Why Kirby Smart thinks UGA’s offense can have ‘higher execution’ this year

Credit: Hyosub Shin/hshin@ajc.com

Credit: Hyosub Shin/hshin@ajc.com

Although Georgia lost 15 players to last year’s NFL draft, coach Kirby Smart thinks we could see “higher execution” from the Bulldogs’ offense this season.

Smart broached the topic on Day 1 of preseason camp Thursday when asked about how this year’s offense compares to last year’s offense, particularly when it comes to UGA’s tight end group.

ExploreThe AJC's complete coverage on the Bulldogs

At 38.4 points per game last season, UGA finished No. 10 in scoring offense. Despite losing so many players from their championship-winning squad, Smart is encouraged by the continuity and experience at skill positions on offense.

That includes quarterback Stetson Bennett and the tight end group, with sophomore tight end Brock Bowers (who led the Bulldogs last year with 882 receiving yards for 13 touchdowns) back and junior tight end Darnell Washington “in a good spot” now after dealing with a lower leg injury in the spring.

“We’ve got a very talented tight end group this year,” Smart said. “I thought we had one last year. It just was not always present. I think part of that is staying healthy. You know, with your quarterback coming back and a lot of the skilled positions coming back and a lot of the young players coming back, a lot of the offensive line coming back, there’s not going to be huge changes. What there is going to be is maybe higher execution.

“Maybe the capacity to handle a little more information and do a little more than we’ve done in the past, because guys are in the second year and third year, some cases, of doing it. So, you know, we’re going to challenge those guys to embrace the thought of doing more and embrace being better at your execution. It’s not what play you call, it’s how much better you do it than they do it.”

The Bulldogs did lose tight end John FitzPatrick (drafted by the Falcons in the sixth round), but have added freshman tight end Oscar Delp (rated the No. 1 tight end in the nation by 247Sports), who was an early enrollee.