Throw the damned ball to the tight ends, Chaney.

Seth Emerson makes a point about how Georgia’s offense utilized the tight end position this season.

But the tight ends – other than Nauta – were also used less than expected. They combined for 38 catches and 472 receiving yards, which was better than last year (28 catches for 306 yards), but it was mostly Nauta, while Jeb Blazevich saw his catches go from 15 to six, and Jackson Harris didn’t catch any.

The tight ends actually played better: They combined for 38 catches and 472 receiving yards, an improvement over last year. But that was mostly Nauta. The usage of the tight ends, despite a deep unit, was less than expected: Jeb Blazevich went from 15 catches to six, and Jackson Harris from four to zero.

In defense of Jim Chaney (admittedly, words I didn’t think I’d have much need to type this offseason), usage of the tight ends as a group, at least from a percentage of total receptions standpoint, actually increased fairly significantly in 2016 over the previous four seasons, per

  • 2012:  14%
  • 2013:  14%
  • 2014:  14%
  • 2015:  14%
  • 2016:  19%

Nauta’s 29 catches were the most for a Georgia tight end since Arthur Lynch’s 30 in 2013.



Filed under Georgia Football, Stats Geek!

32 responses to “Throw the damned ball to the tight ends, Chaney.

  1. gastr1

    Folks, you’re looking at the tight end of the future right there.


  2. Starbreaker

    I assumed this was due to the fact that (similar to prior years) the TEs were needed to support the OL in blocking and, thus, couldn’t be utilized as much in the passing game. Nauta is (I’m assuming, based on being a frosh) the least proficient blocker and more explosive playmaker, which maybe is why he was able to run routes more often, especially in two TE sets?


  3. lakedawg

    Nauta split out in a receiver slot quite a bit this year also. Still not what was advertised as how many receptions Chaney’s tight ends would get. Did Woerner actually catch one this year?


    • He caught 5:

      Career Highs
      * 1 catch (5x); recent: vs. Auburn, 2016
      * 29 receiving yards vs. Nicholls, 2016
      * 29-yard catch vs. Nicholls, 2016

      2016: Has appeared in 11 games, making two starts…has five catches for 50 yards on the season…made collegiate debut vs. North Carolina, earning a start against the Tar Heels …caught one pass for 11 yards against Florida…caught a 29-yard pass in the Nicholls game…Recipient of the Peter and Kay Amann Football Scholarship.


  4. roswell dawg

    My perception is that the TE position was missing in action this year at critical times, regardless of the statistical increase. My simple mind works like this: We are a run first team. Play action opens up throws to receivers underneath coverage on the weak side. Tight end runs 7 to 10 yard slant and gets the ball delivered as a timing route. One that required the least amount of brain power and release time from the QB. To my observation, we failed to give Eason this option enough of the time. Maybe it was there but I did not even see the tight ends in the game on a lot of downs when it seemed obvious they should be used. But, that is why Chaney gets the big bucks I guess. I would find myself screaming at the screen, “Tight end slant, go to the tight end” to no avail.


  5. Timing is part of it to be sure, as Eason was just late on a ton of throws. Nauta is basically Gronk, we just have to figure out how to use him.

    Blaze? Eh. Seems like he drops a lot of balls thrown his way.


    • Russ

      Nauta and Eason seemed to be the one combination that was in sync (well, Imac too). Apparently those two worked a lot together in the off season (or so Brent told us).


  6. W Cobb Dawg

    Are we counting G-Day in those stats?


  7. paul

    I’m not a Chaney fan at this point. But I think he gets a pass on throwing to the tight ends at least for now. Our blocking was abysmal most of the season. He didn’t have much choice but to keep them in.


  8. DawgPhan

    So flipping through the passing stats, I would have never thought that Eason just posted the worst QB season since before 2008. Joe Cox even finished with a higher QB rating. I really thought that he was doing alright, but he really didnt.

    There were 11 FR QBs that played significant snaps this season. Eason was the 9th best FR QB with only Kansas and BGSU QB’s turning in slightly worse seasons.

    tbh, I am a little surprised by this. I really did think he was doing alright, but damn.


    • Russ

      I’m with you. I don’t think Eason was a problem on our offense regardless of what the stats say, and he’s probably the reason we won in Missouri. For a freshman, he did a great job of protecting the ball. He can (and will) do more to lead the offense, though.


      • Macallanlover

        Eason wasn’t THE problem on offense, but we need more from the QB position to be successful. Some of that was due to his being a freshman, but he has to step it up going forward. His ability to read defenses and find the open guy, and then deliver a consistently, accurate ball is a must. If you are unable to contribute much as a running QB, you need to be damned excellent as a passer.

        I get giving him a slight pass for 2016 but he wasn’t really a true freshman by game 6 and after. Eason was on campus early last January and got substantial attention up to, and into the season with hundreds of live reps. I am not giving up on him, but it is time to evaluate him as a vet, and I think he is behind the curve.


    • David K

      He threw a shitload of incompletions on 3rd and long after we ran for no gain on 1st and 2nd downs.


      • Bulldog Joe

        Many of those incompletions were to our tight ends, which were dropped or thrown behind the receiver.

        We threw to the tight ends much more than the numbers above indicate.


    • roswell dawg

      Seriously, that sucks doesn’t it?


