That doesn’t prevent us from seeing his coaching style. If you see the slick videos that UGA Football has been putting out lately you will hear what Pittman was saying to his players…
“Work, Work, WORK!”
“At some point you have to turn him.”
“Ignite your power.”
“Could we go full speed please?”
“The game of football starts when you hit somebody. It doesn’t stop when you hit somebody.”
Those are all great. My old coach in college, Dan Schmotzer had some classic one liners. I love coaches who can talk. But the truth is what Pittman said that really matter is when he walked up to senior Brandon Kublanow and junior Isaiah Wynn and said: “This is your football team. If we go in here to any drill, and we get beat, then you have to fix it. YOU gotta fix it, and you YOU gotta fix it.”
This entire thing starts and ends with Kirby Smart, I get that… but players like Kublanow and Wynn are critical to the success of this team and this program in the future. Kublanow is a quiet guy. He’s not really a talker. UGA has a lot of players like that in important spots. Nick Chubb is that way. Wynn is more gregarious than Kublanow.
Personalities don’t necessarily make a leader - different folks lead in different ways. But Pittman is right when he says that Kublanow and Wynn have to “fix it”. That’s code for lead the way. Pittman, after all, has a stellar reputation for developing offensive lineman. A few of Pittman’s former lineman from Arkansas told folks at the Senior Bowl that he was the best coach they had ever had.
He’s proving to me, at least, that he very much knows what he’s doing so far. There’s no reason to doubt that Pittman is four or five steps above the previous offensive line coach at UGA, who, coupled with the incompetence of Brian Schottenheimer helped submarine the Bulldogs’ offense.
The question for the fall of 2016, however, is can Pittman “fix it” on this line? He’s got three returning starters, but UGA is going to have to figure out left tackle. Nick Chubb may well be banged up, but Sony Michel is a 5-star running back who can perform. This offense won’t perform at an optimal level until three things happen: Chubb returns, the quarterback position must make plays and the offense line is figured out.
Two of those three things are not up to the offensive line coach, but Pittman seems on the way to fixing his end of that three-pronged puzzle.