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Thursday, February 10, 2011

Another record-long mailbag

There was almost a system overload due to all the questions. Sorry I couldn’t get to all of them, but hopefully we’ll have another mailbag next week.

As for this week, let’s go:

Is there a timeline on our new defensive coach? And who is calling the shots on that hire? Also, what is the missing piece that the (Mark) Fox needs to get our basketball club "over the hump"? It seems like we are stuck at a particular level and can't quite elevate to that "next level.
- Carlos

I received several questions about the soon-to-be defensive coach. Todd Grantham will pretty much have carte blanche to make that hire, so it won’t be very useful to speculate on it. Last year, who had heard of Scott Lakatos or Warren Belin? And for that matter, a lot of names were thrown around for the O-line job, and it ended up going to Will Friend, who was also largely an unknown.

As for Fox and the “next level,” keep in mind that this year’s team already has more wins than last year, and still has a 50-50 shot, perhaps better, at making the NCAAs. Let’s see how things finish up.

Has Fox given any reasons for the teams seemingly consistent lack-luster approach for long periods of times in the past few weeks? In almost every game starting with UT at home you can point to a half where the team just simply didn't appear to have any urgency? I am REALLY worried that the Auburn game exposed Georgia as being simply mediocre.
- Joe McCollum

The Bulldogs can only hope that it was a midseason slump, and not their weaknesses being exposed. The problem the past couple weeks is that in every game there have been not one, but multiple players having bad nights: Thompkins and Leslie at Kentucky, Ware and Robinson against Xavier, and so on.

Seth - since the NT is shaping up as perhaps the most talked about position on the team, who besides Jenkins will push for playing time? Geathers? Has Mike Thornton made any progress? Anderson?
- John

It sounds like it’ll be the Jenkins show once he arrives on campus. But presuming DeAngelo Tyson shifts to end for spring practice, that will give the guys you mentioned – perhaps not Anderson if he moves back to offense – a chance to show whether they should get some snaps at nose too.

What percentage of rumors do you hear that actually become true and reported?
- David

I love this question.

The short answer is about between 25-40 percent. You wouldn’t believe the amount of time beat guys spend chasing rumors that don't end up being true - or at least not the full, accurate story.

For instance, the other morning when the Washaun Ealey stuff was percolating, I was getting a lot of questions from fans on Twitter along the lines of: ‘Well, what’s going on? Tell us something!’ I couldn’t answer because I was still reporting the story, and – like the other responsible mainstream journalists that cover this beat – I was waiting to write something until it was on the record or I had enough confidence in the sourcing to go with it.

Some other people like to give their readers a blow-by-blow account of their reporting, which in my mind is irresponsible. But maybe that’s just me. I mean, there were people passing along information that Ealey was off the team. Well guess what, he wasn’t.

1 - Where would you rank Murray in terms of SEC QBs heading into 2011?

2 - I know Jarvis is expected to play both ILB and OLB, but do you think the coaches really want to play him at one or the other and are just waiting for someone else to step up to allow him to do so, or do they genuinely not know where to play him?
- Steve

1-I think I said I’d blog this eventually. It’s hard to say because so many teams will have new QBs (Alabama, Arkansas, Auburn, Kentucky and Ole Miss). But among the returning starters, I think you’d have to put Murray near the top alongside Stephen Garcia and John Brantley. (And perhaps Chris Relf.)

2-I get the impression they want to find a definite spot for Jones, preferably by the end of spring practice, then go from there. But it could end up depending on whether Richard Samuel does well on the inside, or Cornelius Washington on the outside, etc.

Did UGA hire the nutritionist from UF? Has she started and what changes has she made?
- Anonymous

Nope. McGarity is still looking at hiring a department-wide nutritionist but it hasn’t happened yet. Rex Bradberry, who was put in charge of the football team’s nutrition last summer, remains in that role.

Did Richt and co. offer the #1 jersey to Crowell? If so, what about B. Smith?
- Jon B.

I hadn’t heard that. But I’ll be watching Branden Smith’s always-interesting Twitter feed to see if he says anything.

Another request for info on Ken Malcome's development. Also, were your manly senses offended by the film of Cameron Diaz feeding popcorn to A-Rod on national TV?
- Coon Dawg

On Malcome, I wouldn’t be surprised if he shares time with Crowell, or if he’s fourth or fifth on the depth chart. It’s that wide open right now.

