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College
David Pollack Q&A: D’Andre Swift ‘has to have an enormous game if Georgia wants to win’
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David Pollack Q&A: D’Andre Swift ‘has to have an enormous game if Georgia wants to win’

David Pollack Q&A: D’Andre Swift ‘has to have an enormous game if Georgia wants to win’

David Pollack Q&A: D’Andre Swift ‘has to have an enormous game if Georgia wants to win’

ATLANTA Georgia football legend David Pollack has proven to be as aggressive and direct with his analysis as he once was as an All-American pass rusher, and Friday was no different.

Pollack emphasized the importance of UGA tailback D'Andre Swift and dished out criticism aimed at Bulldogs quarterback Jake Fromm on Friday at Mercedes-Benz Stadium.

RELATED: Kirby Smart Friday press conference in Atlanta, updates D'Andre Swift

Asked to rate the importance of Swift in Georgia's game against LSU at 4 p.m. on Saturday on a scale of one to 10, Pollack replied, "15," and explained why.

"One of the keys would be to get him and Brian Heroine the ball out of the backfield, because LSU is not covering backs," said Pollack, a two-time SEC Player of the Year and three-time All-American during his UGA career (2001-2004).

"I think (Swift) has to have an enormous game if Georgia wants to win, and it needs to be inside and outside. It needs to be screens, it needs to be finding ways to get him the ball he's the best back in the country in space."

Pollack also said Fromm, the first quarterback since Florida's Danny Wuerffel to lead his team to three straight SEC title game appearances, is "not playing his best football" this season.

Here's more from Pollack's Q&A on Friday:

Can Georgia hold LSU's offense?

POLLACK: Define hold?Kirby and Company are going to have to check their egos at the door and understand that from 20 to 20, have all the yards you want, make it a slow death, and then make them be really efficient in the red zone and kick field goals. I don't think anybody can stop this offense. I think Joe Burrow is operating on a level that, his worst game is 71 percent, I think. It's not human.

It's an offense where it has great answers for everything you do and great weapons and a running game. And not only that, there's a quarterback who buys time and scrambles and breaks tackles and makes big plays. There are gonna get theirs, and Jake is going to have to play really well.

What would you say to Georgia fans who have had questions about the Bulldogs' offense?

POLLACK: You should. I Tweeted about being excited about old school versus new school, because it used to be defense wins championships. I don't think it's defense wins championships anymore. I think you have to have a great offense to win a college football championship, and the game has changed so much.

We'll get to see if old school defense can still reign supreme. This is a Big 12 offense. This is not an offense that reinvented and does new amazing things that nobody else does. It's just an offense that has answers that spread out so it can throw the football to a lot of different weapons. They are gonna get theirs."

What role do you think Jake Fromm plays for Georgia's offense?

POLLACK: He's not playing his best football. I can look at him and watch him, his mechanics need to improve. He's fading away throwing the football way too much. That's the kind of stuff for a three-year starter, where you can't do that. He's definitely culpable. He's missed a lot of throws that are wide open.

I think the system and the scheme is getting to know each other still and hasn't really clicked together great yet, and it needs to do that this week. It will change a little bit more. It has done well at times, but it hasn't put together a complete game and it needs to do that."

The SEC West has had three teams in three years, Georgia has won three straight in the East, what does that say?

POLLACK: Florida is doing OK. Florida is back to back 10 win seasons for the first time since 2008, so Florida is doing their share and doing well But Georgia is three times in a row here, that's pretty dad gum good. If you had told Georgia fans that when Kirby got hired, they would have said sign me up for that. How about three straight years ending where you're in the conversation for the college football playoff? That's pretty dad gum good.

It's still a pretty good young team, that's not going to lose much on defense, offensive line who leaves early? Who leaves early, Swift will leave early. When he leaves, how many leave will be the better questions. So it shows a lot about Kirby and how he has been able to recruit and restore.

What is the trick about this LSU offense that has made it that unstoppable?

POLLACK: "There ain't no trick, Bro. It's not a trick, they know how to execute, they know exactly if you blitz them, they have their answers, and if you want to play Cover One they are going to hit deep overs and they are going to hit fades, and gos they do a good job if you are going to pay dime and nickel they are going to run duos all day and run the football at you.

