Mark Bradley knows coaching. That’s why he’s a pundit.

Surely this is one of the more questionable things Mark Bradley has ever written:

… Say what you will about Meyer, but the man can coach. His work against Ohio State in Glendale, Ariz., in January 2007 was the greatest coaching performance the BCS title game has ever seen, and his work against Georgia on Saturday was no less inspired. In Jacksonville he took the demonstrably lesser team — anybody see an A.J. Green or a Justin Houston or even an Aaron Murray or an Orson Charles among Gators? — and wrung 450 yards and 34 points from it.

Did he miss Chris Rainey?  How about Jeff Demps?

If we’re really supposed to believe that the Gators were the “demonstrably lesser team” yesterday, what does that say about Meyer’s inability to develop what many observers would say have been the most talented recruiting classes in college football over the past four seasons?  Isn’t that part of coaching, too?

The stupidity/dishonesty on display there is too bad, because Bradley has a valid point about Richt not having his team ready to play.

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75 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football, Media Punditry/Foibles, Urban Meyer Points and Stares

75 responses to “Mark Bradley knows coaching. That’s why he’s a pundit.

  1. UFTimmy

    Well, no one in college football has an AJ. He scares the bejesus out of me. I’m assuming and hopeful that’s the last time we’ll see him.

    Georgia could have higher top level talent and not be as talented of a team. We may not have anyone who is that big of a star right now, but that doesn’t mean you have greater talent at every position. So his point may be partially correct.

  2. D.N. Nation

    Bradley’s an ass.

  3. travis fain

    Joe and I were talking about this. I’m thinking Janoris Jenkins and some of the other guys on Florida’s defense are pretty good, too.

    I think you can argue Urban Meyer did the better coaching job Saturday, but don’t say stupid things while you’re doing it.

  4. D.N. Nation

    Also…

    … Say what you will about Meyer, but the man can coach.

    Written during a year where Florida lost 10-7 at home to Miss. State.

  5. PNWDawg

    Are we still operating under the position that criticizing Richt’s ability to coach is a no-no? For the record I want him to stick around and get his sh$t together. But it seems he is getting out-coached quite regularly and we haven’t show up in too many big games since 2008. I see quite a bit of critiquing related to what he says and/or does but as soon as someone says he maybe isn’t that great or is losing his touch there’s a big disagreement.

    • D.N. Nation

      Are we still operating under the position that criticizing Richt’s ability to coach is a no-no?

      Hardly.

      I’d just assume a paper that Covers Dixie Like The Dew would have columnists who weren’t trolls and dopes.

    • Ausdawg85

      He hasn’t been “right” since The Dance. Who knows, but Bradley made some valid points re: Richt. And not a big deal, but I really question that the “book” says go for two when the score was 21- 16 with plenty of time left in the game. Did he really think the rest of the game would go our way 3 – 0 to tie? Instead, we were forced into a situation to go for two on the next touchdown. That’s putting us in a position to loose.

      It was not a big issue in the end, but it’s beginning to be the sum total of all of these “little” things that have a lot of us going “hmmmmmmm….”

      • Mayor of Dawgtown

        Absolutely right Ausdawg85. What a bonehead decision by Richt to go for 2 in that situation. What it really did when the Dawgs did not convert the first time was to take away the chance to win in regulation. As it turned out, the Dawgs had to make the 2 pointer the second time just to tie the game. Had the Dawgs just kicked the extra point, the 2 pointer they got near the end would have (and should have) won the game. Galactically stupid coaching decision. I am losing confidence in CMR more each and every week.

        • Dawgwalker07

          So you’re telling me that with 9:01 left in the game and a chance to tie it up with an extra point you’re going to go for two in order to win the game in regulation? THAT is as much of a boneheaded decision as the first 2 pt conversion was. If that happens, there is no way that is any smarter of a decision than what Richt did.

          • Mayor of Dawgtown

            You misconstrue my meaning. I believe one should never go for 2 unless it is at the end of the game to either tie or win the game. Richt DID go for 2 with 9:01 in the game and earlier, too.. Bonehead calls both of ‘em. UGA should have kicked the extra point both times.

      • Going for 2 with that much time remaining was wrong strategically. Richt knows the rule, but not when to apply it.

