Spring practices are right around the corner. Georgia football hits the field on March 16 to prepare for the upcoming season.
This is a huge spring for the Bulldogs. The team is implementing a lot of changes to its roster with key starters on both sides of the ball having departed for the NFL. Some of those changes will be easy to observe from the first day of spring.
More explosive offense
Gone are the conservative, run-first offenses that have defined the Kirby Smart era. With JT Daniels behind center and a wealth of weapons around him, offensive coordinator Todd Monken is ushering in an explosive offensive style.
A portion of Georgia’s fan base has clamored for a more modern approach to the offense for the Bulldogs and Smart has shown obvious signs of change.
After the 2019 SEC Championship Game in which Smart witnessed his defense — the nation’s No. 1 defense — get torched by an LSU team that was on its way to the national title game, Smart talked about getting the weapons required to score points to keep up with those schools.
That offseason he signed the best wide receiver group to date at Georgia, hired a new offensive coordinator, and in 2020 the team averaged more than 30 pass attempts per game.
Be prepared to read about heaps of big plays in the passing game during scrimmages this spring. And expect to see some fireworks in the G-Day Game. As a result of this change on offense, you should also expect . . .
Cornerbacks getting beat
Since 2017, Georgia has been more than solid at cornerback. Some of the best corners in recent school history have played during the last four years.
While Georgia’s current crop of corners is talented enough to join those ranks, they don’t have the experience to be shutdown corners this spring or at least they shouldn’t expected to be. So, for the first time in a while, be prepared to hear reports of corners getting torched in scrimmages.
How can Georgia’s pass rush possibly improve after losing Azeez Ojulari and Jermaine Johnson? Easy, add a pass rush from more positions.
Travon Walker taking over starting defensive end duties is big for Georgia’s pass rush. Malik Herring was a great run-stopper and overall player, but he was never going to rank high on Georgia’s sack charts. Walker has the ability to beat offensive linemen in multiple ways to get to the quarterback.
Walker’s fellow starters on the defensive line also aren’t too shabby at rushing the passer. Devonte Wyatt is an underrated pass rusher who’s constantly getting in quarterback’s faces. Jordan Davis is one of the top returning defensive lineman in football and he’s returning in part to prove he can become a force as a pass rusher.
On top of that, Jalen Carter and Georgia’s interior defensive line should become a problem for opponents, but especially an offensive line from Georgia that will be figuring itself out this spring.
The Bulldogs will also gain an improved pass rush from the second level. Channing Tindall moves up the linebacker depth chart, as he is the key backup going into the spring. Tindall could play on a lot of passing downs this season as Georgia looks to find ways to reach the quarterback.
Georgia’s leading rusher will still come from the edge, most likely Adam Anderson. However, more variety in Georgia’s pass rush will make Georgia’s front a lot harder to deal with. Nolan Smith will also need to take a considerable leap as a verified pass-rush threat this spring.
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