Offensive coordinators are the dumbest people on earth. If you don’t believe it, just survey fans immediately after a loss or a disappointing season. We all see the obvious play-calling gaffs that could have swung the game/season. Who among us is not a better OC than Jim Chaney, right? Second-guessing play calls is as old as football. I remember riding home from high school games as a kid and listening to my Dad and his friends complain about the blown call that certainly would have changed the outcome. “Just give the ball to ________________.”
Those of you with long memories might recall the long-ago age when, the now sainted, Mike Bobo was pilloried for his inept play-calling. How did Bobo transform himself into a competent coordinator, a genius even? Your best clue might be Mr. Bobo’s choice of offensive coordinator when he left UGA for Colorado State – his offensive line coach, Will Friend. Bobo’s metamorphosis in the mind of the fanbase began with Friend’s arrival in Athens.
Here is how ESPN analyst Tom Luginbill assessed Georgia’s offense in a recent article by William McFadden in Saturday Down South:
After the 2016 season, Bulldogs fans might not trust Chaney to make the right decision; a common complaint was that he failed to play to the offense’s strengths in key situations. Last year might not be the right best indicator of what the staff is capable of, however, due to the youth and lack of talent in key spots.
“It’s not just about the running backs, it’s about the quarterback, too,” Luginbill said. “It’s tough to do anything when you’re playing with a young quarterback, especially when you’re not very good in the offensive line, which they weren’t. …
“There is no way a year ago they felt comfortable (checking plays at the line) with Jacob Eason; he could not have handled that. And most freshmen can’t, that’s a very rare thing. A lot of the ability to do this isn’t just coming from the sideline and calling it; it’s being able to trust that if you’re on the field and you say, ‘Here’s our personnel grouping, here’s our formation, here’s our shift and this is the play we want to get into after we’ve done all of that’ the quarterback is going to be an integral part in getting you into that right play.’”
Although Georgia’s offense looked conservative last season, it might have been more out of necessity than identity.
Georgia’s offensive line will be inexperienced again in 2017, but with the advantage of Eason’s season under fire, the staff should be able to execute more of the playbook and take some pressure off of the young line.
Chaney best call of his UGA tenure will be insisting on Sam Pittman as his offensive line coach. Pittman is Chaney’s Friend.