More where they stand, continued.

Respected members of the blogosphere chime in on Georgia’s health.

Matt Hinton melds the who-does-Mark-Richt-remind-you-of-most meme making the rounds, finds it a little overwrought, but acknowledges the bigger point:

… On the heels of Fulmer and Tuberville, the fact that this discussion even exists for a coach as wildly successful as Richt is as good an indicator as any that we’ll be having it at some point about every coach at one of the league’s heavier hitters for many, many years into the future, without exception. With the kind of money departments are throwing at them and thus expecting in return via BCS bids, ticket sales and ever-richer TV contracts, they can’t afford not to have it when things start looking a little stale. If it’s a cutthroat, mercenary environment the SEC wanted, brother, they’ve got it.

Elsewhere, cocknfire sees symptoms indicating a program hitting the rough seas.

Meanwhile, the tell-tale signs of a program in trouble are beginning to emerge.

Players-only meeting? Check.

“We told them we have to turn around this season,” [Jeff] Owens said. “We all know what we’re looking at right now. We’re 3-3, but we can just go up and progress. The main purpose was to get everybody on one accord and get this thing turned around.”

Inconsistent punishment? Check.

When you’re a starting linebacker at Georgia …

A bench warrant was issued for linebacker Rennie Curran Oct. 7 after the junior failed to appear in court in Franklin County for a speeding ticket issued on July 4, according to a clerk in Franklin County Probate Court.

Coach Mark Richt said Wednesday night that he won’t suspend Curran.

“He’s supposed to pay a fine tomorrow and be done with it,” Richt said. “It should be done before practice.”

When you’re a backup cornerback at Georgia …

Richt suspended backup cornerback Vance Cuff for Saturday’s game at Vanderbilt after University of Georgia police arrested Cuff Tuesday on charges he was driving a motorized scooter on a sidewalk with a suspended license. …

“He used poor judgment first in the route he took and also for being on the scooter at all with a suspended license,” Richt said.

Hunt for uncomfortable historic parallels? Check, as illustrated by a Dr. Saturday piece that warns that the same problems could be coming soon to a high-profile SEC program near you.

Of course it won’t cost Richt his job this season; that would be ridiculous. The coordinators come first, beginning with much-maligned defensive coordinator Willie Martinez, and possibly continuing with offensive coordinator (and former UGA quarterback) Mike Bobo if necessary. …

But make no mistake: On the heels of Fulmer and Tuberville, the fact that this discussion even exists for a coach as wildly successful as Richt is as good an indicator as any that we’ll be having it at some point about every coach at one of the league’s heavier hitters for many, many years into the future, without exception.

Except your wildly successful coach, of course. You and your program love him forever and would never even dream of getting rid of him. As long as he’s winning 10 games a season.

You hope this isn’t going to turn into one of those perception becomes reality things.  But that’s up to the players and the coaches.  Kicking a little ass this weekend, even if it’s Vanderbilt’s, certainly wouldn’t hurt.

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39 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football, The Blogosphere

39 responses to “More where they stand, continued.

  1. NebraskaDawg

    This upcoming game (even if it is Vandy) will tell alot. Do the Dawgs come out with passion and on fire and punish Vandy or do they come out flat and win 13-10?

  2. Nolan

    Point taken by both sites. My only problem with his analysis is his comparison of Curran’s situation to Cuff’s. I mean, really? He’s kind of stretching it there. Curran wasn’t driving with a suspended license, he forgot to pay a speeding ticket. Huge difference. I know people who have had bench warrants issued for one parking ticket. Do I even need to mention the fact that if anyone knows the kind of guy Rennie Curran is, this was clearly an accident?

    • Joe B.

      It’s just so emblematic of the problems within the program.

      The kid talks every day about attention to detail, keeping your head in the playbook, watching video, etc, yet he cannot take 15 minutes to pay a speeding ticket that is 3 months old? Come on, be a man and take responsibility for the details in your life.

      Maybe Coach Richt stays away from the details, because the devil’s in them? We are so bad at the little things, and an erosion of details eventually leads to bigger problems.

      It’s just a matter of personal responsibility and Rennie, the leader of the team, cannot even take care of a speeding ticket? Really?

