Murf Baldwin’s piece on Georgia’s offensive line has gotten some attention over the past few days. It’s a fun read and it’ll remind you how well the o-line performed in last year’s Arkansas game, but, honestly, this part strikes me as a bit of irrational exuberance:
Friend, for my money, was the most underrated line coach in existence as he clearly got the most out of his personnel, but the same could’ve been said for the previous line coach Stacy Searels who originally got the ball rolling with his physical brand of coaching.
Will Friend? This Will Friend? Sorry, I can’t buy that. During his tenure, the offensive line proved itself to be way too inconsistent for that kind of praise.
I do think last season’s line turned in the best results we’ve seen at Georgia in several years, but I’d argue that was due to a level of stability at the position we hadn’t seen in, well, several years. Some of that could be chalked up to health, but some of that was simply the result of not tinkering with the starters on what seemed like an almost weekly basis, as had previously been the method.
And that goes all the way back to Searels, who, admittedly, I thought got off to a fantastic start dealing with a very shaky depth situation and by necessity had to cross-train a fair amount to create numbers. But the practice outgrew its value, or at least it should have.
I hope Rob Sale is one of those “find the five best, coach ’em up and lock ’em in” types.