  6. Derek

    If Kris Durham catches the ball in OT then CMR is a genius and Meyer has lost it. The truth is that both coaching staffs did well. UF just had fewer bad plays.

  7. keith

    If thrown to AJ he would have caught it just like Mikey did.

  8. Meg

    I’m sorry, I didn’t see AJ Green 1=on=1 with a Safety. That was the right play and the ball was underthrown. It was not a coaching mistake no matter how many people want it to be.

  9. thewhiteshark

    I disagree that Richt got out coached. Meyer put in some good wrinkles, but Georgia was ready to play. You can’t coach a redshirt freshman quarterback playing against his home state team and really wanting it badly. You can’t coach a tight end who lets the ball go through his hands and it ends up being a pick.

    Like all the losses this game turned a few plays. If Commings falls on the ball instead of trying to pick it up, who knows. If Aaron just takes the sack or doesn’t throw into four guys at the end. One or two plays could have radically changed the second quarter.

    But as my Mom always says, “If ifs and buts were candies and nuts, it would be Christmas all year long.”

    • Mayor of Dawgtown

      The problem is that the “ifs and buts” always seem to go FLA’s way. When it happens time after time, year after year, its coaching. This happened time after time, year after year in the late 60s through the 80s in UGA’s favor. Why? Coaching, that’s why. I have finally come to the conclusion that CMR is a screw-up. (This from one of his most staunch apologists this season and all last season.) So I say to Mark Richt go work on your coaching skills elsewhere please! You can beat teams when you have the better athletes but not when the other team is equal to or better than your team. Go. Please go. Open up that mission in Haiti or whatever it is that is really on your mind, but please be gone. Announce that you are retiring before the end of the season so we can be working on who your successor will be. We gave you a chance to coach at a big time place and it was good for a while but you hit the wall and that time has now passed. Be gone! We got into this mess with FLA because of inferior coaching (Goff) and cannot seem to get out of it. Personally I think moving the game would help but the effete Bulldog elite who hang out in Ponte Vedra have killed that option. The only other viable option is for you, Mark Richt, to leave and give somebody else a chance. You are 2-8 against FLA in your career. My only question to you is this: How in the Hell did you ever win 2?

      • Dawgwalker07

        “This happened time after time, year after year in the late 60s through the 80s in UGA’s favor. Why? Coaching, that’s why.”

        Certainly not because Florida’s program was terrible until the 90’s right?

        • Mayor of Dawgtown

          FLA had winning seasons almost every year during that run of UGA wins during the Dooley years. In fact, several times if the Gators had won the WLOCP the Gators would have won the SEC not UGA. Just ask SOS. But the UGA program was superior to the FLA program precisely because the Dawgs were winning that game.

      • scdawg

        SPOT ON! The talent is not there at Georgia, and they are not winning because of it. The ’02-’05 run was with unbelievable NFL talent on D and a good conservative (tall) QB. ’07 had Stafford, Moreno and Green. They simply out athleted them with no defense really.

        • Mayor of Dawgtown

          And that ’02-’05 talent was recruited for the most part by Donnan.

          • mdr

            No it wasn’t, and the Donnan recruits that did contribute to that run were all coached up by CMR and company.

            Example: Donnan recruited Greene. But Richt coached him for 4 years. Now who do you think had a bigger effect on his career?

            • Mayor of Dawgtown

              I think Greene had certain qualities that made Greene who he was before CMR ever showed up in Athens. That is why he was signed in the first place. I stand by what I said: CMR did it in his early, most successful years with Donnan’s recruits.

  10. lane

    2-pointer was right. Richt believed that the only way Florida could score was via TDs given the place kicking issues they had. It was important to be within 3 from behind, or ahead by 4 to apply pressure had we scored another unanswered TD.

    Richt never would have gone for 2 it an extra point would have tied the game on the ensuing touchdowns.

    Richt was playing to win by going for 2 at 21-16. Don’t give him grief for coaching the way you’ve wanted him to all season.

    I’m just sad the Bobo has likely bought himself another year based on the last 4 games.

