Legge's Thoughts: Opinions and Observations

ATHENS - Dean Legge’s observations and opinions from UGA’s tenth practice of the spring.

There was no movement at any of the backfield skill positions. Sony Michel and Greyson Lambert still worked together; Brice Ramsey with Nick Chubb; and Jacob Eason with either Brendan Douglas or Tae Crowder.

Eason did get appear to get a rep near the start of the open periods with the No. 3 offensive unit. That’s something I can’t remember them doing much in the past. I know for sure that Eason didn’t get that on Saturday at the scrimmage, but he “may” have done that in the past. I can’t recall, but it has not been common. 

When you watch the fundamental drill session of some of the open periods of the practice you see what Kirby Smart is talking about as it relates to how far Eason has to go. You also, for the record, understand that this group is not a swift group in the footwork department like Aaron Murray or D.J. Shockley might have been. Eason and Lambert, both quite tall, move with long strides during pocket-movement drills. Eason, specifically, had to do a drill three times in a row because he either didn’t properly execute the footwork required, or he did not do so while grasping the ball with both hands. 

In my time watching Eason play in person, he is very comfortable rolling out of the pocket - doing so many times with the ball in only one hand. Nonetheless, the group needs to do a better job of having shorter, choppier footwork and less long-stride steps. I understand their pain as someone who is 6-4, 245 pounds. 

At one point when Eason made a mistake, offensive coordinator Jim Cheney screamed: “Think!”

Still, all three QBs started the day by throwing the ball pretty well. Lambert had a ball that bounced just before the feet of one receiver on the first throw, but other than that the QBs in general threw the basic ball pretty well. Those drills can be quite easy for the likes of Ramsey and Eason - these are basic lay-up drill-type throws. 

The group continued to throw pretty well with out-route patterns. Eason throws the deep ball particularly well, but the group was not great on those balls - Lambert and Ramsey both threw a set of balls out of bounds on the same rep; Lambert under threw one ball; as did Eason… slightly. Ramsey was too high with one ball that wasn’t the ball he threw out of bounds. Nonetheless, perfect balls are not going to be delivered every time. The deep balls were hit and miss - as deep ball passes often are. 

I think today, for the most part, was a winning day in the pass game. They all looked just fine. Eason needs to tune up the footwork drill aspect of things as it relates to doing the drill properly.

I also watched the offensive line on Tuesday because that was the group I had been told struggled the most during the scrimmage. Ramsey and Lambert often didn’t work in protected pockets, and that pressure hurt the offense’s ability to move the ball and score. 

Still, Tuesday, offensive line coach Sam Pittman was, for the most part, pretty pleased with the time we saw his group - and that was about 20 minutes of work. 

“Having a good session fellas,” he told them at the start of the open periods. “I like the way you are working.”

The entire group does look relatively big. Brandon Kublanow and Isaiah Wynn look the part of an SEC offensive lineman. Obviously Ben Cleveland does as well, but while he’s doing fine in the power department the newcomer could work on bend and flexibility - natural problems for big young offensive linemen. 

Tracy Rocker, at one point, appeared angered with his group of defensive linemen as he sent them from their practice area on field one all the way to field three and back. He walked over to field two (where the offense works) when many of them were coming back, and just looked at them. He said nothing. You could hear heavy breathing from most linemen, but the most pronounced breathing - I mean it was noticeable as he jogged by - was from Julian Rochester.

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