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Monday, September 7, 2009

Okie State Addendum

A few additional thoughts after reading many of your comments:

-- A few people were angry about Logan Gray returning punts. Just as a clarification: He is only in to return when the opposition is punting on the short field. He's Georgia's most experienced return man in terms of deciding whether to fair catch or let the ball bounce into the end zone -- a crucial decision at that spot on the field. He is not a returner, per se, however, and is unlikely to ever actually field and return a punt, so there's virtually no chance of him getting hurt.

-- A word of caution on some of the coach criticism, particularly regarding the Marlon Brown/Rantavious Wooten stuff: As I said, I don't understand the decision, but that's not to say there isn't a valid explanation. I simply haven't heard it, and I have not been able to speak with Tony Ball yet to find out. I can only go by what I've heard from the players and Mike Bobo, and so far I've not heard a good answer.

-- A clarification on Gray playing QB: I think there's a good chance that one day Gray is a good QB, but that day won't be Saturday. As a true freshman, he got virtually no experience. Last year as a redshirt freshman, he missed significant time in QB meetings and reps while working on special teams. So this was his first spring/preseason to really get acclimated. He doesn't come close to having the understanding of the offense that Cox has, and his natural ability isn't anywhere near what Stafford had at his disposal in 2006. Until there's a lot more evidence to the contrary, I feel pretty confident in saying that Joe Cox is the Bulldogs best chance at winning this season. Rather than hope for him to be benched, you're better bet is to hope he looks a lot better without 48 hours of puking under his belt before the game.

-- When discussing coaching philosophy, there are a couple of things you have to remember. Fans have the luxury of Sunday morning quarterbacking -- we should have done this, we should have done that. But for the coaching staff, the most important thing is deveoping a philosophy you think can win and sticking with it. Because of that, I think it's tough to criticize a staff for not changing game plans in the middle of the game -- particularly in a game as close as Saturday's was. The Dawgs really were a play or two away right up until the end.

The problem I have is that there didn't really seem to be a philosophy, and that's concerning. Georgia's offense needs to find an identity, and I'm not sure how much closer they are to doing that than they were a week ago.

-- Having said that, as bad as the offense was, I don't think they were that far off. As I said at the end of my last post, there were about a dozen things that went wrong that, if fixed this week, could make Georgia a much improved offense. I'm not promising this season works out as well as many of you had hoped, but give it at least one more game before you abandon ship.

-- And the bottom line of all of it is this: The reality of the situation is, Mark Richt is not going to make any major changes because of one 14-point loss. Coaches won't be fired or demoted. Quarterbacks aren't being benched. Tailbacks aren't going to completely change their running styles. I'll be shocked if the kickoffs go in a different direction (like into the end zone, for example).

If this ends up being a 7-6 year, then we can discuss all this again at year's end. But for now, my advice would be to dance with the girl you brought, so to speak.


MichDawg11 said...

I agree. I don't think that anything drastic needs to change. I tend to think that the coaches are feeling out what they have to work with. I think the addition of Caleb King will really help Richard Samuel, who wasn't terrible on Saturday, especially in the second half. I've seen that in 2007, Knowshon had like 70 yards on 20 some carries against OSU which really suprised me.

In terms of running style, I think Richard started to figure it out in the second half, but we were in need of some quick scores and had to abandon the run. He showed much better vision than last year and didn't run up the back of any OL man while I was watching. There is a very fine line that RBs have to balance between: Hitting the hole at a high speed and maintaining their balance as they get hit. Knowshon was one of the best I've seen at this. When the hole presented itself, he hit it. But when he needed to, he was able to slow down and keep his balance, churning his legs to keep gaining yards. Richard still at times goes full bore before the play has developed, and anyone who has played running back would know, the slightest hit/bump during a dead sprint is tough to take and remain upright.

tkirk12 said...

I don't think anyone doubts that Cox gives us the best chance to win right now. But if we don't have a great chance to win right now anyway, shouldn't we go ahead and avoid having another first time QB next year by going ahead and letting someone take their lumps.

I know the response well be that its way to early to be giving up on a season but its not like we have Stafford under center. Their is no way Gray or Murray could be too much worse than Cox. If either of them is in any way close to being as good, lets go ahead and give ourselves a chance to not go through this again next year.

Silver Dawg said...

Yep, we're stuck with that girl. She was ugly on Saturday. Still is ugly today. The only hag better learn to dance better soon. Stepped all over my damn toes.

JRL said...

I agree - no need to jump ship or throw anyone under the bus. On the other hand it is time to put some coaches on notice as in hey Saturday was unacceptable and we will do better or.............

Anonymous said...

Your elite 11 'heir apparent' qb should not be missing qb time to work on special teams. Now he's not ready to play and that's listed as one of the reasons? We didn't have any other skill position players last year that could catch a punt?

