Coaching ‘em up, part two

I get the fury being thrown in Todd Grantham’s direction.  What I don’t understand is why Will Friend doesn’t seem to be a lightning rod for a similar amount of anger.  Unlike Grantham’s defense, the offensive line is experienced.  It’s also the only unit on the team that hasn’t suffered from injuries and suspensions this season.  And yet it has been as maddeningly inconsistent over the course of the season as the defense has.  The one thing the line has going for it is that Georgia’s skill position players, at least when healthy, make the line look far better.

But this is what really gets me this morning.

… The turnover was costly, but tackle John Theus said the offensive struggles started long before the pick.

“We came out a little sluggish the first half,” Theus said. “I think they kind of caught us by surprise. They came out with a lot of energy and they were playing really hard.”

Georgia’s first few offensive series presented some changes to the offensive line’s rotation, including the substitution of junior offensive tackle Kolton Houston for Theus. Houston played a few series as a result of Theus’ costly mistakes early in the game.

“I realized it the first drive. I don’t know about everybody else,” Theus said. “I got beat off the edge and I realized they ain’t no joke. No. 30 (Dee Ford) was a great rusher and had a lot of speed. I realized then I had to pick it up and as the game went on I thought I did better and better.”

Jesus H. Christ on a bicycle… you come out in a big game on the road against a team that’s 9-1, in the hunt for the SEC title game, fourth in the conference in sacks and you’re surprised they’re playing hard?  Honestly, words fail me.

Well, except for this:  why doesn’t Will Friend have his linemen better prepared?

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74 Comments

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74 responses to “Coaching ‘em up, part two

  1. SC DAWG

    There is simply no excuse. Other than that, words fail me.

  2. Boss Dawg

    Hell, make him the PR rep because the whole team was sleepwalking for the first 20 minutes….the WHOLE team.

  3. Charles

    Perhaps the saying should have been, “Begin the Drill.”

    At the beginning of the season, Chris Conley narrated this awesome hype video about “not backing down” or some such. What Theus is articulating here isn’t terribly consistent.

    I say cut that crap out and get to work. No more hype videos. No more sideline dancing. No more entitlement. It’s all bulls*&t without effort.

    • They didn’t shit the bed because of hype videos or whatever “entitlement” means. They shit the bed because they weren’t coached effectively or didn’t properly mentally prepare themselves. I share your frustration and level of outrage, but it’s not because they participated in a hype video.

      Tired of these straw man arguments.

  4. Normaltown Mike

    It’s the name. Who wants to bang on a guy named Friend?

    Maybe if his last name was Jerk or Asshole we’d be ready to throw him out.

  5. Krautdawg

    Sounds like the coaches thought Auburn would take us for granted. Or the players did. Which is funny, because last year, when Auburn was just a bump in our road to Atlanta, we certainly didn’t take them for granted — we ran hurry-up and left starters in until Q4.

  6. Senator, I think the only reason you don’t hear people calling out Friend directly is he’s another step down the chain and ultimately its the HC and coordinators’ responsibilities to make sure the position coaches are good enough.

    But just so you aren’t disappointed, maybe this sums it up:

    We need an entirely new coaching team and organization – maybe even a new AD.

    We have had the same general malaise and lack of accountability for too many years. Nothing is changing fundamentally. We just gloss over the fundamental flaws of our program with the quality of our talent.

    I respect CMR and have an overall very positive feeling towards him. He did amazing things for UGA. But the ship has clearly sailed and its time to move on. College football is very different now than it was 15 years ago.

    • Rocket Dawg

      Ahhh…Assbeast…er….Muckbeast, what kept you? I figured you would be here dumping on the Dawgs before Murray’s ass hit the turf on the final drive.

      You disappointed me.

    • gastr1

      Muckbeast, your analysis would have a lot more credibility if your result wasn’t exactly the same for every scenario.

  7. TennesseeDawg

    Friend, Lakatos and Grantham at a MINIMUM need to go at the end of the year.

    • Bright Idea

      Agreed, plus give Tony Ball a raise before we lose him.

    • adam

      I think with a good DB coach, Grantham looks a lot better.

      • WF dawg

        But CTG picked Lakatos, right?

      • Brandon

        Lakotos didn’t decide to rush 3 guys on 4th down. Make Marshall run for his life and he never plants his feet and heaves it 50 yards. Again, go back and watch 2002 Auburn, after 70X Takeoff, they got the ball back with about 2 minutes left, and Van Gorder was bringing the house.

