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Georgia Bulldogs didn’t have to go far to find the ideal offensive coordinator
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Georgia Bulldogs didn’t have to go far to find the ideal offensive coordinator

Georgia Bulldogs didn’t have to go far to find the ideal offensive coordinator

Georgia Bulldogs didn’t have to go far to find the ideal offensive coordinator

Georgia football-Towers' Take-Bulldogs didn't have to go far to find championship coordinator-Georgia Bulldogs-James Coley

ATHENS — Fantastic. Bravo. Job well done.

Georgia coach Kirby Smart finally promoted James Coley to offensive coordinator on Friday. Or, more accurately, he simply dropped the “co-” from Coley’s title, which already was co-offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach.

It’s important to not here that it does not mean that somebody else might come in and commandeer that “co-” in their title. You can bet that Smart is going to do whatever it takes to make his staff as strong to make his staff as strong it can be. If that means having to name somebody co-offensive coordinator, so be it.

But make no bones about it, like it was when Jim Chaney was in charge of the offense last year alongside Coley, the one without the “co” in his title was calling the shots. So, to be clear, it’s Coley that will be calling the shots.

What’s that mean for Georgia’s offense?

The most important thing it means is there will be continuity from the last two years to the next one. Quarterback Jake Fromm will be back at the helm for a third consecutive season and, with his level of expertise in this offense, that effectively gives the Bulldogs another offensive coordinator. Maybe that’s the way Georgia needs to go. Name Fromm starting quarterback/co-offensive coordinator?

Kidding aside, Fromm is one major part of an offense that returns mostly intact. The Bulldogs will be looking at a bit of a rebuild at wideout, where leading receivers Riley Ridley, Mecole Hardman and Terry Godwin have moved on. And that’s the case to a lesser degree at tight end, where Georgia will be looking to fill the void of Issac Nauta turning pro and Luke Ford transferring.

But the most important aspect of the Bulldogs’ offense is it returns four-fifths of the starting offensive line, plus a plethora of other former blue-chippers to compete and mix in across the front. Then there remains D’Andre Swift, Brian Herrien and James Cook in the backfield, where they will be joined by newcomers Zamir “Zeus” White and Kenny McIntosh.

That’s a lot of talent for Coley to work with, and he knows what do with it. This is no young rookie coordinator on whom Smart is taking a chance. This is a 45-year-old man who has coordinated offenses for 11 of 19 seasons going back to his three-year stint at Miami Norland High School.

Over the span, Coley has developed a reputation for being a bit a gun-slinging coordinator. That is, he likes his offenses to throw the football downfield. When he was coordinator and play-caller at Miami, the Hurricanes led the nation in “explosive plays”  all three years. Coley coached freshman quarterback Brad Kaaya who earned Freshman All-America honors and broke the single season record for passing yards at Miami.  Wide receiver Allen Hurns, currently with the Dallas Cowboys, broke the single season receiving record with 1,162 yards in 2013.

In the midst of that, Miami produced two 1,000 yards rushers in Duke Johnson (1,652 yards in 2014) and Joe Yearly (1,002 in 2015). So Coley knows the value of running the football. And, lest we forget, Coley has been around for every step of success Georgia has enjoyed under Smart. He was one of Smart’s early hires when he took over before the 2016 season, joining the staff close behind Chaney and offensive line coach Sam Pittman.

So Coley knows exactly what Smart is looking for. Keep in mind, no matter who’s calling the shots on Georgia’s offense, it still remains under Smart’s ownership. And Smart, a defensive coordinator by trade, has always been one who ascribes to the “complementary” football approach. That is, your offense works in tandem to achieve victory, so one doesn’t conduct itself to the possible detriment of the other. That means the offense doesn’t go hurry-up, spread-’em-out and score as fast as possible all the time and the defense doesn’t sell out with 72 exotic blitz packages in order to create its own big plays.

No, Georgia is still mainly about playing the percentages to win, which means to run the football, control the clock, limit opponents’ big plays and win field position and special teams. So those will be Coley’s marching orders, they were for Chaney.

Meanwhile, he’s going to be speaking the same offensive terminology and will be working out of the same playbook the Bulldogs assembled the last three years under Chaney and company. That’s nothing but a good thing for Fromm, who can already recite that stuff chapter and verse.

