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Monday, April 12, 2010

From the Mailbag: Willie, McNabb & Fah-Lo-Gee

As promised, let's dig into the mailbag...

Darren writes: It was brought up that the Dawgs will struggle with the 3-4 in 2010 because it is the first year and that Saban had trouble in his first year installing it and the LaMo loss by Bama and LSU's loss to UAB in his first season at each school was brought up as an example.

Now, my optimism is as guarded as anyone's and I'm sure their will be bumps in the road for the D in this first season. That said, the advantage that we have over Saban's first season on any job is that his teams had to learn a new offensive scheme as well where the Dawgs seem fairly loaded on O this season. Not to mention, LSU gave up 13 points and 178 total yards against UAB and Bama gave up 21 points and 282 yards against LMo. Neither of these losses can be blamed on the first year running the 3-4... The first year learning a new offense and lack of playmakers was to blame for both of those.

Fair points, and you're right… Georgia has some significant advantages over what Saban faced his first year with Alabama, not the least of which is a completely watered-down SEC East to compete with. I mean, when Georgia turned over virtually it's entire defensive staff and scheme and will be starting a brand new QB and you can still say that the Dawgs have fewer question marks and more stability than anyone else in their conference… well, that's not a good sign for the East.

But make no mistake, the D is going to be a work in progress. This is not an overnight fix, and finding the right personnel for the right spots will take some time.

More than that, there are real questions about depth at virtually every position on defense. Remember, even though Saban had Alabama turned around in two years, he was awfully lucky to avoid the injury bug. Those weren't deep teams he had, and as soon as a few twists of fate didn't go his way late in the 2008 season, things went haywire quickly.

The important thing, however, is that Georgia appears to have a real direction, and while Todd Grantham and Co. may only get part way down that path in Year 1, the point is that progress is being made. Anything more than that will be tough to predict before we start watching the games for real.

UGA69Dawg writes: David how does the 3-4 do against mobile QB's? That could be the wild card in this question. UGA has not done well against mobile QB's for years, see R Cobb of UK or any rollout passer.

First off, I'm not sure Georgia's past success or failure has much relevance to what happens this season, because things on the defensive side of the ball will be dramatically different. But the question of how the 3-4 does against the spread is an interesting one.

Truth be told, I have no idea whether it would be more or less effective, although my guess is that the flexibility of the scheme would have some legitimate benefits in slowing mobile QBs.

Of course, there aren't many sound comparisons in college football because so few teams run the 3-4, and in the SEC, only Alabama runs it. But I figured we might be able to extrapolate a little data from how Bama performed last season.

First off, I only looked at the 10 games Alabama played against BCS-conference foes, throwing out the Texas game because the quarterback situation in that one was so wacky.

What I found was that, aside from the opener against Virginia Tech, opponents with mobile QBs (at least 100 rushing attempts for the season) scored at almost exactly the same rate as other opponents did, and the total rushing yards allowed by Alabama decreased against mobile QBs by about 25 yards per game.

Anonymous writes: Do you predict C. Thomas playing much this year? Given the crowded backfield, do you see him getting some special teams action? He seems too fast and talented not to get some touches.

On offense, I'll be surprised if Carlton Thomas has a far more dramatic impact than he did last year. We may see him catch a few more passes out of the backfield, and he has worked a bit out of the slot receiver spot this spring.

If memory serves, coaches casually compared Thomas to Tyson Browning last year, and I never thought that was a completely apt analogy. I think Thomas brings a lot more to the table, and his 28 touches last year already put him within nine of what Browning got in his career.

My best guess is that Thomas will take another step forward this year, but it will be gradual. He needs to instill some confidence that he can pass protect, run between the tackles and hold on to the football. He fumbled on a run up the middle on G-Day, and while that shouldn't necessarily be a career killer, it certainly isn't helping things.

His best chance to make an impact is probably on special teams, and in that area, I think he has to be one of the best options Georgia has in the return game.

John writes: Gray seems to be getting less passing attempts than the other QB's, with Murray getting the most. Anything to that, or have I been watching too much Lost so I over analyze every little detail? Here are the total number of attempts for the scrimmages: Murray-34, Mett-26, Gray-25.

