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Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Last Word on the Defense

Even I'm getting a little sick of talking about the recent defensive shortcomings, so I'm not going to continue to bore you with the details the rest of the week unless something significant happens.

Before we drop the subject for a while though, I wanted to share two quotes I got today that I think are pretty telling:

Darryl Gamble on what's been missing for the defense:

Maybe leadership. I wouldn t say it s not there, but it s just not the same as in the past. Guys aren t as vocal as they ve been in the past. Guys like Kelin, he ll say something to do you and it will just stick with you. I think these guys are more about example rather than more vocal.

From Asher Allen on the team's mood on the field:

There were just some times in the games where you could just look at the body language, and people just feed off of body language and things like that. Just looking at our team s body language I just always have the memory of that Hawaii game in the back of my mind, how everybody was running around and you had so much energy and the past couple games there have been some times where we made some plays and haven t really celebrated and things like that. I feel like that s a part of the game. We should work on that, but I feel like it should be natural when you do things like that. It s been more of a relief at the end of games just getting out of them and things like that. We need to put more on ourselves, more responsibility before the game even gets there.

Allen's quote reflects similar statements I've heard from Corvey Irvin and Rennie Curran, and I'm a little unsure how I feel about it. Should you really be celebrating when you make a big play if the team failed to make 10 big plays before it? That said, there's definitely something to be said for energy and enthusiasm and how that can be contagious.

It's funny, if there was one story I was certain had been overblown this year, it was about the team getting sucked into the preseason hype. But the more I hear things like this, the more obvious it becomes that a lot of these guys have paid way too much attention to all the external discussions about them, and it is having a real effect on the personality of the team.

There is a lot of youth on this team. There may be plenty of experience, but that's not necessarily the same thing as maturity. Common traits of an immature team include lacking leadership, getting too caught up in external things, and lacking focus. Sound familiar?

I can't help but look back on the team now and think that being the preseason No. 1 did hurt this team's focus. At the same time, I spent some time talking to players today about the last time Georgia played at Auburn, when no one -- Mark Richt included -- thought they had a good shot of winning. Instead, they came out sharp, focused and played their best football of the year.

Something tells me this year's team would have made a much better underdog than it did a favorite.

1 comment:

Bernie said...

Great quotes Mr. Hale. Says a lot about why and how we've performed the last few weeks. I've thought about how much we've missed Kelin's play on the field, but I guess we miss his voice even more.

Keep up the good work.