For once, an AJ-C header that makes me chuckle.

After all, what coach doesn’t want a starting quarterback who’s “consistent but can make ‘a big-time throw’’?

Once you get past the “and a pony” aspect of things, here’s Schottenheimer’s assessment of his three quarterback candidates:

On Brice Ramsey’s attributes …

Brice obviously has a ton of natural ability. Very raw. Coming into the spring he was a little behind just because now he’s in a new system and a guy coming from a Wing-T offense and stuff. He’s had some really terrific performances. He had a scrimmage a couple of weeks ago where he was just lights out and did a terrific job. But, again, what we’ve got to get him to do is make sure he makes the same consistent decisions day in and day out. He can’t have a great performance one day and then take a step back the next day. That’s something he and I have talked a lot about and that he’s working very hard on. But, again, he’s a guy with tremendous, tremendous up side.

On Greyson Lambert’s attributes …

“It is quite amazing what he’s been able to do only being on campus since mid-July and truly having as good a grasp on the playbook as the other guys. That’s saying a whole lot about him. Certainly being able to graduate from Virginia in a three-year period of time is a pretty impressive accolade as well. He’s a guy who certainly has intelligence, he gets the game, he understands football. It kind of makes sense to him, if you will. We certainly like the fact that he’s got some experience. He started nine games upo at Virginia and has been under that fire.”

On Faton Bauta’s attributes …

“Probably one of the hardest workers we have on the team. He’s one of those guys that every second he can spend in this building he does. He’s either working on the playbook and mastering the offense or just doing something to take care of his body or to work on something fundamental. So hard work just jumps off of him. He does a good job of getting us in and out of bad plays to good plays. He’s also had those days where he’s done a great job throwing it around and hitting big plays and taking advantage of one-on-one matchups. Definitely a guy that we don’t overlook. He know he’s got to do what he does well.”

I have to say I don’t see anything in there we haven’t already heard.  Even the part about the pony…

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Filed under Georgia Football

Where there’s smoke, there’s fired.

Color me a little surprised with the speed of the decision, but Illinois just announced the firing of Tim Beckman, a week before the start of the season.  Must’ve been one hell of an internal investigation.

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Filed under Big Ten Football

The ceiling and the floor

From Paul Myerberg’s typically excellent SEC preview:

Georgia

Best case: Solid quarterback play brings together a roster with title-worthy talent, leading to — you guessed it — a national championship for the Bulldogs.

Worst case: As is sometimes the case, the Bulldogs find a way to lose three games.

That pretty much sums it up, no?

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Filed under Georgia Football

“He doesn’t say anything. He just goes and works.”

Nick Chubb is one of those exceedingly rare people who doesn’t deserve to have anything go wrong for them.

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Filed under Georgia Football

An alternate theory of the crime

Jeff Schultz wants you to know that while he finds Mark Richt’s comedy act about Georgia’s quarterback situation amusing, Dawg fan, that doesn’t mean you should.

Richt has been having fun with the daily stonewalling of the media when it comes to Georgia’s quarterback competition and the team’s depth chart. He admits it: “I love it.”

Asked for his thoughts on senior transfer Greyson Lambert, he said, “He’s tall.”

Asked last week for statistics on a scrimmage, he declined, saying, “You don’t all have to get carpal tunnel and all that stuff trying to click all the keys.”

I’m pretty sure the decision to have his head shaved in the summer tripped the funny switch in his cranium.

But there’s something worth noting about this quarterback situation in Athens: Richt isn’t saying what quarterback is clearly No. 1 largely because he doesn’t know.

I get that.  It’s not a crazy theory, either.  But maybe it’s not the right one.

Yes, I’ve got one, too.  But remember as you read the rest of this post that’s all it is.  I don’t know Mark Richt.  I don’t know Brian Schottenheimer.  I don’t have a direct pipeline to any of Georgia’s coaches or players.  I don’t even know the guy who cleans out Butts-Mehre and claims to have heard a late night, heated discussion about the quarterbacks in the bowels of the building.  So take this as nothing more than pure out of my ass speculation, ’cause that’s all it really is.