That’s not to say Coley won’t add his wrinkles. You can be certain as he sat beside Chaney in Georgia’s coaching box for those 14 games last season, there are a lot of things he might’ve done different. An offensive assistant for the Miami Dolphins and the Florida State Seminoles with a year as a coordinator and play-caller at Florida International, you can be sure that Coley has some of his own stuff he’s been dying to put in.

How long has Smart known Coley was going to be his guy? I’d say right from the outset. But two things likely withheld him from making it official until now: One, the opening period for recruiting cranks back up this weekend, so Coley can jet out on the road carry this new title in his brief case. That certainly couldn’t hurt somebody already considered one of the top recruiters in the game. Two, Smart has continued to hold his cards close to his vest. He’s trying to assemble the absolute best coaching staff he can for 2019, and he’ll need it for what promises to be the most anticipated season in Smart’s tenure.

So does Smart do something with another “co” title? Possibly. At the least, it would befit Pittman, who has no rival in the country when it comes to his ability to recruit elite offensive linemen and coach them up as well. As we all know, Alabama has an opening for an offensive line coach since Brent Keys was jettisoned to Georgia Tech. There’s absolutely know doubt that the Crimson Tide would look Pittman’s way, themselves of a victim of his recruiting acumen, not to mentioned up-close witnesses to his good work on the field.

Word is, Georgia has done what it needs to rebuke that threat, at least for now. Perhaps it will be with a co-title but it will certainly come with new stacks of money.

The same will be the case for Coley, of course, and he’s deserving of whatever raises Friday’s promotion comes with. More than anything, though, this development was the result of Smart and his coaching staff seeking one thing, and that’s those rich championship bonuses UGA offers them for winning SEC and national titles.

Coley’s appointment puts them closer to doing that than any OC who’d be coming in with a shiny new playbook.

 

The post Georgia Bulldogs didn’t have to go far to find the ideal offensive coordinator appeared first on DawgNation.