Second, Gray had a hard time in the first scrimmage and he blamed it on not getting enough reps with the first team, but the other two don't seem to have a problem with either team. I'm not against Gray, but it seems like he's making excuses for poor play. Not a quality a leader should have. Are they excuses or something else?

Let me answer your second question first -- Gray was asked a specific question about which unit he took more snaps with in the first scrimmage, and he answered honestly. I don't look at that as excuse making, but rather a simple statement of facts. Logan's been a team player throughout, so I don't think leadership is an issue to worry about with him.

In terms of throws, Gray got more with the 1s on G-Day than any other QB, so that should more than even things out. I think this spring was kept as balanced as possible, all things considered, but I've had the feeling for a few weeks now that Richt has a rough idea in his head of what the depth chart should be, and he allowed the remainder of the spring to play out just to be sure that what he sees on film now that it's all over matches what he saw on the field during practice.

Johnathan writes: Is it just me or did they do all this talk about Branden Smith not playing any offense last year too? I remember them being totally secretive (maybe secretive is not the right word but lied) saying Smith would not be on offense, but would be focusing on defense, and then he had like 4 plays on offense directed at him in the very first game. Am I remembering that correctly?

Your memory is dead on, but the difference this year is that there's really no reason to lie.

Last year, we had no idea what to expect from Smith. He was a secret weapon. Now? The secret is out of the bag, so why hide it?

Plus, I think there really was a sentiment this spring that Smith needed to refine his skills at corner, because he will be counted on to play a significant -- and possibly starting -- role this season there. His job on offense is situational. His job on defense is indispensable.

My guess is, in the fall, we'll see Branden spending a bit more time with Mike Bobo's crew, too.

Anonymous writes: Who is considered Georgia's best lineman? Regardless of position.

Interesting question. I'm assuming you mean both offensive and defensive line, and right now, I'd be hard pressed to answer anyone other than Clint Boling. He's a senior, he's durable, he can play any position on the line, he's a good run blocker and pass blocker, and his draft stock is currently higher than anyone else on either side of the line.

Down the road? I think Cordy Glenn could have the highest ceiling of anyone on the O line, and I'll throw out a vote for Abry Jones on the defensive side of the ball. I think he's going to have a very good season this year.

On Cordy, even Mike Bobo was extremely impressed this spring: "He’s just outstanding the way he’s worked, the way he’s competed. Sometimes that’s tough for guys to do with us being so thin at certain positions when you know somebody behind you is not going to take your job. You’re out there knowing, I’m pretty much going to start, but he’s had the right mind-set every day. He has tremendous talent, but just to see improvement in him, the knowledge of what we’re doing. Early on as a freshman he had to depend on a lot of guys next to him to help him out and now he pretty much knows what we’re doing and he’s able to execute and then use his God-given ability to dominate. He’s had an outstanding spring.”

Anonymous writes: Have you heard anything of how players are taking to Willie and his schemes/philosophies out in Okie?

Obviously I'm not particularly tied in to the Oklahoma program, but I checked in with Jake Trotter, the Sooners beat writer for The Oklahoman, to get some input from him. And, if nothing else this spring convinces you to take extremely positive offseason feedback with a grain of salt, I hope this will.

"He's a great coach," said Oklahoma freshman cornerback Marcus Trice. "He really preaches fundamentals and technique. If you're not on top of those two then he'll let you know it. He'll get in your face but then he'll let up on you too. He's not a coach that has nothing but negative things to say. We were on the field the other day and he ripped me. Then I came back and made a good play and he gave me praise. I like that about him. But he's real fiery, real enthusiastic."

That's a quote from a practice report you can find HERE in which safety Jonathan Nelson also compares Martinez and defensive coordinator Brent Venables favorably.

Trotter also has a good Q&A with Willie talking about his new gig, if you're interested in reading it.

So… does this concern you that perhaps we've all made a bit too much of the comments coming out of Georgia's spring practice?

I wouldn't be overly worried. First off, as we discussed, anyone who thinks the D is going to be flawless this year already has their hopes set too high. There will be an adjustment period.

