Is it time to fret yet?

Put it this way:  I’m not exactly nestled in my comfort zone with comments like this one from Richt.

“It’s just not a lot settled at a lot of positions, especially on the defensive side of the ball,” Richt said after Wednesday’s mini-scrimmage at Sanford Stadium. “I’m concerned about it. But the dust is gonna settle, and guys are gonna go out there and play ball, and we’ll see what they’re made of.”

I dunno; maybe he’s bs-ing.  Georgia didn’t run a full scrimmage yesterday, electing instead to hit without tackling to the ground.  So if the staff is still up in the air about a number of personnel decisions, it’s hard to see how they’re going about their evaluations.  But this doesn’t sound like smoke blowing to me:

The issue, he said, was “settling a lot of questions” on personnel, starting jobs and rotations.

Richt said there were a couple reasons for that:

- Injuries. The most notable one was Ramik Wilson, the All-SEC inside linebacker who was out about 10 days with a concussion. Richt also pointed to cornerback Devin Bowman, who was making a good move but then suffered a hamstring injury and is out right now.

- The youth and experience, especially in the secondary. Richt granted that was similar to last year, when there were a similar amount of inexperience heading into the season.

“There are so many young guys, so many inexperienced guys, that it will be a trial by fire for a lot of these guys,” Richt said. “And we’ll see how they handle the pressure of it.”

Maybe they’re dedicating this preseason to the memory of Larry Munson.  If so, all I can say is that it’s working.

Seriously, what I do wonder from that last observation is whether Richt felt really burnt by how unprepared last year’s secondary was and is trying to avoid another situation like that at all costs.  If that means waiting until the very last minute to set a rotation in the secondary, I guess that means we’ll wait.

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86 Comments

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86 responses to “Is it time to fret yet?

  1. Krautdawg

    Suggestion: One of you season ticket holders takes a year off for the cause. Then, use that donation money to bring in the sports science guys Chip Kelley uses to prevent injuries. I think I speak for all the regulars here when I say that your comments would ne’er be contradicted in the threads of this Blog again.

    • JCDAWG83

      Do we have more injuries in pre season than most teams? It sure seems like it. Maybe we just don’t hear about the other teams and they have the same number?

      • RocketDawg

        We just don’t hear about the other teams because we aren’t fans of the other teams and go over practice reports with a fine toothed comb. I don’t like the fact that we have injuries but I do like that we are getting after it in practice with live hitting and tackling. That is something we didn’t do years ago and it showed on the field.

        • AusDawg85

          True. Texas and OU have had dismissals, injuries, etc. I seem to recall folks bitching a few years ago that our pre-season practices weren’t tough enough because Richt was afraid of injuries.

          We are Georgia…all is lost.

          • Debby Balcer

            I had the same type of injury reports for Clemson and The Gamecocks living in Greenville SC. Clemson lost a starter for a year and Mike Davis is out for the opener for SC

      • It seems to me that it’s the same every year. A couple of weeks before practice we have a bunch of guys out with injuries. Usually by game week the vast majority have magically healed. It’s probably a case of not risking further injury, particularly for the starters with minor ailments. And then there’s nothing you can do about the concussions but wait.

    • I like the Chip Kelly approach…a lot. I wish we would do that kind of thing. That said, I wouldn’t trade Ron Courson for anybody.

  2. gatorhater27

    Did we ever stop fretting?

  3. Rp

    When our defense takes the field against Clemson:

  4. Gravidy

    I’ve “never been in the area”, but it sure seems like there would come a time when you settle on a depth chart and start preparing for Clemson – even if you have to draw names out of a hat. And, furthermore, it seems to me that time is effin’ upon us.

  5. I think this is a bit of smoke blowing coupled with a bit of truth. I think it’s easier to exaggerate your weaknesses. Richt is never one to gloat anyway so I doubt he would ever say, “We are perfect and good to go”.

    I’m not terribly concerned. Still a week and a half away till kick off. I keep telling myself that there is no way this year D can be worse than last year’s. Hopefully there is some truth in that belief…

  6. sUGArdaddy

    Ah, I wouldn’t worry about it. Coaches don’t give any inside info. And, no, we don’t have more injuries that other teams. You just follow ours a lot closely. Go read other teams’ blogs and you’ll find the same things…guys missing practice in camp for being banged up.

    • JCDAWG83

      That makes me feel a little better. I get worried every year about this time. I did see the article about Clemson losing their leading rusher to a foot injury and while I hate it for the kid, it did make me feel like we are not alone. I honestly don’t see how our defense could be any worse than last season, regardless of who is injured or how young they are.

  7. watcher16

    Clemson just lost their starting RB to injury FWIW. Couple that with the fact that they lost their top QB and top WR and it is at least some hope for the D, right?

    • RocketDawg

      Mike Davis was injured in the Chickens practice yesterday as well. Rib injury to the point that Spurrier says he may not go against A&M next week (I don’t believe him). We aren’t the only ones by any means.