      • georgiadawg85

        It isn’t emblematic of anything, that is the stupidest remark I’ve ever heard. Curran is immersed in trying to pull his team out of a tailspin, and forgot to pay his ticket. I’ve forgotten to pay a ticket once too. Don’t sit there on your ass and talk about how forgetting to pay a ticket is emblematic of problems within a program, when there is something that you should probably be doing right now other than reading sports blogs, that you are forgetting about.

      • georgiadawg85

        Idiot.

        • The Realist

          With all due respect, this team has had a problem with the little things for a while now (on and off the field). Like you said, Rennie hasn’t done anything that all of us do from time to time. But, this is just another example of these kids not taking care of the little problems. Sure, he is probably busy being the only legitimate defender on the defense, but this is hardly an isolated incident overall. If this happened in a vacuum, then no one would think anything of it. Unfortunately, it comes on the heels of an offseason in 2008 filled with such petty offenses.

          • Joe B.

            Look, as many suspended licenses and ridiculous tickets as our team gets, we should have a secretary on staff to keep up with it and email reminders to kids of when their license expires, when tickets are due, etc.

            I forgot lots of stuff in college. I smoked lots of pot, too and was as irresponsible as a human being could be. I was also not accountable to anyone and it did not matter if I paid a parking ticket, speeding ticket, credit card bill, gas, cable, electric, water, etc.

            It just seems to me that a leader of men should MAKE 15 minutes one day to pay his speeding ticket, or get someone else to do it. Maybe it was not one of those that you could just pay over the phone and he would have had to drive all the way to Franklin County?

            Perhaps you are right though, and I am an idiot for thinking people should get their shit together. He did have the months of July and August, before he had to pull us out of the tailspin, to pay the ticket.

            I am not judging Rennie on this, and I think that he is a phenomenal kid, and that this is a ridiculously minor offense that would not even make the papers in most college towns.

            But if you cannot see the correlation between our lack of attention to detail and immaturity as a group and this incident, then I think that is your problem.

            • HVL Dawg

              You ARE judging Rennie on this.

              Maybe Rennie doesn’t have any money to pay his speeding ticket. Its not like he has a part time job.

              He’s not getting paid to entertain you priviledged white boys.

              • The Realist

                Your last comment has no merit. Are you Terrence Moore?

                • georgiadawg85

                  His comment absolutely has merit. If not on the issue of race, certainly on the issue that he is a football player. He’s also a kid, just like the rest of us were when we were in college. Implying that forgetting the due date on his fine shows a lack of responsibility and leadership is possibly the most asinine thing I’ve heard a “Georgia fan” say. But most of you right now aren’t interested in being reasonable, you’re just looking for people to point the finger at. Unless you people criticizing have never had a speeding ticket in your life, STFU. Because your hypocrisy is nearly as great as your ass-hattery.

                  • The Realist

                    His last comment was solely designed to incite bigoted commentary. That is why it is without merit.

                    First, Joe Cox tells me that since I’ve never played college football, I can’t comment on college football. Now, 85 is telling me to STFU because I’ve never left a speeding ticket unpaid or allowed my license to expire? Pretty soon, I won’t be able to comment on anything at all besides my own member.

                    • HVL Dawg

                      Hey Realist,

                      I wasn’t trying to imply a race thing (but I see that I did).

                      I was trying to imply a class thing. Like its real easy for you and me to just pay off a speeding ticket, because after all, we always have money. Right?

                      Or while we were in college if we got into a fix we could just call dad and he’d have some money. Right?

                      I’m genuinely sorry about the racial slur. But to bitch at Rennie because he didn’t pay his ticket on time sounds selfish to me.

                    • The Realist

                      For the record, that is why I specified the last comment. My only disagreement was my perception that the comment insinuated race was a factor. Your clarification that it was not your intent solves that problem.

                      So, uh, right. On with the show.

            • georgiadawg85

              No, I do not see any correlation between Rennie getting a speeding ticket and accidentally missing the due date on the fine, and the trouble our football team is having. That’s not my problem though, that is your problem. It’s your problem because you’re now making shit up and trying to reach for arguments that aren’t there. Also, I think it’s pretty clear by your own admission that since you obviously didn’t do anything but f*** around during college, that you have no business commenting on what a responsible kid should do. So don’t even try.

              • The Realist

                You see no correlation between a team that fails to take care of the little details off the field having a problem taking care of the little details on the field?

                • Hackerdog

                  If the skills needed for paying a speeding ticket were also the skills needed for playing defense in the SEC, then I think that you would have a legitimate argument. Since they’re obviously not, you obviously don’t.

