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Monday Dawg Bites Wants To Let James Cook

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COLLEGE FOOTBALL: NOV 30 Georgia at Georgia Tech Photo by David John Griffin/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Let’s start Monday off with some arousing thoughts...

Well yeah Bob, it does. I don’t know who Bobby Cook is. He might be well connected in the Butts-Mehre Building. This tweet could also be nothing more than a figment of his imagination. But bah gawd can you imagine Cook, Zamir White and Newman carving up defenses with a triple option look?Now can you imagine them throwing that look at the opposing team after hurrying to the line following a big gain down the sideline to George Pickens? That friends is a defensive nightmare.

One thing we do know is that Georgia had their first scrimmage of the season on Saturday, and Kirby Smart shared some details afterward.

  • Kirby told the media that his main impression from the scrimmage was that the Dawgs are behind. Before any alarm bells ring in Bulldog Nation, it should be noted that this was the first time the Dawgs have been able to scrimmage since 2019. Smart also mentioned that he’s never come out of a scrimmage feeling good, so do with that what you will.
  • Smart did praise the team for their effort on Saturday. “The thing I was most proud of was it was pretty hot, and they pushed really hard through it. We’ve been harping on mental toughness and practice effort, and we really haven’t had that. I thought today these guys really had that. They were tired and pushed through,” said Smart.
  • The biggest question to be answered between now and September 26th is who the Bulldog’s starting quarterback will be. Saturday didn’t seem to provide much clarity on who will ultimately be the starter, but it should be noted that Jamie Newman was the first quarterback to take reps with the first-team offense. JT Daniels, D’Wan Mathis and Carson Beck also got work with the first-team. Returning backup Stetson Bennett didn’t work with the one’s, but Smart attributed that to the coaching staff’s knowledge of what Bennett can do.
  • James Cook, Zamir White and “others’ all broke long runs on Saturday when the first-team offense went against the second-team defense. When the starters on offense and defense faced each other, it was much more of a stalemate. Considering the fact Georgia’s defense returns nine starters off of the nation’s top-ranked unit in 2019, I’d call that good news for a young offense.
  • There’s a heated competition happening to replace Hot Rod. Heralded true freshman Jared Zirkel and punter Jake Camarda look to be the two to watch in that battle.
  • As far as Kirby sees it, you can shove the asterisk talk. “Basically, it’s the teams that are playing, and if the teams that are playing have a championship series, a four-game playoff, I don’t see why it would have an asterisk. It is what it is. It’s beyond the kids’ control. … These teams in the SEC certainly won’t do that, not after playing 10 games, a conference championship and possibly two playoffs.” In my mind, this year’s SEC champion will be the baddest of all time.
  • The absolute most important news to come out of Saturday is that 6’7” freshman tight end Darnell Washington has been dubbed “THE BIG 0” by his teammates. Washington will be the first Bulldog in history to wear the number 0.

In other news, Justin Fields took in the Georgia scrimmage on Saturday, spurning all sorts of rumors and conspiracy theories.

Wide receiver was the position that plagued UGA most in 2020, and is perhaps the biggest question mark on the team going into 2020. With the loss of Dominick Blaylock for the season due to an ACL injury, Georgia is going to need some guys in the wideout room to grow up fast.

Kearis Jackson was in the slot with the first-team receivers during Saturday’s scrimmage, and he has already earned some brownie points with new offensive coordinator Todd Monken, who gave Jackson some praise during his media availability last week. Remember it was Jackson, not Blaylock, who started last year’s season opener against Vanderbilt before breaking his wrist against the Commodores.

Monken historically runs a lot of timing routes, and with the lack of spring practices, Georgia breaking in a new quarterback and a wideout corps featuring four freshman, it could take the Dawgs a few games to get in sync through the air.

For all those reasons, and the fact that Jackson can’t be on the field every play, I’d like to reintroduce you to James Cook.

The former five-star recruit was often the forgotten man in Georgia’s backfield in 2019, but he remains an absolutely electric athlete. Being unable to find a way to utilize a player with Cook’s diverse skill set in 2019 remains one of the more befuddling issues with the James Coley era. I don’t expect Todd Monken to lack ways to get Cook the ball in space.

For his part, Cook has received rave reviews from the Georgia coaching staff for his unselfishness and the muscle he has put onto his body since arriving on campus two years ago. Before the injury to Blaylock, he was getting reps in the slot with the second-team offense. Don’t be surprised to see Cook lined up at receiver some when the Dawgs take on the Hogs in a few weeks. With Blaylock gone for the year, Monken will have to get him the ball.

If you read my Coffey vs Coley project over the summer, you might remember that I got Cook the ball as a wideout, slot receiver, halfback and fullback in my project to see if I could make Georgia’s offense run more effectively than James Coley had. In that season, Cook was the difference in a couple of games and finished the year as a thousand yard receiver.

Before we go, it bears mentioning that there was live college football on our televisions this past Saturday night and it was an absolute glorious mess of a game that somehow provided plenty of thrilling suspense. Oh, and the first play of the season was a 75-yard touchdown out a Full House Pistol Formation. You know, the same one Todd Monken was known to use at times at Oklahoma State.

We learned that College Football in any form is still better than any sport on Earth, and that gambling on it in 2020 is going to be all about scouring Twitter for positive test rumors to figure out which teams are going to be without key players.

Speaking of Covid, Auburn is going to be practicing without 16 players this week due to positive virus cases. We wish all these young men a quick recovery. We are also still more than a bit curious what the virus numbers look like within the Georgia team. If players don’t take social distancing seriously over the next few weeks, then September 26 is not going to be the joyous day we’re all hoping it will be.

Lastly, want a laugh today? Alabama fans are so upset about Kirby Smart out-recruiting Nick Saban that one of them wrote an article urging high-school kids not to trust Smart. That’s some capital “J” Journalism, folks. Yeah kids, don’t trust a guy that has never gray-shirted anyone and turns three-star recruits into first-round draft picks! He’s horrible!

We will have plenty of good stuff coming down the pipe this week, and we hope you’ll be here to give it a read. Y’all have a great Monday, and don’t forget to control the line of scrimmage.

Until later... GO DAWGS!!!