I always enjoy those rare situations when Georgia’s coordinators are allowed off the chain, so to speak, and talk to the media. Dan Lanning took his turn yesterday, and while there was the usual coachspeak dished out (“We’ve talked about Havoc plays a lot here in the past. That’s still definitely a big focus.”), there were a few niblets mixed in here and there worth considering.
I found this observation about preparation work interesting:
On players being ahead of where they’ve been because of zoom: “Yeah ultimately I would agree with that. Our mental prep, whether we’ve been able to create it through walkthroughs, zoom meetings, is actually further along than our physical prep as far as the tecnhqiue that is required to execute something properly. Getting more of those practice reps is going to be really valuable, but the mental prep is probably ahead of the curve.”
I would assume if there’s been a real benefit to that, even when circumstances return to a more normal setting, some of the virtual training is going to be incorporated into future preparations.
It’s funny, but the most intriguing things he had to say were about offense.
What LSU did in 2019, scheme or personnel?: “Obviously they have phenomenal players and you don’t want to discredit anything they did as a team last year. They did a really good job. I think there’s elements of both. Ultimately we didn’t finish on plays. We were in the right place sometimes and didn’t capitalize. On the same note, they do a lot of unique things with empty. You see more of empty in our league than you ever have before. You see a lot of things from a motion standpoint, shifts, that they create and was unique to face. Moving forward I don’t know how much of that we’ll see, but I know we’ll be more prepared for it.”
Defending Todd Monken’s offense and what he brings to the table and what kind of challenges he can create for a DC: “One thing that’s unique about Todd, I’m not going to tell you what plays we’re running, right, but what’s really fun is he’s the definition of a coach that, he obviously has a lot of experience, knows exactly what he wants in his product. He’s very demanding of his guys, and what right execution looks like. But he’s also very adaptable to change. The game’s changed over the years. And I think you see a lot of pieces of that in his offensive game plan.”
Most people looking at Georgia’s offense for this season have tried to focus on how much Air Raid Monken plans to incorporate into his offensive scheme in Athens, but I don’t think that’s the way Smart has approached where he wants to go post-Coley. I think that LSU’s game plan in the SECCG really left its mark. There’s definitely a whiff of “if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em” in Lanning’s comments there. I’m thinking we’re going to see more empty sets and creative use of personnel out of them to create mismatches than we’ve seen before.