UGA football coaches talk fall 2023 camp, preview upcoming scrimmage
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UGA football coaches talk fall 2023 camp, preview upcoming scrimmage

Mike Bobo
Photo: Tony Walsh/UGAAA

UGA football assistant coaches Mike Bobo and Dell McGee met with the media on Thursday and discussed fall 2023 camp and the upcoming scrimmage.

Bobo talked about his return to Athens and the changes to the offense, while McGee touched on Branson Robinson, reuniting with Bobo, and more.

Below is a transcript of the fall camp comments that was provided by UGA:

Mike Bobo | Offensive Coordinator/quarterbacks coach

On why the timing is right to return to Georgia…
“First of all, there wasn’t an official opportunity to come back here three years ago. I made a decision to go to South Carolina with Coach Muschamp, and unfortunately that didn’t work out. This time, after Auburn, I had opportunities to go other places, but I wanted to go somewhere I could continue learning as a coach. I always wanted to be under the Coach Smart and Coach Saban tree. I wanted to learn how they practice, how they organize and how they went about things. I tell recruits that you want to go somewhere that you’re developed, and I came here last here so that I can be developed as a coach. There was really a learning curve – those guys took me in and it was a very, very positive experience. With Coach Monken going to the NFL, the opportunity presented itself to be the coordinator here and I felt comfortable about being here. Athens is a great place. I met my wife here, my kids were born here and you’re at place working for an administration that believes in what we’re doing. You have a head coach that has a plan of how to do things, and to be a part of this program that I played at, went to school at, where I graduated from, I couldn’t pass that opportunity up. But, I didn’t come here last year to be the offensive coordinator. I came here to learn and continue my growth as a coach. It just happened to work out that way.”

On bringing an “edge” to his job…
“I think I have the same edge that I’ve always had. For whatever reasons, those things previously didn’t work out, and when those things don’t work out, you look at yourself in the mirror. You don’t point fingers or make excuses. They didn’t work out. I came here with the mindset of, ‘I’m doing everything I can to help make us successful at the University of Georgia.’ That’s my edge as an offensive coach. It’s not, ‘OK, this didn’t work last time, I have got to prove myself this time.’ I always tell the players that there will always be moments where we have failures, and you keep getting yourself back up on your feet, because what’s on the other side of failure is success. We know this job has pressure, I’ve sat in this chair and felt those pressures, and I think I’m older and have more experiences now to handle those pressures and focus on our football team. Especially on our offense, getting them to practice on a daily basis and to play on Saturdays.”

On inevitable changes to the offense following personnel losses…
“I think each year, you try and figure out your identity as an offense. Whether I was going to be the coordinator or if Coach Monken comes back, you’ve got to figure out what pieces of the puzzle fits to what things that we did well last year and what we’re going to have to change. Darnell [Washington] was such a big impact for us, not necessarily just blocking in line, but to block on the perimeter, Stetson’s ability to move – we’ve got to figure out the pieces that fit the best for us offensively. That’s part of what fall camp is about. Day one in the first meeting, we talked about competition to our players and building depth – competition, not necessarily going against the defense, but competition going against position groups. Competition between the tight ends and the receivers. Are the tight ends going to step up, or are we going to be allowed 12 [personnel grouping] or we going to have to be more 11? Those are things you’re figuring out through camp. At the end of the day, you have to put the best guys on the field to give you the best chance to be successful. And then we want to build depth. If there’s multiple people who can do multiple things, that increases our volume as an offense and gives us more things that we can do. We’re still trying to figure that out at practice. We’ve got a good feel for it right now, but we’ve still got to go play on Saturday in our scrimmage and fine-tune things the next eight to nine days before the second scrimmage is over.”

