Pass pro, 2022 edition

I wouldn’t say I’m at the point of losing sleep over it, but, if pressed, I will admit to a concern I have about Georgia’s offense this season.  It’s an area that’s lost a lot of experience, as this tweet indicates.

Okay, those aren’t particularly big numbers either way, so what’s the big deal?  Let Rollins explain.

Why examine something that is an extremely small percentage of plays, especially for Georgia? Because one of the biggest plays in school history (above) doesn’t happen without James Cook’s pass protection. Cook picked up Bama’s Christian Harris and allowed Stetson Bennett the extra second or two to hit the free play shot/go-ahead touchdown to Adonai Mitchell.

The above play was actually something Bulldog backs were rarely asked to do. In total, the running backs only had 67 total pass blocking reps last season, good for the fourth-fewest in the Power 5 despite the additional games. Only Florida left their backs in to pass protect fewer times in the SEC.

It’s not something the Bulldogs did particularly well either. The team’s running back pass block grade was 36.6, seventh-best in the SEC and just 41st in the Power 5.

It doesn’t matter until it does, in other words.  No doubt Monken will scheme around this deficiency — and when Kenny McIntosh is your best returning back in pass pro, a deficiency is what it is — until more experience brings more consistency.  And he’ll do a good job in that regard, but still, good ain’t the same as perfect.

Like I said, I’m not losing any sleep over it, but when you like to take deep shots the way Georgia does, it’s something to consider.


Filed under Georgia Football, Stats Geek!, Strategery And Mechanics

19 responses to “Pass pro, 2022 edition

  1. Ran A

    Put it this way. I’m more concerned with how quickly our LB’S and the corner opposite Ringo grow up than I am M&M’s pass blocking skills. Actually believe that the run game will be better; expecting the O-line too be better than last years.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. gurkhadawg

    Definitely first world problem. But hey, we’re Georgia fans, we gotta worry about something, right?

    Liked by 3 people

  3. back9k9

    After seeing what we did in 2021 with a very thin WR room… I’m not too worried about this one.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Dawg in Austin

    I saw this yesterday as well and my thoughts turned to why do we have such a low pass blocking frequency number. Obviously we run the ball plenty and geared down a lot in the second half creating those running plays. But 4th lowest struck me as very infrequent. I wonder if Stetson’s escapability gave Monken the confidence to go empty backfield more and add another WR or TE to the formation. Guessing that continues, given the personnel and pass blocking improvement on the OL.


  5. godawgs1701

    I’d be more worried about it if it was something we were good at last year, but since we weren’t I think I’ll choose to put this on the pile of things I’m not really worried about, like the check engine light.

    Liked by 6 people

  6. Biggen

    That doesn’t mean the other three aren’t any good at pass blocking though. They just haven’t had any opportunities yet like Cook/Zeus had.

    I’m not sure I’d count Cook as an elite pass blocker either. On that above referenced play it’s not like he stones Harris. Cook falls sideways during the block and trips up Harris.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dylan Dreyer's Booty

      A guy who has probably the fewest reps of the returnees – Daijun Edwards – seems like a guy willing and able to stone a rusher. Regardless, as the stats show, we really haven’t lost much because we never had it to begin with.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. How important is pass blocking in critical situations? Ask Devonta Freeman.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. W Cobb Dawg

    Meh, I recall reading some complaints about Gurley’s blocking. If he was on the sideline for 1 play due to blocking deficiencies it was 1 play too many.

    Our RBs will be an asset this year. And looking forward with 220+ lb RBs Robinson and Paul coming in, the future is very bright.

    Liked by 2 people

    • ASEF

      IMO, Gurley botched the block on the LB that tipped the final pass in the ‘12 SEC championship. Let the guy get into him and elevate. If TG initiates the contact, guy can’t get any air.


      • W Cobb Dawg

        If we’re gonna ‘shoulda’, I’d suggest we shoulda gave the ball to Gurley and let him fly or plow into the end zone. Heck, he carried half of bama’s D on his back for his earlier TD in that game.


  9. Dawgfan1995

    Arguably, with how few pass pro plays for RBs that we ran, Monken already has adjusted for this.


  10. practicaldawg

    Cook’s pass protection was something we always took for granted. He was excellent, and I think it’s what really let him max out playing time in his last 2 years. He happened to be very good at catching footballs too.


  11. Spell Dawg

    That Mississippi stud RB we just brought in reminds me of Chubb, incredibly strong with a low center of gravity. If he can get pass-pro down, we’ll be fine.


  12. whb209

    Pass pro has a lot to do with the ability to stick your nose in the rushers chest. If you don’t mind the sight of you own blood the job is yours. Coach Monken has this under control.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Texas Dawg

    I’m sure they will improve with playing time. If I remember correctly, Cook was not that good of a blocker early in his career. He improved tremendously with coaching and playing time.

    Liked by 2 people

  14. ASEF

    Backs tend to get better year by year at blocking. It takes time and reps, given that most of them were never asked to do it in high school.

    Liked by 1 person