This is, I think, a fair observation.
… it also frees up Chaney to be more of what is known as a “walk-around offensive coordinator.” In other words, while he’s overseeing the tight ends, his focus remains mainly on the overall offense and all aspects of it. So he’ll still have the last word on what the offense looks like, what the strategy is and, yes, what plays are called.
It’s really on the latter responsibility that Chaney has attracted the most criticism from Georgia fans. Some of that is fair and some of it is not. Certainly he’s been known to call more inside dives than we think he should. But play callers are only as good as the players executing those calls. And Chaney has been through two seasons now of having to break in a freshman at quarterback and one of having to overcome substandard play on the line.
It came in response to a question about whether this would be the year that Georgia opens up the offense. As someone who’s sat in the stands for decades and heard my fair share of fans basically complain about any single play call that doesn’t result in an immediate touchdown, I can’t say that query comes as a particular surprise. Nor am I trying to defend Jim Chaney’s playcalling as immaculate. But let’s slow down a little bit here.
Consider the following stats from the 2017 Georgia offense:
- Yards per play: 3rd in the conference, at 6.7
- Scoring: 3rd in the conference, at 35.4 ppg
- Scrimmage plays of 20+ yards: 89, 1st in the conference
That looks pretty opened up to me, but, eh, what do I know?
And again, that’s with a true freshman quarterback who was thrust into the role unexpectedly and an offensive line that took a while to find some traction.
I suppose the bitching here boils down to wanting to see more deep passing, but, seriously, if you were Georgia’s offensive coordinator with the running backs and the receivers you had at your disposal to deploy, what would you have done differently?
Now 2018 looks to have a different set of variables in play — an experienced Jake Fromm, what should be an improved offensive line, the departure of Chubb and Michel, for starters — so it’s not unreasonable to expect Chaney’s playcalling to vary somewhat, at least within the confines of what Smart wants. As long as they’re at least hitting the statistical marks last year’s offense did, does it really matter how they get there?
Maybe next year’s QOTD will be wondering if 2019 will be the year Chaney lets the running backs have the ball more.
36 responses to “Life in the post-I blame Bobo era”
Agree with your thoughts with one exception that I remain unconvinced about. Tight ends. Either our guys suck and can’t get open, or we are missing the opportunity to add an important variable to our offense, notwithstanding all the other positives you mentioned. I don’t think our guys suck and I think we are missing the boat in that area. Go Dawgs. Tech Sucks. Florida reeks. And I hate Auburn and their fans more than anything.
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One other possibility: last year, the TEs were more valuable as blockers than they were in the passing game and that’s where the emphasis fell.
I also think Fromm preferred throwing to the outside more than up the seam or over the middle, typically where TEs make their money.
That’s a good point, bur I do think it was more about the TEs being needed in the blocking scheme. No excuse this year for that, it just may be Fromm being more comfortable with the outside.
Yeah, the only big gainers up the middle I remember from ’17 were straight running plays.
If #27 is averaging 6 and #1 is averaging 8 (or vice- versa) and I’m faced with a 2nd and 8, 3rd and 6 type situation? My tight end will be blocking. If the O-line and backs are close to as good as we think they will be my bet is we see more of the same. Chaney’s offense ground just about every defense it faced into powder and was off the field by early 4th quarter.
What do y’all think the scores and stats would have looked like had he not take his foot off the gas?
Damn, I can’t wait! Go Dawgs!
What do I think about taking the foot off the gas? I don’t think it would have impacted any game other than the MNC game. We did the same thing OU did against us, and both lost because of it.
I think we may need to be more aggressive on offense this season as our defense is unproven in multiple areas. Hopefully, they earn some trust by late season when we will need them to be ready.
Agree…..biggest reason we lost that game.
Apology’s, allow me to clarify:
(1) Being up 31-3 at the end of the third v MSU and the 2nd and third string plays the 4th. What do you think the final score would have been had we left the starters in on a worn out defense? What do you think Nick and Sony’s total yards would have been with three more drives?
(2) Being up 31-0 at the end of the third against UT, 2nd and third string scores 10 in the fourth. What would the final score have been had the first string continued through the fourth?
