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Thursday, November 4, 2010

Mailbag time

Here’s one sign that it’s Week 10 of the football season: You get an apologetic call from a radio producer, saying a segment has gone long and wondering if it would be terrible to ask if you could come on a day later? You say yes, because you completely forgot you had committed to go on their show in the first place.

Hey, sportswriters need bye weeks too.

This being Idaho State week, we were figuring on a light week. Then that screen-shot of Todd Grantham hit the web and … well you know the rest.

Before I hit the mailbag, I’d like to impart a couple random thoughts because, hey, it’s my blog and as Bobby Brown would say: "Every Little Step."

- I miss “Mad Men.” But I have now reached the end of season two of “Breaking Bad,” and I must say I now see what Dave and others were talking about.

- Does anybody watch “Eastbound and Down”? I know a lot of other sportswriters who swear by it, but sometimes the uncomfortable humor doesn’t quite grab me. And while Kenny Powers is a great character, I don’t know about building a show around a guy you can’t root for.

- Random note as I was driving around Athens this afternoon: Martin Luther King Jr. was a great man. Is it so much to ask to name some decent streets after him?

- Anybody else ready for basketball season? I am ... or at least will be after I get a football bye week.

On to the questions:

What is the status of Jarvis Jones’ health? He could really be something next year.
- Robert Burnham

He's been practicing. In fact on Wednesday night Mark Richt, when asked about the redshirting Richard Samuel, said that this may be the best scout team defense he’s seen, adding that he didn’t want to name anybody else. “Jarvis Jones?” I suggested. Richt smiled and said, “You said it, not me.”

Florida really exploited the weaknesses in our strength and conditioning program with the no-huddle offense, and several of Florida’s players bragged about it and mocked us for being out of shape. Will CMR have the guts to fire his Sunday school pal Dave Van Halanager and get himself a real strength and conditioning coach?
- Robert Burnhamm again

This is a question that I’m sure will be addressed at the end of the season. Those comments you linked certainly don’t speak well to the Bulldogs. But two points of fairness: 1) the fault of someone being out of shape often is in the player himself, and 2) in some eyes, those comments by themselves wouldn't serve as an indictment of the entire S&C program.

Why did anyone care about Todd Grantham taunting Chas Henry? If Henry didn’t mind, then I shouldn’t.
- Lucas Puente

That opinion was shared by many. One problem, however, is that Henry’s comments didn’t come out until Wednesday, three days after the choke-sign made its way to the Interwebs. It wasn’t really the taunting that got people riled up, it was the choking sign. Grantham, a 44-year-old coach earning $750,000 a year, probably didn’t need to be getting into it with a 21-year-old. But it wasn’t the end of the world, and I think the story has pretty much died out.

I’m not happy with the record, but I don’t see reason for all the end of the world talk. Objectively, are we not 10 or so plays from being a top 10 team?
- Wes Hutchison

Eh, I don’t know about that. A good team wins close games, and Georgia has lost all of them this year. And in the first three losses – to South Carolina, Arkansas and Mississippi State – the Bulldogs were simply not the best team on the field.

Here’s what I think you can say: If A.J. Green doesn’t sell that jersey, Georgia may win two, or possibly all, of those first three games. And if he doesn’t get cramps at Colorado, the Dogs probably win that too.

Your take on McGarity’s honest view of UGA future under Richt? Particularly having observed UGA from the UF side, and 18 of 21.
- Clark Milner

I don’t want to climb into his head too much. But based on what McGarity said last week before the Florida game, I think he – and the administration in general – want to keep Richt around. And barring a collapse, and another off-field issue, that will probably be the case.

As for the vantage point from Florida, keep in mind that the Gators have defeated a lot of people the last two decades under Steve Spurrier and then Urban Meyer. The problem, as Gainesville Sun writer Pat Dooley pointed out last week, is Ron Zook didn’t beat as many people, but he had a winning record against the Bulldogs.

What do Grantham and Rodney Garner think has caused the play of the D-line to improve the past few weeks? It’s been great in my opinion.
- BulldogBrock

It may not be so much the front three as the front seven. Especially with the Bulldogs employing a lot of nickel and dime packages with only two down-linemen. But from speaking to DeAngelo Tyson and Demarcus Dobbs, they do seem more comfortable in their roles, so I’m sure that helped.

