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Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Mailbag time

Before I delve into the ol' mailbag, allow me to make yet another plea:

Look, I know everyone’s upset about how things are going on the field, but I still need you to keep it clean on the comments section, and refrain from personal attacks. I’ve had to delete too many comments lately.

Your point can be made without all the bad words; and as I’ve said before, putting dollar signs instead of an ‘s’ or something like that, doesn’t count.

Hopefully there can be a civil, if spirited, discussion on this board. It doesn’t have to be the Algonquin Roundtable, but it doesn’t have to be the South Korean parliament.

Now I’ll climb off the soapbox and reach into the satchel:

So (Mark) Richt is officially on the hot seat?
- Johncpacker (via Twitter)

Perhaps, given what I just said, this wasn’t the best way to open. But hey, let’s get it out of the way.

My sense is that no, Richt’s job is not in any immediate jeopardy. This season has plenty left in it, and while the arrests are a stain, Richt still has plenty of goodwill around the Butts-Mehre building. That includes Greg McGarity, even though he only met Richt last month. McGarity also strikes me as a very pragmatic athletics director who does not feel like he has to make a statement.

That said, I always say this about hypothetical future scenarios: It’s one thing to sit here and say nothing will happen as long as the team finishes with such-and-such record. It’s another thing when such-and-such actually happens. If this season does go off the rails, things could get pretty interesting around here. But for the moment, the outside perception of Richt’s hot seat, and the perception around Athens, are two different things.

Don't know if it's just me but I think A.J. owes the Dawgs another year having missed '2 of the 3 most important games of the dawgs season. Thoughts?
- Chase Moroy

I received several questions along these lines. The short answer is no, I think everyone still expects A.J. to go pro. Who knows, he might feel like he owes Georgia for his mistake. But even if he did, I suspect a lot of people around him – family, friends, maybe even teammates and coaches – will tell him that he also owes it to himself to make the best decision for his own pro future.

How bad do you think our image was tarnished in the eyes of the visiting recruits on Saturday? (Crowell, etc.)
- Dawgfan80 (via Twitter)

Eh, that kind of thing is always in the eye of the beholder, but I doubt it was tarnished much. A few fans left early, and it was a loss, but there were still 70-80,000 loud fans in there in the final few minutes.

Has Coach Richt been asked about playing young guys, next season, schedule is most favorable maybe ever.
- CRS19 (via Twitter)

Aren’t they playing enough young players right now? You’ve got a freshman quarterback, a relatively young secondary, and non-seniors at receiver, tight end, and most of the defense. Besides, way, way too early to pack it in this season.

Kris Durham has been playing extremely well and has great "intangible qualities": solid leader, good person, hard worker. That said, do you see him being drafted this year (barring a lockout)?
- boilingforheisman

I could see Kris as a second-day pick. Well third day, the way they do it now. He is tall, and has shown he can produce so far this season. But NFL teams won’t be thrilled with his injury history.

As a journalist, is it more enjoyable to cover a team that is winning rather than losing? Coming from South Carolina, I recognize that you have little experience from a winning perspective but the complete wretchedness of the team must be taking a toll upon a professional paid to cover the Bulldogs. Right now, you couldn't pay me enough to watch a whole game, much less, enter that locker room. As a native Athenian, the state of the Bulldog nation has a direct correlation with my quality of life but does the awfulness of this team affect your professional and/or personal perceptions?
- David Ellison

This is a very astute question, and I hope I’m not boring anyone by answering it.

We get asked all the time whether we prefer to cover a winning or losing team. Objectively, it’s not supposed to matter. But realistically, yeah it is easier to interview guys about how great they’re doing than keep asking why things are going wrong. And when you’re writing about a losing team, you tend to get more angry reactions from players, coaches and others, which doesn’t make your day better. And believe me, I’ve covered some bad teams (South Carolina basketball, Maryland football, to name a few.)

But there are still good stories, and good opportunities for journalism, on losing teams. Not that this Georgia team is in that category yet. I wouldn’t call it “wretched” quite yet. We’re only three games in, people.

Part of the reason I elected to come here was I was excited to cover a winning program, but more importantly a very visible one. Win or loss, Georgia fans will care, and will read about their team. That’s what a journalist worries about the most: Apathy from his readership. From what I’ve seen so far, apathy will not be a concern on this beat.