(3) Up 35-0 at the end of the third against UF …………
That’s what I meant by taking the foot off the gas. Man what delicious memories those are. 🙂
Yes they are. I am all for allowing reserves to get a chance to run the offense when we are up like that, my concern is playing so conservatively when we are up by less than 2-3 scores (that doesn’t mean running the hurry up, or trick plays, but keep pushing with what has been working.) Next season, I hope when we build large leads and let the backups play, including Fields, they don’t just come in and run dive plays into the middle.
It’s like in business where people get obsessed with meeting process measures instead of outcome measures.
The point of an offense is to score not get tight ends the ball. The point of the offense is to score not get wide receivers the ball. The point of an offense is to score not be balanced be for balanced sake.
Our offense scored enough to win every game except Auburn 1.0: in my mind it was an unmitigated success given the personnel issues at WR, OL, and QB
Tough to argue with any of that. I do think there is a bit of justification to the superfan being worried about balance / weapon deployment in the context of preparing the team for the opponent that continues to punch back and won’t go down.
The feeling of having your offense bottled up with zero solutions (Auburn 1) was a worse experience for me than the first half of the Rose Bowl blitzkrieg………not apples to apples per se because it was arguably the attempt at balance that got us into that track meet to begin with when it was pretty clear we could bowl right over oklahoma. I do think to win the whole thing you’re going to encounter a couple teams where you will need infantry, calvalry and air support to come out on top.
Which catches would you have taken away from Wims, or Godwin, or Hardman or Ridley to instead distribute to a tight end?
There are only a finite numbers of plays per game, especially when a long TD run such as Michel against Florida and Vandy or Oklahoma or as Chubb against Oklahoma or Swift in the SEC CG reduces the number of plays required to otherwise cover the yardage of the long run.
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Chaney is calling plays, players are executing. It is a joint effort and not all on Chaney. Fans that criticize the play calling on offense and defense, go coach little league and call the plays. Easy as can be.
Cant argue with the record last year, damn good year.
“As someone who’s sat in the stands for decades and heard my fair share of fans basically complain about any single play call that doesn’t result in an immediate touchdown”……That’s hyperbole. But maybe not! I’ve heard someone bitch after a touchdown pass because the ball wasn’t thrown to a different receiver that “was more open”.
I went to a game in Lincoln in the last year of Bill Callahan’s tenure. It was against Kansas State and they (NEB) won the game 73-31. The first play of a particular drive saw NEB throw a 9-yard out and the old man behind me was apoplectic that they weren’t running the ball. Again… the play was a 9-yard gain setting up 2nd and 1.
Fans are weird.
Ha, he really should’ve been apoplectic over ’07 Nebraska’s Willie-Martinez-On-Red-Bull defense.
Biggest ? about playcalling has been inability (or refusal) to adapt and adjust in the face of real time adversity. Saw it as recent as the Auburn game in November.
I want an efficient offense and UGA was one of the most efficient in the nation a year ago. But chicks dig the long ball, I guess.
I am glad you brought up Bobo in your title. His first full year calling plays was atrocious. Then, add a new o line coach, some of his players and he as calling great games. I was one who was very frustrated with Bobo early on and then became a fan. I banged on Chaney the first year but not as much as I did Bobo. Learned my lesson. Chaney might not be super innovative and maybe that’s a good thing. Consistent messaging, consistent coaching, and simplicity soured seems to work for us last year and I think it will continue to be productive.
Simply put Chaney is a meat and potatoes coach. With the athletes we are stockpiling imposing our will will become more the norm saving our wrinkles for off days and big games.
I am still glad Bobo isn’t calling plays, and I also understood Chaney, Pitman, Smart were changing the culture and style of UGA football. Yes I did have a few moments where I questioned the personnel used but the 1st year was a pass. Last year was the best year for an OC since Richt was calling plays.
Also bluntly and having family that has been in game planning meetings for an SEC team most OCs aren’t geniuses, it is often a numbers game and reading position of players as to what is called. However, that does not mean fans can call a game by just watching on Saturdays and then tuning into a few blogs.
Last year was a great year in so many ways, but the end of the Bobo era were off the charts good when you look at how prolific and efficient we were…. and that was with OL deficiencies. Give credit where credit is due, Bobo learned his job responsibilities well. Hus HCing stripes are there yet, but the guy would be welcome most anywhere as an OC.
