James Coley on the struggles of Georgia's offense, Jake Fromm's dip in production this season: 'I got to do a better job'
As Georgia prepares to play Baylor in the Sugar Bowl, offensive coordinator James Coley has been answering questions about his much-maligned unit.
Georgia’s offense has taken a significant step back this season after the departure of offensive coordinator Jim Chaney in the offseason and has not scored over 27 points in an SEC game since an October 5 matchup against Tennessee. A lot of that, however, is due to the amount of talent the Bulldogs lost to the NFL draft and injuries this season, which has not helped quarterback Jake Fromm as his production dipped in his junior year.
Coley was quick to take the blame off his quarterback, however, and place it on himself.
“Everybody has talked about the play on the outside, and the questions on Jake, and you know what, I got to do a better job, first and foremost,” said Coley.
“It starts with me. I’m looking at myself hard and criticizing myself and busting my tail to get that end better. And then we do have to put some pieces in place for a quarterback in the pass game, we got to put some pieces in place up front for the running backs.”
When asked about whether or not Fromm’s struggles can be attributed to injuries, Coley agreed with the sentiment that the loss of key players has had a significant impact.
“Jake’s (Fromm) performance, I would say with Lawrence Cager in the game was something like he was at 71% completion for the season,” Coley noted. “Lawrence Cager’s not in the game, he’s what? It’s a lot lower. So has he (Fromm) regressed, or have his stats regressed? I would say stats regressed. I’m around Jake every day, I was his QB coach last year.
“If anything, Jake’s sharper because of the multiples that he’s had to deal with with new guys in the lineup.”
“I think Jake is still the same Jake,” continued Coley. “I think he’s done a great job with his attitude, how he comes to work every day. He’s not phased by stats, he’s not phased by production in a game where he knows he did all he could do to give us a shot.
“Coaching him for two years now, I very proud of the kid. Watching him in practice this week and last week and man, you talk about a person who comes in with a great spirit to compete and to affect others, it’s unbelievable.”
Fromm has posted 2,610 passing yards and 22 touchdowns this season, both the lowest marks of his Georgia career. He does have a career-low in interceptions, however, with just five.
Injuries to Georgia’s wide receivers have hurt the Bulldogs all year. With Lawrence Cager out for the season, Fromm has had to rely on several young players to carry the load on offense.
After nearly a month of rest following a blowout loss to LSU in the SEC Championship, Georgia has an opportunity to finish the season strong with a Sugar Bowl matchup against Baylor on New Year’s Day.