Where Exactly Does the Problem Lie With the O-Line

I’ve pondered this question recently, and have had some good conversations with corbin on this exact issue.

We have what was thought to be the premiere Offensive Line coach in America in CSS. He was on Saban’s staff when he won a NC, took our line from shambles to riches in 2007, and is generally regarded as the best in the business.

We have several offensive linemen who are projected to be great NFL linemen. We were told that our O-line would be the most dominant in the conference prior to the 2010 season. Yet we witnessed a line who under-performed all year long, had a difficult time opening up holes, and generally got out-played for most of the season.

So, the best I can tell, there are four possible answers as to why we seem to be struggling so badly on the offensive line. I will preface this by saying I was an offensive lineman, and while a great running back is a line’s best friend, a running back is generally only as good as his line.

1-      Coach Stacy Searels is not as great a coach as we all thought. Maybe he was the product of great athletes at LSU, came to UGA and had one of the best running backs we’ve seen since Herschel, and rode Knowshon to perceived greatness. He really didn’t do a great job early on but had good results based on personnel. Now that he’s left with the current personnel, he is not really all that good. I don’t think this is the case.

2-      Our “NFL-caliber” linemen really aren’t as good as they are cracked up to be. I don’t know how this could be the case, but maybe it is. I’m not a scout, so I don’t know exactly what the deal is here. I would think that the folks who look at this stuff know what they’re talking about, and that these guys really are good. But if they are that good, and Searels is that good, then something’s got to give. I guess this has a little more validity than the above point.

3-      Knowshon and Stafford made the line look better than they actually are, and Murray and Ealey/King are bringing the level back down. I touched on this in my first point, and while I don’t think it’s the case, there may be some validity here. I just find it hard to believe that Searels could have a unit look so great for a couple of years and then have a unit look so mediocre the last two years. But maybe 24 hit the holes harder and also elevated the play of the line. Who knows? If so, then what’s the fix? And what does that mean about CSS? What role does Bobo take in it?

4-      Maybe CSS is a great O-line coach, and maybe our guys are truly talented. They’ve just become a product of a bad system. Honestly, I hope that this is the case. Maybe CSS has been brought down a level by his surroundings. Maybe these horses haven’t been given the proper training in the weight room and the gymnasium. We could have an “FSU factor” in place, where you have NFL talent that isn’t being developed properly. But doesn’t part of that fall on CSS? Hopefully with changes in the S&C program, this area of concern will get fixed. But if this is the case, then we’re left with a head scratcher. Our linemen are big, no doubt. And we have seen the reports on how strong they are. Is there a disparity between weight-room talent and on-field talent? I really don’t know. If this point is valid, will the changes this year help fix the problem?

The bottom line is this: If CSS is a great coach, and we have really talented linemen, then something has got to give.

Listen, there are many, many things for us to complain about this offseason. Likewise, there are a lot of areas that need to be fixed. This is just one of many. I know we scored a ton of points this year, but when we needed it we didn’t have it. The run game digressed in 2010, and if we didn’t have AJ spread out wide taking attention away, Murray would probably have struggled infinitely more.

I’m just wondering what the problem is here, and if it is a S&C issue, is it something that can be fixed? I am one of the fanatics who thought CSS was the greatest thing to happen to our line when he came on board, and have sweated every time his name was mentioned elsewhere. I hope that I wasn’t foolish in my thoughts, and that he really is the best O-line coach in America.

Maybe I’m way off base on everything and I am concerned over nothing. What are your thoughts?



10 Responses to “Where Exactly Does the Problem Lie With the O-Line”

  1. 1 Bright Idea January 13, 2011 at 1:24 pm

    I doubt Searels was ever the best OLine coach in America but a big league tailback would have made him and the linemen look a whole lot better. Pass blocking has been pretty good. Not every sack can be blamed on the Oline. King never would have been hit in the backfield causing him to fumble at Colorado if a 2 tight end set would have been deployed. That LBer knew Georgia was outnumbered and sold out to cause the fumble cause that was the only way to save the game.

