Category Archives: Strategery And Mechanics

Giddy up

While scouring the intertubes for Monken news, I came across this tidbit:

Wake was the fastest offense in college football in 2019 and averaged 83 plays per game.

The Dawgs averaged 67 plays per game last season, if you’re wondering.

Nah, I don’t expect the Georgia offense to go at warp speed in 2020.  But it’s certainly good to know that if Jamie Newman wins the starting job, he’s well versed in running an up-tempo offense.

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Filed under Georgia Football, Strategery And Mechanics

“… he’s the brightest football coach I’ve ever worked with and the Georgia people are very lucky to get him.”

Forget about Air Raid this and West Coast offense that, just inject this, from Monken’s former OC at Southern Miss, directly into my veins:

“We made a huge emphasis of throwing the balls to the backs in the passing game,” Lindsey said, “and that’s something I learned from him that they do a lot in the NFL. …They understood protections and understood how to run routes, man and zone.[Emphasis added.]

Damn.  Is it September yet?

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Filed under Georgia Football, Strategery And Mechanics

“Every blade of grass”

Manball, meet Bradyball.

First part of that is basically Coley’s “players, not plays” credo.

Second part of that is what Kirby got a heavy dose of all through the SECCG.

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“If you have better players, you want to play as many plays as possible.”

If you’re posing the question which team is most likely to follow in LSU’s footsteps in the coming season by making a leap due to a change in offensive philosophy, it’s not hard to think of Georgia.  But that means you have to think about Kirby Smart.

“Nick Saban basically admitted this on the broadcast…Talking about the RPO and spread and how it’s really kind of just changed the game. He’s basically said that if you aren’t hip with the times that you just aren’t going to be able to have the explosive play rate of these other offenses. I think that if you’re a team that can recruit elite players, you almost have to run this. Because think about it — if you’re running a ton of plays — it increases the sample size. If you have better players, the more plays you are going to run. There’s better chance the talent is going to run to the top instead of shrinking in the game and kind of putting it in the chance whether you get turnovers or you’re worried about field position.”

If you’re recruiting at a better clip than almost every team on your schedule (remember, Alabama’s on the program this season), what’s the best way to use that to your advantage?  Manball says, play like an anaconda, slowly squeezing the life out of the other team by subjecting them to a physical pounding on both sides of the ball and play slowly to limit the number of opportunities each offense has, thus putting more pressure on the opponent to play each series efficiently.

Saban says college football is now in an era where explosive plays have a greater impact, making manball a less effective approach.  Is he right?  Well, neither he nor Kirby made an appearance in this year’s playoffs, but the four teams that did certainly had more explosive offenses than did Georgia.

I don’t presume to know if that’s enough to sway Smart, but I do wonder if something else may matter to him.  “… if you’re running a ton of plays — it increases the sample size” also means that your offensive players have the opportunity to play more.  Forget about the way that also puts pressure on the opponent and ask yourself what sells on the recruiting trail.  I’ve got a feeling that telling some star receiving recruit or a quarterback that you’re running 75 plays on offense instead of 65 might make a difference these days.  Does Smart?

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Filed under Georgia Football, Strategery And Mechanics

And what might have been

As a Georgia fan, one of my lesser regrets was that Mark Richt and Georgia let SEC officials bully them into abandoning the no-huddle offense Richt ran at FSU.

But if you think Richt was a little ahead of this time with that, you ain’t seen nothing yet ($$).

An interesting side note from Shockley: Georgia did use some zone read and even run-pass option plays back in that 2005 season, way before it was popularized. But they only ran it a few times a game because it was so new.

“We had huge success off it,” Shockley said. “It was part of Bobo and coach Richt putting it into our offense, but because it was so new they were still learning how to block it, how to call it, and all that kind of stuff. We used it sd [sic.] more of a change-up than what it is today, which is a part of everyone’s base offense.”

Jeebus.  Can you imagine what Georgia’s offense might have looked like if Richt had embraced that wholeheartedly a decade ago?  Damn.

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Filed under Georgia Football, Strategery And Mechanics

What might be

If you’re a Georgia fan, Mark Schlabach kinda buried the lede in his first Way-Too-Early 2020 CFB rankings.

Outlook: Georgia fans who weren’t happy with the team’s offense in 2019 will get their wish with a complete face-lift. Fromm, a three-year starter and most accurate passer in school history, is off to the NFL draft, along with three starting offensive linemen. Sophomore Cade Mays decided to transfer to Tennessee. Georgia scoured the graduate transfer market for a starting quarterback, and Wake Forest’s Jamie Newman has enrolled in classes at Georgia and will participate in spring practice. Changes are expected on Kirby Smart’s offensive staff as well. Keep an eye on former Cleveland Browns offensive coordinator Todd Monken.  [Emphasis added.] Georgia’s defense carried the load in 2019 and should be stout again, especially with safety Richard LeCounte, linebacker Monty Rice and cornerback Eric Stokes electing to return. The Bulldogs open the season against Virginia in Atlanta and play at Alabama on Sept. 19 and against Florida in Jacksonville, Florida, on Oct. 31.

Schlabach is fairly well connected in Athens, so take it for what it’s worth.  (I might also mention this isn’t the first time I’ve heard Monken’s name mentioned, so take that for what it’s worth, too.)

If you’re looking for some background information on Monken — and, given that he’s been around for a while, there’s plenty of that — this summary is as good a place to start as any.

Monken is not a traditional “Air Raid” coach, at least not in the sense most think when they hear that phrase. If you watch his offense at Oklahoma State or Southern Miss it bears almost no resemblance to what you’ll see from Mike Leach and his disciples.

Monken runs more of a spread offense that is built around throwing the football, but his offense is more balanced. While his offenses always lean heavy on the pass, the ability to be effective running and throwing the football is what makes them so explosive. The threat of the run also makes his pass offense more dynamic.

What I like most about Monken’s offense is that he will attack the entire field with the throwing game. His Oklahoma State offense attacked down the field quite a bit, but on every snap you had to be prepared to defend every zone, short to deep, inside and outside. Monken will attack with vertical stretch concepts, horizontal stretch concepts and he’ll run some triangle concepts that are a big part of the West Coast offense.

Monken also attacks with the play-action and screen game. His screen game attacks inside and outside, and will go to backs and receivers. He’ll get his running backs the football many ways. In 2011-12 his top back was Joseph Randle, who caught 71 passes in two seasons under Monken. In 2015 at Southern Miss, his top two backs combined for 79 caches and 799 yards.

I could live with that.

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Filed under Georgia Football, Strategery And Mechanics

Adapt or die

Man, when you’ve lost Nick Saban…

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Filed under Nick Saban Rules, Strategery And Mechanics