Does Mark Richt discover the cure for cancer in 2011?

I usually dismiss the “unlike last year, we’re all on the same page this season” hokum as typical preseason happy talk, but for some reason the cancer comments that continue to emerge in interviews with Georgia players bug me.

I’m not sure if it’s because they’ve gotten so prevalent that I’m forced to concede that the locker room sucked enough last year to impact play on the field, or if it’s because Richt and the coaches come off as helpless bystanders while the bad attitudes festered.

Either way, it’s another reason the first two games this season are going to be crucial for the fortunes of the program and the temperature of Richt’s seat.  Winning fixes a lot of problems.

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28 Comments

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28 responses to “Does Mark Richt discover the cure for cancer in 2011?

  1. JasonC

    Excellent headline, Senator.

  2. baltimore dawg

    different year, same rhetoric. it’s just another way of not taking responsibility for past failures, and that doesn’t usually bode well for an organization’s future. if you have a toxic personality or two ruining your organization, isn’t the proper response to approach that individual en masse stealthily at night with bars of soap wrapped in hand towels and beat the living shit out of said toxic personality? “remember, it was just a bad dream, fat boy!”

    maybe that’s what got private pyle–i mean kwame– in shape.

    • Bulldog Joe

      Either way, the bad dream will be over by this time next year.

      I would love to see this group of players and coaches be the ones to do it.

      To do it, someone will have to be the bad guy.

  3. zdub

    “…or if it’s because Richt and the coaches come off as helpless bystanders while the bad attitudes festered.”

    You hit the nail on the head with that one, Senator. That’s what bothered me the most about all this cancer talk as well. I don’t expect the coaches to police any of the players outside of the practice fields, but I DO expect them to police and COACH them while they have the authority to do so. Maybe they do but the players just don’t listen? Maybe they’ve lost respect for the coaches? Who knows…

    The only thing I know is that we have to beat USCe the second week of the season. I don’t care about Boise (they don’t have an effect on the East race) or the national championship at this point…just the SEC East (2011). Then perhaps the SEC Title (2012). Then the Sugar Bowl. Baby steps.

  4. I wanna Red Cup

    The guys need to shut up and show it on the field. While there may have been some less than stellar teammates on the team last year (anyone who has played HS ball knows there are some on every team) but for C Robinson to continue to air the team’s dirty laundry serves to put all of last year’s players who are not still here in a bad light. GATA in the frickin locker room and on the practice field and leave the media out of it.

  5. Dooms Day Dawg

    This is complete garbage. It is always the fault of the guys that just left. Wee, we are one big happy family now!. If there were actually a big problem last year, and the year before that as well, then wth are the coaches doing. Has CMR lost this team to the point that his voice carries zero weight with these “cancer players”? If that is the case, it is time for him to leave, and NOW! This is now setting up to be a successful season. Hello coaching search.

    • 202dawg

      “If there were actually a big problem last year, and the year before that as well, then wth are the coaches doing.”

      Amen, brother…

  6. shane#1

    At least some of the recruits are taking the emphasis on S&C to heart. Scott-Wesley finished second in the track meet at Hugh Mills stadium in Albany this weekend. He said his new weight affected his speed. “I have to adjust to it” he said. It seems that the young man has added 10 lbs of muscle to get ready for UGA football. Scott-Wesley weighs in at 215 now. Wildcat, anyone?

  7. So let’s say every team has some guys who are leaders (good), some who are followers (neutral) and some who are “cancers” (bad, obviously). If Georgia has gotten rid of some of the “cancers,” as they seem to indicate, then fine — but the removal of “cancers” does not in and of itself create any leaders. That’s where the 2011 season will really be determined.

    • gastr1

      I think some of this is an expected response to the first losing season in how many years. It’s a new experience for many, I’m sure, and there’s no doubt that losing three games in a row that you were expected to win would be a real test of locker-room harmony and effort.

      Richt and those who wish to schedule things a little more lightly in the earlier part of the year may have a point when it comes to building confidence, trust, and locker-room chemistry. When these young guys –and there are so many of them–blow it early on, one can imagine the difficulty in keeping everyone fully invested in the program and in the established pecking order.

      The cure for cancer is winning. End of story.

  8. crapsandwich

    Senator, skepticism is the right attitude for all the “cancer” talk. We have heard this attitudinal problem mentioned 3 years in a row. If this season doesn’t go well, then we can all enjoy reading it again in 2012, with maybe a different spin of blaming the defunct coaching staff.

  9. Reptillicide

    I think it’s fairly easy to read between the lines in all this. Clearly Marcus Dowtin and Nick Williams were unhappy with the coaches, and they tried to make others unhappy as well. I’m not sure that you can say that “Richt did nothing,” as all we know is that Dowtin sat out during the bowl game for unspecified reasons, and then transferred. Who is to say that Richt didn’t tell him “I’m sorry you feel the way you do, but you’re done here, so I’d start looking for another school if you want to keep playing football?”

    It is a bit contradictory when we hear the quotes from players now talking about how there won’t be any finger-pointing this year, whilst pointing the finger at the departed. But what’s important to me is that they are all of one mind and one goal come October, because it’s easy to all be on the same page in March.

    • Mayor of Dawgtown

      What you described is exactly the way CMR would handle such a situation. Sit the kid, tell him he’s gone and keep quiet about it so as not to ruin the kid’s chances elsewhere.

