Home / Sports / Georgia Bulldogs did not have to go far to find an offensive coordinator of championship caliber

Georgia Bulldogs did not have to go far to find an offensive coordinator of championship caliber


ATHENS – Fantastic. Bravo. Work well done.

Georgia coach Kirby Smart finally promoted James Coley to offensive coordinator on Friday. Or, more accurately, he simply eliminated "co-" from the title of Coley, who was already a co-offensive coordinator and quarterback coach.

It is important to keep in mind that this does not mean that someone else can come and claim that "co-" in your title. You can bet that Smart will do whatever it takes to make your staff as strong as possible. If that means having to name someone co-offensive coordinator, so be it.

But do not worry, as it was when Jim Chaney was in charge of the offense last year along with Coley, the one who did not have the "co" in his title was drawing attention. So, to be clear, it is Coley who will call attention.

What does that mean for Georgia's offensive?

The most important thing is that there will be continuity from the last two years until the next. Field quarterback Jake Fromm will return to the helm for the third consecutive season and, with his level of experience in this offense, gives the Bulldogs another offensive coordinator. Maybe that's the way Georgia has to go. Name Fromm initial field marshal / co-offensive coordinator

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Leaving aside the jokes, Fromm is an important part of an offense that returns almost intact. The Bulldogs will watch some rebuilding in wideout, where the main receivers Riley Ridley, Mecole Hardman and Terry Godwin have advanced. And that is the case to a lesser extent in the tight end, where Georgia will seek to fill the void of Issac Nauta becoming a professional and the transfer of Luke Ford.

But the most important aspect of the Bulldogs' offense is that it returns four fifths of the initial offensive line, plus a lot of other former blue chippers to compete and mix at the front. Then there are D'Andre Swift, Brian Herrien and James Cook in the backyard, where they will be joined by newcomers Zamir "Zeus" White and Kenny McIntosh.

He's very talented to work with Coley, and he knows what to do with that. This is not a young novice coordinator in which Smart is taking a risk. This is a 45-year-old man who has coordinated crimes during 11 of the 19 seasons that date back to his three-year stint at Miami Norland High School.

In that span, Coley has developed a reputation for being a bit of a shooting coordinator. That is, he likes his offenses to launch the football field. When he was coordinator and player of games in Miami, the Hurricanes led the nation in "explosive games" during the three years. Coley coached Brad Kaaya for the Freshman All-America honors when the quarterback broke the season record for the yards in Miami. Wide receiver Allen Hurns, currently with the Dallas Cowboys, also broke the season record with 1,162 yards in 2013.

In the midst of that, Miami produced two 1,000-yard rushes at Duke Johnson (1,652 yards in 2014) and Joe Yearly (1,002 in 2015). So Coley knows the value of running football. And, lest we forget, Coley has been present at every step of the success that Georgia has enjoyed with Smart. He was one of Smart's first employees when he took over the Bulldogs before the 2016 season, joining the staff behind Chaney and offensive line coach Sam Pittman.

So, Coley knows exactly what Smart is looking for. Keep in mind that, no matter who calls attention to the Georgia offensive, it remains the property of Smart. And Smart, a defensive coordinator by trade, has always been one that is attributed to the "complementary" soccer approach. That is, his offense works together with the defense and special teams to achieve victory, so one does not behave to the detriment of the other. That means the offense does not rush, spread and score as fast as possible all the time and the defense does not sell with 72 exotic blitz packs to create its own big plays.

No, Georgia is still playing mainly the percentages to win, which means running the football, controlling the clock, limiting the opponents' big plays and winning the field position and the special teams. So those will be Coley's marching orders, as they were for Chaney.

Meanwhile, he's going to speak the same offensive terminology and will be working on the same playbook that the Bulldogs put together the last three years under Chaney and company. That is only good for Fromm, who can already recite that chapter and verse.

That does not mean that Coley does not add his wrinkles. You can be sure that when he sat next to Chaney in the Georgia training box for those 14 games last season, there are many things he could have done differently. As an offensive assistant to the Miami Dolphins and Florida State Seminoles with one year as coordinator and play assistant at Florida International, you can be sure that Coley has some of his own things that he's been dying to put on.

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How long has Smart known that Coley was going to be his boy? I would say it from the beginning. But it is likely that two things have prevented him from doing it officially so far: one, the opening period for the recruitment of backup cranks this weekend, so Coley can fly on the road and carry this new title in his brief case . That certainly could not hurt someone who is already considered one of the best recruiters in the game. Two, Smart has continued to hold his cards close to his vest. He's trying to get the best coach he can for 2019, and he'll need it for what promises to be the most anticipated season in Smart's management. That means exploring all possible options.

So, Smart does something with another "co" title? Possibly. At least, it would be appropriate for Pittman, who is unrivaled in the country in terms of his ability to recruit elite offensive linemen and train them as well. As we all know, Alabama has a vacancy for an offensive line coach since Brent Keys was sent off to Georgia Tech. It is known with certainty that Crimson Tide would look like Pittman, themselves as a victim of his recruiting acumen, Not to mention a close witness of his good work in the field.

The news is that Georgia has done what it needs to divert that threat, at least for now. Maybe it's with a co-title but it will definitely come with new piles of money.

The same will be the case of Coley, of course, and he deserves the benefits that increase the promotion on Friday. However, more than anything else, this development was the result of Smart and his team of coaches looking for one thing, and those are the rich championship bonuses that UGA offers them to win national and SEC titles.

Coley's quote brings them closer to that than any OC that would come with a brilliant new playbook.

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