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Thursday, December 16, 2010

Mailbag! Get your mailbag!

Hey ... how are ya? Good? Got your Christmas shopping done? Me neither. You know how everyone just says, "Oh get me anything, it'll just be good to see you again and be in your company ..."

Yeah, that's crap. They want good gifts. If you give them a dud, they put up a good face, they pretend to like it, but you're a smart guy. You know they don't like it, and they know you know. Merry Christmas, jerk.

But anyway ... Here's the mailbag!

1) If Grantham didn’t have the right personnel this past season to make the 3-4 work, what gives us hope that he will have them on next yrs D? Houston is supposedly moving on to the NFL, our D line, LB, and secondary will effectively be the same units. I know we have some recruits, but how often do you see true freshman starting day 1 in the SEC? Am I missing something here?
- Matthew Alexis

No, you’re not missing anything, it’s genuinely a cause for concern that a defense that largely struggled will likely be losing its two most productive players. That’s why the next few weeks of recruiting is key for Georgia: John Jenkins, the nose tackle from Mississippi (not the shooting guard from Vanderbilt) could start right away, and defensive end Ray Drew would be in the mix too. Among players on the current roster, Jarvis Jones and Richard Samuel could contribute right away at linebacker. At nose tackle, the staff is holding out hope for Kwame Geathers. And everybody but Vance Cuff (and perhaps Brandon Boykin) returns in the secondary – but they better use their experience to play better on third downs.

2) Do you think Richt made a mistake by not hiring a 4-3 DC? In today’s SEC, and especially with the down seasons we have had, did Richt really have a season or two to completely rebuild the D? Would simply improving the 4-3 D have been a smarter decision?
- Matthew Alexis again

The proliferation of spread offenses was a big reason for the switch, although ironically arch-rival Florida is now shifting back to a pro-style attack. Either way, I think Richt still feels that in a speed-oriented league, the 3-4 is the best way to combat it. If he’s having any regrets, it’s too late now. They’re committed to this scheme and recruiting for it.

What are your impressions of Grantham as a communicator? When speaking with him, is he the kind of man who, in your estimation, is persuasive? Could he sell ice to an Eskimo?
- Anonymous

I think Grantham’s method of “persuasion” is a lot different with recruits than it is with current players. A former player told me that he’s a lot more like Brian VanGorder – who wasn’t afraid to call out players in the film room, and use salty language while doing it. Willie Martinez was a lot more laid-back, which may have been part of his undoing.

Who is the most vocal coach at the limited practices you have seen? Player?
- Anonymous

Scott Lakatos springs to mind first, though others could have a different impression. It probably depends on the practice. (Plus Lakatos had a lot to get ticked at this year.)
Player-wise, we actually asked Grantham yesterday who would be the leaders on next year’s defense. He listed Justin Houston and Brandon Boykin (if either returns), then Jarvis Jones, Bacarri Rambo and Alec Ogletree.

On offense, it tends to be the linemen and the seniors.

Do you agree with the Rivals selection of Nebraska's Taylor Martinez over Aaron Murray for 1st team All-Freshman?
- HowMuchYouBench (via Twitter)

First off, having just come from the gym, I can report that I don’t bench very much. Someone needs to get me in touch with Victor Conte.

Secondly, I doubt Murray is losing much sleep over it, but yeah, he probably should’ve gotten the nod, based on stats, and the fact his coach never got so ticked at him it led to a national story. The reason Martinez got picked probably had everything to do with Nebraska having a better record and being in its conference title game, while Murray’s great freshman season, as I’ve said before, was overshadowed by Georgia’s mediocrity.

Based on team position needs and D scheme, how is recruiting shaping up?
- Joe Mac (via Twitter)

Nothing much has changed since earlier this week, when I posted the recruiting blog. Although Georgia did lose out, as expected, on JUCO defensive end “Tank” Carradine. Which is unfortunate, because I would have loved writing “Tank” and making Kung Fu Carradine references for the next couple years.

Hoops question: What should we look for in the remainder of the non-conf schedule from the hoop Dawgs?
- NCDawg.

Taking the Xavier game out of the equation, since it falls in the middle of SEC play, the remainder of non-conference play should be a great chance for the Bulldogs to flesh a few more things out: The rotation, who can the 3, and continue to get used to playing at full capacity, with Trey Thompkins back. Something else that needs to get settled: Travis Leslie, who is off to a slow start.