But I also think there's a big difference between quotes like the one from Trice and the stuff we've heard coming from Georgia's players and coaches. In the spring, it's easy to talk about general ideals like fundamentals and leadership and chemistry. And we've heard a good bit of all of those things. But we've also heard a lot of specifics -- new approach to personnel, new technique for linebackers, new press coverage for corners, playing the ball in the secondary -- and I find it a lot easier to buy into that kind of talk.

Yes, DBs at Georgia are preaching the amazing teaching style of Scott Lakatos, just as DBs at Oklahoma are doing the same for Martinez. So maybe that doesn't amount to much. But Georgia's corners are doing more than saying Lakatos gives them a pat on the back after a good play. They're saying he is actually teaching them something different than they'd done in the past.

Ben writes: anyone wanna make Faloughi phonetic?

Well, there's this...

Anonymous writes: Fa Low Gee

Or this...

Anonymous writes: It's actually Fa Lew Gee

Odd of Mr. Anonymous to contradict himself, but then again, he's always saying crazy things...

Anonymous writes: first one has it right.


Maybe Hale can finish this debate?

Fair enough. It's Fah-Lo-Gee, sounding a bit like Flowbee… which sucks, as it cuts.

(Unfortunately I couldn't' find a YouTube clip of the scene from "Wayne's World" I wanted to link to here, so I'll just link to this one instead.)

Brad writes: What do you think about Reuben Faloughi as second string OLB? He certainly has the size to be an OLB but I don't know anything more about him. Can you talk a little about him next time you get a chance?

It's easy to get worked up over a walk-on who makes good, and that's definitely the story for Reuben. But we should be realistic, too.

On the plus side, Mark Richt and Todd Grantham both say Faloughi is in line to play this season, and he did have three sacks in last week's scrimmage. He's an extremely smart kid, he has some decent wheels, and he has a big enough frame that he can continue to put on weight.

Is he the next Justin Houston? No, definitely not. But there's a good bit of upside there, and he certainly looks like he'll get his chance this season.

And if you want to read more about Reuben Faloughi, check out my story in the Telegraph last week or enjoy the video of him discussing what it's like to sit in on a Todd Grantham position meeting.

Carter writes: Come on, Dave, no take on the McNabb trade?

Who is this McNabb fellow you are referring to? Doesn't ring a bell.

Tim writes: I enjoy reading your work. However, I can't believe you didn't mention Donovan McNabb today. I think it's illegal for any fan with a blog whose team trades their starting QB not to at least mention it. Even though most of us are not Eagles fans, I believe your entitled to a posting of your thoughts. You've earned it.

Damn you! OK, fine, I'll acknowledge it. First off, may I just say that, if nothing else, Donovan's Steve Harvey mustache did make the press conference at least somewhat tolerable.

On the other hand, I just can't comprehend the Eagles' strategy this offseason. They've dumped every player they have over the age of 30 as if they were rebuilding from scratch, despite the fact that they were one win away from a division title last year.

To trade McNabb within the division also seems ludicrous, unless there wasn't another offer on the table in anywhere near the same neighborhood as what Washington gave them. Even then, I've followed Philly sports for long enough to know how this one ends.

Of course, having said all of that, it would take me less than a millisecond to respond to a question of what is the most overrated coach-QB combo in the NFL right now. Mike Shannahan-Donovan McNabb is going to be a fantasy owner's worst nightmare this year, and luckily, Dan Snyder approaches being a real owner as if he were a fantasy team owner.

So I guess the problem for me is more of philosophy than reality. Am I worried that McNabb is going to come back to haunt the Eagles twice this season? Yeah, a little.

But for me, I was at peace with letting go of the McNabb era, even though he remains one of my favorite players of all time. I knew the Eagles had gone as far with him as they could. Or at least, I thought I knew that.

And then this happens, and it's like breaking up with a girl who you dated for years and thought the world of, but you knew she wasn't going to be The One. That's tough enough, but then she starts dating the guy in the cubicle next to you, and all of a sudden you're wondering if you made the right decision, and you're hearing every last detail about her new life with the jackass next to you.

That's just not cool.

