Run the dang offense, Monken.

This comes from Brooks Austin at SI Maven, so take it for what it’s worth:

There’s been growing speculation that Georgia is moving into the air raid system, similar to what Monken ran at Oklahoma State and Southern Miss. However, the sources we’ve spoken to at Dawgs Daily have stated that it’s NFL film from his days in Cleveland and Tampa Bay that they were showing over Zoom meetings with players. So, what did he run in Cleveland and Tampa?

Well, at Southern Miss and Oklahoma State, Monken’s offense would occasionally go empty (shotgun with no running back in the backfield). However, in 2019, Cleveland didn’t take a single snap in empty according to Shapfootballstats.com. In 2018 in Tampa, they ran 11 plays (1%) in empty. So, the five wide, Big 12 air raid probably isn’t what you’re going to be seeing this fall from Georgia.

What you will be seeing is what is known as the pro spread offense. An offense that combines tight ends, running backs and three wide receivers to throw the football. Their base personnel package will be 11 personnel, in other words, one back, one tight end, and three wide receivers.

That’s not to say they won’t motion to an empty formation to lighten the box, especially with a running quarterback like Jamie Newman — assuming he’s the starter — but it’s still going to look more like a pro passing attack than some Texas Tech offense that’s chunking it around 55 times per game.

(His “sources at Dawgs Daily” appear to be other Maven writers, which is why I added the FWIW note above.)

This isn’t exactly earth shattering news.  “Growing speculation” aside, I don’t think any Georgia fan who has even a casual sense of Kirby Smart’s coaching philosophy expects Mike Leach reincarnate in Athens this season.  And I hate to break it to y’all, but James Coley ran a lot of 11 personnel packages when he was at the helm, too.

One other thing:  Monken didn’t call plays in Cleveland last season, so whatever empty set plays were run there are meaningless in terms of figuring out what we’ll see in Athens this year.  If you’re looking to divine something from the tea leaves of his prior stops, I’ve posted a few things here and here.

I’m not expecting Todd Monken to reinvent the wheel at Georgia.  What I am looking for is an offensive mind who thinks like this and knows how to make it work on the field:

“He’s seen it work at both the collegiate and pro level so he knows the spacing he’s looking for, he knows the timing he’s looking for and he knows how to drill it. He knows how to get the reps because, especially in college, you only have a limited amount of time you’re with those guys, a limited amount of time in the meeting room, a little amount of time on the field. He knows how to get the most out of his time.”

He’s got plenty of talent to work with.  Just train ’em to do things right, give ’em the sets and concepts to make it go and turn ’em loose.  I’m good with that.

37 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football, Strategery And Mechanics

37 responses to “Run the dang offense, Monken.

  1. Rocketdawg

    Coaches sometimes over complicate the simple. There is no reason to have a playbook with 100’s of plays when you can take 5-7 basic concepts, package it in different formations, and have adjustments based on what the defense gives you. The true “Air Raid” offense is based off of 4 Verticals and everything is a read dependent on the defense pre-snap. As an Air Raid QB you don’t have to set protections or worry about blitzes, etc. It’s snap, read, chuck it to where the defense tells you to go. This is part of the reason Mahomes is the only Air Raid QB to have any success in the NFL. None of the other Texas Tech QB’s had even marginal success despite throwing for a zillion yards per game.

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    • Greg

      True….or the fans do. If you execute, they all work, but situational has been our achilles heel….and that is on Kirby IMO.

      The million dollar question…will he change??

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  2. Rival

    ‘Twould be silly to go empty set with our RB room.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Russ

    Your last paragraph is how I feel. We have the talent. Just deploy it in a logical manner (meaning stop banging into a 9 man box).

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  4. Derek

    We’ve been most effective in CKS era throwing 16 to 20 times a game and running twice that much. No reason to think that formula can’t still work. We simply need to get the most out of those pass plays. You need to hit them and for big gains.

    The only caveat to that is that you’re going to have to be capable of being 50/50 to beat the top teams on the schedule and in the post-season. The really talented teams can control the run without stacking the box.

    Without spring I don’t see any chance for us making any sort of wholesale identity changes.