    • Mayor of Dawgtown

      Going for 2 when you are 5 points down sounds attractive. Therein is the trap. Go for 2 and you don’t make it (nationwide it’s only successful about 40% of the time) and if the other team kicks a field goal you are now down 8. Now you have to go for 2 on the next TD and make it just to tie. If you had kicked the extra point all you have to do to tie is kick another extra point. The going for 2 and failing really puts you behind the 8-ball if you do not make it. In this instance, the team bailed Richt out by making the 2 pointer the second time. If not, and UGA loses in regulation 31-29, there really would have been hell to pay.

      • Mayor of Dawgtown

        PS: Why do you think Bobo bought himself anything? Stripped of all the rhetoric what really happened the last 4 weeks is that UGA beat the worst UT team in history (winless in the SEC), Vandy, a UK team that is 1-5 in the SEC and lost to the worst FLA team in a decade. Big stuff!

        • Dawgwalker07

          Because Bobo found a way to move the ball extremely well against Florida in the second half. You don’t score on four straight possessions on accident.

  11. Ben

    Senator,
    I read this article this morning and seriously almost emailed it to you with the exact same part highlighted. I’m not sure what has to go on in someone’s mind to honestly believe this kind of crap, especially someone who is paid by a major national newspaper. It is mind blowing.

  12. MauiDawg

    Despite all the turnovers GA was still in the game. Our coaches did an excellent job…maybe not perfect. A few player miscues cost us. Change a few of those turnovers and it very well couldve been a lopsided GA win and every fan is gushing praise.

  13. Bulldog Joe

    Many of these games are won or lost in the off season and in summer practice. Conditioning and toughness are built, schemes are learned, but most importantly teamwork and timing is developed.

    This year (as in previous years), the majority of time was spent on learning schemes and less time was spent on developing toughness, conditioning, and teamwork.

    Georgia coaches did away with two-a-days, did not not practice 1’s vs. 1’s, and players spent too much time downtown and in the Clarke County jail.

    The coaching staff didn’t truly determine who was ready for SEC-level competition until they finally went 1’s vs. 1’s prior to the 6th game.

    Add in all the suspensions, and Georgia wasn’t able to get its starting lineup on the field at the same time until the 6th game of the season.

    This is a direct result of poor judgement and a flawed philosophy toward discipline and preparation.

    Other teams handle their discipline issues internally and are able to identify and play their starting lineups day one, building teamwork and timing for the early conference match ups.

    Georgia’s slow starts should come as no surprise and this is not a new issue for Coach Richt and his staff.

    This coaching staff’s philosophy and judgement put Georgia at a huge disadvantage and Greg McGarity knows it.

    Expect major changes at season’s end.

    • Dawgwalker07

      “This coaching staff’s philosophy and judgement put Georgia at a huge disadvantage and Greg McGarity knows it.”

      And so does Richt. That’s why he changed it up after Colorado.

      Additionally, during the preseason and at the beginning of this season everyone was gushing about Richt trying to do away with two-a-days. If it worked he was going to be the trend-setter and ahead of his time.

      Well it didn’t work. Sometimes that’s what happens when you experiment and try to go outside the box. We beat Richt up because he’s too predictable and then don’t give him any credit for trying when he changes it up and it backfires. We can’t have it both ways.

      • Bulldog Joe

        This is not a new problem.

        Last year, we did not settle on a starting offensive line until game 7 (after losing three games) or tailback until game 9.

        We also shuffled starting receivers, tight ends, and fullbacks all year.

        We began last season with three starters suspended and had 11 players suspended in 2008.

        No other program puts itself at this kind of disadvantage year after year.

        • Dawgwalker07

          “No other program puts itself at this kind of disadvantage year after year.”

          The ultimate problem I have with your argument is that you’re acting as if we’re choosing to get kids arrested and injured. While we can take steps to prevent those types of things, they are ultimately out of the coaches’ control. So I fail to understand how it’s our coaches fault that Sturdivant blew out his knee twice. Or that Josh Davis was recovering from shoulder surgery. Or that Shaun Chapas got banged up. Or that AJ got hurt. Do those things put us at a disadvantage? Yes. Is it the fault of the coaches, not really.

          And as far as suspensions go, we could always pull an Urban and start reinstating people, but I don’t think anyone at UGA wants to run that type of program. I’d rather see kids get kicked off the team than reinstated after some Rainey-esk incident.

          • Scorpio Jones, III

            +! Mark Richt is the Anti-Weasel.

            The correlation between Rainey’s and Zach Mettenberger’s offenses is impossible to ignore.