    • W Cobb Dawg

      It should be evident Chaney isn’t up to the task of coaching the QBs AND being OC. It’s not in Chaney’s DNA. Chaney (and I’d add Pittman) top out at about 8 wins – that’s as good as it gets with them. They aren’t the kind of coaches who can handle and overcome adversity, and build winners. Otherwise, they’d have risen to higher places on the coaching totem pole years, no decades, ago.

      A lot of fans would question a decision to make Van Gorder our DC. Yet, he’s about the same age as Chaney and Pittman, but has had far more success as a coach. I’ve said it before, anyone expecting significant improvements on offense in 2017 is going to be disappointed.


      • Chaney seemed to me to be the low risk/reward choice for Kirby. In other words, he might not light up the scoreboard, but also would not produce such an abyssal offense as to bring the locals carrying torches out to Kirby’s door either. This is important for a new program. My wild guess is that once Kirby has his elite defense in place, he will shop around for a higher risk/reward offensive coordinator.


  9. Macallanlover

    I feel we under utilized the position at a time our QB needed a target that could he could find quickly, especially in the Red Zone.

    Also under utilized them on both defending, and throwing, the Hail Mary. Our TEs are among the taller players we have with any concept of how to judge a thrown ball.


  10. Our use of them this season was real Jekyll and Hyde. I know opposing defenses had something to do with it but it seemed like we didn’t even try to use them some games. Then again…we used them a lot in run blocking for our patented run Chubb into the heart of the defense plays.


  11. 202dawg

    Fully expecting Jackson Harris to transfer.


  12. Dolly Llama

    Is it just me, or do those two paragraphs say the exact same thing just worded a bit differently?


  13. Snoop Dawgy Dawg

    Re: your post and Dawgphan’s post, it just felt that Eason was having a better year than he did statistically. He played like an average as grits QB, and I don’t know if that’s even too flattering for him.

    Chaney seemed opposed to offering simple, easy reads, with quick releases to help him. I know I’m condensing a season into a sentence, but it just felt like we either ran it into a stacked box or ran slow developing pass plays all year long. in games where we went away from that, the offense actually seemed to do well. UTk game. 2nd half of TCU. ok, so those are the only two coming to mind.

    Anyway, I don’t think we did Eason any favors this year, but I don’t know that he lived up to expectations as he was making some of the same poor throws in game 13 as he did in game 1.


  14. NoAxeToGrind

    You want Eason to improve, then get rid of Chaney. Maybe even Smart, although I am not advocating any change for this year. Maybe next year for Chaney.You can only be successful with the talent you have. Neither one played Eason to his ability/strengths, nor the OL to their ability/strengths. Plus the OL was not the best. Goes back to the aforementioned two.


  15. TMC DAWG

    There is no imagination on the offense. No separation of receivers in passing game. Play calling sucks. You have to play to teams strength, I did not see any of that this season. Chaney needs to get a lot better of out the door in my book.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. tmflibrarian

    It’s not just you. It looks like Seth wrote the paragraph two different ways then forgot to delete one of them before posting.

    I have a long rant about the end of editing in all forms of publishing, but with news sites, they don’t seem to get that everyone could benefit from editing because then a story might not go up as quickly. This article isn’t “breaking news;” other than having to pay an editor to read it, they’d not have lost money if it went up 20 minutes later than it did, with a more coherent narrative arc.


    • tmflibrarian

      Ugh, this was in reply to Dolly Llama…


      • Dolly Llama

        It’s all good. And I do agree with you about copy editing as a dying art. Seems like they were the first to go when massive layoffs in the newspaper business began — and online, I don’t think many outlets thought to hire them in the first place. It’s a shame, for sure.


  17. PTC DAWG

    So IF you take Nauta, who is a TE, out of the mix, the numbers look bad. I got it.


  18. 69Dawg

    We recruit a QB out of Washington with a cannon arm and now we discover his lack of competition in high school is a problem in the SEC. I’m shocked and appalled. At least Stafford played in Texas and even he had problems his first year. All we really know is the kid’s got an arm that is special. We don’t know from his first season if he is accurate, can read defenses, get under center, or not have happy feet. What could go wrong. He can throw the ball a mile but unfortunately based on his down field passing he can’t seem to get it to the receiver. Lets face it some of his biggest down field throws were only netting 15 years for the penalty on the DB. Later in the year the DC’s knew his accuracy and our WR’s sucked so the pass interference was unnecessary. He did not progress as much as Stafford did at all. He was the same at the end as at the beginning. Coaching maybe but then Jeff George had a big arm too.


  19. What Do I Know? Not Much. What I would do if i was the OC Is:
    Have a standard line up used most of the time. A starting Offense.
    It would always be a two 2 TE set up with a third TE at An H Back.
    The third TE would often be split out as a WR. Plus another WR set
    out on the other side. The QB would NOT be under center: More
    Of a Shotgun set up.Then you also have the starting RB And the
    starting OL. The Dawgs could run or pass in this Line Up anytime.
    Use It all game with Substiyutes in as neede (RB & WR mainly)’
    It seems to me that it would work because You can run any play;
    (Run Or Pass). out of this formation & the D does not know what is
    Coming.You could have 9 players Blocking or up to 5 going out for a pass.