Matt Landers, a work in progress

At least I hope he is.

Two of the wideouts featured on the winning team, Jeremiah Holloman and Tyler Simmons, were the only guys at that position that were consistently mentioned in a positive context by Smart. Only those two practiced to Smart’s satisfaction during those 15 practices and he wants more consistency from the rest of the group.

No player in that unit has more potential than Matt Landers, a 6-foot-5 210-pound rising sophomore who has yet to haul in his first catch. Landers knows he’s capable of more and says there’s only one way to get to where both he and Smart want him to be.

“Really just putting more work off the field,” Landers said. “This offseason has to be a big offseason for me and I just have to work harder than I ever have before.”

I hope that means he wears out a JUGS machine this summer.

Landers was the most frustrating player to watch at G-Day this year.  He’s got good size, he runs well and he displayed an ability to get open.  Unfortunately, his hands need work and a lot of it.

Hankton did a fine job coaching Georgia’s receivers last season.  He’s got his work cut out with Landers, it appears.

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59 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football

59 responses to “Matt Landers, a work in progress

  1. Hogbody Spradlin

    Can bad hands ever be completely cured? I remember we’ve had some guys who are absolute perfect physical examples of receivers and tight ends, but it seems if you can’t catch you can’t catch. OTOH, there’s Malcolm Mitchell.

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  2. GruvenDawg

    Landers and Jake need to work together A LOT over the summer. I think Holloman, Simmons, D-Rob, and Landers are all 4.4 40 guys. We can take the top off of every defense we face. They are not going to play against a better defensive backfield than ours until arguably the SEC championship game. If Landers, Robinson, and one of the other slot guys step up we will be dangerous through the air to go with a dominant run game. Defenses are going to have to pick their poison this year.

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    • TXBaller

      I dont know about Landers being 4.4…..documented 4.68…..the refrigerator on his back might be hindering his catching abilities.

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  3. DavetheDawg

    Landers reminds me of Herman Archie from the early 80’s. Archie had all the physical tools and would make the tough catch while dropping the easy ball. In all fairness, Archie only got a chance or two per game in Dooley’s run-first offense.

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  4. Tony Barnfart

    I’m ready to see some more receiving production so we don’t go cold against the best from the West.

    FWIW, Landers looked like a total freak of a human on the TV. My wife goes “who is that?!” I really don’t mean to sound like a jerk as i love this staff, but it will be a shame if we continue to cycle through these receivers that check all the boxes on paper and then go MIA for a career. That doesn’t add up to me if it continues to happen over and over and over. We’re not there yet time wise but it’s time to show up in more than ‘efficiency’ in the passing game if we want to win it all.

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    • Biggus Rickus

      I don’t get your complaint. Who’s gone MIA for a career? Ridley, Hardman and Godwin were all excellent players who had good seasons in 2018, and Holloman and Simmons both demonstrated their ability last year. By all accounts Robertson had a great spring and is ready to be productive. Landers and Bush are both entering their second years. Also, some guys simply don’t pan out, so it’s hardly a black mark on the program if not every single impressive athlete becomes a good player.

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      • Tony Barnfart

        I suppose you’re right. I’m not denying those guys were good. It’s just when i look back to the early richt—Greene years, and look at our historic stats, we had 3 guys with decent career overlap who were Top 10 all time in career receiving yards (edwards, gibson, brown) and then a 4th (damien gary) who finished just behind Terry Godwin in career yards.

        Maybe career yards is a dumb thing to look at it, just seemed like we were pushing the ball downfield to a gang of seasoned receivers for years and now the definition of reliable talent seems to have a much more limited sample size.

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        • CB

          If Ridley, Hardman and Godwin were as good as the guys currently in Tuscaloosa we would be pushing the ball downfield too.

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    • Bay Area Dawg

      I have to say I completely agree. We’ve only had one player catch 50+ balls since AJ Green left and that was Malcolm Mitchell in 2015 when he caught 58.

      Below is the list of Bama’s WR with 50+ catches since 2015.

      2018 Jerry Jeudy – 68
      2017 Calvin Ridley – 63
      2016 Calvin Ridley – 72
      2016 Ardarius Stewart – 54
      2015 Calvin Ridley – 89
      2015 Ardarius Stewart – 63

      I can promise Jerry Jeudy will have 50+ this season

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  5. DawgByte

    I’m waiting on the emergence of Tommy Bush. 6’5″ with 4.40/40 speed. That’s a deadly combination. Based on what I saw at G-Day, he needs to put some muscle on his frame and become more physical. The ceiling for this kid is high.

    Liked by 3 people

    • CB

      Beat me to it. It’s a bit troubling to me that guys like that aren’t emerging at a point in our program where the two deep is essentially wide open.

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    • Mike Cooley

      Yep. But I’m worried that Bush May end up a victim of Mr. Impose Your Will’s demand that his receivers block like fullbacks if they want to play. I know Kirby knows way more about football than I ever will but that is one thing about him that drives me crazy.

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      • Russ

        Same here. You can take a guy out of a running play two ways, with a block or by making him follow you down the field because you’re a receiving threat. If we put DRob and others out there and threw to them on occasion, we could run that much more effectively.

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      • TXBaller

        Let’s not go over the top here….just a few years ago under “you know who” our receivers NEVER blocked and our DB’s never tackled (chip block/tackle). Mr. IYW knows his shit. The PAC-12/Big12 is full of finesse…and nothing to show.

