There’s more to quarterbacking than G-Day QBR.

For there to be a real quarterback controversy at Georgia, there’s one huge barrier Justin Fields will have to overcome.

The thing that stands out to Thomas about Fromm? His overall knowledge of the offensive system in place in Athens.

“I would say Jake, his knowledge of the game. It’s crazy some of the things he sees and the plays that he checks to sometimes is just perfect,” Thomas said. “Sometimes we didn’t even see it.”

The Bulldog lineman was then asked for an NFL comparison for Fromm. Without hesitation, Thomas had a name ready.

“Probably Peyton Manning. That’s a joke that we have,” Thomas said. “We do a drill, it’s a check drill where we change the play to whatever you want to call it and Coach Smart tells Jake not to be Peyton Manning — because he tries to get the call perfect every time.”

Fields is an immense talent.  I don’t think there’s anyone out there who would reasonably debate that, but talent doesn’t mean much without a solid grasp of the offense.  Yes, Smart’s already shown in two seasons that he’ll start a true freshman quarterback, but that doesn’t mean it’s his preferred option, especially when he goes into his third season with an experienced quarterback who has learned the system and gained the trust of his teammates and coaches.

The funny thing is that with the usual dumbing down that goes on in the spring game, it wouldn’t surprise me in the least to see Fields acquit himself well and excite the fan base, as well as pundits who love a good story.  But we’re not going to know whether he’s anything more than a good story in the short run until he’s got a lot more practice work under his belt.

I don’t expect Fields to redshirt — one nice thing about that opener against Austin Peay is that it ought to give him a great opportunity to get his feet wet in a real game — but barring injury (I know, I know), bringing Fields along slowly and carefully this season is a luxury Smart and Chaney have and I doubt they’re foolish enough to waste it.

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25 Comments

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25 responses to “There’s more to quarterbacking than G-Day QBR.

  1. dawgtired

    Well said Senator. Circumstances forced Kirby to make the ‘less than optimal’ decision in starting Fromm as a freshman. It’s not a situation you want to be forced into. And as it turned out Fromm had a pretty good understanding of the offense and everything turned out ok. But I’m willing to bet that is not the typical result that comes from throwing a freshman into the game before the coach intended. Fields will have his day…but for now, it’s Fromms to manage.

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  2. Fromm seems to be the type of QB Kirby wants … a highly talented game manager. Jake isn’t going to wow anyone with his physical tools, but they are more than sufficient. The way he controls the game was amazing to see for a kid who was 9 months out of high school. The one thing I would like to see on Saturday from him is the willingness to throw the intermediate routes in the middle of the field.

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    • ASEF

      18-25 on throws 10+ yards between the hashes. 7 TDs and 0 picks. It was statistically his strongest area on the field, although the volume was much higher outside the hashes – 32 of 54 10+ outside the left hash, 15 of 36 10+ outside the right.

      No one in college with a solid OL and some dudes behind them really throws much over the middle. I would be curious to know how many single high alignments Fromm was throwing against last year – probably a lot, with defenses dropping a guy to help contain the run.

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      • He did a lot of good work on the deep throws over the middle (the RPO to Mecole in the SECCG and the multiple post patterns to Godwin in particular against single coverage). Maybe it gets back to the use of the tight end. I love the seam route at the 15-20 yard spot that wreaks havoc on cover 2 (man or zone).

        I’m being picky, and you don’t want a freshman making a ton of throws in the middle of the field.

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    • mdcgtp

      The description of game manager is a bit of a loaded comment because it implies limitations to one’s talent. I think Kirby wants his QBs to manage the game, which is about making as many good decisions before and after the snap as possible, because his goal is to surround any QB with elite talent. That said, I think we will throw the ball a LOT more in 2018 because of the experience that Jake and our WRs have even as we develop an even bigger and more physical OL in 2018. Of course, if Swift is doing Swift things and Zamir is 100% healthy and the rest of the RBs are productive and efficient, the coaching staff may make turn my “a LOT” more into a “a little” more……

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      • “The description of game manager is a bit of a loaded comment because it implies limitations to one’s talent.”

        I’m not implying Fromm is limited in talent. He is immensely talented, and he is a play maker (that throw to Godwin off the flea flicker is extremely difficult to make due to all the moving parts and the timing). He does enough with his feet to keep defenses honest and makes good decisions. He wasn’t 1st team Freshman All-America because his stats were eye-popping … he was because the kid knows how to play the position.

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    • artful codger

      Jake is a QB who checks all the boxes with a solid 9 score (with a few 10s for game management, football savvy) resulting in a very high composite score, as opposed to a QB with a few highly visible 10s mixed with 7s and 8s.

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  3. This is precisely why I expect to see Fields mainly in mop-up duty or hyper-situational stuff. Fromm is going to leave Athens with a stacked resume and his grasp of the offense is a large part why. He has a solid base of physical talent, but that’s not at all what makes him so good.

