“The blame falls on all of us.”

Though if you’re Kirby Smart discussing last year’s offense, maybe the blame falls on one person more than any other.

“… We always talk about it. I’m not happy with where we were. Jim’s certainly not either. I can tell you this, his hands were tied at times and we have to do a better job of untying them.”

Smart was asked off air what he meant by Chaney’s hands being tied and he said he was referring to having to break in true freshman Jacob Eason as a starter. Georgia was 97th nationally in passing offense at 193.5 yards per game.

“When you have a true freshman quarterback, your hands are tied a little bit,” he said. “Go ask any offensive coordinator who played with a true freshman quarterback and I think they’ll tell you there’s a limitation there on what you can do. That’s a defense of (Chaney) but that’s also saying that we had a true freshman quarterback. That’s not saying I’m holding him back. When you start a true freshman quarterback there’s things he hasn’t seen before.”

That sound you hear is Jeff Dantzler’s chuckling “I told you so”.

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41 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football

41 responses to ““The blame falls on all of us.”

  1. Didn’t seem to affect Alabama. Junior found what Hurts could do, and Bama rode it to the championship game.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Russ

      USC as well.

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    • TXBaller

      A quick Google search shows two freshmen QBs EVER making it to a championship game….and only one winning. It is then easily summized that a frosh QB is in fact a handicap.

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      • Jeez, I think I would have been satisfied with something in between 8-5 irrelevancy and a national title game last season.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Macallanlover

          +1 There is a subset of UGA fans who are so of this mindset that they are unhappy, and antagonistic if UGA doesn’t win the MNC they don’t enjoy the season. I get shooting for being rated #1 at the end of the season but this “win it all or you fail” thinking ruins discussions of CFB. There are approximately 130 teams in D1 (but only about 30 with any realistic hope of achieving that in any decade, imo) so everyone should walk around with their eyes down if they don’t have that ultimate experience?

          Give me a shot at an SEC title every 2-3 years, and winning a few of those opportunities; I will be happy to play for important post season games after that occurs and be very proud. While you want to be considered one of the best every year, it just isn’t going to happen. Most UGA fans aren’t mad that we didn’t win a title last year, but we are disappointed we looked so weak finishing third. The returning talent and a great recruiting class have us looking/expecting more this season. And that includes improvement at QB and from the OC.

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          • Greg

            Will be happier if we win 10…plus 1 more. Just to show improvement from the previous staff.

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          • Gaskilldawg

            Amen. I suspect I am approximately the same age as you. When I was a young guy falling in love with college football the only real goals our team could accomplish on its own were beating our traditional rivals, winning the conference and/or winning a bowl game. We argued or endorsed the AP and UPI polls as appropriate, but those were subjective. Beat at least 2 of UF, Auburn and Tech and win a bowl, well, it was a good season and we could enjoy it. Win 11, beat UF and Tech and a bowl, such as 1971, that was a season to really enjoy, Win the conference, such as 1976, Great! I bout the commemorative beer stein.

            Now, the silly ESPN College Football Playoff has created a mind set where going 12-1, winning the SEC, but not making the playoffs is considered no better and no more enjoyable than 8-5.
            If UGA is in the playoff I will watch intently, and try to go if a game is in Atlanta, but I have not watched an entire CFP game since it started.

            That “You ain’t first you’re last” shit was something Reese Bobby spurted out when he was high, not some pronouncement from the gods.

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            • NGDAWG

              +1000!!

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            • Macallanlover

              Exactly, and my position about winning the East/SEC has never waivered. If you win the SEC, you are in the conversation about being the best automatically and no committee, poll, or computer can deny your legitimacy.

              I know I am one of the few who doesn’t recognize the MNC winner as the best team in CFB. No system ever devised will guarantee you that, not the Super Bowl, not March Madness, World Series, or the college football playoff. You can be the winner of the tournament, and get a nice trophy, but we will always debate who might have been the best. That happens in every sport, every year, all that varies is the percentage of people who agree, and how many teams are in the discussion. How many really believe Clemson was the best team in the country last year? I suspect a minority of fans nationally, but we all agree they got it done when they were given a chance. And that is good for CFB, we just need one more round to get the conference champs a ticket too the event, imo.

