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Sunday, November 29, 2009

Sunday Teleconference Notes (11/29)

Mark Richt didn't hold his regular Sunday teleconference today because he was out of town for a family function, according to the UGA sports information department. As of today, the plan for the coming week is not to hold any bowl practices either. This is a change from what Richt said last week when he said he expected the team to practice twice.

We did, however, get a chance to speak with a handful of the players today, who said they haven't been told anything regarding the assistant coaches but said they have, like everyone, heard many of the rumors. Joe Cox said the team will meet tomorrow, and he assumed that meeting would be to discuss scheduling during the next month.

Here are a few of the other tidbits to come from the player interviews...

-- Not surprisingly, the players said they had no idea what bowl they might be going to and weren't holding out hope for any one in particular.

-- Clint Boling said it was a particularly jubilant locker room after the game. "I don't know if I can really put it into words. It was a great feeling, everybody was just really excited and jumping up and down and things like that. It was a really good feeling after the way this year has been."

-- Joe Cox echoed what many of you have said about the game -- Mark Richt was as focused and serious as he has been in the past. "You could definitely notice it. He had a chip on his shoulder for this game just like we did. That was good to see. You could definitely see he wanted this game more than anything. He coached hard and he had a lot of pride in this game."

-- Rennie Curran and Jeff Owens said the defense's primary goal was to stop Jonathan Dwyer coming into the game, and that's exactly what they did. Dwyer was held to just 33 yards rushing.

-- Clint Boling on the O line's more physical approach: "We knew if we were going to help the defense we had to keep their offense off the field, and to do that we had to run the ball. We just wanted to go out and play hard and I think we did that."

-- Rennie was at the Falcons game today. He said he got plenty of dirty looks from Tech fans who recognized him, which was by far the highlight of his afternoon.


Anonymous said...

Thanks for the update. "Out of town for a family function." Can't help but wonder if that's code or something. I know this can't be easy for anyone.

rbubp said...

I think it's probably called "getting out of town for some r & r" after a tough grind for four straight months. I know that's what I'd be doing...trying to get myself as refreshed as possible in a short little break.
But who knows...code is possible too.

Blog Goliard said...

Boy that felt good yesterday. A fan still frets though.

For one, I hope Richt & co. figure out how to make effective use of their offensive talent earlier next season.

(I don't think this is a problem unique to Georgia, not by a longshot...a lot of coaches invest so much in a "system" and a style of offense, and keep trying to jam the peg of their talent into it, even if it is square and their system is round.)

It should be clear to everyone now in hindsight that our offensive scheme for the year ought to have had three pillars:

1) King and Ealey, run run run and run some more.

2) Break things up a bit with deep shots downfield, especially on play-action.

3) Find the right arrangement of O-line personnel much earlier, to make the above possible.

Regarding #1, I felt we finally saw what our running game was capable of for a whole game on Saturday. I have long been haunted by the fear that this staff isn't inclined to make the most of their tailback talent--that if we had had the second coming of Herschel on our team this decade, his career would have been excellent and acclaimed...yet also Heisman-less and MNC-less and generally indistinguishable from Knowshon's.

Anyhow, here's hoping enduring lessons were learned from our late-season running successes.

Blog Goliard said...

I also remain at least as scared as I am hopeful about the potential for coaching changes. David alluded to the fact that firings of assistant coaches are often not a sign of renewal, but instead of continued decline and a head coach on his way out.

I have no trouble coming up with negative examples from the last decade or so, but for some reason am having trouble thinking of positive examples. Maybe it's just a mental block on my part...who can list for us some cases in which firings of coordinators, departures of position coaches, &c. led to rapid renewal of a program under the same head coach?

In a related note, presuming odds are good that change will bring improvement...just how radical a change do we really need in light of what happened over in Atlanta? Consider if we'd managed to pull off the following:

a) Stop LSU on that final drive (or get lucky with them dropping a pass or something and stopping themselves)

b) Hang onto the second-half kickoff against Kentucky, do a better job of taking the air out of the ball in the second half, don't fumble the ball away on the 2...take your pick from that game.

c) Either show up against Tennessee, or win the bowl game.

None of those would have been especially tall orders, would they? And that's just how close this team came to having yet another 10-win season, in what was in so many respects a very difficult year.

