ATHENS — Georgia coach Kirby Smart made James Coley’s promotion to offensive coordinator official within days of Jim Chaney announcing his departure for Tennessee.
There was good reason for that: Coley was essentially in the on-deck circle, having been promoted to quarterbacks coach and co-offensive coordinator just one year before.
Former UGA All-American quarterback Eric Zeier has seen enough to know what the framework of a Kirby Smart offense will look like, even with a new play caller.
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“I think what we’re going to see is very similar to what we saw under Chaney,” Zeier told DawgNation. “The philosophy of what we’re trying to do right now is so sound, it plays to the strength of the team — we want to run behind that big, massive offensive line.”
Georgia led the SEC in rushing last season, and the Bulldogs return six offensive linemen with starting experience to a unit expected to be the best in the nation.
Zeier also points out the value of having an experienced quarterback under center like Jake Fromm.
“We have a quarterback that’s a three-year starter who does such a great job of managing the game,” Zeier said. “Jake has the unique ability to put the offense in position to win every single play.
“He’s able to change plays and recognize matchups, and that’s the greatest weapon an offense can have, that ability to be able to do all of that at the line of scrimmage.”
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The Bulldogs efficiency running the ball, Zeier said, is paramount because it forces the defense’s hand.
“A lot is based in forcing defenses to load the box, then throwing the ball when there are one-on-one situations,” Zeier said. “There has been so much talk around the use of tight ends, but that will all be dictated by what we can force defenses into.”
At the end of the day, Zeier said, the base philosophy stays the same.
“Run the football behind that offensive line,” he said, “grind out defenses, play to the strength of our offense.”