        • adam

          Grantham was blitzing Auburn to pieces up until that last drive. And still got them in 4th and 18 and it took a super lucky bounce for them to do anything with that.

          But I do agree that we should have sent pressure on the last defensive play. Floyd was kicking some ass on Saturday and I suspect he could have ended it there on 4th down.

  8. Kdawg

    I said on another board prior to the game that the Dawgs would come out unprepared and flat like we seem to see so often in road and noon games and have to play catch up all game. Unfortunately, I was right. I was glad to see them claw their way back in but it is maddening that I have come to expect the team to be unprepared in big road games and the early games. In my opinion that falls on the coaches starting at the top. They have to have their players ready. As much as I love Richt my patience has worn down and I’m not sure he is the best man for the job. I’ve been saying this for a couple of years, so it it’s not just a knee jerk reaction after a tough loss. Just my two cents.

  9. Nashville West

    “I realized it the first drive. I don’t know about everybody else,” Theus said. “I got beat off the edge and I realized they ain’t no joke. No. 30 (Dee Ford) was a great rusher and had a lot of speed. I realized then I had to pick it up and as the game went on I thought I did better and better.”

    Obviously UGA is wasting a lot of time and money on video and scouts if he didn’t realize that “they ain’t no joke” before the game ever started.(Even Vern knew that much) On most teams the O line is the smartest group of players on the field. As Bill Engvall says “Here’s your sign…”

    All in all, a freakin’ tragedy/farce.

  10. The other Doug

    We can talk about changing personnel, but I think the big issue is philosophy. There is a lack of fire from some coaches and players. I’d really like to see Richt rebuild the team with one goal: Win the battle of the trenches. If we do that a lot of the other things will take care of themselves.

    • D.N. Nation

      I really don’t buy this line of thinking in a game in which Mark Richt almost beat the crap out of Penn Wagers on national television.

  11. Daniel Simpson Day

    I saw that article this morning and had the same reaction. However, my position is that our line has been sup-par for years – going back to NC. It appeared that SS was an improvement, at least in recruiting / talent evaluation but it remained marginalized. Now we have a NC protégé and we remain an undisciplined (remember all the crap Bean got for his false starts?), physically weak (see Michael Sam eating Kolton Houston’s lunch), and slow (see edge rushing and TFL etc).
    At least Grantham’s group is improving from the idiocy of expecting a bunch of freshmen to master an overtly complicated playbook. But these are the same O-Line schemes we’ve always used. How Bobo and Murray can do so much with what they get out of their line should amaze us.

  12. We haven’t had a truly dominant o-line since ’92 when Wayne McDuffie (God rest his soul) was the offensive coordinator and line coach. That group mauled people in the run game, protected Zeier, generated yards, and scored a lot of points. He yelled and screamed at those guys and they responded. He was without a doubt the best coach Ray Goff ever hired.

    • Derek

      That man was so mean that he shot himself in the chest…twice. And im not trying to make light of the tragedy at all but ever since I read that story I can’t get it out of my head that he shot himself the second time.

      As bad as last night was and as frustrating 2013 has been, 1995, mcduffie and goffs last year was more so. I’ll never forget mcduffie telling the team the week of the tennessee game that in all the games he’d ever coached he’d never lost when the offense had 0 turnovers. Well, I remember what happened. Maybe some of you do to. However given the present circumstances we’ll just leave it there.

      • My only point was that offensive line moved people. I wasn’t commenting on the man but he could get the best out of his players.

        • Derek

          I think we were recruiting the offensive line position better back then too. We had some really good offensive lineman that spent some time in the league in those years. Our problem back then was d-line.

          As much as we criticize the coaching we’ve had some real unexplainable wash outs and highly recruited kids that just never contributed due to injuries, attitude or whatever. Watts Dantzler, the brothers out of memphis, Chris Little, Houston’s roid issues, the kid from Jax who had the nerve issue in his foot, and that’s just off the top of my head. Add to that losing the kid out of Lake City Florida at the last minute and that position has had issues that transcends any identifiable coaching issues IMHO.

          • Great analysis on o-line recruiting – it’s the hardest position to recruit for and it’s the hardest position to draft for at the next level.

          • WF dawg

            You can’t get more snakebit than Trinton Sturdivant’s THREE ACL tears. Or Chester Brown’s admissions issues. Or Brent Benedict transferring because of differences in rehab philosophy. The list just goes on an on.

