One of the journeys we’re about to embark on today, grasshoppers, is to see what sort of changes Brian Schottenheimer has worked into the Georgia offense. I’m a big believer in an if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it approach, so I’m both intrigued and a little nervous.
The reality is it probably won’t be much different from life with Bobo. But it won’t be exactly what we’ve been used to seeing, either. Clear? Hardly.
“We’re not going to reinvent the wheel,” Schottenheimer said after he was hired. “We’re going to run the football. Obviously, that’s a big part of what we’re doing.”
Tight end Jeb Blazevich said “for what we do, I feel like it’s still very similar. I feel like it’s still very explosive at time and we’re able to wear them down with the running game as well as get those explosive passes over the top.”
Still, it won’t exactly be the same old Bulldogs offense, even though it will be built around star tailback Nick Chubb. Not that there’s anything wrong with that.
“Sometimes I think that’s a good challenge,” Schottenheimer said about adjustments the wide receivers had to make in route concepts. “They’ve been running coach Bobo and coach Richt’s scheme for a long time, so they kind of come into meetings (and) are like, `Whoa, this is different.’”
Georgia’s system and the one Schottenheimer has run have been sort of joined together.
“If you take the guts of what we did last year and the guts of what we’re doing this year, the overlap is very high,” Richt said. “I mean 80 percent. We’re pretty much doing the same kind of thing. We’re protecting very much the same. We’re running the ball very much the same.”
Some of the new wrinkles have evolved in the months since Schottenheimer was hired in January.
“It’s been interesting,” Richt said. “When you run a system like he’s been running a while, there’s a lot of good things. There’s a lot of things he’s liked. Some of those things he’s liked are new to us, and you’re like, `Hey, I like that, too, a lot.’ And there’s a lot of things that we’ve been doing that’s been pretty good around here. We’ve been kind of feeding that to him, and he’s like, `Hey, I like that.’ So there’s certain plays that are creeping in that maybe weren’t being practiced quite as much on the front end for certain situations and things of that nature that we had done in the past.”
Schottenheimer has picked up Georgia’s tempo. Some of the red zone offense came from the NFL and the terminology being used has changed.
“He’s got the right kind of ego to be open to new ideas and vice versa,” Richt said. “We want to learn, too.”
The most obvious change is likely to come in the use of the tight ends, based on what Schottenheimer’s done in the NFL and, to be honest, based on the relative strengths, at least early on, of Georgia’s receiver groups. We shall see what we shall see.