From challenged to wild

Here’s a nice Gentry Estes post on the fine job Warren Belin is doing with the kickoff coverage unit, but the part that gets me is this:

… Overall, Georgia’s coverage approach has been different in 2010 under Belin. Sailors said last year’s unit used a “triangle” system, where three guys were held back. Now it’s all 10 coverage guys sprinting to the football.

So let me see if I have this straight… Fabris’ tactical strategy = ineffective directional kicking + coverage guys who line up 5-7 yards behind the line of scrimmage on a kickoff + holding three guys back in coverage.  Given that, it’s hardly a surprise that kickoff coverage was a sore spot last season.  It’s almost a bigger surprise that the coverage unit was able to make any plays at all with those handicaps.

I wonder if there are days when Mark Richt wakes up and asks himself, “what in the hell was I thinking?”.

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58 Comments

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58 responses to “From challenged to wild

  1. The Original Cynical in Athens

    I am sure there are plenty of days that he thinks that.

    Even if he is just the “CEO” of the program, at the end of the day the CEO has to look over every department and veto the egregiously stupid sh*t.

    How could that have been allowed to persist for so long?

  2. Dooms Day Dawg

    OCIA, I could not agree more. While CMR ultimately made changes, it is baffling after reading the linked article to think he refused to make any ST adjustments for such a prolonged period! Yet we continue to see the same lackluster play week in and week out from the O-line and/or RB’s. Wonder what we will discover once he makes changes there. If one were so inclined to build a book of evidence against CMR, it would be for too easy. Chapter One = Crazy Willie Hunkers Down. Chapter Two = Special Teams (Directional Kicking). Chapter 3 = Nothing Special Here (The Triangle Coverage). Chapter 4 = Emotional Ploys/Theories. Chapter 5 = Uniform Gimmicks! Chapter 6 = How to Prepare for SEC Play Without Tackling The WHOLE Off-Season!

    • Joe

      Remember Chapter 8: “How to use your stone hands as an offensive non weapon until your position coach retires.”

      PS. We are catching everything the last two years. Finally. We made Joe Cox look VERY good on mostly horrific throws.

    • Brandon

      Why don’t you just go be a fan of some other team, man? I don’t think following this team has been very good for your health. How about the Harlem Globetrotters? They virtually never lose.

    • The Realist

      I would combine chapters 2 & 3. It doesn’t seem like there is enough info there to warrant two different chapters… unless this is an easy reader, and considering its author… that might make a little more sense.

      Chapter 5 shows how in touch you are with the precepts of running a major program & the athletes it requires to function. The uniform gimmicks are 1) money driven, 2) fun for the players, & 3) good for recruiting. You want us to be as good as Alabama… well, they are playing in alternate uniforms this year. So…

  3. carolinadawg

    “I wonder if there are days when Mark Richt wakes up and asks himself, “what in the hell was I thinking?”. ”

    I hope he has one of those days soon in regard to the offensive coordinator.

    • Ben

      If the Dawgs close out the year averaging 30 or so points a game, will you feel the same way?

      • Carolinadawg

        Yep.

        • Dawgwalker07

          That seems a bit silly.

          • Will (the other one)

            Look at the points we scored without AJ in the game. That’s a preview of next season if Bobo comes back (maybe not as bad, as he finally realized we don’t have the power in the trenches to be a Power-I team, but it took him until the Vols to figure that out.)

            • Dawgwalker07

              So you’re going to fire him and upset the relationships that are established with the current players and kids we’re recruiting, as well as the entire offensive system that ALL of the players know because of something that may or may not happen?

              I don’t think Bobo is God’s gift to playcalling, but he’s still a young coordinator who only has 1 full season without a number 1 draft pick at QB and another first rounder at RB.

              And as far as “Look at the points we scored without AJ in the game.” I would say Bobo managed okay without him last season.

      • Carolinadawg

        FYI, we’re averaging 29.7 now.

  4. Dawg N Suds

    It’s great to see the wedge-disruptors return to our special teams units.

  5. James Stephenson

    Bobo could average 40 points, or be tied with the league lead in scoring for SEC games and people will still want him gone.

