Mike Bobo, please read.

Chris Brown nails it with this post.  Particularly this:

… Designing an offense is all about structure. Constraint plays, like the bubble, work when the defense gives you the play by their structure; same for play-action passes over the top. When I say these are defensive cheats, I mean they aren’t the base, whiteboard defenses you expect, because defenses — both players and coaches — adjust to take away what you do well. But you want to go to your core stuff, so you build your offense off of that, and each constraint play forces the defense back in line, right where you want them. That’s the beauty of football: punch, counterpunch.

Successful play calling isn’t about keeping the offense balanced.  It’s about keeping the defense off-balance with the plays you call.


Filed under Strategery And Mechanics

44 responses to “Mike Bobo, please read.

  1. baltimore dawg



  2. BMan

    You said it, Senator. I sort of see offensive game-calling in much the same way as being a baseball pitcher. Nobody on the mound should say, “well, I threw a fastball there, so I better throw a curve in the name of balance.” Great pitchers do a few things really well: they attack the individual batter’s weakness, they pitch to their own strengths (go with what’s working that day), and they mix things up with location and change of speed to keep batters guesssing.

    If Bobo would apply those same concepts to offensive game-calling, I think we might all be happy.


  3. Derek

    Unless your will muschamp in which case you play man even though your corners are getting killed. While the stated premise may be optimal, the fact is that many coaches choose to dictate rather than adjust and adapt. What will work ultimately comes down to match-ups and execution irrespective of strategy. I remember winning 23 straight SEC games without a whole lot of hiding what we were up to offensively.


    • Other than that whole play-action thing which is one of the cornerstones of Georgia’s offense…


      • Derek

        I was referring to winning 23 straight from the 1980 opener vs. UT through the 1983 UF game. Don’t think play action was a big part of that run nor was finesse, trickery or innovation. The point is that there are many ways to get it done and what is a larger issue than play calling are personnel and execution. If you do what you do well and/or with superior talent knowing what’s coming doesn’t help much. Meyer’s offense with tebow or malzahns with newton are prime examples. What’s tricky is being effective knowing that your talent is equal at best to the defense. Should you choose simplicity with getting the best execution in mind or complicate things and risk losing consistency in search of surprise? If you want to see both sides of that coin watch the 2006 UT game. Sleight of hand got us a 24-7 lead that came apart in the second half due to horrific execution. You can criticize play-calling all you want but the key to being great IMHO is saying this is who we are and what we do and you can’t stop it.”. It also helps to have a fantastic defense. A defense that gives up 10 ppg can make a simplistic offense look pretty damn good.


        • I was referring to winning 23 straight from the 1980 opener vs. UT through the 1983 UF game.

          Sorry, misunderstood your reference.

          Unfortunately, Georgia doesn’t have a HW on the roster at present.

          And if you don’t think there’s plenty of misdirection built into Meyer’s and Malzahn’s offensive schemes, you need to go back and review them again. They’re both a far, far cry from line-up-in-the-I-and-pound-the-rock.


          • Derek

            I would simply say that the type of player that is playing qb and defenses inability to account for him in both the running and passing games far exceeds the value of the play caller when it comes to wins and losses even in those schemes. You can’t plug in an average athlete and get similar results no matter what the oc is calling. Further I don’t think that Meyer has an advantage with Brantley at qb over Uga with Joe cox. They are both going to struggle to get the job done no matter the respective genius of the play caller.

            I’m not suggesting that we have a HW (I would point out that the 1983 team finished higher in the polls than the 81 or 82 teams w/o him) but that what our offense requires is 2 excellent rbs, two great wrs, a really good te, a solid o-line and a more than serviceable qb. When those pieces are there we’ll be good. When they are not we won’t be whether bobo or the ghost of bill Walsh are calling plays. In short the benefits of having a great play caller are marginal. The benefits of great players is invaluable.

            The current advantage that the spread teams have is that one great qb and a good defense can win a crystal ball. If you want to do it with schemes like at Uga or bama you need a bit more than that. That isn’t because of play calling or misdirection but a reflection on the fact that there has yet to be a clear vision developed on how to contain a great qb within a spread system. However, it will probably die out much like the power I did. There are only so many Vince youngs, tebows and newtons to go around.


            • … what our offense requires is 2 excellent rbs, two great wrs, a really good te, a solid o-line and a more than serviceable qb. When those pieces are there we’ll be good. When they are not we won’t be whether bobo or the ghost of bill Walsh are calling plays.

              Despite missing several of your necessary parts, Georgia finished 30th in the country last year in scoring offense, averaging more than 32 points per game. I don’t find that too shabby.


              • Briar Rabbit

                When we scored was a greater problem than the aggregrate scoring figures.


              • Derek

                I dont disagree which is why I dont understand the constant harping about bobo. Given what he had to work with I’m not sure one should expect better results than we got. I think/hope that we’ve addressed the real problem with the 2009 team which was being physically and mentally soft. Addressing that will help smooth over a lot of personnel flaws. Of which we have plenty. More so now than last year. If we can get a full year of passionate hard nosed football we’ll be in good shape for the future. We just have to find enough players who are currently unknown quantities or underachievers and get some production out of them so we don’t fold up like we did in Memphis.


                • I harp about Bobo because I really, truly believe Bobo has it in him to be an elite OC. Anybody who watched what Georgia did last year to get back in the Arkansas and Florida games, how Bobo went toe-to-toe with Malzahn for the better part of the Auburn game and just killed it for the first three quarters against Tech shouldn’t have a problem with my sentiment.

                  It’s the times when he takes his foot off the gas for no strategic reason that drive me crazy.


                • SCDawg

                  Like running a 5’6″ 170 lb TB up the middle at decidely odd junctures?


                • Among other things, yes.


                • Scott W.

                  Cough, cough…wild dawg.


                • Derek

                  I don’t know if it’s play calling or execution. At first blush what appears to be bad calls can really be missed assignments. I remember not appreciating the play calls in overtime vs. UF when I saw it live and then when I watched the replay in slow motion I saw that it was the players fault so I try not to be too quick to judge.

                  Just to relive the nightmare:

                  1st and 10:

                  We get Durham one on one with a safety whose much shorter than Durham. Murray throws the fade and not well. Worse durham makes zero effort to catch the ball and it’s almost picked.

                  2nd and 10

                  We pull gates from the right side while UF blitzes both lbs in his gap. They follow gates to the hole and catch king right before the line of scrimmage. If he’s a half step quicker or breaks the arm tackle it’s a first down at least. The hole was HUGE.

                  3rd and 10

                  UF rushed 3 and drops eight. Our five can’t block them. Trinton gets blown up. Murray has to hurry the throw and the lb covering charles reaches back and tips the ball intended for green. the rest is history. I’m certain there were a ton of fans cussing bobo after the game, but that was three solid calls.

                  I don’t go through this series to say that bobo is perfect but I just hesitate to blame him when most of the time when I go back and look at the game it isn’t the play calls but the execution that’s lacking.


                • Against Tech, Murray was averaging more than 14 yards per pass attempt. Not completion, attempt. There weren’t any execution problems. Georgia’s defense couldn’t stop the triple option consistently, which meant the Dawgs needed every one of those passes to stay in control of the game. Yet for some reason, inexplicable but not unexpected, Bobo decided he had to pull the reins in. Had Tech’s kicker not missed that extra point, it might have cost Georgia the game.

                  As for Florida, I thought it was by far Bobo’s best game of the year as a play caller. You’re right; he didn’t cost Georgia in overtime. But even more than that, he did a great job of nursing the offense through the first half with a completely dysfunctional passing game (except on the TD pass).


    • Wonderful Ohio on the Gulf 'Dog

      Yeah, no one was expecting it when we pitched the ball to Herschel! 🙂


  4. Ben

    This reminds me so much of the opening drive in Stillwater in 2009. I was CONVINCED that the Dawgs were going to roll that day based upon that first series.

