Kirby Smart is always open to new ideas, hence his “if it ain’t broke, make it better” philosophy.
But there’s a process Smart believes in, and while there’s always room for modifications, it’s not likely to change, regardless of who his coordinators are.
A flashback to Smart’s comments in fall camp two seasons ago is revealing for those who wonder how new offensive coordinator Todd Monken will determine the direction of the offense this spring.
“The building of the (offensive) package is really based on what we have,” Smart said on that August 15 afternoon of 2018.
“What are our strengths? Are we stronger at receiver than running back or are our backs going to be as good and explosive as they were last year? We’ve got to see some of that.”
Then, like now, Georgia was looking to expand its offense and throw the football more. It could have hardly thrown the ball less in 2017.
That 2017 season, with Nick Chubb, Sony Michel and D’Andre Swift in the backfield, UGA had a higher percentage of run plays than any other non-option team in college football. It also very nearly won the national title.
But in 2018, Smart knew Fromm was ready to handle more of an offensive load. He, along with then-OC Jim Chaney, felt good about a talented and experienced group of pass catchers returning.
There were four players in that group who would play on NFL teams one season later.
It’s too early to say for sure if the 2020 Georgia offense can measure up personnel-wise to the 2017 or 2018 teams at quarterback, running back, offensive line or receiver.
But it’s not too early to say that Smart was dissatisfied with the 2019 pass game and the team’s inability to make explosive plays.
Georgia returns Sugar Bowl MVP George Pickens this season, one of the most talented receivers in the nation. Also back are capable pass catchers Demetris Robertson, Dominick Blaylock and Matt Landers.
The Bulldogs added three top-75 receivers in the 2020 signing class, along with Florida State grad-transfer TE Tre Mckitty and freakishly talented freshman TE Darnell Washington.
However Monken designs the offense, Smart will see to it Georgia does not lose its efficiency on the ground.
“Our core belief that we always have, which is balance, being powerful, being able to run the ball at our will, not (letting) somebody else breaking our will,” Smart said in the 2018 fall camp. “That’s always going to be the identity we have.”
No doubt, but the Bulldogs will also add more personality to the pass game — once determining the personnel strengths.