Honestly, I think we’re about at the proof is in the pudding stage with Georgia’s newest scholarship quarterback, so there really isn’t much left to be said until we start getting camp reports in August. However, I thought I’d leave you with a couple of posts about Lambert and Virginia football for you to ponder until then.
Over at Glory, Glory Georgia Blog, you can find a look at a few clips from what might have been Lambert’s best day last season, albeit in a loss, against FSU. Now this is some cherry picking – believe me, you don’t want to see any clips of Lambert’s brutal game against UCLA – and you’ll see some good things. Lambert displayed good footwork and decent pocket presence against the ‘Noles on his touchdown throws, and his height is an advantage. But the placement of those throws leaves something to be desired, as did his choice of target on one. (Watch them all and ask yourself where Aaron Murray would have put those passes.)
And keep in mind for all the good Lambert did in that game – 220 yards, 3 TDs, 1 INT – he still finished with a so-so passer rating of 132.51, mainly because he averaged an anemic 6.3 yards per attempt and only completed about 57% of his pass attempts. And that passer rating was his best of 2014 against a D-1 defense.
I won’t deny there’s something to work with there, or that the coaching Lambert received in Charlottesville is more than likely to be surpassed in Athens. But it’s hard to look at those clips and envision an overnight transformation in time for the season opener.
If you want to look at the bigger picture, statistically speaking, Bill Connelly, as usual, is your man. I’ll just let Bill’s summary of Lambert speak for itself.
Offensive coordinator Steve Fairchild is a pro-style, balance-at-all-costs guy. That’s not the most exciting approach, but it can work if you’ve got the pieces.
And in Lambert, it seemed like he had a heck of a quarterback prototype. Lambert was a big four-star whose every move screamed “pro-style.” And he was only a sophomore, so he had plenty of time to grow into himself. But he simply didn’t play as well as lanky, less-touted Matt Johns, and the offense didn’t move as well.
- Lambert: 5.7 yards per pass attempt (inc. sacks), 4.2% INT rate, 3.3 yards per (non-sack) carry
- Johns: 6.5 yards per pass attempt, 3.1% INT rate, 7.3 yards per carry
Johns overtook Lambert on the depth chart this spring, and Lambert transferred. His raw potential earned him a spot at Georgia that his production certainly couldn’t have.