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Wednesday, September 16, 2009

From the Mailbag: Murray Hurt, Reshad's Flag and Talking About Kickoffs

Happy Wednesday ladies and gents. I wanted to take a quick moment to remind you that we'll be continuing with our weekly chat sessions once again, and I'll be chatting live at tomorrow (Thursday) at noon.

Here's what you can do: Go to now. Press the "play" button and submit your questions early. Then check back tomorrow at noon (or any time after) and get the answers. Or if you're bored at work and you take a late lunch break, just check in live as the chat is happening.

In the meantime, let's whet your appetite with a few mailbag questions today...

Chip F. writes: do you know why aaron murray did not throw at all during warmups saturday?

DH: Yes, Murray is currently day-to-day with what is described as triceps tendinitis. When I spoke with him last week, he had his elbow wrapped. I inquired as to the reason, and he said it was just normal soreness from throwing. But as Chip points out, he didn't throw during Saturday's warmups, and the "soreness" turned out to be a bit more serious. At this point, however, it's just something being controlled with some rest right now and nothing to be too worried about. What it does signal, however, is that unless something happens to Logan Gray or Joe Cox the rest of the way, both Murray and Zach Mettenberger will be headed for redshirts.

Anonymous Suckup writes: I'm just curious whether the officials thought the hit was illegal in and of itself (facemask, blow to the head, etc.) or whether the officials flagged him for hitting the ball carrier after he stepped on the sideline a couple of steps earlier. In short, was it supposedly a late hit or a dirty hit?

DH: I spoke with Willie Martinez about this yesterday. He said the original call he got on the field Saturday was for a late hit out of bounds. He spoke to league officials later, however, and they clarified that it was actually a personal foul for a horse-collar tackle. Martinez said the coaches have reviewed the film and agreed with the call.

To your first point, however -- yes, the runner pretty clearly was out of bounds before the hit even occurred.

Jason writes: Following up on a couple of your points, I'm really curious to see if you could get a real answer as to why Samuel was out of the game for so long.

DH: Mike Bobo's answer is that it was a combination of wanting to rest Samuel after he had five touches on one drive followed by a series of play calls that required Carlton Thomas to be on the field, particularly the reverse to Branden Smith that went for a 61-yard touchdown. All of that is fine, but it still seems to me that 15 minutes of game time without your top running back touching the football is a mistake, particularly on a third-and-four on a crucial drive on which Georgia ended up being forced to punt.

jferg writes: Can you do a little digging into why our "nfl" DTs aren't making more plays? i just assumed that one of those two would get to the qb on a fairly consistent basis. yet, it seems as if so far this season, they are getting shut down. thoughts?

DH: Well, for one, those NFL DTs are playing a lot of DE. Geno Atkins was there throughout the first half of the Oklahoma State game and Jeff Owens took more than 30 snaps at defensive end against South Carolina. Georgia's coaches are essentially doing a lot of mixing and matching right now, but the return of Justin Houston this week should help calm the waters, so to speak.

Moreover, after talking to coaches, they seemed pretty pleased with the pressure the DTs got against South Carolina. What they were unhappy with was the containment. Georgia had plenty of men in the backfield -- Martinez estimated more than 50 percent of South Carolina's snaps resulted in significant pressure from Georgia's line -- but they couldn't bring Stephen Garcia down, and the Gamecocks QB was routinely able to step up in the pocket, avoid the rush, and either use his feet for short gains or dump the ball off to a receiver in the middle of the field.

Anonymous writes: Are Neland Ball and Christian Robinson still on the roster? Just curious as I have not seen them and apparently Ball's little brother turned to the dark side.

DH: Yup, they're both on the team, but neither is playing much. Ball and Jeremy Longo have been slow to recover from offseason injuries and have not seen the field. Robinson actually got some positive reviews during fall camp, but a mix of depth at linebacker and the missed reps he had during his freshman season last year have kept him shuffled to the back of the pack. Charles White and Akeem Hebron are in a similar situation. We may see a bit more of at least one or two of them this week, however, with Nick Williams questionable and Darius Dewberry out for a second straight game. That being said, the coaches have already taken the step of moving Marcus Washington back to linebacker to help fill the void, so they obviously aren't particularly enthused with the idea of using Robinson, White or Hebron in key situations.

