Kirby Smart’s chicken soup for the Bulldog soul

Damn, do I love hearing this.

“The biggest goal coming into camp was to improve third-down play defensively and offensively. A big part of that offensively is the vertical passing game so we’ve tried to focus on that with drills and situations in practices and scrimmages,” Smart said.

Amen, brother.  I like this kind of talk, too.

“To be honest, I’ve seen Terry up and down,” Smart said after Tuesday’s practice, when asked assess Godwin’s camp. “I know the athlete that Terry is, I know the athlete that Terry can be. But Terry needs to get a little more consistency. And I tell him that every day.”

“He has to block with the same vigor that he runs a route with,” Smart said.

Now, Emerson’s right when he goes on to observe that Godwin’s size likely precludes him from being a dominant blocker, but he’s also right to point out that Malcolm Mitchell, also not a large receiver, was Georgia’s best blocking receiver last year.

Frankly, I thought the decline in downfield blocking from the receiving corps was an under-acknowledged deficiency last season that contributed to the offensive constipation we saw frequently.  Losing Bennett and Conley hurt a lot in that department.  Fix that to any extent, and you likely have a big impact on Georgia’s third-down efficiency.  As a bonus, you also free up the tight ends to have more involvement in the receiving game.

Let’s hope Kirby can translate talk into action.


Filed under Georgia Football, Strategery And Mechanics

52 responses to “Kirby Smart’s chicken soup for the Bulldog soul

  1. Timphd

    Love the focus on details and the willingness to call out players and challenge them to be better. Hope that translates to on field production. One can hope.

  2. MGW

    Hoo boy could Bennett and Conley block! Miss those guys.

  3. sectionzalum

    Malcolm last year reminded me of Hines Ward with his blocking…

  4. The Senator’s last graf is something my friends and I talked about a lot last year. The WR blocking was nothing short of abysmal last year. I don’t know how many times I saw a 2-on-1 outside screen blown up because the lead blocker just whiffed.

    • Greg

      Good observation….also, the WR smallest size allowed them to get jammed on the LOS more than I could ever remember. It seemed liked they never got any seperation from the defender/defenders once they did. Consequently, that is why Lambert looked to hold the ball too long IMO. We have a little more size this year, I believe that will make a difference. I would love to see us spread/flex Woerner out….he would be hell to cover IMO. Tough matchup for a backer of DB.


    Our team has been weak for years…that is going to change.

  6. Dave

    Of course, everybody bitched when Richt would be reluctant to play the next hotshot WR because he couldn’t block worth a lick, but that’s none of my business.

    But, yes, all those guys need to be able to block at least adequately, especially if we’re going to ride our running backs for a while.

    • Greg

      “Gotta put a hat on a hat”.

    • PTC DAWG

      I complained when we won no games of consequence the last 10 years.

      • Dave

        As did I eventually. Just love how everybody is on the WR blocking train now, but dumped all over Richt for stressing its importance. Disclaimer: If you think I’m some sort of Richt defender or apologist, you’re barking up the wrong tree.

      • Your handle should be PTC Dawggrader. I’m not a CMR apologist either, but “no games of consequence the last 10 years” is a little harsh. I guess all of the wins we had over TN, AU, and FU the last 10 years were because they all sucked those years. 2012 wasn’t a bad year at all.

        • DawgPhan

          I dont know how anyone could be a UGA fan for more than a few years and act like owning UT and Auburn are basically meaningless.

          We never beat UT like CMR beat UT. That’s big. It’s a big game every year.

        • Jared S.

          “No games of consequence” is an incredible statement.
          I guess his definition of the term is only those games which would have won us an SECCG or NC. Which is understandable. I get that some people think that way. I, like you however, consider any game against TN, AU, FU to be games of consequence every year.