Anonymous writes: I don't see Akeem Hebron's name listed in any of the LB depth charts. What do you know about his ankle injury and his prospects for contributing in the fall?

As far as I know, he's perfectly healthy, but I wouldn't expect to see much of him this season. He's not part of the two deep at ILB for the moment, and if you read much into this video with Warren Belin, he's still got a tough hill to climb.

It's a shame, really, because Hebron came to Georgia as highly touted as anyone at the position in years, but from his trip to GMC to his lackluster career since, the performance never matched the advance billing. Maybe he turns that around this year, but he's definitely got a long way to go.

Steve writes: Forgive my skepticism, but I can't help but wonder if the 3-4 love is a bit out of control at this point amongst Georgia fans.

Especially after a bad year, we as fans look for something positive to grasp ahold of, and the new defense is the obvious choice. But I have to ask myself, if the 3-4 is the solution to all of our defensive problems, why isn't every team in America running it?

Believe me, I'm as excited as the next guy about the change in defensive leadership. Every time I read about a return to fundamental tackling and coverage I breathe easier. The scheme change, however, seems secondary to me. Irrational exuberance. Am I missing something?

I think there might be a small advantage for Georgia the same way there's a small advantage for Tech on offense because the opposition spends 95 percent of their season game planning for a look that is completely different from what you present.

Aside from Alabama, no one in the SEC runs the 3-4, and even the Tide doesn't run it the same way Todd Grantham does. Moreover, it's a defense built on forcing the opposition to make reads and adjustments, and the key to all of it is causing confusion. Given the fact that no one will have tape on Georgia when the season starts, it's probably fair to assume that the 3-4 is going to have a few folks in Columbia and Fayetteville awfully confused in September.

But to your larger point, the bottom line remains: If Georgia's is as lax fundamentally as they have been for much of the past two seasons, it doesn't matter what scheme is in place. A turnaround on D has to start with smarter play, better tackling and proper execution. The scheme is gravy.

NCDawg writes: I know basketball doesn't get much coverage here, but the roundball guys need love too. I did not expect 5 star recruits to UGA (yet), but with the recruiting season effectively missed last year and only 2 commits at this late stage this year, are the Hoop Dawgs in recruiting trouble?

I do my best to squeeze in as much hoops stuff as I can, but this time of year, we don't have access to players or coaches routinely, so it's slim pickings. The bigger issue, however, is that I really don't do recruiting. The reason for that is recruiting is really a full-time gig. You can't do it halfway and do it even remotely well. So I leave that to others and focus on the stuff happening in Athens.

Having said that, you're not the only person interesting in how Fox's salesman skills are going this offseason...

Anonymous writes: Sorry to get off topic, but any update on Dwayne Polee? Has Fox made any more trips out west that we know about?

Again, I'm not a huge follower of recruiting, but luckily for you guys, Fletcher Page does have his ear to the ground. So I posed the questions to Fletcher, and here's what he wrote:

I don’t see the Bulldogs in recruiting trouble. Coach Mark Fox has done a nice job piecing together the 2010 class. No, there aren’t any 5-star guys, but Fox and company has done a sufficient job filling needs. Cady Lalanne, a 6-foot-9 forward from Florida, and Donte Williams, a center from Miller Grove, may be a few years away from playing as impact SEC players. With Trey Thompkins expected to come back, and Jeremy Price and Chris Barnes experienced seniors, Lalanne and Williams will have time to fill out and get better down low.

To replace sharpshooter Ricky McPhee, Fox went the JUCO route, signing Sherrard Brantley from Northwest Florida C.C. All indications point to Brantley being capable of shooting at the same clip as McPhee, and being a better defender, as well as possessing the ability to create off the dribble. Fox saw a glaring need, and did the work to address it.

Don’t forget to add Gerald Robinson to this class, as he essentially should be. Word is the transfer will slide into the starting lineup next season.

Now, all that said, Dwayne Polee can change the perception of this class from filling needs, to making an impact. Polee’s recruiting has been a wild ride, once committed to Southern Cal, and always with an ever-changing top three. Currently, Polee says Georgia, UNLV and UTEP are his top choices. Oregon and New Mexico have been mentioned as recently as two weeks ago.

