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Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Tuesday Tidbits: South Carolina Edition

I'll have lot of notes later tonight, but here are some highlights from today's media session with Mark Richt and players...

-- I'll start with the one that will make fans the angriest. Guess what won't be changing this week on special teams.... Give up? Oh, you mean you didn't even have to think about it? Good point.

No, Georgia won't be kicking deep again. Yes, Blair Walsh will be kicking off again. And yes, this is Richt's reasoning behind it.

“The fans want the long kick, but the longest kick had the longest return. The kicks that were a little shorter had better hang time and ball placement and we covered those better. I wouldn’t say because we kicked deeper that was the cause, necessarily. We should have contained it, surrounded him and forced him inside to where our coverage teams were, and we didn’t do a good job of that.”

-- Richt said he expected Caleb King to be back in the lineup this week. How much action he'll get, however, remains to be seen.

“I don’t think there’s much doubt we’ll play him and get him going and just see how it goes with him," Richt said. "He may get hot. We do plan on him playing in the game. We do plan on him practicing today. We do plan on playing him, but how much depends on this week’s practice and what he does when he gets his opportunities.”

-- There were obviously some concerns about Joe Cox holding on to the ball too long on Saturday. Here's his explanation:

“I knew there were certain plays where I didn’t make as quick a decision as I should have made. When you start looking around, you start getting your eyes in the wrong spot, you start worrying about too much. It’s almost over-analyzing what’s going on. So that’s what I felt was happening with me, but it’s something where you just go back to your basic reads and fundamentals and work on timing.”

-- Mike Bobo accepted a lot of the blame for how bad the offense looked against Oklahoma State, but Richt wasn't exactly endorsing that explanation.

“I think as we watched the film, not to say we couldn’t have called this or that, possibly, but it always comes down to the execution of the play," Richt said. "We didn’t call any plays that we didn’t practice. We didn’t call any plays that didn’t have a chance. We just, for one reason or another, didn’t execute as well. I say that, but that first drive, quite frankly, could have been a five-play job if we were executing extremely well. We’ve got to stay versatile, mix things up. We can’t just sit there and say we’re going to grind it out with everybody that we play. We’ve got to have a good mix of run and pass. I think it was an execution issue more than anything.”

-- It may have seemed odd to everyone else that Marlon Brown and Rantavious Wooten didn't play. It didn't seem too strange to Richt, I guess, but he did say that the two freshmen receivers will get work soon.

“I guess the typical, the game’s tight, you have a young guy that you don’t feel like understands it as well as a veteran guy, you look at your veterans and feel like the guy has enough juice in him to keep going, and you decide not to play those guys," Richt said. "But we cannot go the season with just four receivers, there’s no way. We’ve got to play them, and I told those guys when you practice, you need to be sharp. The sharper you are in practice, that breeds confidence in your coaches to get your opportunities. We need to play them, but they need to continue to get to the point where they’re studying and they’re practicing where it’s going to give them confidence and give the staff confidence.”

-- The lack of PT for Brown and Wooten came as a surprise to A.J. Green, who said he thought both were ready to play. He also said he thought the experience would have been invaluable for both of them.

“It’s very important to get a lot of young guys to get them acclimated to the game and get them some touches to get them comfortable with the offense and show them that they can make plays, too," Green said. "It’s going to be very important.”

-- Green also noted that, despite being moved around to the X, Y and Z receiver positions and working on going in motion more often this preseason, the variations were barely used against Oklahoma State, which accounted, in part, for his minimal impact. He said he expected that to change this week.

-- Richt said Logan Gray could play more, but he didn't exactly say that he WOULD play more.

“He can run our system, and we had planned to get him in the game mostly in the red-zone area," Richt said. "We did get him in there one time, but unfortunately we didn’t get in the red zone very often. Right now, Joe’s definitely the No. 1 guy, and we’ll see if and when Logan will get in there.”

-- And one final entertaining moment after a reporter asked Richt about how healthy Cox actually was last week. Richt stumbled with this answer like Bobo stumbled through his play calling:

“He wasn’t going to tell us. The only thing we could do to gauge it was to stick a thermometer in his mouth or wherever you stick thermometers nowadays..."

"I was thinking like, they stick them on your forehead now…"

"Really, they have them where you just run them on the side of your head and it will take your temperature…"

"All you other people thinking other things, I don’t know what you were thinking about...."

"What was the question again?"


Left to Right said...