          I also basically consider any game against a ranked opponent – regardless division or conference – to be a “game of consequence”. So using that measuring stick, here are the games of consequence we won, in my book, over the last ten years:

          2006 (9-4)
          #5 Auburn
          #16 GATech
          #14 VATech (Chic-Fil-A Bowl)

          2007 (11-2)
          #9 Florida
          #18 Auburn
          #22 Kentucky
          #10 Hawaii (Sugar Bowl)

          2008 (10-3)
          #11 LSU
          #19 Michigan State (Citrus Bowl)

          2009 (8-5)
          #7 GATech

          2010 (6-7)
          … got me here

          2011 (10-4)
          #20 Auburn
          #25 GATech

          2012 (12-2)
          #3 Florida
          #23 Nebraska (Citrus Bowl)

          2013 (8-5)
          #6 South Carolina
          #6 LSU

          2014 (10-3)
          #16 Clemson
          #23 Mizzou
          #16 GATech
          #20 Louisville (Belk Bowl)

          2015 (10-3)
          ….again nothing here.

          There are twenty wins in total. So, we averaged two wins over a ranked opponent per year over the last ten years.

          Maybe I’m just a moron, but I think that’s impressive.

          • Will (The Other One)

            I mean, I’d love to change the results of the 2014 Tech game too, but that one doesn’t count in the win column. (Now beating a top 15 Auburn team and holding them to 7 points…)

      • lakedawg

        Is this guy really JC IN DISGUISE. By the way he has not shown up since getting called out couple days ago.

  7. ApalachDawg

    At what point do we move on?
    Does it take a year?
    Does it take one game?
    Does it take a SEC East title?
    Does it take a season without a brain phart?

    • Everybody brain farts, so not that.

    • paul

      My guess is it takes an entire season without a face plant, without a game where we don’t seem prepared and don’t know what to do. It will also help if we have an entire season of actual halftime adjustments that are noticeable and effective. At least that’s a couple of the primary things I’m looking for.

      • Cojones

        Then you have just said, in effect, that we should win them all because of our weak schedule.

        • paul

          No I don’t think we should win them all. In fact, I’m completely okay with losses as long as we hustle, play competitively, appear prepared and make adjustments. That’s primarily what I want to see. You can do all that and still lose. Heck, you can do all that and lose three or four games a year. Especially in the SEC. I guess this is simply another way of expressing what a lot of other people have referred to as “attention to detail.”

      • Will (The Other One)

        How long did it take Clemson to no longer be considered a threat to “Clemson”?

    • stoopnagle

      Well, you’ve got the added fun of how Richt does at Miami. Georgia fandom is going to be so much fun if we win 7 or 8 but the Canes go to the ACC championship game.

      I can’t wait for football to get going so we have something to talk about.

    • stoopnagle

      I forgot to add:

      Beat the ever living shit out of Florida.

      If we do that, I think everyone will move on.

  8. Charles

    Kirby Smart is very impressive in how he speaks and what he says. I’m relatively young and haven’t even followed this game my whole life. How often are coaches who sound this good failures? How often do coaches sound this good? I know talk is cheap, but the strategy he’s working, we can see in large part – with hiring staff, recruiting, whipping up the fans, managing personnel, prioritizing offensive linemen – it’s hard for me to imagine this guy being a failure for more than a short while. Unless he panics under adversity, can’t control his temper, loses his players’ respect, or has some other Achilles’ heel, we may have an effective ballcoach on our hands.

  9. W Cobb Dawg

    Our third down conversion rate wasn’t poor because Godwin didn’t block well. Seems to me our WRs were running 3 yard routes when we needed 5 yards for a first down.

    Our O was handicapped last year because Lambert had no long passing game, and a very limited intermediate passing game. Add to that an ultraconservative offensive coaching mindset.

    On D we gave up third down conversions because that’s part and parcel of the bend-but-don’t-break philosophy. It was done intentionally to reduce the number of big plays. In contrast to the O, the D approach was effective for the most part. The O strategy definitely needs changing. I’m somewhat worried about abandoning the D strategy, as I’m not sure what it will be replaced with.

  10. I wonder how Javon Wims is doing. Is he big enough?

    • dawgtired

      The news on Wims is silent like that of Tae. Too quiet to be good. He has the size, 6-4, 215 I think.

