Why Georgia's Offensive Line Was Exposed
Thoughout the season, Georgia was able to get by with their "patch-work" offensive line until the final two games of the season - when Georgia's OL faced two of the best defensive lines in college football in LSU and Michigan State.
With defensive lines full of future NFL prospects, Georgia's OL had trouble in both pass protection and opening lanes for the Georgia backs the entire game. In the Outback Bowl, Georgia's OL was dominated and MSU finished with 10+ tackles for loss - pretty bad.
Last night, one of my twitter followers asked about why Georgia's offensive line was man handled so badly. Well, the short answer is that Georgia played the entire year with 4 offensive guards and 1 center on their offensive line.
Following Trinton Sturdivant's injuries and Brent Benedict's transfer left Georgia in a very tough spot at tackle. Sturdivant and Benedict were looked on to be 2011's OT's with young guys, Watts Dantzler and Austin Long adding depth. However, the attrition left Georgia's OL coach, Will Friend, scrambling to put the best 5 offensive linemen on the field. The problem was that Georgia just had ZERO offensive tackles ready to play in the SEC. So, Friend put 2 guards (Cordy Glenn and Justin Anderson) at tackle and let some younger guys (Burnette and Gates) play OG because experience was needed at OT.
Now, everyone remembers that nice graphic that came up earlier in the season - the one that showed that Georgia's OL was the heaviest in both the NCAA and NFL. Well, football fans, I'm going to tell you, that is a very deceving stat.
At center and offensive guard, guys can be big men with big guts. Cordy Glenn and Justin Anderson are GREAT offensive guards. They are average to bad offensive tackles. Just look at their body types:
Just to let you know, our reserves at OT both are right around 300 lbs. Our big time recruits at OT are right around 300 lbs. Guys who are 342 lbs and 338 lbs are offensive guards - because their job is to double team, move big men, and not have to be extremely athletic.
Offensive tackles are built differently because of what the position demands.
You all have seen The Blindside I am sure, so you understand why the offensive tackle position is so important. You have to be athletic enough to take on DE's and OLB's who are on pass rush. These are guys who run 4.4's to 4.6's, so you know you have to be athletic to beat them to the point in your kick slide.
If you don't know what a kick slide is, below is a video that explains what the kick slide drill is and why it is important in pass protection.
So, just imagine if you will, 342 pound Justin Anderson and 338 poind Cordy Glenn in a kick slide drill vs. Gohlston from MSU - it would be pretty bad. They'd have to get a pretty good jump to beat a guy like Gohlston - now you know what "Bean" got about 100 procedure penalties this year.
Now, when it comes to run blocking, it is the exact same problem. Although these guys are big and can move you if they get to you, they are having to block some pretty athletic guys. At their size, Anderson and Glenn just do not have the full athletiscism neccesary to be able to be successful.
The good news, Georgia fans, is that Georgia has one of the best offensive tackle prospects in John Theus coming in for 2012. Theus and, another commit, Mark Beard will be expected to come in and compete with Dantlzer, Long, and DeBell. Out of those 5 guys, Georgia should be in a lot better situation at OT.
As for "Bean" and Cordy, I think these guys are DGD's. They were put in a position that they definitely were not comfortable with. Cordy is seen as a big time NFL prospect, so, showing that he can play OT is big for him. For as out of position as these guys were, Georgia still turned it around and they were able to contribute when the coaches needed them.