From Seth Emerson’s Mailbag ($$):
Smart was asked Tuesday night about Georgia’s use of slants, or lack thereof, and here’s what he said, which I’ll quote in full because I thought it was both informative and instructive, but I will bold the parts in particular that stood out to me:
“We’ve been a slant team in the past. The first couple of years here we ran a lot of slants. If you can remember, we ran slants in the spring game, one of the passes that Eric Stokes took from J.J. Holloman went for a Pick-6. That doesn’t mean it’s a bad play, it doesn’t make it one way or another but it is one that we haven’t been extremely successful with. We’ve actually run slants this year; (it’s not that) we haven’t thrown slants. There’s several times we’ve been in empty (no tailback formation) that we’ve had slants attached, but No. 1, you’ve got to have guys who can win on slants, No. 2 you’ve got to feel good about the coverage you’re getting before the slants. Some of what we were doing — and we don’t want to give a slant away as opposed to giving a fade away — has to do with leverage.”
The two bolded parts would point to the notion that they — either the coaches or Fromm or both — just don’t feel good enough about the receivers to call and throw those slants.
Fair enough. My only question is, how easy is it to identify receivers who have the necessary skill set to be reliable in the slant pass game? It’s either that Georgia hasn’t recruited those kind of guys all of a sudden, or Kirby has made a tactical decision that he prefers to emphasize other types of passes.
I’m not trying to be snarky here. I am genuinely curious how they’ve gotten to this point. What little I know about offensive strategy leads me to think a slant pass game is a valid way to attack what defenses have been throwing at Georgia’s offense this year, but Smart is obviously skeptical of that.
Any thoughts on this?