Fox, and his staff, have put in the work to pull Polee from the West Coast, but UNLV has been a constant during the chase. Polee’s father played for the Runnin’ Rebs one season before transferring to Pepperdine. Seemingly, Polee’s recruiting comes down to distance. If he decides he will be comfortable that far from his Los Angeles home, there isn’t much else to question about Georgia. The word is he respects Fox and the coaching staff, and his father likes the way Georgia has recruited him.

Since losing to Vanderbilt in the SEC Tournament, at least five flights have been made out to Los Angeles to see Polee play, and to let him know how serious the Bulldogs are about bring him to Athens.

Getting Polee to sign will be tough, but being this close at this stage points to the direction Fox is heading.

Look, recruiting takes time to establish. Georgia is rich in prospects, AAU teams, high school powerhouses, etc, and Fox is working his tail off to create the relationships necessary to garner interest. The 2011 class is shaping up to be deep in the Peach state, and Fox is hoping to put together a special group. If, and I’ll venture to say it’s a big if, Georgia fails to bring in a talented group in 2011, then it’s safe to say the Bulldogs are in trouble.

Remember, Travis Leslie and Thompkins will almost certainly be gone after next season, as well as Price and Barnes. Fox knows he’s got to bring in big names to cover that lost production.
I think he’ll accomplish it.

JFerg writes: And what, if anything, will our players be able to do over the summer to further their learning of the 3-4? Since coaches are hands off for practicing in the summer, does that include film study too? Can CTG give CVH and the coaches who can have player contact during the summer specific drills and instructions for the players on a day to day basis? Technically that would not be player contact, yet the D guys could still get better at CTGs program.

I'm planning a story on this for later this week, so I'll get into more detail then. But to answer your basic question, no, there can't be much coaching oversight for the players during the summer, and that means it's on them to have ensured they have a solid grasp on what's been installed so far, and for the veterans of the group to be prepared to teach it to the freshmen arriving in June. That's a tall order, and I'd argue it's probably the single biggest question mark facing the D at this point in time.

Anonymous writes: Yes, this is all very nice but I still haven't seen you comment on LOST from last week much less this week! Please let me know your thoughts!

Is it that time yet?

OK, before we get started, if you're one of the multitudes who hate any discussion of "Lost" here, go ahead and skip to the final question in the mailbag. You won't be missing anything.

For those of you looking for some "Lost" talk, the next few questions are all for you...

JasonC writes: I don't care if you post Lost stuff, but you broke your unwritten rule, but putting it pretty high in the lineup (last) week.

Also, noting that both 24 and Lost were ending this season, I thought what a great opportunity for a new crossover show... "Lost in 24 Hours". Imagine Jack Bauer trying to bring down the bad guys at the Dharma Initiative in one hour segments that may or may not be in chronological order.

See, this is an idea I can really get behind, although with the whole Sun having amnesia storyline, I'm afraid they're already stealing ideas from "24."

Of course, I may be treading on thin ice here as it is...

Sawyer is my litter sister writes: Jack Bauer could rip Lost's Jack, Sawyer, Mr. Eko and Locke each a new one simultaneously even if he both hands were tied and his head was in a polar bear's mouth and black smoke demon thing was flying up his rear-end!!!

But what would happen if Sayid and Jack had to interrogate each other?

And speaking of useless but entertaining "Lost" questions...

Danny writes: I think I am in the minority of people who LOVE your Lost links/musings but dammit we're loud, we're proud, and we're confused for one hour each week. I was curious to know how you would rank the Ladies of Lost. This is based on looks, not on the characters personalities because Claire is psycho and Kate might kill you. If you had to rank them (either Top 5 or Top 10) what would your order be?

For the record, here's how Danny rates them: #1 Shannon, #2 Claire, #3 Penny, #4 Sarah, #5 Charlotte, #6 Kate, #7 Juliet, #8 Sun, #9 Nikki, #10 Libby

Now I don't want to seem chauvinistic by ranking the female characters based strictly on looks, so my overall list of best female characters -- accounting for acting, story arc, character development, etc. -- would probably go Juliet, Penny, Rose, Sun, Mrs. Hawking.