As for A-Rod, I thought the popcorn-feeding from Mary was funny, but when I heard A-Rod got so angry at FOX for showing it he demanded an apology … Well, do we need any more reasons to think he’s a preening phony?

What position do you see as being the weakest on the basketball team whether it be talent, depth or both? How about the opposing teams propensity for driving to the basket which was clearly evident against Xavier with the ability of the guard to continually split the double team. Does that boil down to scheme, effort or talent? It just seems that we are weak defending the pick and roll.
- Stevo

It’s depth, since Thompkins-Leslie-Robinson should be a dynamic trio. But it’s also perimeter defense, which has been exposed lately. And not just 3-point shooting defense, but like you said the ability of opposing guards to create off the dribble.

Also is there a strength coach assigned to the men’s and women’s basketball program (they sure could use one)?
- Cleveland Williams

Sean Hayes, who used to be the strength coordinator for Clemson’s hoops team and has worked with the Buffalo Bills, came aboard last year.

If Ealy's suspension stems from missing a punishment run and strength staff has the most contact with players during this part of the offseason, do you get the feeling that this is Coach T cracking down and upping accountability? Also, I don’t follow twitter but after Coach T told players to lay off complaining about the workouts has the chatter stopped and do you think he can help instill a talk less and do more attitude in the players that seems to be lacking?
- New York Dawg

I don’t know all the particulars of the Ealey suspension, so I wouldn’t want to speculate. As for the workouts in general, I think with any change there’s going to be a reaction, and it’ll sound wonderful to fans. But Tereshinski, when I spoke to him, scoffed a bit at all the talk of how tough his workouts are. I’m not saying the whole thing is overrated – let’s just not print BCS championship shirts because players say they’re getting stronger. I think the change is probably going to work out (pun intended) for the better. But how much better is an open question.

I contributed too much to my Roth IRA this year and now have to recharacterize that overage into a Traditional IRA (or face a penalty). Can you offer some guidance?
- Clee

Yes. Send me all your money and I’ll figure it out. (Note to editors: I will soon be retiring. Make plans accordingly.)

What are your thoughts and what are you hearing about Tompkins and his stock in NBA draft if he left early? Same with Leslie?
- Anonymous has Leslie the 26th-overall prospect for the next draft, while Thompkins is 30th. That might seem in reverse order of the conventional wisdom, but there it is.

ESPN named Mike Bobo one of the top recruiters of the year. Do you think all the venomous comments/ posters need to keep this in mind when they start to rant and rave about firing Bobo, firing Richt, firing UGA VIII, firing Russ, etc?
- Russ for Uga IX in ‘011

They probably should. Will they? Well …

Since (Jadevon) Clowney seems to be unsure about his pick and while now it seems Clemson is now in the mix more so than Bama, is UGA actively pursuing this kid or can UGA make room for him?
- Anonymous

No, I have heard nothing about Georgia getting involved. South Carolina is still the clear favorite.

What do you think are the reasons the GA basketball team struggles to score in the halfcourt against good defenses? Lack of ballhandlers who can score? Lack of good spot-up shooters?
- T-Dawg

The simple – and most correct – answer is the lack of shooters. Gerald Robinson is a great slasher, so that’s not the problem. Trey Thompkins is also getting trapped a lot in the low-post, and the Bulldogs need to get better at taking advantage of that.

Do you think there is some dissent from the veteran team members on how the red carpet was rolled out for these new recruits? If so, what do you think the coaches will do to try and fix this?
- Anonymous

If there is some dissent, I haven’t seen it. Plus, a 6-7 record has a way of leveling egos. I’m not sure Washaun Ealey or Caleb King can complain about the coaches trying hard for Crowell. On the other hand, DeAngelo Tyson is thrilled about John Jenkins being signed.

Is it another year before Outlaw is eligible? Who is our current "big man" at WR?
- Buddha Dawg

Yes, Lonnie Outlaw is at GMC and the earliest he would enroll at Georgia would be spring 2012. Marlon Brown is the “big man” right now.

Do you think Mubarak's imminent resignation will begin a cascading effect of 'people's revolutions' in moderate Arab states, thus jeopardizing the tenuous stability of the Middle East, and perhaps emboldening the Islamic Fundamentalists towards expansionism.
More importantly, what are the key needs on both sides of the ball next year for 2012 recruiting.
- Anonymous

The Egypt thing kind of died down, didn't it? The American media attention span just doesn’t last long. My answer to the question of the future in the Middle East would be too long and complex, but put me in the camp of people who think democracy there would be great and all, but worry whether it would turn into another Iran instead.

