Category Archives: Strategery And Mechanics

“The training wheels are off this year.”

Sometimes, it’s hard to tell the difference between a threat and preseason happy talk.

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The benefits of hurry

I thought this was an interesting list of advantages to be gained from running a hurry-up no-huddle offense.

First, as coaches we teach what is important. Since the huddle has nothing to do with winning or losing the game, we end up spending more time on fundamentals and the actual plays we use.

Next, the no-huddle allows coaches to make corrections visually. Often in a huddle, we try to explain how we want something done – a blocking scheme, back’s cut, etc. For us, all corrections are done at the LOS, and the players see exactly what we want. The defense is right in front of them.

Again, since we can run more plays in practice, a lot more conditioning occurs during the entire practice. Therefore, we are able to cut back on the amount of sprint work as the season continues. During the game, since more plays are being run and we are at the LOS for every play, our concentration has improved, especially when we are tired.

Finally, we have found that communication and execution of our over drive no huddle offense is much easier. Our players are accustomed to hearing the play called from the LOS and are better able to handle the hurry-up situation. Also, speeding up play at times in our regular offense gives them a better concept of the faster pace we want in or over drive situations.

Add the following…

How it affects linemen. If linemen move seven and one-half yards from the ball to the huddle and jog that same distance back to the LOS, by the end of each play they have traveled fifteen yards. Multiply that by a minimum 60 plays and you can see we save our linemen approximately 900 yards per game. Therefore, they should be fresher in the fourth quarter.

By not using a huddle, you can run approximately one-third more plays in practice. (For example, we used to a team goal of running 2 1/2 plays per minute now we have advanced to 3 1/2 plays minute. Now we run 35 plays in a 15-minute approximately during group and team periods.

How it affects our QB by verbally alerting calls to him at the LOS, our QB gains an extra three or four seconds to scan the defense. This gives him a better understanding of what the defense is doing.

The catch, if you want to call it that, is that as a coach you have to keep the playbook fairly simple.

… The goal is to get the snap off within 5 seconds of the ball being spotted. This makes it very difficult for a defensive coordinator to have time to look at down and distance tendencies so the defense has a hard time getting into the correct call. This allows the offense to dictate the pace of play and get the defense into the looks they want. When thinking about it, one may wonder why more teams do not implement the offense! Well, the same thing goes for the offense as the defense. It takes a sharp mind to get the play calls into the offense fast enough to properly execute. The play caller has to be quick and precise with their calls in order to get the play signaled in to the QB. The QB from the sidelines has to be a confident play caller.

This is one reason there are not many plays in this offense. The key to it is to be simple for the offense to execute but difficult for the defense to understand. A fast paced can throw many different looks at a defense but can run very simple and traditional plays. This offense is very difficult for an opposing team to replicate in practice because of the tempo, speed, and the many different formations. The fast pace basically adds a 5th quarter to the game. The defense must maintain focus for longer than the typical 4 quarter game. When you get physically tired, it is harder to be mentally tough.

The only way to counter that is with a deep set of defensive personnel you can continually rotate during the game, and that only works if the refs are allowing a reasonable time frame in which to substitute (assuming the offense is substituting, of course).

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Replacing explosiveness

For all the griping about Jim Chaney’s lack of prowess last season, there was one area of the offense that was an unqualified success:  Isaiah McKenzie, the team’s leading receiver.

The problem for 2017 is that McKenzie is gone and left some big shoes to fill.

McKenzie’s seven touchdown catches were two fewer than the rest of the team combined.

He accounted for eight plays of 25 or more yards in the passing game, more than double anyone else on the team, according to cfbstats.com.

That’s a problem.  Terry Godwin would seem to be an obvious candidate to replace the missing production, but there’s another intriguing name to consider.

Perhaps Michel can be that player out of the backfield or lined up at wide receiver.

He looked the part on a spectacular 33-yard touchdown catch against TCU in the Liberty Bowl.

“He affected that TCU game probably more than anybody, between him and Isaiah (McKenzie),” coach Kirby Smart said. “When you get him the ball in space he tends to make things happen, so finding ways to get Sony the ball and creative ways to use his ability is important for us. He finished off the year really well.”

Michel has five career receiving touchdowns, but that touchdown catch and run in the bowl game was his only score in the passing game last season.