They do a really good job of knowing how to attack every level of a defense. The offense (once) trended toward Golden State, it was threes and dunks, it was gos and screens and they do a good job with their mid-range and attack. They do everything well. That's why it's hard to say I'm going to take this away, or that away. Every time you do, they have an answer for it. I think Kirby, as brilliant as he is defensively, can up with something to make a few plays.

Tua (Tagovailoa) last year had a roll going coming into the Dome, and cooled off big time, got hurt too. It's what can you find that can slow them down for a possession and you win. Auburn tried the tower approach tried to go with three down and bring in a bunch of speed, it kind of worked, but what can you bring in and slow down just for a little bit, and hold the rope and hopefully your offense makes plays and hold the ball a little bit and works together.

Could Coach Orgeron win Coach of the POLLACK: Year?

POLLACK: In the league, or nationally? Yeah, Ryan Day, he's done a heck of a job, and you look at P.J. Fleck and Baylor's Matt Rhule, he's definitely in there. How about his record against Top 10 teams, and the hire of the offseason, nobody can debate that. I know who the Broyles Award winner is, I don't think anybody else is nominated, it's just go ahead and give it to Joe Brady.

Can Joe Burrow lose the Heisman Trophy?

POLLACK: Sure, I mean people have those moments when they start to have doubts and questions. He's by far and away commanding the lead, but what if he struggles mightily and limps to the finish and then all the sudden, you see a huge game from Justin Fields, or somebody like that, it can jump up, maybe. It's a small, small chance. I think Joe Burrow has done enough throughout the season. But it's a big-time stage where you have to prove things, but I think some people could have some doubts, still. I find it very hard to believe he'd lose it.

LSU's Grant Delpit says he's close to 100 percent, is that what you've seen on film from him?

POLLACK: I'm trying to measure my words here. He hasn't had his best year, this year. I think the secondary on a whole, you see a ton of talent, but you've also see more big plays than you're accustomed to seeing, more missed tackles than you're accustomed to seeing. Yeah, they are getting healthier, but they've got to play better. That's why Ohio State is No. 1. You can nitpick and say Cincinnati is a Top 25 team, or whatever, Ohio State has been more dominant, their defense has been more dominant. That's the difference between LSU and Ohio State.

I could also swing the pendulum and say who has Ohio State played offensively that's any good? Even Cincinnati is not very good, Penn State is not very good, Wisconsin's offense, those all leave a lot to be desired. Michigan is a pretty good, and had some success. I think defensively it's very interesting we are sitting on championship weekend and we're pointing the finger at LSU and it's at their defense."

How important is it for Georgia to keep Joe Burrow in the pocket?

POLLACK: "I don't know, it doesn't matter. You better cover really well, and you better get him to the ground. I don't care about where you keep him, when you get your hands on him, you got to get him to the ground. He's strong, he's physical, but he's so dad gum tough. He doesn't give up. He's not like a Manning back in the day, you saw people get close to them, they would kind of take a dive. That's not a shot at them, but Joe Burrow is going to physically go through anybody he needs to.

When he runs the football, he lowers his shoulder, he's going to make plays. So when Georgia gets here, whoever that is, get your hands on him and get him to the ground. I think another key will be batted passes. You want to take away some of those throws over the middle, when I'm a pass rusher and I know I can't get to the QB, I get my hands up and knock the ball down. Now maybe it's second-and-10 and you've got a better chance."

Is this game important to determine if Georgia has the right offensive identity?

POLLACK: "We'll see. I think that it's pretty proven now that offenses win, and you have to score. You have to win a championship game, a playoff game and another playoff game to be a champion. And to do that, you're going to play offensive juggernauts, and you better be able to score points.

If you can't score points, and you can't be an explosive offense, it's very hard to win that many games in a row. It's like the NFL being in the playoffs, and you have to string three together, that's a tough thing to do."

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David Pollack

The post David Pollack Q&A: D'Andre Swift has to have an enormous game if Georgia wants to win' appeared first on DawgNation.

