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Georgia spring football: 4 early takeaways from Kirby Smart’s reloading championship program

SystemSystem Posts: 10,410 admin
edited March 2023 in Article commenting
imageGeorgia spring football: 4 early takeaways from Kirby Smart’s reloading championship program

ATHENS — Georgia football put the pads on Saturday in Practice 3 of 15 this spring, an important physical first step toward the 2023 season.

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    navydawgnavydawg Posts: 2,995 ✭✭✭✭✭ Graduate

    Tons and Tons of potential for this years version of the Dawgs. But yes it will have to be refined to translate to winning games. But I really do Believe in Kirby and his coaching staff. I have allot of faith in them.

    It’s always a challenge from year to year, but I honestly Believe that Kirby and his coaching staff will not only meet but Exceed those challenges.

    My reasoning is that just like he is very careful in his selection of players he recruits to UGA, the same even more so holds true for the people he hires on as staff. Kirby has managed to surround himself with some of if not The best in college football.

    And when some leave for greener pastures he’s managed to replace that person or persons with as good or better.

    Kirby himself has developed more and more from at first a pretty decent HC, to a very good HC, to now a Great HC. He himself has become more experienced and more mature at handling the position and life of being a Great HC in the toughest conference in college football !!

    So this is being reflected by his coaching staff and from them to the players.

    Trying hard for a moment to take off my Dawgs homer hat ( which is a massive task for me 😀) I don’t think Kirby and the Dawgs are some sort of fluke at all. I think they will be either winning or beating hard on the door of the National Championship this year and quite a few years to come.

    Kirby has built an enduring football program at UGA that will figure very prominently into the Ntl. Title conversations for years to come.

    Thank You Kirby and All the Coaching Staff, and everyone associated to the program !! And Thank You to the AD and all the powers that be at UGA that support Kirby and our Dawgs in that effort !!

    We as Dawgs fans have waited a long, long time !! Go Dawgs !!

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    thadecthadec Posts: 611 ✭✭✭✭ Senior
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    Oldddawg76Oldddawg76 Posts: 393 ✭✭✭✭ Senior

    Watching Brandon Adams today, I find espn warns that the Vols will be out for blood this season. Good to have that alert from espn. I guess the Vols weren't taking the Dawgs seriously these past years. Yes? No?

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    thadecthadec Posts: 611 ✭✭✭✭ Senior

    "the most versatile tailback in recent memory"

    Not true at all. The "800 rushing yards and 500 receiving yards" thing is A. based on McIntosh playing 15 games and B. a UGA scheme that sacrificed rushing attempts - and McIntosh's draft status - in favor of short passes. Jahymr Gibbs has 1150 rushing yards and 560 receiving yards if he plays 15 games instead of 12, and that was in an actual NFL style offense. Even among very recent UGA RBs, anyone who who thinks that D'Andre Swift couldn't have easily had those numbers if the UGA gameplan had Jake Fromm throwing Swift the ball 10 times a game with George Pickens, Mecole Hardman, Riley Ridley and the other WRs reduced to mostly blockers - meaning those guys don't become 2nd and 4th round picks - is just choosing to believe what they want to.

    "The fact Georgia is losing two offensive tackles that did not give up a sack last season is more reason to believe the Bulldogs might look to move the pocket event more than last season."

    No, Amarius Mims and Earnest Greene III are both more talented than the guys that they are replacing. McClendon in particular is better suited for OG at the next level. The backup OTs in 2023 won't be as good as they were in 2022, but that is going to be more than mitigated by UGA having the best interior OL by a mile. Every P5 team that UGA is likely to play next season but Missouri runs a 3 man front and Van Pran, Truss and Tate will be able to block them without help, meaning that opposing defenses will only be able to generate pressure against UGA by blitzing. However, unlike the last 2 seasons, UGA will be able to make teams pay for blitzing by throwing it downfield to Brock Bowers. Once defenses adjust to UGA having a vertical passing game - which to be fair wasn't really that big of a threat with Jake Fromm either - that will open up plenty of room for Carson Beck to run around when he needs to. CJ Stroud and Bryce Young didn't even run at the combine, but note that against UGA defenses that were preoccupied with their intermediate and vertical passing games they found plenty of space to run when they needed to, and the same will be true of Beck.

