When Pruitt ain’t happy, nobody’s happy.

Holy crap… when’s the last time you heard any Georgia coach talk like this?

“We had 50 guys out there on defense that were all trying to do the same stuff,” Pruitt said. “I didn’t see anybody particularly that just stuck out and deserved an award. It’s kind of like, nowadays everybody’s playing t-ball and everybody gets a trophy. But that’s part of the tradition here and there’s nothing wrong with it. … It’s not a big deal really.”

In case you think something was lost in tone as it went to print, nah.

This isn’t shaping up as the usual summer offseason for the defense.  It’ll be interesting to see who doesn’t get the message.  And I doubt we’ll have much trouble figuring out who that turns out to be.

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UPDATE:  This, too.

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36 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football

36 responses to “When Pruitt ain’t happy, nobody’s happy.

  1. Normaltown Mike

    The towel guy ?

  2. Leaner and meaner…. Like it!

  3. Irwin R Fletcher

    “We’d like them to be leaner so they can sustain for four quarters.”

    Honestly…I haven’t had time to comment much lately, but that is totally worth a break from my hiatus.

  4. Tronan

    It seems that Georgia’s pitch to recruits has always been (to paraphrase slightly) “We’re an NFL feeder program. Come here and go to the next level.” Pruitt appears to be adding, “But, YOU going pro is less important to me than US winning.”

    Be still my rapidly palpitating heart.

  5. Hobnail_Boot

    …swoon

  6. 69Dawg

    Damn, I think we’ve got us a football coach. These guys better start kicking ass or they will be warming the bench this year.

  7. Derek

    I hope all this being demanding comes with an understanding that these guys need to want to please him more than they want anything in life. I’ll never forget Loran Smith’s story about being on plane with a recently failed GT coach (Bud Carson) who made a comment about needing a “tough guy, an enforcer, like Coach Dooley had,” Loran, confused at first about who he was talking about, told Carson that the kids at Georgia didn’t fear Erk, they’d run through walls for Coach Russell. Coaches and fans both forget that lesson. You don’t go to war against your players, you go to war with them. With a bloodied dome as proof if need be.

    • Interesting point. I have to think, based on what we know about him, that Pruitt gets the most out of his players. That’s what happened last year.

      True, he’s dealing with a different culture now, and it’s showing already. But I expect him to hold firm and not compromise his standard, i.e., make his players come to his level, and not the other way around. That’s something we haven’t had since BVG.

      Changing the culture is part of Pruitt’s job, and it won’t happen overnight, as we pointed out when he was hired. It’ll take some time, and that’s what we’re seeing. This summer, or I should say this August, will be very interesting, to see what progress we’ve made between now and then, if any. It’s a big offseason, for the defense and for the team, to say the least.

      But hey, the FSU guys loved him. I don’t know why our guys won’t. BTW, you’re right about Erk’s players not fearing him, but loving him and being willing to do anything for him. That’s a great quality and I don’t know if Pruitt has that or not. As long as they play for him, and I think they will.

      FWIW, thought they didn’t fear Erk, those players did fear Dooley.
      ~~~

      • 81Dog

        Erk was the crazy energy guy. Dooley was the distant enforcer. Every staff needs a good cop and a bad cop. Bobby Bowden was the good cop, his staff (or some of them) were the bad cops. Dooley was the bad cop, the grim CEO nobody wanted to get on the bad side of. Erk was the deranged master sergeant who’d been there, done that, and would roll in the dirt and head butt helmeted players until he was bleeding. You can love the bad cop, and you can fear the good cop’s disapproval, but you really need them both.

        You can’t have a staff of 100% screamers, because sooner or later, kids will tune them out. You can’t have a staff of 100% huggers, because sooner or later kids will take advantage of the lack of consequences. Everyone needs to know someone is in charge, and while we all love you and want you to succeed, we expect you to bust your ass and toe the line of standards.

        Dean Smith was a genius in part because he made the players the enforcers of the team culture. Nobody was bigger than the program, and longevity came with some privleges, even if the freshman was Michael Jordan and the senior was a 3 year benchwarmer. It’s harder now for a variety of reasons, and it’s also harder in football than basketball because there are a lot more moving parts to a team.

        Grantham was a high energy guy, and he was no doubt very smart, but he wasn’t much of a teacher and he didn’t really seem to care about “team culture,” possibly due to his NFL background. Seems to me like the NFL culture is “Do your job or we cut you. Try not to get arrested and show up for the game on time.” If Pruitt seems to be the kind of guy who kids can see really cares about them as people, and who knows what he’s doing, they will toe whatever line he draws. If he’s not handing out fruit rollups and juice boxes at the end of practice, fine by me.

        • Nice post. Yeah, I think it takes a blend of personalities, but somewhere there’s got to be discipline, coaches who set a standard and demand that it be met. I think that’s what Pruitt brings to the defense, and his staff will support that.

          Yeah, you have to have good teaching, and we haven’t had that either. Mix in Grantham’s hands-off NFL style, and sometimes I wonder how we played as well as did (not that it was ever anything outstanding, even with the 8 draft choices).

          If he’s not handing out fruit rollups and juice boxes at the end of practice, fine by me.

          I agree with Pruitt 100% on that. It’s become ridiculous over the years. I like his comment about Little League baseball, or whatever. Today you get a trophy for just being on a team. My spring sport in high school was tennis, and I had to win (what is now) the Region AAAAA championship just to get an award. And even that was just a medal, not a trophy.

          An award should mean something. But like he said, there’s nothing wrong with it. His point was just, ‘realistically, we don’t have anybody deserving of an award right now’. I don’t see anything wrong with that, because it’s the truth.

