Today’s cheap intellectual exercise

I don’t know if anyone else played this game last weekend, but one thing I did as I watched all of the conference action last weekend was to judge whether any units of Georgia’s SEC brethren were more physically talented than the Dawgs’ defensive or offensive squads.  Notice I wrote “talented” there – I wasn’t considering whether other defenses or offenses were better prepared, better coached on the field or stronger on their fundamentals, just comparing sheer athletic ability.

Outside of Florida’s defense, which is ridiculously talented and deep (and, by the way, has anyone ever considered that the primary reason the Gator special teams are so good isn’t because of the “ooh, Meyer makes it special to be on special teams” BS, but because he’s got a bigger pool of talent to draw on than any other school in the conference?), I couldn’t point to another program and say that it was running a bunch of kids on the field who were as a group clearly more talented than whom Georgia deploys (although in terms of matching above-average talent to a scheme, you’d have to give some serious credit to Alabama’s defense).  Again, that doesn’t mean a lot of those teams aren’t playing better than Georgia’s – it would be foolish to deny that – just that Georgia doesn’t look like it steps on the field with the kind of deficiency that, say, Mississippi State, Vanderbilt, Auburn or even Tennessee faces when they play the top teams in the conference.

Special teams may be a bit harder to judge, but ask yourself a question.  Is there another SEC team which can match Georgia’s four key special teams performers (Walsh, Butler, Boykin and Miller)?  The only other school that can make a credible argument for that is Alabama.  (Florida is close, though.)

I’m not offering this as proof of anything in particular, but it sure makes the lopsided loss to Tennessee hard to understand.

What do you guys think?

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30 Comments

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30 responses to “Today’s cheap intellectual exercise

  1. When UF blocks a punt on us on Saturday, I want you to come back and defend your bashing of how Meyer treats Special Teams. Frank Beemer puts the EXACT same emphasis on ST with similiar results.

    No one hates Corch Meyer more than me, but he understands field position and hidden yardage MUCH better that Richt does and his teams continue to play on 55 yard fields while ours plays on 80 yard fields.

    ST are important and you have to MAKE them an important part of your program to be successful at them. 15 minutes at the end of practice 2 days a week ain’t gonna cut it.

    • tri, I think you’ve misunderstood me here. I’m not bashing how Meyer treats special teams and I certainly didn’t bash the results he gets on the field. My point is that it’s easier for him to excel there because he’s got a much bigger talent pool to tap, not because of his PR.

      Equating him with Beamer is a bit of stretch because of that talent gap, IMO.

  2. Prov

    Four key special teamers?

    How could you forget Logan Gray?

  3. Joe B.

    Yes, the ufk defeat is simply inexplicable.

    Chris Scott is the only player on their offense with even an outside shot at playing in the NFL. Bama sure did look prepared for the bootleg.

    But I also saw that ufk and Bama are 1 and 2 in the country of teams with graduates on the roster. I could not help but think of all of our freshmen and sophomores, and I immediately thought about our OL and how they are still very young for an SEC OL unit.

    Again, I really, really wish that we were seeing a QB getting some snaps for next year, because our offense is going to be loaded. If Rennie and Reshad come back next year, and we hire a competent defensive mind, we have the makings of a very talented unit on that side of the ball as well.

    • You don’t think Hardesty will play in the NFL?

      • Joe B.

        He may be a fringe, backup RB. Not great size or speed, tore his ACL as a freshman.

        Poor man’s Joseph Addai.

    • “If… we hire a competent defensive mind…”

      That’s a pretty big “if.” I don’t see any indication that this is even being considered. Coach Richt isn’t going to show Coach Martinez the door just because his critics wished hard enough. If Coach Martinez even shows the slightest improvement, he will be retained. In fact, barring a total meltdown, I believe that Coach Richt would point to the Vanderbilt game as a significant showing.

  4. I agree with your talent theory. I also watched several SEC games this weekend, and the thing I noticed that we seem to come up short on is INTENSITY. And that is both from head coaches & their teams as well. Whether we like ‘em or not, Meyer, Miles, Saban, & yes, Kiffin don’t have to pull off a bunch of motivational stunts to get their kids to play at a high level in big conference contests. I just don’t ‘feel’ that with our Dawgs & coaches. I hope I’m just missing something here.