                • georgiadawg85

                  Do YOU think you are making any sense here? Because I don’t. Last time I checked, paying a fine for a traffic ticket wasn’t a TEAM matter.

                  So you clearly must also think that if Joe Cox’s car breaks down because he didn’t change the oil, that is also indicative of problems within the program as well, right?

                  See how stupid your reasoning is?

            • Hackerdog

              First you argue that our kids need to grow up and take care of their tickets themselves, then you argue that there should be a staff member dedicated to taking care of the tickets for them. Those two positions are incongruous.

      • Ben

        Wow. Just think where we would be if Rennie Curran had paid his ticket on time? Our coaches would be putting together good game plans, guys would be tackling better, Cox would be making good decisions, Florida wouldn’t be #1, Tech wouldn’t be ranked higher, the AJC might not hate us, we might not lose to Vandy, Richt wouldn’t be on the hot seat, we’d be 6-0, and the Georgia gymnast honored at halftime of the LSU game would have won ONE more award. Dammit, Rennie why did you do this to us!!

        Give me a freakin break,man. No….wait….actually, give Curran a break. Holy S*** that is the dumbest comment I have ever heard for any of Georgia’s woes.

  3. JasonC

    I find it very interesting that most of the people outside the Bulldog Nation only list Martinez or Bobo as people that might get replaced, but if you asked most Bulldogs, Fabris would make the list too… or at least losing the postion of Special Teams Coach. To me Fabris is just as responsible as the other two guys.

    • The Realist

      There is not a position on the defense that has performed to my expectations. Linebackers outside of Rennie have been weak. The secondary is a train wreck, and the entire defensive line is often pushed around and generates no backfield presence.

      Granted, I don’t know what I’m talking about, but I would clean house completely, hire a new DC, and let him piece his staff together around his philosophy. UGA has Lilly to replace Garner as recruiting coordinator, it would open up a spot for a coach with special teams credentials, and would allow for a clean break to start over.

      If you merely demote WillieMart, you have to promote someone else. This would change absolutely nothing. If you fire Willie, you either promote Garner or you hamstring the new DC with guys he can’t work with (like Tony Franklin – another disaster). Fire them all. If the new DC wants any of them, I’m sure they can be retained.

    • BeerMoney

      I have said all along that Martinez and Fabris are equal in my mind of coaches who should no longer have jobs at Georgia.

      • Joe B.

        It’s such a shame that people forget what a great DB coach CWM was when he could focus solely on that.

        Remember the progress that Sean Jones, Tim Wansley, Kentrell Curry, DeCory Bryant, Bruce Thornton, DeMario Minter, Tim Jennings and Paul Oliver made?

        Each of those guys looked lost at times in their first seasons, but as their careers progressed, you could see them improving steadily as they got more comfortable. CWM was a GREAT DB coach, and if we fire him, he will be a GREAT DB coach somewhere else.

        Unfortunately, the Peter Principle comes into play, and CWM is just not mentally equipped to handle the DC duties. Not only has the defense as a whole slipped, but there has been a clear regression in the play of Asher Allen and Prince Miller over the last couple of years.

        Reshad Jones and Bryan Evans have not improved either. So, basically, CWM is not a great X’s and O’s guy and his position on the field is not being coached up anymore.

        I hate that it has to come to this, but he has got to go, or he can take a demotion back to DB coach.

        • georgiadawg85

          Asher Allen is in the NFL. I guess if by “regressing” you mean that he is no longer at Georgia, and that it is Willie’s fault…..

        • Left to Right

          Re: Going back to being a DB coach . . .

          I used to think the same, but have become convinced by the argument that no decent DC will take the job if he can’t hire his own assistants.

    • Scott

      I agree completely about Fabris needing to go, but I think Bobo should keep his job. We have put up some great offensive numbers under Bobo except for a few bad games. And Bobo has done it despite only getting the ball for about 55 plays a game which would hinder any offense.

  4. Jim

    If you fix the defense, you will still have an offense which still specializes in 3 and outs, not showing up in big games and beating second tier teams. Either get rid of Bobo or get someone in there who can show him how professionals do it otherwise the clean up woudl not be complete.

    • BeerMoney

      Considering every skill position on offense is either an underclassmen and/or green (including our only true playmaker AJ Green) and the fact that our offensive line is doing little to help matters, how exactly would you call our plays that would lead to last year’s offensive production?

