Things that make you go hmmmm…

From Tim Tucker’s blog:

Coach Mark Richt expressed concern on his weekly radio show Monday night about Washaun Ealey’s pass-protection performance and said King “will probably start for us” this week…

“Washaun certainly ran the ball well,” Richt said Monday night. “He still needs to continue to get better in his pass protection, and I think Caleb has earned the right to be the starter because of his ability to run and pass-protect. But Washaun — we will continue to work hard on him and his ability to pass-protect.”

Richt said a problem with pass protection is “very typical” for a true freshman back. “We don’t want to get him in too many situations where he could put everybody at risk if he’s not able to do a good job there.”

Let me see if I have this straight.  We’re being told here that Ealey is experiencing pass protection problems “typical” for a freshman running back.  Yet the staff selected him to start against the best defense in the country, while elevating King to the starting slot against the first 1-AA team Georgia has faced this season.  If there’s rhyme or reason to their logic, it escapes me.

No knock against Caleb, but it seems like the coaches are going out of their way to raise questions about their decision making.

*******************************************************************

UPDATE: It looks like I’m not the only one puzzled by this.

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64 Comments

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64 responses to “Things that make you go hmmmm…

  1. drunk dawg

    To continue my theme of drunkenly posting off-topic around here I was just thinking something in light of Brandon Spikes’ monumental punishment.

    I would rather have Mark Richt be my coach every year through mediocrity than have to root for a classless morality depraved guy like Meyer.

    • On the Bright Side

      Spikes got more punishment than the UGa player who was arrested last week. Just saying.

      • Rbubp

        Did that guy try to poke somebody’s eye out on national tv? There’s a bit of a difference in consequences for victimless crimes. Some even involve no consequences the first time it happens.

        • On the Bright Side

          Given the uproar over a player who is allowed to suit up immediately after getting busted for a DUI, drug possession, driving on a suspended license, retrieving your girlfriend’s car, etc., I thought UGa fans were wholly opposed to the kid gloves response to this sort of thing. Guess I was wrong.

          • Rbubp

            Am I missing something here? Who are you talking about that did all of that and was not suspended?

          • I wonder if I equated Spikes eye pokes with murder, would people feel the same way about him?

            Your strategy is brilliant. Driving on a suspended license is most DEFINITELY the same thing as a DUI and drug possession.

            What was your excuse for that Dlineman two years ago firing the assault rifle in downtown Gainesville? Be glad it wasn’t a tactical nuke?

            • On the Bright Side

              Rbubp said Uga draws the line at victimless crimes and I offered some examples. If you have a problem with the logic, or with Rbubp for misstating UGa’s policy, then take it up with them.

              • On the Bright Side

                And no, I don’t see much of a difference between driving with a suspended license without an adult or whatever it was and DUI. Both are public safety laws. Just as society has deemed drunken driving to be a public hazard, it has made a similar decision as to unqualified drivers, which under the law, the Uga player was.

                • kevinsauer

                  Is no one questioning why Drunk Dawg is drunk at 8:56 am?

                  • Rbubp

                    Bright, you’re familiar with the word “some”? You know, the one that appeared in my “victimless crimes” post before “even involve no consequences”?

                    Similarly, it is interesting that the law sees a distinct difference between driving without a license and DUI but you do not.

                    I guess that would explain your original post. If a player gets a ticket for speeding, what’s that penalty? The same as eye-gouging and drug possession?

                • Bulldawgy

                  Yeah. You’re obviously very smart. I never thought of that – DUI is the same as driving with a suspended license.

                  You’re a moron.

                • mant

                  Are you freaking serious ? I mean I know you are FLORIDUH, but Seriously ?

                  Don’t be a dumb mass just because it’s the cool thing in your state to do.

                  Drunk driving is impaired driving. You don’t have the reaction times you do when sober. To equate that with a moving violation is just absurd.

                  Being a Floriduh though, you are an expert on the absurd.

                  • On the Bright Side

                    Sounds like you guys need to be picking fights with your legislators who obviously disagree with you and not with others on a college football blog.

                    • Rbubp

                      What are you claiming, that the penalty for a suspended license is the same as for a DUI? I don’t think so.

                    • Rbubp

                      Let’s put this shoe on the other foot, Bright. What if one of ours, like Kade Weston or Geno Atkins, had been caught doing the same to Baby Jesus…I mean Tebow?