          Which, BTW, is another thing you have to have .. truth. Somebody has to be able to tell players the truth, and Pruitt is apparently wired that way. Once, at a Bowl Game, I was talking to a DL, one of our best players, and we got to talking about Coach Dooley. And he said something I’ve never forgotten. With all the sincerity he had, he told me “He IS the truth.”

          Now he wasn’t being idolatrous, just making the point that with Dooley there was no departure from what was real. Players always knew where they stood with Dooley, and he was always truthful, honest, and fair.

          With Dooley, there was an element of fear, but it was tempered by great respect. Dooley never let his players get too close to him, and that was part of his mystique. Richt isn’t wired that way, so even though he is a truthful man, somebody else has to help fill that role.

          With some teams it’s the ‘bad guy’. If we have one, I suspect maybe Sherrer has that role, because I don’t think it’s Ekeler, Rocker, or even Pruitt. I’m thinking Pruitt may be more of a Dooley-type, and that’s a good thing. Players can love him, fear him, and respect him all at the same time.
          ~~~

  8. sectionzalum

    he’s got a mean stare that masquerades beneath the calm tone. wonder if the media stare is a sample of the loaf-ye-not stare, or the PG version.

  9. Just more beautiful music to my ears … sweet, gorgeous melodies. This is a coach grounded in reality, a big thing we’ve been lacking.

    I’m happy to hear the comments because I wasn’t, and haven’t been, impressed with what little we’ve seen .. G-Day and clips from practice. So much better to hear it from the man, than to spend the summer worrying about it. It’s so much easier to know HE’S addressing it.

    So I love it. I think people are finally beginning to get a sense of how poorly coached we’ve been. And how poorly conditioned we’ve been as well (and that can’t all be pinned on Joe T., IMO – it precedes him).

    We’ve got a long way to go, that is obvious to most everybody. But it’s so nice to hear your coach say it, and know he means it and isn’t exaggerating.
    ~~~

  10. Spence

    Nothing matters until Fall. Nothing. I want to swoon, but if I don’t know better by this point… shame on me.

  11. South FL Dawg

    I doubt Grantham was handing out trophies left and right last year so Pruitt is going to need his own Shawn Williams.

  12. Skint

    I think coach Pruitt is on the right track. Unfortunately,he won’t be able to change the Georgia way by himself. It still bothers me that we have walk ons in position to start, and an ex video coordinator as our strength and conditioning coach.

    • simpl_matter

      You need to read the bio on Aaron Davis, he would have had D1 offers (probably even from Georgia) if he hadn’t missed his Jr & Sr seasons. I wouldn’t be concerned about him starting, he sounds like a promising player with the right attitude.

    • AthensHomerDawg

      Veron Haynes, “Harton and special teams ace Blake Sailors were among seven walk-ons who were awarded scholarships two weeks ago. Harton and Sailors had their scholarships renewed after first receiving them a year ago, while fullback Merritt Hall, receiver Rhett McGowan, safety Connor Norman, linebacker Kosta Vavlas and cornerback Luis Capella were first-time recipients.”

      • Not sure that’s really much more than an indication of how many scholarships the program once tolerated not being given to recruits.

      • W Cobb Dawg

        Maybe CJP could explain to CMR that filling those schollies with recruits on signing day might actually benefit the program. If you’re gonna boot 5 or so players off the team every off-season, you need to account for attrition.

        Stranger things have happened, we actually have ST coaches with specific responsibilities now. That old dawg coach can learn new tricks.

        • You realize they’re actually over 85 players on scholarship right now, don’t you?

        • If you’re gonna boot 5 or so players off the team every off-season, you need to account for attrition.

          True, but a lot of that has been poor evaluation. Especially with the secondary, and that precedes Grantham as well. Grantham actually improved our defensive eval a little bit. It was that bad.

          Pruitt will not begin to get his secondary guys until 2015. Until then, he has to work with what we have. Same with all the other positions.

          And even though we’ll have 85 this year, it’s always the quality that matters. And we haven’t been good at that, overall, since the early Richt years. On offense, we’ve really improved on eval/recruiting the last 3-4 years, but the OL still isn’t where it needs to be. Defensively, it was great under BVG, awful under Martinez, and still mediocre-to-poor under Grantham.

          It’s gonna take several years for Pruitt to get his players.
          ~~~

  13. TennesseeDawg

    Nice change of pace from the constant sunshine pumping (and constant disappointments) of the past.

  14. I think this may be the best Dawg Porn of the year, Senator. It’s going to be a very interesting summer in Athens if Pruitt has his way. Let’s just hope no one gives a wrong middle name or emerges from an alley after finals. Please let’s get Mudcat’s car impounded for the summer as well.

  15. Spike

    Hubba Hubba

  16. Doggoned

    I like the vibe from Pruitt, but, realistically, I was seeing these same sort of comments about Grantham when he arrived and started passing out quotes to the media. Time will tell.

    • The difference is there’s film of Pruitt actually doing what we says he’s going to do. Grantham was good on the white board talking about scheme, but there was no film of his leadership of a college defense (or a recent pro defense). He lost me when he couldn’t get a defense with 8 future NFL players to play together consistently.

  17. Russ

    So no one gets a gold star?

  18. Gravidy

    I will admit that this is an interesting change from the normal off-season happy talk, but I’m not sure it is much more meaningful. If he’s just being the bad cop for the sake of being the bad cop, those kids will see right through it. Hopefully, he follows through. We shall see, but not for several interminably long months.

  19. Cojones

    Dang! Didn’t read a single “Fire Bobo!” from the sweaty mob. Heck, I’m not sure anyone even knows what he has changed in his finely tuned O Machine. His new cogs are humming and will drive this machine better than any in his career. They should be given future credit for providing great competition in training our new D. If you can beat our O, you can beat everyone.