Most of what offensive coordinator Mike Bobo said when he met with reporters Wednesday was pretty predictable (like his playcalling, some wags would say).
He was optimistic about the thin offensive line (”We’re not very deep, but you only need five. We played in ’02 with only five linemen.”), was circumspect about prospects for highly hyped running back Isaiah Crowell (”He might be the guy that comes in and really helps.”) and put a positive spin on the offseason attrition of players: “It’s not going to be easy, and we’ve made it extremely tough around here. When you turn up the heat, sometimes you’re going to have guys that don’t want to be a part of it. That’s their choice.”
He was also slightly self-deprecating when it came to talking about what he has to do with the personnel that remains, saying, “We’ve got to play to the advantage of the guys that we have playing. We can learn from last year not having A.J. Green for the first four games. I probably didn’t play to my other guys’ strength too well because I didn’t give them enough credit.”
And, Bobo being Bobo, he couldn’t resist throwing in one tantalizing little tidbit out of the blue, floating the possibility of using true freshman Jay Rome (who has a logjam of experienced players ahead of him at tight end) as a sort of hybrid fullback-tight end, much the way TE-turned-FB Bruce Figgins is expected to line up some of the time. Said Bobo of Rome: “He’s a bigger guy. He could be that guy.”
Of course, longtime Bobo watchers will offer the caveat that he’s known for sprinkling his interviews with intriguing ideas that either never come to pass or wind up making a token appearance in his offense (as with the Wild Dawg).
A couple of players also met with reporters Wednesday, and much of that continued the theme of those Bulldogs who are still in Athens rededicating themselves to turning the program around. Orson Charles put it rather bluntly when he said, “Every team has dead weight, somebody pulling you back and I think the university and Coach Richt did a very good job of letting people go.”
Asked whether he was underutilized last season, Charles said: “I don’t think so. I think Bobo did a fairly good job of calling the plays. I felt like as a whole we could have played a little harder, played a little faster, and had fun playing the game. But I think this spring it changed a lot. We were having fun, we were competing. In the locker room we were just embracing. So I’m just looking forward to this season.”
A good positive outlook, though someone might want to mention to the youngster that saying your coach did a “fairly good job” probably isn’t the most politic characterization, even if it is pretty accurate.
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