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Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Georgia's Leadership Problem

Paul Dehner of the Albany Herald posted a blog yesterday with some extremely interesting comments from linebacker Rennie Curran.

The basics are this: Georgia's players haven't been taking enough of a vocal leadership role. Here's what Curran had to say:

"One of those things we stress is just accountability," Curran said. "I don t think there s enough of us getting on each other. It s more the coaches have been pounding on us that we need to do things like communicate, be disciplined, play harder and things like that. I think the more emphasis we put on holding each other accountable at every single position, coaching those younger guys not to make mistakes, I feel like that s what s going to take us to the next level. There s no reason why a guy like Deangelo Tyson should be making mistakes when you ve got Geno Atkins and other guys who have been there before. We ve just all got to set each other straight."
There are more great Curran quotes on Dehner's blog, but I think this speaks to a real issue for the Bulldogs. Mark Richt has often said that if a team is coach-driven, it is destined to fail. If it's player-driven, you have a much better shot at winning. It sounds like Georgia has been pretty coach-driven so far this year.

Last week, defensive end Jeremy Lomax -- who was one of the most vocal players during and after the Alabama game -- made similar comments and basically said Georgia hasn't put in the time in the film room to recognize mistakes they are making.

Curran's point -- that players are too quick to let mistakes be corrected by the coaches -- speaks volumes about the leadership on the team. True, there aren't a lot of seniors on this Georgia team, at least among the key players, but that's not an excuse.

I wonder if all the preseason talk about high expectations, etc., has trained Georgia's players to downplay a lot of the team's issues, and that is carrying over to the practice field.

Obviously we (the reporters) are not privy to everything going on at practice (we only see about 20 minutes of it) but in many of my interactions with Georgia's top players, they are (at best) reserved. Certainly it's possible (maybe likely) that their personality in the locker room is greatly different than it is with the media -- but Lomax and Curran's comments lead me to believe there just aren't a lot of loud voices coming from the players on the practice field or film room. Both Curran and Lomax seem determined to change that.


andrew said...

Thanks for all of your hard work and great commentary. I read your blog daily and appreciate all the information. The quotes from Curran sum up my feelings on this season. Not enough leadership and not enough discipline. We desperately need an awakening like we had during the 3rd quarter of the Vandy game last year. Hopefully it will come sooner rather than later.

Go Dawgs!

Anonymous said...

And who did Mark Richt point to as the unquestioned leader of this team at the beginning of the season?....Stafford.

If this is the truth that the players are not leading this team vocally than he should be the first one to assume that vocal leadership role.

h.n. said...

Wow. These quotes are incredible... I think it speaks volumes. I don't think I've ever heard players talk like this in the offseason at Georgia.