              Win your conference, beat your rivals, and enjoy each season for what it brings you. Moping around because your school doesn’t fit into the new WWL version of what counts in CFB is a mistake. Get to Atlanta, beat the West winner. Anything after that is gravy.

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        • That’s exactly my thought. The embarrassing performances against Nicholls, Ole Miss, Vandy, Florida and Auburn plus the blown end of the tech game. We won 8 in spite of Chaney not because of him.

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      • Ok – I wasn’t expecting a championship. I was expecting an OC who knows what he’s doing. That was a bigger handicap than the QB.

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      • PTC DAWG

        Can’t be. It’s all the OC’s fault…we all know that. 🙂

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      • ugadawgguy

        “Summized” FTW.

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    • Griff

      I watched several of the Tides games last year. At Times, Hurts was erratic in the passing game; however, his athletic ability aided him and Alabama greatly. The Tide’s offensive line was one of the best while the Dawg’s was one of, if not, the worst I’ve seen in many, many years. In addition, Eason, unfortunately, didn’t play against top competition in high school. That’s not Eason’s fault. It is however the reality. The offensive line and QB play should both improve immensely this season.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Granthams replacement

      Alabama recruited offensive lineman that could block for years vs what Kirby inherited.

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    • the other 21 starters had nothing to do with it huh? not to mention all the 2nd and 3rd string 5 stars…..smh

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      • The question is whether you can be successful with a freshman QB. The answer is yes with a good supporting cast and taking advantage of the QB’s strengths. Junior did that … Chaney? Not so much. Smh

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        • PTC DAWG

          Actually the answer is rarely…

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        • McTyre

          You glossed over the supporting cast and QB strengths parts. Worst OL in the SEC and marginal WR corps. Eason’s strengths last year were fairly limited and running his HS offense wouldn’t have been feasible with pass blocking and that WRcorps. Kirby appeared to have affected things as well with his early insistence that we run a smashmouth offense with a small OL and lack of a passing game to deter Ds loading the box. rarely are things as simple as the fantasy FB folk in the stands think them to be. If our O doesn’t markedly improve in Year 2, then Chaney and Eason – and Kirby – would be due some serious 2nd-guessing.

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          • Eason has as high of an upside as Hurts. The one game where we spread the field was the Tennessee game. It was the only game where we had to use Kirby’s word, “balance.” We ran the ball successfully and threw it well. The next week we were right back to the “do no harm and everyone knew what was coming” offense against Vandy.

            I don’t discount the offensive line deficiencies. I think the WR issue is another red herring to distract from the offensive game planning and the in-game decision making.

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            • Macallanlover

              While I feel the OL will be better (very few whiffs), they are good enough to opena few holes against the defenses we will face. Not dominant, but just not getting the RBs hit within a nano second of getting their hands on it will be a nice step forward. That is why I am cautiously optimistic we will take a nice step forward on offense, especially when you add this: we will be much better at receiver in 2017. We do not have an AJ like talent but we have some height, speed, and depth that we have been lacking. Enough options to make it impossible to focus and double on what we have on the field, at WR, Slot, and TE.

              Now if we just have a QB that can deliver the mail, our passing game can be really good if the defenses stack the box, and it they don’t, our RBs 1-5 are the best in the country. Watch out for Swift, he is very special with both speed and power, he could easily be the #3 this season.

              Liked by 1 person

    • Hillbilly Dawg

      Just a fwiw, but Bama had a pretty good offensive line. We had a grad transfer from a third tier, minimum wage, left tackle from northeast Podunk University.

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      • Yes, Bama had a better offensive line. They also had a better offensive coordinator by a mile. Kirby among other SEC schools (the Barn for one) recruited that guy. Guess what? That guy from Podunk U is in the Redskins’ camp now.

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        • PTC DAWG

          He might make a decent guard

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        • Doggoned

          They’re trying to make Catalina a guard, which I wish we’d had the luxury of doing. Nobody in the NFL thinks he would have a gnat’s chance as an OT trying to block a pro-level speed rusher. Hope he makes it.