    • D.N. Nation

      and the thing I noticed that we seem to come up short on is INTENSITY.

      No offense, but Dawg fans loooooove to say this, even though it’s pretty bogus. Bama played with their dongs for pretty much the entirety of the second half, while Saban meekly paced up and down the sidelines. Paul Johnson’s most “intense” game this year happened while his team was getting its doors blown off against a now obviously deficient Miami team. Urban just kinda scratched his head for most of the Miss. State doodling. Etc.

      All you need to know about “intensity” is that WillieMart is the most obviously intense member of Georgia’s staff, for all the good it does.

      Whether we like ‘em or not, Meyer, Miles, Saban, & yes, Kiffin don’t have to pull off a bunch of motivational stunts to get their kids to play at a high level in big conference contests.

      Kiffin doesn’t have to pull off a bunch of motivational stunts? Huh wha?

      And how do you explain Urban’s ridiculous orange-on-one-sleeve alternate unis in the 2005 WLOCP?

    • Joe B.

      I agreee with your sentiments on the intensity. I think we have intensity, it is just misplaced instensity.

      Our players do not have the confidence in our schemes to intensely execute what they are being taught.

      Therefore, our intensity manifests itself in useless chatter and poorly timed hits.

      Jumping around before the game is pretty useless. The quiet, burning intensity, when you really break the game down and simply tell yourself to physically impose your will on the man in front of you is what we are lacking, and is what a team must have from player 1 through 85 to be a championship team.

      I just do not think that our coaches imbue the players with enough confidence in what is going on to be able to play with that kind of intensity.

      • I was mainly referring to the way we “seem” to play on the field, not necessarily coaches going crazy on the sidelines. We all know that is not CMR’s thing, and that’s fine. I’m mainly talking about a GATA attitude that “seems” to be missing on the field, & that is the only place it matters.

  5. Bryant Denny

    Talent, coaching and emphasis. All three go together.

    Except for Arenas, Bama has pretty much stunk up special teams play this year. About 100 blocking in the back penalties and giving up about 50 yards per kickoff return.

    In Meyer’s case, it’s also an opportunity for some 5 starts to see some playing time versus rotting on the bench, so it probably doesn’t hurt to give special teams some pub.

    BD

  6. Irishdawg

    Va Tech’s special teams and defensive play are frustrating to watch, because Georgia could easily play that way. Can’t we hire away VT’s special teams coach? Lord knows we’ve got the money.

  7. Dog in Fla

    “What do you guys think?”

    If our coaches and our players ever get in synch in all phases of the game for once this season, we beat Florida.

    For all of us in the D.O.G. Fan Protection Program in Florida, the psychopathological topic for this week’s treatment regimen will be

    http://www.wisegeek.com/what-are-delusions-of-grandeur.htm

  8. LOBO

    I enjoy your blog daily.I can not see how anyone could not see the lack of talent ay UGA(i’m talking the lines esp.). I have said all along that CSS is the guy not being asked why we have no talent (his recruits).The dl has plenty of hype with no good results.UGA talent is down and coaching is not there at all.How many UGA pos.starters would do same at uf,ala(2 at most).I hope uf doesn’t come up with a fancy new play such as qb roll out.The wlocp should be the end of all seniors playing (this season) if we lose.

    • D.N. Nation

      How many UGA pos.starters would do same at uf,ala(2 at most).

      I’m assuming the two are Rennie Curran and AJ Green. But here’s something to consider…

      Greg McElroy, steely-eyed example of Nick Saban’s brilliance in coaching:
      59.9% completion
      1,445 yards
      9 TDs
      3 INTs
      131.72 QB rating

      Joe Cox, bane of our existence and a losing ginger loser who loses:
      57.4% completion
      1,581 yards
      13 TDs
      9 INTs
      132.88 QB rating

      Cox is doing this, as we know, completely without the benefit of a running game.