As for the 2012 recruiting class, since they signed so many quality guys last week, the only one that really jumps out at me is a star, No. 1 receiver. But as happened this past season, I’m sure 2011 will reveal some other needs.

Does your source in the State Department still believe the Jasmine Revolution will have no effect on other nations in the Middle East? Does he/she want to make any other predictions?
- Rebounding Dawg

Hey, my source hasn’t been wrong yet. Mubarack is still in power and even when he does step down we don’t know that it’ll be a full-fledged republic taking his place.

Seth, is Georgia through recruiting in football for the 2011 class? Also, have you heard anything about Ealey transferring?And lastly, do you prefer a flat tax or value added tax over the current progressive tax? Thanks.
- Anonymous

Yes they’re done recruiting for 2011, unless something lands in their lap. Ealey’s situation remains fluid, but I don't get the sense Georgia is running him off. And I prefer a progressive tax because I think it’s showed it can work when the government isn’t throwing away money.

Why do comments left through your white background page not show up on your gray background page and visa versa? Will Jenkins be enrolling right away?
- CalifDawg

It’s a two-blog system, one each on the Macon and Columbus platforms. I’m told that’s going to change soon, which should make life easier for everyone.
Jenkins is set to enroll in the summer, and is still attending his junior college.

Seth, are there any of this years recruits that have not or maybe in trouble of not qualifying academically?
- Tim

I’m not aware of any specifically that are huge risks, but there always seem to be one or two that don’t make it.

Was the Boise State game CMR idea for recruiting reasons for the 2011 Dream Team?
- Anonymous

No, it was Greg McGarity's idea in order to make a bit more money and free the schedule up from a Louisville series he wasn't keen on. It's fine and all that Richt mentioned it to recruits, but I seriously doubt Isaiah Crowell decided to come to Georgia because his first game would be against Boise State. (Now the fact that Richt said Crowell may START against Boise State, yeah that might've mattered.)

Are you seeing any backlash from the players about the recent changes (S&C, Team Meals, etc)? Backlash is probably a stronger word than I'm trying to ask, but you get my drift.
- Regular Guy

Yeah I get what you’re saying. I’m not exactly hanging out with the guys so I couldn’t tell you. But much like the recruiting, I think the way the season finished has more players ready for change than resistant to it.

Where is Chase Vasser on the depth chart?
- Anonymous

Special teams, with some possibility of spot action on defense.

Have you had the pleasure of taking down a k-bob and fries from Keba Spitfire Grill on the East side? What are your favorite Athens eateries?
- Matt B.

I get restaurant questions every week. People must really be gaining a trust for my opinion at least on food. No, I have not been to Keba, but I’ll put it on the list.

What exactly is a Housing major? I've looked it up on the school's website, and yet I'm still not entirely clear what this major is supposed to prepare one to do in the real world, and there are lots of players in the media guide with a "Housing" major where they used to be generic School of Family & Consumer Economics majors. I'm just curious
- T

I’ll try to avoid incurring the wrath of that academic department, especially since I’ve never actually sat in a housing class. Who knows, it may be quite a challenging major.

But let’s just say that every school seems to have a major that a lot of athletes pick. When I was in school it was criminal justice. At South Carolina it was African-American studies. Even Duke has a lot of basketball players who major in sociology and manage to graduate in three years. I mean, how do you graduate from Duke in three years while playing basketball?

In light of the outstanding "30 for 30" documentary "The Best that Never Was", what's your take on who deserves more blame for Marcus Dupree's leaving OU -- Dupree, his blood-sucking Reverend, or Barry Switzer?
Question: If you own a rental property in a state where you do not live and said property produces a loss, do you still need to file a non-resident state return with $0 tax liability?
- Jeff

On Dupree: I think there’s blame all-around, but I have more sympathy for Dupree and Switzer because they both have admitted mistakes. But the Reverend rubbed me wrong by absolving himself of all guilt and threatening to sue ESPN.
As for the tax question … that has me so glad I’m not itemizing this year.

Seth, don't you know the 1st day of Spring isn't official until the young ladies walking along Milledge drop the sweatshirts around the waists and once again all is well with the world?
- Bullymack

That day can’t come soon enough for a plethora of reasons.