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Georgia Sports News

  • ATLANTA (AP) - The Philadelphia Phillies got the ninth-inning elixir they needed after a tough outcome a night earlier. 'There's a lot that went on that could've pushed us to not give the kind of effort that we gave,' manager Gabe Kapler said. 'A really impressive, heartfelt win by our club, a cohesive team win today. It was great.' C sar Hern ndez singled in two runs off Luke Jackson in the ninth inning, and Philadelphia rallied from a one-run deficit to snap the Atlanta Braves' eight-game winning streak with a 6-5 victory on Saturday night. It was a big comeback for the Phillies, who looked poised to lose for the fifth time in six games and fall 3 games behind their rivals in the NL East race. Philadelphia has dealt with rampant injuries this season and had starters Jay Bruce and J.T. Realmuto leave during the game. Braves starter Sean Newcomb had a scary moment in the third when he was struck on the back of the head by Realmuto's ground-rule double. He walked off the field under his own power. 'Right away I felt pretty good,' Newcomb said. 'I was with it the whole time. I remember the whole play and all that kind of stuff. I knew I was pretty good as far as that went. Obviously I got squared up in the head. A little sore.' Jackson (3-2) blew his sixth save in 16 chances as Scott Kingery singled and advanced to third when the closer fielded Sean Rodr guez's sacrifice bunt and errantly threw to first. Both runners scored easily on Hern ndez's single into left. Hern ndez hit his seventh homer in the fourth to put the Phillies up 4-2. Josh Donaldson hit a three-run homer in the fifth off Phillies starter Aaron Nola to put Atlanta up 5-4. The Braves were getting big cheers from the sellout crowd of 43,593, the largest yet in three seasons at SunTrust Park, until the ninth. H ctor Neris, who took the loss on Brian McCann's two-run single Friday night, earned his 15th save in 16 chances in the bottom half of the inning, retiring Ronald Acu a Jr., Dansby Swanson and Freddie Freeman in order. 'It kind of shows you what our team is capable of doing,' Bruce said. 'We have a chance to win the series tomorrow, so it was a big win for us and good bounce-back game.' Edubray Ramos (1-0) faced four batters in the eighth to earn the victory. The Phillies scored three times to take a 3-1 lead in the third against Touki Toussaint before Atlanta made it 3-2 in the third when Acu a singled, advanced to second on right fielder Bryce Harper's fielding error and scored from third on a groundout. Nola allowed five runs, six hits, two walks and struck out four in 4 1/3 innings. He has a 7.71 ERA over his last three starts. Atlanta led 1-0 on Austin Riley's 11th homer in 29 career games in the second. TRAINER'S ROOM Phillies: Bruce said he's been dealing with left hamstring tightness for a couple of days and likely won't be in the lineup Sunday after leaving in the fourth. ... Realmuto left the game in the sixth after feeling nauseous when he was hurt in the fifth as Freeman's foul tip glanced off his glove and smacked the catcher's upper left leg. ... Oft-injured OF Roman Quinn was hit in the shoulder by a pitch in a rehab game Friday with Double-A Reading. He has discomfort finishing his swing, but Kapler said the latest ailment is not serious. KEUCHEL Braves starter Dallas Keuchel received no decision in his last minor league start, allowing three runs, 11 hits and one walk with four strikeouts in seven innings with Double-A Mississippi, and is expected to join the Atlanta rotation next week. He will likely make his 2019 debut Friday at Washington. UP NEXT Phillies: Kapler has yet to decide who will start the series finale, but RHP Cole Irvin (2-1, 5.48) is a possibility. Braves: RHP Mike Foltynewicz (1-5, 6.02 ERA) is 0-2 with a 6.75 ERA in his last three starts and has allowed 15 homers in nine starts, a span of 49 1/3 innings. ___ More AP MLB: https://apnews.com/MLB and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports
  • ATLANTA (AP) - Braves starter Sean Newcomb has left the game in a scary scene after being hit in the back of the head by a line drive off the bat of Philadelphia's J.T. Realmuto. Newcomb was checked by a trainer and walked off the field under his own power in Atlanta, escorted by two trainers Saturday. The ball was clocked at 102 mph and caromed off Newcomb's head and sailed into the netting behind the Phillies' dugout on the third base side. Realmuto covered his mouth with both hands as he ran to first base on what went as a ground-rule double. The play occurred in the third inning at SunTrust Park. Newcomb turned his head as the ball approached and knelt on the mound immediately after getting hit. Catcher Tyler Flowers had him stay down while a trainer and Braves manager Brian Snitker came out to tend to the left-hander. Touki Toussaint took Newcomb's spot. ___ More AP MLB: https://apnews.com/MLB and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports
  • PEARL, Miss. (AP) - Dallas Keuchel has thrown 14 innings of minor league baseball for two teams in two states over the past six days. There were a lot of good pitches and a few bad ones, but overall he's pleased with his progress since signing with the Atlanta Braves on June 7. Next stop - he hopes - is with the big club. 'Absolutely,' Keuchel said. 'I feel like I'm there.' The 31-year-old left-hander gave up three runs and 11 hits over seven innings for Double-A Mississippi of the Southern League on Saturday. He struck out four and walked one, throwing 106 pitches, including 74 strikes. It wasn't all pretty, but Keuchel said the outing was just what he needed to get ready for his return to the big leagues. He hasn't pitched in the majors since 2018, when he had a 12-11 record and a 3.74 ERA with the Houston Astros. 'They put some balls in play on the ground, a couple in the air, a couple hard-hit balls. Almost like a regular game,' Keuchel said. 'So that was nice to see from my end for work purposes. Just trying to continue the process of making as many pitches as possible.' The 2015 AL Cy Young Award winner signed a one-year deal that pays him $13 million. The Braves hope he can help solidify a starting rotation that's relying on several young arms. Keuchel said after the outing he felt good physically and would have a discussion with the Braves' front office and trainers to see if his next outing would be in the majors or with another minor league affiliate. 'I'm not going to jeopardize myself, first of all, because if I jeopardize myself I'm going to jeopardize the big-league team and that's not what I'm trying to do,' Keuchel said. 'I'm trying to help the club as much as possible. I'm not trying to rush myself.' Keuchel pitched seven innings of one-hit ball for Class-A Rome on Monday in his first game, but wasn't as sharp Saturday. He gave up two runs on three hits in the first inning, including a sharply hit double on the first pitch. He also fought a little bad luck during the outing: One single in the first was a weak pop fly that floated over the first baseman and past his glove. Another hit later in the game was a bouncing ball to the left side that took a funky hop and slipped between the shortstop and third baseman. 'I felt like my breaking stuff and changeup were a little inconsistent at first,' Keuchel said. 'I was a little antsy out there. The adrenaline was a little more than last time. Once I hone that in, I should be good. It was nice to compete out there.' ___ More AP MLB: https://apnews.com/MLB and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports
  • Go to the Forum to read all of DawgNation’s latest recruiting nuggets. The post Discuss UGA’s big recruiting weekend in DawgNation’s Forum appeared first on DawgNation.
  • ATLANTA (AP) - This is why Brian McCann came back to play for his hometown Atlanta Braves, to deliver with his bat in a big spot. 'That was one of the best moments I've ever had,' McCann said. 'To be able to get the win and the fashion that it happened is something I'll always remember.' McCann capped Atlanta's three-run ninth inning with a two-run single off Héctor Neris, and the Braves beat the Philadelphia Phillies 9-8 on Friday night for their eighth straight win. Atlanta improved to 23-9 since May 10 and opened a 2 1/2-game lead over Philadelphia in the NL East. It was the first game between the division rivals since the Phillies swept three games from the Braves in late March. Most of the sellout crowd of 41,975, the largest of the season at SunTrust Park, stood on its feet after Dansby Swanson led off the ninth with a single. Nick Markakis walked with two outs, and Swanson scored on rookie Austin Riley's double. McCann then reached down and drove an opposite-field single into the gap in left-center, giving him 1,000 RBIs for his career. McCann, a seven-time All-Star who grew up in the Atlanta suburbs, spent the last five seasons in the AL, but decided to return to the team that drafted him so he could help the Braves win a World Series. 'This is home for me,' he said. 'This town, this city means a lot to me. It's where I grew up. To be able to come back home and do this is right up there with one of the best moments I've ever had.' He compared this year's Braves to his former club in Houston, which won the World Series in 2017. 'It's very special,' McCann said. 'I just think the way we show up every day. The way guys go about their business, to the preparation, we show up ready to win every single day.' Neris (1-3) was attempting to go 15 for 15 in save chances this year, but couldn't find the formula on his 30th birthday. He recorded two outs and allowed three hits in Philadelphia's fourth loss in five games. 'I have the highest level of trust in him in that situation,' manager Gabe Kapler said. 'We felt really good in the dugout about it. It's just a devastating loss. We'll lick our wounds, come back and be ready to fight again.' Jerry Blevins (1-0) pitched the ninth for the win. Bryce Harper and Rhys Hoskins each hit a two-run homer for the Phillies, and Scott Kingery added a solo drive. Philadelphia dropped to 34-7 this season when scoring at least four runs. It had won 15 of its last 17 previous such games. Harper, booed all night long, put Philadelphia up 3-1 in the third with his 12th homer, which sailed into the Atlanta bullpen in right-center. Kingery's eighth homer landed in the left-field seats in the fourth. Hoskins' 15th homer, coming off Dan Winkler, made it 7-2 in the seventh. Kingery, who went 3 for 4, doubled in the eighth and scored on a sacrifice fly to make it 8-4. Phillies starter Nick Pivetta allowed four runs and eight hits in 6 2/3 innings. Atlanta starter Max Fried was chased with two outs in the fifth. He was charged with five runs and seven hits, leaving him with a 7.52 ERA in his last four starts. McCann, Freddie Freeman and Josh Donaldson each hit a solo shot for the Braves. Ozzie Albies and Ronald Acuña Jr. each had two hits. ROLLING The Braves, who have scored at least six runs in six straight games, own their first eight-game winning streak since May 17-25, 2013. TRAINER'S ROOM Phillies: RHP Seranthony Domínguez (right ulnar collateral ligament) decided not to have surgery and underwent a platelet injection instead. He will be re-evaluated in three weeks. UP NEXT Phillies: RHP Aaron Nola (6-1, 4.58 ERA) is 0-1 with a 6.75 ERA in two starts this month. He went 4-0 with a 2.73 ERA in six May starts. In 13 career starts against Atlanta, Nola is 8-3 with a 2.05 ERA. Braves: LHP Sean Newcomb (1-0, 2.59 ERA) will make his first start since getting recalled May 4 from Triple-A Gwinnett. ___ More AP MLB: https://apnews.com/MLB and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports