Lambert, tired arms and a challenge

Dean Legge throws out a theory behind the signing of Greyson Lambert I hadn’t thought about.

You see, this is about numbers – not skill. Georgia doesn’t need someone to come in and start – they need to give the guy who is not starting a breather during practice. This is about the wear and tear on shoulders. This is about third-team reps. This is about having the ability to practice.

Georgia, with its three scholarship quarterbacks in the spring, was dangerously close to having one too few signal callers on its roster. Lambert’s commitment solves that problem… at least for a little while.

Now Georgia can enter fall camp with the ability to name a starter, a backup and two guys who can be scout team guys and make throws so that the starter’s arm doesn’t fall off. Remember that Joe Cox, Hutson Mason and Aaron Murray – the last three starters in Athens – all had issues with too much throwing.

That’s something that has to be taken seriously. And it is a major concern if only three men are on campus.

Okay, there’s something to be said for his point about the health of Georgia’s last three starting quarterbacks.  But somehow I doubt that’s a sales point Richt and Schottenheimer were pushing to close the deal with Lambert.  (At least I hope not.  What would that say about Lambert if it were?)  You have to believe he’s coming in thinking he’s being given a legitimate shot to be a contributor.

Meanwhile, Seth Emerson tracks down a beat reporter who’s followed Virginia football for… well, for almost as long as I have.  He’s got a few relevant observations about Lambert to share.

Let’s first talk about Lambert’s skill set: He’s 6-foot-5, obviously. How strong is his arm? What are his strengths and weaknesses as a passer? And how much mobility does he have?

Ratcliffe: Greyson has a strong arm and when he’s “on,” he’s very dangerous. He can make most throws and has been accurate with the deep ball when he finds an open receiver, which hasn’t always been easy. Virginia hasn’t had many legit deep threats. UVa has gone with mostly short passes and Greyson has struggled with that at times. His decision-making has been the thing that has held him back and UVa’s offense back as well, granted it has been an offensive largely without explosive playmakers that he will likely be surrounded with at Georgia. Virginia should have upset then-Top 10 UCLA in the season opener last year but Lambert’s interceptions killed the Cavaliers and essentially handed the win to the Bruins.

When you look at the stats from last year, the 11 interceptions in nine games stands out. Does that tell the whole story as to Lambert’s accuracy and decision-making?

Ratcliffe: Yes. The majority of his interceptions were killers that cost a team wins that it couldn’t afford to lose. From what he told me he struggled when he first arrived with coverages because his high school team had a very simple passing offense. While that improved over the years, I think he still has issues with decision-making and his accuracy has been very inconsistent.

To save the cynics among you time, I’ll just say that sounds an awful lot like what we’re worried about with the guys already on Georgia’s roster.  So maybe Lambert’ll fit right in from the get go.

Which brings us to the $64,000 question, of course.

Finally, Lambert is walking into a situation where he’s by no means guaranteed the starting job. What do you think his chances are to end up a starting quarterback in the SEC?

Ratcliffe: Tough question because while I try to follow SEC football fairly closely, I’m not that familiar with what kind of talent Georgia has at quarterback. If Georgia has solid talent there, I would think it would be a challenge for Lambert, who is a great kid, to leapfrog those guys. However, if the door is open, I believe Lambert’s best two years of football are ahead of him.

43 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football

43 responses to “Lambert, tired arms and a challenge

  1. JT (the other one)

    I still have to wonder, how much of Lambert’s gaffe’s were due to poor coaching. Poor coaching at that position leads to turn overs. I think UVA did us a favor; they trained Lambert a little more to where he may be able to compete at a higher level at UGA. By no means am I saying he starts with “may” being the operative word.

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  2. TennesseeDawg

    Lambert might not care as much about being the starter as we think. If you were Lambert, you’ve got a degree from Virginia then a top SEC program that your hot girlfriend attends (and is close to home) offers a scholarship you can use to attend grad school. Not a bad deal even if you do hold the clipboard.

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    • I disagree. He left UVa because he lost the starting job. He wants a shot in Athens.

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      • TennesseeDawg

        After reading up on the guy he lost the job to (Matt Johns), I don’t see why he thinks he could beat out Ramsey

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        • You think Richt told him he couldn’t?

