Daily Archives: January 17, 2020

“… he’s the brightest football coach I’ve ever worked with and the Georgia people are very lucky to get him.”

Forget about Air Raid this and West Coast offense that, just inject this, from Monken’s former OC at Southern Miss, directly into my veins:

“We made a huge emphasis of throwing the balls to the backs in the passing game,” Lindsey said, “and that’s something I learned from him that they do a lot in the NFL. …They understood protections and understood how to run routes, man and zone.[Emphasis added.]

Damn.  Is it September yet?

41 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football, Strategery And Mechanics

Today, in Dawg porn

Meet the new boss, not the same as the old boss…

In that clip, tell me he doesn’t come off as a Mike Leach disciple.  (Listen to how he defines balance.  That’s the Leach, not Bobo, definition.)

It’s going to be interesting to see what Monken and Smart fashion together.

Now, go take that cold shower.

32 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football

Your Daily Gator isn’t fazed.

The denizens of Swamp247 don’t seem particularly impressed with the Monken hire.

52 Comments

Filed under Gators, Gators...

More thoughts about the Monken hire

Kirby Smart has now added two former head coaches to his staff, in Monken and Luke.  Gotta think that’s an indication of a guy who’s grown more comfortable in his own skin.

Also, if you’re wondering what kind of person Georgia’s getting in Monken, I posted this back in 2013.

19 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football

The new direction

Holy shit, Kirby ain’t messin’ around.

Georgia has added former Cleveland Browns offensive coordinator Todd Monken to the same position on its coaching staff, sources confirmed to ESPN on Friday.

Monken, 53, spent only one season on former Browns head coach Freddie Kitchens’ staff, and new Cleveland coach Kevin Stefanski didn’t retain him.

Monken will take over play-calling duties for the Bulldogs this coming season, after their offense struggled at times in 2019. Georgia was fifth in the SEC in scoring (30.8 points per game), total offense (408.1 yards), passing (223 yards) and rushing (185.1).

Georgia assistant coach James Coley, who called offensive plays this past season, is expected to move into a new role.

Color me floored.  I thought there would be some sort of sharing arrangement.

I think it’s fair to say that Smart was even more affected by what happened in the SECCG than I thought.

G-Day is gonna be must see viewing this year.

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UPDATE:  The question is how much autonomy does Monken have over playcalling.  I mean, does this sound like something Kirby’s comfortable with?

“Really what I took away from (the Air Raid) was being able to throw to win,’’ Monken said after taking the Browns job last season in a Cleveland.com story.

“That really to me was the Air Raid. You had a certain amount of run game, you ran a lot of the same concepts and you could throw to win. That was really it. Like any offense, it works a lot better if you have good players.”

57 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football

An early clue to the new direction?

Well, now.

I’ll say it again — if true, this move says more about Smart’s thinking than anything else.  And that gives me great cause for optimism this season.

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UPDATE:  More deets.

Kirby Smart has reached out to the NFL to bolster his coaching staff, hiring former Cleveland Browns offensive coordinator Todd Monken for a position on his staff, multiple sources confirmed to UGASports Friday morning.

Although it’s unclear exactly what Monken’s title will be, it’s expected he will play a key role in helping to invigorate a Bulldog passing attack that ranked No. 72 in the nation with 223 yards per game.

ESPN reporter Mark Schablach was the first to link Monken’s name to Georgia saying he was “someone to keep an eye on.”

This past year, Monken worked for Freddie Kitchens, who called plays for the Browns this past season before being fired a few weeks ago.

The season before, Monken served as the offensive coordinator with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. In 2018, the Bucs averaged 320 yards passing with quarterbacks Jameis Winston and Ryan Fitzpatrick.

Monken, 53, comes to Georgia with extensive experience in college football, including stints at LSU and Oklahoma State before moving on to the NFL at Tampa Bay in 2016. There he took over the offensive coordinator duties in 2018 before joining Kitchens in Cleveland last year.

And further confirmation…

58 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football

A 2020 motivation stone?

Screenshot_2020-01-17 Matt Hinton on Twitter Also – Have to assume LSU will drop a bit as the emphasis shifts from defendin[...]

I’m sure Gator fans will be positively giddy over the status quo Hinton cites there.  (I’ll be curious to see if the media projections at SEC Media Days reflect that.)  If we’re really lucky, maybe we’ll get a snarky comment from Mullen, to boot — after all, it’s kind of a Florida coaching tradition to keep the rubes stoked about that in the offseason.

What I’m not curious about is how Smart will react to such a narrative.  Oh, sure, he’ll have some anodyne public comment about how it shows his team will just have to work harder in 2020, but I’m betting the reaction behind closed doors will be a lot harsher.  Now, can he translate that into positive motivation for his program?

