Did I miss something or have the tight ends been very quiet so far this season?
While Georgia has long been known for producing great players at the tight end position, the loss of both Aron White and Orson Charles to the NFL has seemingly prompted a movement away from targeting that position altogether.
To be honest, it was a possibility that Georgia offensive coordinator Mike Bobo hinted at over the summer.
“It could be a little bit like ’08 when we had a loss at tight end and we went to more three receiver sets and four receiver sets. I do feel confident in the two tight ends and the freshman we got that they’re going to pick it up and provide a spark for us offensively and be productive.
It’s really your personnel group that best gives you the chance to move the football is who we’re going to go with.” (Marc Weiszer, “Bulldogs to rely on receivers for big plays”, dogbytesonline.com, 8/16/12)
It’s clear that the depth—and experience—at the receiver position this season is better this year than the last. Even without top target Malcolm Mitchell to toss the ball to, Aaron Murray hasn’t appeared to be at a loss for options on the field yet this season.
By contrast, the tight end spot has dwindled to basically three scholarship guys: Arthur Lynch (mostly noted for his great blocking ability), Jay Rome (a huge target but, honestly, I’m not certain he’s completely focused on football just yet; he’s still harboring some ‘hoop dreams’) and Ty Smith (a raw prospect with a great deal of potential who isn’t quite ready for the big leagues yet).
Given those options, you can understand why Georgia has decided to stick with what works at this point—especially given the early success of Todd Gurley and Keith Marshall in the running game.
Even so, Lynch doesn’t think the lack of tight end involvement has anything to do with anything more than circumstance, and he figures it won’t be long before we see the tight end get more involved in the receiving game.
“I think it just has a lot to do with the progression of the quarterback and their reads and just trying to work through it,” Lynch said. “We have been out there; the ball just hasn’t gone our way. I don’t think it’s a personal thing. I don’t think it’s a thing in the scheme, I just think there have been a lot of opportunities elsewhere and that’s how it worked out.”