      Of course, Joe also doesn’t try hard and doesn’t have intensity or whatever psychobabble…

      • LOBO

        I have no problem with JC effort , nor did iI mention such.Joe is a great kid , who is just good enough to get you beat.I guess you like the others missed the point we have the worst ol in the country(most teams can run or pass block)we can do neither.Fix the ol the running game and JC will improve.The awful ol has killed our “def.” too(it didn’t need any help being bad).

        • D.N. Nation

          we have the worst ol in the country

          No. We don’t. Hell, in just our last game we played an OL demonstratively inferior to ours.

          • Puffdawg

            arent we on pace to have the fewest sacks in the Richt era? This is just another case of the new breed of UGA fan where if we don’t win every game by 50 then everything associated with the program is the worst in the country.

        • NCT

          LOBO: I swear I’m not one of those internet grammar police types, but J.H.C., the lack of appropriate punctuation forces the reader to guess at what you mean with the words you type. Maybe others are better at it than I, but by the time I got to the end of your first post, I had to start over because what I thought was your point at the end seemed completely contrary to the one I thought you were making at the beginning.

          I’m not just being a prick (that’s serendipitous). I wouldn’t bother writing anything at all if I didn’t have at least some interest in understanding what you’re trying to say.

  9. Mike

    I think your derision of Meyer’s focus on special teams is just jealousy, pure and simple. If you get a chance, watch Meyer’s weekly show this week. He talks about how we blocked the punt against MSU. The outside guy, usually covering the gunner faked a blitz pre-snap. That caused the outside blocker to move over to pick him up, leaving Rainey unblocked. In addition, Meyer overloaded the line on the opposite end of Rainey, getting the attention of the second layer of blockers. As a result, Rainey went in unblocked. As fast as Rainey is, even the good Senator could block a punt under these circumstances.

    Florida is indeed good on special teams because it has good players. But so does UGA and many other teams.

    Florida is good on special teams for the simple reason they are good, period. They have a great combination of superior players and superior coaching.

    • Good grief. How many times do I have to say it? Florida is damned good on special teams. And Urban Meyer is a damned good football coach.

      It’s just that I happen to believe that Florida’s special teams success is due more to how much talent Meyer has to deploy there than his PR skills. Sue me.

      By the way, if you think Georgia is utilizing its talent on special teams the way Florida does, I have two words for you: Logan Gray. ;)

      • Me

        So you are saying that the uf special teams are good becuase of the players and coaching not the press the coach gives them. Intresting, novel aproach by a coach.

      • Mike

        The good Senator says;

        “By the way, if you think Georgia is utilizing its talent on special teams the way Florida does, I have two words for you: Logan Gray. ”

        Sounds like a coaching issue to me

  10. Dawg N Suds

    It is more about Georgia’s ability to execute proper reads on defense and whip the guy across the line on offense than it is any kind of talent or intensity issue.

  11. Have you guys read this:

    http://blogs.ajc.com/recruiting/2009/10/26/robey-told-martinez-not-leaving-reaffirms-uga-commitment/

    “The UGASports report went on to say Robey, a 5-foot-8, 165-pound cornerback and running back, was assured Martinez is not leaving Georgia. ”

    Honestly, for the sake of the program, the best thing that can happen to us is we give up 40-50 pts a game for the rest of the season. Hopefully we win a few of them as shootouts, but its looking damn impossible to get rid of Richt’s best man.

    I am a huge fan of CMR. But if he continues to put personal feelings ahead of job performance, he should be fired. That is simply a despicable way to run any kind of business.

    • Ask yourself if it makes the slightest bit of sense for Richt to inform his recruits privately in the middle of the season that he’s fired his defensive coordinator, effective year’s end.

      And then ask yourself why you’re getting worked up about that story.

  12. Puffdawg

    Muckbeast, please do us all a favor and go away. I’ve seen your incessant negativity on every message board between here and Rome and it’s wearing thin. Anybody who WANTS the dawgs to fail is not a fan. I wish I had the opportunity to watch you tell Jeff Owens and Rennie Curran you hope the Dawgs give up 40 this weekend “for the good of the program.”. I’m sure they would take that well because they are Damn Good Dawgs just like you, right buddy? Seriously dude, either be a fan or don’t.