      Still, how we scored 41 points on South Carolina’s defense is a complete head scracther. And also note that we scored just amny points on offense vs. LSU as did the mighty Gators.

      And I love this notion that Richt taking over playcalling again will lead to unbelieveable results on offense. I think if you look at the statistics, UGA’s red zone TD percentage with Bobo calling plays dwarfs that of when Richt would lead us inside the twenty time and time again and then inevitbaly trot Billy Bennett out there for a chip shot FG. There’s a reason that he garnered so many records at UGA, including being our all-time leading scorer.

      And just think about all the games that we would have won if we were scoring touchdowns instead of missing FG’s from Richt’s playcalling days. Those could have been even better seasons given our defense back then.

      Just food for thought.

      • Uganewt

        Amen on the red zone numbers. I haven’t seen the numbers this year, but our red zone numbers since Bobo took over the playcalling are dramatically better than when Richt was calling the plays. Knowshown and Thomas Brown were a big part of that, but still.

        As far as specific play-calling, I went back and watched the awful 1st half against LSU and the play-calling wasn’t really that bad. There were a couple of plays I didn’t like (3rd and 8 draw?), but Bobo was extremely limited by field position. The deep ball to AJ that was barely overthrown was a TD if Cox hits him in stride and everybody is praising the bold play call.

  5. Dog in Fla

    Global War on Marks and Martinez (GWOMs) Crisis of the Day (COD) piece, “The Alley”, 15 October 2009

    Deep inside the heavily fortified underground bunker beneath the Butts-Mehre defense complex, Green Zone, Athens

    1000, Fellowship meeting of coaches:

    After the unison pledge of allegiance to each other among the coaches and after becoming aware of additionals who were providing incoming fire yesterday only today after reading the report handed to him by Loren containing the names of those who used to friendlies or neutrals firing shots yesterday per the Blutarsky intel including the Hey Jenny Slater correspondent who incidentally happens to be not nearly as smoking hot as the real Jenny is. Mark’s IFF is down so doesn’t know right now whose an enemy, a friendly, or just smoking hot . These days who can you trust?

    Head Coach Mark thinks about the last time his crew was clicking on all cylinders. Mark guesses that was way back to the summer camp pool trip to Ramsey and the double back flip he did off the high platform and thinks that the pool trip inspired the troops. If nothing else, it cooled them off at least. But heat on the players isn’t the problemo now, it’s the heat on the coaches.

    With that in mind, to cut the fog of tension on his coaching staff which although it should be used to the incoming by now, since it’s been coming in from time to time since the first quarter of the West Virginia Sugar Bowl eons ago, is still a little shellshocked, and with the Vanderbilt game plan and front row Saturday night Grand Ole Opry tickets well in hand, Mark (played by The Dude) takes his coaching staff including but not limited to Easom (played by John Goodman), compadre Willie (played by Steve Buscemi) on a trip for a little R and R at the alley outside the back door of the Butts-Mehre defense complex for bowling, which is not one and the same alley Vance got cuffed in…

    • The Realist

      Willie is out of his element.

      • Joe B.

        Nothing is f*cked? Nothing is f*cked?

        The plane has run into the god d*mned mountain!

        • Dog in Fla

          [the Dude (Mark), Walter (Easom), and Donny (Willie) walk out of the bowling alley, to find the three Nihilists (formerly friendlies but now enemy correspondents) waiting in front of the Dude's car, which has been torched]:

          The Dude: Well, they finally did it. They killed my dadgum car.
          Nihilist: Ve vant ze money, Lebowski.
          Nihilist #2: Ja, uzzervize ve kill ze girl.
          Nihilist #3: Ja, it seems you have forgotten our little deal, Lebowski.
          The Dude: You don’t HAVE the dadgum girl, dipshits! We know you never did!
          [the Nihilists, stunned, confer amongst themselves in German]
          Donny: Are these the Nazis, Walter?
          Walter Sobchak: No, Donny, these men are nihilists, there’s nothing to be afraid of.

  6. T-Lud

    I’ve been as kicked in the gut by this Georgia team as everyone else in the Dawg Nation, but I’ll try to be the voice in the wilderness screaming with hope. I recall this feeling of despair two years ago after a eerily similar beatdown in Knoxville. We wound up with the #2 spot in the final rankings. Now, I realize the talent level, especially in the offensive and defensive backfields, has dropped for us since 2007, and we already have three losses as opposed to the two we had at this point two years ago, but there is a factor that I haven’t seen anybody discuss: scheduling.