Of course, giving some thought to that made me realize how marginalized the non-Kate women have been on this show. Sun's episodes are always terrible, Shannon, Claire and Rose ended up bit parts at best, Juliet's dead, Penny's only around for Desmond episodes, and Kate is by far the most obnoxious character on the show.

I'm not sure why or when this happened, but I'd bet if I made a list of my favorite overall characters on "Lost," I'd be at least in the mid-teens before I got to a female character. Bad job, writers!

Sam writes: Favorite episode!? They spend about 2 minutes on the island. What did this past episode do to advance the plot or the characters on the island?

First off, you're assuming that the plot on the island is the only important plot to be advanced. And before this episode, I may have agreed with you. But the reason this episode was great was because it finally gave some meaning to what was happening off island, and that was crucial for my enjoyment of this season.

I still had my problems with it -- and with how the whole LA X world has evolved. In some of the early episodes, it seemed like there were some crossover moments, like Kate with the stuffed animal or Jack and Desmond on the plane. But in recent weeks, it seems like the writers had gotten away from that entirely, which made the whole set-up strange. There have just been too many inconsistencies here.

Second, I didn't exactly like the exposition when Daniel proposed his theory to Desmond about the LA X timeline being wrong. It seemed like some crucial steps were skipped for the purposes of convenience. "Hey, I'm just a simple musician, but I took this drawing to a math professor I know and now I have a theory that I blew up an atomic bomb on a mysterious island somewhere." Um, didn't you go from Point A to Point Z a little quick there, Danny? It reminded me a tad of, "I'm just a simple caveman, but…"

Also, I'm really hoping that this LA X timeline doesn't play out like another installment of "Final Destination."

A few other thoughts...

-- What gives with Widmore? Is he a good guy now? And considering he's always been such a fierce adversary of Ben's, does this revitalize my theory that Ben had been (at least unknowingly) working for the Man in Black all along?

-- There was something just a little off about Minkowski, right? I mean, more off than usual. Also, the limo scenes with him kept reminding me of the limo scenes in "The Big Lebowski." I was halfway expecting Desmond to ask if Minkowski if he had any Kaluha.

-- Good to have Charlie back.

-- And while I'm on the "what gives with…" angle, didn't that scene with Desmond wanting to help Claire in the airport seem a little overdone? I mean, I'd understand if the scene was simply meant to show an interaction between two people who should know each other from the island, much the way many of those scenes have played out earlier in the season. But this scene lingered on the two of them, with Desmond going above and beyond with his offer of a ride to Claire. Seemed out of place, like there was supposed to be more we were getting from their interaction.

-- Yet another mirror scene. Every LA X storyline has had one.

-- Loved the flashback to Charlie and the "Not Penny's Boat" moment. Still one of my two or three favorite -- and yet most heartbreaking -- scenes in the show's history.

-- Sayid's accent gets worse every week. I really, really, really hope there's a reason for it other than that no one running the show cares about authenticity anymore.

-- Desmond and Penny's relationship is really the only one I truly care about on the show. I'm utterly sick of the Kate-Jack-Sawyer situation, Rose and Bernard are great, but not used enough, and Sun and Jin have been done an immense disservice by the writers during the past couple of seasons. But the Des-Penny episodes always get me. I think "The Constant" is still my favorite episode in the show's history, and even the short meeting between Des and Penny in last week's episode was just perfectly played. I'd definitely watch a spin-off about a time-traveling Desmond who sails around with Penny and their son solving crimes or, to paraphrase "Quantum Leap," setting things right that once went wrong.

-- I mentioned what could be a comparison to "Final Destination," where fate is fate no matter how hard you try to avoid it. This is not a new theme in Desmond-centric episodes. Remember what happened with Charlie two seasons ago. But a lot more of this episode reminded me of another movie -- "The Matrix." So much of what's happening in the LA X world seems contrived and false -- not just because of what we know about the island either. It seems like these characters are being pushed in a direction they thought they wanted to go in -- Sayid being close to Nadia, Jack and his son, Desmond and Widmore as BFFs -- but it all rings false, like it's a giant game being played out around them that they're not aware of. In fact, perhaps "The Matrix" isn't the right comparison. Perhaps it's more like "The Truman Show."