      • I agree. I ‘d like to hear more positive comments coming from the staff about Wims, but that may not happen. I don’t why, but we never have had much luck with JUCO transfer players. Wims could turn out to be flop like Rumph. but hopefully once the QB situation is settled, he’ll get some opportunities and come through for us after all. I’m hopeful.

        • Cojones

          I’m sure that I read of them in the mix with an upward connotation. Could have been Smart or one other coach or both.

        • W Cobb Dawg

          Agree, not many JUCOs have contributed lately. There was a time when we had terrific JUCO players. Kendrell Bell, Jamie Henderson, Corvey Irvin, and Jarius Wynn come to mind.

          • jntiii

            John Jenkins, but I seem to recall it took him a while to adjust to the SEC level of play. Am I remembering that right?

  11. I just read a piece by one of the guys at BI that suggested that Eason would be taking snaps with #1’s the rest of this week because the staff “knows what it has in Lambert and Ramsey”, and wants to “see what they have in Eason”.
    I’ll tell you what they have in Lambert…nothing. Game experience? So what.
    His flaws are obvious to everyone. He is not a play maker, at all.
    Ramsey? Plenty of chances, with the exception of Aaron Murray’s last year, to grab the starting job since his arrival here. Didn’t or couldn’t.
    Oh, and he still has that little problem in real games where he tends to blow it each time he is given an opportunity to show what he can do.
    Coaching staff’s fault? His fault? I don’t know, but with the exception of mop-up duty in the Belk Bowl, he has failed miserably in his attempts to seize the day.
    We need a compliment to the likes of Nick Chubb. A guy that can change the game, flip the momentum in our favor, and silence an opponent’s crowd with big time play. A guy that can roll left, stop and throw a laser back to Javon Wims or Michael Chigbu streaking down the right sideline or drop a perfectly thrown 50 yard pass right in the arms of a waiting Terry Godwin, Riley Ridley, or Reggie Davis. A guy that can actually scramble a little when the pocket breaks down.
    Anybody really think that Lambert or even Ramsey is that guy? Not me.
    The only negatives in Eason’s column are his youth and inexperience.
    All the other tools needed for him to be successful? He’s got ’em in spades.
    Don’t mistake my enthusiastic fervor for overly confident belief that Eason is the answer to our collective dreams of another, long awaited national title. I believe he will have a hell of a fight on his hands to keep the starting job next year, when he has to compete with another highly ranked gunslinger in Jake Fromm.
    But for this year, spoon feed him a little more each week and let him play.
    I think he is going to do great once he gets comfortable.
    Even though he’s a freshman, and will have to learn under fire, I think he can handle it. He is absolutely a better option than any of the others, I can promise you that.
    Go Dawgs!

    • Calidawg

      “The only negatives in Eason’s column are his youth and inexperience.”

      Oh just that you say? Then we should be fine.

      • Simply meant Eason is more physically gifted and more talented than the other two, that’s all. Lambert is not a play-maker and doesn’t have the ability to be a game changer. If he did, he would have shown it last season. He didn’t.
        Ramsey has failed to deliver every time he’s had an opportunity. Is his performance going to all of sudden improve by leaps and bounds? Possibly, but highly doubtful.
        There will be a trial by fire with young Mr. Eason, but I think he’s the real deal and will be an exciting addition to our team.

    • Ramsey was given one spring to win the job. Then Richt & Schottenheimer decided to court a graduate transfer.

      I don’t know who the best option for us to win this year is, but those who think Eason is going to take us to Atlanta as a freshman are going to be in for a disappointment. He’s going to be a fantastic player, but I just don’t want to put those expectations on a guy who was in high school 9 months ago.