    Oh, well…


  5. The other Doug

    Is Bobo’s problem that he has to stick with the script and can’t call the plays from the hip or gut?


    • Dog in Fla

      It’s not Bobo, it’s Mark. I think. I’d like to see some of the crazy plays that The Hat calls or allows his OC to call. Like these where they play for the win


  6. Dubyadee

    I think all you guys are missing the boat. Timely, well-chosen constraint plays is THE MOST IMPORTANT PART of CMR’s play calling scheme. So, why does the play calling look so bad some times? Quote:

    But be wary of constraint plays against very talented teams — they may be stuffing your core offense not because they are cheating, but instead because they are better than you; the constraint plays then play into their hands.

    As a team, the Dawgs have just gotten too soft over the past few years. Hopefully that is changing. If it isn’t, CMR won’t be around next year to complain about.


    • I was going to post the same quote for a different reason. Like the good Senator, I find it maddening when Bobo inexplicably takes his foot off the gas when something is working. Or like so many other fans, when the playcalling appears to favor “not losing” over winning. Or those strange plays like “Carlton ISO” or “Play-Action on 3rd and 8+ While Trailing Opponent.”

      It has always seemed to me in those moments that Bobo or CMR seemed to believe “the opponent was better” than the Dawgs, and would be able to “stuff the core offense,” so they went with those ridiculous choices.

      And of course who can forget when those constraint plays constantly worked against the Dawgs? West Virginia? The Wheel Route? “There are some plays Georgia never defends?” If we weren’t entering Year 2 of a new defensive scheme, there’d be a different coach to whom this article would be required reading.

      Jonathan “Catfish” Crompton didn’t just morph into Drew Brees for one afternoon in Knoxville back in 2009, after all.


  7. This is great stuff!


  8. Dave

    Please Please Please, bookmark this so you can simply refer back to it in your posts when the season starts….you KNOW there will be at least one game where you will need to.


    • Zdawg

      And it will be a frustrating link back to this page.

      I would characterize Bobo’s frustrating tendency to let off the gas by saying it is a return to some sort of comfort zone after we get our opponents off balance. Its almost like we relax under the false notion that we ‘loosened up’ the defense. I don’t know if it is a conscious thought to ‘balance’ the offense or not.

      I’m sure we’ll have some time this fall to discuss…


  9. W Cobb Dawg

    There’s 3 things you can count on in life – 1) taxes, 2) death, 3) the Dawgs will run the exact same offense in 2011 that they’ve run the past 10 years.


  10. Cojones

    Yes sir, 32 ppg ain’t shabby at all. So what’s wrong with the OC if he averages 32 ppg and loses because the D allowed more points than we scored? In our low-scoring games hasn’t it been established that player attitude had a lot to do with it? In game situations where players fumbled at the goal line, our qb was nailed because a player refused to block for him and the team, the effort in the 4th qtr and lack of execution can’t rest blame on the plays that Bobo called. How many times in a game when you as a fan called the play prior to Bobo calling the same play did others call a different play and were fooled by Bobo? How many times were you wrong on your play call when Bobo didn’t follow suit?I’m not defending Bobo for what some of you term “well recognized, anticipated play-calling”, but rather stating that your being piqued by his ignoring your mental telepathy input is not reason to challenge his play calling. You have no basis to prove that if he had followed your “advice” your play calling would have worked. None. It’s getting where Bobo’s name is used by some who probably never played a lick of ball to ingratiate themselves with the negative crowd .

    When you have the statistics to support your dufus ego-maniacal second guessing of our OC of several years and whose offense has placed enough points on the board to win most games in the SEC, let me know and I’ll find you another team you can play games with statistically. Perhaps you missed the opportunity that WVU’s practices gave a CIW to disagree with the Head Coach and undermine his authority and now wish to anonomously do that with our OC. Normally, I would suspect trolls, but am never surprised by the diverse bag of fans that include some that are antiDawg. Word to the wise: Support personnel you have now until they are replaced by those responsibly hired to stir the pot. You only undermine the team when your steamboat mouth overloads your motorboat ahole.