    Oh yeah, Bobo did tie the league lead in scoring last year, while Cox was Throwing INTs left and right and the Defense was not giving him many short fields.

    • Biggus Rickus

      Yeah, I don’t think he’s the greatest OC in college football or anything. He was probably a bit too hardheaded about pounding the ball at people early on this year. But overall he’s been solid since being promoted. They’ve averaged more points with him calling the plays than they did with Richt doing it.

      • Xon

        Yes, and while we’re piling on (is it safe for the Bobo-neutrals and even sympathizers to come out of the woods? Too soon?), my favorite “keeping’ it real angry” fan criticism is when they talk about Bobo’s “first and bomb.” Look at our typical yardage on first downs!

        Then, when we hit a 30 yard pass downfiled on “first and bomb,” the realbot fans all write “finally, some good playcalling by Bobo?”

        Look, being a football fan is like any (slightly to heavily) dysfunctional relationship, and the fans are the ladies with security issues. That explains pretty much everything.

        Here’s to enjoying a “quiet” period where we all tell our families that “things are better” that lasts through the New Year!

        • W Cobb Dawg

          I couldn’t care less what the stats were if we were winning. The offense had 10 returning starters. Plus solid backups at every position except QB. Murray has far exceeded everything we hoped for. Considering those facts, CMR should be taking a hard look at whether any of the O coaches merit a return. Bobo may be a good QB coach, but as OC for this team, this season, he’s been very poor – particularly in games against mid-level or good teams.

          • The offense had 10 returning starters.

            Not for the first four games…

            • W Cobb Dawg

              Senator, are you seriously defending the job the O coaches have done in those first 4 games? Isn’t a 5th year player like Durham a satisfactory replacement for AJ – at least for a few games against mid-level opponents? How about a 4th year Strickland for C. Davis or a 5th year Munzenmaier for Chapas. Durham, Munz and Strickland may be backups, but these guys have been on the team and contributing for a long time. We’re not throwing newbees out there. And the opponents have injuries/issues too. The truth is, the O was coached poorly before and during the games. CMR would be wise to take steps to prevent it from happening again. Haven’t we learned (the hard way) that ignoring problems doesn’t solve anything?

              • Isn’t a 5th year player like Durham a satisfactory replacement for AJ…

                You’re kidding, right?

                • W Cobb Dawg

                  Senator, you’re cherry picking my comment like a politician at a debate. If you put my statement back in its context, “….against mid-level talent”, I’d reiterate Durham should be a sufficient replacement for AJ. Injuries and suspensions are part of the game – for opponents too. I’m suggesting CMR take a hard look at his O assistant coaches to determine why we lost 4 games to what have always been inferior teams.

                  If you’re saying we must have AJ to win, the future after AJ does not look good.

                  • If you’re saying we must have AJ to win, the future after AJ does not look good.

                    I’ve already posted that’s a big concern of mine for next season.

                    And as for “mid-level talent”, South Carolina, Arkansas and Mississippi State are all ranked teams.

  6. Bryant Denny

    Miss ol Gentry’s coverage of the Tide. He did a nice job for us.

  7. AthensHomerDawg

    The Wild Bunch.
    Thank you Coach Belin for your revisionist approach to our special teams. Sam would be proud.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KJMxGFco57Y

  8. I think we’re going to look back at this year of change and turmoil (special teams coach, coordinator(s?), athletic director, etc.) as the year that propelled us to the MNC.
    I realize that that is nothing but speculative, and that it isn’t exactly the subject matter of the blog (if you’ll indulge me).
    Consider that UGA and UF have not met as unranked opponents since 1979… which was followed directly by 1980. Good omen?

    • Scorpio Jones, III

      Is it ok if I start thinking about all that on Sunday morning?

      • Oh, yeah, Scorp. You’re right, of course. We can’t afford to look ahead.
        We need to wishfully think about one game at a time. ;)

        • Scorpio Jones, III

          Jeez, you coulda left out the “wishfully”.

          God almighty I miss Larry. It’s not that what’s his name is bad….his voice lacks the gravitas I need.

          There is no art.

          (Not sure about the relevance…just sayin.)