On helping the coaching staff…
“When I came back to Georgia in an off-field role as an analyst, your number one job in that role is to help the coaches. I wanted to help Coach Monken and that staff in any way that I could, and also you want to learn. You’re coming in and trying to learn how Coach Smart sets his practice schedule, how he ran the offseason, all those things, but also Coach Monken was running his offense, so you’re learning. I’ve sat in that chair before, too. At first, you don’t want a guy that has got a bunch of ideas, you want a guy that, if you give him a task, he’s going to get it done. Whatever my task was, I wanted to get it done to the best of my ability and know that he can count on me. I think that as the season went on, that trust continued to build between Coach Monken and I, and he felt more comfortable asking me questions about what I thought. But, at the end of the day, I’ve sat in that chair. If he didn’t use my idea, I didn’t get my feelings hurt. I think that’s what you’ve got to do as a good staff member. You’re going to present ideas, we all present ideas, but at the end of the day, the coordinator’s got to choose what calls he’s going to put on that call sheet. If he didn’t use my idea, so be it. If he does, great. At the end of the day, I was going to help those coaches deliver that idea to the players. I just tried to be a sponge in there and help in any way he asked, no matter what it was.”

Dell McGee | Run Game Coordinator

On Branson Robinson’s fall camp…
“First off, Branson had a really tremendous spring practice. Unfortunately, he got injured during spring ball, and he has done a really good job of going to treatment and taking the mental part of his game to the next level because he physically couldn’t do anything. He’s been a really, really good leader. He’s been exceptional in the classroom and also leading some of younger guys, in reference to Roderick [Robinson II], he’s kind of been a mentor to him. I’m very pleased with his progress. It’s really exciting to see him back out on the field starting to move around a little bit. The way we structure practice and the way we structure our walkthroughs, we are able to get almost full-speed reps without all the banging and clanging. It’s very good to see Branson back on the football field.”

On reuniting with Mike Bobo…
“Mike is a tremendous coach. It’s really not reunited – he was here last year. He was a sponge under Coach Monken, and he is going to do a tremendous job for us. I think the way we are geared and structured under Coach Smart, we didn’t change a lot from a philosophy standpoint. We are still status quo on what we are going to do. Our kids are still going to have a lot of learning. Coach Bobo is definitely going to implement his style, his way of doing things and calling plays. In turn, we will still find out who the best players are and put them in position to still do a lot of things that we have done over the last years with Coach Monken. I look forward to working with Coach Bobo moving forward. Another interesting point is that we are still going to have input as coaches. We divvy a lot of things up on the staff and kind of present our ideas to Coach Bobo. He’ll take what he likes and tell us what he doesn’t like. He’ll be in charge of calling those plays on gameday.”

On the pass-catching abilities of his running-backs…
“With injuries to Kendall [Milton] and Branson [Robinson], and even Andrew Paul coming off an ACL, you don’t get a chance to get those physical reps, so you lose out on that. So, they have to really do extra, whether it’s on their own or me as a coach taking time out to make sure they are getting the necessary route development and hand development that is needed to catch. All of our guys have improved in that area, and we can’t let our injuries or not being there be an excuse to not catch the ball. When their number is called in the passing game, they are expected to catch it and answer the bell.”

On coaches collaborating on the gameplan…
“I think it’s been consistent throughout. I would say when Coach Monken came, it became a little bit more detailed and little bit more organized and oriented where it’s a certain day that a coach is going to present this. Another day a coach is going to present this area. I think when he came in, he gave every coach he assigned an area and kind of a sense of pride in the game plan. You’re taking a piece of the game plan, and you are making it your own. Ultimately, it was up to the coordinator on whether he would keep, take out or tweak whatever our coaches thought we important parts of the game plan. Like I said, Bobo is going to do the same exact thing, so nothing is really going to change in the perspective.”

The back-to-back national champion Georgia Bulldogs are scheduled to open the 2023 season on Saturday, Sept. 2 against the UT Martin Skyhawks at Dooley Field at Sanford Stadium in Athens, Ga. (Buy Tickets).

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