Brian Schottenheimer may be just what the Georgia Bulldogs need


Georgia’s new offensive coordinator, Brian Schottenheimer, may be just what the Bulldogs need to not fix what wasn’t broken.

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Are we all used to the idea of saying that Brian Schottenheimer — not Mike Bobo — is the offensive coordinator for the Bulldogs?

Yes? Good.

Now it’s time to get used to the idea that this may not be such a bad thing after all. Despite questions and doubts about this hire, he may be exactly what Georgia needs.

When the announcement first came, many had the same thought –

“Didn’t we see this movie before? An NFL coordinator with marginal success and no ties to the Bulldogs taking over in Athens? Didn’t Todd Grantham teach us anything?”

And despite the parallels to Grantham’s situation, Schottenheimer is walking into a much different scenario on offense than was terrible Todd on defense, and to be honest…he’s just a better coach, although his record may not indicate that.

The negative points are undeniable. His NFL offenses were never highly ranked (save one year with the New York Jets) and the quarterbacks he has coached as both an assistant and a coordinator are not exactly a resume builder (Brett Favre was already at legend status, and Drew Brees didn’t explode until after leaving San Diego).

But those points may be more a fact of circumstance rather than ability, and of his plans and schemes being stifled by a lack of quality personnel.

The reasons why Schottenheimer will be a success at Georgia are much more compelling and driven by what the roster and style of play will give him. The truth is, the Georgia offense wasn’t broken, but Schottenheimer could (rather than fix problems) polish what’s there.

Most importantly, from his press conference it’s obvious that Schotty knows what he has (Chubb) and what makes the Georgia offense tick (Chubb) and what will win him over with fans (handing the ball to Chubb). But beyond that, if you look at the type of personnel groupings that he likes to use, and what the possibilities are for Georgia, he may actually find untapped resources.

“We’re not going to reinvent the wheel…We’re going to run the football. Obviously, that’s a big part of what we’re doing.” — Brian Schottenheimer

To start with, Schottenheimer loves to use a 2-tight end set, and to take complete control of the line of scrimmage. This is something I’ve been begging for the Bulldogs to use more and to utilize the deep crop of tight ends they seem to always have. Not only will employing these types of sets get more out of the current Georgia tight ends, but it will make recruiting more replacements an easier job.

Schotty also recognizes that Georgia’s offense is keyed off the run game, and that he’ll have an untested set of young guys vying for the starting quarterback job. Last season Hutson Mason was asked to do very little, probably too little. Schottenheimer will get more out of his quarterback without taking away from the bread-and-butter of the offense.

And just as many defenses rotate personnel and change sets to confuse quarterback, Schottenheimer loves to empty his bench, and utilize every weapon at his disposal. A guy like Malcolm Mitchell could be even more dangerous if defenses aren’t sure who will be entering the game and have to focus on their own substitutions to match up with Georgia’s personnel.

But the number one thing that gives hope for Brian Schottenheimer is his schemes that involve moving pockets and vertical pass plays — something that Georgia was desperately missing in 2014.

With inexperienced quarterbacks at his disposal, the best way to cut down on the number of reads they’ll have to make is to use their legs and move the pocket, or to use naked bootlegs in a power formation to find a tight end in the flat.

The bottom line is, Georgia’s offense wasn’t and isn’t broken, but Mark Richt didn’t hire Schottenheimer to fix anything. He hired him to tighten up a few things and to continue doing what the Bulldogs do best.

Nick Chubb fans can relax now.

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