Does the '11 class have the right type of defensive players for Grantham's system?
- Eric A. Davidson

I’m not a recruiting guru, but Rodney Garner has said they have adjusted their recruiting philosophy. Here’s what he said in August:

“I think you have to evaluate your current personnel, how it fits your system. We had a personnel meeting yesterday, just seeing do we have the ingredients to be what coach Grantham envisions in defensive ends. So we’ve had to tweak some numbers at particular positions. We say Hey we may need more of this and less of that. It definitely changes some of your philosophy, because there may have been some guys that fit into the other system that may not quite fit right now.”

Think a good question is are people as upset with CMB as they were with CWM before he got fired?
- HunkerDownDawgs (via Twitter)

It definitely seems like Mike Bobo is the new pinata for Georgia fans.

The only thing about Murray that drives me crazy is he holds the ball forever sometimes, no internal clock on the rush
- CRS19 (via Twitter)

The coaches have said this too, but it’s a common freshman error. They don’t want to make a mistake by throwing to the wrong receiver or into coverage, so they wait too long. What Murray needs to do is get a better sense of the pocket and when he needs to check down, throw it away, etc.


Randy said...

Great Job and thanks for doing the mail bag! I also hope this blog does not go the way of the AJC Blogs with name calling and clearly reactionary comments and unreasoned responses.
As for CMR and the Hot Seat. I think it is short sighted to think he should be fired. He has the best 10 year record of any UGA coach and has had us in the top 10 a lot. Like baseball, getting near the top is a result of hard work, winning the big one is more a matter of luck and timing. Besides for all the FIRE them people, my question is then HIRE who? The result of firing CMR on recruiting would be felt for a few years and have at least some negative impact on the potential results of the new coach. But as I look around, who would you want to replace him? (and have a reasonable chance of getting)

Otherwise, thanks for the Blog, I enjoy it daily!!!

Willb said...

Hey Seth i got a question for you. I listen to the dawgcast a lot and really like listening to there opinions on ga football even though I don't always agree with there opinions. Latley they have been bashing you a lot. I myself don't see why but they want you out of Athens. Because you covered the gamecocks before you covered the dawgs they think your just a gamecock fan loving watching ga lose. Do you get a lot of this being a new journalist who covered one of our larger rivals in the sec just last year?

GreenDawg said...

I've never listened to the dawgcast, but if they are seriously bashing a beat writer then they are ridiculous. Seth covered the Dawgs before he covered the cocks, and by all accounts has no real ties to either program. I think you've done a fine job, Seth.

dawgfan said...

Seth, Good statement on all the hot seat talkers and their foul mouths. To be perfectly honest anybody who gives their heart and soul to being a bulldog and fighting and sweating to earn their playing time deserves the respect and support from all Dawg fans. I personally think folks like Joe T and Joe Cox who worked hard and sometimes fell short in their personal achievements have been given a raw deal by the Bulldog Nation. Them boys were absolutely loyal to the Bulldog Nation but the Nation mocked them and forgot them. These are kids who represent the heart of what boys in the great State of Georgia do when growing up. They work hard and play hard and most of them don’t go on to play Pro sports. They go to work and support a family and make America and Georgia great. I named my 1 year old Lil Joe and If he is half the man that Joe Cox and Joe T are then Ill die a happy man. So when a man does good, cheer for him. When a man does poorly, then cheer him on in his efforts improve. I cant stand the Dat gum ridicule coming from the Dawg Nation because we lost two hard fought games. Any man doning our beloved red helmets with silver britches deserves undying loyalty from all who consider themselves Dawg fans. So quit bellyaching and let the BIG DAWG EAT!

Matt said...

Let me ask you this, Chris. Would you pass up millions and want to come back just to play for a bunch of armchair quarterbacks who think you "owe" them something, or would you rather finish this season strong, make millions, and move on with a clean slate? I can't believe how many irrational fans there are. Don't get me wrong, I'd love for him to come back for another year, but it wouldn't be in his best interest.

Matt said...

I meant Chase

UGA69Dawg said...

The "fans" that say that AJ should come back are either insane or just plan stupid. The only draft eligible players that stay for their senior year are white middle or upper class QB's. Manning, Bradford etc. No college degree especially one from UGA in Consumer Economics is going to make you millions of dollars. AJ with or without playing this year is going to make more on his first contract than these "fans" will make in their lifetimes. Just be serious people.

