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Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Mailbag time

Before I delve into the ol' mailbag, allow me to make yet another plea:

Look, I know everyone’s upset about how things are going on the field, but I still need you to keep it clean on the comments section, and refrain from personal attacks. I’ve had to delete too many comments lately.

Your point can be made without all the bad words; and as I’ve said before, putting dollar signs instead of an ‘s’ or something like that, doesn’t count.

Hopefully there can be a civil, if spirited, discussion on this board. It doesn’t have to be the Algonquin Roundtable, but it doesn’t have to be the South Korean parliament.

Now I’ll climb off the soapbox and reach into the satchel:

- So (Mark) Richt is officially on the hot seat?
Johncpacker (via Twitter)

Perhaps, given what I just said, this wasn’t the best way to open. But hey, let’s get it out of the way.

My sense is that no, Richt’s job is not in any immediate jeopardy. This season has plenty left in it, and while the arrests are a stain, Richt still has plenty of goodwill around the Butts-Mehre building. That includes Greg McGarity, even though he only met Richt last month. McGarity also strikes me as a very pragmatic athletics director who does not feel like he has to make a statement.

That said, I always say this about hypothetical future scenarios: It’s one thing to sit here and say nothing will happen as long as the team finishes with such-and-such record. It’s another thing when such-and-such actually happens. If this season does go off the rails, things could get pretty interesting around here. But for the moment, the outside perception of Richt’s hot seat, and the perception around Athens, are two different things.

Don't know if it's just me but I think A.J. owes the Dawgs another year having missed '2 of the 3 most important games of the dawgs season. Thoughts?
- Chase Moroy

I received several questions along these lines. The short answer is no, I think everyone still expects A.J. to go pro. Who knows, he might feel like he owes Georgia for his mistake. But even if he did, I suspect a lot of people around him – family, friends, maybe even teammates and coaches – will tell him that he also owes it to himself to make the best decision for his own pro future.

How bad do you think our image was tarnished in the eyes of the visiting recruits on Saturday? (Crowell, etc.)
- Dawgfan80 (via Twitter)

Eh, that kind of thing is always in the eye of the beholder, but I doubt it was tarnished much. A few fans left early, and it was a loss, but there were still 70-80,000 loud fans in there in the final few minutes.

Has Coach Richt been asked about playing young guys, next season, schedule is most favorable maybe ever.
- CRS19 (via Twitter)

Aren’t they playing enough young players right now? You’ve got a freshman quarterback, a relatively young secondary, and non-seniors at receiver, tight end, and most of the defense. Besides, way, way too early to pack it in this season.

Kris Durham has been playing extremely well and has great "intangible qualities": solid leader, good person, hard worker. That said, do you see him being drafted this year (barring a lockout)?
- boilingforheisman

I could see Kris as a second-day pick. Well third day, the way they do it now. He is tall, and has shown he can produce so far this season. But NFL teams won’t be thrilled with his injury history.

As a journalist, is it more enjoyable to cover a team that is winning rather than losing? Coming from South Carolina, I recognize that you have little experience from a winning perspective but the complete wretchedness of the team must be taking a toll upon a professional paid to cover the Bulldogs. Right now, you couldn't pay me enough to watch a whole game, much less, enter that locker room. As a native Athenian, the state of the Bulldog nation has a direct correlation with my quality of life but does the awfulness of this team affect your professional and/or personal perceptions?
- David Ellison

This is a very astute question, and I hope I’m not boring anyone by answering it.

We get asked all the time whether we prefer to cover a winning or losing team. Objectively, it’s not supposed to matter. But realistically, yeah it is easier to interview guys about how great they’re doing than keep asking why things are going wrong. And when you’re writing about a losing team, you tend to get more angry reactions from players, coaches and others, which doesn’t make your day better. And believe me, I’ve covered some bad teams (South Carolina basketball, Maryland football, to name a few.)

But there are still good stories, and good opportunities for journalism, on losing teams. Not that this Georgia team is in that category yet. I wouldn’t call it “wretched” quite yet. We’re only three games in, people.

Part of the reason I elected to come here was I was excited to cover a winning program, but more importantly a very visible one. Win or loss, Georgia fans will care, and will read about their team. That’s what a journalist worries about the most: Apathy from his readership. From what I’ve seen so far, apathy will not be a concern on this beat.

Does the '11 class have the right type of defensive players for Grantham's system?
- Eric A. Davidson

I’m not a recruiting guru, but Rodney Garner has said they have adjusted their recruiting philosophy. Here’s what he said in August:

“I think you have to evaluate your current personnel, how it fits your system. We had a personnel meeting yesterday, just seeing do we have the ingredients to be what coach Grantham envisions in defensive ends. So we’ve had to tweak some numbers at particular positions. We say Hey we may need more of this and less of that. It definitely changes some of your philosophy, because there may have been some guys that fit into the other system that may not quite fit right now.”

Think a good question is are people as upset with CMB as they were with CWM before he got fired?
- HunkerDownDawgs (via Twitter)

It definitely seems like Mike Bobo is the new pinata for Georgia fans.

The only thing about Murray that drives me crazy is he holds the ball forever sometimes, no internal clock on the rush
- CRS19 (via Twitter)

The coaches have said this too, but it’s a common freshman error. They don’t want to make a mistake by throwing to the wrong receiver or into coverage, so they wait too long. What Murray needs to do is get a better sense of the pocket and when he needs to check down, throw it away, etc.


Anonymous said...

I think part of the reason that Murray has held onto the ball a bit too long is that he has been throwing after a play-action the majority of the time. This cuts down on his ability to read the defense and check down on his receivers. I think this represents poor coaching on behalf of Bobo.

Anonymous said...

Seth, good job. However, I'm still confused why everybody calls this team young. 10 of the 11 defensive starters have been in the program for 3+ years. I know its a new scheme but they aren't all redshirt freshman either.

The offense has 9 starters back from last year. I think we will get better as the season progresses but this team is not real young.

Anonymous said...

AJ Green doesn't owe UGA jack, and I suggest that the emailer disabuse himself of that notion, and soon, because he's not staying. AJ Green owes UGA his 8 best ballgames over the coming months, and after that, he's out of here. AJ Green screwed us pretty hard with the sale of that jersey, but he paid a price too. He's lost reputation, he's gained some tough questions to answer at the combine, and he's lost a chance at an SEC Championship ring that he can sell after he leaves. AJ is, by all accounts, a great guy and he will hopefully be a credit to UGA from now on. But, he clearly needs money, or he wouldn't have gotten into this jam in the first place. Plus, AJ is well aware that he's missed significant time in his first two years due to injuries. He knows that he could just as easily have blown a knee against U-La-La and missed SC, Ark, and MSU due to injury. He doesn't owe UGA those wins. And he knows that if he stays, he could just as easily suffer a career-ender when Bobo calls some brain-dead play. Kiss him goodbye.

Anonymous said...

David Ellison, if you can only be bothered to watch an entire Georgia football game when the team is winning, then the Georgia Bulldogs don't want you, don't need you, and would thank you to kindly stop following the program.