What’s your opinion of the walk-on from Fayetteville, Matthew Sweat?
- Chris Sudduth

Well … I’m sure he’s a fine guy and player, but I’ve never seen him play. I do know that Matthew Sweet, who got his start in the 1980s Athens music scene, had a hit with the song “Girlfriend.” And I also dug Keith Sweat and his high-top fade back in the day.

Understand there was a player injured, when will we find out?
- Jason Arnold

Yeah, Richt mentioned this after Wednesday’s practice, but said he didn’t want to name the player because he didn’t want his mom finding out via the web. Now I don’t know if that means it’s serious, or they’re just going to be cautious with a player because it’s just Idaho State week. We shall see.

Since (Clint) Bolilng and both Davis’s will be leaving this year, can you ask about how (Brent) Benedict, (Austin) Long and (Chris) Burnette are rehabbing?
- Andrew Hamilton

By the way Andrew, great name. You could design the U.S. financial system and then win the War of 1812. Or at least win the last battle and mark the war down as a draw. (Sorry, History minor in college nerd-ness.)

We’ll ask about those linemen after the season. I do think next year’s front five will be interesting to watch: Sturdivant, Ben Jones and Cordy Glenn should form the veteran core, Kenarious Gates will be a sophomore and the coaches also like Tanner Strickland, Dallas Lee and A.J. Harmon. The line may not be that much of a worry next year.

Of course, it wasn't supposed to be this year either.

When are we gonna start seeing more of the younger Dawgs playing, especially on D. I’ve seen Ogletree but what about Garrison Smith?
- Ernie Zuckercorn

The Idaho State game should be a good chance for those guys to get extended playing time. Ogletree has been brought along rather slowly, but it’s no secret that tools-wise he may be the best they have at safety. Garrison Smith’s redshirt was burned relatively late (the fifth game, against Colorado), so there’s no reason not to use him. Another guy who would have played a lot, had he not gotten hurt at Colorado, was T.J. Stripling.

Do we have a kickoff time for UGA-Ga. Tech?
- Stephen Jackson

Nope. Should be announced the Monday after the Auburn game. Because the Iron Bowl is on Friday this year, there isn’t a surefire CBS pick on Saturday: LSU at Arkansas, South Carolina at Clemson, Florida at Florida State, Mississippi State at Ole Miss, Kentucky at Tennessee … So frankly, it’s anyone’s guess.

What’s your favorite color?
- Jacob Massee

Blue … no green! (Monty Python and the Holy Grail reference).
I’m a big fan of magenta. Also honey-dew, or sienna. Basically, any color that sounds like a stripper name.

Have you had the McRib and is it worth trying?
- Ginny Sanderlin

No, but I may soon. Another sign of being worn down by the season: On Wednesday I went to the gym, knowing I badly needed a workout. After a mile on the treadmill (I usually do four), I gave up. And on the way home I stopped at Burger King and got a Whopper.

Some days, ya just gotta do what you gotta do.


TomReagan said...

I've been pretty critical of Van Halanger myself, but doesn't the fact that Georgia outplayed Florida by a pretty wide margin in the second half do a lot to undercut the whole "we were in much better shape than them" argument?

Anonymous said...

Was it Florida's superior conditioning, or corch's genius that resulted in them torching UGA for 10 second half points while Georgia went through their D like a hot knife through butter?

Herschel Blogger said...

Ginny, I have had two McRibs (had to drown my FL sorrows somehow) and while I fully understood what I was getting myself into (my stomach soon found out afterwards,) I must say that they were delicious. I was not expecting much, and was pleasantly surprised.

Enjoy, and buy some Tums.

Anonymous said...

Florida players were not the only ones that said our guys were out of shape.South Carolina players said the same thing. Wake up folks, this program is heading in the wrong direction !

SSB Charley said...

Seth, I'm a little perplexed by the Hamilton reference. He was dead for eight years by the time the War of 1812 rolled around, shot down in a duel by Aaron Burr.

BCSAV said...

Seth, will you be blogging during basketball season? I hope so because this team is going to be a lot of fun.

Hobnail_Boot said...

Chris Rock put it best. No matter where you are in America, if you find yourself on MLK then you can be sure there's some violence going down.

Anonymous said...

what smart ass asks about your favorite color. You should stop giving these knuckleheads the time of day! You are better than that Seth.