I'm curious about how much time we are looking at before CTG believes he has a fully functioning unit? I understand the personnel issues, most notably at NT, so I can see why UGA wouldn't have the same immediate change as other programs have seen (MSU for example), but how long approximately are we looking at before we do see change? Are we talking one recruiting cycle or four?
- Anonymous

I think they were hoping to see improvement this year – and they did, but in small doses. The failures were spectacular (at South Carolina, Arkansas in the final minute, and so forth). If I could predict when (or if) the defense would be much better, I’d be writing you from Las Vegas right now, not my home office in Athens.

Mr. Blog Man, For the mailbag- I just watched the Richt press conference at I noticed a significant improvement in the quality of the sound, lighting and speed of the video download. Is this a McGarity influence or did Claude just figure out how to host a higher quality presser on his own?
- Anonymous

Honestly, I have to plead ignorance on this one. Since I’m at all the press conferences, I don’t watch them on replay. If it has improved, I would ascribe it to someone behind the scenes, and just the natural progression of technology. Greg McGarity and Claude Felton have an awful amount of stuff on their plate, so I suspect this doesn’t reach their pay grade.

Seth, any word as to why (Isaiah) Crowell backed out of his official this past weekend? Rumor is something about a friend’s party being more important. Curious if I’m the only one to have heard this.
- Logan

I’ll have to plead ignorance on this one too. But I’d caution everyone not to get hung up on the whims of teenagers. It’s why I don’t cover recruiting on a day-to-day basis. From a reporting perspective, I cover recruiting from a big picture angle (who has committed, who they’re still after, how it fits into the team, etc.) I do know the sentiment among the experts, the ones who do cover it daily, is that Georgia has the best chance for Crowell AT THE MOMENT. But again, we’re talking about teenagers here.

Would "Mr. Blog Man" fit on the back of a jersey?
-Ubiquitous GA alum

You better believe, we’re going to find out soon.

What exactly is your job? Seriously I would like to know. Like do you solely get paid by the newspaper you work for? Do they say you have to have this blog and be on Twitter or is that your decision? You don't make any money from this blog right? What are you paid to do by the newspaper you work for? Just to cover all Bulldog sports?
- RayJayCrowell

Thanks for asking, and hopefully I can give you a full, albeit condensed answer: I’m the UGA athletics beat writer for the Macon Telegraph and Columbus Ledger-Enquirer, as well as a bunch of other McClatchy papers that share material. But I report directly to the bosses at The Telegraph. My job is to cover every sport, but mainly football and men’s basketball, on a daily basis: That means covering games, writing features, reporting news, chasing down arrest reports … all that fun stuff.

The blog and Twitter feed are not mandated, and essentially are extra and meant to complement and help promote the stories in the paper. But in this day and age, clearly a blog and Twitter are more necessary. The first priority will always be the daily coverage in the papers. (And when I say papers, I don't literally mean just the print form, since it all goes online and plenty of people read it there too.)

The blog is fun, and a useful place to post news when it happens, but no, it doesn’t pay the freight.

6'2, 175? You don't have the right body type to be a sportswriter!
- Anonymous

In defense of my profession, the stereotype doesn’t fit as much anymore. My former partner on the South Carolina beat is a triathlete who is running in a marathon soon. And I’m not afraid to say that when we ran a 5-mile race a couple years ago, I still kicked his butt.

But the problem with being a runner is that it’s hard to put on muscle. Unless Victor Conte returns my call. We’ll see.


Anonymous said...

I've seen Chip Towers. He would LOVE to be 6'2'' and 175.

Csradawg said...

Seth I live in Augusta Ga. Are there any beat writers from the Augusta Chronicle that cover the Dawgs? Augusta is the second largest city in Ga but as far as sports go I am disappointed about every thing to do with Augusta. This has to be the worse part of Ga for high school football and our newspaper sucks in my opinion at covering sports.

Also for anybody else out there how does Augusta compare to other Ga cities as far as being Dawg fans? Our high school football might be the worse in the state but we seem to have a lot of Dawg fans here. Are most other cities in Ga more serious about the Dawgs?

