This one should hurt.

Thomas Davis’ assessment of last year’s Dawg defense is painful to read.

“We’ve never been considered a team that was soft and didn’t go out and make people feel like they’d just left a fight when they left the game,” Davis said. “I didn’t feel like our defense in particular made people feel threatened to come in and play us. When we played defense, we had a guy like Greg Blue, Odell (Thurman), David Pollack, guys that would really come and really lay the lumber on you, and you would feel it after the game.

“Even going into your next week, you still had that hit on your mind that those guys did to you. I didn’t think we have anybody on that defense that was doing that, presenting that intimidation factor. And I told the guys how I felt about it. … We have a bunch of South Carolina guys on our team, and for a guy to come up to me and say, ‘What happened to Georgia? You guys are soft.’ That did something to me.”

That sound you hear is Erk turning in his grave.

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28 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football

28 responses to “This one should hurt.

  1. DawgPhan

    damn…we all knew it, but did he have to say it…

    alright senator please tell you have some strange stat to show that we were actually a lot tougher than our record.

  2. Go Dawgs!

    If a guy from freaking SOUTH CAROLINA can make fun of Georgia and call us soft, then there is something terribly, terribly wrong with the world. There had better be a damn reckoning, and that right soon.

  3. Puffdawg

    Bad news – what he said.
    Good news – that he said it. That quote better be taped on every locker in Butts Mehre come Thursday morning.

    • Athens Townie

      I’m not taking any “good news” from this kind of assessment — or any kind, for that matter — until we start seeing some quality Ws again.

      • fuelk2

        Well, then you’ll have no joy from football for at least another month. See you then.

        • Athens Townie

          Haven’t had much joy from football since FIU/FAU/UCF or whoever that was shut us out of the end zone in a bowl game that was “very important” to our head coach.

          I don’t know how we will, but I pray we roll Boise. I’m starving for some football joy.

  4. Castleberry

    Good. Hopefully TD also reminded the guys that he devastated people with form tackles. I don’t remember too many “human missile shoulder bump” style missed tackles from him.

  5. Derek

    Spot on assessment by TD. I don’t care what our record is in 2011 IF we play like we give a damn. Football is not a contact sport. Football is a collision sport and we just haven’t played that way in a long while. We have to get back to beating on people and getting that identity re-established. Winning will follow but the first matter is taking away the other team’s will to play. You do that by playing like a bunch of crazed, rabid dogs. That’s Georgia. That’s the legacy of Hoage and Herschel and stanfill and pollack. Learn it, live it love it or get the hell out.

    • RollDog

      DEREK!!!
      You da man. Perfect. Nuff said sir. God, it was fun watching Thomas Davis play. Also, remember this: NOBODY recruited him. He should have a statue at Sanford Stadium.

  6. SouthGa Dawg

    Interesting story in the AJC on the weight program and conditioning. Tied to here point being – When you are dead dog tired in the fourth quarter, you ain’t going to tackle anybody, cover anybody, block anybody – you see where I’m going. Remember last year at Carolina and 2 years ago in Stillwater? You play better D and O when you are better conditioned…

  7. Mayor of Dawgtown

    I don’t want to sound like a broken record but…it all gets back to the lack of conditioning last year, particularly the O-line and D-line. That problem seems to now have been identified and steps taken to at least try to rectify the problem. I’m optimistic that we will all see a major turnaround this year. Hell, they almost won a bunch of games last year (in them ’til the end only to lose in the final minutes) when they were out of shape. What will they do when they are hard and mean? I’m betting they kick asses.

    • zdub

      Here here!

      Being gassed in the 4th lost us plenty of games last year. If we get into those kinds of games again this year we will see how the new S&C really measures up. Color me cautiously optimistic.

    • The closer It gets the more I am convinced that the Dawgs will kick asses in every game. GATA

  8. JLB

    Castleberry – niiice. I think “human missle shoulder bump” should probably be added to the lexicon, although no one watching Georgia the last couple of years would have any doubt what it means.

  9. W Cobb Dawg

    I suggest we invite TD back after each game, and he can kick the shit out of anyone he believes didn’t hit hard enough. Call it the dis-incentive part of our S&C program.

  10. NRBQ

    I have a feeling ‘Tree may remind us of of one of our old bone-crushers by about halfway through the BSU game.

  11. scott

    Some old news quotes from the 2001-2004 that perhaps illuminate the key to good to defense and maybe why we have become soft:

    The difference, the coaches and players say, comes from the practice field.”What you see out there is how we prepare in practice,” senior safety Jermaine Phillips said. “I think it’s the way we’re practicing that makes the biggest difference.” Since their arrival, Georgia’s coaches, particularly its defensive coaches, have asked their players for more and more pace in practice. “Coach Richt makes a big point of that every day,” Van Gorder said. “That’s definitely been a big part of our mission statement, is to create a tempo in practice that carries over into the game. The past three weeks, I think our preparation has been much better.” Van Gorder said. “That’s what good defense is about. It’s about momentum and aggressiveness. The minute you lose a little bit of that, it can make a major difference.” Savannah Morning News 12/01/01

