It’s no secret that the Georgia Bulldogs could potentially reach the College Football Playoff next season behind one of the best defenses in the nation, but when it comes to the offense, there are many questions that remain unanswered this offseason.
After losing several key components this past season, spring 2020 would have been a crucial time for Georgia to let all the new moving parts mesh together. Kirby Smart hired three coaches – including new offensive coordinator Todd Monken, offensive line coach Matt Luke, and special teams coordinator Scott Cochran. The program also went out and added Wake Forest transfer quarterback Jamie Newman and a pair of early enrollees in quarterback Carson Beck, running back Kendall Milton and wide receiver Justin Robinson.
“I don’t know if Georgia knew what the trunk of the tree was for that offense last year for an extended period of time,” Cubelic said in a recent appearance on ESPN Baton Rouge 104.5 FM program “Off The Bench” on Friday. “..On offense, I don’t know where the confidence is coming from — like I saw PFF but something out today, ‘Jamie Newman is without question the best quarterback in the SEC.’ Dude hasn’t taken a snap in the SEC, man. Like, let’s calm down for a minute.”
Due to the COVID-19 outbreak, all spring practices and team activities have been cancelled since students aren’t allowed on campus. After coming off a 12-2 season in 2019, there are high expectations for Smart’s program heading into 2020. The Bulldogs are having to adjust to the times by meeting via Zoom video teleconferencing, and with no spring practice that could it make more difficult when fall comes around.
Of course, Georgia isn’t the only team that’s facing issues, but the Bulldogs’ situation varies from others because of the lack of experience on offense heading into next season. Cubelic mentioned that teams with a lot returning starters might have a slight edge because of the returning veteran experience.
“Some have lived it, they’ve breathed it, and they already have somewhat of an idea of what it’s going to be like,” Cubelic said. “True experience is going to be most important. Georgia, in this offense, they flat-out just don’t have a ton of it.”
Cubelic also added that repetitions in practice are important to improve as a unit. He thinks that Georgia will definitely encounter hardship come fall practice with those missed repetitions.
“Whether it was in helmets, in full pads, with contact, without contact — they haven’t had any of those,” Cubelic said. “To think you’re going to be where you need to be without those is really difficult.”
Newman, who played his previous three seasons as Wake Forest, is alleged to add a new component to Georgia’s offense this upcoming fall. But unfortunately, Newman hasn’t even gotten to take a snap under yet in a Bulldogs’ practice uniform. In fact, the only time he has gotten to interact with his teammates was during weight training and offseason workouts before spring break.
Cubelic adds that it’s going to take time to build a rapport with his new teammates.
“That camaraderie and that chemistry is something that’s going to be very hard for Georgia to sort of force feed before and during this football season,” said Cubelic.
Speaking in terms of Monken, Cubelic talked about how implementing a new system would take time and that learning new schemes isn’t something players can just pick up in a day.
Despite the drawbacks, he is eager to see what Georgia could do offensively. With Monken’s background, Georgia has the potential to be one of the most prolific offenses in the country if they can execute right. He could also groom Newman into a top-round talent heading into next year’s NFL Draft.
Either way, Cubelic believes that Georgia’s defense will be the backbone of the team yet again.
“You’re always going to be able to rely on that,” Cubelic said. “Defense is always going to be ahead of the offense.”
Georgia returns a few skill players like Zamir White, James Cook and George Pickens who should definitely make an impact next season as well some fresh new faces like Florida State transfer Tre’ McKitty alongside the incoming freshman.