            (And yes, I understand the underlying reasons why Mettenberger bit the dust, but the initial offense was certainly similar.)

  14. Turd Ferguson

    Little off-topic, but I just saw this quote over on Seth Emerson’s blog:

    “Right now we think about winning the rest of our games starting with Idaho State,” Richt said. “There’s honor in that. We have fans that have paid their money for their season tickets.”

    This is where this football program is right now. And I’m sorry, but I really don’t see the cause for optimism that others apparently see. Yes, Murray’s an absolute stud, and he’ll only get better. But we’re also losing our two best WRs after this season, and so far, I’ve got no reason to believe that any of our other WRs has what it takes to step up when they’re gone. No reason to believe the OL will be any better than so-so next year, especially without Boling. Ealey and King look like they’ll only ever be good, not great. And they’ll be without Chapas throwing blocks for them. Our defense, as far as I’m concerned, is still a question mark. And we’ll likely lose Houston after this season. Mike Bobo will likely still be calling plays next season (not saying he’s why we lost to Florida; just don’t think he’s a great OC). And all of our most prized recruits seem like they were holding on to see if Georgia would really turn things around; otherwise they’d rather go to a proven winner like Florida or Bama. (And I’m sorry, but … I can’t really blame ‘em.)

    Sorry to be Debbie Downer here, but honestly, I don’t see the cause for optimism.

  15. baltimore dawg

    whether through strategic error, complacency, or just plain laziness, richt is simply not the coach he was in his first 5 years. there was a time when richt was in fact a damn good game-day coach (as evidenced by his near invincibility on the road), but that started with being a good day-to-day operations coach–i.e., high tempo, high intensity, high accountability day in and day out.

    you can’t have the former without the latter, and if richt is being out-coached on game day (and he often is, but saturday wasn’t one of them), it’s not game day itself that’s the problem: it’s all the days before it it.

    it’s possible i’m just totally delusional at this point, but i get the sense that richt has realized this and has begun to make operational changes. and i think i see it on the field in the form of a more engaged football team than we’ve seen in a few years.

    • With regard to complacency, you’re saying what I was saying last year.

      The problem this year is that even with the staff changes, it’s hard to turn a battleship around quickly.

      One thing I do take hope in is that so far, even with a realigned defensive scheme and a redshirt freshman quarterback, this team has managed to avoid bottoming out and failing to show up in a game this season. That’s a lot more than could be said about the past three or four.

      So, no, I don’t think you’re being totally delusional. The trick is whether Richt is able to build on this year, or if it turns out this is as good as it gets for him.

      • baltimore dawg

        right. and as i’ve said in this space before, it’s not usually the case that the individual who made the decisions that created the dysfunction is the one to correct them. but i think i see evidence of a change of tack, and i don’t apologize for the fact that i’m pulling for richt to reinvent himself as a coach and remake his program–not just because he’s the most “pull-for-able” guy in coaching but also because it’s likely the shortest path back to sec-competitive football at uga.

        so, yeah, i’m still hoping for a best-case scenario here with richt, but he’s working with a running clock now for sure.

        • Scorpio Jones, III

          Well said Ballamur…..Rich IS easy to pull for, and the Senator is also correct about turning a big boat or a football program. All good coaches have off years. All of them.

      • gatriguy

        They came pretty close to not showing up in Starkvegas.

        • Right… without their best player, they lost by 12 on the road to a team that’s 7-2. If that’s your definition of “not showing up”, I’d be interested in your description of last year’s debacles against Florida and Tennessee, the ’08 blowouts against Alabama and Florida, etc.

          • Mayor of Dawgtown

            Actually, UGA and MSU were in exactly the same boat before that game, 1-2 and whoever won was going to be propelled onward and whoever lost was going to be 1-3 and going nowhere. MSU won, that turned them around and now they are 7-2 and bowl-bound. UGA lost, the team sunk into another depth of funk leading to another loss to an inferior team (COLO). UGA was not ready to play the UGA-MSU game and it showed. Can you, with a straight face , say that the 2010 MSU team has equal talent to the 2010 Dawgs? Just another loss to an inferior team by Richt and his staff. So far, every team UGA has lost to had less talent than the Dawgs except for FLA (probably equal).