31 Comments

Filed under Gators, Gators..., Georgia Football

Master of the finger wag

Swear to Gawd, between the Beckham stuff and his two top assistants leaving for greener pastures, I was gonna do a mocking Herbstreit-esque “Ed Orgeron has lost control” post this morning, only to find that the man himself has already beat me to the punch.

“Burrow’s comment about ‘I’m not a student-athlete anymore, yeah it was real money.’ If you care about the program, do you really say that,” Herbstreit said. “Going into this game I was thinking with Tua leaving Alabama, I was like not only are they gonna win this thing, there’s a really good chance that Coach O’s got some mojo going right now. This thing’s gonna be around for a while.

“And after the dust settled I’m like let me get my Bama roster back out. I don’t see them coming back next year at all.”

LSU completed its first undefeated season since 1959, defeating seven teams that were ranked in the AP Top 10 at the time of the meetings. Burrow won the Heisman Trophy, set the record for most touchdown passes in a season with 60, passed for 5,671 yards and accounted for 14 touchdowns in his team’s two wins in the College Football Playoff.

“I will say this: as much as we’re celebrating this team, I wasn’t a real fan of the postgame stuff, the OBJ stuff with the money,” Herbstreit said. “The way they handled themselves at times. If it’s just about 2019, great. But this is about staying power, right? This isn’t the finish line of their program. Don’t they wanna win in 2020, don’t they wanna win in 2021? I almost feel like it’s all the chips in, we made it, that’s it and forget everything else.

“Part of what makes Clemson, Clemson is they’re gonna be back and be preseason No. 1 next year. Part of what makes Alabama, Alabama is they don’t do that. Sure they celebrate, sure they’re happy, but guess what: they have freshmen that are watching, they have sophomores that are watching, they care about the health of their program.”

Of course, unlike me, he’s serious about that.

LSU fans, welcome to the new narrative.  We Dawg fans are happy to pass the torch to you.

27 Comments

Filed under ESPN Is The Devil, SEC Football

For all you glass half-empty Dawgs…

Jake Rowe’s written something to remind you about the half-full side.

The new decade got off to an incredibly crazy start and it’s something that carried over from the end of 2019. When the Bulldogs arrived in New Orleans to take on Baylor in the Allstate Sugar Bowl, they did so without several players who had played key roles throughout the season. For one reason or another (early entries into the 2020 NFL Draft, academic trouble, injuries, and undisclosed issues) more than 10 players who had been heavy contributors or starters in 2019 were present.

When toe met leather in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome, the unofficial count of scholarship players not participating in the game was 18 and that’s not counting D’Andre Swift, who played just a handful of snaps in UGA’s 26-14 win. Somehow, some way, Kirby Smart and company found a way to win that game and since, one key player has transferred, three more have left school early for the NFL draft, four defenders have announced that they’ll be returning, and the Bulldogs have added a pair of graduate transfers.

Yeah, that’s a lot. But what should we make of it all?

… The attrition came fast, furious, and in weird ways but isn’t this why Smart is so relentless as a recruiter? Isn’t it why he seems to always have an eye on the transfer portal? Had the Bulldogs gotten a couple of offensive linemen to stay, things would look much brighter in Athens but it isn’t like they’re turning to walk ons to replace All Americans. Every team in America likes to talk about the “next-man” up mentality and UGA put that on display in the Sugar Bowl against a talented, well-coached Baylor team. Now it has roughly 40 practices to get it all figured out before it takes on Virginia on Labor Day in Mercedes-Benz Stadium. It’s work, work, and more work between now and then.

If there’s one thing Smart’s truly accomplished at, it’s grinding.  Maybe we ought to keep an open mind about 2020 until we see what comes of those forty practices.  I know this much: there are very few teams in America that wouldn’t trade places with what he’s got to work with.

25 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football

Young whippersnappers these days… what are you gonna do?

LOL at this latest Loran Smith “back in my day” classic:

Following the Orange Bowl Jan. 1, 1942, Georgia’s first bowl game, everyone was giddy and euphoric. When the team returned home from Miami there was a note on the bulletin board in the dormitory that spring practice would begin a week later.

“Not me,” said Frank Sinkwich who then quit the team. He later came back and won the Heisman trophy, leading his team to the Rose Bowl…

College football has created a different culture. The fall season of 2020 will be the 40th anniversary of Georgia’s winning the 1980 national championship. You remember the Erk Russell tee shirts that characterized those national champions: BIG TEAM, little me.

Today, it has become BIG ME, little team.

I’d like to think he’s not even trying there, but, bless his heart, I really think he is.

7 Comments

Filed under College Football