Daily Archives: March 3, 2020

The right Peter Principle for a different reason?

We’ve tended to focus on the offensive slippage last season as the reason Kirby Smart elected to change offensive coordinators, but what if it was something else that motivated him to move on from James Coley?

Something like this ($$):

Around this time last year, some online draft analysts were touting Georgia’s Jake Fromm as a possible top 10 pick or higher. Now, that doesn’t sound like that’s going to be anywhere near the case. I was skeptical of those projections at the time from what I’d seen and heard. One NFL coach told me in Indy that of the QBs who threw there, he felt Fromm probably hurt himself the most. “He measured short, ran slow (5.01 in the 40) and threw poorly, but he was outstanding in the interview, so that’ll help him some,” the coach said.

Jake Fromm’s passer rating declined from 171.22 in 2018 to 141.15 in 2019.  Nationally, that represents a drop from fifth to fiftieth.  Sure, he had to deal with significant changes in his receiving corps, but it’s not exactly like he had chopped liver to deal with this year, especially as long as Cager was healthy.  And he still had a formidable offensive line protecting him, along with a top running back talent in Swift.  At some point, you’ve got to say Fromm’s game declined year over year because of Jake Fromm.  Then you’ve got to wonder why, or at least you do when you realize it didn’t happen in a complete vacuum.

Fromm did the job the year before, and, for that matter, led Georgia to a national title game as a true freshman.  He wasn’t a mediocre quarterback before the start of the 2019 season, but he did finish as one.  And the adjunct to that observation is that while Kirby Smart made a correct decision to stick with Fromm over Fields as his starter, a year later this doesn’t sit so well.

… But a few coaches and folks in the quarterback space say they won’t be shocked if Justin Fields ends up pushing him for that top spot.

Now, this is hardly the consensus. Several coaches and evaluators I talked to this week think Lawrence is far and away the better quarterback prospect. Everyone I spoke to still loves Lawrence, and it’s not like the NFL personnel people have been able to study either extensively at this point. But the feeling I got from some coaches is that people don’t realize just how talented the Ohio State quarterback really is in terms of his arm and athleticism.

I don’t care how justified the original decision was at the time — and, for the record, I think Smart made both the correct and obvious call in that regard — in retrospect, that’s got to sting.  If I’m Kirby Smart, I’m asking myself how things got turned upside down as quickly as they did.

It’s probably not a big step to look in Coley’s direction from there, either.

69 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football

“He was so great, I let him go.”

Rush Propst is asked about the Scott Cochran move and, in the end, it comes out about like you’d expect.

Propst: Does it hurt Alabama? I don’t know yet. I’m torn on that and I’m going to tell you why. As good as Scott is and as good as what he has done for 13 seasons sometimes strength coaches play out. It is the same old message. The same song and dance. Sometimes it gets stale and old. Stale and old. Even in my program. It seems like I changed up my strength coach at my program and it paid off.  He was the best I’ve ever been around. I think the best I’ve ever seen, including Scott Cochran. This guy is really good. He was with me at Hoover and came with me to Georgia. But he left after the 13th season and I changed it up and gave it then to another guy that had trained under him. He did change it up some and we won our first state championship in Georgia.”

I think the best I’ve ever seen, including Scott Cochran.”  LOL.  Makes you wonder why Saban’s settling for the pair from Indiana.

25 Comments

Filed under Alabama, It's All Just Made Up And Flagellant

“Familiarity” in Columbia

Knowing Agent Muschamp’s track record with offensive coordinators, I’m not sure I’d be thrilled to read this, were I a Gamecock fan.

Of course, the main reason Bobo now is in Columbia after his five season run as Colorado State head coach is because of the person who occupies the head coaches’ suite.

Will Muschamp and Bobo were Georgia teammates for two seasons who have stayed in touch as they each climbed the coaching ladder. Muschamp was a Bulldog team captain as a senior in 1994 and Bobo his junior and senior seasons in 1996 and 1997.

“We’ve always talked, we’ve always stayed close,” Muschamp said. “When I felt like I needed to make some changes here, he was the one and only guy I planned on talking to. I did talk to some other people, but Mike was the guy that I wanted here. I trust Mike as a person and a coach. I saw what he did at Georgia and I saw him adjust to a lot of different personnel groupings at Colorado State. I thought he did a fantastic job in watching their film. He and I coach a lot alike. He’s liked minded as far as those things are concerned. I think that’s always important as a coach to be philosophically aligned with people on your staff.”

Nah, I think I’d be more optimistic if Boom had said, “Mike’s looked at what I’ve done for years with my OCs and thinks it’s total crap.”

8 Comments

Filed under Agent Muschamp Goes Boom, Strategery And Mechanics

Meanwhile, in Macon

This popped up in my Twitter notifications last night.

To which, Seth Emerson responded,

Screenshot_2020-03-03 Seth Emerson on Twitter MummePoll Craig_Lawson MaconDawg Remember last season when Smart observed tha[...]

Which, in turn, led me to tweet this.

