Georgia football: quarterback fun with Justin Fields and Jake Fromm

 Jake Fromm’s reward for the finest performance by a freshman quarterback in the history of college football is the appearance on campus of the greatest quarterback talent in the country .

Georgia football fans and pundits are besides themselves.

Jake Fromm vs Justin Fields. 11 vs 1. JF > JF, or vice versa.

The fun has begun

The Georgia football quarterback fun has begun in Athens.

As the Bulldog backup quarterback, Jake Fromm served as “next Governor of Georgia” last summer.  He earned a promotion to starter last season, and now Justin Fields takes over the prestigious rank. Long live the backup, long live the king.

It is now as it always has been. The most popular man in Georgia is always the backup Bulldog quarterback. And with a solid performance by Fields against the second string defense and a pedestrian showing by Jake Fromm against the first string defense, fans and pundits have opened up the whiskey and are throwing Xs and Os onto their cocktail napkins.

Onrushing prognostication

Professional fan and pundit Greg McElroy leads the drunken charge , caught by Dawgnation’s Andrew Astleford  making this prediction on the Paul Finebaum Show

“I would be shocked, absolutely shocked, if Justin Fields, given his skill set, wasn’t used in that offense as a short-yardage back or as a guy that’s in there for the quarterback run game if they have both quarterbacks on the field at the same time.”

A well executed double play by McElroy. He manages to predict both the short yardage back and sneak in the both-quarterbacks-on-the-field-at-the-same-time scenario.

We heard this all before during the four-year Kabuki dance between David Greene and DJ Shockley. Among the less effective tactics executed by Mark Richt was the Greene-and-Shockley-in-the-game-at-the-same-time play. Fortunately, Richt ran it only two or three times, at least once with near catastrophic results.

Short yardage back

About “short yardage back”, the example most often given is that of Tim Tebow in Urban Meyer’s first season at Florida. The example denies the unique character of the Chris Leak and Tim Tebow pair. It also refuses to recognize the uniqueness of the Urban Meyer offense. Leak was a  diminutive field general with incomplete running talents operating in an offense for which Tebow’s fullback character was perfect, as well as perfect for short yardage plays. Tebow was the missing cog in the Florida quarterback machine.

Neither Fields nor Fromm are lacking any particular abilities. They are similar talents, although Fields is bigger and stronger and faster. Whether that results in a tactical advantage is an open question given Fromm’s excellent running and throwing ability. Of course, we have not seen Fields in a live-fire drill, and won’t until he enters a game. We don’t know what his super-power is yet.

We do, however, know Fromm’s super-power – pre-snap reads. From his first play from scrimmage, Fromm consistently called plays at the line of scrimmage to give Georgia a tactical advantage.

Plus he’s a TV star.

Georgia football:  production, man, production
“Fields will take many meaningful snaps for the Bulldogs.”

The more likely, and likely more productive scenario, is Justin Fields playing significant minutes leading the offense and, from time to time, taking the reins should Fromm falter.

It’s likely Fromm will falter during the season, just as David Greene did on occasion. And as Shockley occasionally did, Fields will step in,  make a few plays, and Georgia will return to the SEC Championship game.

That will be the pattern for 2018 and the Double Js. And that’s what professional fan and pundit Greg McElroy also said. “Fields will take many meaningful snaps for the Bulldogs.”

He’s right.


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