ATHENS — Reading what coaches told reporters about Georgia anonymously for an Athlon article was like a day spent on social media.
Interesting, and yet pretty much the same thoughts, doubts and questions about how Coach Kirby Smart and the Bulldogs will move forward after winning the CFP Championship last season.
Here’s a look at some of the comments in the 2022 Athlon Magazine Preview with a quick take:
Anonymous: “Losing (Dan) Lanning isn’t going to really hurt, but losing those NFL players on the front sure as hell will,” the coach said. “Muschamp is best when he’s got the one job, and he’ll bring along the young guy (Glenn Schumann) because Will works so well with Kirby so that won’t be a problem.”
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Griffith: Will Muschamp was arguably one of the biggest keys to UGA winning the national title, from his super scout of Clemson (Georgia doesn’t make the playoff with a loss to Clemson), to his relationship and development with players in the secondary and the sounding board he gives Smart. The biggest issue with losing Lanning is facing him and Oregon in the opener, and the road map it will provide the remainder of UGA’s schedule.
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Anonymous: “The quarterback is back, but one of the worst things that can happen after a successful season or a title run is when a good-but-not-great QB comes back.
“Everyone is expecting an advancement that might not be possible. Remember, there were times last season when they won in spite of this offense.”
Griffith: A 24-year-old quarterback might not get much better or any taller, but the pieces around Stetson Bennett are arguably better than a season ago, and Smart will turn Todd Monken loose with more aggressive game plans. Bennett played well enough when he needed to, with the exception of the SEC Championship Game, so he’s the clear choice to enter the season No. 1 and Smart has given no indication there’s any way that could change.
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Anonymous: “They’re loaded with elite young guys coming in, but they aren’t going to have the luxury of that defense from last season.
So eventually, they’re going to have to open the offense up and push Stetson Bennett.”
Griffith: The good news for Smart is Georgia has options on offense and defense, with an ability to shift game plans from one opponent to the next.