A few pre-G-Day game thoughts

– Overworked metaphor of the day:  “tighter ship”.  As in,

Since offseason workouts started, Georgia’s players have frequently commented on how their coaches seem intent on running a tighter ship this year.

Georgia coach Mark Richt confirmed as much on his pre-spring teleconference on Wednesday.

Sounds great.  At least until you read Richt’s next comment.

“I think that every year we try to tighten the ship,” Richt said. “I think that every year you evaluate what you’ve done — what you’ve done well, what you maybe feel like you didn’t do so well. And anything that you feel like you need to tighten up, you’re gonna do it.”

Every year?  Somebody needs to explain to me how the 2008 ship was tighter than the previous year’s.

– I tell you what, for a guy who’s lost two NFL first rounders from his team, Richt sounds remarkably confident about his team’s prospects.

Despite the losses of key players like quarterback Matthew Stafford and running back Knowshon Moreno, Richt said he does not see many holes in his lineup as spring approaches. “I don’t know if we have anything that’s glaring,” he said. Among the interesting position battles, he said, are running back, tight end, cornerback and “probably the biggest question” on the team is who will handle kickoff duties.

If the biggest worry Georgia has is who kicks off, this should be one helluva year.

– Herbie comes to Athens.

Georgia’s G-Day spring game on April 11 will air live on ESPN at 1 p.m. Brad Nessler, Kirk Herbstreit and Wendy Nix will call the game for the network. Richt said admission to the game will be free to encourage fans to attend and provide an inviting gameday environment for the televised event. …

Be prepared to hear Herbstreit gush about that program in Gainesville constantly.  ESPN couldn’t send us Uncle Ron?  At least we won’t be subjected to Pam Ward.

It’s a nice gesture to waive the admission fee, especially during an economic downturn, and it may increase student turnout, but for the rest of us, not having to pay five bucks to get in won’t have as much of an effect on our decision to attend as will the Masters or the weather.  There isn’t much Richt can do about the former, but he could add the latter to his prayer list.  Or better yet, call in Sonny Purdue.  He’s got experience in such matters.

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16 Comments

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16 responses to “A few pre-G-Day game thoughts

  1. peacedog

    Wait, who said 2008 was a tighter ship (I haven’t read the link yet so maye that comment is therein). Richt said “Tried”. I don’t think it’s a stretch to suggestion the efforts failed. Trials and tribulations, but not everything that used to work will keep on working. And not all new seemingly good ideas stay good. 2008 probably suffers on both of those fronts. Evolve, evolve, evolve.

    • Wait, who said 2008 was a tighter ship (I haven’t read the link yet so maye that comment is therein). Richt said “Tried”.

      Richt said, “And anything that you feel like you need to tighten up, you’re gonna do it.”

      Again, this may just be semantics, but if you’re right, how can anyone claim yet that they’ve tightened the ship this year?

  2. Will Q

    I agree with Peacedog. I remember in 2007 when everyone was going on about Coach Richt’s new “motivational tactics” that he made a comment about how different groups of players needed different things to motivate them (or something to that effect). He used th gimmicks in 2007, and they worked wonderfully. I figured last season he tried the same kind of stuff and it just backfired because the players didn’t react the same way.

  3. B Lace

    Student Admission to G-Day was already free. Actually, admission was free with a student ID. Making the whole event free probably won’t encourage students to attend.

    It’s ESPN broadcasting that has the chance of doing that, IMO.

  4. Macallanlover

    I can understand how CMR is confident. While you cannot totally replace all the strong points MS and KM had, we shouldn’t need to have such a talented runner with a healthy OL to gain the same yardage, and better accuracy will more than offset the throws “only Matt could make.” I will grant we do lose experience at QB that someone on the sideline cannot acquire, but we gain in other areas and will be a better team in 2009 than in 2008, imo.

    How does CMR not have control over the schedule conflict with The Masters? There are other dates that could have been set and allowed more fans to attend. Last year was the only time in the CMR era we didn’t play the G Day game on Masters weekend so we cannot blame this one on the WWL. I understand the first year when Richt had never lived in Georgia before and didn’t understand, but since then it is on him for this unnecessary date overlap. I love me some Dawg football 365 days a year, but a scrimmage game versus Saturday at the biggest sporting event in golf (and best run event of ANY kind) is just no contest. I am relegated to watching tape delay that night…..again. Come on CMR, there are thousands of Dawg fans being ignored on this issue every spring. One week before, or one week later, anything but what we are doing.