Randy said...

Matt, I agree with you on that!!! For those who say this, I say, would you leave your job for a million dollars now, but if you pass it up, it may not be available next year? They would hit the door so fast... He will get more in one contract than what most of us will make our entire life.

Anonymous said...

No bad words? Are u $%@#$#%&@#@#$ serious?

Carter said...

In times like these I think of a couple of quotes by my favorite coach, Bill Parcells.

“No matter how much you've won, no matter how many games, no matter how many championships, no matter how many Super Bowls, you're not winning now, so you stink.”

"You are what your record says you are."

Anonymous said...

These folks that spend half their day blasting CMR with all this hot seat talk would be on the hot seat if their boss knew how much time and energy they spent blogging instead of working.

Give it a rest morons.

Anonymous said...

HACE is the place though!

Willb said...

I'm glad to see some rational true dawg fans post there opinions! Is it just me or does all the ga bashing from so called bulldog fans sound like something a twelve year old would write? Seriously when I read a bunch of this crap that people post I picture in my head a little boy writing it! The sad part is that there not little boys though. There grown men! When I see post that say "fire richt bench Murray the dawgs are in decline" it makes me sick to my stomach and I can only hope that some of our recruits don't read this crap! If you are a recruit reading any of these comments these are not the opinions of the majority of dawg nation! We will support you if you come here! We will not ridicule everything you do and expect you to be perfect in every way!

Stamey said...

Hey Seth, I heard that Crowell ended up not being able to make it to the Arkansas game because he had a late away game the Friday before, and didn't want to have to get up so early to make it to Athens for the noon kickoff. Is there any truth to that?

Left to Right said...

Thanks for the mailbag. If you have the opportunity to interview McGarity, would you ask him the following:

Why is Georgia 3-17 against Florida over the last 20 years?

Why is Mark Richt 2-7 against Florida?

Why does he think Alabama has won 2 MNCs over the past 20 years (despite almost getting the death penalty) while UGA has won zero?

If McGarity responds that it's because UF and UA have had some very good teams, ask him why he thinks UGA hasn't had teams which were as good.

If he responds that UGA has had some which were as good, then circle back to the original questions.


Anonymous said...

"The result of firing CMR on recruiting would be felt for a few years and have at least some negative impact on the potential results of the new coach. But as I look around, who would you want to replace him? (and have a reasonable chance of getting)"

Couldn't agree more, my friend. What's funny is that no one is talking about how we lost to 2 of the top 6 (arguably, top 5) teams in the Conference? Things would be a lot different if we lost to Vandy and Ole Miss, as opposed to USC and Ar-Kansas. Now, don't get me wrong, I'm not of the opinion that the latter 2 teams are world-beaters, but that's more an indictment of the SEC this year.

For the most part, Richt has had teams that get better as the year goes on, which is a wonderful thing in football, and I expect and anticipate that to be the case this year. Folks, we have a young defense that is going to make you want to pull your hair out every Saturday for 3 hours. But I have a sneaky suspicion that No. 11 under center is going to turn out to be a pretty special player, and it's obvious he has all the intangibles, which will allow him to improve week-to-week. Moreover, and how Les would say, "I think we have a damn good football team."

Hopefully, we can rally together and get past the other Bulldogs, get A.J. back, and then see what happens from there. I think most of the Bulldog nation are underestimating just how much of an anchor Mr. Green has been and will be in our offensive game-plan. As far as Jersey Gate, he's a 21 year old that had an awful lapse in judgment - who didn't at that age?

Let's just chill out, stay the course, and realize that when you look up, the clouds won't be crashing down on you.


Anonymous said...

Anon 8:20 what your saying makes no sense and you sound kinda moronish. You little rant makes no sense.

Anonymous said...

For a future mailbag post:

Seth, thank you for your insight and I appreciate the job you are doing in carrying on the good work started here by both Davids.

Would you be willing to compare your current team and your previous team on the following levels:

1. Any significant differences in the level of respect and commitment the players have for their coaching staffs?

2. Any significant differences in the level of respect and commitment the players have for the leaders on their teams?

3. Any significant differences in the intangibles, culture, or cohesiveness within the teams? (This has become a bigger challenge for everyone since schools no longer have true athletic dorms.)

No names need to be mentioned, but an overall comparison between the two teams would be interesting.

- Tom