                      Don’t you think we’d be seeing something similar to the LeGarrette Blount situation? –I do. Mike “Gator” Slive would be all over protecting that asset.

              • Rbubp

                I did not UGA draws the line at anything. I have no idea what they draw the line at.

      • Yeah, lets get those insane learners permit drivers off the streets. Think of the children!

  2. Left to Right

    Richt is utterly and completely lost.

  3. Mista Ashraf

    If ever there was an opportunity to get Ealey pass protection experienced in a ‘relaxed’ environment, it would be this weekend. Let him start, the offensive line should be adequate to handle most pass protection with Ealey gaining experience. If it all goes totally wrong, let Caleb back in.

    Personally, I love both guys and do feel like Caleb can handle starting. However, if the coaches wanna go with Ealey, then let him start again this weekend.

  4. hodgie

    I am seriously wondering… What was Rashad Jones punishment for the punch in the throat to the Oklahoma State player a few years ago when we played them at home? I can’t remember.

  5. Smitty

    What Ealey needs is more experience and I believe he is getting better with every game. What is a better time than against a 1-AA opponent???

  6. FisheriesDawg

    Who was the running back in the game when Cox was blindsided at the end of the first half?

    • Russ

      By “blindsided” you mean Cox standing there while the defender ran straight over him from his passing side (most definitely not the blind side). And no, I don’t know who blew the coverage, but Ray Charles should’ve been able to see that guy coming. Of course, Cox was too busy staring down his receiver.

  7. Joe B.

    My goodness, Coach Richt is going insane.

    When was the last time he made a good decision, either with regards to in-game strategy or about the program as a whole?

    Let’s see…Brandon Miller at LB, Kiante Tripp’s career, Logan Gray returning punts, Bryan Evans ever being on the field, directional kicking, the abominations we wore Saturday, redshirting Knowshon Moreno, continuing to start Joe Cox, letting John Fabris come back after he took the Oklahoma job, Caleb King over Jon Dwyer, Chase Vasser over Jarvis Jones, not recruiting Ted Laurent, Richard Samuel’s career, letting Mike Bobo have the OC job, promoting Willie Martinez, hiring John Jancek, and not firing him yet, not recruiting any of the Stephenson guys-Jermaine Cunningham, Perry Riley or the other one, all 3 of whom have played at All-SEC levels, not recruiting a QB the year after Logan Gray

    Hiring Stacy Searels was nice. Tray Blackmon wound up being a tire fire, so we did not miss much there.

    Maybe he was just fooling us for the first 4 years? What the heck has happened?

    Can anyone believe that the writer for the Dalton paper has been right all year?

    • D.N. Nation

      Um, no. The “writer” for the Dalton paper is pushing for Georgia to hire VanGorder as head coach, which is actually probably the worst idea in the history of the world.

      He’s still a schmuck. Additionally, he defended the penalty on AJ Green before the SEC apologized, which makes him a double schmuck.

    • D.N. Nation

      Additionally, his ramblings are so hacky that his own paper has removed comments slicing and dicing his own BS, even while he struts around with this bring it ON, Georgia fans! aura about him. He’s pathetic.

      • Rbubp

        BVG couldn’t cut it as HC at Georgia Southern. What rational person thinks he could be competent at that at a tougher place to win?

        Some people are just cut out to be specialists.

    • Derek

      He did win the SEC in year 5 and finished #2 in year 7, our highest end of season ranking since 1980. So it hasn’t all been front loaded in the first four years. I am as frustrated as anyone, but someone needs to tell me how you replace a guy with the 4th best winning % in the FBS unless its with one of those top-3 and I don’t see Meyer, Carroll or whoever the other guy is showing up on our door.

      Who is out there that you KNOW is going to win at a higher clip than Richt? I know that we have never had a coach with a better record, ever. Read that again: EVER. Why does anyone think the next guy will be better than what we’ve got? The odds are greater that the next guy would be worse than they are that he’d be better. In addition, what guy with any sense is going to want to take on your and your ilk’s expectations, especially in this league, that forces a coach like Richt out? Not very many. We’d have to go through a couple of bad coaches before the job would appear atractive again, just like Bama did. Personally, I’m not ready to go through what Bama went through the last 14 years so that maybe I end up with a Saban in 2022. Nor am I ready to go through a Goff and a Donnan to end up with a Coach like Richt when we’ve already have him.

