Pretty common theme running through these:
“Any time you play a team, they’re going to do something new, and whatever is new, they’re going to give it to you in the first series of the game,” Richt said Tuesday. “You can prepare for everything that you’ve seen on film, but the bottom line is that you’re probably going to see something that you haven’t seen that needs to be adjusted to. When you see something new that first series, you hope you adjust well to it, and we just haven’t been able to.”
“I feel like we just need to execute,” senior receiver Kris Durham said. “We’ve moved the ball up and down the field, but we’re not able to execute in the red zone. That has nothing to do with play-calling. That’s about players needing to take a look at themselves, dig down deep and focus on that.”
“I feel like with us that it’s not just one issue,” inside linebacker Christian Robinson said. “It’s a theme, and I think the theme is execution and discipline. I’m practically quoting Coach Grantham.”
Speaking of whom, here’s one straight from the horse’s mouth.
“They’re going to have plays they’re going to run on you,” defensive coordinator Todd Grantham said. “Sometimes maybe if it’s a new play or something different and it’s not exactly as you practiced it, you’ve still got to apply your concepts to get through the down. If you do that, you’re fine. If you don’t, you can give up an explosive play like it’s been happening.”
If I’m getting this, it sounds like we’ve swung back from a period where the coaching was the primary roadblock to one in which the players are being shown what they need to succeed, but aren’t following through when they hit the field. You can certainly hear the frustration. And the source for the lack of progress – well, that’s hard to put a finger on. Hangover from three+ years of bad habits? Little concern for accountability? Miasmic funk from the Green suspension? Who knows why, but to continue the animal metaphor, we all know that you can lead them to water. It’s convincing them to take that drink that’s the hard part.
Maybe the Ealey demotion turns a few heads. Green’s return to the field can’t hurt. But for some reason the coaches aren’t getting enough of their guys to buy in right now. That’s part of how you get off to 1-3 starts.