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This is not your father’s offensive line. (If Mark Richt were your father, that is.)

More than anything else that’s gone on with the program in a little over two years, I am absolutely stunned at how fast and how effective the remake of the offensive line has been.  Here’s Anthony Dasher’s take on 2018:

Obviously, nothing is set in stone, but Andrew Thomas at left tackle certainly appears to be about as close to a guarantee as you can get.

The former Pace standout was moved to the left side from right tackle immediately after the national championship, and barring something totally unforeseen, will be the man at the position for the season-opener against Austin Peay.

Gaillard will start for the second straight year at center, with Cleveland expected to hang onto his starting job at right guard.

Left guard will probably be the most interesting position to watch.

Baker did an excellent job last year in his first season as a starter, but if Salyer is as good as we think he is, he’ll be tough to keep off the field.

We’ve mentioned it appears either Wilson or Mays will be the new right tackle for 2018, all but assuring Georgia’s it’s most physically intimidating offensive line as the Bulldogs have had in recent memory.

These are fun times for Pittman.

No kidding.  It’s not just the starting five, it’s the incredible amount of depth Pittman has amassed with these last two classes.  For the first time in… well, what seems like forever, I’m really looking forward to seeing what the second-string o-line brings to the table on G-Day.

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28 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football

28 responses to “This is not your father’s offensive line. (If Mark Richt were your father, that is.)

  1. J-DawG

    Remembering how good Fromm was under pressure last year, imagine how scary good this kid will be with the “Great Wall of Georgia” protecting him.

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    • Reinmart

      Fromm was awesome but I don’t remember him being particularly effective when he got pressure.

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      • Macallanlover

        Depends on how you define “pressure”. No QB is immune to a falloff in success when a defender is smack in their face or prevents them from following through with their delivery, but Fromm was top rated in one of the key measurements of pressure, I think it was 3rd down passing efficiency. He wasn’t Aaron Rodgers good, but he earned more confidence than he was given in 2017 (especially what he did in the 1st half of the MNC title game relative to the 2nd half.)

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      • Hal Welch

        Um… he turned in the 2nd highest passer rating versus pressure in the country???

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Granthams replacement

    Yessir

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  3. Jack Burton

    “what seems like forever”

    Let me rephrase that for you – For the first time EVER.

    Have we ever had enough legitimate scholarship lineman to fill out the 2 deep at every O-Line position?

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    • Gaskilldawg

      Dooley had threat o linemen in the 1970s. Off the top of my head the following were All-Americans when I was a student back then.

      Royce Smith
      Randy Johnson
      Craig Hertwig
      Joel Parrish
      Mike Wilson
      George Collins
      The guy from Rome who played center, his name escapes me. He had a long NFL career with the Colts.

      Johnson, Hertwig, Parrish, and Wilson all were on the 1974 team.
      Steve Wilson made All-SEC.

      I know it is 40 years ago, but those lines were terrific.

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  4. JasonC

    I’m still a bit wary because for the past 15+ years every time the prognosticators hailed UGA’s OL as a strength, they actually turned out to be a weak link. Whether it was injuries, being overrated or whatever, they usually disappointed as a unit. I’m hoping that trend is changing.

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    • Mg4life0331

      Yeah….Thanks a lot bluto. You ruined it for everyone 🙂

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    • charlottedawg

      While this is true and recruiting rankings don’t automatically translate to on field production, I can’t remember a time during the Richt era where we 1) had multiple 5 stars on the o line and 2) said 5 stars barring injury had trouble grabbing a starting spot. In years past a guy like Wilson or Salyer would have been 1)our only 5 star o line signee and 2) would have been immediately pressed into service out of necessity.

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    • Bigshot

      Richt days are over

      Liked by 1 person

    • DawgByte

      Honestly, you shouldn’t be concerned, for one we have one of the best OL coaches in the country on this squad, which we cannot say was the case over the past 15+ years and we are two deep with highly rated players. IF, for some reason this new OL starts off slow, you can bet Pittman will make adjustments. Inserting Big Country into the lineup following the AU game was the right move to make. Also, Baker for Allen was a key change.

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  5. DavetheDawg

    7 Freshman (2 RS), 5 Soph (3 RS), 3 Juniors, 2 Seniors.
    What alternate universe are we living in these days, anyway? The starters are going to be outstanding.
    The “first off the bench” are going to be outstanding.
    These are outstanding times.

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  6. Macallanlover

    The level of talent, and quantity, that has been achieved in two years is stunning. We have had decent OLs at UGA before, but never great. I think what we see at UGA this coming fall, and especially 2019, will allow our offense the chance to move the ball consistently on anyone in the country.

    Our offense in 2018 may not put up Big12, gawdy numbers, but it will allow Kirby to control the game, which seems to be his style, while outscoring teams when needed if the defense takes some time to develop given the numbers of new starters. Just like the defense provided cover for the offense last year, this offense should cover the defense when needed in 2018. I think we will be the best offensive team in the SEC next year because we will be equally dangerous on the ground, and through the air. Hard to believe where we are when the OL was the biggest question mark we faced last August. Fantastic job by this staff.

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  7. DawgByte

    You can add this to the list of analysts who are taking notice of our offensive line: https://www.si.com/college-football/2018/02/13/recruiting-position-rankings-georgia-ohio-state-texas-washington

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  8. Bigshot

    Music to my ears. OL the key to winning football.

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  9. Mark

    Yes these are good times and credit this staff for understanding how football is played. This reminded me of an interesting tribute to Donaldson mentioned on an NFL broadcast the year after he retired. At the end of a 14-15 year career He was The center on the Cowboys early 90s championship teams and he called the OL adjustments at the line of scrimmage. When he retired they turned all adjustments over to Aikman and he started getting pounded.

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  10. Cojones

    This may sound strange, but with the new faces on that line, we have to be patient for their Dawg training to catch on and put them in a place where they can begin to excel. As the season goes on and they get better (2 deep) at each position, they also are coming together as a unit such that they begin to learn the nuances of the man next to them and how he carries out his blocks in each differing situation presented to the O unit as a group and what they all learn are the pleasures of the QB in tight situations.

    They may or may not possibly become what most of us wish in their first year together, but, good God, what will they be in 2019? And 2020? They will be a veteran unit of Bulldog slobberknockers who could let the RBs walk the ball from end zone to end zone. They could take playing “Between the Hedges” back to the earliest rough-house yrs of the sport and just beat the livin’ punk out of the Auburn, FU, and Tenn bunches plus tend to business in any playoff or bowl game they may have earned.

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    • Macallanlover

      Under selling this OL, you may see 1-2 new faces, but it will be because they beat an experienced player out, even if they were not a starter. You are right, they will get better as the year goes along, but will be salty from the start, lots of competition for spots this year. For 2019 and 2020, going to be nasty, no other way to say it. Our offense is set for the next 2-3 years (barring another weird injury season.) Relax on the O, it is solid, save your 2018 concerns for how we replace the defensive studs.

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  11. I’ve said it before, an O-Line like this makes you feel like a golfer hitting a 9 iron into a Par 5. We won a shootout against the best passing offense in the country with our running game. Makes the game so easy.

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  12. Jt (the other one)

    I have NEVER seen this kind of experienced, talented depth at Georgia…much less anywhere outside of recent Alabama teams. IF there is a singular reason to be optimistic this is it.

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