I know I’m probably going to come off sounding like an ass in this post, but here’s a quote from Mike Bobo Joe Cox that distills my concerns over his Mike Bobo’s playcalling this year:
… Georgia heads to Tennessee, where defensive coordinator Monte Kiffin will be focused on adding more misery to the Bulldogs’ rushing attack.
“They like bringing down safeties into the box and being able to have that extra run support,” Cox said. “A lot of times they’re lining up saying, ‘You’re not going to run the ball. You’re going to have to beat us throwing the ball.’
“That’ll be tough because you want to have a balanced game plan. We’re just going to have to find ways to open up holes for the run game against all their looks.”
I’ve never coached. I’m just a blogger with an opinion. But since when did having a balanced game plan become the end instead of a means?
The playcaller’s job isn’t to be balanced. It’s to call plays that generate yards and points. If by running a balanced attack you can keep the defense on its heels to accomplish your goal of scoring, that’s great. But sometimes you’ve got to settle for taking what the defense gives you. If your opponent is going to play with eight or nine in the box – Lord knows we’ve seen plenty of that this year – you’ve got to take advantage of that and attack the defense where it’s short-handed with the pass.
I understand that sometimes the execution of the players comes into play. If Cox isn’t in sync with his receivers, that leaves Bobo with tough options. But that doesn’t explain the perplexing playcalling we’ve seen in almost every game in ’09, starting with Oklahoma State, where Bobo gets in a groove, slices up a defense for a score on an impressive drive… and then proceeds to fiddle around for a few series.
I posted after the OSU game that it struck me as if at some point in the first quarter Bobo realized he didn’t like the ratio of run/pass plays he’d called even though they had worked and just started calling plays to balance the ratio. There have been moments I’ve felt like that in almost every game this year.
It’s great that Richt has enough confidence in his assistants to give them the room to operate. But similarly to Fabris, you wonder if this encourages stubbornness in the face of reality. And the reality right now is that the Georgia running game isn’t very functional. Saying that your offense “has to open holes” isn’t a solution; it’s a hope. Or, you could say, a means to the end of having a balanced attack.