Peach State Sports Blog

Shirley: Georgia searches for answers at quarterback

The Georgia football team landed some experienced help at quarterback this week.

And that should be a good thing.

But Bulldogs fans can’t expect Greyson Lambert to arrive in Athens and be a superstar this fall. He can offer competition and experience for the Bulldogs at the position, but to think he’s going to join the program in June and step right in as the starter is a mistake. At least Georgia fans better hope that doesn’t happen.

While the Bulldogs and their fans continue to wait for high school superstar Jacob Eason to join the program in 2016, they have to find the answer for 2015. That could be Lambert or one of the many quarterbacks already on the roster.

It would be better if it’s not Lambert, at least not immediately. If it is, that says something about the other quarterbacks in Athens.

Lambert spent two years at Virginia and lost the starting quarterback job in the spring after starting nine games last year. In 2014, he threw for 1,632 yards on 154-of-261 attempts with 11 interceptions and 10 touchdowns, and there’s a reason he lost the job. He simply wasn’t good enough to play.

Optimists will look at Lambert and his experience and say, “Well, at least he has played, and we have all the other pieces in place. All he has to do is come in and be solid.”

Those folks would be right. But it’s just not clear if Lambert can do those things. Maybe he can with a better coaching staff and a better team around him – both of which are true at Georgia over what he had at Virginia – but he is going to have to perform better than he did at Virginia to earn anyone’s trust.

Lambert made some bad decisions with the Cavaliers that really hurt the team, and those things can’t continue with the Bulldogs. Georgia has everything in place to be a really good team this season, except for a settled quarterback situation. The Bulldogs have a terrific backfield, a really good offensive line, terrific tight ends and some good receivers. They also have an improving defense.

They just need the quarterback to not mess things up. But is Lambert that player?

What helps Lambert’s case is that it’s not clear that any of his competition can fill that role either. He certainly has the most experience, even though it was with another program.

Brice Ramsey was the expected starter entering the spring, but he has thrown only 39 passes in his career, completing 24 for 333 yards with two touchdowns and three interceptions. Faton Bauta will be a junior, but he has completed only 4-of-5 passes for 48 yards, and Jacob Park and Sam Vaughn are both redshirt freshmen.

Bauta doesn’t seem to have the tools it takes to be a standout starter in the SEC, while Park doesn’t seem to have the focus.

Ramsey could have the right combination to be the starter for the Bulldogs, and the best thing for Georgia would be for Ramsey to step up this summer and take over as the starter entering the fall. He hasn’t played much, certainly not as much as Lambert with Virginia, but Ramsey has been with the Bulldogs and should have an advantage with his knowledge of the offense and the players around him even with a new offensive coordinator.

Ramsey just hasn’t shown quite yet that he can lead the offense at a high level. This summer is his chance to show he can do that, even with some more experienced competition joining the program.

Contact Daniel Shirley at 744-4227 or dshirley@macon.com

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