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  6. Bulldog Joe

    It’s the on-field work that’s needed. We have plenty of guys who can catch the 5-10 yard routes.

    We have only one guy (Holloman) on today’s roster who can high point a ten+ yard pass and bring it in consistently. This has to be Matt’s role.

    The only way to develop this skill is to practice it against competition (7 on 7 during the summer).

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  7. Mick Jagger

    Our all time leading receiver had drops at crucial moments – especially in Jacksonville

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  8. CB

    Outside of McKenzie have we had a receiver live up to or God forbid exceed their billing since AJ?

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    • Biggus Rickus

      Was everyone watching a different team than me last year? Fromm threw the ball 22 times a game. Georgia’s top five targets at receiver (and tight end) were awesome last year. They weren’t going to put up eye popping numbers in terms of total catches and yards with the way Georgia has played offense the last two years.

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      • CB

        They weren’t bad, but I don’t see how they could fall into the awesome category. I would say somewhere between solid and good. I would also go with dependable.

        But, if they were awesome we would have put the ball in the air more. Mr ground and pound himself, Nick Saban, just had a receiver win the Biletnikoff. I would classify that as awesome.

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        • Biggus Rickus

          Alabama moved to a spread passing game, while Georgia has been running pro-style offense. They don’t throw more or with the same kinds of concepts because they don’t want to throw more, not because of shortcomings in the receiving corps. Maybe you don’t like it, but that’s no reason to shit on the receivers.

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          • CB

            I don’t care what they run as long as they win. How is calling our receivers solid and dependable shitting on them?

            They weren’t all SEC players. Deal with it. Idgaf what anyone says if Kirby had AJ we’d be putting tossing the ball up a lot, and if Saban had Georgia’s receivers from last year he’d be running the ball a hell of a lot more. You’re fooling yourself if you think otherwise.

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            • Biggus Rickus

              You’re demonstrably wrong in your suppositions. Alabama moved to a spread attack beginning with the arrival of Kiffen as OC before Jerry Jeudy ever showed up. Smart made a conscious decision to bring in the most pro-style OC he could find. He wants to beat people down physically, and he says so damn near every time he speaks. The idea that different personnel would change his fundamental approach is preposterous. The only thing that will change it is if he comes to the conclusion that he can’t win with that approach to offense. So far, nothing that’s happened is likely to dissuade him seeing as Georgia was screwed out of the national championship game two years ago and was arguably a missed field goal from beating Alabama last year.

              And yes, I think selling players short – which is what calling the receivers solid and dependable is doing – amounts to shitting on them.

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              • CB

                Nick Saban disagrees with you which makes you wrong.

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              • The other Doug

                Kirby is running the offense that Saban has moved away from. Add in that we have WRs that were 4 and 5 star recruits and it’s painting a picture of a HC that is Muschamp style stubborn instead of Sabanesque.

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                • Biggus Rickus

                  Maybe. I’m not debating whether or not the style of offense is a good idea. I just think the idea that it’s predicated on the talent on hand is bullshit.

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                • Macallanlover

                  You are right, we had damned good receivers last season (and just may this year as well) but the people who win awards are the ones who get the gaudy numbers….which isn’t likely with our RBs, OL, and Kirby’s penchant for running the clock out at the first opportunity. Doesn’t mean our receivers aren’t great, we just don’t rely on them the same way. I personally don’t assign great value to individual awards in a team sport, doesn’t diminish Gurley, Sony, Nick, or A J green one bit. We aren’t likely to attract many prima donna receivers who want the ball 3-4 times on every drive. Our passing game is very good these days, and we have enough talent to succeed with our skill players. I honestly didn’t want that kid who went to Oklahoma this year, and I didn’t want Da Rick a few years ago either.

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    • Dawg19

      CB…I’d say Javon Wims did.

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  9. How well does Landers block? That’s all that seems to matter to the staff.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. doofusdawg

    Exactly… dude just needs to catch the ball. Make him wear his helmet 24/7.

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  11. The Dawg abides

    ‘I hope that means he wears out a JUGS machine this summer’.
    I tried that a couple of summers in Athens myself back in the day. Hey-Ohh!

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  12. Ray

    Landers didn’t look bad he just looked like a young player that the game has not slowed down for yet
    He showed he could get open just wasn’t comfortable enough to go get and fight for the ball a few times
    He might be a year off from blossoming and might just need to see spot duty this season

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  13. Mick Jagger

    We could use his height in the red zone …..

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  14. Greg

    At this stage, they ALL know how to catch. It is probably just the “foot steps” he is hearing. My guess is, he doesn’t like the contact part.

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    • Biggus Rickus

      One of the drops happened when he took a helmet to the hip, so that is probably true to some extent.

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      • Greg

        If you can’t catch the ball in traffic or block, it will be tough for him to see the field. Size and speed are good, but you have to be able to do those two basic things.

        One of my favorite all-time receivers was Hines Ward…..average size and average speed (4.6). Gotta want it…

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        • Biggus Rickus

          Yes, I still remember him taking out two guys on Edwards sideline touchdown run against Florida in ’97. Not to mention several tough catches he made that day.

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  15. Rebar

    This will test the team’s leadership. Jake needs to spend the rest of the spring and summer developing timing with the receivers. Hopefully, fall ball will show improvements to the receiving corps.

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  16. whb209

    Landers might not be a 4.4 guy, but he damn such looked better than 4.68.
    He got by some pretty fast DB’s. Now just catch the ball..

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