      We are getting rid of a lot of baggage come the end of this year and I think that, other than at DT, things look better on paper (Murray instead of Cox, much more managable schedule etc,…) for 2010 and beyond. Without CWM, CMR deserves at least through 2012 before there should be any calls for CMR. With CWM, he has until the end of next season. I just hope that CMR doesn’t hook his own future to Willie, but it appears that he may.

      • Joe B.

        I never advocated for replacing CMR.

        I just think that he has made a string of really bad decisions over the last 4 years.

        “Finish the drill” was awesome. It just needs to be updated a little bit, or it needs to be strictly adhered to.

        Matt Drills used to be awesome, but they have obviously become cliche.

        The ubiquitous high diving exhibition halfway through 2-a-days was clever at first, but the kids seem to know to bring their trunks to camp at this point.

        I just think CMR needs to rethink everything, and I believe that he will.

  8. Statesboro Dawg

    Ealey had a good game running the ball, but did whiff on block when Cox threw third pick on the 3rd and 1 play. The loss of being a”starter” may be more about accountability.

  9. Dog in Fla

    “[S]eems like the coaches are going out of their way to raise questions about their decision making.”

    Which brings up the two-part question of (1) what are words and phrases that every former coach in The SEC may have said and
    (2) what was the accompanying background music when they said them?

    • “I’m concerned about the fact that we’re 4-4, but I’m not concerned about the stability of the program or the direction of the program.” (Mark Richt, AB-H, 11/2/09)

  10. Stephen Hawking

    I can’t wait to see the huge numbers this pay-per-view will get this week.

    Stay with imcompetent 5th year QB who is playing worse than 1st year freshman – Check

    Bench only RB who looks like he plays with passion – Check

    Insert overhyped RB as starter who has done nothing in the three years on campus – Check

    Star WR out due to injury – Check

    Bryan Evans continues to play while Rambo sits and watches – Check

    Clueless Coaching Staff who has lost all accountability – Check

    Anything else I’m missing?

  11. Knowledge

    It is entirely plausible that CMR formulated his opinion on Washaun’s pass protection abilities AFTER the GA/FL game. Sometimes it takes putting a player in certain game day scenarios and situations before you can determine any deficiency. Just because his problems are “very typical” for a freshman, it does not mean he has had them all along.

    1-AA or not, I assure you that Tennessee Tech has players that, if unblocked, can cause turnovers, stymie drives, and ultimately hurt our players. Cox needs SPF 89 sun block and good pass blocking to make it though any game.

    • Just because his problems are “very typical” for a freshman, it does not mean he has had them all along.

      Honestly, that doesn’t make any sense to me. If he didn’t have the problems all along, then how is that typical?

      Don’t get me wrong. I don’t have a problem with the rationale for Caleb starting in and of itself. But for the life of me I can’t figure out why you’d start Ealey against Florida if that’s what you’ve thought all along.

      • Knowledge

        Something that is typical of a group of people is not necessarily typical of one. (I’ll use golf as an example since I’ve heard Washaun can really swing the sticks) It might be “very typical” for a novice golfer to pull puts, but that doesn’t mean that every novice golfer pulls puts. And if a novice golfer who did not pull puts suddenly started pulling puts, it would not be incorrect for me to say that his newly developed issue is “very typical” with novice golfers.

        Perhaps with the aid of a few games worth of film, defenses and CMR have noticed scenarios where Washaun does not pass block well, and now they are exploiting it. They would be exploiting an issue that is quite typical of a freshman back.

      • Maybe they thought Ealey was ready to block well, but he just didn’t, so he’s been demoted for a game.

        This doesn’t seem that hard, imho.

  12. do not resuscitate

    I’m pretty sure that Ealey will play guys. I don’t think the article said he would be sitting all game. Just because he’s not the starter doesn’t mean he won’t see most of the playing time.