    More “11″ personnel

    Now THAT is a shame. I was hoping that UGA was going to do what Auburn did in 2004 with Ronnie Brown and Cadillac Williams - both tailbacks though Brown had some H-back skills (an H-back is a fullback/TE hybrid position that was created by Joe Gibbs of the Washington Redskins) - and put Milton and Edwards in the same backfield (with Milton in the Brown role and Edwards in the Williams role). Milton and Edwards are no Brown and Williams obviously, but as no one is running the football like Auburn and LSU (or Kansas State, Texas A&M, USC, Ohio State, Miami, Michigan, Texas and even Oklahoma with Adrian Peterson) did back then, no team has a defense constructed to stop it no matter how good the tailbacks are. UGA has 3 guys (Milton, Edwards, Branson) that would be feature backs for 75% of the teams in college football and was hoping that Bobo and Kirby would find a way to feature them all. But it doesn't appear that this is a priority for them. That being said, with Bowers, Lovett, Thomas and McConkey ... UGA will have their best group catching the football since the 2008 season when both Greene and Massoquai came SO CLOSE to having 1000 yard seasons. And oh yeah, Knowshon Moreno had only 3 fewer receiving yards per game that year than McIntosh this year, and that was despite actually being allowed to carry the ball 20 times a game. So, as "actually being a dominant threat carrying the football" counts - and it does - then yeah even Moreno was more versatile than McIntosh despite not being particularly regaled as such while he was playing (in Athens or in Chicago).

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    ColumbusDawgColumbusDawg Posts: 523 ✭✭✭✭ Senior

    thadec, you self-proclaimed "casual college football fan" (biggest whopper in world history), you got too much time on your hands man. You ever going back to work?

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    UGADad20UGADad20 Posts: 1,700 ✭✭✭✭✭ Graduate
    edited March 2023

    Is running more "11 personnel" the smart thing to do? One of the things that made UGA's O so productive and difficult to defend was the versatility and unpredictability of running "12 personnel".

    With BB the O is virtually 11 personnel anyway. It has all of the benefits of 11 personnel and more versatility. Better blocking. More match up mismatches. Less predictable. Does BB block and Delp become the receiver or does Delp block and BB become the receiver? The D will never be sure. Delp may be a bigger receiving threat than DWash.

    The O is already losing some blocking going from 12 personnel w/DWash to 11 personnel (or 12 w/Delp). Why not play 2 blockers who are also excellent receivers? Would help the running game breaking in 2 new starters on the OL.

    The UGA TE room already has 4 talented players and may add another (5* - 2Rob) before fall. Seems 12 personnel might be the smart way to go.

    JDJ maturity is a work in progress like any 20 year old. Remember the melt down on the sideline early last year? Corrected. Clearly coached up by the staff. You didn't see that again all season. As for racing/speeding, the subject will be a focal point for the entire team. You can bet that the UGA Administration has talked to CKS about it and that counseling regarding the penalties, dangers and consequences will be an ongoing theme throughout the year.

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    CandlerParkCandlerPark Posts: 646 ✭✭✭✭✭ Graduate

    @thadec I don't think Smart's pitch to running backs is: "You're gonna run for 1,000 yards a season." Same goes for his pitch to wide receivers.

    UGA's pitch is more like: "You're going to develop as a player as well here as anywhere, if not better. You're going to compete for the NC every year your here. No team has had as many players drafted into the NFL over the past xx years. And we're going to care about you physically, mentally and spiritually." (The racing and the accident have surely made the last part of the pitch more complicated for now.)

    Making it not about statistics actually is one of the reasons for Kirby's.

    BTW, the same is even more true for defensive players. They're not going to get a huge number of tackles, sacks, interceptions, etc.., because there's too much talent at each position, they rotate a lot, and they get opponents off the field too quickly to have many opportunities.

