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Friday, September 17, 2010

Mailbag, part deux

First off, I’ll check in with A.J. Green news as soon as there is some. Hopefully there's a ruling today, but as Mark Richt said, there’s no guarantee.

(I’d also like to thank the NCAA for pushing the appeal back to Friday, the day my parents arrive from Washington. I’m sure they’re going to appreciate me checking my Blackberry constantly while I show them around Athens.)

In the meantime, here comes another mailbag. See, I made a clarion call for questions, published my mailbag on Thursday, then got more questions. Hey, double-dipping may be verboten for George Costanza, but not for This Blog That Occasionally Needs Material.

Let’s start with an email from Steve, if that’s his real name, which I suspect it is:

I just watched Chris Low's preview for the UGA-ARK game and he said the key for Georgia will be to load up the line and make Mallett throw the ball more. Do you think its a good idea to encourage their best player to get the ball in his hands more often? I know our run D was pretty bad, and I am encouraged by our secondary, but still, with the talent they have on offense do you think that's going to be our game plan? Thought it could be an interesting topic of conversation.

I see where Chris is coming from: You almost have to assume Mallett will get his touchdowns, so you make sure Arkansas’ running game doesn’t add to the damage. It’s sort of like drawing up a gameplan against a big-time player in basketball: Do you try to stop Kobe Bryant, or grant him his 35-40 points and make Lamar Odom and Pau Gasol beat you?

Georgia’s coaches obviously weren’t going around talking about their gameplan. But given their secondary’s athleticism, I could see them concentrating their front seven on stopping the run and applying pressure, and telling Brandon Boykin, Vance Cuff and company: “OK, it’s on you, take care of it.”

The other way you take Mallett out of it as much as possible is on the other side of the ball. Georgia has to run the ball well on Saturday, which it hasn’t done in the first two games. The lower the score, the better for the Bulldogs on Saturday, in my opinion. (Despite last year’s result.)

With Bean out, any word on how much they'll use Geathers to sub for Tyson?
- Boxer Technology (via Twitter)

You’d think, but as Todd Grantham pointed out the other day, they’re not playing South Carolina and Marcus Lattimore again, they’re playing Arkansas and its passing attack. The reason Tyson played the entire game last week was that Georgia was stuck in a nickel package – because the Gamecocks were lining up three receivers, yet running it up the gut. That caught the Bulldgs off guard, but they said they’re changing their nickel personnel packages now to prevent that.

But while we may look at Geathers and Bean and see size, the coaches look at them and see youth and inexperience. Tyson may not be as big, but he knows the schemes better, and coaches rely heavily on that. If Geathers plays a lot against Arkansas, it’ll be a reflection that he’s picking up the schemes quicker than he had been.

Opening up the offense? Who wins? Richt or Bobo?
- Boxer Technology (again, via Twitter)

The more I think about it this week, the more confused I am. Richt might have approached Bobo and said, “Look I keep saying we’re gonna open it up, and we are, but now Arkansas will be prepping for that, so come out and say we’re not, just to keep them on their toes.” Or did Bobo really feel differently – and possibly win out on keeping things tighter, unless Green is cleared? We’ll find out Saturday.

Young Guns 1 or Young Guns 2?
- CBW (via Twitter)

The first is usually the best, with some exceptions: Superman 2, Empire Strikes Back, Godfather 2 (equal to the original), and Two Towers (my favorite of the trilogy.) Honestly, the Young Gun movies are too far back for me to give an honest opinion, but the original had quite a supporting cast: Jack Palance, Terry O’Quinn (of LOST fame), Terence Stamp (the evil Zod of Superman 2). Whereas Young Guns 2 had on its soundtrack “Blaze of Glory,” which is really the only Bon Jovi song I like (solo or group.) Apologies to all Bon Jovi groupies out there; I hope you keep reading the blog.

Question - didn't CMR call the plays from 2001-05.....Hum
- TruDawg1970 (via Twitter)

I think you meant “Hmmmm.” Unless you did mean to hum. Which is cool. In any event, Richt did call the plays those years. I guess your point is that the team was much more successful back then. You’re right, but having covered the team during the 2004 season, I remember the clamor to have Richt give up the playcalling, because people felt his other head coaching duties were getting in the way.

He did a year later, to Bobo, and now here we are.

Who's more important for 2011 class Isaiah Crowell or top notch wideout? Is Jarvis Jones or will he be the real deal?
- Jonah2285 (via Twitter)

From a depth standpoint, it’s Crowell, since the Bulldogs haven’t signed a running back yet. As far as an immediate impact, it’s a toss-up. Can Marlon Brown, Tavarres King or someone else be “The Man” for Aaron Murray in 2011? At tailback, Washaun Ealey, Caleb King and Ken Malcome are all still set to return. But if Crowell is really that good, he’ll play.

Prediction on how many sacks for Georgia this weekend?
- Richmond Dawg (via Twitter)

I was listening to the Arkansas game on the radio on the way home from Columbia last Saturday, and Louisiana-Monroe seemed to be getting more pressure on Mallett than you’d expect. Georgia had five sacks last week, but Mallett has a quicker release than Stephen Garcia, so I’ll guess in the three-to-four sack range.

Top recruit Isaiah Crowell supposedly needs a ride to Athens Saturday. Any suggestions?
- Memphibious

Ya know what, so far I have a good relationship with the Georgia compliance office. I’m gonna try and keep it that way.

1 comment:

John said...

Appeal unsuccessful. No reduction in suspension for A.J.