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  • BOGART, Ga. The first read to begin an update on all things Brock Vandagriff has to come out hard and fast. That's how he plays the quarterback position. This one certainly will. It will try to mirror how 5-star QB gets rid of the ball for his Prince Avenue Christian team. Decisive. Hit a read. The right read. Move the chains. Go. Vandagriff will be at Georgia on Saturday for an important 'Junior Day' visit. He said he is only mainly considering Auburn, Georgia and South Carolina at this time. He has only set up a visit to check out UGA this weekend so far. The now 6-foot-3, 205-pound junior shared a very mature outlook on why he de-committed from Oklahoma and how it will shape his decision going forward. 'My Dad and I talked and stuff,' Brock Vandagriff said. 'We're kind of sacrificing the best fit for me for other things which are priorities now.' He doesn't have an opinion, or at least a firm one, on new offensive coordinator hire Todd Monken just yet. That comes tomorrow. 'Not yet,' he said. 'Going to meet him tomorrow and talk ball.' Don't expect him to take a long and very drawn-out recruiting process. H'll can his options. Make the right read and go. 'I like the process being over with,' he said. 'So I am going to get this process over with once I make a decision.' He thinks he will be committed by March. That's how fast this thing can go. 'Maybe in the next month or two,' he said. What will this weekend's visit be about? 'Mainly seeing who I would play with if I went there,' Vandagriff said. 'I'm familiar with the coaches. Familiar with the facilities. Nothing has changed since the last time I have been there. Probably just getting to know the players more and the guys I would be playing with.' Georgia has a strong chance here as the true 'home' team. 'I think that Georgia has like the top priority and if everything fits at Georgia and if it goes how I expect it to go then I think I will probably not visit anywhere else,' he said. He says not to expect a quick-trigger decision. Not even with the greatest 'Junior Day' unofficial visit of all time. 'I don't think I would commit this weekend,' he said in reference to that potential feeling. 'Because I would go home and just pray about it. I wouldn't make an impulse decision but I wouldn't wait much longer.' Brock Vandagriff: The things that really matter here His de-commitment took place on Jan. 1. When he made that move, he cited that location was a big factor. That was what was included in the tweet. What he didn't include was the timing of it all. Vandgriff, like all of us, loaded up the family car and headed off to a grandparent's house. His family's roots, especially on his mom's side, are in rural Alabama. The family feels started tugging on him at Thanksgiving. Then again at Christmas. He had already been thinking about it for two months. Praying about it. 'Then we were at the dinner table with every family member in Alabama,' Brock Vandagriff said. 'The great grandparents. Grandparents. Aunts. Uncles. Stuff like that. I don't know how we got to talking about it. I didn't say anything about it. I guess it was just the Lord's timing.' Somebody said: 'Man, Oklahoma is far away.' He couldn't help but nod his head to that one. 'I couldn't go to sleep that night,' Vandagriff said. 'I was thinking about it. I was like I got to stay closer to home' so the people I love can be able to watch me and I can still go to hunt in Alabama on the weekends. This just really seems natural. 'Like just earlier this year the main thing my Dad and I had talked about was system and a fit system,' he said. Hello Oklahoma. See Jalen Hurts. See Kyler Murray. See Baker Mayfield. And so on. 'I would say that's not the main thing anymore,' he said. 'The main thing is trying to be the best player that I can be regardless of the system and just being like close to the family has been like, become, well, it has really burst onto the scene as important to me.' It is 13.8 miles from Sanford Stadium to his neat and tidy high school locker. It is 913 miles from that same locker to Gaylord Family Oklahoma Memory Stadium. The trip in the family truckster to Norman is only 13 hours longer by car than the Athens commute. 'Spending time in other states is not for me,' he said. 'I like to travel. I like to stay near home. I want people near me to come watch me and stuff like that to happen.' The 247Sports Composite ratings place the homegrown talent as the nation's No. 1 pro-style QB and No. 9 overall prospect for the 2021 class. He's the top player in Georgia, too. Seems like he'd be the ideal visitor for any 'Junior Day' event this weekend, right? That's what those rankings services say. What kind of quarterback does HE think he is? 