Desmond's conversations with Mrs. Hawking add additional credence to that theory, too. She seems to know that what's going on around him isn't real, but urges him not to look for the cracks in the facade that has been created.

-- What I don't want to have happen is for the LA X timeline to turn out to be little more than a red herring. I'm concerned that we didn't know more about the timeline all along, but I can live with that. What I don't want is for all the time we've spent there to wind up being pointless, a means by which to delay gratification the way the writers did in Season 3 with Kate and Sawyer trapped in cages for weeks at a time.

So much of this season has had me thinking back to earlier seasons, and I keep asking myself why earlier stories were relevant. Yes, I know there are episodes like the Nikki and Paulo story that were never meant to lead anywhere, but I can't help but wonder what some of the more significant story arcs of the past five years have to do with where we are now.

The flash forward at the end of Season 3 was monumental in its impact, but where did it get us? All those characters left the island, we got two full seasons of stories about getting them off and then back onto the island, and now what? What did any of the Oceanic Six business have to do with where we are now, aside from giving them a means for setting up the time travel storyline they could have done anyway? We're back to Jack and Sun and Kate wanting desperately to get off the island… AGAIN!

And I guess that's my concern at this point, but this past episode cleared up a number of things and I greatly enjoyed watching it. This week is a Hurley episode, which promises to be another excellent week. So again, I reserve judgement. But I'm finding it harder and harder to ignore that voice in my head that thinks the past few years added up to a whole lot of killing time.

*** End of "Lost" discussion ***

Kathleen writes: Too bad you're poo-pooing the intern. It could have been great filler material between G-Day and August.... You could have made the potential interns compete and we could have voted for winners on the blog. It would have been fun for all of us!!!

OK, if I get to June and I'm out of material, remind me of this again. Or if I finally decide we've had enough of Fletcher Page.

In the meantime, this begins our long offseason without football. Four more months with no practices, scrimmages or depth chart changes. In fact, the number of interview opportunities with players and coaches will be minimal before SEC Media Days kicks off in late July.

So… I'm taking suggestions. If you have ideas for projects I can work on for the blog, thoughts on some stories you'd like to see written, or just questions that require a little digging to find the answers to… this is your chance to ask.

The blog will definitely be scaled back a bit during the next few months -- it has to be if you expect me to survive the season -- but I want to make sure there is still some quality content being provided. So while I have a few ideas in mind that are already in the works, I'm open to some suggestions, too.

In the meantime, I'll probably only have one or two posts per day this week as I play catch-up on a lot of loose ends that have been created over the past six weeks, so you might want to re-install Solitaire on your work computer just to be safe.

And don't forget, I'll be chatting live at 1 p.m. tomorrow at, answering any additional questions you might have about spring practice or any other topics you might want to discuss.


genxdawg said...

I love a good phonetic prono.

Furban8 said...

Great stuff as usual. Your comments concerning the 3-4 were "spot on". There is nothing magical about the 3-4. Its just the defense that coach Grantham likes to run. IMO what makes him, Belin and Lakatos great coaches however is that they are successful at teaching to their players and getting the most out of their talent.

On the Willie comments, there is good evidence that he was successful as DB coach at Georgia with guys like Sean Jones, Thomas Davis, Greg Blue, Paul Oliver and others excelling under his tutelage before he had the coordinator duties.

Furban8 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Stuart said...

Akeem Hebron->Darius Dewberry->Brandon Miller

I quote Warren Sapp "look like tarzan, play like jane"

Alan said...

How about a post that compares UGA football players to LOST characters. It would provide intrigue, frustration for non-losties, and transvestitism. All the makings of a Pulitzer if you ask me.

Anonymous said...

The difference between the comments with Willie is this...nobody doubted his coaching of DB's when that was his only responsibility. Every UGA fan would tell you he was a successful DB coach here. The problem was when he became the coordinator, his DB's started to slip. Now maybe that was because he had more responsibility to deal with or what but that is what happened.