          • Gravelly-itas either, for that matter, but I digress.
            I don’t imagine you’ll get much argument, but you’ve got to let the new guys have a chance to grow into the job, not to mention how difficult it is to follow a legend with a legend.

            • Scorpio Jones, III

              Based on my observation, Howard is doing a decent job of describing each play, and Zeir is a welcome addition to the broadcast. (Of course their predecessor hardly needed a color dude.)

              And I don’t doubt that I will get used to them in time….but they don’t connect me to the game the way…..well, if you know, you know, and if you don’t you won’t.

              It is NOT an easy job.

              • Biggus Rickus

                Larry was one of a kind. I’ve never heard any homer announcer who was remotely as good at capturing the emotion of a moment with extemporaneous commentary.

                • Dooms Day Dawg

                  I second that! Munson is a living legend! No one is capable of bringing the play into your home the way he did. You could hear his joy and/or pain with each play! Man, I miss listening to Larry on the radio with the TV on mute!

              • Oh, yeah, you’re coming in five by five, Scorp. Many’s the time I was driving along with Larry Legend sweating out the last few minutes of a 35-3 Dawg lead in my car though it felt like Munson was in the car with me and the car was inside whatever stadium the Dawgs were playing.
                He provided the autumn soundtrack to my childhood growing up in the heart of Gator Country (my parents both attended UGA in the sixties. I never really had a choice of colleges to attend ). They definitely broke the mold.

  9. AlphaDawg

    Chapter 9 would be ‘Details? Who Needs Stinking Details?’ (not knowing the personel on the field fits the play called)
    Chapter 10 I love me some Redshirts (no sense of urgency, Richts love for redshirting even when those True Freshmen can contribute or need the PT to gain experince…the flip side ties in with CHPT 9, why didn’t he redshirt Marlon Brown last year when he wasn’t gonna be a part of the O, why didn’t he play Boo this weekend to see what we have, because we are gonna loose King next year. ANd hopefully add Crowell. UF and AL always plays Freshmen that can contribute.

    • AlphaDawg

      Chapter 9a, Why didn’t Joe Cox get mor PT in mop up duty to prepare for his for a starting position. And why redshirt 2 Top freshmen QB recruits the same year? Did he really expect both to stay around for 5 yrs with the possiblity of one not seeeing any meaningful playing time? At least mason has seen the field this YR (with Murray running making plays, Richt needs to get Mason in for some needed mop up duty)

      • Xon

        Maybe Saban had already seen Mettenberger partying in downtown Athens, and told Richt about all about it, so Richt knew it was just a matter of time before Murray stood alone anyway.

      • Biggus Rickus

        Why not expect that? Brad Johnson was an NFL-caliber player who was a career backup at FSU while Richt was there, and Shockley stuck it out through three years of serving as Greene’s backup. Also, neither was going to get any significant playing time, and you don’t know which will pan out. Would we be better served this year and going forward if Murray were a true sophomore who threw a handful of passes last year? Would the situation be any different at all if Mettenberger had been the guy to get those snaps?

      • Biggus Rickus

        Also, how much mop-up duty was there in 2008? Did you watch the games that year? Georgia had zero blowout victories after the first two games and only one blowout loss all season (I’m not counting Alabama as they did manage to make the final look respectable, sort of). Cox played in all three.

    • Dawgwalker07

      “why didn’t he redshirt Marlon Brown last year when he wasn’t gonna be a part of the O, why didn’t he play Boo this weekend to see what we have”

      1. You proposed an answer to your first question with your second.
      2. These statements are contradictory complaints-you can’t have it both ways.

      • AlphaDawg

        The Contradiction is the issue. On one hand we burn a redshirt on Marlon for a wasted year,we had depth at WR and TE/RB contributed to the passing attack, yet we will not burn a redshirt on a RB(Boo) when depth and performance is an issue. And do I even have to mention Moreno. And the Brad Johnson issue was in a different era. Shockley knew he would have 1 yr as starter, Mett and Murray came in a the same time, both took a redshirt year at the same time, hence they would both graduate at the same time short of one leaving early for the NFL when would the other one see any playing time? I’m sorry but it just always appears that Richt has no sense of urgency or great attention to details, which is why his seat is just short of scalding.