'I think I am just another quarterback who is a pocket passer who just likes to win,' Vandagriff said. Brock Vandagriff: Let's tee up that pro-style QB thing Those are the fast and quick reads. But it was tempting to open things up with the way he has what his teammates might call a mullet ready to flow out from underneath his helmet. Vandagriff favors that look. Even though he must get very precise with it to make sure it adheres to all PACS and team regulations. That's why he keeps his hair is neat and tight on the sides and those locks don't touch his collar (especially when he straightens up) in the back. There's also the part about this pro-style QB thing here. That's .. interesting. But definitely not an all-encompassing label. That title is reserved for the guys who aren't really escape or extend-the-play guy with their feet. Vandagriff has had a season in which he caught 34 passes at wide receiver in high school. He's also had a season in which he ran for 7.3 yards per carry on the way to 1,001 yards. But now he's also had a season in which he threw for 3,190 yards. The juniorhas also been timed at 4.69 seconds on a laser in the 40-yard dash. Is that a pro-style QB? A dual-threat? A triple-threat? He spent his entire freshman year at Prince Avenue at receiver. He wasn't the quarterback for that team, but added 34 catches for 472 yards and four touchdowns. The 5-star QB for 20201 was the No. 2 WR for his Wolverines in 2017. Pretty odd, right? But that makes sense to those who saw him punt and kick for the Wolverines during his middle school days. The clips still exist with Vandagriff kicking the ball deep and then flying downfield to be the first man to make the tackle on the kickoff. Every kickoff his sophomore year went out of the end zone. Could probably punt in college in he couldn't throw the ball a lick. He's also very strong. The 205-pound QB can already power clean 290 pounds. He's still the punter for Prince Avenue. Still can probably boom touchbacks on the regular with that leg of his. But those days are likely behind him now. Kind of like that flowing hair that creeps out of the side of his helmet. With that introduction, let's chronicle his first pass as a high school player. It came during that 2017 season. Vandagriff was lined up wide right at receiver. He came across to the other side of the field on a jet sweep. He stopped. His heart was skipping beats. He swallowed his nerves and let loose a pass running to his left and throwing with his right arm off a jet sweep. The ball sailed 38-and-a-half yards in the air. It hit the team's top receiver in stride for a catch-and-run touchdown. Of course it was a touchdown. It had to be. 'It was the first game of the season and we'd been stressing this defensive end the whole week,' Vandagriff said. 'If we run this play we are going to run away from this guy.' The Wolverines lined up. Called the play. But Aquinas had flipped its ends. The look to the sideline was to the head coach. Greg Vandagriff, his father, told them to run the play regardless. 'I get the ball and he's coming up and I kind of launch it,' Brock Vandagriff said. 'We had an awesome junior receiver Christian Parrish and he ran right under it for a touchdown.' If he had to critique that throw, his evaluation would not be kind. 'I think the throw distance was good but the mechanics were kind of off,' he said. 'I was kind of worrying for my life there on the sideline.' With the ball in his hands now, he's not worried. The opposing defensive coordinators are. He would go on to throw many more passes from there. He threw for 267 yards and two scores as a freshman, followed by 3,190 more yards and 28 touchdowns as a sophomore and then 2471 yards and 31 scores in just eight games as a junior. Vandagriff completed 72 percent of his passes as a junior, but then added 1,001 rushing yards and 23 touchdowns as a sophomore in 2018. Pro-style? Dual-threat? It seems the line is blurred here. Greg Vandagriff, his father, doesn't care about the rushing totals anymore for the 5-star who sits at his dinner table. Those carries just add up to hits for Vandagriff. Chances for him to leave the game. That's what the other team wants. 'I wouldn't say I'm just like a strict pro-style passer but I mean that's what I try to be,' Brock Vandagriff said. 'I don't try to be the dual-threat guy because I know I'm not going to be outrunning people at the next level and stuff like that. Being able to work on some things in the pocket in high school is helping me mature as a player. That's because I don't do the things in high school that I am not going to be doing at the next level.' 'I wouldn't say I am a pure pocket passer but I wouldn't say I am a dual-threat,' Vandagriff said. 'I do run when I have to but it is not fifty-fifty.' His father started out as a defensive guy in his coaching career. That has been an asset. Even if he did draw it up backwards in the eyes of his son. He taught Brock how to read defenses and read coverages at an early age. He knows what the other side is always thinking and trying to do. Ron Veal, who also trained Trevor Lawrence, has worked with him and his father over the last few years. 'He's a great dude and an older male figure in my life,' Brock Vandagriff said. 'I look up to him and I'm glad that I have someone else I can ask questions about. Ron's taught my dad some stuff as well and all three of us have matured in our understanding of the quarterback position.' The post Brock Vandagriff: The skinny on a big Georgia 'Junior Day' visit this weekend appeared first on DawgNation.