      • Puffdawg

        Yes, but it is much easier to cast stones without actually knowing all the details!

        While I disagree with the guys on here complaining about Coach Richt sitting idly by, I do agree our players should probably not mention this anymore. Some things are best left unsaid.

      • Texas_Dawg

        In Dowtin’s case there wasn’t a lot to keep quiet about. He had been suspended and was then also arrested, so he was kicked off the team.

        Occasionally there are reasons to not disclose the reasons a player has been dismissed, but they shouldn’t be the norm as they are at Auburn and Alabama, for example. Frequent dismissals without explanations are the work of really shady coaches who are just cleaning out rosters to reload with new prospects.

  10. mike

    My guess is that this has to do more with Grantham discovering the cure or being willing to eradicate the cancer from his defense entirely.

  11. drew

    I know nick williams. My brother went to highschool with him and yes, he is very self-centered and had a big mouth. I used to see him on the sidelines at highschool games running his mouth at the coaches like he had a bad attitude. Of course you can get away with that because he was our quaterback. I’m sure there were others. The seniors in the group and the other leaders on the team like AJ green and Justin Houston should have spoke up and did something about the negativity and the “cancers” on the team. But everybody knows AJ keeps to himself and we had a lot of other guys that kinda kept to themselves and let guys like Nick Williams run their mouth and let these younger guys listen to that crap. When people get an idea in their head its hard to change it, like the movie inception i know. I live down here and south georgia, a good 250 miles away from athens and I can feel an energy that I havnt felt in a long time. There is no “well i dont know how this seasons going to be” feeling this year. I feel the stars are aligning and all the right pieces are being put together. The right attitude and the improvements that Mark Richt is making has been tremendous. I am proud to be a georgia bulldog. I know this year will be good, I would hate to be in Boise State’s shoes right now. Go Dawgs!

  12. 69Dawg

    Mark needs to let Coach T handle the bad cop role. I think the Easley dust up earlier this year was the sign that Richt is not going to take it anymore. Miss a meeting or punishment and get not the steps but suspension. You can now try the best you can to work your way back on the team or you can take your “talent” to another team. I’m sure we will see a couple of more examples of this before the spring/summer is over.

  13. JaxDawg

    I like Drew’s comments above – unpolished and honest, and I can appreciate that.

    Let me remind those of you who actually played football, or at least other team sports, that we don’t have the patent on players with shitty attitudes. Some guys are coachable, some are not. Florida, Bama, FSU, even BYU has them – it’s part of the game, but it’s the part that a head coach should address and nip in the bud. I’ve heard from many a Florida supporter that Charlie Strong was the coach most adept at dealing with these problem athletes, particularly if they were black kids, but it’s the HC’s responsibility (and his alone) to identify and resolve it. Like most problems, a bad attitude is much more difficult to squash when it has time to fester. And yes, the cancer analogy is a good one although I would prefer not to use it out of respect for actual cancer patients and their families.

    My concern, and I would guess it’s Blutarsky’s as well, it that Richt hasn’t been (1) quick enough, and (2) harsh enough in dealing with negative attitudes. That has to change for him to remain a successful head coach at any level. Players may not fear him but they need to respect him.

    • NRBQ

      I like that idea of a designated disciplinarian. It’s hard to make a bad-ass marshall out of the town preacher.

      Richt is the kind of guy who travels to distant lands and brings back needy kids to prosper in his own home, bless his heart. The players know what a class act he is, but that won’t instill fear in the assholes in the bunch.

      • Dawgwalker07

        No but suspending them indefinitely and threatening to kick them off the team for missing a punishment run might.

      • Texas_Dawg

        Richt is just as good at instilling fear and discipline in players as any other coach. The friendly preacher thing is largely a myth once practice starts.

        For all of his ranting and raving, apparently Nick Saban isn’t much better at scaring players straight. He’s won a Fulmer Cup recently and just had one of his team captains arrested for something a whole lot more serious than having too many scooter tickets.

  14. Texas_Dawg

    Every spring after a bad year is about a new attitude and so on. At this time in 2009 Joe Cox had arrived to clean things up and save us from the cancerous leadership of Stafford and Moreno, who cared a lot more for their NFL careers than they did about UGA.

    Just that time of the year.

    And while the first 2 games are very important, even an 0-2 start would be long forgotten with an SEC East win. And those being the 2 toughest games on our schedule, an SEC East win after an 0-2 start is far from unthinkable.

    • kckd

      It’s gonna take more than one great year before I’ll say SCU is our toughest game. And while I think Boise is legit, to say they are our second toughest is a big slap in the face to a conference that’s won the past five national titles.

  15. Scott W.

    Wake me again when Cox isn’t the guy who led UGa out of the woods of bad leadership.

  16. Toom

    The thought of the coaches coming off as innocent bystanders has bothered me too.

    But, you have to think after the crazy year we had and the way we lost every close game but GT, that we’ve got some headcases up there. And what better approach than convince the guys, TRUE OR NOT, that this year will be very different psychologically.
    Whether we get better because there really were problems that need correcting or whether we get better because we think everyone is more committed this year, don’t matter.
    If I’m Richt, I’m trying anything and everything save charging the end zone against Boise.