  5. HVL Dawg

    C’mon Macallanlover,

    Unless Saturday is the only day you can get in the gate at ANGC, skip it for G day. Saturday is moving day and, if you’re going to be honest, you can’t really appreciate the drama in those mob galleries. It is much better on TV.

    I’m all for making a trip to see the “celebration of golf” and if Saturday is your oly chance then do it once. But having been there and done that, I want to see Joe Cox make reads and throw the ball in person. I want to see our cornerbacks blanket AJ and see him still make the catches. I want to see Blair Walsh kick it to the bridge.

    I can watch Phil Mickelson choke on tape delay.

    Cheers.

  6. CincoDawg

    I wouldn’t be so sure that kickoffs being our biggest problem is NOT a big deal

    It was a joke watching us kick off last year and having the other team CONSISTENTLY around mid-field to start off

  7. How does CMR not have control over the schedule conflict with The Masters? There are other dates that could have been set and allowed more fans to attend.

    I think this year, the scheduling was more an effect of trying to be on ESPN for the spring game. Florida’s spring game is the week after ours. Be honest, if Florida and Georgia play their spring games on the same Saturday, who do you think the WWL is going with?

  8. peacedog

    Richt said, “And anything that you feel like you need to tighten up, you’re gonna do it.”

    Again, this may just be semantics, but if you’re right, how can anyone claim yet that they’ve tightened the ship this year?

    Eh, yes I think you’re picking a nit here. Of course Richt said that. I’m not sure it can be argued that we really tightened up in 2008. If your point is “well, how do we know we will this year?”, then the answer is of course we don’t. We can hope, and it’s not an unreasonable hope.

    And yes, the rest of it that we here coming from players is team-speak. Doesn’t make it invalid, the proof was always going to be in the pudding either way.

    • Eh, yes I think you’re picking a nit here.

      I’ve done a bad job of explaining myself on this. I don’t think the staff approached last season with the urgency that Richt claims was there. I think there was a general feeling on the part of the coaches that there was enough talent to succeed and everything else would take care of itself. Injuries cut into that, of course, but I think the lack of urgency on the field was a reflection of that, too.

      So I do believe there’s some tightening up going on this year, based on everyone’s dissatisfaction with ’08.

  9. Dog in Fla

    In the Navy, “tighter ship” means:

    “Stand by. You’re about to get screwed.”

    Maybe Mark has annoited a bosun and a couple of associate assistant c0-bosun mates from our coaching staff family to make the players swab decks and chip paint after each mat drill.

  10. Hobnail_Boot

    We have 3 gaping holes: KO, RB, and DE. But hey, at least CMR is confident.

  11. The day Pam Ward broadcasts our games is the day I return my degree.

  12. Macallanlover

    I agree HVL, I have stopped going and just watch on TV now. Still have access to tickets each year, but I prefer watching all the action around the course which can only be done on TV. I just feel watching it live is more exciting than G Day. They are the only two spring sports events I care about and I hate they are scheduled on top of each other.

    Audit, I believe I heard last year that ESPN was going to cover the G Day game in 2009. I don’t think we were locked in by them, it is just CMR’s preference as it has been every year except last (where I think The Masters was a week later than normal because of the way the calendar fell.) Each school sets their own timing, and the UGA spring break enters into it as well.

  13. dawgfan33

    Umm, are we seriously debating whether to watch spring football practice or golf??? GOLF???

    CFB, especially UGA, takes precedence over ANY sport. Playing golf is ok if you’re bored, but watching golf is like watching paint dry.

  14. Macallanlover

    dawgfan33, you aren’t seriously comparing a PRACTICE with one of the 5 most watched sporting events worldwide are you? (World Cup, Super Bowl, Olympics, Masters, and ?) If you don’t get, or like golf, that is your opinion, but don’t think this discussion makes you a bigger fan. Fortunately, The Masters doesn’t conflict with real CFB. To that extent, no, it isn’t a serious debate. Go Dawgs!