That being said, I do know a few things.

  1. I know that as last season ended, Brice Ramsey was the clear number two quarterback on Georgia’s roster.  The coaches had even toyed with the idea of inserting him into the Vanderbilt game midseason to shake up the offense, but as things turned out, that possibility seemed to shake up Hutson Mason enough that it wasn’t needed.  And when Mason went down for good in the bowl game, Ramsey came in towards the end of the first half and played the rest of the game.  In 2014, Faton Bauta was a step down the totem pole from Ramsey.
  2. I know that there’s a consistent pattern during Richt’s term to go with the quarterback who’s played in his system the longest.  Greene started ahead of Shockley, Cox played instead of Murray, etc.  Even JTIII got the nod ahead of a clearly more gifted Matt Stafford.  You can disagree with whether it’s always been the wisest course.  You can point out that it’s not the only factor – Stafford did take over the starting spot as a true freshman, after all.  But, still, the pattern is there.  (Remember that Cox got a crack as the starter when Stafford faltered, too.)
  3. I know that this year, Richt took the unprecedented step (for him) of signing a transfer quarterback from another D-1 program with the stated intention of giving him a shot at starting, despite not just having one quarterback on the roster with game experience, but another who had been in the program for several seasons.
  4. And I know that this week Richt said Ramsey’s preparation skills and maturity were lacking, a criticism he hasn’t leveled at another Georgia quarterback in some time, if ever.

So what are we supposed to make of this?  Based on Richt’s track record, Ramsey’s need to lock down the starting position shouldn’t even be a topic today; he should already be the man.  (Even Joe T was that guy, however briefly.)  Bauta shouldn’t be in a position to have a legitimate shot.  Lambert’s lack of time in Georgia’s system should prevent him from being a credible possibility after a mere three weeks of practice.  And yet history isn’t repeating.

What I make of it isn’t that Richt doesn’t know who his quarterback should be.  It’s that Richt hasn’t yet figured out how to turn the switch that makes the light go on – and stay on –  in Ramsey’s head.  But he believes that competition is the best tool he has at his disposal for that purpose.  And if you look at the offseason developments in that context, a lot of things make sense.  Bauta’s place in the competition survived as long as he was the best available option with which to grab Ramsey’s attention.  With Lambert’s recent development (not necessarily to the point that he’s ready to start, but at least to the stage where he could be a legitimate option in the near future), the need for Bauta as a means of pushing Ramsey isn’t nearly as great.  And whatever value there is now in Bauta’s role is less than the value of paring down the reps from three quarterback candidates to two.

The other logical point to this is that Mark Richt isn’t an idiot in general and certainly not when it comes to recognizing and developing quarterback talent.  So, a week before the start of the season, what should we think – that Richt’s helplessly clueless about what to do, or that based on experience, he’s chosen a course best designed to motivate the quarterback he thinks has the best skill set for his offense game ready? (Think again of how Ramsey was apparently used to get Mason’s focus last year.)  It’s either that, or buy into the conspiracy theory that Richt is deliberately withholding reps from the player he knows will start to string along either Ramsey or Bauta so they won’t transfer in a huff upon learning the real story.  Sure.

Besides, if Ramsey doesn’t respond to being pushed in that way, at least Richt still leaves himself with another quarterback being developed who may turn into a practical choice while there’s still time to make the season a success.

Again, I don’t know that any of this is really what’s going on right now.  All I can say is that it feels like it makes sense.  At least more sense than any other explanation I’ve heard to date.  Can you do better?

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Filed under Georgia Football

The 2015 Fabris Pool: come on in, the water’s fine!

I am pleased to announce that Week One picks are up.

We’ve only got 117 folks who have signed up to play so far.  If you’re on the fence or just forgot, it’s not too late to jump in.  The invite link is here.

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Filed under GTP Stuff

“The SEC has that inherent advantage that if Alabama or Auburn is playing the Little Sisters of the Poor, people are still going to watch in huge numbers.”

So you’d pay two or three bucks a month for the SEC Network.  But would you pay $10?

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Filed under ESPN Is The Devil, SEC Football