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Wednesday, September 9, 2009

From the Mailbag: Caleb, Cox and Coaching Confusion

Happy Wednesday everyone. There's a lot on the agenda for today, so I hope you're planning on checking back frequently and not accomplishing much at the office. I'll have some links up a bit later, but first, I had some mail I wanted to get to.

Lee writes: Also you know what would also be good news to hear? A Wednesday chat with the great Dave Hale at noon tomorrow!

DH: Two things...

First, "the great Dave Hale" is actually a low-rate magician who performs at small clubs in the Catskills. For legal reasons, I can only be referred to as "The Slightly Above Average But Usually Mediocre Dave Hale." It's a mouthful, so I'm OK if you want to just go with "Hey you!".

Second, I couldn't get a chat together for today quickly enough, but let's do one tomorrow at noon.

You can CLICK HERE to go to the chat site, which is live right now. Click on the "play" button and start submitting your questions. Then I'll jump on live Thursday at noon and answer as many of them as I can. You can view it live during the hour or check back after that for the results.

From Drew: do you know if the coaches or any of the players read your blog?

There are a couple of the coaches -- Fabris, Van Halanger, Tereshinski -- who tend to be a little more proactive about combing through the Georgia material that's out there. Some of the players like Rennie and Jeff Owens have openly admitted they read the blogs and message boards from time to time. I don't know that it's a habit for any of them, but word gets around and they clearly have an idea of what's being said about them. Take my story on Joe Cox from today's Telegraph as a prime example.

As for my blog in particular though -- I really don't know. To tell you the truth, I'd be surprised if too many of the players and coaches even knew my name or who I worked for. I may be pessimistic here, but I think most of them just know me as the annoying guy who doesn't shave often but always has an obnoxious question to ask.

I give some credit to Tim Tucker and Marc Weiszer because I think the AJC (because of its size) and the Banner-Herald (because of its proximity) get a closer look from the folks associated with the team, so they probably get a little more heat for what they write. I slide nicely under the radar, which I'm all for.

From Brian: Were the officials at last weekend's game SEC or Big 12 officials? Although it was not the difference in the game, the personal foul call on Jones was the absolute worst call I have ever seen in a football game. Will we have to get used to this kind of crap all year or only when we play teams from the Texas Two-Hand-Touch League? (No wonder they score so many points out there)

Yup, they were Big 12 officials, and yes, I couldn't agree more about some of the bad flags. But truth be told, Okie State had 15 flags go against them, so Georgia really can't blame the officiating for the loss. The Dawgs had every chance to win that game but did little to earn the victory. And while it's fine to complain about some of the flags, the upside is we won't have to watch any more Big 12 officiating for a long while.

From Anonymous Suckup: In your conversations with the coaches and players, have you heard a plausible answer to why they did not get more receivers on the field? From the quotes I've read so far, it seems like the coaches didn't know what was going on. They seemed surprised that Brown and Wooten never stepped on the field, and I simply don't know how that would happen.

Depends on who you believe, I guess. The players told me that Tony Ball said he lost track of who had played. Mark Richt seemed to indicate that the decision was made that the freshmen weren't ready. Mike Bobo didn't seem to know what to say. Bottom line, I guess, is that clearly folks weren't on the same page and it needs to be rectified ASAP.

Also, a side note here: For all those folks wanting to see Logan Gray or Aaron Murray in at QB soon -- if Richt wouldn't put two talented freshmen on the field for a single play AT RECEIVER, what do you think the odds are that he's going to run a quarterback out there who has less than 10 career snaps under his belt as his starter? Not going to happen any time soon, folks.

Brian writes: Stafford only attempted 30 or more passes in 5 games last season, but in Joe Cox's first game we put pressure on him to pass it 30 times. Not a good way of letting him settle into the starting role in an opponents stadium. We should have ran the ball down there throat.

This is a great point, Brian. Going back a little further, Stafford only had 30-plus attempts four times in 2007 and twice in 2006. In fact, Stafford had started five games before he was given that much of a role in the offense.

A lot of pressure was put on Cox on Saturday, which is saying a lot considering that a.) the game plan was lacking, b.) he was not given a full arsenal of weapons to work with, and c.) he was puking the day before due to a virus.

So two things I think we should address:

First, Mike Bobo needs to remember that balance on offense doesn't necessarily mean you have to throw exactly as often as you run. It's about keeping the defense from slowing you down by keying on one thing. But Oklahoma State hadn't proven they could stop Georgia on the ground, so why go away from it?

Second, we haven't seen the best of Joe Cox yet. No, he's probably not going to be able to take over a game like Stafford did, but he's going to have a lot better days than he did on Saturday.

Anonymous writes: Weren't you saying before that you were hearing King might miss this game also? Sounds like you may be proven right.

I was saying that, and that was what I was told by multiple sources at the tail end of last week. The reports so far this week, however, have been a bit more encouraging. Caleb stayed in Athens over the weekend to continue his treatment and it sounds like he's feeling a bit better. Of course, he's taken the Stacy Searels approach to the media since the injury, so it's hard to get much firsthand knowledge.

Anonymous writes: Coach Richt said tonight that Caleb King will play this upcoming weekend. Do you feel that Caleb will be better backing up Richard as he probably will this week or do you think he, mentally, would be better off starting? Personally, I think the pressure of starting and trying to live up to the legacy Knowshon left could be way too much for him while I think Richard will handle it better. Am I way off base?

If Caleb plays -- and that's still very much an 'if' right now -- I think it's safe to say he won't be starting right now. But I do believe that, in the long run, Georgia's coaches will start whichever one of them gives them the better chance to win, or possibly, give both of them enough touches to make a bigger impact together than they might have made solo.

OK, that's all I have time to get to right now. If you have more questions though, make sure you stop by the chat by CLICKING HERE and submit it now, then check back for replies tomorrow at noon.

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