      Of course . And winning games with great throws and individual play. When do you want to take him out, before the bad play or before the good play? Thought so.

  14. yurdle

    We shouldn’t count on Theus. I’d love to be surprised, but I’m not ready to hand the most crucial position on the OL to a guy who has never stopped a rush by a 22-year old 5-star. If he were an early enrollee, maybe. But starting the summer is probably just too late to let him get the kind of S&C and coaching he’s going to need. Maybe he’s ready to go by October.

    • Cojones

      Good point and I believe it to be a correct observation. Pushin’ for glory now is just asking for problems that the some of the fan base doesn’t seem to grasp as reasons why the line has had problems in the past.

      • Cosmic Dawg

        You have got to stop dishing on the fan base, Cojones!! Don’t you know that fans read these blogs, and if they don’t see solidarity here they’ll go be fans somewhere else? Where is your school spirit? It’s that same ole same ole “blame the fans” story you keep trying to peddle here, and it didn’t stick before and it’s not sticking now. You are a fairweather fan fan. Somebody needs to get on the fan bus and get behind the fans and help push the fans instead of tearing them down all the time.

        SOME of the fans are injured. SOME of the fans have no heart. SOME of the fans were born dumb. What about them, are they not part of your team?
        :)

  15. stoopnagle

    All we should need is respectable OL play if all these guys re-up on defense.

    I agree, too, that Aaron is going to have to protect the ball better in big games.

  16. buzzDawg

    “Tight end won’t be the strength it was this past year, but it will still be important.” I thought Jay Rome was the number 1 tight end recruit in the nation last year. Hopefully, he can live up to the hype and there won’t be a fall off of talent, if any.

    • W Cobb Dawg

      I prefer the prototypical TE (Lynch, Rome) over the hybrid version Charles was – although he is an unusual talent as a WR/TE mix. I would think our blocking improves at this position, but the deep threat is reduced without Charles’s speed. Our coaches never seem to get as much production out of TE’s as fans believe we should.

  17. Cojones

    Not sure I’ve liked what I’ve heard from that direction. It’s not a downer, but more cautionary statements have been made about his “greenness” and playing Bball that makes me think he hasn’t picked up the fotball plays as well as he should have by now. I thought he would be trotted out first thing with a “Ta DAA”, but no excitement has been witnessed in that direction. It’s confusing.

  18. DawgByte

    I predict that if Chester Brown can pick-up the offense quickly he’ll make some noise at right or left guard. A guy with his size and strength isn’t meant to sit on the bench for too long. Brown is a Somoan beast and we’ll need him, because I’m not overly confident in Lee at left guard and Burnette is not an overwhelming presence either.

    • Cojones

      Brown’s one of those 3-star players that should demonstrate that the star system and ranking teams by averaging stars ain’t worth didlysquat. We get so concerned about bragging on the best recruited class while the entire process should give plenty of info as to how he fits on our team such that we feel assured of our strengths in recruiting and recruits. We don’t need no stinkin’ star rating system to know that the caliber of players are going up and that they can expect early starts in our system. Two years in a row doesn’t hurt.