Anonymous said...

Stuart, that's a bit cruel. Hebron's ankle break was probably the worst injury of a UGA player since Decory Bryant's. Give the guy a break, and not another one on the ankle.

And finally, one for all the Bobo haters: Is Mett's dramatic improvement a coincidence? Or can Mike B coach up a QB? The raves from Detroit about Stafford's preparation suggest that Bobo knows what he's doing, and seeing Mett on Saturday confirms that view. Let's show our guys some love when they show they've earned it.

Anonymous said...

A hoops question, as we await word on Polee: Marcus Thornton, the state player of the year from Westlake HS, decommitted from Clemson when Purnell left for DePaul. Any idea of whether or not UGA is now in his sights?

Anonymous said...

David, as filler for this down period of CFB how about touching on the life of a walk-on, the role of a grad assistant..his day to day job on the team...Mike T.'s job in the video part of the team's practices/games; the planning of the strength/nutrition people and its impact on the "growing of a football player", a tour of the dining facility and meal short, the support staff on its role in making the Dawgs a more successful football team.

Cojones said...

In the Infantry, it's "Follow Me". At UGA, it's "Fol-low-G" Let's cut to the chase and nickname him "Gee" for Georgia. That would be a walk-on's dream.

Wish anonymous would ID themselves on the Bobo comments. I not only agree, but would like to have the name of a good fan.

And your analytical post on Martinez was overdue to fans and well explained, David. True and positive notes may get some fan's heads out of their rear.

Now, yall go on and talk about "Lost".

Cojones said...

anchaQuestion for tomorrow:
It's no coincidence that Josh has repeated and healed from this type of injury(bruised shoulder), but with a propensity for shoulder injuries that take some time to heal have there been any theories as to why? Build, genetics with connective tissue, plays hard even when not in right position or is it his technique such as the way he blocks when he just reacts vs when he's focused and delivers at the correct point of contact? We have retired more than one player for this sort of consistent injury to a certain part of their body(on full scholly for sure). Don't want to do that, but jus'sayin'.

Kathleen said...

All I can think of is random tests for the intern competition. And if you don't have one, I think we should make Fletcher Page do them for tripping Caleb.

Suggestion 1: Get the Google closed captioning transcript from one of the player/coach interviews and try to work backwards from it. Re-create the original interview just from the CC transcript.

My word verification is "reaskism". I love these words! They are like sniglets... if anyone remembers those.

Lost fan said...

Alan - That would be awesome. Hell, I'll even get us started - Mettenberger would be have to be Sawyer, and Murray would probably be Jack...I'm not sure who Locke would be...any ideas?

joe p said...

Michael Adams = Locke Monster

Unknown said...

Thanks for commenting on my question about Branden Smith. He looked really good at G-Day, especially his tackling of AJ on a couple of those plays. And to quote The Dude in the cab, "I hate the f***in' Eagles man!"

Anonymous said...

Anon 2:52-

Michael Carvel of the AJC has a good article on Thornton. Apparently he's attracting attention from all over the country. I think it would be a tough get for Fox given that Thornton is now being re-recruited by schools which were after him when he signed with Clemson. My guess is that Thornton will take a few weeks before making a decision.

Anonymous said...

Forgot the link to the AJC article:

CashMoney said...

89th follower! Woohoo! I love the blog. Keep up the awesome work.

Jan Locke said...

Washaun Ealey is Desmond: came in a bit late last season but has been nothing but awesome since.

The big problem with LOST as an episodic TV show is that its main story-telling mechanism is the shocking ending, such as the awesome flashforward at the end of Season Three. What this has ultimately done is rendered a lot of what happened in earlier seasons irrelevant since things are never as they seem...

I'm glad to see Desmond had a point after all, but so much other stuff is turning out to be pointless, really unfortunate. I like to look at it as furthering the major theme they keep driving home this season: "What's done is done." Accept that "whatever happened happened" and get over it! Tabula Rasa.

Speaking of that, who on our team is Kate? Who brings everyone else down through his constant selfish behavior and belief that he can do no wrong?

Anonymous said...

Kate's gotta be Drew Butler.