Seth Emerson said...

I think Augusta is a Morris paper, so it takes it's UGA coverage from the Athens Banner-Herald.
Unfortunately, that's what a lot of papers do these days, because of diminishing resources. The days of every paper having a beat writer covering the major team are gone.

Anonymous said...

Csradawg- this is merely an opinion from my parents who used to live in Augusta: it's HUGE dawg country. Like right behind Athens. Atlanta shares the Nerds and Savannah, where I'm from has quite a lot of dawg fans too, but not as much as Augusta.

Anonymous said...

In terms of John Jenkins: Will we have to wait for Signing Day to find out if he's chosen UGA, or would he be able to sign up for Spring semester classes? (And how many other early enrollees are the Dawgs looking at?)

Anonymous said...

CSRADawg -

I've lived in Augusta, Atlanta, and Athens. I'd say Augusta is a pretty big UGA town. Like 75% UGA, 15% SC and 10% Tech/Clemson.

It's the closest big city to Athens that isn't in the Atlanta metro.

Seth Emerson said...

Jenkins could sign now, from what I understand. As for other possible early enrollees, LeMay is the only one I've heard of, and although he had a few troubles I haven't heard any change in his plans.

Anonymous said...

John Jenkins cannot enroll early and will probably wait until signing day to announce.


Anonymous said...

i think it's kind of funny grantham would be the way you described him, using "salty" language, etc (and we all remember "choke-gate"), since, as we all know, richt apologizes for dropping the "d" or "h" bomb in a press conference and seems to recruit kids largely by selling character and strong christian values. it almost makes me wonder if grantham's grizzled personality undermines that philosophy at all in terms of recruiting, or even coaching in general. thoughts, seth? anyone else?

David Basham said...

Geez, if Grantham believes that Rambo will be one of the team leaders on defense next year, then we are in deep, deep trouble. Rambo has been an absolute liability this season, and it hasn't taken opposing OCs that long to find out where he is on the field and go after him.

Anonymous said...

Why are we in here talking about who got what AWARDS as a player on a team who was largely unable to run the football all season long ?

Aaron Murray did not rush for 1000 yards; although he did take 7 carries a game away from the running backs, trying to carry the load himself, averaging 2 yards a carry.

In 75 carries this regular season, Aaron Murray amassed 163 yards. Total.

In less than twice the number of carries of Aaron Murray, the other guy rushed for 1000 yards. Total.

One of the largest problems we have as a team, is that a guy taking 7 carries a game, EVERY GAME, averages 2 yards a carry.

Why are we the # 73 team in the NCAA at getting 1st Downs ?

We cannot run the football, and our Quarterback threw gasoline on that fire.

Oh, yeah - David Greene was a great Quarterback at Georgia because he won the most games as a Starting QB in NCAA history at the time. Aaron Murray is 6-6. The other guy, like Seth Emerson told you above, won his Division of his Conference and played Oklahoma in the Big XII Championship Game. He lost the Big XII Championship Game by a field goal, 20-23 to Oklahoma.

# 7 in the nation Oklahoma

# 18 in nation Nebraska

6-6 Aaron Murray

The Nebraska Quarterback, because he can RUN THE FOOTBALL like you told me Aaron Murray could and DID NOT :



Aaron Murray did not beat a single team all season long. NO ONE.

Just so I follow all the logic of those on this blog on recruiting, bragging how we are going to sign 28 plus players this recruiting season.

We have 83 on Scholarship today, 2 under the minimum. We lose 14 seniors on Scholarship. So, that gives us 16 Scholarships. And, you all say to me that we lose only 2 Juniors. That is 18 Scholarships.


Anonymous said...

You are so f'in clever, BuLLdawg!!! Maybe if I spew garbage in the comments section anonymously, people will actually read it. Brilliant.

OldDawg55 said...

You want your "salty" coaches?? Well, I was a Wally Butts "casualty" as was several others..those coaching staffs were the most humiliating, profane you could ever hope to avoid. Thank God for coaches like Lumpkin, Mrvos, and Trippi (who was just eye candy) to hold recruits until their skins thickened. You can appreciate a coach like Richt when you've seen the others..of course, they could sign as many as they could and give a rat's ass about running anyone off. A young halfback from Waynesboro was one of the best from Georgia's high school but couldn't suffer being called an SOB and, basically, shoved his helmet in Coach George's face and walked off. You have fiery coaches who inspire and, rarely now, those who humilate and degrade. We have a great group that you love to play glad of that when you criticize. By the way, Augusta/N.Augusta are fine football cities..tell 'em, Charlie Britt!!

meansonny said...