    The biggest improvement I want to see is short yardage and goal line. We’ve been consistently atrocious at that of late.

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  5. 1) Focus your play design and calling on making most of the talent you have on hand.

    2) See above and continue to RUN THE BALL.

    3) But balance your throws down field on the sidelines with “dink and dunk” plays to strong TEs and/or sure-handed RBs IN THE MIDDLE OF THE FIELD. If there’s one thing I wish I’d seen more of the last four years it’s getting the ball to play-makers in the middle of the field — especially when it became painfully obvious that we preferred either 1) running up the middle or 2) throwing to the sidelines… I find it hard to believe we didn’t leave A LOT of potential yardage unutilized.

    4) Teach your QB to give up on plays and “live for another down” when need be. (To me the biggest downside of having a “running QB” is the possibility of him constantly feeling like he “has to make a play” with his legs when a run isn’t there…. sometimes there’s NOTHING THERE.) Nick Saban has publicly stated this was his largest area of concern for Tua. He didn’t know when to give up.

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  6. Corch Irvin Meyers, New USC Corch (2021)

    Would I like it if the Dawgs ran more pure Air Raid concepts to take advantage of the insane talent at receiver? Yes, yes I would.

    Am I happy that even if that won’t do that, they’ll be running concepts that made Tampa have the third best offense in the NFL while making Jameis Winston appear to be a competent pro QB? Yes, yes I would.

    Am I even more perplexed as to why Kirby wouldn’t let Jake know that he was going to replace Coley and give the kid something else to consider before making a mistake? Every dang day.

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    • Jake declared on January 8 when the deadline was January 20. Kirby announced Monken’s hire on January 17. Either Kirby wasn’t sure he was going to make a change on January 8, or Jake had already decided and didn’t want to wait.

      I never understood why Jake announced so early when it was clear he wasn’t going to be a first round election. I’m guessing he didn’t want to be bothered constantly on campus about the decision and this was the way to avoid all of that.

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      • Corch Irvin Meyers, New USC Corch (2021)

        I think Kirby had a good idea he would be replacing Coley at some point during Jake’s 4 straight sub 50% completion percentage games and how his mechanics had completely regressed to end the season. I believe Kirby is stubborn, I don’t believe he’s stupid. He had to see how poor a position coach and play caller Coley was at that point.

        Knowing that, why wouldn’t he let Jake know that change was coming to help him out for a final run to win a national title? I think part of Kirby’s stubbornness is he does play things too close to the vest and he does take longer than he should to either make or execute decisions he’s already made.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Normaltown Mike

        I wonder if it ate Jake up to see Fields lap him (in media coverage) so quickly and the idea of entering the draft next year as a mid rounder and seeing Fields as a top 10 pick was too much.

        If it was a “business decision”, it was a bad one.

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        • Corch Irvin Meyers, New USC Corch (2021)

          I don’t think Fields had anything to do with it. Fields’s success had everything to do with Day’s offense being a perfect fit for him, hiding his weaknesses (reading defenses, huddling, calling audibles) and playing to his strengths (only one or two route reads per play then take off running). He wouldn’t have had near the success in Chaney or Coley’s terrible offenses.

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    • UGA'13

      Maybe he did, and Jake decided he didn’t want to deal with a new OC again. At the end of his Junior year he was still draftable (obviously, since he was drafted) despite not living up to expectations. One more unimpressive year may have doomed him to selling insurance, and without knowing who the new OC was going to be there was a fairly significant risk associated with staying.

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      • Corch Irvin Meyers, New USC Corch (2021)

        Could be. I’d have to think though if Kirby told Jake who he had in mind, which he had to have known before Jake declared, that Jake would’ve stayed, because that’s the logical, reasonable decision.

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    • PTC DAWG

      Maybe Jake was ready to move on, and maybe Kirby was fine with it. We seem to be in good shape at this point re QB’s.

      Jake will always be 3-0 vs the Gators, SEC Champion…he’ll be fine.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. josh hancher

    UGA rarely has run even 10 Personnel. Both Chaney and Coley often flexed the TE and if they went empty- it was with TE and RB lined up outside

    One of the differences was that Nauta was a threat and Wolf and Woerner were not.

