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Kirby Smart preaches confidence regarding Georgia running back room, even with transfer portal open

SystemSystem Posts: 10,755 admin
edited April 2023 in Article commenting
imageKirby Smart preaches confidence regarding Georgia running back room, even with transfer portal open

ATHENS — Very little went according to plan for the Georgia running back room this spring. Kendall Milton and Daijun Edwards both dealt with hamstring injuries. Only the latter was able to play on G-Day, as Edwards registered five total touches for 19 yards.

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    thadecthadec Posts: 611 ✭✭✭✭ Senior
    edited April 2023


    Dawgnation's "we need to replace McIntosh's receiving yards" thing is bizarre. No, you don't. The offense that Monken and Smart designed around Stetson Bennett IV last year used short passes and reverses to replace the running game. This was necessary because the passing game lacked the ability to attack certain areas of the field consistently, allowing the LBs and safeties who generally covered that area of the field to stay in the box. UGA got around that by attacking the areas at/near the line of scrimmage but outside the box with reverses and short pass plays that developed too fast for the guys inside the box to react. While that was effective, the cost was UGA's starting TB getting less than 10 carries a game, which - when combined with his below average 40 time - had disastrous consequences to his NFL prospects. Don't think that a lot of 4 and 5 star prospects are going to line up to come to Athens to be used the same way.

    Unlike SB IV, Beck can deliver the ball to all 6 areas of the field and force the safeties and LBs out of the box. That should allow the starting RB to get 1200-1300 yards at 6-7 yards per carry as usual. Also, no big time tailback is going to come to UGA out of the portal to get 10 carries and 3-4 catches per game and at best become a 4th or 5th round pick as a result. They are going to choose a situation where they can carry the ball a lot more and their draft ceiling is much higher i.e. Jahmyr Gibbs will certainly be off the board by the middle of the 2nd round.

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    jdatl3jdatl3 Posts: 417 ✭✭✭✭ Senior

    Georgia has the talent - they are banged up, but they will get better. Yes, you do need to replace McIntosh's receiving yards. Yes, backs do NOT need a ton of carries to get to the next level. The NFL doesn't draft backs in the first round - at least its a rarity. Running backs need to showcase their talents without getting destroyed with 25 carries a game at the collegiate level. More backs with 12-15 carries a game is the way to go. Better for the ball carrier, better depth for UGA.

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    JimDawg85JimDawg85 Posts: 369 ✭✭✭ Junior

    That freshman, Rod Robinson was really moving the pile at G-Day. I don't want to read too much into one spring game performance, but if he is our 4th or 5th string running back, we are going to be just fine. I am really interested to see what Andrew Paul can do. He was getting a lot of positive reviews last year in practice until he got injured. Given the recovery cycle of knee injuries, he is probably still a year away from being a major contributor for the team.

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    BigDawg888BigDawg888 Posts: 1,558 ✭✭✭✭✭ Graduate

    I am hearing a lot about Paul and BRob. Now I know that Milton at the end of last year looked great also. So out of 5 guys hopefully 2 can be healthy and we will be fine. I might even try Mekhi Mews back there if we get desperate. Those little guys are hard to find...

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    reddawg1reddawg1 Posts: 3,681 ✭✭✭✭✭ Graduate

    @thadec "Also, no big time tailback is going to come to UGA out of the portal to get 10 carries and 3-4 catches per game and at best become a 4th or 5th round pick as a result. They are going to choose a situation where they can carry the ball a lot more and their draft ceiling is much higher i.e. Jahmyr Gibbs will certainly be off the board by the middle of the 2nd round."

    Kenny McIntosh and Gibbs carried the ball the same amount of times last season. Your reasoning is flawed. Why wouldn't a RB from a obsolete program want to come to UGA and ball out? THey will get as many touches as they are good for. Especially if they have great pass catching ability. If Gibbs had 150 carries and 44 or so catches out of the backfield get's him into the 2nd round then it can be done at UGA too. We actually ran the ball more times per game than BAMA did.

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    CandlerParkCandlerPark Posts: 723 ✭✭✭✭✭ Graduate

    You make great points, @thadec. But I still don't the obsession with one RB gaining 1,300 yards.

    Will a guy who gained 1,218 yards (Swift) be drafted higher (2nd round) than someone who ran for 700+? Not always: Cook also went second round.

    Kirby's done right by his running backs.

    McIntosh will be the third drafted in two years. If Milton gets healthy, he and Edwards could make it five RBs drafted in three years.

    What's more impressive: Each of those five needed time anyway, either to rehabilitate (Zeus, Milton) or to develop (Cook, McIntosh, Edwards). None of them would have had as stellar a college career as Swift under any offense scheme.

    I agree that Bobo can (and likely will) update the offense to take advantage of our bruising, up-the-middle RBs and while our many receivers stretch the field. This year's RBs are an impressive group!

