Opposing defenses will need to defend every square inch of turf against an offense that is best described as T.N.T.
Considering the unit — which wasn’t fully assembled until the sixth game of the season last year — averaged 35.1 ppg heading into a second-round state playoffs against eventual champion Tucker, and it’s easy to see why many think the school’s modern-day record for points averaged in a season by the offense (37.5 ppg in 2009) should be quaking in its boots.
Not bad for a band of skilled players that includes six sophomores, five juniors and only two seniors, neither of which are the quarterback or the backup quarterback. Before they are through, the school record of 49 ppg, dating back to the 1942 state championship team, may also have to take a back seat.
Funny thing about T.N.T., however, is when things backfire it’s not pretty.
This fact is not lost on second-year Bears offensive coordinator Justin Rogers, who has been on the guard against just that very thing since the end of last season when he started assembling this year’s offense.
He recently shared the two things he believes will make the sky the limit for this offense beginning tonight when the Bears travel to take on Newnan in a preseason scrimmage at 7:30 p.m.
“To me you have two challenges with this offense,” he said. “The first — which is unlike any Griffin has ever seen — is being able to establish a run game.”
Rogers, who operates to a higher standard than most (think of it as a matter of degree — he doesn’t want good, he wants great), was being honest.
“(Historically) most Griffin football teams can run the football very well,” said Rogers. “We don’t run the football very well. And if we don’t establish a run game... we’re not going to reach our ultimate goal.”
It’s a challenge, if you will, he’s hanging out in front of the offense.
The coach, in his third at GHS, also administered a strong dose of tough love for his operators on offense.
“The second thing is staying humble, teaching humility,” he added. “Everybody has been stroking their ego since last year when they went 9-3, telling them how great they’re going to be — and they can be great, really good — if they stay humble like last year and work and mature and get better week in and week out.”
If they don’t, the picture he paints isn’t so pretty.
“If they think they are going to roll out there and win just because they got better last year, they’re going to get their feelings hurt and they’re going to really learn humility (at the hands of another team),” he said. “So they can either stay humble or learn their lesson the hard way.”
(John Sullivan is the sports editor at the Griffin Daily News.)