Not enough red meat, or playing it cautiously?

This may be the only time Todd Grantham gets accused of falling short on the motivation front.

Two weeks ago, Georgia defensive coordinator Todd Grantham was exhorting his players in a fashion that, to some of them, had become out-dated.

“We’re trying to become good,” Grantham was saying, according to one player.

That’s when Alec Ogletree, a junior inside linebacker, spoke up.

“Coach, we’re tired of you saying we’re trying to become good,” Ogletree said. “We’re trying to become great.”

Easier said than done.  And judging from this, there’s still an issue with shedding a mindset of complacency.

Sophomore linebacker Amarlo Herrera was quite blunt about it.

“I feel like we settled last year,” he said. “By just getting to the SEC (title game). I mean, when we got there, we wanted to win it. But we weren’t talking about that all year. We were only talking about getting there. Now we are talking about winning it all.”

Talk is… well, you know what.  Mark Richt knows.

The one note of caution was provided by the man leading this group.

Richt, entering his 12th year, has seen enough teams. When asked if this team had a more business-like approach than last year, Richt took a deep breath as he answered.

“We’ve just gotta wait and see,” Richt said. “I think they are, but until you play you just don’t know for sure. There seems like there’s a right kind of approach. I think they’re very businesslike right now. I think that’s a good thing.”

Say what you will, the head man has been slow with the happy talk this offseason.  Whether that’s a sign of focus, or an indication that he’s not exactly sure what his team is capable of yet is something we’ll have to see.

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UPDATE:  And when’s the last time we heard Richt speak this critically of a player in the preseason?

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14 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football

14 responses to “Not enough red meat, or playing it cautiously?

  1. What fresh hell is this?

    “Say what you will, the head man has been slow with the happy talk this offseason. Whether that’s a sign of focus, or an indication that he’s not exactly sure what his team is capable of yet is something we’ll have to see.”

    Hopefully it’s an indication that he expects much more from this team than previous years… a lot more.

    • IveyLeaguer

      That’s what I hope it is .. the one thing that Richt has yet to do these past two years .. demand excellence, demand their best, and settle for nothing less. And it takes a business-like approach and mindset to achieve that.
      ~~~

  2. ScoutDawg

    Both, BUT, I think EVIL Richt is serious about business this year. Imagine what an SEC Championship would mean for Richt. FU to the world.

  3. Saint Johns Dawg

    For the record, Richt has ALWAYS tried to instill a “Players Lead” attitude among his teams … I think Van Gorder embraced this and I think Martinez did, too (he had other issues of course). Setting the standard as coaches is important, but it makes more of a difference when the PLAYERS hold the team accountable. Go back and take a look at the 2 SEC Champion teams UGA had in the past decade … talent was there for sure, but LEADERSHIP was their biggest asset … and it played out tremendously in big games.

    To me, Grantham and Richt might be wryly pushing this group of juniors and seniors into the type of leadership that can get the job done. We’ll see.

  4. Cosmic Dawg

    Also, you don’t tell, say, the 2009 team to go out and win you a national championship or you’re going to be disappointed in them. Because that just sets them up for failure. You push them hard, push them to be their very best, but there was just a ceiling of talent there that Mother Nature gave that team that was not going to win a national championship.

    This team is different. This team has all the God-given abilities, a workable schedule, coordinators who have been here for a few years, no major injuries (I’m knocking, I’m knocking), we are reasonably deep everywhere but maybe the O-line and kickers (yes, even our secondary seems like we have more depth than we thought before camp).

    The kids who have stayed seem to have their heads screwed on right. I really like all the interviews I’ve heard lately – Malcom Mitchell, for instance, seems like a smart, philosophical kid. There seems to be a little bit more balance to them, mentally – they aren’t sheepish about their abilities but they’re not cocky, either. There’s nobody on this team that I can think of – or that I know of – that I wish was playing at another school so they wouldn’t embarrass us anymore, either on the field or off. That has to *somewhat* translate into a positive team vibe.

    So yes, if CMR is edgy, if it seems he is hard to please this year, it may not be a change in him but because he sees the potential for greatness in this squad – I know I feel differently about them than most years. I hope he hits the gas starting at quarter one against Buffalo and doesn’t take his foot off our opponents’ necks until they are crawling off the field *after* the last tick in the fourth quarter. I feel pretty sure CMR is a competitor and wants his crystal football, don’t get me wrong, but I also feel that he cares quite a bit about the athletes that play for him and wants to see them end the 2012 season with no regrets.

    If nothing else, this team owes its very best effort to Jarvis and the others who stuck around instead of going to the draft

    • IveyLeaguer

      “There’s nobody on this team that I can think of – or that I know of – that I wish was playing at another school so they wouldn’t embarrass us anymore, either on the field or off.”

      That’s a great comment. Because there have been a lot of embarrassing moments the last 6 years, on and off the field. And it underscore the massive attrition that we’ve had of several years now, and why it isn’t a bad thing.

      You don’t like saying these things, but it’s the truth. That’s one reason I was glad when Crowell blew out. I didn’t want to be stuck with 2 or 3 more years of that stuff, and I mean actions on the field as well.

      Personally, there’s still one, and possibly two or three, left that I wish were gone, that still carry that old persona/mindset that was so destructive. But there’s some evidence the latter two may have grown up some this year. And their play on the field could correspondingly improve.

      Regardless, after this year, they’ll all be gone. It’s taken a while, as we knew it would several years ago, to purge. It was like starting over with a new coach, and getting rid of the riff-raff.

      But it was something Richt had to do, and he did it the right way. I’m very happy he did it.
      ~~~

      • Macallanlover

        Good comment Ivy, I agree all the way.

      • Cosmic Dawg

        Thanks Ivey – and re:Crowell, I wasn’t one who complained about his toughness, but I was righteous pissed when I saw him walking away when CMR was talking to him on the sideline or having a mediocre day carrying the rock and taunting opposing players. I would have been happy to see him sit on the bench after those episodes.

        • IveyLeaguer

          I know. Those of the examples of the stuff I’m talking about.

          I realize he has some real injury issues, but he was soft too, IMO (and a lot of others outside Georgia). And all that stuff was tied together, as is often the case.
          ~~~

  5. W Cobb Dawg

    I’m not worried about the players having a complacent attitude. I think most of them are hungry for success – and many showed it by sticking around another year when they could be playing pro now. It’s when the coaches go conservative that costs us the most.

  6. Sep

    I wonder if he’s been as close to the field daily in the past. This may be more of a AD shift thing.

  7. BCDawg97

    Agreed with most everything, his comments and tone this preseason say to me that he knows he’s got a real shot this year. He knows he’s got the schedule at the right time with a group of experienced and talented players. He’s trying to push just the right buttons to get there. Richt has always wanted to win. But he knows too that at some point, the whole team has to want it too. Herrera is on the right track, the question is how many others are truly putting in the work?