I don't want to over-interpret Saturday's game--it didn't suddenly change everything. But I believe it did make even clearer than before that the program is not in a tail-spin, we continue to have at least as much to lose as to gain from any potential changes, and above all this is no time to panic.

Scott said...

some random thoughts after the game. Good to see Q Banks come in after Bryan Evans got hurt, made a solo tackle right away. But, why isn't Sanders Commings playing on D?

Mickey Shamrock said...

Being the Texas fan that I am, I can tell you that two years ago, Mack Brown wasn't terribly thrilled with either Greg Davis (OC) or Duane Akina (DC). He'd just lost Chizik the year before and Texas had a three-loss season that included back-to-back losses against K-State and A&M followed by a narrow and very-underwhelming bowl victory of Iowa.

So, he hired Major Applewhite away from Bama to help Davis with offensive gameplans (without stripping his title) and lured Muschamp from Auburn, demoting Akina in the process. And the 23-1 record since that change speaks pretty well for the move.

So yes, it can work.....but who's out there to bring in?

Harris said...

Sorry to change the subject:


Why has nobody posted a link to this video and commented on it?

Matthew Stafford showed some toughness in the Lions win over the Browns.

Blog Goliard said...

Thanks, Mickey. The Texas example is a good and hopeful one.

Just one data point...but does it indicate that we'd be better off if Martinez was demoted but stayed on staff? I've been more comfortable with that scenario all along myself, if he'd be okay with it--and if we could lure a Muschamp-grade coordinator, of course.

Mickey Shamrock said...

I'd also like that scenario, as (yes I'm going to say this) I think the guy's a great secondary coach. However, I'm completely blanking out on great D-coordinators that we'd have a shot at luring to Athens. It's interesting, there's a lot of mid-major type teams in the top 25 in scoring defense in the country, but I couldn't tell you who their DC is. I have a feeling that Dawg fans want a name, and I don't see any way they're going to get it...

rbubp said...

But, you guys, the new coordinator generally comes with the right to pick his staff. This is one reason CMR has been so reluctant to hire a new coordinator--it likely means they're all gone, and that's a lot of turmoil on any staff.

BTW, Miles got rid of those two stumblebums at DC last year and replaced them with Chavis--a significant improvement that has helped their record. One of the ways you get a coordinator is to see where somebody good is being forced out because of an HC change. Or you lure one from somebody else, obviously.

Blue Gill said...

Thanks Harris. That is a must watch video.

RC said...

Back in 1995 Spurrier demoted the architect of the "Roast-and-Toast" (Spurrier's own name for it) defense, Ron Zook, and brought in Bob Stoops to completely revamp it and won the MNC the next year.

That was another case of the DC accepting a demotion to remain on staff, but I can't say as I'm in favor of that arrangement. It's very rare in any organization to demote a department head and insist that their replacement leave them in place. Even more rare that it works out.

RC said...

BTW, David...I don't mean to look a gift horse in the mouth, but I'd be curious to know what Richt and Bobo were thinking when calling for the screen pass on 3rd and 4 on our last drive, immediately before Walsh's missed attempt, especially in light of Richt's comments on how confident he was in Walsh's ability to make it. Wouldn't it have made more sense to have Ealey or King run it up the gut one more time, with the best case scenario being earning the first down, and the worst case centering the ball between the hashes, and ostensibly picking up another yard or two, rather than losing the two or three that the actual play did?

rbubp said...

You know, RC, we were running the ball so well, but that were also probably expecting the run, and if they were stacking up to stop it PLUS playing a run blitz, it might actually be less risky to run a screen pass because of the possibility of a similar yardage loss on a run play the defense is stacking the box to stop.

Just sayin.'

RC said...

Stacking the box to that point hadn't netted them much to that point. They had slowed the bleeding a bit, but hadn't stopped us all night. If you are going to pass in that situation, why wouldn't you at least play-action it to take a shot at the endzone, or run a bootleg to White or Charles? either of those are safer plays than lobbing a ball into the middle of the line, where it easily could have been intercepted.

Trust me, I'm thrilled with the end result, but would have much rather landed the knockout blow right there- or at least given ourselves a better chance at it- than having to sweat out the remaining 3+ minutes.

Blue Gill said...

The screen pass was the only play that I dog-cussed Bobo until I got dizzy.

I am not going to piss and moan about it now. It turned out okay.

But I would be lying if I did not admit that the wife had to take the kids out of the room for a while after that play.