    All that talent is why no one guy is like to gain 1,200 yards this year. But, who knows? Maybe big Roderick will burst onto the scene and bust out like Nick Chubb with like 1,500 yards. :-)

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    navydawgnavydawg Posts: 3,039 ✭✭✭✭✭ Graduate

    @thadec You said the exact same thing about WRs. That they wouldn’t want to come to UGA. Yet Dawgs got Lovett and RaRa which were the top receivers at their respective schools.

    Plus Dawgs signed three pretty good receivers out of HS. And Dawgs get very good to great RBs pretty much every year. That’s Why UGA has been known as RBU.

    You know all this stuff, you just can’t resist taking a shot at the program. I figured you were over due you’ve been to complimentary lately !!

    Now if your trying to compare to say West Coast schools where they pretty much throw the ball nearly every snap, Yeah on a year to year basis they’ll get More WRs of the higher tier. But Dawgs manage to get good solid blue chip receivers every year.

    On the RBs front, Dawgs on average get top tier RBs. Some years are better or worse than others, but that can be said of all schools. If you look back over the years Dawgs have gotten great RBs.

    Your fixated on the NFL, you wrongly think that the Only reason a top tier player goes to any given school is their NFL prospects. Wrong.

    It’d take me all day to lay out why. But Even with just thinking NFL, the coaches at UGA coach, practice, and play by very close to NFL standards. I can’t over state how many times I’ve heard the football “experts” say that about UGA and Kirby in the last 5 years in particular.

    And gosh numerous players have talked about how grueling the practices are. That’s Why some leave UGA, it’s just to intense to handle.

    These things said if a RB wants to learn to block for pass plays, which as You Know is vital in the NFL, and Now in recent years learn to catch the ball coming out of the backfield, as well as sharpen the traditional running skills, then UGA is the place to be !! No Dawgs won’t get every single top RB coming out of HS or the TP, but I can bet you they Will get their fair share of the best, as long as KS is at the helm.

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    GtheGreekGtheGreek Posts: 1,005 ✭✭✭✭✭ Graduate

    Come September 2 we will have 5 healthy RB's all ready and willing to contribute their skills.....Keep your eye on Paul.....I predict that we will have at least two eclipse the 1000 yd mark by the time the NC comes around as the competition will be fierce!

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    UGADad20UGADad20 Posts: 1,800 ✭✭✭✭✭ Graduate

    That is very optimistic but not very realistic. The odds are stacked against 1 1000 yd rusher let alone 2. First, barring injuries, UGA plays multiple RB's. I expect all healthy RB's to have roles Including walk-on's Cash Jones and #20 . PROVIDED they know their pass blocking assignments and don't fumble the ball.

    As for the RB's gaining 1000 yds, Milton has never been able to stay healthy. Edwards and both Robinson's lack the speed necessary to pad rushing stats with long runs. Paul will be brought along slowly this yr. CKS does not rush players back from injury and always takes the conservative route. I expect Paul to be the last RB this season. #20 will probably get the mop up carries that Edwards used to get.

    HS RB's are like college RB's. You don't have to be a 1st rd pick to be a very good NFL RB. You don't have to be a Top 50/5* player to be a very good college RB. UGA has done pretty well so far during the CKS era. UGA will continue to recruit very good players, develop them into NFL players and send them to the NFL with low mileage.

    UGA didn't have Herschel Walker but still won the CFBCG the last 2 yrs. Looking down the list of the last 9 SB winners I don't see any Walter Payton's, Emmitt Smith's or Adrian Peterson's. CFB is following the NFL. It is a passing game with complementary running. What separates UGA as a program is the teamwork and buy in. Coaching not talent. There is so much talent across the country, coaching and development is the differentiator. As long as the coaches can make that happen UGA will remain at the top.

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    WoodstockDawgWoodstockDawg Posts: 256 ✭✭✭✭ Senior

    I believe UGA is fine. No there is not a McIntosh or Cook, but we have plenty of weapons! Cash was money in the scrimmage out of the back field! I do not expect him to be a starter, but he looked good…you could slide Mews, Brock, or others as a threat. All you need is the occasional threat. Our receiving corp is the best (collectively) I can remember and this will gain the attention of the defense. Multiple ways to skin a defense and a versatile back is only one component. I choose to trust Kirby and Bobo’s judgement!!

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    navydawgnavydawg Posts: 3,039 ✭✭✭✭✭ Graduate

    I was very impressed with Cash though I realize G Day is just a glorified scrimmage. I know there’s so many in front of him it’ll be hard for him to break in to the rotation this year.

    But the young man has allot of heart, he wasn’t afraid to go right into the teeth of the D. He seemed pretty speedy and he was a shifty elusive looking back to me. I’m glad he’s a Dawg especially if God Forbid the injuries start to mount.

    And if he’ll just keep on chopping he might break in there next year, possibly even this year. I love players that you can easily see are giving their all, and I saw that with him !! Go Dawgs !!

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