  2. 2 Whiskeydawg January 13, 2011 at 2:05 pm

    The O line situation has troubled me more than anything else for exactly the reasons you mention above. I don’t know what the answer is; I just know they’ve got to have one by the fall.

  3. 3 A Different Jim January 13, 2011 at 2:51 pm

    One thing about Les Miles is that he will get rid of a coach if the coach is not performaing, no excuses. I once thought we stole SS from LSU but not I am not certain that they sent him away to us. Their offensive line is better than ours.

  4. 4 thewhiteshark January 13, 2011 at 3:07 pm

    I’m not sure where the problem lies but I am a little suspicious of Bobo’s playcalling. He seems to have a lot of trouble when people load the box. I don’t care how good your offensive line is — 5 can’t block 8. Against UCF I was hoping against hope he would take some shots down field to loosen up the defense. He persisted in quick out passes. Aggressive defenses seem to give Bobo a lot of trouble. Hopefully they will get it figured out this year.

  5. 6 DawgByte January 13, 2011 at 3:49 pm

    This was about as insightful as Sheriff Dupnik’s appraisal of why JL shot those folks in Arizona.

    Hello – Here is some cogent analysis for you:

    Cordy Glenn was coming off mono at the end of the summer and began the Fall campaign at about 75%. He didn’t gain full strength until about 5-6 games into the season. Glenn is our most talented OL. He has the size and strength to run block, but he can’t do it alone.

    Sturdivant was tentative throughout the year on run blocking, because he didn’t trust his knee and could not get his body low enough to drive anyone off the ball.

    Clint Boling isn’t large enough or talented enough to run block at a consistent SEC level – never has. He’s a good pass blocker.

    Ben Jones had an off year. He seemed to be inconsistent. Some games he did very well and others…

    Josh Davis seemed to be saving himself for the NFL. He was not even close to being a dominant force on the line. His arms look like pipe cleaners, and not a top flight SEC tackle. He looked weak and his run blocking was almost non-existent.

    Kenarius Gates showed real promise. He’s a wide body in the same mold is Cordy Glenn. I expect good things from him next year.

    Tanner Strickland started off pretty strong and then faded away towards the middle of the season.

    Chris Davis proved why he’s not a SEC caliber OL and he was a returning starter, which indicates how weak we really are up front.

    The correct analysis is that we do not have the talent Alabama, LSU, Miss. St. or SC has on our OL. Everyone of those teams sports bigger and stronger OL’s. I blame our OL woes on Richt’s hybrid offensive scheme. He ran a finesse OL at FSU and that just doesn’t work in the SEC. We lamented about Calloway’s approach and now we’re doing the same thing about CSS. That tells me it’s not CSS’s problem, but rather Richt and Bobo.

  6. 7 Skint January 13, 2011 at 4:02 pm

    We have talented linemen who aren’t playing because “they can’t pick up the system”. Searles has gone in a different direction and I’m afraid it will get worse before it gets better. Our recruiting has been dreadful and this year’s class won’t help. We need to recruit better players and simplify the “system”.

  7. 8 Mr. Georgia Football Returns January 14, 2011 at 12:19 am

    Maybe, maybe,maybe…….Maybe wild monkeys will fly out of the offensive lines ass……THEY ARE TOO SLOW! The same personel have underperformed for three years. Last year 4ypc against SEC competition and this year 3.87ypc.(with the return of Sturdivant).The defensive rushers are manuevering past before they react. Mark Richt has had three years to rectify this problem.

  8. 9 BoWeevil January 14, 2011 at 5:37 am


    Here are my EXCUSES and COP-OUTS

    1. this guy sick

    2. this guy Injured

    3. this guy no longer on team couldn’t block for run; now that he is gone, we will be great.

