Taking stock

I thought it might be fun to look at each position group and match my impressions of where my expectations were before spring practice and where they’re at after G-Day.  Keep in mind this is far from expert.  All I’ve got to go on are Smart’s comments and what I watched in a controlled scrimmage.

But, hey, that’s what mid-April is all about.

  • Offensive line.  You’ve got a major transition in coaching philosophy – the third in three years, mind you – and a major reshuffling of personnel due to the departure of two seniors, so, yeah, expectations weren’t too high at the start of spring practice.  I’m not gonna say G-Day knocked me on my ass, but I saw some unexpectedly good stuff out of Lamont Gaillard as well as some expected enormousness from Ben Cleveland.  I’d still say the o-line is a work in progress and won’t be surprised at all if Tyler Catalina’s arrival for August practice results in another shuffling of linemen.  Unchanged.
  • Wide receivers.  As far as I’m concerned, as a group, they’re the most pleasant surprise of the spring.  Stanley and Chigbu look like contributors.  If the hands Reggie Davis displayed at G-Day aren’t a mirage, you can count him in, too.  I also noticed the receivers seemed more physical in their downfield blocking, something that was missing last season.  (Anybody catch that crackback block from McKenzie?)  Coley looks like he’s an underrated position coach so far.  Stock up.
  • Tight ends.  We thought they’d be good and deep and that Chaney would make more use of them than Schottenheimer did.  So far, so good.  Unchanged.
  • Running backs.  With the injuries and Turman’s departure, this group is thin.  Real thin.  Let’s hope Holyfield can contribute.  Of course, Chubb’s return would change everything.  Stock down.
  • Quarterbacks.  I’ve already had my say on themStock up.
  • Defensive line.  As a group, my biggest concern coming out of spring.  None of the injuries appear serious or long-term, but the suspensions for the opener are a huge worry.  There is some talent, but is there enough depth to hold up against a HUNH offense that’ll try to run 80-90 plays in the Dome? Is it realistic to expect any of the true freshmen coming in the summer to contribute right off the bat?  Consider me very nervous about the d-line right now.  Stock down.
  • Linebackers.  It’s funny how little I had to say about the linebackers at G-Day.  But with Reggie Carter’s return, it appears there’s a set starting four and some talent behind them.  The big question here is what kind of year does Lorenzo Carter have.  Unchanged.
  • Defensive backs.  I guess the easy reaction to take to giving up over 600 passing yards last Saturday would be panic.  Or despair.  But I can’t say I feel that anxious about it.  There were some break downs, but there were also some completions that were well defended.  There appears to be a starting foursome in place, but there also appears to be a lot of battling going on for playing time.  August will be big.  Unchanged.
  • Placekickers.  I’ll have to take Kirby’s word on this one, as G-Day didn’t fill me with confidence.  (Admittedly, Ham was the victim of some bad luck.)  I think I only saw one kickoff reach the end zone.  Not good, even if not unexpected.  Unchanged.
  • Punting.  Ramsey looks fine.  Did I mention Ramsey looks fine?  Good, because I didn’t see anything else and Kirby was honest enough to admit it’s an area of concern this spring.  There’s a punter on scholarship coming in the fall, which could be an even bigger thing than we might expect if Ramsey surprises us and wins the starting quarterback job.  Although it would be cool to watch the strategery that would flow from having the same guy run the offense and punt…  Unchanged.

Agree?  Disagree?  Let me know what you think.




Filed under Georgia Football

24 responses to “Taking stock

  1. I think as usual a very rational balanced view of where we are. The return of a healthy and ready to play Chubb could make all of the difference in this offense. I love Sony and what he brings. On defense, I’m scared to death about the defensive line.


  2. Think you are spot on with the exception of the kickers. Going to cost us at least 2 possibly 3 games. Would classify them as a major weakness at least right now.


  3. dawgtired

    Your post is the ‘nutshell’ response for me. But a couple more details…

    TE’s – I was glad to see Jordan Davis active Saturday. I was afraid he would be one of those players to fall through the cracks and never contribute. Could be Chaney’s scheme has revived him.

    DL – It could be because my expectations were so high that it would have been difficult for them to please me, but I expected constant domination and disruption from them. And I doubt if the OL has improve that much as to make our DL look bad. I’m sure we will play better OL’s than ours.

    DB’s – The concern for me was that ALL QB’s move the ball on them. Does that mean it won’t take a seasoned QB to throw the ball on us come fall?

    RB’s – I’m not too concerned at this point unless it turns out that Chubb doesn’t return. I just felt the focus was on throwing the ball Saturday and so the run game seemed like an after thought to mix the offense up a little. Which brings up a point. Kirby made it a point to let us know that G-day wasn’t for our entertainment but then made a comment about the focus being on passing the ball…like he was giving the fans what the came to see.

