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.