    After the 2004 debacle of 5 undefeated teams, with Auburn being the major BCS team left out of the Big Game because of a perceived weak schedule, Damon Evans began scheduling stronger out-of-conference opposition, instead of the traditional early season tune-ups against cupcakes. The result was 2009 being the first year we will have faced 3 OOC teams from BCS AQ conferences in the regular season.

    Look at the similarities in this season compared with where we were at this point two years ago. In 2007, we beat a BCS opponent at home (OSU), as we did in 2009 (ASU). In 2007, we lost a close SEC game at home (South Carolina), as we did in 2009 (LSU). In 2007 we won a close SEC game on the road (Alabama), as we did in 2009 (Arkansas). In 2007, we suffered a crushing defeat in Knoxville, like we didn’t even show up, just as we did in 2009.

    The difference this year is that instead of facing a team like Western Carolina at home early in the season as we did in 2007, we went on the road to Stillwater, Oklahoma. Not only that, it was the first game of the season, in which Richt’s teams have traditionally been less than sharp (with the exception of the aforesaid 2007 opener against the Cowboys). We also had some bigger margins of victory in the wins at this point two year ago, but remember Ole Miss was in shambles then. It was Orgeron’s final year at the helm, and they ended up 0-8 in SEC play. That was a very different level of SEC West competition than Arkansas and LSU this year.

    All I’m trying to say is that our road so far this year has been very difficult, particularly because we eschewed our prior practice of playing multiple directional schools. I’m not trying to whine here; I definitely want Evans to continue to schedule tough competition. If we want to be in the National Title discussion in any given year, we have to be able to beat teams like Oklahoma State. I will note, however, that Florida has unabashedly continued its cupcake scheduling. Rest assured, you won’t hear anybody leaving them out if they are among 3+ undefeated teams at the end.

    My point is that Dawg fans should recognize that where we stand right now is at least partly a result of scheduling choices, and we are actually very close to where we were two years ago when Evil Richt appeared, and we steamrolled through the rest of the season and actually had an argument to be in the NCG. Obviously, we’re already way out of the title picture, and planned penalties and wardrobe changes aren’t options this time around, but I’m hopeful that our head man can come up with something to turn things around and salvage this season.

    Then again, if we lose again this weekend, I’ll be convinced that Cox is in fact a vampire who cannot perform in the light of day. Can somebody get that dude a tinted helmet visor? I’m not a fan of midseason firings, but a loss to Vandy, this Vandy team, would certainly mean heads should roll.

    But I’m not thinking like that. I’m the voice of optimism, remember? Make it happen, boys.

    GO DAWGS!

    • Russ

      I’ve thought about the similarities between now and 2007, and there are several. However, it’s looking like the 5 game run we made after squeaking by Vandy two years ago was the anomaly, not the norm, when viewed as part of the larger 5 year run. That’s what has me concerned.

      While I definitely want us to win out (not very likely, of course), I also worry that it would be taken as a sign that everything is fixed. I think that would be the wrong signal indeed.

  7. Carter

    Richt reminds me of Tony Dungy when he was w/ the Bucs. A great man who takes over an underachieving team, builds it up to respectability, but who can’t get over the final hump. Next year, Gruden is hired and they win a Super Bowl.

    • And when forced to get a new staff, Dungy wins a super bowl as well – 4 years later.

      I think Richt could totally bring UGA back to the forefront, and win a national title, if someone above him FORCED him to get a new staff.

      Almost every single position and coordinator needs to be fired and replaced.

      Our boys aren’t getting coached up, and our game plans are worthless.

      • Julie

        Richt only has to be the bad guy one time. If he fires WM and lets the new D coordinator bring in an entirely new staff (or keep selected members of the old one), that would get rid of Fabris, Jancek, etc. without the appearance of Richt doing any further dirty work.

  8. Aligator

    people, teams have down years and Stafford and Moreno did you all no favors by bailing early, regardless of how you all felt about them being first rounders and all. They should have stayed and allowed other players to develop.

    Yes your coordinators suck and I pray to God himself that the university and athletic department will pay some good ones to come in and take it up a few notches. nepotism through friendships and university ties is bs and i think everyone sees that now!