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Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Tuesday Tidbits: South Carolina Edition

I'll have lot of notes later tonight, but here are some highlights from today's media session with Mark Richt and players...

-- I'll start with the one that will make fans the angriest. Guess what won't be changing this week on special teams.... Give up? Oh, you mean you didn't even have to think about it? Good point.

No, Georgia won't be kicking deep again. Yes, Blair Walsh will be kicking off again. And yes, this is Richt's reasoning behind it.

“The fans want the long kick, but the longest kick had the longest return. The kicks that were a little shorter had better hang time and ball placement and we covered those better. I wouldn’t say because we kicked deeper that was the cause, necessarily. We should have contained it, surrounded him and forced him inside to where our coverage teams were, and we didn’t do a good job of that.”

-- Richt said he expected Caleb King to be back in the lineup this week. How much action he'll get, however, remains to be seen.

“I don’t think there’s much doubt we’ll play him and get him going and just see how it goes with him," Richt said. "He may get hot. We do plan on him playing in the game. We do plan on him practicing today. We do plan on playing him, but how much depends on this week’s practice and what he does when he gets his opportunities.”

-- There were obviously some concerns about Joe Cox holding on to the ball too long on Saturday. Here's his explanation:

“I knew there were certain plays where I didn’t make as quick a decision as I should have made. When you start looking around, you start getting your eyes in the wrong spot, you start worrying about too much. It’s almost over-analyzing what’s going on. So that’s what I felt was happening with me, but it’s something where you just go back to your basic reads and fundamentals and work on timing.”

-- Mike Bobo accepted a lot of the blame for how bad the offense looked against Oklahoma State, but Richt wasn't exactly endorsing that explanation.

“I think as we watched the film, not to say we couldn’t have called this or that, possibly, but it always comes down to the execution of the play," Richt said. "We didn’t call any plays that we didn’t practice. We didn’t call any plays that didn’t have a chance. We just, for one reason or another, didn’t execute as well. I say that, but that first drive, quite frankly, could have been a five-play job if we were executing extremely well. We’ve got to stay versatile, mix things up. We can’t just sit there and say we’re going to grind it out with everybody that we play. We’ve got to have a good mix of run and pass. I think it was an execution issue more than anything.”

-- It may have seemed odd to everyone else that Marlon Brown and Rantavious Wooten didn't play. It didn't seem too strange to Richt, I guess, but he did say that the two freshmen receivers will get work soon.

“I guess the typical, the game’s tight, you have a young guy that you don’t feel like understands it as well as a veteran guy, you look at your veterans and feel like the guy has enough juice in him to keep going, and you decide not to play those guys," Richt said. "But we cannot go the season with just four receivers, there’s no way. We’ve got to play them, and I told those guys when you practice, you need to be sharp. The sharper you are in practice, that breeds confidence in your coaches to get your opportunities. We need to play them, but they need to continue to get to the point where they’re studying and they’re practicing where it’s going to give them confidence and give the staff confidence.”

-- The lack of PT for Brown and Wooten came as a surprise to A.J. Green, who said he thought both were ready to play. He also said he thought the experience would have been invaluable for both of them.

“It’s very important to get a lot of young guys to get them acclimated to the game and get them some touches to get them comfortable with the offense and show them that they can make plays, too," Green said. "It’s going to be very important.”

-- Green also noted that, despite being moved around to the X, Y and Z receiver positions and working on going in motion more often this preseason, the variations were barely used against Oklahoma State, which accounted, in part, for his minimal impact. He said he expected that to change this week.

-- Richt said Logan Gray could play more, but he didn't exactly say that he WOULD play more.

“He can run our system, and we had planned to get him in the game mostly in the red-zone area," Richt said. "We did get him in there one time, but unfortunately we didn’t get in the red zone very often. Right now, Joe’s definitely the No. 1 guy, and we’ll see if and when Logan will get in there.”

-- And one final entertaining moment after a reporter asked Richt about how healthy Cox actually was last week. Richt stumbled with this answer like Bobo stumbled through his play calling:

“He wasn’t going to tell us. The only thing we could do to gauge it was to stick a thermometer in his mouth or wherever you stick thermometers nowadays..."

"I was thinking like, they stick them on your forehead now…"

"Really, they have them where you just run them on the side of your head and it will take your temperature…"

"All you other people thinking other things, I don’t know what you were thinking about...."

"What was the question again?"


Anonymous said...

