One Secret to Georgia's Offensive Success is a Relatively Unknown Assistant Coach
NEW YORK - It's no secret that this Georgia offense is different than previoud versions that played 'Bewteen the Hedges'. When the Dawgs want to turn it on, they can turn it on in a hurry. When they want to be explosive in the passing game, they go out on the field and do it. When they want to run the ball down thier opponent's throat, they get behind that massive offensive line and do it. From the opening game thrashing of Oregon to showing Tennessee's supposed high-powered offense how things are really done and more, not many have been able to slow down the UGA machine.
The quarterback understandably gets a great deal of the credit and Stetson Bennett deserves any and all of it that comes to him. There's a reason he's in New York this weekend. His name is also drug through the mud during the not so often occasions when the offense does stall. Offensive coordinator Todd Monken deservedly gets a majority of the credit as well. He runs the entire thing and earns every bit of what he's paid as the highest paid assistant coach in the nation. Just as Bennett is a Heisman finalist, he made it as a Broyles Award finalist, which is awarded to the top assistant coach in the nation.
But there is a go-between, a relatively unknown who has turned out to be a very important part of the Georgia Bulldog coaching staff. Fanatics probably know exactly who Buster Faulkner is and what he does, but there are some who have probably never heard the name. Many people hear the words quality control coach and wonder what that means. What do these guys do? Bennett let the media in New York know exactly what Faulkner does, and exactly what he means to this offense and this national championship football program.
“He’s been extremely important. He’s the one that runs the drill program and just talks ball,” Bennett said. “I think probably the main thing that he’s helped at is on the sidelines. He is the mediator between me and Monk. Me and Monk don’t really talk during the games, which I think is probably a good thing because we’re both so.......... (passionate) yeah.”
“Buster listens to what Monk says and filters it out. Obviously he doesn’t tell me everything. People say stuff in the heat of the moment, and I don’t need to hear all of that it. Just because it’s the nature of the job. He doesn’t need to hear everything I have to say. It’s just not important. Buster keeps me sane, keeps me in the moment, helps me out with what he might be seeing here on this play. His presence is comforting and he’s a damn good football coach.”
Bennett went into more detail about how the drills that Faulkner runs in practice has helped him.
“I think my mechanics have gotten shored up. Sometimes they’re off still, but I think I know how to get them back to being right quicker, whereas maybe a little bit last year it was more so ‘I’m throwing pretty good today, I don’t know why, but it’s coming out pretty nice.’ Now I know why that is and how to get back” Bennett continued. “I can’t think too much about it or I really screw myself up. One of those happy mediums. And then just thinking about the game, understanding the game, what are we actually trying to accomplish here? That was in the summer just breaking it down. What is the game of football? 11-on-11 with these kind of rules. It’s 100 yards by 53 and a quarter or whatever, the hashes are here. Man, zone, first down. Just boil it down so I can understand what we’re trying to accomplish each play better so I think I’ve got that.”
It's no wonder it's so hard to win a national championship. There are a great quantity of pieces to the puzzle and they all have to be working together as on at the same time. After this dream weekend, Bennett is ready to join Kirby Smart, Monken, and Faulkner to see if they can lead the Georgia Bulldogs to the promised land for the second year in a row.
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