    4. this guy inconsistent, great at times other times same guy had his head in the clouds

    5. this guy just had an off-year

    6. this returning starter no good 1 of 10 of the returning starters on this offense who ended the season # 72 at 1st Downs

    7. no talent

    8. no strength & conditioning

    9. not big enough

    10. Pro-style offensive scheme he doesn’t recruit well for

    11. Mike Bobo doesn’t make good play calls, quits on what is working to do the other so it’s a balanced offense 50-50 run/pass no matter the competition

    12. Mark Richt # 52 NCAA Rank Total Offense all 10 years now

    13. Mark Richt had to suspend Twenty (20) Percent of his 85 Scholarships so they did not even get to play 17 of 85 Scholarship Players SUSPENDED – some of the 17 for as many as 4 games (AJ Green Caleb Darnell King, etc.)

    14. 5 kicked off the team 2010 alone

    15. We were young (despite now losing 14 seniors and AJ Green)

    16. We cannot recruit in-state talent on Offense

    17. Mark Richt is the # 4 best coach in all of America despite the fact that he is # 8 in just The SEC in the BCS Era vs SEC won / lost percentage his entire 10 years here

    18. Willie Martinez is the only problem we have with our coaching staff, rest are all GREAT.

    19. Won 6 games against 6 teams ALL who have a LOSING RECORD, but Mike Bobo sure ran the score up on these CUPCAKES

    20. We almost nearly came close played tough lost by only a few points

    21. He wore a glove in the last game on a 70-degree day when we wouldn’t let him use it the entire Spring Fall and all season long.

    22. It’s just Caleb King who is no good.

    23. AJ Green is our best player MVP for the TEAM and he sold out his teammates for $1000 and then LIED to all us that he was NEVER IN MIAMI when it had NOTHING to do with being in Miami that they had told him he SOLD a jersey for $1000 from the SHREVEPORT bowl

    24. Not OK for Ohio State 5 to sell stuff for profit, but OK for AJ Green – just unfair of the NCAA

    25. The police are just out to get the football players

    26. They are all scooter tickets anyway – forget about 2 guilty of sexual batter, another guy who beat up his student at UGA girlfriend 3 times, another guy who beat a student to the point he is permanently disfigured and all that just for talking to a gal at an Apartment cook-out who said she was NOT EVEN DATING the Mark Richt recruit.

    27. Another guy with 2 ARRESTS who told a gal bus driver at UGA that if she told anyone further about her loan to him of $500 the day Spring Break started that he would publish nude pics and video of her on the internet and that he would NEVER repay the $500 loan (Oh, yeah and then he FLUNKED off the team and yet was the # 1 overall recruit in the state of Georgia 2006 and yet averages 400 yards a season since as our Starting Tailback for Mark Richt who recruited the thug here.)

    28. We scored 30 points beating 6 CUPCAKES, Bobo doesn’t have go go, he is GREAT.

    29. Mark Richt is # 4 best coach in all of America despite being 44-21 the last five (5) years ranking # 23 in wins on the field these last 5 years.

    30. Jim Donnan sucks 19 losses better win percentage vs SEC and better win percentage vs all teams his entire 5 years here compared directly to Mark Richt worse on all fronts here his last 5 years by DIRECT COMPARISON.

    31. Ray Goff sucked with 21 losses 1991-1995 his last 5 years here before being FIRED, despite fact that Mark Richt EQUALED THAT over his last 5 years here by DIRECT COMPARISON with 21 Losses.

    32. We should all worry about Ray Goff taking over or Jim Donnan taking over; don’t we remember how bad it was back then with them both ? Mark Richt should worry about his next gig not as good as this one.

    33. We are just 1 NT away from NC every year now.

    34. DISNEYdawgs.com with your EXCUSES & COP-OUTS.

  1. 1 Pretty Funny Comment « The Grit Tree Trackback on January 14, 2011 at 9:52 am

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