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          • JT (the other one)

            That is possible. At 5he 3nd of 5he day. Win for Georgia as we have at least 4 “competent” QBs. I really want to see how 5 his plays out. I don’t think he wins the job, but I do think he pushes the other QB’s.
            He has at least one thing in common with Brice, he beat Louisville last year.

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        • Swanguard

          I think Ramsey is going to have the same problems that Lambert had at Va.He played on a High School team that seldom passed and learning when to pass is going to be a major concern when he goes into the SEC.

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      • JT (the other one)

        I will go back to coaching. Was the chicken or the egg?

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      • 81Dog

        better a scrub in Athens than the starting QB in Hooville. I’m sure that would rankle the Virginia Mafia, but it’s still true. 😉

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        • Mayor

          +1. I said this yesterday. Why would anybody want to play for the dumpster fire that is the current UVA program? I sure as hell wouldn’t. If he stayed there and played he might get injured because the O-line there is so bad. Lambert’s already got his degree from UVA, perhaps the top state university in the nation. He can play on a really good team as a back-up with a chance to possibly beat out the starter, plus get a graduate degree from a different top 10 state university. Plus his girlfriend is an absolute doll and they’ll be in school together. He’s trading a bad situation for a good one. He’s doing the smart thing IMHO.

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        • I Wanna Red Cup

          you member those guys too, huh? All khakis and polos every day, day after day.

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    • JT (the other one)

      Very good point. I do think he is that much of a competitor and will give this his best shot. I think the competitiveness in his nature may be a contributing factor to his gaffe’s. That said I hope he does come in and push the current players.

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  3. Reservoir Dawg

    My youngest son and Ramsey were close in high school and went to a bunch of combines and camps together with Lambert. He tells me that Brice outperformed Lambert every time. It’s a depth move with a seasoned but not ready for prime time player. No way he’s a threat to the eventual starter.

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  4. W Cobb Dawg

    If we have an open scholly, I guess its a good move. Rather than leave a roster spot open. I don’t buy the “wear and tear of shoulders” baloney. We already have Bauta, Ramsey, Park, Vaughn and Robinson. How many fricken QBs does it take to screw in a light bulb?

    And wasn’t it just a couple months ago we were hearing the other b.s. meme about WRs wanting to get in synch with the QB – so we needed to select a one guy and make him the starter asap?

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    • Will (The Other One)

      I’m skeptical of the “shoulder/arm falling off” stuff too. It’s not like we’re an Air Raid system where they’re attempting 60+ passes a game (hell, the QB for Cal and I think one of Leach’s WashSt QBs both attempted over 70 passes in a game last year, and their arms stayed attached.) Unless someone was really mechanically unsound I always figured football dead arm came more from contact than too many reps.

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  5. Spike

    W Cobb Dawg is correct!

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  6. Uglydawgq

    Sometimes we just have to wait and see.
    This may be one of those times, unless one of our all-knowing friends on here wants to go ahead and give us the final word.
    Maybe they’re all holding back on filling us in until they’ve enlightened CMR to the outcome and reasons.
    That’s just nice etiquette.

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  7. steve

    There are several Greyson variables.
    1) It seems that most all UGa QBs red-shirt. They sit a year apparently because the system (at least Bobo’s) was complicated and not because of a log jam of QBs ahead of them. Is a two yr ‘internship’ at a mid level ACC team equivalent to a red-shirt? Or does he have 3 yrs to play 2 so he could red-shirt and catch up?
    2) It seems he wanted us more than we wanted him. Where else did he even consider or interview? His GF is reportedly in Athens: the great behavioral catalyst – testosterone – at work for us. This probably made it much easier to sell to the other QBs and recruits.
    3) ‘…issues with decision-making and his accuracy has been very inconsistent.’ sounds familiar. We already have one Jeffrey M. Driskel v 2.0 that is the presumed starter for 2015.
    4) As far as ‘tired arm’ syndrome from practice and scout team assignment, don’t we have a preferred walk-on QB from California enrolled now? That is five QBs. The only ‘tired arm’ syndrome in any QB I know of is Cam Newton. First from throwing stolen property out windows then stuffing wads of cash into his pockets.
    Whatever the reason(s) he is now a Dawg. Hope he is happy and successful.

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  8. Cojones

    After considering the postings yesterday, especially the dated personal photos, and thinking about the scenarios, a thought occurred that no one seems to have yet considered. Richt knew the guy way back when and probably knew his upside before he went to Va.. Throw in a reportedly bad coaching job this guy may have lived through plus O-line problems and Richt sees a rehab job made to order that, if pulled off, would make him and Schotty the best tandem of QB-makers in the land. This guy not only has serviceable experience, but also has further potential that could laboriously be melded into a really good QB and possibly a starter for UGA, a known running team. The coaches and the QB have the talent and the weapons to pull such a transformation off. And here’s a QB built higher, as is Eason, and who may have a better look downfield with certain plays that could represent a pretraining ritual for Eason. Picking up the playbook understanding of our Offense remains to be seen.

    Betcha that this scenario is not way out and it will be silly interesting to see if he develops further over the summer and into the fall. I’ll be watching to see him develop into a starter.

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  9. SouthernYank

    I’m sure he was told that he could come in and compete, and that if he produces, he will contribute. Still, when you have a team that will run the ball a ton, a QB with bad decision making does not = who will be under center during this season. He’s there to add depth. If he plays great, it’s a bonus. If he doesn’t who cares.

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    • Most of this is pure speculation. How many of these posters ha e ever truly worked with QB’s,Flankers, Slots, SE or TE’s. Yes watched practice sessions but actually worked drills with these great young athletes. In individual sessions the receivers coaches have grad assistants to help work with drills.
      Going through the UGA roster I count 15 SE, Flankers, Slots or TE’s that does not count ehhhh 6-7 RB’s or FB’s. This also does not count freshman coming in to fall camp. Group sessions could last 10-20 minutes depending on worked needed to be done. The sessions could be broken into even 5-7 minutes but have at least 2-3 of these to include blocking for RB’s, FB’s and TE’s as well as do the receivers. Many a block by a SE on the corner breaks a run for a TB.
      My point taken is that after individual sessions group sessions occur. This is where the groups come together. You try to work ones with ones and two with twos as much as possible for timing and route skills. On a receiver route tree there could be as many as 8-10 options. Stops, outs, posts, post corners, square ins, hitches, screens inside and out, holes in cover 2. Not all these will be worked every day but given it’s a tremendous deal of throwing. Take it from a receiver coach who can not raise his arm above his shoulder via group throwing for 25 plus years. Perhaps there is not a true “pegged starter” as yet. I have no doubt that the UGA coaches have the ability to choose the best of the best. Just saying the larger the can of “Milk the better the chance that the “Cream” will come to the top.
      GO DAWGS and may the best man win !

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  10. Irwin R. Fletcher

    I don’t think it’s really that difficult to decipher.
    -He has some tools, but really hasn’t shown to be a good college QB
    -He does, however, possess the requisite attributes to be able to contribute to depth, practice, competition, etc.
    -He was the best possible addition they could have made at QB via transfer
    -They only had 3 scholarship QBs…one less than last year.
    -There is no named starter, ‘so you’re telling me there’s a chance’ pitch/thoughts aren’t fake, even if if winning the job is unlikely.

    I’m already at the point of ‘who cares?’ They added a player…they add 25 or so of those every season. This isn’t a big deal.

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    • Howl&Woof

      I agree, Irwin. There is not a lot to read into this. I am confident that Greyson was not brought in to compete for the starting job, nor was he brought in for competition. (If he does get into the competition and emerge as a competent starter…GREAT! But, I don’t see it happening.) He was brought in to help throw all the passes that are going to be necessary to evaluate all the new receivers. Plus, being a graduate of UVA he might be a good sideline assistant and future coach.

      From Greyson’s perspective it is:
      Near his girl friend
      Near his home
      Free tuition
      A chance to learn from savvy QB coaches
      Prepare for a coaching career at the SEC or Pro level

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  11. Russ

    I can buy the practice story. Makes perfect sense and is consistent with what Richt said about the numbers he likes to have.

    I can’t see this kid beating out any of our others, though.

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  12. Chuck

    Obviously, I don’t watch UVA football and I don’t have a way of looking into Lamberts mind to see what he’s actually thinking, but I can imagine reasons he might be willing to come to Georgia that don’t have anything to do with him being the starter. It starts with the fact that he has physical gifts that have not been realized. He loves the game. He realizes that his gifts are not going to be maximized at UVA if he stays. He realizes that he may not be able to play in the NFL, but if he has any chance at all it is going to be learning a more prostyle offense. Add in what everyone else is said about deep threat, offense of weapons, running game, and offense of line, you can see that this is his best shot. And then there is Mark Ricks leave for practice arms. And, if it turns out it really is good and just has had crappy coaching, we’re all winners.

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  13. Cosmic Dawg

    Whoever wins the starting job, it may cause a transfer – or two. If Bauta wins the role, Dawgs may be playing small ball – heavy on the running game, called QB draws, short passes.. Dawgs get down a couple scores late, we may need somebody who can sling it fifty yards, and the other big arms may be gone.

    Also, this appeals to my sneaky side: We just got a pro-style coach from the NFL to install in our pro-style offense. What are our opponents D coordinators preparing to defend right now? Georgia’s pro-style attack. So what if our coaches are planning to flip the script and throw in some option stuff w/ Bauta?

    There may be room for more QB’s this year than we think. If none of them are good at running 4 quarters of offense, maybe a platoon is our best chance to win and the comments earlier this week from The Coach Who Shall Not Be Spelled are all subterfuge?

    I’m thinking like Cojones now. That would be some Evil Richt, indeed.

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    • DawgPhan

      I just wished I believe that UGA would change based on who wins the job. Instead I feel like the winner will be the guy who comes closest to what the coaches want.

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      • Cosmic Dawg

        In fairness to them, there are a lot of economies to plugging a B guy into your system rather than trying to change your system to fit a B+ guy. I think if Bauta was clearly the best choice we’d see them make some adjustments around him.

        But yeah, it would be fun to see them get a little unpredictable this year, even though I enjoy the heck out of our offense as is.

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    • 69Dawg

      Richt and Shotty have changed their tunes since Shotty got here. The was to be no major changes, Shotty would learn our calls etc. Well now everybody is talking about the difference. Think for a moment the number of times we have bitched that the SEC DC’s didn’t have to study our scheme. We were the Greenbay Packers of old. You know what they are going to do, if you can stop it you win, so you don’t need to spend a lot of time preparing if you seen them once you’ve seen them. So now what are the DC’s thinking. At a minimum they have to watch the Rams play last year to get an idea how Shotty calls a game. At least they may have to break a sweat. I for one will be glad to see the TE’s take the LBs out of the run plays because the DC is worried about them. I’m excited, the other thing is I think that the Pro OC is better at mismatches than a college OC. I have always wondered how our receivers are usually in tight coverages and have to fight for the ball. Motion, and TE’s will screw up a defense faster than anything.

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  14. 81Dog

    He actually sounds a lot like Zach Mettenberger, minus the butt grabbing. Big, strong arm, raw talent.

    I have no idea if he’s just an extra arm or a guy the staff thinks is growing into being a solid QB, but the idea that he solves the extra arm problem with a possibility, slight or otherwise, of being a diamond in the rough, certainly seems like a pretty shrewd approach to me.

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  15. Scorpio Jones, III

    This was all Schottenheimer’s doing. Richt and Lambert know each other from a while back. Richt was getting in Schottenheimer’s way in practice, so Schottenheimer talked Richt into bringing in Lambert as a project for the head coach to work on.

    Plus, Lambert promised the team his girl friend would wander around at practice one or two days a week.

    This is as viable as most of the other conversation about Lambert.

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    • Don’t forget that all those O players saying they’d be happy with any of the current QBs was code for “we dislike them all equally.” I mean, Nick Chubb’s silence on the subject speaks volumes, right? The fix is in, man, because it’s all a rip-off and you can book it.

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    • Cojones

      Yall left out the Palace Intrigues.

      You dumb bunch of Muthas. Lambert was brought in to level the playing field for the Center’s job. A great deal of forgiveness can be borrowed for that occasional green high snap when the guy’s reach is over 10′ without jumping – and he’s an athlete who can jump. Sheesh, I’m ashamed of you all.

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  16. JoshG

    I’m betting a slow drive down Milledge during prime jog time was enough to show Lambert the quality of the talent he’d be surrounded by for the next 2 years. “Oh, you’re going to let me live here for free while I go to grad school and I get to tell these girls I’m on the football team and I have no pressure to actually be great?”

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  17. DawgByte

    Mecole Hardman has accurately read the UGA QB situation.

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