Physical Receiver Options A Need
My somewhat limited playing experience was mostly at the position of wide receiver, so I tend to watch the detail of the game relating to the wideouts a little more closely than other positions. In the early portion of last season, Georgia was sorely missing what I call attacking receivers and suffered through ineffective and overly-predictable play calling as a result. Terry Godwin and Isaiah McKenzie simply didn’t have the physicality or mindset for Michael Irvin-like body control and playmaker positioning football; they weren’t high pointing and attacking the ball and they certainly weren’t commanding any space over the middle. Then, Joystick busted out.
McKenzie was easily the best overall football player for Georgia last year. Watching ‘Georgia in 60’ a few times (okay four), the season summarized into an hour of television re-revealed about half of the big plays the team made were made by the diminutive wideout, our greatest special teamer in school history. While his slight stature still necessitated he be fairly open or moving in space to make plays, he made them. In fact, he actually became a bit of a crutch for the offensive coaching staff, which was nationally viewed as underwhelming at absolute best in year 1 of the Kirby Smart regime.
R-R-P. Run, Run, Pass…often punt. It didn’t work, folks. While outside of the Ole Miss beatdown, the Georgia defense actually played well enough to win more than ten games last year. We won just eight.
Riley Ridley, coming out of the bad boy doghouse as he enters his true sophomore season, has all the physical tools. Javon Wims, the senior JUCO transfer who came on later and seems to synch best with Eason, is a huge and talented guy. Mecole Hardman Jr. was such a waste of explosive talent as a gunner on punts, when we needed more playmakers and more first downs. And, it’s time for Terry Godwin to make the big plays, assuming some of the load that went to Joystick. Chigbu, Stanley, Holloman, who wants it? If you want it, men, you have to take it from the other team. Eyes locked on the prize and hands to the ball in an undeniable squeeze and tuck. Command your space and attack the ball in the air and seize the day, because the stars that are aligning right this year necessitate physical wideout play.