  • Georgia has a new offensive coordinator in Todd Monken, as the school officially announced his hiring on Friday. So what does that mean for James Coley, Georgia's offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach for the 2019 season? Georgia released a statement on that matter as well, saying he will remain on the staff and serve as an assistant head coach. There was no further specification of Coley's role and what that might be. Monken was only announced as the offensive coordinator. Coley has been on Kirby Smart's staff since he first arrived at Georgia. He began as a wide receivers coach and worked his way up to the offensive coordinator position for this past season. But the Georgia offense struggled in 2019, as the Bulldogs finished 49th in scoring offense and 46th in yards per play. Not all of that falls on Coley, as there were issues at the wide receiver position as well as injuries throughout the offensive line. Coley spoke with the media prior to Georgia's Sugar Bowl win over Baylor and did take responsibility for the offensive issues in 2019. 'You know what? I've got to do a better job, first and foremost, starts with me, right?' Coley said. 'So I'm looking at myself hard and criticizing myself and busting my tail to get that end better.' Related: Georgia coordinator James Coley reveals offensive issues, assesses Jake Fromm In addition to his work on the offensive side of the ball, Coley also has an excellent reputation for recruiting in South Florida, as the Bulldogs have landed the likes of Marcus Rosemy, Tyson Campbell and Tyrique Stevenson in recent recruiting classes. Coley also played a significant role in landing graduate transfer quarterback Jamie Newman for Georgia. Newman spent last season at Wake Forest, where he threw for 26 touchdowns and 11 interceptions while rushing for six touchdowns. Keeping Coley on staff would be a big win for the Bulldogs, given he is also the lead recruiter for 5-star quarterbacks Brock Vandagriff and Caleb Williams in the 2021 cycle. Vandagriff will be visiting Georgia this weekend, while Williams praised Coley at the Under Armour All-American game. 'They want me to be the guy. They want me to come in. They are all in,' Williams said. 'I actually talked to Coach Coley about two days ago maybe. We talked. It wasn't just about ball. It was just us talking. I have a good relationship with Coach Coley. They did tell me that they are all in and they want me to be a Dawg.' Related: What Georgia football does at quarterback in 2021 recruiting cycle will speak loudly about program's future With Monken on the staff, Georgia could have a coaching structure similar to what LSU had this past season with Joe Brady and Steve Ensminger. Like Monken, Brady came from the NFL level and provided a great boost to LSU offense. Ensminger drew great reviews for his willingness to share the spotlight with Brady, who is now the offensive coordinator for the Carolina Panthers. Georgia also issued a statement on Monken and what he will bring to the Bulldogs. 'We are excited to add Todd to our staff,' Smart said.'He has a history of establishing explosive offenses at each and every stop in his impressive career in both the National Football League and at major college football programs.' More Georgia football stories from around DawgNation Kirk Herbstreit, national media praise Georgia football addition of Todd Monken Georgia football staff opening: A closer look at Todd Monken Georgia football projected starting lineman cleared to return from injury WATCH: Former Georgia QB prep star Chase Brice leaving Clemson, discusses UGA ESPN names 2 Georgia football standouts to All-Bowl Team Anthony Edwards and Georgia basketball put squeeze on Tennessee, 80-63 Mark Richt, Florida State DC give scout on new Georgia TE Tre' Mckitty The post Georgia football updates status of James Coley after hiring of Todd Monken as offensive coordinator appeared first on DawgNation.
  • ATHEN Georgia announced the hiring of Todd Monken to the Bulldogs staff on Friday, assigning him the role of offensive coordinator. It's a hiring that will resonate from coast to coast, and yet another example of Bulldogs coach Kirby Smart pushing to program even after finishing No. 4 in the nation in 2019. Former offensive coordinator James Coley will remain on staff and serve assistant head coach, according to a UGA release. 'We are excited to add Todd to our staff,' Smart said in the release. 