ATHENS — Georgia football coach Kirby Smart said this new Bulldogs’ offense can only open up as much as the skill position players allow for.
Execution always comes down to knowing the assignments and being able to execute them
Smart also made it clear the 2021 Bulldogs’ offensive line is still very much a work in progress, where some players need to get more physical and play with more emotion.
“We’re still moving some parts around,” said Smart, who will take to the practice field on Tuesday looking to correct and tweak after he and his staff evaluated the 130-play plus scrimmage at Sanford Stadium on Saturday.
“Certainly, got work to do to get where we need to be,” Smart said. “We’ve got some young guys trying to play.”
Broderick Jones and Sedrick Van Pran are two of the promising young talents up front who have yet to break through.
Jones appears to remain behind Xavier Truss on the depth chart at left tackle. Jones has started to add the requisite weight, but he still needs to increase his strength and power to be effective in the run game against SEC teams.
Van Pran had an errant snap exchange during the scrimmage, per observers.
Many of the receivers, meanwhile, are not yet up to speed with the layers of the playbook second-year offensive coordinator Todd Monken has installed.
The receiver execution was an issue in 2019 for Jake Fromm. The Bulldogs reloaded at the position that season, but injuries and inexperience proved an undoing.
There were times receivers ran the wrong routes or were not at the proper depth. Fromm would always take the blame, as most quarterbacks do, but the issues were ultimately revealed.
The backfield rotation, meanwhile, remains a question mark. Running backs coach Dell McGee has historically started the players with seniority, such as when Elijah Holyfield emerged as the hardest worker and was thus starting over D’Andre Swift in 2018.
The same sort of scenario could be playing out with Zamir White staying ahead of Kendall Milton on the RB depth chart, but it’s too early in spring drills to suggest any sort of decisions have been made.
It will be interesting to see how James Cook is utilized, particularly with 120 or so targets now available in 2021 after go-to guy George Pickens was injured.
Cook has always been at his best in space utilizing his uncanny receiver skills, anyway. With all the depth at the running back position, it’s not a stretch to consider Cook playing some sort of hybrid role, operating primarily as a receiver out of the backfield with the occasional handoff.
Time will tell, though UGA’s annual G-Day Game is fast approaching, set for 2 p.m. on April 17 at Sanford Stadium.