    Oh, and we obviously need the additional blocking that King can provide. Maybe if Joe has more time, he doesn’t make as many mistakes. (Note: I’m not condoning starting Cox over anyone else, just saying that a few missed blocks at a crucial time can kill momentum/cause turnovers)

  13. Derek

    Is this really what we’ve come to? There are a lot of decisions that deserve to be questioned. Starting Bryan Evans over Rambo for example. Blitzing on a 3 and 16 on your opponents 30, when forcing a punt gives you a chance to take the lead is another. This one, however, is just a bit overblown.

    Bobo said after the game that Ealey was the No. 1 guy. Obviously film study made them concerned enough about pass protection to move King in there. Seems reasonable enough right? But then we have to analyze whether they knew that Ealey would struggle in pass protection when they decided to start him vs. UF. My assumption is that they knew that this would be his weak point, as it typically is with freshman, but that they were confident enough in him to let him start anyway.

    If it is typically a struggle for freshman to pass protect what are we really saying here: that Ealey should never have played? that Richt and Bobo forgot that Ealey was a freshman? that they were looking at the film and said “hey, what year is this guy?” “A freshman?” “No wonder?” “Why’d we start this guy?” Or are we saying that he shouldn’t have started vs. UF?

    If the answer is that he should not have started then my question is how do we know that he would not have been on the field in those very same situations in which he struggled? Which goes back to the first question: would we be better off if he were on the sideline?

    Richt, as acknowledged should have played Moreno as a fresh. He would have also struggled in pass protection. He may also have earned and lost a start along the way.

    I see no reason not to give Ealey some extra motivation to work on his pass protection. He will probably see as many reps Saturday as if he had started.

    • I’m not questioning whether Ealey should play.

      I’m wondering why a kid who’s not worthy of starting against Tennessee Tech because of problems with his pass protection was the choice to start against Florida.

      • B Man

        Well at least Tennessee Tech, or any of the remaining teams on the schedule, will know that when Ealy is in the game, the Dogs will likely be in a run situation. I’m oversimplifying, sure, as I’m certain Ealy will be in on some passing plays. Still, football (particularly defense) seems to be a game of knowing tendencies. Announcing that Ealy won’t start because his freshman-level pass blocking makes #14′s bowels loosen just spells out a tendency for other teams: Ealy = mostly in on running plays.

      • Derek

        I know, but the question suggests that the coaches might have the means of manipulating the time/space continuum. If they KNEW, rather than anticipating the possibility, that Ealey would have the problems before the game then they wouldn’t have started him. The fact that his problems are understandable, because he is a freshman, is simply a side note, not a reason to have made a different decision BEFORE the game. Any young player is going to have young player issues that in spite of them they may start over more experienced players. When those problems materialize and you decide to start the more experienced player the next week noting: “X had Y problems, typical of a young player” was it always a mistake to have started the young player in the first place? If that were the case if any coach started any freshman and he played anything but flawlessy and w/o any freshman mistakes, it would have always have been a coaching error to start him. This is why this particular criticism of the coaches, in the context of the myriad of potential criticisms, strikes me as particularly petty and does not withstand logical scrutiny.

        …and I still want somebody to answer why in the world we blitzed on 3rd and 16 on UF’s 30 with 10 minutes to play in the second, down by four, right after we just scored 10 straight. Now that is a coaching error that I can sink my teeth into. I’d like a CWM mea culpa on that one. In a game with no margin for error we couldn’t afford additional coaching brain farts. The players were providing enough of those. I may never get over that call. In the back of my mind, I keep thinking that he was influenced to be “aggressive” by fan criticism. I wise man once said: If you listen to the fans long enough, you’ll be sittin’ with them. I’m ready for this guy to take his seat. I think he’s earned it.

        • Let me try this another way.

          Ealey is a true freshman who didn’t play until the second half of the fifth game of the season. What exactly did the coaches see in the time from that game until the start last weekend that made them think he could handle pass protection against the best defense in the country?

          • PNWDawg

            Maybe pass protection for whatever reason wasn’t his top priority for the Florida game. Who knows?

          • Derek

            Maybe he was able to pick up CWM’s incredibly complicated blitz packages in practice (tongue planted firmly in cheek.) In truth though I don’t know what the coaches saw before the game, but I know I wasn’t sitting in front of the TV wondering why #24 was starting. From my vantage point, I thought he played very well, but apparently he didn’t grade out as well as he could have on film. Ealey’s presence appears to have gotten the other backs playing better and the way that all 3 of the backs played makes me feel much better about the rest of this year than I did after the UT game. No one is saying it, but the score notwithstanding, we were a much much better team Saturday than we were in Knoxville and we can, even with Joe, win out if the running game continues to show progress. 9-4 is still a possibility especially because the teams we play the rest of the way are not real good on defense.

