ATHENS – Nick Chubb was asked this week if he’s seen improvement from Georgia’s offensive line.
“I see it – and I hear it,” Georgia’s star tailback answered.
What Chubb meant: The front five is doing a much better job of talking to each other, and presumably to others on offense, when it comes to pre-snap actions. And while that may sound like a little thing, to people on the football team it’s not.
In fact, when Chubb was asked how the offense has improved this spring – and by all accounts it has – he mentioned communication. Spotting what kind of rush may be coming from the defense. Telling each other how to adjust to it. Pointing out which defender each offensive linemen will block.
“The O-line, they’re getting movement up front, but it all starts with them knowing what to do,” Chubb said.
Yes, it could all just be happy talk, which is common in the spring. Even if there is evident domination by the O-line for everyone to see in Saturday’s spring game, it will come with the caveat that the defense will be without arguably its two most important run stoppers: Trent Thompson (defensive tackle) and Roquan Smith (inside linebacker.)
The proof will only truly come when real games occur this fall. But for now, even the defense is impressed by what it’s seen out of Georgia’s revamped offensive line. Outside linebacker Lorenzo Carter said he has “nothing but respect” for what the offensive line has done this spring.
“They’ve played out of position, they’ve moved around the line. But they’ve done a great job each day of just coming out attacking,” Carter said. “They’ve forced the defense to step up.”
While there has been that movement, as Carter alluded, the first team has remained fairly consistent the past few weeks: Isaiah Wynn and Dyshon Sims at the tackles, Pat Allen and Solomon Kindley at the guards, Lamont Gaillard at center. That’s only two returning starters (Wynn and Gaillard), and even they are at different positions than most of last year.
But Wynn said it’s still been a collective effort to get everyone on the same page.
“It’s not just one person leading the offensive line. All of us are correcting each other,” Wynn said. “When the twos are in there, the ones are correcting the twos. When the ones come out, some twos may say something like, ‘Hey we’ve got to fix this.’ Everybody is just helping each other, which is something we needed.”
There’s been plenty of evidence this spring that the offense, which struggled so much the past two years, is making strides to improve. That means every facet, whether it’s using different players at receiver, Jacob Eason improving his fundamentals, or Jim Chaney calling the right plays.
But it all starts up front, as Chubb said.
“It’s kind of too early to tell now. It’s just the spring, we have a long way away from the season, but we have made a lot of progress this spring,” Chubb said. “I’m excited to see what will happen. I know we’re doing well right now.”
G-Day is Saturday. Georgia’s spring game kicks off at 2 p.m. and will be televised on SEC Network.