    Defensive coordinator Brian Van Gorder said the success wasn’t as complicated as people want to believe. “We fight hard every day. Even in practice, we don’t want our offense to score.” Anderson Independent (after 30-0 shutout of Clemson)

    “One of the things we’ve really prided ourselves at Georgia is we practice tough and at a high tempo.”. Aug 20, 2003 Gadsden Times

    “Our mission statement is to create a tempo in practice that carries over into the game.” Brian Van Gorder; Macon Telegraph 11-27-2001

    Van Gorder pushes players hard at practice demands game-like intensity that carries over into the game. Florida TImes Union 10-10-2004

    • Charles

      Interesting collection of quotes there. Very, very illustrative. Thanks for those. Don’t have verbatims, but I do remember Richt talking about easing off practices due to injuries (even suspended tackle to the ground IIRC). So, yeah, here we are. We’re soft, but we’ve had the talent to compensate for that. Well, at least we did… until 6-7. Which, when you think about it, 6-7 could have been 8-5 (or 10-3) if it weren’t for fumbles and other eccentricities.

      Say what y’all want about Richt’s job security. Piss and moan about the last few seasons, the lack of intensity, off the field stuff, whatever. But, in a perverse way, we (Richt, et al.) needed 6-7 to bring about a thorough reckoning from top to bottom. That’s why our grizzled-ass video coordinator is now our fire and brimstone S&C coach. That’s why bad apples are being shown the door (through academic disqualification or attitude). That’s why we’ve avoided the police blotter this summer. This is a change in culture that restores a sense of urgency on/off the field. Will be fun seeing how it all pans out this fall.

      • scott

        I couldn’t find the article after much searching, but I remember Van Gorder conceding that his level of practice intensity led to injuries. But then he added that you have to swallow that pill because the alternative was far worse: poor tackling and hitting, not finishing games, not getting your players game-ready. He said when practicing at a game tempo all season is like playing two seasons, and your 2 and 3 deep will advance and be more prepared in future years.

        I found many excerpts like this one:

        “Georgia’s defense continues to perform at a top level despite a lineup that has been hit hard by injuries. Besides Jones, Georgia was missing four other injured starters: cornerback Decory Bryant, defensive tackle Kedric Golston, safety Kentrell Curry and defensive end Will Thompson.
        Georgia hardly missed a beat. Safety Greg Blue had punishing hits on wide receivers Courtney Taylor and Anthony Mix.” Dog Bytes 11/15/2003 after 26-7 defeat of Auburn.

  12. Rhymer Dawg

    Smell that!
    What?
    Devastating Hits, Son. Nothing in the world hurts like that.
    I love the smell of Devastation from UGA players in the morning!!

    Maybe they forgot “you play like you practice.”
    You gotta work in practice. Maybe we should stop calling it practice and start calling it, Break Their Frickin’ Neck.

    Just thinking about it makes me want to hit someone. Got three shattered and missing teeth from the 7 years of rugby with the All-Army team to attest to the fact that you gotta want to “break their frickin neck” if you want to win.

    Castleberry has got it right. TD understands. Sometimes you gotta get crazy on some people. Devastation…. gotta nice ring to it.

  13. Cojones

    Agree with the posts read here. Caution everyone to not blame conditioning when key players get injured in practice. This double-edged sword is overlooked by many who can’t swallow their frustrations at the injury stage of practice (when they strap it on and go at each other and simulate game conditions).

    Hold your breath for more heartache due to preseason injury. It always occurs, but if each of us is prepared to see the trailer on some injuries….”for the remainder of the playing season” that may involve our favorite player, then we can continue to move forward. If Ogletree lives up to his promise and Samuel/Crowell also play hard, what happens when the unstoppable force hits the immovable object in practice?

    We all must hope for the best for the individuals and the team. But we cannot expect it. Injuries were the beginning of our downslide several years ago when we had to crosstrain players in positions they were unfamiliar with. The anticoach rants began at the same time , but no one seemed to be able to look back and connect. Players trained by one coach were “loaned” to another coach. Signals for which player was to be in the game became problematic. D players looked confused when they were in pass protection. I subscribed that to the chaos that went back to the hardluck plethora of injuries. Some blamed the coaches and few blamed the players.

    Get out your snakebite kits, folks. We are about to continue the journey. One wants to go fishing or steadily drink until Sept 3, then turn on the computer and look where we are before heading for the game. Just remember that most good surprises are subtended by heartbreak when it comes to our Dawgs. Prepare to get through it and come out the other side with “Go Dawgs!”, “Slobberknock’em back to Utah”, and a few more screams to let our team know that the fans are with them, win or lose. They will need us badly this year.

  14. William

    Senator, can we get a TD fix? If we return to that form this year, the video will serve as a reminder of that tradition. If we don’t (ssshhhudddeeerr), it will be a nice nostalgic thing to watch.

  15. Ginny

    I would say the defense not really knowing what the hell they were doing last year and being hesitant because of it probably also had something to do with the “softness”. This year I think there will be less thinking and more hitting.