Dead end, or work in progress?

With what I wrote about Brian Schottenheimer in today’s Observations post, you might want to take a look at Trevor Sikkema’s film review of Lambert.  Particularly this:

… One-read, quick throw plays on third down are a place Lambert really struggles. There’s no deception in the routes, and you can see Lambert will force a throw because the timing calls for it rather than be given the freedom to think. Extra time in the pocket isn’t a guarantee he’ll make a good decision — UGA fans know that — but they seem to be more effective.

On this play action, Lambert has layers to his reads because the play has more options. He looks much more comfortable when delivering the ball after he’s the one who gets to chose where it goes. I’m not saying Lambert’s decision making is perfect by any means, but Schottenheimer needs to realize a choke hold on Lambert isn’t making the offense any simpler. UGA has much better success on third down when they call plays with simple reads. Not giving Lambert reads at all is what’s causing the panic.

You could see Lambert settle down when Georgia got a little traction running out of the I and it became easier to sell the play action pass.  Some of that was due to not having to force a throw.

I’ll say it again.  When you consider it’s his first season in Athens and that he’s working with a quarterback who’s had maybe two months in this offense, Schottenheimer hasn’t had a tremendous amount of time to figure out how all the moving parts fit together.

40 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football, Strategery And Mechanics

40 responses to “Dead end, or work in progress?

  1. Derek

    Third down is always going to be a crap shoot. Look at the stats from two weeks ago where both teams struggled. What’s troubling to me is how bad he’s been on first and second down when the plays have been there. It seemed to me that the coaches gave up on being balanced on first down because they found themselves behind the chains almost every time. I think that the only thing that we can do is can back to the well and try to get his confidence back. Or shitcan him and go with 12. We can’t beat anybody good trying to pound the rock, especially now. I’d like to think that lambert had Bama nightmare residuals that will subside by Saturday. We aren’t that bad a football team if lambert can some find a game somewhere north of mediocre. Getting back to tackling would be a good idea too.

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  2. Lambert was much better as the game went on, and if Davis catches his deep ball we’re talking him up, not down.

    Having said that, the third down offense is a total abortion. It’s the worst I’ve ever seen at UGA. A lot of that has to do with being in a lot of third and longs, but my god…where the hell are our TEs? How many catches does Blazevich have? Those should be our 3rd down money makers, and instead we’re not even looking at them.

    Mizzou has a very, very good defense. It has two legit pass rushers as apparently there’s a law in Mizzou stating they have to have at least two good ones every year. Lambert is going to be under duress. We need to use more screens and TE shots this week.

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    • That pass that Davis dropped was one of the best throws I’ve seen from a Georgia QB. What’s amazing about it was that Lambert had to move out of the pocket as his protection broke down and barely had time to set his feet to make the throw.

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      • Just simply a fantastic throw. As I told a friend of mine yesterday, if that ball had velcro, it would of stuck to Davis’ chest. Every time I look at that play, I just can’t comprehend how he drops that ball..it was almost impossible to do.

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        • Jeff

          Dropped by a guy who also fields punts. Wait, he dropped one of those too, but it went for a touchdown. I don’t know. Geez.

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      • It was spectacular. So, so amazing. And it was dropped. Perhaps the most “Georgia” thing imaginable.

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      • gastr1

        Lambert has been much more mobile than advertised, IMO. I had been envisioning Ryan Mallett back there (the ultimate cast in stone QB).

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    • baitstand

      Agreed. There is nothing pro-style about our supposed pro-style offense.

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    • peacedogattack

      It’s hard to answer these questions when you watch on TV . But as the linked-to article shows, in one case one of our TEs is sitting wide open underneath for a gimmie first down + more yards and Lambert stays looking at Mitchell the entire time (the DB makes the play, denying us on third down, off to the right.

      Whether this was a case where the play called was really just a single-option pass, or one with reads and Lambert did not read it right, I cannot say (it looks like the latter to me).