Anonymous said...

I agree that the offense has all the pieces, but they're just not quite fitting yet. Mark Richt was quoted as saying that the staff and team didn't really know what was going to happen with the offense in that first game. I think we were all just hoping that it would click right away and be a solid, consistent force on the field. I hope that the team can fix the problems they had during the coming week, and seeing how upset Jeff Owens was at the loss, I have complete faith that they will.

I agree that the offense needs to find an identity. The playcalling seemed absolutely schizophrenic on Saturday and the o-line didn't get as much of a push as we all would have liked them too. I have a feeling that all that time lost to injury the past two weeks for Chris Davis and Ben Jones didn't help the o-line gel like they needed to. As far as Sturdivant is concerned, I feel bad for him, but I'm really not too concerned about having to replace him for the rest of the season. But it does reinforce the importance of having someone like Samuel back there to help with blocking, and from what I saw during the game, there's nothing to worry about there.

I was initially down on the team and our prospects for the season immediately following the game, but by 10pm that night I was already psyched about uSC game. This team looks painfully close to making it work and I have complete faith that they will.

UGA69Dawg said...

To fix something one must consider it broken, I don't think our coaches have a clue anything is wrong. Bobo can say he screwed up but he's not sure apparently why we screwed up as evidenced by your Coach A Coach B Q & A. Fab thinks that directional kicks and slow walkons is the way to play kickoffs and he will until the day he dies, he too sees no problem with it.

The kick return team is or was coached by Ball and apparently he is enjoying himself in the pressbox and not really paying attention to what is happening on the field either to his kick return team or to his WR's which are looking more like 2006 players. Please find out who forgot we had two freshman WR that could have at least given the starts a break.

Lilly of course is not a real TE coach but a great recruiter who was TE coach at FSU because they never used Tight Ends.

Ah we have so many mediocre coaches if we didn't have great talent to overcome their coaches we would be terrible. We are what we accused UT and LK of, all recruiters but no coaches. In the immortal words of the Ole Ball Coach,"Georgia seems to get the best recruits but when they get there something happens to them."

Gordon said...

My concern is that Joe Cox gives us a good chance to win, but the coaches did not seem to have created a scheme to minimize his physical limitations. Most folks knew before the season that defenses would try and make Cox beat them, and I think he can be good enough to keep them honest. But, I didn't see any good adjustments by the coaches to try and minimize his limitations, maybe his limitations were flu related, or maybe they have been there all along, but the coaches shoulder the blame for asking him to do too much on Saturday. I would've never thought he would've thrown the ball 30 times unless he got hot, yet he did.

The arm thing has been WAAAY overstated, the QB I watched Saturday was not mentally sharp, or physically sharp. The mental problems are what worry me. The coaches can scheme around physical limitations, but mental mistakes kill you. But, that being said, I cannot imagine that anyone with the flu is even close to their normal self mentally.

Joe Cox, a healthy Joe Cox, is the number one guy right now. And I firmly believe he is the only QB close to being a quality SEC starter right now. I have seen a ton of weak armed QB's win championships. When he recovers he should be much better mentally, and hopefully the coaches will make a few adjustments.

The bottom line is our Coaches made mistakes, and the kids weren't as sharp as we would like. We weren't a very good team Saturday, but we were very close to being pretty good. I would gladly take 8-9 wins this year. But, you cannot tell that much about a team after just one game.

S.E. Dawg said...

UGA96Dawg, it's called tunnel vision.

Or maybe it's the definition of insanity.

Anonymous said...

After watching the struggles of CWM's defense and Bobo's offense last year and the offense truly flounder in the OSU game (granted a first game with lots of new skill position players), I wonder if the flaw in our team lies with CMR's tendency to promote position coaches into O & D coordinators. With an experienced successful coordinator, even if the on the job training was on a smaller stage, they have had time to struggle, build a successful identity/ philosophy and learn how to make in game adjustments before they make it to the national stage. If they are not successful at these things, they do not secure a job at a premiere program like UGA. I think our team suffers while CWM and Bobo are allowed to develop their own coaching style and make what are very predictable mistakes for a young coach. We were certainly out coached on offense and special teams in the OSU game. I wonder if we will be capable to put together a complete / 5ominant season until both our coordinators have 6-7 years under their belts?

RoyDGolf said...

CMR said on tonight's call-in show that, "Gray knows all the offense." AND, "Most of the stuff for Logan is in the red zone." AND CMR deftly avoiding answering a direct question re playing Murray. I surmise from these statements plus snaps in games that 1) doubts persist if Gray is capable of executing the offense from anywhere and 2) Murray is being prepped to play. I know this much: Crackolina has a decent front and pass rush; they've got to be licking their chops to get a one dimensional UGA.