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    • 69Dawg

      We’re not USC and we’re sure not Alabama. The surrounding cast has a lot to do with it. And for the 100th time I will point out that the shitty offense had us in a position to win UT, Vandy and GT but the special teams and the defense rolled over

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Greg

    “Chaney’s hands being tied” ……Thinks it is mostly Smart who is holding back Cheney.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Dylan Dreyer's Booty

      Maybe. The situation at the beginning of the season was that we had a freshman QB who has clear physical gifts (size, arm), but who did not play against the type of competition in HS that he would face in college any where and especially the SEC. Plus, you had a bad O-line. Plus, your receivers while not terrible (hell, the TEs may be the best set in the country) were also not AJ Green caliber. It was a tough situation, and I am sure CKS thought they should dumb down the offense while JE gets his feet wet. We looked good against NC, because they steadfastly refused to stop the run first – I guess because they were more determined to keep JE from torching them. But the rest of the year was ups and downs while trying to figure things out, including Kirby.

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  3. W Cobb Dawg

    ‘Chaney’s hands were tied.’ I think Kirby was referring to Chaney setting a new record at the county fair’s pie eating contest.

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  4. Junkyardawg41

    I don’t buy what they are selling for one moment. Lambert with all his issues showed he can master a playbook and put the offense in the right play. Eason with all his limitations could not. I do buy more and more into the concept of last year being a throwaway year. Is Eason’s upside far and away better than Lambert? Yep. Having said that, if Lambert is in the game, I don’t think we have a close call with Nichols State or losses to Vandy and GT. On the flip side, I don’t think we would have been competitive with MIZ or TN. My point isn’t to downgrade either QB but to point out if you excuse is you had a freshman QB, color me not convinced. Also, how to explain the conversation Sony and Chubb had to have with Chaney to get more carries, bad o line or not. (O line played poorly but I contend that was a reflection of offensive design versus horrible talent).

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  5. Bright Idea

    I’m not sure that Kirby trusts any players yet, not just the freshman QB. That’s is an area he will have to grow the most in, coach Sunday thru Friday and let the players play on Saturday.

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  6. HVL Dawg

    Except that we had a 6th year Senior quarterback who won 10 games the previous year.

    Throwaway season. What’s our new phrase? Voluntary rebuilding?

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  7. 69Dawg

    In the UNC game we had one advantage at QB, UNC did not know which one our 1st year coach would use. We then further confused them by starting Lambert then pulling him. After the rest of CFB saw Eason it was all over. With a 14% completion rate for passes over 20 yards all the DC’s said screw it and stacked the box. We then found out that even a FCS team can stop our two great QB’s when the HC & OC tried to run against 8 & 9 in the box. Chaney did not make the call of who the QB was going to be, anyone who thinks that is very naïve. It was a throw away year for Kirby from an offensive point of view. I was just surprised that a defense that had enough talent for Pruitt would look so bad under Kirby/Tucker. Great coaches who don’t have a scheme are coaches that can win by building a scheme around the players they have. Kirby has never had to do that in his career. I’m sure when we get the kind of talent that approaches what he is used to we win beat all the SEC teams except UF and Alabama. UF because Mc has shown he can win even without a QB and Alabama because as long as Saban is there he’s not going to lose to any of his former assistants.

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    • Russ

      The consistent choice to try to run between the tackles when it was shown we couldn’t was what pissed me off. Better accuracy by Eason wasn’t the only way to combat that. Once we finally decided to run wide, the field opened up all over. See the second half of the bowl game for a prime example, or the Tennessee game for another.

      A good coach uses what he has.

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    • Southernlawyer11

      “when we get the kind of talent that approaches what he is used to”

      I have so many problems with this statement, it’s hard to know where to start. And I’m not picking on you, this is the common sentiment that has permeated our program since the day Kirby Smart was hired. You get an average of 1.5 recruiting classes on hype alone. Kirby can eventually coast on talent like Saban has been doing for a while. But he’s going to have to coach his a** off for 2 years (2017 and 2018) for that to become a reality.

      “The Process” needs about a 2 yr window of overachieving coaching before you can turn on the autopilot.

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