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    MikeGriffithMikeGriffith Posts: 3,681 ✭✭✭✭✭ Graduate

    @UGADad20 Because none of the TEs can block like Washington -- it's about maximizing personnel, and that's what made Darnell so valuable,

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    GoodOlDawgGoodOlDawg Posts: 445 ✭✭✭✭✭ Graduate
    edited March 2023

    I believe that Marcus Rosemy- Jacksaint is very capable of being a starter over one of the new transfers, especially over Thomas. He’s got good size and speed, and really improved his blocking technique last year. Don’t count out Dillon Bell either. It will be interesting to see how much improvement he shows after another year in the program. If all of these impressive WR’s stay healthy through the off season it’s going to get scary for a lot of DC’s!

    GO DAWGS!

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    UGADad20UGADad20 Posts: 1,700 ✭✭✭✭✭ Graduate

    "none of the TE's block like Washington". True. But none of the WR's block like a TE. If you want more blocking and/or the D guessing who the hot TE is, 12 personnel makes more sense. TE's vs LB's or S's has been a mismatch that UGA has feasted on.

    If you think Beck has an arm that can throw every route and you want more WR's stretching the field then you play more 11 personnel. Or if you want to utilize more WR's (recruiting WR's/QB's) because you have more that need touches then you play more 11 personnel.

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    BigDawg61BigDawg61 Posts: 2,401 ✭✭✭✭✭ Graduate

    Lol...you sure about that, Mike? You might want to go back, and watch Bowers do a little blocking. He ain't no slouch. Maybe, not as dominant in the run game...but, that's not how he was being employed. Doesn't mean he can't be as dominant.

    Now...I'm a Washington fan, too. But, I wouldn't put him (or any player) in a category above Bowers...just, different. Keep your eye on Czonka...I mean Bowers.

    Bowers a "One-of-a-kind" player, that can play any position, or assume any roll on the field, that is asked of him. Those are extremely rare...as is a player with Washington's size, speed and athleticism. It's ashamed we didn't get to see all that he's capable of, while he was at UGA. I think injuries probably slowed his progress. .

    i can't wait to see what he becomes, playing on Sundays. He has so much room to grow.

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    BigDawg61BigDawg61 Posts: 2,401 ✭✭✭✭✭ Graduate
    edited March 2023

    I don't think this year's offense is going to look exactly like '21 or '22, where the Dawgs depended heavily on scheme. I believe this year...the Offense is going to be more "in-your-face" than we're used to. Stretching the field in the passing game.

    When I envision 2023's Offense, I see an Offense that resembles a hybrid of Mullins' 2020 UF and LSU's 2019 version. Lol...I think that's been Smart's goal, since UGA (and everybody else) was annihilated by the Tigers, in 2019.

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    navydawgnavydawg Posts: 2,995 ✭✭✭✭✭ Graduate

    I made my comments about Kirby and the coaching staff Before the news about the two new analysts that were just hired was posted on DawgNation.

    Sorry to be redundant but that just goes to show that Kirby is staying on top of his game with his hiring of staff just like his selection of players on the recruiting trail.

    Kirby is proving that Elite is not just a hype word with him !! So as I said earlier this years team has quite a few proven veterans along with new guys that have tons of potential.

    Under the leadership of Kirby and his Coaching Staff, Analysts, and all the other great support personnel,I’m extremely confident that they can structure and refine this team into yet another National Title winner.

    And even if they do 3 peat, as long as Kirby is at the helm you can Expect our Dawgs to be right there in the mix for a Natty every year.

    Kirby Smart is not a fluke at all, he’s now a legitimate Top Level HC in the toughest conference in college football.

    Over the years to come Kirby will begin to match if not exceed what Saban has done. As much as it galls me to have to say it, the records Do show that Saban is in fact an all time great.

    But I think he’s starting to go into a decline. That’s Not to say he won’t have some more success, but I’m speaking over all compared to his previous years.

    Kirby and our Dawgs are on the trajectory to meet or exceed what Saban has accomplished. Go Dawgs !!!