          • The Realist

            I don’t see much difference in the Georgia that showed up in Starkvegas and the Georgia that showed up in Sakerlina earlier this year, or Knoxville last year. The difference was the team on the other side of the ball. Had Georgia played Alabama that week, they would have lost by 50.

            • You really think last year’s Tennessee squad was that much better than this year’s South Carolina team?

              • The Realist

                I think Spurrier could have scored whenever he wanted if the game were ever in doubt. I think he was more afraid of Garcia doing something stupid to let Georgia back in the game than in running it up, so he took the ball out of his hands as much as possible. If he had someone he trusted under center, Sakerlina would have scored a bundle, too. Despite the score, Georgia was never really in danger of winning any of those games. The only difference between Tennessee last year and Sakerlina this year is that Kiffin was willing to give up a pick six to Rambo if it meant he could score 41 on Georgia. Spurrier was playing it close to the vest because he knew he couldn’t lose running it 40 times.

              • The Realist

                There was a difference on defense compared to 2009, but the offense was as flat as ever. Maybe that is where we disagree. The defense was much better, but with next to nothing on offense, it still felt like Georgia forgot to really get off the bus.

  16. heyberto

    I still haven’t really put my finger on what went wrong with us.. but we were one score away from winning this. The team appeared to have the right combination of emotion and focus (Aaron Murray’s interceptions and a few dropped passes notwithstanding) and never lost their composure, never gave up. This seemed to me to be a clear case of Mark Richt and co. not being able to outthink Meyer and his ‘tweaks’… and we still could have won it.

    • merk

      Its called having to face a really good D. Murray had faced good Ds, but none that eat every mistake you give them. Fla had a crap ton of picks comming into the game. Guess what won Fla’s first 3 games D. Thats it. Thats why Fla won. They still have Strong’s players back there. The players didnt magically forget how to play when he left.

      • Scorpio Jones, III

        Pretty astute observation, and the Georgia side of that is also true.

        • Mayor of Dawgtown

          The UGA D also, once again, turned a mediocre offense into the second coming of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. Sure, Meyer had some tweaks. Coaches do that particularly when given an extra week. But until this game (excluding the tissue paper D that is UK) FLA had completely fallen on it’s face offensively. The same observation as above also applies to the UGA defense. The players didn’t magically learn how to play when Martinez left.

  17. Your first mistake: reading Mark Bradley. The only reason that clown could keep a job for the last decade was, he got more readers than Terence Moore (an admittedly low standard, but still). These days, the AJC doesn’t even have that excuse.

  18. Scorpio Jones, III

    Frankly, Senator I am disappointed to see any reference to anything Mark Bradley writes. I thought you were beyond that.

    • Bradley or not, an assertion that profoundly stupid or dishonest (take your pick) deserves some attention.

      • Scorpio Jones, III

        It’s your blog, boss, and if this had come from a source who does not continually write things as equally inane, I would agree.

        I have this picture of Bradley sitting in his cubicle thinking about how he can get back in the discussion on GTP.

        For Bradley, its like football, its all about the hits.

      • Keese

        Lest we forget about Schultz…he’s the worst

  19. Scorpio Jones, III

    It is mid-morning Monday. Once again I have hung my hopes on a bunch of kids.

    Yes, you can pick on coaching if you think you have the chops to do that, I sure as hell don’t.

    I hung my hopes on a bunch or really good kids, and they made some mistakes….what a shock.

    I am working on my Taoist view of Saturday.

    Shit happens.

    Move on.

  20. So the difference between coaching genius and idiocy is whether a converted punter-placekicker splits the uprights in overtime?

    It hurts my head to read Bradley.

  21. Scott W.

    Seriously, well we lost to Florida, but we didn’t get a punch in the mouth retaliation for some perceived slight or have our asses handed to us while wearing Grambling’s unis. Did a waxing of UT, Vandy and UK really make anyone believe that this team was a powerhouse? There has been some glimmer of a turnaround but at the end of the game we ran out of gas. That should surprise no one.

  22. FRED

    SORRY BUT BRADLEY IS CORRECT. CMR HAS LOST HIS TOUCH IN FACT CMR LOST IT 3 YEARS AGO.

  23. gernblanski

    Richt is to UGA as what Cooper was to OSU.

    It is time to find our Tressel.