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Monday, September 7, 2009

Cox Analyzes the Offense

Georgia practiced yesterday -- the first Sunday practice under Mark Richt's new schedule that gets the players back to work the day after a game and gives them Monday off. After the practice session, I spoke with Joe Cox about his thoughts on what went wrong Saturday against Oklahoma State. Here's what he had to say.

David Hale: Coach Richt said these Sunday practices were going to be about evaluating the last game and fixing some problems before moving on to preparations for the next week. So when you looked at the Oklahoma State game, what did you see?

Joe Cox: There’s just things that we’ve got to do better, plain and simple. I like what we did today. It gives us more time to look at things and to really go ahead and get it out of the way as early as possible.

DH: From my perspective, it just seemed like as an offense, you were slightly off. Things were close to clicking, but never quite got there, and you seemed out of rhythm. Is that a fair assessment?

JC: Things, it seemed like whenever we’d have a good play, there’d always be one person or two people that didn’t finish a block, or even me – we’d have a guy running open and I wouldn’t put it on him. It was just little things that really hurt us on offense.

Reporter: Did Oklahoma State do some things defensively that took you by surprise?

JC: They did some things we didn’t expect, but it wasn’t like they just had us dumfounded to the point where we didn’t know what to do. We just didn’t play well.

DH: You came into Saturday's game not really know what to expect from the offense. Did you learn anything from it that will help you establish what that offensive identity is?

JC: No. We haven’t played to our potential, and really we just have to play loose. I think there was a lot of people at certain points in the game played not to mess up. There was times where I didn’t just cut it loose, and I know it’s the same for some other guys. WE just need to find what we’re good at and get a plan that everybody knows what to do and can cut it loose and play full speed, and we’ll be fine.

DH: It seemed like, particularly after that first drive, you guys stuck to a core couple of players on offense rather than opening it up. Was that the game plan, and why weren't more players like Marlon Brown or Rantavious Wooten used?

JC: We definitely want to play as many people as we can and I’m not sure why we didn’t sub some other people in. That’s not my decision. Whatever reason Coach Bobo and the other offensive coaches did that for, you’d have to ask them.

DH: What was it like for you watching the film from the game?

JC: Obviously when you see things you didn’t do well on, you wish you could get them back. That’s just football. You’re going to have good games and you’re going to have bad games. You can’t dwell on the past but it is tough watching film, especially from the day before that’s still fresh on your mind and you know there were things you could have done better that may or may not have changed the outcome of the game. It’s just always hard to see things like that that you think about.

Reporter: Branden Smith was used a lot on offense. What did you see from him that made you think he could be a contributor?

JC: He’s a great athlete and I think he does well in all three phases. He can definitely make plays with the ball in his hand, and that’s why we put in a package for him. I wouldn’t be surprised if as the season goes along we give him more and more instead of just keeping it to a couple of plays, but we wanted to get him used to it and see what he could do, and he can definitely help us on offense.

DH: Smith seemed like one of many players that was close to breaking one but didn't get the chance on Saturday. Did it feel like you guys were close but couldn't get over the hump?

JC: Yeah, it’s just frustrating when you don’t execute. And that’s what happened – we didn’t execute.


Anonymous said...

Have CMR and company simply forgotten how to coach?

Our team is starting to look a lot more like we did from 1996-2000-ill prepared, confused and not fixing obvious problems.

If we directionally kick the ball again this season I am going to have to buy a new TV, because I am going to throw mine out the window.

Anonymous said...

The defense played very well early, but I cannot understand why we don't blitz more. The three times we blitzed Saturday lead to incompletions and what should have been two interceptions. Some times it seems the coaches simply coach too much and don't let the athletes play.

Anonymous said...

I think it is time Coach Fabris gets his walking papers. I have never seen any improvement out of special teams. Charleston kicked the ball to the Gators and never let them past the 40. Surely we have better athletes than Charleston.

Dawgfan1307 said...


I do have a question regarding a coaching decision that hasn't been brought up yet. Unless I am unaware of a rule change, a coach gets one challenge per game. Why did CMR not use that challenge on the 4th and 1 play at the goal line that obviously would have been a game changer. It looked like quite the generous spot, and you can't say there was a more important play in the game than that one.

Just hadn't heard anyone bring it up... didn't know if I had missed a rule change or not.

Anonymous said...


Coach Richt said tonight that Caleb King will play this upcoming weekend. Do you feel that Caleb will be better backing up Richard as he probably will this week or do you think he, mentally, would be better off starting? Personally, I think the pressure of starting and trying to live up to the legacy Knowshon left could be way too much for him while I think Richard will handle it better. Am I way off base?

Michael said...

David, I don't know if this is something you can ask a coach about, but it is something disturbing as a trend in our defense.

Number of games team held opponent under 10 points (number of shutouts in parenthesis)

02: UGA-4 (0), UF-3 (0), Al-5 (1), Au-5 (1), LSU-3 (1)

03: UGA-4 (1), UF-3 (0), Al-2 (1), Au-4 (0), LSU-6 (0)

04: UGA-2 (0), UF-1 (0), Al-3 (1), Au-5 (1), LSU-3 (0)

05: UGA-2 (0), UF-4 (0), Al-5 (1), Au-4 (0), LSU-5 (1)

06: UGA-3 (2), UF-4 (2), Al-2 (0), Au-4 (2), LSU-6 (1)

07: UGA-0 (0), UF-1 (0), Al-1 (0), Au-4 (0), LSU-4 (2)

08: UGA-1 (0), UF-5 (0), Al-6 (2), Au-2 (0), LSU-2 (0)


LSU: 29 (5)
Aub: 28 (4)
Ala: 24 (6)
UF: 21 (2)
UGA: 16 (3)

Or to get even more specific, look at the last two years. I

n the last two years, we held our opponent under 10 points just ONCE.

The number of times other big SEC defenses held their opponents under 10 points in the last 2 years:

UF: 6
Alabama: 7 (with 2 shutouts)
Auburn: 6
LSU: 6 (with 2 shutouts)

Our defense did better, yes. But I see a trend where UGA's defense is not something people are going to fear, and it seems to speak to a lack of killer instinct.

By the same token, how often do we blow someone out? I bet I could look at offense and total up how many times we beat someone by 20+ and find a similar discrepancy.

Anonymous said...

Anon 8:09, Charleston kicked the ball off twice to UF. One was returned 46 yards to midfield, the other 85 yards for a TD. But don't let facts get in the way of your stupid argument.

David Hale said...

Dawgfan1307 -- check my last post from Tuesday's practice. I got an answer for you.