    P.S. Once Kirby has established the dynasty, does that mean we Dawgs fans get to go on the Internet and pretend to Teach the game of football to all our rivals fans like the Gump fans have done all this time ?? Bwahaha !! 😂

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    navydawgnavydawg Posts: 2,995 ✭✭✭✭✭ Graduate
    edited March 2023

    @BigDawg61 Lol Love your Czonka reference to Bowers !! That’s a good one !! Or maybe Tony Gonzalez ?? Would that be fairly accurate match to ?? 😀 P.S. If he’s given the opportunities keep a close eye on Delp. He showed flashes of Bowers Like skill in his limited time. To early to really tell but he just Might be another Bowers !!

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    MikeGriffithMikeGriffith Posts: 3,681 ✭✭✭✭✭ Graduate

    Very sure about that -- Darnell played at 275 --- different kind of player.

    Brock is adequate as a blocker -- technique sound.

    But you aren't going to ask him to handle the types of folks Darnell was going against.

    Both fantastic players ---

    Brock is the "move" guy whereas Darnell was a conventional dual threat. No one on the roster compares at this stage.

    UGA is better with Lovett in the slot and one TE --- I predict a big year from the Missouri transfer --- he's as dynamic as UGA has had at the slot position under Kirby IMO

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    reddawg1reddawg1 Posts: 3,614 ✭✭✭✭✭ Graduate

    Lawson Luckie may be the best blocker at TE we have, but he'll have to wait his time. KId threw some brutal blocks in HS.

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    BigDawg61BigDawg61 Posts: 2,401 ✭✭✭✭✭ Graduate

    Okay...Lol....I don't disagree with a darned thing you said, regarding the offense, Bowers or Washington. Somethings wrong! Lol...maybe it's me.

    As far as Darnell goes...it appears to me, he's still growing into his body. When I first saw him, at the 2020 HS UA All-Star game, he kind of reminded me of a newborn foal, trying to find it's legs and gaining his balance. He's gotten a little better each year, handling his body, but, injury setbacks have delayed what I think is inevitable. That foal is destined to become Pegasus, with a little more work and seasoning. He hasn't quite matured into his body, but last year, he appeared much more agile and athletic. He WILL make his mark...IF he stays healthy.

    Lovett is one of the best WRs in the Country, IMO. I kept up with Lovett, after last year's Mizzou Spring Game. I tuned in, to watch Luther Burden...and stayed, to watch Lovett, throughout the year. He is, most definitely, an upgrade at the UGA WR Position and will be sorely missed, by Coach "Drink".

    I don't know that much about Rara Thomas. From what I DO remember...he's kind of like a "Burton" or "Metchie". A possession receiver, for the most part, capable of doing more. I know, he's supposed to be good, but, not sure where he fits in with all the other WRs the Dawgs have. Maybe, he gets in the rotation...maybe not.

    In any case...Lovett and Thomas are great additions. I can't wait to see what Bobo and McClendon do with that position group, this year. With the QB, WR & TE "game pieces" he has to play with....2023, is gonna be a blast.

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    UGADad20UGADad20 Posts: 1,700 ✭✭✭✭✭ Graduate
    edited March 2023

    Makes sense when you consider UGA only has 4 scholarship TE's and 2 are freshman (and 1 is already hurt). UGA has at least 6 wr's (barring injury) that can play at a high level.

    From a pure #'s standpoint, more 11 personnel may be a necessity. But consider the O with basically 2 Brock Bowers. Delp's game is very similar. Who's the hot TE? Who do you double cover? Do you sub more DB's to cover athletic TE's? When you do does that create a running mismatch w/TE's blocking DB's? 12 personnel helps the UGA running game. Controlling the clock and closing out the game controlling the clock is CKS's MO.

    Either way it will make sense to see plenty of both 11 and 12 personnel. With only 4 TE's (2 freshmen) UGA doesn't have enough TE's to play as much 12 as they did last year. When I wrote about leaning on 12 personnel as much as last year I didn't realize UGA has only 4 TE's.

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