Comments that make you go, “hmmm…”

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.

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41 Comments

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41 responses to “Comments that make you go, “hmmm…”

  1. Biggus Rickus

    On the defense it’s probably a matter of not fully understanding what they’re supposed to do in some situations, which is somewhat understandable. And even with that, they’ve improved somewhat.

    Why the offense can’t execute is beyond me. They returned everyone but the QB from a mostly competent offense (aside from Cox’s turnover problems). There’s no excuse for it.

    • Bulldog Bry

      and somewhere Joe Cox is probably giggling.

    • rbubp

      + 1. It makes no sense.

    • Normaltown Mike

      I’ve wondered what rock all those “fans” that were ruthless in Cox bashing last yr are hiding under.

      Apparently, having a full mastery of the playbook, etc. gave Cox some ability to marshal the offense a bit better than the (clearly) more talented Murray.

      Further, Ealey’s continued stupidity indicates he was the bonehead on the ill fated scoring drive vs Kentucky last yr., though Cox took responsibility.

      • No One Knows You're a Dawg

        Ealey is a coach killer: a very talented player whose repeated mistakes gets a team beat and a coach fired.

      • Mayor of Dawgtown

        It came out later that Ealey was the one who got the play wrong that cost us the UK-UGA game. Cox was not to blame, he just took it like a man for the team.

      • The Realist

        Apparently, having a full mastery of the playbook, etc. gave Cox some ability to marshal the offense a bit better than the (clearly) more talented Murray.

        How much of that is due to Bobo’s conservative, “must protect Murray” mindset?

        I’d rather the kid go out and make a few mistakes along with a few plays with a chance to win than to take the ball out of his hands and be certain of a loss.

        • The Realist

          As an addendum, there’s a saying that goes something like … “if you have never failed, then you aren’t doing anything innovative” or something like that.

          But, the point being, if Murray isn’t making mistakes, then you aren’t letting him off the leash far enough. You have to let him make a mistake or two before he will learn not to make them again. If your child has never been burned, then he won’t fully grasp the concept of hot. Just let the kid play, and when he makes a bad read, or makes a bad throw, then correct it and move on. Don’t call plays to protect the QB’s psyche. Call plays to score points. Sheesh.

          /rant

        • Josh

          +1

          Small ball is fine if you’ve got a bad-ass defense to fall back on (see: Tressel, Jim and Hat, The).

          If you don’t, you gotta roll the dice with your talented-but-still-learning freshman QB.

          Or not.

  2. Flipping this around… when’s the last time our offense came out on their first series and either a) lined up in a formation we haven’t already seen a million times (or *any* formation besides the I), or b) run a play we haven’t seen lately?

    • Ben

      Or what about when we saw the offense come out, explode to a fast score, and then bog down the rest of the game? It goes both ways with our offense; there doesn’t seem to be much consistency from play to play; drive to drive; or game to game.

    • Anon

      Just what I was thinking reading this drivel. Why can’t we be the ones that force adjustments, huh?

      WHY CAN’T US??!?

  3. Boss Dawg

    I believe that most of our issues start with being manhandled all over the field. Everyone pushes us around….it’s just about that simple.

    • Ben

      And what does that say about S&C? There’s no way DVH gets dismissed from the team. He’s got a long, successful resume that he’ll coast on. I keep reading about how stellar the S&C program is at UF and Bama, but we haven’t seen guys manhandle the opponent since the early 2000s, at least in my mind.

      When you’re bigger, faster, and stronger than your opponent, you can flat out exert your will upon someone. When was the last time UGA was in a game as hard-hitting as the Clemson/AU game last week? I know those don’t happen every week, but I don’t know when UGA was in one like that…

  4. The Realist

    I, too, believe execution is the answer….

  5. Josh

    I’m not sure I totally buy into the “our S&C program sucks” meme, but for argument’s sake, let’s assume there’s something to that.

    You can (at least on offense, to a certain degree) scheme around relative weaknesses like dodgy offensive line play. That’s the reason for the popularity of the spread offense, especially amongst mid-majors… not just to get your guy out in space against their guy, but to compensate for mismatches in the trenches.

    I don’t think we need to become SMU or Houston, but Bobo’s refusal to move beyond the I-formation, play-action game is doing us no favors.

    Don’t get me wrong… I absolutely *love* that style of football when you have the line (and a stud tailback) to pull it off (see: USC most of this decade, Bama lately, etc.). We have neither of those prerequisites.

    • Will (the other one)

      Not to mention a shotgun- or pistol-style 3- or 4-wide set would give Murray more time to look at the defense, more room to run if (when) protection breaks down, and would’ve been a great adjustment for those games when we didn’t have Chapas.

      Instead we got Marlon Brown, lined up at FB.

  6. Gen. Stoopnagle

    It seems the consensus is that we’re unimaginative on offense and we’re running an antiquated S&C program. These problems are easily solved: the HC can take over the offense in a quiet manner and the director of S&C can retire with a very nice compensation package. These things can only be done in Dec/Jan if we’re going to do it the right way, so I’m content to support the team through the end of the season and see what happens.

    Florida has Bama and LSU to play; Carolina has Florida and Bama to play; so all is not completely lost. Losing to Mississippi State is the nadir, for sure, but we’ve seen Richt coach teams finish with a flourish before. The only choice in my mind is to watch it play out, hope for the best and let the new AD take stock of the situation.

