ATHENS — Georgia offensive coordinator James Coley spoke methodically about his plans to maximize the Bulldogs playmakers this season.
“Right now, we’re getting in this training camp mode, we’re figuring out little by little where we’re at with some of the guys, how much they have to improve,” Coley said. “The benchmark is not there yet, we’re still in jerseys.”
Georgia’s receiver room is getting the most attention this offseason, the Bulldogs having lost their top five receivers from the 2018 campaign.
Coley was asked how he might adjust or simplify the system to incorporate the talents of freshman wideouts George Pickens and Dominick Blaylock.
“First of all, I don’t think you simplify it for them early — I think you figure out how much they can retain, what they are bringing to the table,” Coley said, asked about Pickens and Blaylock. “And then at some point, you sit back and say, ‘Okay, this guy has exceptional skill, we’re going to feature him doing this and that because this might be too much.’ But ultimately, the goal is not to be so complicated that you can’t execute.
“You want to be complicated enough so that you’re not predictable.”
Predictably, Pickens and Blaylock are still working to get up to speed in the playbook, neither early enrollees with the benefit of what would have been a very valuable spring session.
Pickens was running third team on Monday, Blaylock fourth team in the slot.
“Those kids have been thrown in the fire a little bit this early in this camp,” Coley said. “We want to see what they know, what they can pick up, and what they can do.”
Coley’s message on Monday was “players not plays,” and that resonates on a team filled with 5-star talent, even after an offseason of 8 transfers.
That would seem to be good news for Pickens and Blaylock, whose physical attributes and skillsets have been obvious in offseason workouts.
“I think in the pro-style game, you coordinate to your players,” Coley said. “Players, not plays. It’s a little cliché in the coaching profession, but it’s the truth. Players, not plays.
“Coach Smart is all about players, not plays. He definitely preaches that to us. And sometimes as coaches you forget, you’re like, ‘man, this scheme is really intriguing’. But are your players touching the ball within this game.”