      The TEs being a factor requires their (1) being options on passing plays and (2) a QB reading to them where appropriate. We don’t seem to be in max protect a lot (remember the times Bobo had to lean on that?) so the Tes are out running routes or doing whatever it is you do on plays where you’re not a legit pass option but are down field. At least some of it has to be Lambert.

      That isn’t to say that CBS hasn’t done enough to “feature” the TE as the primary or even secondary WR on plays. The offense will be a work in progress for the rest of the season, I think.

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    • I’ve been itching to find out more about Blazevich as well. He has 5 receptions for an 11ypc average … and he caight nothing in the Bama or UT games. Rome and Harris each have 3 receptions.

      If we want to talk about quick / light decision reads I tend to think that passes to the TEs are where it’s at. But then, quality LBers or SSs can make this less than a guaranteed propostion.

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  3. The focus on Lambert is ok, but I need someone to tell me how in the heck we are going to fix our defense. Are we going to just have to be patient because of youth? Oh and UT had two freshman starting lineman right? How in the heck did we not dominate the line of scrimmage?

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  4. mikebozo

    3 true freshman started on D. Everyone else had at least 1 year under thier belt. Typical of college football considering 3 years is what most play nowdays.

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  5. oops…looks like the CBS copyright goon squad got a hold of Trevor’s page.

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  6. gastr1

    I gave up on the game early and didn’t see Michel’s runs–glad to see them here, and I’m glad he’s going to get the chance he deserves. I thought last year before he got hurt that he was going to be a hellacious offensive weapon. The added weight has made him even more difficult for a defense, and I agree with the author about those jukes and cuts…that’s amazing stuff, right there.

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    • 69Dawg

      He just has to remember to carry the ball with him. He is the worst RB we have as far as ball protection. He was last year and he still is.

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  7. DawgPhan

    yeah I dont get how we done seem to be very good up front. All these all world fire breathing LBs just seem to disappear for long periods of time or always chasing some TE down the middle of the field.

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  8. DawgPhan

    Also Lorenzo Carter is the second coming of Brandon Miller(?)

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  9. Will Trane

    The TE production against 3 SEC teams. 7 completions and 93 yards.
    Watched the clips. The one thing I notice is that the QB locks in to his intended throw as soon as he gets the ball from center.
    Work in progress. Notice on that 2nd clip the back coming out of the backfield and the top receiver. This is a 3rd and 4yds to gain play. How did both of those two intended receivers get in the same position on that play. Whether scripted or audible that should not happen.
    Five games in and this is why they have such a poor conversion rate on 3rd downs. It is the entire offense, but you have to wall out the QB. How long has this QB been playing. Hard habits are hard to break.

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  10. SAtowndawg

    The problem is that Schottenheimer has never proven himself to be anything other than an average to less than average NFL Coordinator…he never truly developed a quality NFL QB and in two years in St. Louis he couldn’t figure out how to get the ball to Tavon Austin, who was their best weapon…look at Austin’s stats for this year versus two years with Schotty…I believe he has one less touchdown this year versus the last two years combined… I keep reading that he needs time and my opinion is that time won’t change anything with his offense

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    • Rams ppg in 2015: 16.8
      Rams ppg in 2014: 20.2

      Good thing they’re getting the ball to Austin more.

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      • gastr1

        Their mantra very soon is going to be how to get the ball to Gurley as much as possible anyway. (Good to see him busting out, huh?)

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      • SAtowndawg

        against the number 5, 6, 7, 9 and 13th ranked defenses in the NFL…too small of a sample size to judge…Senator, I know you want to give the guy a break but Schotty is the sickness that will sink Richt…if he didn’t have his last name would he have been hired based on his body of work?