Kirby can pooh-pooh deploying Michel and Chubb at the same time all he wants, but I can see breaking Michel out of that duo in the backfield and motioning him into the slot as being a devastating scenario for opposing defenses to handle.  Eh, a non-arena blogger can dream, can’t he?

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Today, in technique will only take you so far

Here’s an interesting clip from last year’s Georgia-Florida game (I know, I know) that does a nice job of setting up the center’s multiple pass protection responsibilities when facing an even defensive front.

As pointed out, the center does solid work after snapping the ball, but if you follow the clip all the way through, notice what happens with Atkins after Dillard shifts to take Rochester out of the play with a double-team.  End result, the pocket breaks down and Del Rio is forced to move away from Atkins’ rush.

There are several lessons to take from that, but, bottom line, having better personnel than the other guy tends to pay off, even when the other guy blocks just like the coaches drew it up.

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“He talked to us about making some changes to the offense.”

Big Jim has plans, people.

Clearly, Georgia’s offense needs to do something different this season, and offensive coordinator Jim Chaney is setting out to do that.

Chaney, who a month earlier had talked about trying to “freshen” the offense, outlined what exactly that meant to his offensive players on Monday. That seems to include more run-pass options and freedom for the quarterback to audible plays.

Senior tight end Jeb Blazevich summed up his understanding of it on Tuesday, before the team hit the field for its first spring practice:

“I think we’re going to try to implement a lot more RPOs, we’re going to try to implement a lot more things where it’s not just (like), Here’s a play, hope it works. But (instead) here’s a few options we can call. We can call an audible off this look or that look, and putting that in the quarterback’s hands, and then in our hands to learn it, and communicate what needs to be changed.”

Unleash the hounds!  But what does it all mean, exactly?

Michel was asked his understanding for how different it would make Georgia’s offense look this fall: Is it still a pro-style offense, or is it being opened up?

“I’m not sure,” Michel said. “We’ll probably know who we are throughout some of these practices this spring. I’m sure if we make major changes it won’t be perfect at the beginning. It’s going to take time, it’s going to take this team to come together and really understand that we’ve got to go out there and physically make it work.”

Unsure in April is one thing.  If they’re still saying that six months from now, we’ve got problems.

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All she wrote.

Watch Lorenzo Carter Maurice Smith fail to hold contain on this play.

Sometimes, it doesn’t take much to bust open a big play, just enough.

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If you can’t get a hat on a hat, what good are you out there?

Obviously, I do not have what it takes to be a successful offensive coordinator, because this goes straight over my head.

When you’ve got two players the caliber of Chubb and Sony, shouldn’t offensive coordinator Jim Chaney be finding ways to get them in the backfield together as much as he can?

Many fans may think so but Smart disagrees.

“I do think you have to be careful because as defensive coordinator, I prefer to see those two guys together because one of them doesn’t have the ball,” Smart said. “When one of them doesn’t have the ball, I always say what’s the other one doing – is he a professional blocker? Does he know how to block? Does he know how to go out and block in space, block people and cut people?”

Um, isn’t the question a defensive coordinator has to ask first is “which one of those studs is going to get the ball?”

Take one of my favorite plays from 2014, from the Georgia-Auburn game, as an example.  Dial the clip up to the 3:39 mark and you’ll see Todd Gurley and Nick Chubb together, at last.

What happens on that play after Chubb gets the ball in his hand is a blast, of course, but watch how they set Chubb up by making the play look like it’s designed to go Gurley’s way.  All three linebackers commit to his direction before Mason shovels the ball to Chubb.  It’s just as effective in creating space in which Chubb can motor as a great block by the fullback.

Indeed, that’s the point behind running the RPO plays that Smart goes on to tout.  So color me a bit befuddled.

Eh, maybe this is just a matter of degree.  Kirby does say he’s not objecting to ever putting both on the field at the same time.

“That’s the not the best thing they do. If they don’t have the ball, that’s really all they’re doing. So, we want some packages for them together, and they do block well, they’re willing to, but that’s not what they do best,” Smart said. “They’re best with the ball in their hands and we’re finding ways to get them the ball. We’ll have some packages for them together, and we’ll see if we can create some things from that.”

But he doesn’t sound like a man who’s heart is in it, either.  Like I said, I’m definitely not coaching material, because I could get a little excited watching the two of them come out of the huddle into an offensive set.

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