Senator, your comment about fans complaining about any call that basically doesn’t result in a touchdown is, I think, the single most relevant comment of this blog.
If I had a nickel for every time I heard, “Why would you call that?!” or something to that effect, I’d have $42,687.30.
Not that every play call is smart, but I wish a coach that is no longer an OC would sit down and explain every play of a particular game, and why it was called. It would likely make us average fans’ heads spin.
Or, perhaps they would be revealed as complete posers.
No, it’s not so simple that we need to throw deep more often. We obviously need to throw deep more often TO THE TIGHT ENDS!! Come on, are you Bobo or something??
Going out and throwing the ball 50 times a game with Chubb, Michel, et al in the backfield and true freshmen at quarterback the last two years would have been nothing short of malpractice. I enjoyed watching our offense last year. I’m sure the ball will be in the air more in the coming seasons, but Georgia’s strength is still at the running back position. We’re going to be a run based team again this year.
As long as every possession ends in a touchdown and two-point conversion, you won’t hear much complaining about the play calling from me.
I would agree that UGA was pretty wide open on offense last year. They hit a lot of big plays all year on offense. They were very good on 3rd down.
They had 5 games above the 90th percentile and you have to go back to 2015 to find the next previous one.
Georgia needs to reduce the number of plays that dont gain any yards.
I dont think you get there by throwing deep. But short yardage also doesnt just mean running the ball.
I pounded Chaney his first year because I thought he did a terrible job of working with the talent he had … culminating in the toss sweep on 4th and 1 to IMac against Vandy and his handling of the last half of the 4th quarter against tech. He did a good job last year especially dealing with Fromm, but anyone who thinks he deserved anything but a swift kick in the @$$ after 2016 suffers from Bobo Derangement Syndrome.
Meh…I could have done better. 😉
In all seriousness, success is not a shield from constructive criticism. Think Chaney would like to re-think some of his 2nd half play-calling in the MNC?
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Chaney runs the offense his boss wants him to run. We can quibble over specific playcalls – there were a few in ’16 that I wanted nuked from orbit – but the scheme and philosophy are Kirby’s.
Its a very foreign thing for us Georgia fans not to really have anything to complain about with the team or coaches. These are very difficult times for some people.
Amen Senator. I thought Chaney did a good job last year. A-
The fans you referred to is what makes me cringe. The constant moaning during a game ruins it for anyone near earshot. The game is 4 quarters, and much of it is a chess game. You have to keep the defense honest, wear them down, and not beat yourself.
The worst fans are those that bitch about calling a run play on 3rd and 18 inside your own 30. If you don’t understand why that play was called, then get the hell away from me.
The modern substitute for the old quick kick ? Kills me when I hear the whining. Particularly when the 3rd and long is the result of 2 blown up plays and/or shitty decisions by the quarterback.
“Consider the following stats from the 2017 Georgia offense:
Yards per play: 3rd in the conference, at 6.7
Scoring: 3rd in the conference, at 35.4 ppg
Scrimmage plays of 20+ yards: 89, 1st in the conference
That looks pretty opened up to me, but, eh, what do I know?”
Only the third stats suggests the possible outcome of an “open attack”. Stats that would suggest an open offense would be things like number of throws on on 1st down and the total number of pass plays versus run. People who are looking for a more offense want Chaney to throw the ball.
Personally, I’m less concerned about pass vs run stats and more interested in results. I want to win! Last years offense checked off the winning box.
Actually to me, it doesn’t. What it really boils down to and what frustrated me was the hardheaded stubbornness that continued to stick to certain types of places particularly those inside dives and traps when it was more than obvious they were not working. The Auburn game this past season comes to mind. Then suddenly he became a genius in the SEC championship game and started calling things of tackle and all of a sudden it all worked. My question is why were those plays not in the play book for the Auburn game the first time around. I think the plays were there I just think for some reason he had a hard headedness about moving to them. That’s water under the bridge now. It’s really hard to argue that he has not done a great job developing the office in the sun with those young quarterbacks. He has done a tremendous job with that. I would just like to see the stubbornness come to an end the season.
Intermediate routes, slants, posts, digs, drags, curls, TE seams should all be normal par for the course this year. Cheney, just get us to get one more point than the other guys. Wouldnt mind a few tunnel screens, wheels, and hobnail boots too. Our O is back to the future.