    That’s all for now.


  4. They are better off at WR than I thought they would be. Stanley, Chigbu, and Ridley all look ready to go, in addition to Godwin, Davis, and McKenzie. When you have the TE position locked down and a Chubb/Michel backfield, I feel pretty good about the WR rotation.

    DL is on red-alert status. OL has a lot of growing to do. The two most important aspects of the team are the two places where Georgia is lacking (relatively).

    The secondary gave up a lot of passing yards, but the offenses ran the ball like three times. Douglas saw a lot of playing time at RB in a non-contact jersey. The different play style (press, man) is such a welcomed change. It is dependent on a pass rush, though. Since there wasn’t much of a rush, the QB’s could find some spots that wouldn’t be there in a game situation. The open TE’s and RB’s are a little more worrisome, if only because UGA hasn’t covered the middle of the field or the flats in a decade.

    The good news about the kicking game is that experience is not required to be the starter. Guys coming in the fall can step right in and not miss a beat.


  5. Go Dawgs!

    On the punting front, one of my favorite moments of G-Day was seeing Ramsey hit that beautiful 50 yard punt that ended up backing himself up to the 5 yard line to start his first possession at quarterback. He had to have been thinking “well, heck, I should have just let the snap go through my legs!”


  6. Bulldog Joe

    Amazing how different this team looks than it did at the end of last year.

    We’re likely going to see more 38-31 scores and less 9-6s 13-7s and 20-13s.


    • Juan

      And we have our winner for biggest G-Day overreaction! Congrats


      • Bulldog Joe

        Taking Mayes, Bailey, Dawson, Deloach, Jenkins, Ganus, and Floyd out of our front seven rotation takes away the ability to play the ‘pound rock run clock’ game as we did the later part of last season. Personnel-wise, we won’t be able to put so much of the game on the defense, especially early on this season.

        Not having Marshall Morgan changes our strategy as well.

        The good news is we appear to have more explosiveness on offense (in a good way) and better coaching and communication. I expect to see more points.


  7. Russ

    Unless the new guy comes in booming punts, I’d love to see Ramsey back there punting. Even if he’s not the starting QB, just having him back there gives us another option on punting, and could help our coverage if nothing else as the opposition has to play Ramsey “safe” and can’t just turn on go like normal.


  8. Russ

    Also, I’m expecting Holyfield to contribute some. Given that, I’m not too concerned about running backs, and if Chubb comes back fully/early, then we’ll be set.


    • dawgtired

      …and I believe Sony has the ability and Tae has the body to ‘carry the load’ until others are up to the task.


  9. Dylan Dreyer's Booty

    The WR group impressed me, and the best thing about that is having a legitimate passing game will make everything else better. The one thing about the G-Day game is that the pass/rush ratio was ridiculous compared to what I would normally expect. I am sure there are a lot of reasons for it, but I am not sure there is a lot to be concluded except that what I thought was going to be a disaster that would also have teams loading up the box and stopping the run isn’t such a disaster after all. And that’s good.


  10. Cousin Eddie

    RBs – I think they are going to be OK, depending on the O-line. I was impressed with Crowder, as he looked physical. Douglas is no home run threat but anyone would get tired of tackling him. MIchel is a real threat. While no one listed above is a Chubb or Gurley talent, very few teams have that kind of talent, they are all more than serviceable. I feel our expectations of talent level have been raised well above average due to the guys that have been here the last few years, yes I am talking about Gurley and Chubb.


  11. dawgtired

    “The WR group impressed me,”

    I know it was a ‘practice’ but the work and success of multiple WR’s plus TE’s in the passing game really made me feel so much better about our possibilities. I like Chigbu and Stanley’s body types. Chigbu showed the ability to use his body to shield the defender. Godwin and Davis bring that speed to stretch the field (Stanley may be fast too). I’ve been thinking that Davis would develop to be dangerous on the edge. Maybe he’ll be just that this season, and we know what Godwin can do. Also, I love the way we use the TE’s and FB/RB’s in the passing game.


    • TE’s are going to be a real threat when in the red zone. Something that has been lacking. Getting that completion at the 5 or 6 yard line and powering it in for the score


  12. Semper Fi Dawg

    “far from expert” that’s my line at work


  13. W Cobb Dawg

    Wouldn’t be surprised to see Walker challenge LoCarter for playing time at OLB. Walker has ‘the quicks’ and gets into the opponents backfield. Then again, Amaechi looked good at G-day last year but didn’t do much during the season. Bellamy appears set at the other OLB.

    We look solid at ILB with Patrick, Kimbrough, and R Carter.

    Plenty of bodies as LB backups (Rankin, Taylor, Smith, O’Neal, Amaechi), but has anybody really stood out?