Why is Richt / Bobo never asked why even a casual UGA fan knows they are going to run a draw on third and long?

Drew said...

David - do you know if the coaches or any of the players read your blog?

Anonymous said...

Wow. The way you treat indifference is with indifference. I will tape the game Saturday as I have guests that night and will watch it the next day. I have officially given up on this coaching staff. I am a GA fan to the end and think Richt is a nice guy but I will not delude myself in thinking anything is going to change here. This coaching staff will not change any of its ways no matter how many times we get our ass kicked. They are perfect and everyone else is wrong or did not play football. How many of these coaches graduated in the top half of their class or even the top 70% of their class? They really should not imply they are smarter than everyone else.

Anonymous said...

"I have officially given up on this coaching staff."

Two years after they give you the best finish since the Herschel era.

Well done.

Lee said...

Not much in there about SC. How was it the South Carolina addition again?

ChattaDawg said...

Can't understand the Kickoff Coverage plan. Last year, CMR said we would "go to Poland to find a guy who can kick it into the end zone." We go as far as California, give Bogotay a scholly but we are not going to kick it long. Lots of questions here.
I watched Bama get torched last Saturday on a kickoff return but I have a good idea Saban will make some corrections on that. Probably did on Sunday.

David Hale said...

Tuesday Tidbits: More Crap About That Awful Oklahoma State Game just didn't have the same ring to it.

Silver Dawg said...

I watched CMR's media session as objectively as I could. Tbe most bothersome issue for me (all the on field issues have already been discussed at length, with many significant insights, I may add) was an absolute sense of urgency in Richt's voice and delivery. It may have been an over-compensation. I hold CMR in high esteem overall, but the situation is of GREAT concern to the very knowledgeable Dawg fan base; and I came away feeling flat. I hope that the team feels otherwise. I hope the coaching staff feels otherwise. I hope the ship is not headed for a jagged shoal this Saturday night.

Silver Dawg said...

edit: meant to say a "LACK of urgency" in CMR's voice and delivery.

Dog44 said...

I believe in this coaching staff and could point to a lot of success to back it up.

That being said, it is a little tiring to hear "lack of execution" every time our offense struggles. I suppose it is a true answer... but the problem is there is never a good solution to this problem because there is never a real problem identified. Even CMR said himself... "for whatever reason" (the execution wasn't there.) The "solution" to a lack of execution always defaults to more practice and better "focus." The real problem may be in not knowing why the execution is consistently lacking. You can't fix problems that you can't identify.

Anonymous said...

What's with these artificial rules Richt keeps making up to mask obvious mistakes? Case in point: 1) Our use of Logan Gray is limited to the red zone. 2) Our freshmen receivers can't play in close games, 3) kickoffs to the endzone never work, and 4) a well balaced offense is only defined by a 50:50 pass run ratio. Seriously CMR? Start using your brain and stop creating these artificial boundaries. The dawg nation will thank you for it.

JRL said...

Like many (most) I like CMR. That being said I hope the passive attitude is more of a media face and does not represent what is going on in coaches meetings. We should know more after Saturday.

Anonymous said...

Если врач знает название вашей болезни, это еще не значит, что он знает что это такое. Никогда не приписывай человеческой зловредности того, что можно объяснить обыкновенной глупостью. Человек может долго жить на деньги которые он ждет. Реальность это иллюзия вызываемая отсутствием алкоголя. Женщины едят за разговорами, мужчины едят заедой.

Frank said...

Anon at 6:53:

I agree, but I don't think it is time for a Jihad just yet. We'll know more after the game this weekend.

Brian said...

I agree with chattadawg, why did CMR say he would do whatever it took to find a guy to kick it out of the endzone, and when he does find a guy, we don't even use him. I don't think Blair Walsh can even kick it past the 10. Give somebody else a try. The directional kicking just isn't working. And another thing, Stafford only attempted 30 or more passes in 5 games last season, but in Joe Cox's first game we put pressure on him to pass it 30 times. Not a good way of letting him settle into the starting role in an opponents stadium. We should have ran the ball down there throat. Why does Kalvin Daniels not ever get any playing time especially when King is out. He knows what to do and is a good running back!! I think we just got out coached...

Michael said...

> Two years after they
> give you the best finish > since the Herschel era.
> Well done.

Huh? We didn't win the SEC in 2007.

I don't think people are fed up specifically because of the results.

It is the fact that the coaches repeatedly do the same dumb crap that never works, and expect it to somehow start working (e.g. directional kickoffs).