What a difference a year makes.

Mark Richt on kickoff coverage, August 10, 2009:

“They still have to kick it to a spot, whether they kick it in the end zone or not,” Richt said. “You can’t just spray the ball any old where. You can’t kick with reckless abandon and say, ‘I hope it’s going out of the end zone,’ because if it doesn’t, your cover team has no prayer.”

Mark Richt on kickoff coverage, August 10, 2010:

“We are going to let these guys kick away at it and see if they can get it out of the end zone as much as possible. That’s where it starts. I think what’s going to free up Walsh is the spot we were giving him last year was small. Now it’s broadened.”

You should read the article in its entirety, but for now, all I can say is that I’m developing a serious man crush on Warren Belin.

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10 Comments

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10 responses to “What a difference a year makes.

  1. Pingback: Leather Helmet Blog: Dawg Daily 10Aug

  2. kckd

    As much as I hated what happened to our defense, the special teams kickoff and coverage has been the most difficult thing to watch during the Richt years and it has been that way from the beginning.

    No one understood it. Not us peons. Not our HOF FG kickers (Robinson and Butler).

    At first we were told that what we were trying to pin teams inside the twenty. Then when they moved the kickoff back and that really didn’t make any sense at all, we were told that we had to hit a certain spot on the field because if you just tried to kick it out and didn’t, you were committing suicide.

    Meanwhile Jancek talked about kickoffs and how it was the only pure football play left from the good old days and his use of the grunts on kickoffs. Honestly, the man sounded like Robert Duvall’s character in “Apocalypse Now” when he started talking about kickoffs. It was scary.

    And we continued to watch not just teams like UF or LSU or Auburn, etc. outplay us on kickoff coverage, but teams that didn’t come close to us in talent like Vandy or Kentucky.

    Thank God it’s over.

    • JC in Powder Springs

      Agreed. You didn’t even mention our worldwide search for a guy who could kick it out of the stadium, which ended up in a scholy for Bogotay – who apparently is going to sit the bench for his UGA career. Let’s hope sanity is restored to this area of the game.

    • What Fabris (and Richt to a certain extent by throwing him under the bus) did to Blair Walsh’s mental makeup in 2008 was just inexcusable in my book. I was through with Fabris midway through that season based on that alone.

      • Hackerdog

        The fact that Walsh was able to withstand that and perform like an All-American is really impressive.

  3. BadM

    Coach says they can’t cover the whole field from sideline to sideline. One trick we used in pee wee league: watch the ball and run to it. The kick will decide which half of the field to concentrate on. But maybe that is expecting too much. We were fast little boogers at 7.

  4. Vindexdawg

    Yep. To this day, I will never understand the blind persistence of Fabris & Co. in such a wrong-headed approach to our KO’s and coverage, in the face of such horrible results over YEARS. CMR’s comments of a year ago are as embarrassing to read as his of today are sane and heartening. Let us hope that he has learned a lesson, albeit an expensive one. And let us be glad that the Three Stooges of last year’s coaching staff are now an unlamented part of our past, as opposed to the present.

  5. 69Dawg

    Hell where is the difficulty and the chess game to a Touch back. Fab didn’t have enough of a problem with our lack of rush from the DE’s he had to create more stress from Directional Kicking. The guy had issues.

  6. shane#1

    Directional kickoffs can be effective if done properly. The theory is to pin the returner inside the 10 and use the sideline as another man. The object is to pin a team deep rather than spot them the twenty. With an EXPERENCED kicker and an AGGRESSIVE coverage unit directional kicks are a good weapon. I think coverage personel was a major problem. No kicker will get a touchback every time, but a decent kick coverage team will not give the opponent the forty yard line! After the celebration that wasn’t UGA kicked off to a world class sprinter behind a line loaded with people in the two deep. UGA’s response to the LSU threat was a kick coverage team including five walkons, a back up QB, and a 165lb kicker. Just who on that team was supposed to stop an Olympic sprinter?

    • Hackerdog

      If I had to stop a sprinter as soon as possible, I would try to make the sprinter start running as far back as possible.

      But I’ve never been in the arena.