Screenshot_2020-03-03 Senator Blutarsky on Twitter SethWEmerson Craig_Lawson MaconDawg Honestly, it makes sense at places l[...]

First off, I’d like to get confirmation Smart actually said something like that last night.  Then I’d love to hear his reasoning.

The more I think about it, the greater an advantage I think allowing NIL payments gives P5 programs with rabid fan bases.  Would that sell on the recruiting trail?  Hard to believe it wouldn’t.

8 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football, It's Just Bidness

Your Daily Gator is diggin’ Heather Dinich.

You’d think the average Georgia fan looking at the 2020 regular season schedule would step back and identify Alabama as the Dawgs’ biggest obstacle to making the playoffs this season, wouldn’t you?  I mean, look at 2017 and 2018, right?

Wrong, bacon breath.

Biggest obstacle to playoff: Oct. 31 vs. Florida. Yes, the most difficult game on the schedule is the Sept. 19 trip to Alabama, but Georgia can lose and still have a chance to avenge the loss in the SEC championship — if it wins the East. And it’s not going to be as easy as the preseason predictions might lead you to believe. Georgia has defeated its SEC East rival three straight seasons, but on paper, Florida might be more deserving of the label preseason favorite in its division. The Gators return 12 starters from last season’s 11-win team, including quarterback Kyle Trask.

On paper, eh?  Well, Heather’s ESPN colleague notes that Georgia returns more production than does Florida.

ESPN statistics junkie Bill Connelly released his list of teams with the most returning production. Georgia was ranked No. 59, with 65 percent of its production returning, 50 percent on offense (98th in the country), and 80 percent on defense (21st in the country). For reference, Georgia Tech is No. 2, Kentucky is No. 25, Tennessee is No. 50, Florida is No. 61, Auburn is No. 78, Alabama is No. 88, and LSU is No. 126.

But muh quarterback!  Man, this is really turning into one “kneel before Kyle Trask” offseason narrative.  Gator Nation has to be thrilled.

23 Comments

Filed under Gators, Gators...

College athletes as commodities

This is quite the observation.

Nothing like embracing that plantation narrative.

Hell, Tubby, why stop there?  Why not let schools sell their scholarship athletes to the highest bidder?  When you think about it, that’s not too different from Directional U getting a huge payout to go play Monster State, is it?

4 Comments

Filed under Transfers Are For Coaches.

How ’bout them backs?

So, I’m curious:  how do you feel about this group?

Zamir White (redshirt sophomore): This spot could shake out a number of different ways but right now, based on what we saw in 2019, White seems to be a step ahead when it comes to earning that feature back role. Kirby Smart raved about his physicality in pass protection as a redshirt freshman and that’s big when it comes to getting on the field. White also did what many thought he would in 2019. He got better as the year went on and 2020 might be a year-two leap for him after the two ACL injuries hampered him early in his career.

Kenny McIntosh (sophomore): The former four-star running backs sure showed some flashes during his freshman season. He didn’t get a ton of opportunities but he made the most of them. He had UGA’s longest run of the season, a 62-yard sprint against a tired Arkansas State defense, but he showed speed, balance, power, and vision throughout the year. He’s also an excellent receiver out of the backfield but didn’t get many opportunities to do it as a freshman.

James Cook (junior): UGA fans want to see this guy touch the football more and who could blame them. He doesn’t have a ton of wiggle or make-you-miss ability but he’s a smooth runner who can beat angles with his tremendous speed. This is a huge offseason for him because if he can put on five to 10 pounds of muscle while keeping his speed, it’s going to get him on the field more.

Kendall Milton (freshman): It’s hard to know what to expect from the big freshman. At 6-foot-2, 225 to 230 pounds already, he’s UGA’s biggest running back, but he’s not just a power back. Milton is incredibly shifty and runs with great balance. He doesn’t appear to have breakaway speed but he’ll have a chance to gain a step or two in UGA’s strength and conditioning program. If he catches on quickly and learns how to pass protect, it’s not out of the question for him to have a major role.

My take?  Lots of talent there to feel good about.  White showed me something as the lead dog in the Sugar Bowl and I think there is validity to that year-two leap after the injuries.  McIntosh’s ability to catch the ball likely makes him more useful in Monken’s offense.  And I continue to hope that somebody figures out how to utilize Cook’s skill set better than we’ve seen in his first two seasons.

There is a wild card to consider, though.

We have to bring this up every time we talk offense, but Todd Monken’s influence is going to be big here. If he indeed brings more of a passing element to the offense, there may be fewer opportunities for the running backs. The group could also really benefit from more of a balanced attack. Jamie Newman’s presence at quarterback could have a similar effect. He’s going to steal some of those rushing yards for himself but his ability to run the different versions of the read options might open things up for the ball carriers behind and beside him.

I don’t believe in the slightest that Georgia is going to go full LSU this year, but I do expect the offense to be more pass-oriented than it has been in prior seasons under Smart.  That would entail a greater emphasis on pass blocking and receiving by the backs.  Who’s best in those areas?  We’ll find out.

17 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football