Dean’s List: Offensive Challenges in 2015

Dean Legge gives you the top offensive challenges heading into 2015.

1. Health at wide receiver

Let me say that if the Bulldogs are healthy the entire season, there’s no reason to expect them to do anything other than win the SEC East. But injuries (or suspicions) can not be overlooked. Would the Bulldogs have lost to Florida or Georgia Tech in 2014 if Todd Gurley had played? Would Aaron Murray have navigated October 2013 with an actual lineup of skill players who were not former walk-ons or two-star prospects?

We can’t know the unknown, but the biggest concern for Georgia is the overall health of the receivers. Hutson Mason, who was sensitive to his receiving group coming into the season, really seemed bothered when Malcolm Mitchell was out for the first part of 2014. Mitchell was his safety blanket. And by the time Mitchell was healthy, it was November.

Brice Ramsey won’t have the same sort of attachment to Mitchell or any one receiver, but he will need help in the passing game. Ramsey is going to do his part, but he can’t be expected to navigate the shark-infested waters of conference play with the 2015 equivalent of Rhett McGowan starting.

That’s not going to work.

Mitchell, Justin Scott-Wesley, Terry Godwin, Isaiah McKenzie and the rest of the Georgia receivers need to be healthy and ready to go.

2. Quarterback

Yes, I think Brice Ramsey is going to be the guy, but folks are going to have to learn to live with some of his mistakes in order to watch him develop into the player may folks will be very, very high on. Ramsey possesses all of the tools needed to thrive in Georgia’s pro-style offense. And he has one of the best backfields in the country to lean on as well.

Ramsey should get very good protection from a veteran offensive line. His receivers are a bit of a concern, but if everyone is healthy Ramsey should be fine. Let’s be clear that no one has named Ramsey the starter yet, but that’s the way it is headed.

It would be pretty surprising if someone other than Ramsey was the quarterback in the fall. But that’s just step one for Ramsey and the Bulldogs. Handling the pressure of the SEC is a completely different level of problem to deal with.

3. Center

The one spot that legitimately didn’t seem settled coming out of spring practice was center. You need to solve this problem —and fast —if you want to have a good 2015. David Andrews was not appreciated for what he did for the Bulldogs since 2012.

Insiders thought that Isaiah Wynn would be the guy at center in the future, but that wasn’t locked down the way many thought after April. Wynn will start for sure, but he might have to slide over to center (is he sliding to center? or guard?) in order to make way for the more experienced Brandon Kublanow to make the snaps. This is a major position to watch.

4. Keeping Nick Chubb healthy

We’ve seen how important Todd Gurley has been over the last three years. But he’s missed a good chunk of the last two seasons with injury. That can’t happen to Nick Chubb in 2015 if the Bulldogs are to have a successful year.

Chubb, considered a Heisman hopeful by many, was a workhorse for the Bulldogs while Gurley was out due to suspension and when he was hobbled off the field with an ACL tear that ended his career in Athens.

If Chubb is healthy, it is hard to imagine the Bulldogs struggling in 2015. But running backs don’t always last in this brutal league.

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