“I thought we had a really good spring.”

Georgia’s 2019 spring practice is in the books.  More than a week after G-Day, I thought I’d take my expertly formulated opinion — hey, I watched a spring scrimmage and read the media reports, didn’t I? — and post my thumbnail feelings about a few topics.  Bullet points, get over here!

  • Areas of least concern:  offensive line (duh); secondary (even post-Baker, I couldn’t help but be impressed with the depth of talent in the defensive backfield); outside linebacker; running back; Blankenship
  • Area of lesser concern:  quarterback, at least as long as Fromm stays healthy (Bennett looks like he’s functional, at the least, and Mathis has talent)
  • Areas of some concern:  defensive line (not sure if the depth is there); inside linebacker (not sure if the speed is there, at least until Dean is a regular part of the rotation)
  • Area of concern:  receivers (mainly because of depth after Holloman, Simmons and Woerner; the incoming group plus Robertson I hope will lower my anxiety)

This is a loaded bunch.  Based on my limited exposure watching as many spring football games as I could, I don’t see another team in the East at Georgia’s talent level.  But I also see an offense that is probably going to be brought around more slowly than the spring chatter might indicate and a defense that has a few things to sort out in the front seven.  Plus, there are new coordinators on both sides of the ball.

For those reasons, I don’t find a reason to think there’s going to be a major deviation from last season’s offensive game plan, at least early on.  Mashing defenses with that huge offensive line makes too much sense, given where the talent and depth on offense lies right now.

Your post-spring thoughts?

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44 Comments

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44 responses to ““I thought we had a really good spring.”

  1. Derek

    You just have to be better than the teams in front of you.

    This team is a 10-point favorite (or more) against everyone on the schedule.

    Stay focused, hungry and healthy and the post-season will there for us.

    In my view, Zeus being ready to spell 7 at full speed come November and beyond is the difference between “good chance at a natty” and “great chance at a natty.”

    FWIW: I’m booking a room in NOLA.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Bulldog Joe

    I am concerned about the overall speed of the offense, the ability to stretch the field, and get separation from the receivers. Right now, we don’t know if the missing pieces at G-Day can come in and fulfill this need at an SEC level.

    Also promoting from within makes the transition easier but it risks the offense becoming predictable and easier to defend, especially if you can safely focus on defending a smaller part of the field.

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  3. I think you might be surprised. Teams will ‘load the box’ against Georgia, if we attempt to run the ball and rely on short quick passes. I look for Georgia to work on opening up the offense early, so that by the time they get to better defenses, the team is more comfortable stretching out the defense.

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    • Teams will ‘load the box’ against Georgia, if we attempt to run the ball and rely on short quick passes.

      How would that be any different from 2017 or 2018?

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    • Derek

      This is completely irrational. We’ve been a run first offense the past two years. Hasn’t stopped us from being on the brink.

      We’ve also been able to be pass first in the first half of both games vs. Alabama. What we haven’t been able to do is force the run vs. them with a lead in the second.

      If we want to finally finish them off, that’s what we’re going to need to do. We need to keep 11’s pitch count under 20 all season long. Get that OL salty and mean and able to move people even when everyone knows what’s coming.

      Liked by 1 person

      • W Cobb Dawg

        I understand we want to run ad nauseum and I know that’s our path through the 12 game schedule. But I hate to think we’re gonna keep Fromm hog-tied with 20 (or less) passes a game. Fromm can light it up with the best QBs in the nation. One can argue we blew the sec championship by going into a shell. I say we take a page from Belichick’s book and turn Fromm lose a la Brady. Take that hot rod out of the garage – at least once in a while.

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        • Derek

          You can’t get Brady type efficiency out of a 20 hour week.

          The problem with riding Fromm or any pocket passer in college ball is that sometimes your match ups aren’t great, i.e., they’ve got great corners, and second, sometimes your quarterback has a bad night.

          The two losses last year vs. LSU and Texas were marked by a quarter and a half where Fromm couldn’t hit the broadside of a barn.

          That’s a killer in a close match up. Against LSU it got us behind and against Texas we couldn’t catch up because 11 was missing open guys. There’s only one type of QB you can ride all year and that’s a guy that can run and pass. Tebow, Newton, Watson, you can put it all on them because of the other dimension they bring.