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    • W Cobb Dawg

      Agree. I recall Texas’s Colt McCoy completing something like 85% of his passes some years back. Will anyone be surprised if Fromm’s completion percentage is 70% to 75%? The Peyton comparison is apt. Fromm’s the closest thing to a coach on the field as you’ll find in cfb. And in some of the biggest games UGA has seen in decades he’s been as steady as a rock.

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      • Fromm has talent ceiling well below Fields IMO, but I think it’s going to take time for Fields to be where Fromm is from a game-mamangment standpoint. Fields didn’t have the luxury of playing in an advanced system in HS like Fromm (Eason suffered from the same issue). Fromm is using that to his advantage for sure.

        As for Fromm’s completion %, he was 62.2% last year, so going to 70% this year would be a helluva jump. I’d think 66% or so is doable for sure, though.

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  4. Hill Billy Dawg

    The question that begs an answer is; How long will Jake stay in the red and black? I am guessing he is a four year guy. I guess that and $5.99 will get you a coffee at Starbucks….and not get the cops called on you.

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  5. Fields will probably blow everyone away at G-day. He will probably make a couple of spectacular touchdown runs. This will have some fans and the press beating the drums for Fields. But Fromm is the man and has proven it against elite D’s. I’m really glad to see Fromm has the team behind him. The last thing we need is to have the team split between 2 QB’s. Kirby needs to handle this right, which I think he will.

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    • Got Cowdog

      I’m with Gurkha here. I hope Justin and Stetson run and throw all over the field. I hope I can hear the Sanford crowd over the tractor I will be sitting on 30 miles away. Hell, I might even shut it down for a few minutes just to see.
      What I am really, really excited about seeing Jake Fromm as a sophomore behind a large and experienced offensive line with a a lightning and thunder RB combination behind him. I’ll listen to Austin Peay from the dove field, but the following Saturday when I hear Scott Howard announce UGA’s first score in my earbuds, I’ll pop them out and I bet I’ll be able to hear the crowd from the farm.
      At my age I know it’s best not to wish time away, but damn I’m ready to see them tee it up again. This is the year, I just feel it.

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  6. DawgPhan

    It all depends on the spring game and it will be really hard for Fromm to showcase all that knowledge of the offense during the spring game.

    I didnt expect that Trevor Lawrence would be getting talk for Clemson, but he is after their spring game.

    I think that Fields could come and have some big throws and get people buzzing which means that its a story.

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  7. mp

    There were a few articles about Fromm’s photographic memory before his freshman year (based on quotes from his high school coach). If it is literally true that he has an eidactic memory, that’s a unique tool in quickly picking up the playbook and using to read & recognize defenses. Give Fields time, and if he eventually displaces Fromm, that’s a good thing for UGA because it means he’s the best QB at that time.

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  8. JCDAWG83

    Fields may do well against the #2 defense Saturday but word leaking out of practice is that he has really hit a wall and is struggling. The defense has really frustrated him in practice. I think he has great physical talent but his high school default setting was to take off and run because he was bigger and faster than most of the defensive players he faced. That is tough to do in big time college ball these days.

    I don’t look for a redshirt but I don’t think there will be any question as to who the starter is all season.

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  9. Ellis

    Barring an injury, I think he will redshirt. Jake is not going anywhere and a redshirt would probably give Fields at least two good years to be a starter.

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  10. ApalachDawg

    Jake Fromm will be our QB today, tomorrow, and until he graduates.
    I don’t understand the perceived hand ringing over this topic?
    The boy from Houston co led us to a sec championship and was 2 downs away from a natty- as a true Fr.
    If Fields were to win the job, then give him the #34 jersey because the 2nd coming has happened.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Chickamona

    How do y’all think this will play out? Seems like Fromm is still very much the starter this year and doesn’t seem like it’ll get easier to supplant him as starter as he gets older. So, either Fields has to somehow beat him out, probably heading into the 2019 season, or he likely heads somewhere else.

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    • That’s what nobody wants to talk about. I can’t see Fields sitting for 3 years which is what is going to happen unless Fromm gets hurt. I don’t think kids today will wait like Shockley did. I think Fields leaves at the end of 2018.

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      • JCDAWG83

        Fields knew what he was getting when he signed. If he can’t beat out Fromm and he knows he was given a fair shot, I think he would be fine and stay. If he feels like he’s the better qb and he doesn’t get to play that would be a different story.

        Does Hurts leave Bama or Lawrence leave Clemson if they don’t start? As long as they are treated fairly, I think players can accept they are not the best player at their position.

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        • A fair shot in who’s opinion? The coaches definition of a fair shot would likely be very different from Field’s definition. If I was Fields I would be thinking I could be the next Lamar Jackson. It’s hard to prove that when riding the pine. I hope he stays but there is no way he is beating out Fromm, barring injury.

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  12. AusDawg85

    OMAHA!

    Liked by 1 person

  13. ChiliDawg

    Everyone keeps saying it won’t happen but I hope they redshirt Fields. I don’t see Fromm as a guy who will leave early for the draft, and the prospect of having two full years as a starter is sure to be more appealing to Fields than sitting on the bench for three seasons for a single season to play.

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