I wonder if anon realizes that sacks count towards the rushing totals (both in terms of rushing attempts totalled and negating positive yardage in real rushing attempts)

Probably not

meansonny said...

I wonder if anon realizes that sacks count towards the rushing totals (both in terms of rushing attempts totalled and negating positive yardage in real rushing attempts)

Probably not

Anonymous said...

BuLLdawg nobody can understand that gibberish. Mommy forget to give you your Adderall?

Anonymous said...

I miss the matt and tim show. Any hope they come to the atlanta market and join sports radio?

Anonymous said...

Nebraska quarterback has actually been sacked more than Aaron Murray; yet, Aaron Murray has 163 yards rushing and he has a thousand yards.

Take your lame excuses out of here.

You told me all last year, all Spring this year, all Summer and all Fall how great a running dual-threat quarterback Aaron Murray is.

See if any of this comes back to you.

I told you he was itty-bitty.

I told you he was 4.7 in the 40-yard dash - not fast at all.

I told you he would not run the football well at all at not even 6 feet tall and 198 lbs. dripping wet vs SEC.

He is not the dual-threat quarterback you made him out to be.

Is he ?

Nebraska quarterback sacked more than Aaron Murray this season, yet he has a thousand yards and Aaron Murray 163 yards, yet Aaron Murray stole 7 carries a game, every game from the running backs, averaging 2 yards a carry.

Muckbeast said...

So nice to see the switch back to the regular mailbag setup. Love the superior organization, flow, and readability on a mobile device.

Great information too.

Thank you!

Anonymous said...

Yes and it is great to see that the are out in force to discuss in this mailbag why our quarterback 6-6 as a starter is not the best player in the nation, when the other guy was sacked more than Aaron Murray, yet Aaron Murray has the excuse for his poor running that he was sacked.

4.47 in the 40-yard dash the other guy.

Maxwell Award Finalist the other guy.

But, our guy who beat no one - while the other guy beat # 12 Missouri and # 14 Oklahoma State - is better.


Muckbeast said...

When our record improves, our number of awards will improve. That's how it works and its probably how it SHOULD work.

King Jericho said...

Wow, let's compare apples to oranges and look at the rushing stats of a spread QB vs a pro-style QB! Great idea!! Nothing wrong with that picture!

1 Taylor Martinez FR QB 12 187 109 58.3 1578 8.4 9 6 138.64 15.6 131.5

Those would be his passing stats. Pretty pedestrian. Check out that sick 9/6 TD/int ratio! 131.5 yards per game? Unstoppable air assault!

1 Aaron Murray FR QB 12 304 188 61.8 2851 9.4 24 6 162.72 25.3 237.6

Wait a second? Who's this man's man? 24/6 TD/int ratio? Unthinkable! 237.6 yards per game?! That's almost twice that of Martinez!

See how fun it is to cherry pick stats to make a point? Super fun! And if you've ever seen Murray play, you'll know he would have been sacked twice as much had he not had the scramble skills that he does. Look at our QBs in the past or in the NFL. Passing ability and ability to lead an offense is #1 and scramble ability is a bonus.

Anonymous said...

Murray is one of the best freshman quarterbacks I've ever seen. The ability to run or throw is a real weapon. When you watched him, you could really see him improve every game. He reminds me of Fran Tarkenton, the Hall of Fame quarterback. Murray will have a similar career. Georgia is lucky to have him.

Anonymous said...

Seth, just wanted to thank you for maintaining this blog. I believe we're now on at least the third beat writer running this excellent resource for Bulldog NEWS (as opposed to rumor, speculation, or whatever the hell the AJC puts on its blogs...) Thanks for doing it even though you may not technically have to.

As a Macon native, I still try to keep in touch with the Telegraph's website, and while I know that paper certainly isn't immune to the industry's troubles of late, I really appreciate that they (and the C L-E) support a great beat writer like yourself. And you can tell your bosses I said so!