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Monday, September 7, 2009

Cox Analyzes the Offense

Georgia practiced yesterday -- the first Sunday practice under Mark Richt's new schedule that gets the players back to work the day after a game and gives them Monday off. After the practice session, I spoke with Joe Cox about his thoughts on what went wrong Saturday against Oklahoma State. Here's what he had to say.

David Hale: Coach Richt said these Sunday practices were going to be about evaluating the last game and fixing some problems before moving on to preparations for the next week. So when you looked at the Oklahoma State game, what did you see?

Joe Cox: There’s just things that we’ve got to do better, plain and simple. I like what we did today. It gives us more time to look at things and to really go ahead and get it out of the way as early as possible.

DH: From my perspective, it just seemed like as an offense, you were slightly off. Things were close to clicking, but never quite got there, and you seemed out of rhythm. Is that a fair assessment?

JC: Things, it seemed like whenever we’d have a good play, there’d always be one person or two people that didn’t finish a block, or even me – we’d have a guy running open and I wouldn’t put it on him. It was just little things that really hurt us on offense.

Reporter: Did Oklahoma State do some things defensively that took you by surprise?

JC: They did some things we didn’t expect, but it wasn’t like they just had us dumfounded to the point where we didn’t know what to do. We just didn’t play well.

DH: You came into Saturday's game not really know what to expect from the offense. Did you learn anything from it that will help you establish what that offensive identity is?

JC: No. We haven’t played to our potential, and really we just have to play loose. I think there was a lot of people at certain points in the game played not to mess up. There was times where I didn’t just cut it loose, and I know it’s the same for some other guys. WE just need to find what we’re good at and get a plan that everybody knows what to do and can cut it loose and play full speed, and we’ll be fine.

DH: It seemed like, particularly after that first drive, you guys stuck to a core couple of players on offense rather than opening it up. Was that the game plan, and why weren't more players like Marlon Brown or Rantavious Wooten used?

JC: We definitely want to play as many people as we can and I’m not sure why we didn’t sub some other people in. That’s not my decision. Whatever reason Coach Bobo and the other offensive coaches did that for, you’d have to ask them.

DH: What was it like for you watching the film from the game?

JC: Obviously when you see things you didn’t do well on, you wish you could get them back. That’s just football. You’re going to have good games and you’re going to have bad games. You can’t dwell on the past but it is tough watching film, especially from the day before that’s still fresh on your mind and you know there were things you could have done better that may or may not have changed the outcome of the game. It’s just always hard to see things like that that you think about.

Reporter: Branden Smith was used a lot on offense. What did you see from him that made you think he could be a contributor?

JC: He’s a great athlete and I think he does well in all three phases. He can definitely make plays with the ball in his hand, and that’s why we put in a package for him. I wouldn’t be surprised if as the season goes along we give him more and more instead of just keeping it to a couple of plays, but we wanted to get him used to it and see what he could do, and he can definitely help us on offense.

DH: Smith seemed like one of many players that was close to breaking one but didn't get the chance on Saturday. Did it feel like you guys were close but couldn't get over the hump?

JC: Yeah, it’s just frustrating when you don’t execute. And that’s what happened – we didn’t execute.


jferg said...

The sky is definintely not falling. We scheduled a tough game and lost. That's football. We looked bad. That is also football.

To be honest, this could be a blessing in disguise. The loss does not affect our goals as a team--winning the SEC east. They have real film to study and everyone can see how they stack up against "ones" (our first team usually practices against scout or 2nd team).

RS was very close to adding 5 to 10 yards per carry if we had blocked that stinkin' LB that came scraping down the line every play. We figure that out, he has a HUGE day. Even if he doesn't have the "shake", his speed and power make the DBs think twice about coming up for a big hit. Another few yards of momentum and he's a beast for DBs.

Our D played pretty well, considering the field position. To hold them to 24 is not too shabby. Dez is a beast and will get his catches. His first TD was all-world, period. When our DBs start catching the passes that hit them in the hands and facemasks, we'll be just fine.

Given SC's fairly terrible performance on Thursday night, we should be able to play less than stellar football and still beat them. The year is still just fine. Learn from our mistakes, figure out a few personell groupings, and we're just fine.

Let's root on the team and let them know that while we're not happy about losing, we're behing them nonetheless. A loud Sanford Stadium will go a long way to healing this team. With so many young guys, they're bound to be emotional. Get that emotion going in the right direction and watch out!

PS- I'd still take Cox over Paulus any day! hahaha (had do, DH)

Go Dawgs!

David Hale said...

well said, jferg -- and way to underscore how bad things could be, even if it was a bit of a low blow.

Anonymous said...

great comment, jferg. still, i have a hard time swallowing the pill that is our timid nature as a team. it seems to me that since last season started, UGA has been scared to make a play. we were one of the worst teams in the nation in turnover ratio. now we're in an 0-3 hole.

lots of offseason talk about changing the culture back to where it was. lots of off season talk about DBs and others really having great ball skills. well, when the game comes the boys just didn't make it happen. when the lights come on, we shut down.

i don't want to say that, but it's happening more often than not nowadays. we did play very well on Defense considering the circumstances. BUT, those circumstances used to be something that a Richt coached team would never have been in.

Capitalize on your opportunites and you give your offense and it's play caller a little comfort to go out and make plays.

The defense bent and really didn't break that much, but they NEVER broke OSU like they could have.

Offense looked worse but we can't let the D off the hook. Did you see anything out of the DEs that made you happy about their progress? No? me neither.