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  11. saildawg

    The biggest change in college football over the past 10 years is the integration of the spread and spread concepts. Personally, I hate the spread and think it is ruining football. A good read http://www.wsj.com/articles/why-the-nfl-has-a-quarterback-crisis-1441819454

    However what the spread does is take a lot of the mental decision making out of the game for QBs, WRs, and lineman. It does a great job of “picking low hanging fruit”, meaning that you can rely on a simple play to pick up decent yardage 5+, and stay ahead of the chains. This is entirely missing from the UGA offense. Every play is a struggle, we are throwing low percentage deep routes that take time to develop, require great blocking, route running, and QB mechanics/decision making/ and an accurate throw. This is simply not a recipe for sustainable drives. Mike Bobo in his last few years would often go to some spread concepts when the offense was struggling to get the ball out of QB hands quickly and get the offense moving. Right now the pro-style attack has proven to be too much for our young receivers particularly Godwin on his route running and decision making. You cant expect Lambert to make low percentage throws at a high rate, and when he does make them there is no guarantee we will catch them.

    I am not saying we need to adopt the spread offense, but we have to start finding some low hanging fruit. If I were to tell you the game plan for last week to stop the QB would be to:
    1)crowd the box to take away the run
    2)play up on receivers to take away the short passing game
    3)make the QB throw deep to beat us
    I would have assumed that we were talking about defensing Josh Dobbs. However this is exactly what UT did to us, and were willing to live with deep low percentage throws.

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    • 69Dawg

      Preach on brother preach on. We run an offense that requires perfection from guys who get 20 hours a week to achieve something 90% of the pro teams can’t given unlimited practice time.

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  12. AusDawg85

    Was not a fan of the early Bobo. Getting more skeptical of CBS. He has a few weapons and doesn’t seem to exploit them. Sony is better in space, so put Marshal in the I and Sony in the slot. That would force D to move at least 1 man out of the box. Lambert can’t hit the TE hitch…a lot of those are when he lets the ball get batted down, but the FB in the flats always seems to work…where has that been. And we really miss MacKenzie’s speed on the field.

    But in every pre-game post I’ve fretted about our D and they are sadly justifying those concerns. This O can’t score 40 every game (and hasn’t even though I thought they might) so the rest of the season will go as goes our D. We’ll see if CJP can fix this…kind of doubt it after witnessing the last two weeks.

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    • Before you get too skeptical, can I point out that Georgia averaged 7.16 yards per play on offense? Care to guess how many other teams have done that against UT this season?

      The answer is here.

      Georgia’s biggest problem on offense right now is inconsistency. Which shouldn’t be that much of a surprise, if you think about it.

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      • AusDawg85

        Honestly I’m dumbfounded by that stat. Lord I didn’t want to have to watch the replay, but now will to see how we got those yards. I still smell a whiff of early Bobo…not sticking with what works, though in CBS’s case, I’m not sure he’s found anything yet to stick with other than things like my examples above.

        And it’s still about the D.

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  13. Bright Idea

    We have run one reverse type play all year vs. Vandy. Can’t make a living running reverses or throwing dumps to the TE but something different every now and then on 1st down might help. Trying to throw deep on 1st down likely means 2nd and ten. Running against a packed box has meant a lot of 2nd and 9s. Defenses are sitting all over our screen game to tailbacks. Can we screen to the FB, TE or WR? Without QB run threat shotgun ain’t doing much good. I fear we hired an OC/play caller but not a QB coach too.

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  14. W Cobb Dawg

    I’d like to see Schotty mix things up. Use the Wilddawg once in a while, throw to the TE’s, get more use out of a playmaker like Hicks, etc. I was happy to see us finally going downfield with some throws. Then again, people on this blog have been saying this kind of stuff for years.

    Plus, I don’t know to what extent CMR is looking over Schotty’s shoulder. CMR already pulled the reins in and instructed CBS to go ultraconservative against vandy.

    Lastly, a case could be made that Schotty is getting just about every ounce of talent out of Lambert. But again, I would like us to mix things up and be a bit more creative with our weapons.

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