  13. Dawgfan Will

    I understand why Stacy Searels never let his guys talk to the press now. Good Lord…just stop talking.

  14. SAtownDawg

    Neither Theus nor Houston are SEC caliber right tackles, much less left…Once again we’ll go into next year with major questions at both OT positions…we’ve missed out on way too many elite level OT prospects and have settled for Guard/tackle tweeners who are not getting it done…time to break in some of the backups in preparation for next year.

    • gastr1

      Theus has the ability but he seems to be rather lazy.

    • Line recruiting has been sorely lacking for a long time. Gates isn’t a tackle, Cordy Glenn wasn’t a tackle, and that’s been on the left side where the best lineman is supposed to be. Clowney, Ford, Sam, etc. feed on guys like that.

  15. STEVE DYER

    Mark Richt has to go….and go now……if Mc dumbass lets him stay
    it will be the same thing every year……Richt is to worried that the position
    coaches will be to hard on the players….that is a real problem that nobody
    wants to talk about. it’s the same problems year after year even though
    we have new players……what remains the same, the poor coaching.
    Its time for the dog nation to wake up to what the real problem is…………..
    His name is MARK RICHT……HE HAS TO GO FOR GA TO EVER
    BECOME AN ELITE PROGRAM.
    ITS ALSO TIME FOR MCDUMBASS TO DO HIS JOB>>>CLEAN HOUSE.

  16. Will Trane

    I’ve posted my comments about this on your other pages Senator, but I think this is a big issue with the Dawgs. Look at TG’s numbers. Caught 10 passes for 79 yards. Next rusher, that be AM, a half a decade caller /passer. Can we not stretch a D with a 2 back set. Look at what Bama does on the line with their roster and sets.

  17. Will Trane

    Theus’ comments are very troubling to me, more so than the coverage from a young sec. We have depth and experience on the line. Once again we go to AU and they beat the hell out of Murray. Only AM’s experience, seen it before, and grit keep the 1st half from being FUBAR. If that had been Mason in there, ugly in a hurry.

  18. Will Trane

    We know the players on the miracle pass, but does anybody know the O line players on Murray’s last pass attempt? Ford made the rush even though AM had come up through the pocket to get the pass off. Bitch about TG, but AM lite their asses for 415 yards on the road with piss poor protection and no damn running ga,me. Go firgure.

  19. Raven

    why doesn’t Will Friend have his linemen better prepared?

    For dumbass press conferences.

  20. It will take a year to see if my thinking Is Correct. Next Year, 2014, will be t5he last year for Richt, Spurrier, & Muschump..
    Let them get their financial situation in order & then get them to retire.
    However, I still believe that whoever replaces Richt (or Spurrier) will not be as successful as Richt or Spurrier have been and still are.
    Saban, Spurrier, & Richt still works for me.

  21. @gatriguy

    The problem with our OL is who we’re recruiting. Spoiled private school kids that beat up on bad competition, then get mauled in college. This isn’t anything new.

  22. Friend worst thing to ever happen – thanks for speaking the truth!

  23. Turd Ferguson

    “I get the fury being thrown in Todd Grantham’s direction. What I don’t understand is why Will Friend doesn’t seem to be a lightning rod for a similar amount of anger.”

    For the simple reason that people are much more familiar with the head coach and coordinators, and much less familiar with the position coaches and other staff members. I’ve wondered the same thing about Lakatos.

    • Athens Townie

      I agree with this.

      Your average fan also has a harder time seeing and understanding poor offensive line play. Meanwhile, seeing the defense give up points is pretty easy to observe and assign responsibility for.

      Same goes for the reason that offensive playcalling gets so much more attention than offensive line play.

    • Will (the other one)

      I think w/r/t Lakatos part of the assumption is the entire D staff could get the axe if Grantham is shown the door. I think Wilson’s done a far better job than Garner, but if the rumors that we missed out on Smart or Foster because we had to keep RG on had any truth, leaving the entire D staff up to a new coach should be an option.

  24. Scorpio Jones, III

    OK, OK,OK….I have wailed and moaned, shed a tear of frustration or two and thoroughly gnashed my teeth (what there are left of them).

    Getting beat like that hurt my feelings.

    When I get my feelings hurt I want to beat the shit out of somebody. Since I could not get my hands on that scum sucking pig who claimed to be a South Carolina fan, I think I started in firing coaches and hiring coaches.