        • Biggus Rickus

          A different era? It was seven years prior to our QB exodus when Quincy Carter got the gig. Maybe Mettenberger or Murray would have left, whenever one officially became the starter, or maybe not. We’ll never know since Mettenberger will likely be at LSU next year. As it turned out, the team is better off long-term having redshirted both of them. If you want to complain, complain about something that didn’t work out.

        • Dawgwalker07

          “I’m sorry but it just always appears that Richt has no sense of urgency or great attention to details, which is why his seat is just short of scalding.”
          Why? Because he’s a collected person at press conferences and doesn’t blast the media and remind us of how he’s a man and over 40? And since when was his seat just short of scalding? I missed that memo.

          “yet we will not burn a redshirt on a RB(Boo) when depth and performance is an issue”. Why would we burn a redshirt on a player when he’s going to be at least 3rd in the rotation once King returns from suspension? That’s about as bright as burning Marlon’s redshirt last year. He’s not going to be a solid contributor so why waste a year of eligibility?

          And what’s your fascination with recruiting both Murray and Mettenberger? They both CHOSE to come to UGA knowing there would be competition, and knowing the other was coming too. Apparently it didn’t bother them that much, why does it bother you?

  10. Xon

    Chapter 10. Damned if you do, damned if you don’t: The Renegade Appendix that the publishers invited a Richt supporter to put in for balance…

    “Listen to Richt after the game, staying calm and talking about trying to improve. It’s like he doesn’t know how we feel!”

    “Richt makes inherently difficult decisions that require a good bit of “entrepeneurial magic” (predicting future contingencies that no human can truly predict) in ways that are sometimes incorrect!” (Whether to redshirt a given player; whether to tackle more or less in practices to balance protecting against injuries and conditioning for a stout defensive performance; how long to bear with misdemeanor-level offenses from players; etc. etc. etc.)

  11. Go Dawgs!

    Seriously… how in the heck did Fabris think it could ever work?

  12. W Cobb Dawg

    Chapter 12 – how to waste 3 timeouts in 5 minutes or less at the beginning of a quarter.

    • They won by 43. Aren’t you nitpicking here, just a little?

      • W Cobb Dawg

        You’re cherry picking one game. Flash back to scu or previous seasons. Clock and TO management has been a festering problem for a long time. Ya know, there are plenty of good reasons why CMR hasn’t made it to the mnc game. I’m amused by those who think it all comes down to luck, though that’s not an inference to you my friend. “Coaching” and attention to all those minor details have a lot to do with it. Poor coaching makes a big difference, as we’ve seen this season. And make no mistake, we have had some very poor coaching.

        • Biggus Rickus

          I’m sorry, but it was attention to detail that caused WVU to collapse against Pitt, allowing two-loss LSU to make the BCS Championship Game?

          • Dooms Day Dawg

            Most likely not. However, one could argue that lack of attention to detail that very year is the reason the Dawgs were not in that game. See the UT game.

            • Biggus Rickus

              That and an extremely lucky close to the season by that same UT team. Luck isn’t everything, but it certainly plays a role in most championship seasons.

        • Your example, but I’m cherry picking. Well played indeed, sir.

          While we’re on the subject, though, here’s why the three TOs were called: not having 11 players on the field, wrong personnel package on the field for the play called and decision on fourth and short to go for the first down instead of kicking the field goal. Which of those would you have handled differently if you were the head coach?

          And in the vast scheme of things, don’t you think every Gamecock fan on the planet would trade those three time outs for the disastrous one Spurrier misused at the end of the Kentucky game? That’s the real bottom line here: if clock management doesn’t cost you the game, who cares how aesthetically pleasing it is?

  13. shane#1

    If I remember correctly, Richt said that Brown would not learn much as a red shirt. Red shirts are used on the scout team and practice OTHER teams plays to use against the starting D. Brown came from a small Christian School and had never seen anything like an SEC defense. He had a lot to learn. In UGA’s system RBs have to be able to block. Most HS RB’s have done very little blocking. Ealey said that he had never thrown a block in high school. We have all seen what happens when a back misses a block against a blitz. RB and WR, apples and oranges.