'He has a history of establishing explosive offenses at each and every stop in his impressive career in both the National Football League and at major college football programs.' Monken spent last season as the offensive coordinator for the Cleveland Browns, helping to scheme for an offense that produced the NFL's No. 2 rusher, former UGA star Nick Chubb. The season before, the 53-year-old Monken was calling plays for the NFL's most prolific passing offense in Tampa Bay. The Bucs set franchise records for passing yards, passing touchdowns and total yards with Monken serving as offensive coordinator. Georgia also added former Ole Miss head coach and offensive coordinator Matt Luke in December to serve as UGA's line coach. Luke has offensive coordinator experience, as well. It figures to be a crowded offensive coaches' room barring any more staff changes. But 2019 College Football Playoff champion LSU may have created a mold last season that Smart hopes to emulate. The Bayou Bengals most notably paired former Penn State and New Orleans Saints assistant Joe Brady with veteran quarterbacks coach Steve Ensminger last January. Brady, with the title of passing game coordinator and receivers coach, was credited as the architect for the pass-first scheme LSU matched to its personnel. The veteran Ensminger was the QB coach, offensive coordinator and called the plays. The Tigers results spoke loudly, with quarterback Joe Burrow producing record numbers as LSU marched to an undefeated season at CFP Championship Game win over Clemson. Smart isn't likely to rely on the pass as much as LSU with Georgia having to replace departed junior Jake Fromm, and a reloading situation at receiver. 'W e want to score points,' Smart said last December, asked about changing the offensive philosophy. 'You guys want a simple answer like it's just going to poof and happen. . It's a lot of things that goes into having a successful offense and we need to be better.' In addition to adding Wake Forest graduate transfer quarterback Jamie Newman the No. 3 rated returning QB, per Pro Football Focus he Bulldogs have TE grad transfer Tre' Mckitty arriving in June from Florida State. Smart doesn't figure to be done yet with impact players, with National Signing Day just around the corner (Feb. 5) and more players available in the NCAA transfer portal. Hiring an offensive guru like Monken sends a message to those potential recruits that the Bulldogs' offense looks to be on the upswing. The post Georgia football hires Todd Monken as new offensive coordinator appeared first on DawgNation.
  • After the 2019 season saw Georgia football finish 49th in the country in scoring offense, it was clear something had to change with the Georgia offense. And it's safe to say the Bulldogs have done that with the addition of Todd Monken. DawgNation can confirm he is set to join the program, though the specific role is not yet identified. Monken has spent the past three seasons as an NFL offensive coordinator. He worked with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for two seasons before spending this past season with the Cleveland Browns. He did not call plays for the Browns, as Cleveland went 6-10 this past season and fired head coach Freddie Kitchens. Related: Georgia football expected to announce Air Raid' offensive expert Todd Monken joining staff Monken does have experience at the college level, as he served as the offensive coordinator for Oklahoma State in 2011 and '12. The Cowboys went 12-1 in '11, winnig the Fiesta Bowl and Big 12. He also served as the head coach at Southern Miss for three seasons, going 9-5 in his final year before jumping to the Buccaneers. The early returns on the move seem to be overwhelmingly positive. ESPN's Kirk Herbstreit had perhaps the strongest praise, calling the addition of Monken as well as Wake Forest graduate transfer quarterback Jamie Newman, 'exactly what Kirby and the Dawgs Offense needed.' Between Monken's approach and QB Jamie Newman coming over from WF-exactly what Kirby and the Dawgs Offense needed. https://t.co/KvzcCa4X9z Kirk Herbstreit (@KirkHerbstreit) January 17, 2020 #Georgia is hiring Todd Monken as offensive coordinator, sources tell @Mark_Schlabach. This has been in the works for a while but is now happening. Monken has been #Browns OC. Important move for Kirby Smart and the Dawgs. #UGA Adam Rittenberg (@ESPNRittenberg) January 17, 2020 Good move https://t.co/JCYsKom1Y3 Dan Wolken (@DanWolken) January 17, 2020 Kirby Smart continues to push Georgia's offense in the right direction this offseason. Jamie Newman was a great pickup but he would not have succeeded in last year's offense based on what I've seen from him. Todd Monken's hire shows Smart willing to evolve his offense in 2020. SEC Mike (@MichaelWBratton) January 17, 2020 Tampa led the NFL in passing in 2018 w/ Todd Monken as OC. He inherited #112 scoring offense at Southern Miss, left them as #13 nationally. Okla St ranked #2 & #3 nationally in scoring under Monken. https://t.co/OWHshbUK5K SEC Mike (@MichaelWBratton) January 17, 2020 Georgia had to do something to provide a spark offensively. By adding Todd Monken to the staff on the heels of bringing in former Wake QB Jamie Newman I'd say they've accomplished that. https://t.co/FSG3jMsgjn Alex Scarborough (@AlexS_ESPN) January 17, 2020 None of us know what will be the results of Kirby Smart's hire of Todd Monken. But what it does show is Kirby Smart's willingness to change and evolve offensively. It's big for