    Luckily, (although it must the source of some frustration for at least some of us,) neither Mark Richt or Greg McGarrity gives more than a slightly vague damn what I say or what any of us say

    Hell, for all I know, the shitbag posing as a South Carolina fan was actually somebody on our coaching staff on his I Phone.

    Since some of the positions we are supposed to have being coached played like their position coach was sending out texts on his I Phone when he should have been teaching his kids how to knock down a pass.

    Who knows?

    But I have l come back to earth to some extent, although not to the point I can quit bitching to my frere’s here.

    To quote Robert E. Lee….”This fucking shitty defense can not stand…somebody needs to fix it and I mean right Goddamn now.” (well, Bobby mighta said something like that after Gettysburg, in a slightly different, Mark Richt way.)

    Boy what a disappointing ending to what should have been a story for the ages.

    What a disappointing thing to happen in a season where we have already had a considerable amount of disappointing shit happen.

    Now here comes Kentucky and Tech….six weeks ago if you had told me I would be worried about both these mediocer fuckers I’d laughed in yer face.

    But now I am…officially…worried about Kentucky and Tech.

    What a shitty year.

  25. STEVE DYER

    Normaltown Mike
    Why don’t you get your head out of your ass…….I bet its been years
    sense you have smelled fresh air.
    You and people like you are part of the problem at uga just be have ass.
    I will be writing mr Mc Dumbass a leter……Im sure that’s more than
    you will ever do….you loser.

    • Scorpio Jones, III

      Damn Mike, you got, like fans, I’m jealous.

    • Dolly Llama

      Make sure you get somebody to proofread it for you before you send it. And get someone to type it for you; don’t use crayon. ADs hardly ever take leters (sic) like that seriously.

  26. Will (the other one)

    Dream OLine hire: we get Baylor’s Oline coach. They’re the only uptempo spread team that can play a physical run game, but also can mix pulling linemen in there, as well as well-executed packaged plays. Guy’s got a great track record, and could bring some more offensive ideas Bobo’s way to keep things clicking offensively even without Murray:
    http://www.baylorbears.com/sports/m-footbl/mtt/clements_randy00.html

    • adam

      I want Bob Bostad. He’s with the Bucs now, but he was the recruiter and coaching mastermind behind those awesome Wisconsin offensive lines.

  27. mdr

    “We came out a little sluggish the first half,” Theus said. “I think they kind of caught us by surprise. They came out with a lot of energy and they were playing really hard.”
    ————————————————————————————–

    That, my friends, is ridiculous.

    Huge rivalry game, a chance to save our season while ruining theirs, and we are “sluggish”.

    No excuse for it. None.

  28. 69Dawg

    “Jesus H. Christ on a bicycle… you come out in a big game on the road against a team that’s 9-1, in the hunt for the SEC title game, fourth in the conference in sacks and you’re surprised they’re playing hard? Honestly, words fail me.” Senator I believe you have summed the offensive line problem. These guys either 1) don’t pay attention to the coaches 2) don’t bother to look at film of their opponents 3) they are not being coached or 4) don’t really give a rat’s butt about football outside of the nookie and free education. Oh yea or 5) all of the above.

  29. Bulldog Joe

    The answer to all the above is: “because the head coach tolerates it.”

    Anyone see how well Rodney Garner rotated his defensive line yesterday?

    How many times did that happen in the past fifteen years?

  30. AusDawg85

    I may be most surprised/disappointed with our Center, David Andrews. I assume he should be the leader of the OL unit. When these guys fire off with Gurley behind them, we are an amazing offensive machine. But the pounding they let Murray take, especially in the 1st Q, was shameful. Ford is another in a long disgusting history of Aubie cheapshot punks. Our guys should have gone after him with a vengence. Last play of the game…I’d have been on Ford until the cops broke it up. For Murray to play with that much heart and have an indifferent OL at times says a lot about some disfunction on the team. If Andrews is supposed to be the captain of that crew (is he?), he does a piss poor job. Look no further than Bama to see how it should be done.

  31. Theus is gonna cost himself some $ talking like that. Sounds undraftable.

  32. awreed79

    “Just take it easy champ. Why don’t you stop talking for a while?”
    “Maybe sit the next couple of plays out. You know what I mean?”

  33. Atticus

    Isn’t Mike Bobo the OC? Last I checked it’s the offensive coordinators job to manage the entire offense and recruit the needed depth and talent. That has been far underperforming while they have focused on skill positions. And it’s the Head Coaches job to set the tone of the game and to get everyone ready to compete and execute. Why did it take a half to do that?