    The talent that UGA has at skill positions is pretty damn deep.

    I’d like to see 4 WRs and RB – but would like just as much a TE that can block and line up in slot and make prevent D from subbing

    Can I interest you Darnell Washington?

    There was simply not the guys on roster to run anything but 11.

    That’s no longer the case

    Go Dawgs!!

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  8. FtMyersDawg

    I dont doubt that Kirby had decided that Jake wasnt going to be the type of QB he wanted and being so he made zero attempt to keep Jake on campus. I am a WR boy but I am/was ready for a change.

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  9. junkyardawg41

    “He’s seen it work at both the collegiate and pro level so he knows the spacing he’s looking for, he knows the timing he’s looking for” THIS. ALL. DAY. LONG. Coley didn’t have bad plays drawn up. He didn’t have huge gaps in talent. He did have some schematic issues with regard to scheming receivers open. However, my biggest heartburn with Coley, and I saw it during the Vandy game was timing. The mesh point on handoffs seemed off — too slow or too fast, it didn’t line up with the time needed for O lineman to engage, shift, and move to the next level. Play action? What is that? And spacing — too often we had receivers in the same space.

    If Monken can fix the timing and spacing issues, I feel confident he can scheme open receivers — and I think we will be fine.

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  10. HamBone

    Does this “SI Maven” click bait farm have editors? He misspelled Warren Sharp’s name in the website…he links too…of the same name.

    Missed an ‘r’ there champ. “Shapfootballstats.com”

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  11. Matt

    There will surely be some differences, but the closest analogue for what we are moving towards is Clemson: Air Raid passing concepts and a “throw to win” gameplan coupled with an elite running and RPO game that keeps defenses honest.

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  12. FlyingPeakDawg

    What is this TE they speak of?

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    • Corch Irvin Meyers, New USC Corch (2021)

      It’s kinda like a WR but also kinda like a FB. Hasn’t been seen in Athens since Mike Bobo left.

      Liked by 1 person

  13. DawgPhan

    Less concerned with his chops at calling plays than I am with his chops on developing players.

    More than calling plays the last guy failed because few of the offensive players developed and QB1 regressed.

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    • Corch Irvin Meyers, New USC Corch (2021)

      Why did Jake regress? Good players who improve as Jake did generally don’t regress. His mechanics went to shit. Who’s fault is that? It’s amazing how people are like, “Jake regressed,” and simply leave that statement there as a declarative, like it explains everything when it explains nothing.

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      • Coley was the QB coach in 2018. Jake improved as a sophomore under Coley’s tutelage. I’m convinced Coley lost control when promoted to offensive coordinator, play caller and game planner. He was so in over his head that he left Jake to coach himself other than game planning film sessions.

        The Peter Principle at work … of course, Kirby should have seen it from how mediocre Miami offenses were before he came to Athens.

        Coley seems to be a good position coach and an excellent recruiter. Asking more than that appears to be a big challenge.

        That’s the only explanation I can give.

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        • Look at what happened when Jimbo took over play-calling duties from Coley. That’s all I needed to see.

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          • W Cobb Dawg

            Jimbo seemed eager enough to get Coley back on staff when he took the atm job.

            I agree with ee. Coley’s an above average position coach and recruiter. A good staff needs a guy who excels in the grunt work. But you’re asking the wrong guy if you need an OC. And Kirby put too much on his plate.

            I for one was sorry to see Coley go because I think he’s a better assistant than some of the others we still have on the O staff.

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            • Corch Irvin Meyers, New USC Corch (2021)

              Eager to get him as a recruiter. He wanted to hire him as OC in name only last year. Jimbo was always going to be the play caller, with Coley doing most of the paperwork, as it were.

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  14. josh hancher

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  15. Texas Dawg

    No matter what offensive set we run out of, I just have a couple of questions. Does he realize that our roster DOES include TE’s….and multiple good ones becaue apparently the last OC was unaware of this. Is the area between the hash marks still considered no go territory for the passing game…. it must have been under our last OC because we ventured there about as often as a Florida player visited the Library.

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