A week into Georgia’s preseason practices, Todd Monken was in search of some input Thursday for the team’s walk-through session on how his offense could best adjust to handling pressures from the defense.
He turned to a pretty good resource that’s now back in the Bulldogs program: former Georgia offensive coordinator and quarterback Mike Bobo.
“I walked right over to him and I was like, OK, what are we missing,” Monken, the third-year offensive coordinator, said Thursday. “Is there anything that you guys did that was different? Is there any way how you walked through in the past? Are we utilizing everything to be successful? He’s been great.”
After one-year stints as offensive coordinator at South Carolina (which included three games as interim head coach) and then Auburn that followed five seasons as head coach at Colorado State, Bobo is back in Athens.
Bobo, 48, is behind the scenes now as an offensive analyst.
He coached quarterbacks from 2001-14 at Georgia under Mark Richt and served as offensive coordinator from 2007-14.
“He’s an unbelievable sounding board like any experienced coach that you bring in,” Monken said. “Like last year it was defensively with Will Muschamp, whether it’s (former Southern Miss offensive coordinator and now analyst) Buster Faulkner. Anybody that you bring in is a sounding board. ‘What have you done? Are we doing everything in our power to be successful?'”
Muschamp went from analyst to on-field coach coach last season to co-defensive coordinator this season with Glenn Schumann.
Bobo could also make a move back to an on-field coaching role under close friend Kirby Smart if Monken were to leave.
Monken, who was awarded with a big boost in pay to bring his total compensation above $2 million per season, is listed as the No. 3 top assistant for a head coaching job by ESPN.com’s Pete Thamel.
“I’m sure, just like with Buster, or anybody that’s done it as long as he’s done it, in some ways, I’m sure he’s enjoying being back here," Monken said. "There’s other ways, it’s like OK, we’ll maybe I wouldn’t do it that way. But he’s been awesome as a sounding board. I want to continue that. He’s going to have a big part in what we do offensively and adding to that.”
Bobo’s offenses in 2013 (4,085 yards) and 2012 (3,991) still are the tops for most passing yards in a season at Georgia and Bobo also coached offenses that had the most yards per game in 2013 (484.15) and 2012 (467.64).
The 2012 offense still has the best yards per play average of 7.08 and the 2014 offense the most points per game at 41.3.
Bobo took his share of grief as offensive coordinator—something that Jim Chaney and James Coley did as well under Kirby Smart—but Monken may be as popular as any Georgia offensive coordinator.
That’s what happens when you run the offense for a program that just won the national title for the first time in 41 years with a former walk-on Stetson Bennett at quarterback.
Monken is open to ideas from other offensive coaches and staff, running backs coach Dell McGee said.
“He gives us a lot of input,” McGee said. “When you talk about adding Mike Bobo, a 20-year plus, coordinator. Buster Faulkner, an 11-plus coordinator, Bryan McClendon, who’s been an offensive coordinator as well. We have a lot of knowledge and experience and he leans on that, too.”
This article originally appeared on Athens Banner-Herald: Georgia football offense gets boost from former QB and OC Mike Bobo