    • Gen. Stoopnagle

      Changes in S&C can only take place later… I think the HC can take over the O at any point without announcing it to the world. Afterall, our current OC took over play-calling and it wasn’t publicly known until well after the fact. I think our coach will allow everyone to save as much face as possible if he chooses to make changes.

  7. Otto

    I agree the defense is swinging in a positive direction. Mistake will be made, coverages will be blow, even Bama with Saban lost to UofLa Mo in year 1.

    Offense on the other seems to be limited by the staff. The procedure penalties and fumbles are beyond me but the blame ultimately falls on the coaches for not finding a way to fix it before the game.

    I do agree CMR can step in on game planning and play calling quietly. I firmly believe Bobo is keeping Murray from being the DJ Shockley style of playmaker he is, with the predictable play calling.

    • Scorpio Jones, III

      “DJ Shockley style of playmaker”

      You mean the brief flashes you saw of DJ until he had been in the program FIVE YEARS?

  8. Ron

    If that is true, then why don’t we ever show anything different on the first series?

  9. Josh

    Count me as against the idea of Richt coming back as OC.

    First, he openly admitted that being so involved in offensive gameplanning limited his ability to function as CEO. At this juncture, that can’t be good.

    Second… I remember being just as frustrated with Richt as OC as I am with Bobo. Part of that is me wanting to drop half a hundred on everyone… but part of that was Richt’s offenses (post-2001) bearing a striking resemblance to Bobo’s.

    Recall that Richt came into the SEC as a vertical passing game kind of guy… throw to set up the run, etc. (no one else remembers our “Sprint Draw U” days besides me???).

    But what worked great at FSU in the 90s didn’t cut it in early 2000s SEC country. Remember that it was Tommy Tubberville of all people who famously offered that “Mark’s got to learn to run the ball to win in this league”. I submit that Richt took that advice to heart, learned to love the play-action pass, and we won two championships as a result (playing good defense didn’t hurt either).

    But somewhere along the way, the formula stopped working quite so well. We were (mostly) fine offensively during the Stafford/Moreno salad days… it was mainly the defense that did us in then.

    We still haven’t fully cracked that nut, but now we don’t even have the stud tailback or road-grading offensive line to be successful with “ground and pound”. And Bobo hasn’t adapted to this reality.

    Either he can’t see it, can see it but can’t adapt, or can see it but won’t adapt. Regardless, I think he’s over-employed. Murray’s clearly at his best when the field is spread, and he gets time to either pass or create something himself. Yes, he’ll throw some picks. Yes, he could get hurt. Exactly how is the *possibility* of those things any worse than the *reality* we now face???

    • Faulkner

      If I’m the AD I’m thinking this is BS. I just came from a program that has been winning and we didn’t care what people thought of us. Not to mention slapping the Dawgs around Jacksonville every year. I think the coaches who are not getting it done may be in for a rude surprise at the end of the year. The AD had no loyalty to any of these guys.

      • Russell

        “Let the hair go with the hide”, as they say in my neck of the woods. I’m tired of exploring possible scenarios. I hope CMR stays at least another year, but if not, he won’t be on food stamps.
        If he moves on, then so be it. UGA football will move on also. For better or worse, we’ll move on.

    • Normaltown Mike

      So you’re saying you didn’t like the Stretch handoff?

  10. The General

    I wonder if Mike Leach would be interested in an OC job. I bet he could even come in right now and use the existing playbook to maximize the use of the talent we have. It might be “beneath” him, but he didn’t have too many suitors for HC jobs last offseason. He’s the best offensive mind not working right now. Just don’t let him make any decisions on concussion treatment.

    • No coach is getting hired or fired mid-season.

      • The General

        I know, but a boy can dream. Literally. I had a dream last night that we hired Northwestern’s OC today. Not the real Northwestern OC, just a dream version who actually inspired confidence, unlike Bobo the Clown.

    • Josh

      We don’t need Mike Leach… for several reasons.

      Mostly, we need someone who’s playcalling is driven more by matchups, recent historic evidence of effectiveness, and a dash of the unpredictable… instead of by the all holy scripture of “thou shalt look at the stat sheet at game’s end and see 50-50 run/pass ratio, outcome be damned”.

  11. PNWDawg

    It’s all about discipline. This team lacks it both on and off the field. I suggest CMR show up to practice with a sweet-ass pimp cane and start b*&^h-slapping folks.

  12. Turd Ferguson

    Like most others, I’m inclined to give something of a pass to the defense … for now. Not only do they have to learn a new scheme and all, but many of them also have to unlearn what they were taught by Willie and others. Having said that, though … I don’t read those comments and think, “The players must not be executing,” or, “The players aren’t buying in.” Rather, I think, “Richt, Bobo, and Grantham are being out-coached.”

    I mean, obviously they’re all aware of the fact that our opponents will likely try to give us some new looks. But they’re comments are still coming off a bit like, “Golly, gee. They sure did surprise us with them newfangled plays they ran. We’d’ve beat ‘em if they’d just run they plays we expected them to run.” I mean, c’mon. This is supposed to be an upper-tier D-1 football program in the country’s most competitive conference. And our coaches sound like they’re all new to this whole coachin’ gig.

  13. Dog in Fla

    “When you see something new that first series, you hope you adjust well to it, and we just haven’t been able to.”

    It’s like a puzzle he can’t solve every week because if he could,