Anything specific and/or new on Ealey? Have you spoken to him much since you came to Athens? What's your impression of the young man?
- Paul

Yes, I’ve spoken to Ealey a few times, and even ran into him once at the Kroger. Honestly he doesn’t seem like a bad kid, but he’s obviously been prone to some bad decisions.

How many of the OL recruits (and which ones) do you see being redshirted? Some of their weights appear small-ish.
- Lazarus

It’s possible they all get redshirted. Or Will Friend, who said the other day he would play the best five, might think a few of them are ready right away. He hasn’t had enough time to evaluate them. The one that seems assured of taking a year to put some weight on is Xzavier Ward.

We haven't heard much out of Caleb King since the Crowell signing. If I were him I'd be motivated to work my rear off to prove people wrong. Any sign he is doing this? Malcome too?
- Eric

My understanding is that King is taking the Crowell signing in stride, and trying to at least finish his career strong. One thing to remember is that since Crowell isn’t here until the summer, the current tailbacks will get all the attention in the spring.

Have you seen any other Oscar noms this year? Black Swan, The Social Network, 127 Hours?
- Anonymous

I really want to see The Social Network. Aaron Sorkin is a genius – a drugged-up genius, but a genius nonetheless. I’m sure “Black Swan” is great, and I’m a Natalie Portman fan, but I’m going to have to be dragged to that. And while I’m sure “127 Hours” is one of those movies I’ll enjoy once I see it, I don’t really have any desire to sit down and watch a guy discover the meaning of life at the bottom of a crevice before sawing off his arm.

Have you seen "Leaves of Grass"? Edward Norton plays a great redneck. Directed by Tim Blake Nelson plus a cameo by Mr. Holland without his Opus. You should check it out.
- Anonymous

Thanks, putting it on the Netflix queue right now.

Sweetwater or Terrapin?
- Umphrey’s McGee Rock

Sweetwater. I’ve tried Terrapin a lot, and feel disloyal for not being a big fan, being that it’s both made in the town I live and shares a name with my alma mater’s mascot.

Oh and do you think Coach Richt will try to treat LeMay like he did Shockley and give him a few snaps here or there? I would think since Murray is "his" guy he would be less willing to than he was with David Greene.
- Seriously … Umphrey’s

That’ll depend a lot on the spring. The coaches will want to redshirt either LeMay or Mason, and will spend a lot of spring trying to figure out what to do there.

Assuming Trey is gone, who takes over in the backcourt next year. Will Thornton be our lone, serviceable "almost-big" man, or can Florveus come in and give us size and strength quickly?
- Broadstreet11

I haven’t seen Florveus play, so I’m not sure. Kentavious Caldwell-Pope will be counted on to help down low too. But yes, Thornton is going to have to do a bit more. He has a lot of raw athletic talent, he just has to show the drive.

Have you caught up with coach Van about his new role? I'm interested in his goals and what his role is with player punishment, etc.

To be honest, Van Halanger hasn’t been giving many interviews lately.

It appears to me that UGA, in general, doesn't know how to win. Football team has digressed over the last several years, basketball team (even though we all know is better) can't seem to win a game that counts, and it's anybodies guess how the baseball team will do. Gymnastics is down same with tennis team. Whats up? Does it start with recruiting winners or 5-stars (those aren't neccessarily synonyous)or is it coaching? Does McGarity feel as I do or not?
- Anonymous

I’m sure McGarity is planning on shutting down the entire athletics department and turning it into a chess club. … Seriously, I know times don’t seem great, but a school with Georgia’s resources and fan base isn’t likely to be down for long.


Massey said...

Wish you would've made mention of 'the peanut butter kid'. I'm serious when I say, he single handedly will turn our Basketball Season around.

Massey said...

Wish you would've made mention of 'the peanut butter kid'. I'm serious when I say, he single handedly will turn our Basketball Season around.

Not a vol fan said...

Overlooking bray at UT in preseason QB rankings will prove unwise.

Anonymous said...

You live in athens and You've never eaten at Achims?


Mr. Too Nice Guy said...

Did you seriously just make the same mistake that every SEC writer in America did last year and say that John Brantley is one of the top Quarterbacks in the SEC for the upcoming year. That's awful. I realize people make excuses about the system he was playing in, but honestly, he just couldn't make the throws under pressure.

Dawgfan said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Dawgfan said...

John Brantley- top ACC QB?? Wow- Did you watch him last season?