  11. Cojones

    Meant to end with “Someday when you are in the arena……”, but forgot.


  12. Macallanlover

    I appreciate the tactical battle between OC and DC, it is similar to a chess match except the defense and offense are allowed to shift positions before the play is run, and after a play is called. The analogy between pitcher and batter is probably the best. But regardless of how we all like to play the game in the aftermath of the play as we sit in the stands, or watch on video review, playcalling is the most overrated. over-criticized of all the football discussions. We all enjoy creativity, trick plays, or catching someone asleep, but execution trumps playcalling in the vast majority of situations. This isn’t to defend some calls that truly make you scratch your head, just to say teams that execute their scheme will beat someone that relies on magic tricks every game. Perhaps not every play, but every single game.


  13. 69Dawg

    All I want is for Bobo to used his TE’s this year and not just talk about it.


    • Russ

      Boy, I agree with that. We could stick one in the TE position, one in the slot on the other side, and Figgins at FB and just spread it around.


  14. I have tried to stay away from the comments for a while now. However, If I am Coach Richt & I am On “The Hot Seat” there is no one that I would rather have as my OC in these dire times than Coach Bobo. I think CMR feels the same way, Time will tell if we are correct.


  15. Cojones

    Forgot: “I know what the hell I’m doing!”

    I think Mark speaks for his staff as well with that quote. I think if we rev up the engines of incivility for the summer, we can all learn to criticize and despise our coaching staff and team before Sep 3.. Perhaps some of you on here could help with the rehiring and attitude problem. Criticizing coaches is as off-base as pimping on Prince St or at the Baptist Church.

    If you are a fan, then build them up for the first game at least instead of trying to make doomsday prophesies come true. Taking wholesale shots that can undermine the fan’s and team’s confidence in themselves is a poor way to make a point.

    Get the point?


    • Hankdawg

      You are digging your own hole referring to “attitude.” We have no idea what their attitude is. I can observe the players behaviors over the past few years and don’t see the ones that reflect excitement and enthusiasm (I know those are descriptors as well).

      “Attitude a reflection of leadership.”

      It is, and should be at the top of the list, the coach’s job to create an environment where the guys want to be there and want to win. That is what we have been missing for years (with the exception of the WLOCP a few years back that resulted in a win, but several games of officiating not in line with our priorities).


    • Prov

      Welcome to the internet. What took you so long?


  16. Keese

    Am I the only one concerned about Bobo promising defensive recruits offensive packages designed specifically for them? Not to think of the potential injury backlash god forbid. Let’s see…he’s told John Jenkins, Damien Swann, Nick Marshall and assume Mitchell is full time offense.


  17. Jackson

    I must agree that Bobo is a good QB coach and a play caller. I am not so certain about the OC position. IMO, there has been a serious disconnect between the OL coaching meshing with the offensive play design. Call it scheme call it technique call it what you will but the OL don’t seem to be able to handle the play call set. New OL coach, new life. So I expect a better fit but the question I bring up should have been addressed by the OC sooner.
    Having said that, I really don’t know what our current core play package is these days… I remember early in the CMR era it was the old QB read option. And these days all I can remember is… just don’t quick toss sweep it… just don…. crap.


    • Bobo’s better than a good QB coach. He’s by far the best position coach on the staff.


      • Mayor of Dawgtown

        Call me crazy (many have) but I think Bobo can be a HC of a major program one day. He’s got to get away from this “balance for the sake of balance” hang-up though to reach his full potential as an OC.


  18. gerald darnell

    The “Bear” was questioned about his play calling by a young reporter after a very lackluster offensive performance. After a pause, the “Bear” answered, son, a good play is a play that works. A bad play is one the doesn’t work. Bobo knows x’s and o’s. I would guess that most of the D1 co’s are well versed in all strategies of offensive/defensive football.
    The proof is in the pudding is winning. Another Bear quote, “you can put the best jockey to ever ride a horse and put him on nag in the Kentucky Derby and he will lose.” The jimmies and joes rather than x’s and o’s generally are the difference in winning and losing.