          A pocket passer only has one speed and there’s no way to get a QBs/wr corp as efficient as Brady without costing tons of physicality that you need.

          The Bama issue in not protecting a lead from is solved too often by those who say we should have thrown more. First, if you go back and actually look at the facts, we did try to throw in the second half of both games we just didn’t do it well. In fact we did it terribly. Second, throwing with a lead puts the ball and the clock at risk. If you’ve got a lead you should have to make them stop the damn run.

          You don’t just waste these beasts up front playing effeminate football. Use them to punch them in the fucking mouth.

          Worked for Bama in 2012, among others. No reason it can’t work for us.

          Liked by 1 person

          • Athens Townie

            Good post. The limitations of the college practice schedule mean fewer options for offensive identity.

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          • Brandon M

            To most people actual run/pass doesn’t matter. If your offense stops being effective = going into a shell. That’s why it doesn’t matter who is calling plays, they’ll always be an idiot for calling plays that don’t work and geniuses for the ones that do.

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  4. Argondawg

    Our first three weeks are Vandy Ark State and Murray State. I think any kinks or bugs should be worked out by game 4 for Dame. I also think both Pickens and Blaylock by the end of the season will be contributing a pretty good bit. To my eyes the level of talent on the field does not only exceed the rest of the east but exceeds anything I have probably ever seen in my time as a Dawg. That is a half century of watching them. I have been waiting for a team like this. I hope I am not setting myself up for major disappointment.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. stoopnagle

    Post-spring thought:

    “DEATH TO OUR ENEMIES.”

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  6. Bright Idea

    I’m only worried about the intangibles. Leadership and a young coaching staff, especially on defense, make me worry about the little things.

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    • Otto

      Agreed but I also think Texas helped on that front.

      The Senator hit the primary points. The passing game will be an interest work in progress and seeing how the new OC changes things.

      I think and hope Herrien can emerge as the primary RB that splits carries with Swift. It will be interesting to see how Zeus progresses.

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  7. Russ

    WORRIED<——————————-[range of UGA concerns]->NOT WORRY

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  8. GruvenDawg

    This is the season UGA should put it all together. If we have upperclassman leadership and barring injuries this team can beat anyone. The DL is not at Bama or Clemson levels of the past few years but they have a deep unit with guys that have been here for a while.

    For me if Kirby pursues the Havoc rate as he has stated we will be more disruptive on defense than we have seen (ala vs Hawaii in Sugar bowl) I also would like to see a more balanced attack throughout the season. Yes we can maul people with our o-line but to beat Clemson and Alabama you are going to have to score in the 4th quarter with the pass. Let the team get game reps of attacking people like that throughout the year.

    Oh yeah…show NO MERCY to ANYONE all year…do not take the foot off the gas ever…Refine that killer instinct.

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  9. Mikey

    Yeah and it was nippy out there 😂 I had to bring that up

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  10. Greg

    Thinks we will not see a MNC until our DL can dominate as Clemson (‘18) and Bama (17) have. That’s the missing piece imo, not sure we have the right guy. Thinks we struggle again (elite) there this year.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Mikey

      I disagree we are getting underrated on our DL and we got some damn good linebackers I think. Our Defense is going to be better. Hell it better be

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      • Greg

        Specially talking about run defense. We have some talent (down linemen), but nothing like Bama (‘17) & Clemson (‘18) the last 2 years. This will be a “telling” year for Scott…..

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        • Mikey

          Well thought Tray Scott has done damn good.

          In his second year at Georgia, Scott was part of a coaching staff that led the Bulldogs to their second consecutive season with 11 or more wins, second straight SEC Eastern Division title, and appearance in a New Years Six bowl game (Allstate Sugar). The Georgia defense finished second in the SEC is total defense (314.3 ypg), third in pass defense (180.3) and opponent third down conversions, and fifth in scoring defense (19.2) and rushing defense (134.0).

          Liked by 1 person

          • Greg

            He is the defensive line coach, not the defensive coordinator. Look up the rushing defensive stats, compare and contrast to Bama (17) & Clemson (18). You will see what I mean. Not saying he is a bad coach, just saying we ain’t in the same league as those two teams we mentioned. This will be his 3rd year this year, we will see what happens. But to me, this is the biggest area that needs improvement.