a man to admit mistakes and be willing to change. #InKirbyWeTrust Happy Hoyt (@brianhoyt24) January 17, 2020 I'm not unhappy with any coaching hire that puts a different offensive mindset in the room with Kirby and staff. Any way you look at it, Todd Monken's mindset has proven to be very different from Kirby's. #GoDawgs Jon Tweets Sports (@JonTweetsSports) January 17, 2020 Related: What Georgia's offense still needs after landing quarterback Jamie Newman It seems that the addition of Monken makes it clear Smart is willing to tweak his offense. Georgia had James Coley serve as the play-caller this past year, and according to ESPN's Mark Schlabach, Coley is expected to remain on the staff but in a new role. Georgia also added Matt Luke to the staff this offseason, as he replaced Sam Pittman as the offensive line coach. That means the Bulldogs will have two former college head coaches on Smart's staff next year, as Luke was the head coach at Ole Miss. This is a massive recruiting weekend for the Bulldogs, as they have a number of elite 2021 recruiting prospects in town. The most high-profile name is 5-star quarterback Brock Vandagriff. Landing him, or fellow 5-star quarterback Caleb Williams, would go a long way to helping the long-term health of the Georgia quarterback room. Related: What Georgia football does at quarterback in 2021 recruiting cycle will speak loudly about program's future As for stats about the last two offenses, Monken has worked on, Tampa Bay led the NFL in passing in 2018, while former Georgia Bulldog Nick Chubb ranked second in the NFL in rushing last year for the Browns. Monken though did not call plays for Cleveland last year. Georgia opens the 2020 season on Sept. 7 when Georgia takes on Virginia. More Georgia football stories from around DawgNation Georgia football staff opening: A closer look at Todd Monken Georgia football projected starting lineman cleared to return from injury WATCH: Former Georgia QB prep star Chase Brice leaving Clemson, discusses UGA ESPN names 2 Georgia football standouts to All-Bowl Team Anthony Edwards and Georgia basketball put squeeze on Tennessee, 80-63 Mark Richt, Florida State DC give scout on new Georgia TE Tre' Mckitty The post Kirk Herbstreit, national media praise Georgia football addition of Todd Monken appeared first on DawgNation.
  • ATHENS Georgia football is expected to announce the hiring of former NFL offensive coordinator Todd Monken. Monken, 53, directed the NFL's top passing offense while calling plays for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2018 before spending last season as the Cleveland Browns offensive coordinator. The 2018 Bucs averaged 320.3 yards through the air with quarterbacks Jameis Winton and Ryan Fitzpatrick combining to complete 65.3-percent of their passes. Monken's Tampa Bay offense set records for total yards, passing yards and passing touchdowns Monken, considered an expert in the 'Air Raid' style of offense, did not call plays with the Browns last season. 'Really what I took away from (the Air Raid) was being able to throw to win,'' Monken said after taking the Browns job last season in a Cleveland.com story. 'That really to me was the Air Raid. You had a certain amount of run game, you ran a lot of the same concepts and you could throw to win. That was really it. Like any offense, it works a lot better if you have good players.' Monken also said, 'I've always chosen places based on the people and the opportunity to win.' Georgia brings back 5 of 11 starters off an offense that beat Baylor 26-14 in the Sugar Bowl, including the game's MVP, receiver George Pickens. The Bulldogs have ushered in graduate transfer QB Jamie Newman from Wake Forest to take over for departed junior Jake Fromm. Georgia also brings back a trio of rising playmakers in the backfield, with Zamir White, Kenny McIntosh in James Cook all flashing electric moments last season. Monken obviously likes what he sees from the Georgia playmakers. Monken is well-traveled in both the pro and college ranks, starting his career as an assistant on a Division ll Grand Valley State staff (1989-90). He had notable stops on staffs at Oklahoma State with Mike Gundy (2002-04, 2011-12), and LSU with Les Miles (2005-06). Monken was the offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach when the Cowboys had Brandon Weeden and J.W. Walsh under center two of the top QBs in program history. Oklahoma State ranked second in the nation in passing offense in 2011, future first-round NFL draft pick Weeden ninth in the country in passing efficiency. The next season, Walsh ranked fourth in the nation in passing efficiency as a redshirt freshman who appeared in 10 games in 2012, the Cowboys seventh in the nation in passing yardage per game. At LSU, working with future first-round NFL pick JaMarcus Russell in 2006, Monken helped Russell finish tops among FBS Power 5 quarterbacks in passing efficiency (167.0), with 28 TDs and 8 interceptions. The post Georgia football expected to announce Air Raid' expert Todd Monken joining staff appeared first on DawgNation.