Michael writes: kickoffs? we're talking about kickoffs? its the simplest, most fundamental play of the game. the coach has been here for how many years now? and we're still discussing our strategy on kickoffs? seriously. we're talking about kickoffs. kickoffs. kickoffs? not the game, not the game. kickoffs. not the game, the university of georgia bulldogs are debating what they should do on kickoffs. kickoffs.

DH: Not a punt… not a punt… talkin' about kickoffs. What are we talking about here? Kickoffs. They might return one deep kickoff this year, and that's enough. If I can't kick deep, I can't kick deep. It's as simple as that. You know what I'm saying? We're just talking about kickoffs. We're sitting here… Georgia's supposed to be a franchise program, and we're sitting here talking about kickoffs. Not the game that they go out there and die for. Talking about kickoffs. I'm not shoving it aside like it don't mean anything. But what are we talking about, man? We're talking about kickoffs.

Dekalb writes: I am a Bulldogs Blog enthusiast and avid reader. I read the blog on my Blackberry a lot of times, and lately I can't read it on there because the page is too large to load with all the updates on it. Not sure if it is something you can fix, but I was talking to some of my buddies while we were in Athens this weekend, and they have been having the same problem.

DH: I heard this complaint from a few people, so I checked into it. Apparently the problem is that I've simply been posting too much. The settings on the blog left all posts from the previous seven days up on the main page, and since I've been posting more during the season, that managed to overwhelm the Blackberries. I changed the settings so now just the last 15 posts are on the main page, so hopefully that will help. If anyone is still having trouble though, let me know and I'll continue to work on the problem.

OK, that's it for now. Don't forget to submit your questions and check back tomorrow for our live chat at


Uganewt said...

Watch the replay of Boykin's kick return. Christian Robinson got blown up throwing a block. He took his man out of the play, but definitely took the brunt of the hit.

DH, just checked the blog on my blackberry and it loaded right. Thanks for fixing that. One more reason you've become Dawgnation's favorite blogger.

ChiTown Dawg said...


I haven't heard much about Brandon WOOD - he was suppose to be a major impact player when he was recruited. Now with the limited # of DE's I haven't seen him on the field.

Anonymous said...

Good thing Bobo wasn't Herschel's OC. Rest for bull running backs is way overrated.

the anonymous suckup said...


Thanks for getting an answer to my question about the personal foul on Reshad Jones. Where else can an average guy like me go to get my questions answered by Willie Martinez? Nowhere. Thanks again.

While I do appreciate your efforts to get me an answer, I must say that the answer itself was not very satisfactory. How can we take that call seriously when the officials can't even agree on what the call was? The officials on the field said it was a late hit. I thought they were the ones that mattered. But no. The league bosses said it was a horse-collar.

How is that supposed to make me feel confident in what the officials are doing? I mean really...if the league bosses can change the call to a horse-collar after the game is over, why not just say Reshad was offsides? Or why not say Reshad's kickoff went out of bounds?? It sounds silly, but if they can change the call after the fact, what constraints are on them? It's absurd.

OK...rant over.

Anonymous said...

My iphone always loads it right, maybe a switch is in order. I too read Davids posts several times a day, I actualy felt like something was missing most of the day Sunday.

Anonymous said...

Your answer to Michael was hilarious. It made my day.

rbubp said...

Kickoffs? I just hope we can win a game!!!

rbubp said...

anonymous suck-up--

I couldn't concur more with what you're saying. Perhaps it's just coincidence that Jones got called for a phantom penalty in the first game, and a debatable one in the second. Perhaps. I want to know, what in hell was that hit on AJ Green down the sideline where his helmet was ripped off? No penalty, apparently.

Coincidence. Maybe. But kind of a stinky one. And who knows what in hell a horsecollar tackle is, still? Jones grabbed the SC player's shoulder pads; the SC player grabbed Green's HELMET. I know the refs won't get everything, but things right in front of them they ought to get, you know? Yet, how are they gonna get it if nobody knows the rules, and how are the players supposed to play if nobody knows the rules? It's nuts!