ATHENS — There’s a lot that goes into being a wide receiver, but the emphasis for that group at practice this week has been on the actual receiving part. Hand-eye coordination drills. Bad-ball drills. Catching with a defender on you. And plenty more.
“Some of them are new,” sophomore receiver Michael Chigbu said. “Some of them we’ve been doing, but are just a little amplified.”
This comes after an epidemic of drops over Georgia’s first four games. There were “five or six” in the loss at Ole Miss, per head coach Kirby Smart, including at least one in the end zone.
“These dropped balls are unacceptable for the whole receiving corps,” Chigbu said. “We can’t be doing that if we want to win, if we want to go down the long road, especially in the SEC. … That has to change.”
Chigbu didn’t have any drops at Ole Miss, but he’s had a few in the first three games. Even the team’s leading receiver, junior Isaiah McKenzie, has been hit by the bug: He dropped a wide-open pass inside the 10 at Ole Miss, a couple plays after sophomore Jayson Stanley had the drop in the end zone.
McKenzie was asked if unfamiliarity with freshman quarterback Jacob Eason, and still getting used to his passes, has had any effect.
“Not really,” he said. “Jacob can throw different balls, the way he throws the ball, but we’ve just got to catch the ball no matter what, no matter how it comes.”
McKenzie also demurred when asked if having a third receivers coach in as many years, and any change in drills that comes with that, could be at play.
“No, it’s just focusing on the ball,” McKenzie said. “If you focus on catching it for the most part, we’re doing the best job we can as receivers.”