            Liked by 1 person

            • siskey

              Great D linemen are second only to QBs in scarcity. Bama and Clemson recruited well and have those guys stacked up. We have not done so as of yet.

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        • Mikey

          We prolly should be more concerned about the receivers we have. Jake Fromm doesn’t have the weapons on the passing he had last year. So we need some new guys to step in and make big plays with the pass

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  11. Biggen

    I really want to see this “HAVOK” rate Kirby keeps talking about. UGA did a piss poor job getting after the opposing QB last year so I’d like to see some improvement.

    Also, I want to see Zeus. I really hope he is healed up fully come Fall.

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  12. Bulldog Joe

    Georgia’s spring was unremarkable but let’s be honest…the winter was terrible.

    By most accounts the team laid down in the bowl game, both coordinators left, our #2 and #4 rushers and most of our receivers left early, and arrests and racism dominated the headlines.

    Through all of this, football recruiting remained strong and the administration did not sabotage it. We have to prepare more green pieces than anticipated but this year’s schedule provides an opportunity to get some seasoning before the grind sets in.

    But will leadership, depth, and intangibles be strong enough to thrive in the fourth quarter this year, especially in the back end of the schedule? Jury is still out.

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  13. W Cobb Dawg

    My area of concern deals with how quickly we get significant production from the young players. Take Landers for example. It’s his 3rd year in the program and he’s still a project. Top recruits like Bush, Beal, Anderson, Tindall, Cook, etc., etc. should be making plays. Even 5-star recruit and former Cali starter DRob is in transition limbo. These players should be producing. I think we might be a bit too tentative with the younguns. Gotta find a way to effectively use all that talent whiling away on the bench.

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  14. Austen Bannan

    Last year the defense just kind of hung on. It was quality but never imposed its will. This defense will be deeper and back to wrecking things – at least much much much more often than in 2018. The offense should be good, but I’m sorry to say that I’m not sold on Jake Fromm showing improvement over last year yet. He’s solid, even really good, but will he take a leap to great? With new receivers at the forefront and at least a little uncertainty at RB behind Swift (unless Zamir really does come out healthy), I do not know if the offense takes a step forward unless Fromm himself takes a big step forward. It is great that he’ll continue to grow as a leader, but will he be consistently sharp? He’s had struggles at times each of his first two years, and he looked a bit like the Jake Fromm of the LSU and Texas games on GDay.

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    • Greg

      Don’t know of any QB who has never had a tough game, an off game. Overall, he is one of the best…if not the best in CF imo….and I do not think that it is just my opinion.

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  15. Derek

    Let me the first to say that I think he’d benefit from a 4th year.

    I think we’d ALL benefit from a 4th year.

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  16. William Bigham

    I believe Fromm was having his best game ever before taking him out of the game during the SEC Championship Game. Then we get to watch Justin Fields make his final play at Georgia on a damn 4th and 11 fake punt. I wonder what would have happened had they just sent Jake back in the game?

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    • Classic City Canine

      He was in rare form that first half. However, by the time of the fake, he had fallen back to earth along with the rest of the offense. The fake didn’t knock him out of the zone.

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  17. Macallanlover

    Good assessment Senator. I don’t have the concern at ILB and receivers that you do, neither will be a strength of the team, but being weaker than the other strong position groups doesn’t scream “problem”. I am not sure depth is the issue on the DL, it is more the lack of a genuine disruptive DL player. In Kirby’s scheme that don’t have to be, especially if the edge rushers, and ILBs can play like they did in 2017. The promise of aggression with the goal of “havoc” may allow more penetration from our guys with their hands in the dirt.

    I think the improved defense in the secondary will be enough to make this defense just nasty enough to get us where we want to be. Offense looks as good as the last two years to me, primarily because of what the OL opens up for both the passing and running games. But it is spring, still the month of the Masters; it is easy to take long, deep drinks of the Kool Aide. We gonna be good, real good!

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  18. Chris

    Anybody know if there is a replay of the Gday game online? My youtube tv recording starts at a 10-10 game and I’ve been waiting on a full replay to finally watch it. Regular youtube seems to just have highlights.

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