      • InsideDog

        Ealey’s not starting against Tenn Tech because he didn’t do his part to protect his quarterback against Florida. Plain and simple. Call it punishment if you like, but until he convinces CMR that he’ll do everything in his power to block and protect the QB, he’ll ride wood.

  14. ScooBoo

    I think it has more to do with what actual play they plan on calling, as the first play of the game. If I am not mistaken, in the game that Ealey started, it was a last minute decision to put him in because they changed the first play of the game to a running play (that he runs better than King). Granted, that tells the opposition that you are going to run the ball, but I believe that was the explaination that was given a couple of weeks ago. King has been named the starter, but if they change their minds and decide to call a play that Ealey runs better than King, Ealey will start again this week.

  15. InsideDog

    It has nothing to do with logic as perceived by the fan base. Ealey is simply not blocking, or making an effort to block well anyway. CMR has always (FSU days) expected his rb’s to protect his quarterbacks. Remember Michael Cooper? maybe not since he was forth on the depth chart for the dogs even though he had the most yards per carry (incidently he transferred due to lack of playing time).

    Anyway, even though he was probably the best running back we had at that time, he stayed on splinter patrol because he refused to block. Perhaps Ealey is a Prima Dona who believes his only job is to carry a football and look pretty. Just food for thought.

  16. Dawg N Suds

    In Jacksonville, Ealey put spark in the running game but was a liability in the passing game.

    Demonstrating the ability in practice does not guarantee you can demonstrate it “when the bands are playing”.

    I have no problem with coaches demanding accountability in our players’ performance.

    We need more of this.

  17. rutdawg

    I agree with all the comments. My question is, if King gives us the best chance at executing the passing attack, why then is CMR sticking by Cox as the starter? 13 turnovers in 8 games is unacceptable. It is a sad state for the UGA program to say that Cox is the best qb we have on the sidelines.

  18. Lickin' My Wounds

    Joe does not have full responsibility for 13 turnovers in 8 games…tipped passes, missed assignments, etc. carry some blame, but regardless of blame it needs to stop. We all read the comments every week that “Joe gives us the best chance at winning.” This is from the coaches that see every rep at practice and breakdown all the game footage. What I take from this is that the other QBs limit our options in the offense and since Joe has more time in the playbook, he’s their man. Is it frustrating to watch? Hell yes! But such is the state of affairs in Athens these days.

    Let’s pray for at least 2 more wins to become bowl eligible so that we can make it to the Poulan Toilet Bowl in Shreveport…Some inspiration, huh?

  19. Todd

    Joe B., excellent post! At what point does a recruit look at this program and say no way? Kiffin is recruiting lights out, and Georgia still will end up with shoulder issues and dude 5 star kids.

    Joe B., I would add Prince Miller to tailback instead of db. Also, why is Georgia continually wasting scholarships on small dbs or rbs? Prnce Miller, Carlton Thomas, Tyson Browning….situational at best. They are place holders and thats it. Bogatay(sp?), that was a great scholarship there too.

    • D.N. Nation

      At what point does a recruit look at this program and say no way?

      The whole NO ONE WILL GO HERE ANYMORE!!!! line doesn’t hold water when the only threat of a decommit we’ve had was from a guy worried that WillieMart wouldn’t be here.

      Do you know how much money Matthew Stafford is making right now? That’s why people want to come here.

    • Joe B.

      Look we are going to get recruits no matter what. Ufk is the least of our worries right now, as we need to fix what is in our own house.

      The thing is, we have got to start finding those recruits with the hunger, again. Our guys now have some sense of entitlement that they do not deserve.

      CMR managed to change our program from an NFL training ground into a championship program. Unfortunately, he has been recruiting kids who see the NFL as more important than winning championships for the last few years.

  20. NRBQ

    It smells a little like CMR is laying some blame on W.E. for Cox’s poor play at UF, thus helping to justify the decision to keep starting Cox.

  21. Mike

    Wasn’t it just last year that the coaches were publicly questioning Caleb King’s ability to be effective in pass protection?

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