      • 100% in agreement, my friend. But you’re wrong about Ramsey. He’s had way more opportunities than that. He’s a red-shirt junior, so he wasn’t going to play in 2013 anyway. But he’s had a spring and fall camp in ’14, ’15 and again this year…and he hasn’t done anything to show ANY staff that he’s the man.
        It’s pretty obvious to me and a boatload of others that he definitely is not.
        As far as anyone taking this team to Atlanta this year…I would LOVE to see that happen…but we have waaay too many unanswered questions about this team, and too many holes to fill, in addition to who our quarterback is going to be, for us to be thinking about the SECCG. With that said, which quarterback possesses the talent and skills necessary to win the most games and absolutely electrify the crowd every Saturday this season? Make us salivate over the possibilities when CKS has all the right support elements in place to surround him?
        Who is the QB of the future for this football team?
        Well, while Jake Fromm might have something to say about all this eventually, right now that QB’s name is… E-A-S-O-N.

        • But he’s had a spring and fall camp in ’14, ’15 and again this year…and he hasn’t done anything to show ANY staff that he’s the man.

          So why does he appear to be in the mix right now?

        • Spring ’14? Wasn’t going to happen. Richt and Bobo made it clear Hutson Mason had a hammerlock and a virtual guarantee of the starting job. Ramsey acquitted himself fairly well in the mop-up duty opportunities he was given.

          Spring ’15? No one really knows what opportunity Schottenheimer gave to Ramsey to win the job. It was clear that the OC and QB coach didn’t like something about Ramsey because they immediately started looking at transfers after spring practice.

          Spring ’16? Smart and Chaney seemed to see something. Possibly, it was a pretty darn good performance in front of 93,000 (I’m not one to make a decision off the G-Day game). Maybe, the light has come on, and he is benefiting from a 2nd look of new coaches.

          Mike Bobo’s departure changed the whole outlook and opportunity for Ramsey from January 2015 forward.

          Smart should play the QB that will “absolutely electrify the crowd every Saturday this season”? Kirby has already said that isn’t going to happen.

          • I said “electrify”, not satisfy.
            And do you want to know what the staff didn’t like about him? The lack of progress in his development. He probably practices well, as the G-Day game this year would indicate. Game days are obviously different for him because he goes from solid to average inexplicably.
            Why is that?

            • Maybe because he was thrown into the Alabama game when it was already out of hand in the rain and he made a mistake and threw the pick. I don’t know who gives us the best chance to win now, and I’ll bet you don’t either.

  12. Juan

    I’ve been thinking Godwin is going to be left in the dust this year. His lack of physicality will cost him…plus the fact that he’s just not that impressive.

    Stanley, Chigbu, Wims, Ridley, McKenzie and Simmons should be able to provide speed, size and the physicality we need. Godwin better put on 25lbs fast or he’ll be one of those January transfers in 2017.

    I love our WR Corp btw.

    • Terry Godwin is 5-11 / 185.

      Tyler Simmons is 5-11 / 184.

      McKenzie is smaller and lighter than both of them.

      I’m not getting your point, evidently.

    • BTW, as far as Godwin not being that impressive, welp

      • Don’t let the facts get in the way of a commenter who just like to bitch about everything about our football program.

        • Cojones

          Yeah. Just a little suspicious when he talks Simmons up and doesn’t know shit about Godwin. Juan seems to float a few fast ones by now and then to let you know he still doesn’t know shit about the team or the players.

          Que paso, hombre?

    • Which Godwin are you referring to that you think isn’t that impressive? You mean the former 5 star…the Tax Slayer Bowl MVP?…UGA’s leading receiver coming back this year? The one that catches almost everything throw his way? That Godwin?
      The Godwin you say isn’t physical enough, as compared to others that should be able to provide more size and physicality, like Isaiah Mckenzie? All 5’7″ and 160 pounds of him?
      That Godwin?
      C’mon, dude.

  13. MLB2

    We missed some big opportunities last season because Godwin was blocking for MM on wideout screens. I screamed for Schotty to reverse their roles on several occasions. MM was a great blocker.

  14. WR blocking is about getting after it and wanting to. MM wasn’t the biggest guy, but he would get in a DB’s grill and show he was the stronger man pound for pound. If Coley can teach Godwin that, he’ll be fine.