Replacing explosiveness

For all the griping about Jim Chaney’s lack of prowess last season, there was one area of the offense that was an unqualified success:  Isaiah McKenzie, the team’s leading receiver.

The problem for 2017 is that McKenzie is gone and left some big shoes to fill.

McKenzie’s seven touchdown catches were two fewer than the rest of the team combined.

He accounted for eight plays of 25 or more yards in the passing game, more than double anyone else on the team, according to cfbstats.com.

That’s a problem.  Terry Godwin would seem to be an obvious candidate to replace the missing production, but there’s another intriguing name to consider.

Perhaps Michel can be that player out of the backfield or lined up at wide receiver.

He looked the part on a spectacular 33-yard touchdown catch against TCU in the Liberty Bowl.

“He affected that TCU game probably more than anybody, between him and Isaiah (McKenzie),” coach Kirby Smart said. “When you get him the ball in space he tends to make things happen, so finding ways to get Sony the ball and creative ways to use his ability is important for us. He finished off the year really well.”

Michel has five career receiving touchdowns, but that touchdown catch and run in the bowl game was his only score in the passing game last season.

Kirby can pooh-pooh deploying Michel and Chubb at the same time all he wants, but I can see breaking Michel out of that duo in the backfield and motioning him into the slot as being a devastating scenario for opposing defenses to handle.  Eh, a non-arena blogger can dream, can’t he?

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28 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football, Strategery And Mechanics

28 responses to “Replacing explosiveness

  1. 92 grad

    Godwin got my attention right away, seems like he had the freshman magic and then regressed a little as he was pushed to learn new things and had to absorb the bigger picture. I truly hope he settles in and comes back with the ability to use his talent and do his job within the total package.

    But still, have we ever needed an AJ green clone more than we do now?

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    • Brandon

      IMO Godwin was pushed out of where he belongs, which is in the slot, and forced to play outside last year where he is MUCH less effective. Dude’s got skills. He didn’t just forget how to play ball last year. I think he is going to thrive in the IM role.

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    • Every team needs an AJ Green clone. That type of player isn’t a dime a dozen. There’s a reason he is the best ever to play the position at Georgia.

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  2. Jared S.

    A non-arena, non-blogger hear. But I buy in to what you’re saying 100%. Plus, also consider that if you work in Michel at a receiver position from time to time it may also give you more opportunities to work the young backs into the game and get them real playing time. Also valuable.

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  3. DawgPhan

    Get your playmakers the ball in space.

    There really shouldnt be any offensive coaches left in 2017 that dont have that as their guiding principle. Football is now about scoring points for most every team in the country.

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    • BosnianDawg

      Not to be a smart ass, but has it not always been about scoring points? I mean, that’s literally how you win the game, by scoring more points than the opponent.

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      • DawgPhan

        Seems obvious, doesnt it? But folks love to tell you that defense wins championships, that if they dont score you can’t lose and all that but the reality is today’s game is that scoring points is what matters.

        If you asked any of our coaches, do you think anyone of them would say that the #1 guiding principle of their football philosophy was scoring points?

        Or would they tell you about controlling the lines, the ball, the clock, or anything else not called scoring points?

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        • DawgPhan

          Our coaches seem to think that the clock is the most important stat on the scoreboard, not the score.

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          • The idea isn’t to just score it’s to have a higher number when the clock hits 0:00. If you were right then Paul Westhead would be more well thought of than John Wooden and Coach K. And frankly basketball is MORE, not less, fitting for a scoring > defense approach. It just doesn’t work if your goal is to win championships. If your goal is to be relevant and to get the occasional upset, you can approach things that way but ultimately you won’t win titles.

            Having a high scoring offense helps in the following ways:

            1) it makes the opposing offense more predictable if they feel the pressure to score
            2) it gives a defense the opportunity to have a bad day and still get a win

            However, if you can’t control the LOS and burn clock you have a very hard time holding leads even large ones.

            Had Shanahan respected football, they would have kicked the damn ball and won a super bowl. Instead they went with the “aggressive” approach and blew it. Julio Jones should have been the hero. When he made that impossible catch the game should have been over. 3 runs and a kick if you don’t get a first down. Game over. Champions run the ball and respect the clock when they’re supposed to. Losers go for broke no matter the situation.

            Liked by 1 person

  4. Macallanlover

    I hope we overcome that reluctance to use all our weapons on offense. At first glance the “don’t burn opportunities to have either Chubb or Michel on the field every play” comment seems logical but is it really? Wouldn’t several plays a game to really exploit the advantages having both out there at the same time increase your explosiveness? I would put the heat on the DC as much as possible and have confidence that a Herrien/Holyfield/Swift on the field wouldn’t be a huge weakness, certainly not enough to offset the potential gain. I watched the alternating of Chubb and Michel enough last year by Chaney and definitely feel he needs to plow new ground in 2017. Use all your bullets, and be tactically creative in how you do so.

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  5. DoubleDawg1318

    I LOVE when they throw to Sony out of the backfield. Dude is lethal in space. That’s why I think he will be a valuable NFL back. I hope Chaney and Kirby don’t waste him this last year

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  6. W Cobb Dawg

    We’ve been trying to get these undersized playmakers to pan out for years. Sooner or later one of them was gonna break through. Remember Tyson Browning, Carlton Thomas, Bama Adams, to name a few? Frankly, using scatback players on O reminds me of the Jerry Glanville/June Jones run & shoot offenses, and why few teams adopt that approach.

    Imac’s explosiveness bailed out Chaney’s lousy playcalling more than in 2016. But sooner or later you run into the situation we had at Vandy, where our O should be using the bread and butter RB(s). Chaney had the false sense of superiority that this little guy can do the job of a workhorse. It was a gift to coach Mason and MLB Cunningham.

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    • W Cobb Dawg

      Ugh! Correction: Imac’s explosiveness bailed out Chaney’s lousy playcalling more than ONCE in 2016

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      • Lrgk9

        Paraphrasing from the ‘Devil’s Dictionary’

        ARENA, n. In coaching, an imaginary rat-pit in which the head ball coach wrestles with his record.

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  7. Rocket Dawg

    I agree with this 1000%. Having Sony on the field at a position other than RB will put stress on the defense and may make the LB/S a half a step slower to react to the play developing and we all know what happens when you give Chubb a half a step. Not to mention that you set up screens (which have been non existent since Bobo left), jet sweeps, wheel routes etc. to one of the most elusive players on the team.

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  8. Go back and watch the Clemson game in ’14. Sony was in the slot a lot with Gurley at running back. I blame Bobo for giving us this idea.

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  9. Otto

    I have been wanting Sony and Chubb on the field at the same time for a while. Sony can be so versatile. Hopefully 1 of the younger RB could be on the field at the same time with Sony allowing Sony to be moved to the slot as Defensive formations change.

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  10. Otis Day

    Yep put Sony in the slot and then run it up the gut for no gain :). Don’t matter what you do if you have an inexperienced OL or are not playing your best players there…..

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  11. AGAIN; I would like to see Chubb & Michel In the backfield together.
    Also, use a 2 TE Set using Blazevich & Nauta.
    Godwin Or Woerner could be split out.
    Run &/or Pass options to any one of them on any play
    That all makes sense to me. Go For It. I Miss Bobo.

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  12. RugbyDawg79

    We Want Woerner !!!

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    • Macallanlover

      Hope he stays healthy this year, we still need some height at receiver. Looking to see him involved in the offense more in 2018.

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