Justin Shaffer-Georgia football-UGA football-DawgNation Cover 4
Georgia offensive lineman Justin Shaffer (54) during the G-Day scrimmage on Dooley Field at Sanford Stadium in Athens, Ga., on Saturday, April 17, 2021. (Photo by Tony Walsh)

ESPN analyst: Georgia offensive line continuity and chemistry ‘one of the bigger questions’ in SEC

HOOVER, Ala. — Kirby Smart identified the Georgia offensive line as the area where the Bulldogs’ needed to make the “largest leap” after spring drills, and ESPN analyst Cole Cubelic explained why on Tuesday.

“Going back to what I saw in the spring game, it had nothing to do with athleticism, physicality or effort,” said Cubelic, a former Auburn offensive lineman who worked the sideline for the SEC Network at the G-Day Game in April.

“It was really just continuity and chemistry, and finding a way to get that group to jell,” he said. “They missed some things and didn’t pick up some things that absolutely should have been picked up. Some two-man games, some three-man pressures that easily should be picked up.”

Smart saw or sensed some of those same things, leading to his assessment after the game.

RELATED: Kirby Smart reflects on O-Line after G-Day Game, dishes criticism

“If we’re gonna be a good team, we have to protect the quarterback, and we have to be able to run the football,” Smart said last April. “That’s one of the areas we have to make our largest leaps to get to where we want to go next season.”

Cubelic indicated Georgia’s ability to make that jump on the offensive line is pivotal.

“I think it’s one of the bigger questions with this team and maybe one of the bigger questions in the East, and I don’t doubt the talent at all,” Cubelic said.

“Whether you look at Jamaree Salyer, Xavier Truss, or you look at the physicality, size and athleticism, it’s just gong to be about organization now.”

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Cubelic said Luke’s ability to work with players in the spring and move players around to experiment and build depth was an advantage.

The left tackle position sounds very much up for grabs, even with Jamaree Salyer and Xavier Truss bringing some experience to the table.

Cubelic said he’s not so sure true freshman Amarius Mims might not ultimately be the answer.

“I’m not going to count Amarius Mims out of anything, just based on the way he looks physically,” Cubelic said. “He looks like a guy that God said, ‘I’m going to create an offensive tackle,’ and that’s the guy he made.”

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