ATHENS - Recently I’ve done a couple stories on Hutson Mason and Mike Bobo, and as usually happens a few tidbits and quotes don’t make the cut for the story. So I thought I’d pass them along here:
1. Mason already has a good rapport with veterans such as Michael Bennett (his roommate), Chris Conley and Justin Scott-Wesley. That came not only from the final two games of last season, but serving on the second-team together at various points.
But going forward Mason said he wants to build a better rapport with a few other likely targets whom he hasn’t thrown to a lot in games or practice. He specifically named tight end Jay Rome, receiver Jonathon Rump and perhaps even Malcolm Mitchell. That means extra work on the side, besides the usual team passing workouts.
“I have a good connection with Bennett, and Justin and Conley, just because they’ve been here awhile,” Mason said. “And so has Malcolm, but Malcolm was always a (first-teamer) right when he came in he was with the ones. A lot of those other guys were with the twos a little bit.”
Like Aaron Murray before him, Mason said earlier this summer he has already served as the point man for passing workouts, starting after mat drills, and carrying into the summer.
2. When it comes to Mason finally getting his shot to be The Man this year, Bobo said that in their conversations he has emphasized that Mason just needs to be himself. And to close out the outside world and just listen to his coaches. Namely Bobo.
“That’s the main thing I always tell him: It’s not your mommy, it’s not your daddy, it’s not your high school, it’s not the stuff you read on the Internet. Listen to me, and do what you’re supposed to do, and if you win the job you’ll have a chance to be successful,” Bobo said. “I think too many times kids get worried about the outside stuff and not concentrating on what they can control, and that’s getting better eveyr day. And the ones that have success have done that. I think that’s why you’ve seen guys like Shockley, Hutson, that have stuck through it, and they can see the end that’s coming, and they’ve got a chance to be successful.”
3. Georgia, formerly the SEC poster child for the pro-style offense, has run a lot of spread the past couple years, and don’t look for that to change. Much of that is because Mason likes it that way, according to Bobo.
“I think the biggest thing is keep adapting to what you’re trying to do offensively, and get the guys that can make plays the ball. The big misconception to us if (that) we’re gonna be two-back and run it all the time. We were 75-percent one-back last year,” Bobo said. “And everybody thinks, Well you’re gonna play Georgia you’re gonna be play-action pass. We used to. Well that’s when we had a little different personnel. So you’re going to adapt to your personnel and how they play. You’ll probably see a little more spread this year too because that’s what Hutson is comfortable with. And that’s what Aaron was comfortable with.”
In fact the No. 1 personnel group for Georgia’s offense last year was the three-receiver set. That doesn’t mean Georgia went away from the power-I or any two-back set. Bobo said he was “still a firm believer that you’ve gotta let them know you’re at the ballpark and be physical running the ball.”
Having Todd Gurley around will help that, obviously.
But clearly Bobo and the Bulldogs are adapting to the national trend, as well as their own personnel.
“You know, sometimes simpler is better for those guys," Bobo said. "Because you want them to have success. You never want to put them in a situation where they might fail and you might lose them their whole career.”
That sounds a lot like new defensive coordinator Jeremy Pruitt’s philosophy, and a contrast to, well, I suspect I don’t have to paint a picture here. (That's me drawing the inference, to be clear, and not Bobo. Still, it points to a melding of styles within the coaching staff.)