It's very discouraging as a fan to hear this mixture of defensiveness and stubborness from Richt. I don't expect him to throw players or coaches under the bus, but I do expect him to recognize and acknowledge problems. I have yet to hear a concrete criticism from Richt regarding the game, other than that the offensive players didn't hold their blocks long enough.

the anonymous suckup said...


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.

BCDawg97 said...

I really, really, really wanted to give the coaches a chance and wait til after the SC game. But this is getting ridiculous. One game into the season and he's already throwing the players under the bus - "It's in the all execution". One game into the season and they are already afraid to put players in. So let me get this straight - Wooten and Marlon are going to get better by practicing rather than playing in a real game situation? And at what point does the staff think that the Carolina game will be any less tight than the OSU game to give them playing time? Or any game on the rest of the schedule? Guess we'll wait to put them in against Tenn Tech. The directional kick - "we're just not covering it well." Then say, "We as coaches are not doing the job" if the kids aren't executing. Then either coach them up in a scheme they can execute or change the damn scheme.

"Well, daggum. We just wait for all the breaks to go exactly our way - because at some point they have to right? No need to actually fix the problems. We just need our players to execute like the NE Patriots." If's ifs and buts were candy and nuts we'd all have a merry christmas.

Stubborn, stubborn, stubborn. We will be lucky to win 8-9 this season. We'll be lucky to back into a few SEC East titles with this mentality. And we will never win a NC.

jferg said...

Obviously the execution was lacking. If we executed to perfection, we would score on every play.

Since that is a given, and CMR is stating the obvious, there must be a reason for it. He's not a rookie at this coaching thing. And, he's lost games before.

So...why would coach point to execution versus game-planning and coaching? Easy---because you can fix execution week to week with practice and film study. You really can't change the coaches week to week without serious negative consequences. If he slams the coaches, there is then dissention in the ranks when oneness is needed. If he publicly chastises Bobo and announces he is taking over play-calling duties for the foreseable future, that would be devastating to the 'team' mentality.
Do I like it? Not really. Do I understand it? Absolutely. Do I expect more from the coaches this week...without a doubt.

UGA69Dawg said...

I don't know how you reporters can listen to this BS with a straight face. I would be laughing out loud. Are the coaches not ultimately responsible for execution?? What have we been doing the last 9 months? IF the scheme is too complicated for our college students simplify it.

John McKay answered the question of his offense's execution best "I'm all for it"

BCDawg97 said...

I think most fans are just starting to get upset with the way we are losing in the last few seasons. The problems that seemingly are becoming consistent and that continually keep costing us.

Anonymous said...

Если врач знает название вашей болезни, это еще не значит, что он знает что это такое. Никогда не приписывай человеческой зловредности того, что можно объяснить обыкновенной глупостью. Человек может долго жить на деньги которые он ждет. Реальность это иллюзия вызываемая отсутствием алкоголя. Женщины едят за разговорами, мужчины едят заедой.

rbubp said...

And thus, those fans who keep calling for us to run, run, run the ball are just not going to get that.

I'm on the fence on this. Is trying to keep a defense off-balance hard in that you out-think yourself and get away from your strengths, or is it harder to operate when the defense knows what's coming even if you do it well?

Hobnail_Boot said...

Hey Coach-

I say this as one of your biggest supporters: quit throwing the players under the bus. It is YOUR JOB to get them ready to execute. End of discussion.

Anonymous said...

let me see if I understand this. It doesnt matter if the defense stacks the box and you dont throw down field cause the failure is on the players execution? No blame on the play calling? Suuuuure, that sounds plausible.

Tommy said...


I don't recall one kickoff -- long or short -- resulting in Okie State starting from behind their 20.

Despite what Rex Robinson says, it is still possible to kick it in the end zone. OSU proved this point on the opening kickoff.

Why do we have Bogotay, anyway?

On another topic, playcalling, I'd be interested in hearing Richt discuss his views on balance vs. running what's working, as the two appear to be mutually exclusive. I don't claim to be the expert, but if we come out of the gate announcing that we're shooting for balance, doesn't that make us predictable? Conversely, if a play has worked 23 times, what could possibly be the argument against running it a 24th time?

David Hale said...

It's a good question, Tommy. I can understand that you don't want to kick deep if you don't think you have anyone with the leg for it. But if that's the case, what the heck did you give Bogotay the scholarship for?

As for the playcalling, I'll have more on this later this week.