  8. Macallanlover

    I am having trouble understanding the level of concern as well, this will always be a dynamic, fluid situation due to injuries as you can rarely be specific about recovery time. Add to that the number of new, rapidly developing players who are likely closely grouped and you need to keep your options open.

    I wish Richt didn’t give out any more than: “we are pleased with the talent we have and they are progressing every week. A final decision on starters will not be made until the week of the game but we have good options at every position. Our players only lack experience and we will find the ones who can get it done on gameday. That may require some shuffling of the starters the first part of the season as we work players in and out of the lineup but who lines up as a # 1 isn’t as important as who makes the play when they get their opportunity. With a young lineup you have to remain flexible, we are just pleased to have so many players capable of being the long-term starter. Having strong competition for the job has helped all of them progress and this year they all seem to understand their role.

    It would be great if we had two All SEC, shutdown corners returning and both were healthy, then we could say we are decided on our starters with certainty. I expect to see 7-8 different DBs on the field against Clemson, and 7, or more OL. Who trots out in the first play doesn’t concern me much. I do get the cohesiveness of the OL concern but we have been mixing and matching for so many years that I am used to that as a way of life. Given the nicks and tweaks that happen during a season, we have to cross-train and play different positions anyway.

  9. sUGArdaddy

    We still have Todd Gurley, right? We’ll be alright. We’re one of the best teams in the nation with him because I think he’s the best player in the nation. Without him, well, we’ll have to find ways to win.

    This is why I feel good about our team: https://twitter.com/TheBlawgHouse/status/501824691796189186/photo/1

    That’s a pic from the florida game last year (where he dominated and outran their secondary even though he was out of shape) and from practice last week. Dude is ready to play.

  10. 69Dawg

    I think that the coaches really and truly don’t know how the team is going to play until the games begin. They can get an idea, but beating up on each other during preseason is not going to tell you a lot. We will know, as we always have, when the first game is over. We don’t have a preseason game to warm up with and Clem’s son is a good team. August 31 we will either be too happy or too mad, it is as it has ever been.

  11. I want to see that we have a cohesive offensive line that is ready from the beginning as Clemson may have the best front we face this season (including whomever we face in a potential SECCG). We also need a secondary that is working together. I think that was one of the problems last year (JHC’s suspension and Trigga’s hamstrings) made it where we were preparing one group for the season and then a completely different group of DBs for the first 2 games of the season.

    We’re Georgia fans … of course, we fret. ;)

  12. W Cobb Dawg

    These DB updates have got to be an exercise in b.s. Okay, I’ll accept we don’t have a final 5. But you’re saying we don’t even have a final 8, 9 or 10 this close to game day?! The injury to Bowman, who we’ve rarely seen since his signing day, is a significant setback?! C’mon coach, my b.s. meter tells me its getting kind of thick around here.

  13. rampdawg

    I’m paraphasing here, but read: He keeps dropping the ball, he runs the wrong way on certain plays and he isn’t as physical as I thought. I don’t think he is going to do much for us this year. These were things said about a young player in 1980.

  14. Last year’s green secondary did get off to a horrible start, but recall they played 3 top 15 teams, including 2 NFL-drafted QBs and Connor Shaw, and several NFL-drafted receivers, too. For example IIRC Harvey-Clemmons or someone was suspended, leading to Conner Norman trying to cover Sammy Watkins deep. The early schedule is a little bit friendlier, the front 7 looks really good, and the Grantham scheme is a thing of the past. Pruitt is the wild card, but this year’s green secondary should have a more reasonable chance to learn on the fly.

    [We now return you to your regularly-scheduled pessimism.]

  15. I thought Carnie Norris and Donnie McMickins were doing a real fine job out there….

  16. uglydawg

    This ain’t CMR’s first dance. He knows better than any of us that there has to be a depth chart and starting 22. He’s playing his hand very close to his chest…and there’s no reason for him to tell all. The Clemson game will be a mixed bag of performances, emotions, elations and “oh shit”s.
    We’re going to see something suprising. The possibilites of strategic scheming with this offense are endless. Bobo will be like a kid in a candy shop, but he has to be careful not to get too fancy too quickly.
    If the defense is even “fair”, I like UGA’s chances in this game.

    • He knows better than any of us that there has to be a depth chart and starting 22. He’s playing his hand very close to his chest…and there’s no reason for him to tell all.

      Yeah, he said as much last night. That we pretty much know who the starters and rotation will be, but he has no desire to tell Clemson, just let them find out on Gameday.
      ~~~

  17. Cojones

    “The most notable injury is Ramik Wilson.” ? What the hell is Mitchell, chopped liver? He’s running in a pool and isn’t putting weight on the knee? Will he play at SC? is the question; the question is not if he starts next weekend. He hasn’t taken reps, placed wt on the knee, etc.

    It’s like Richt is trying to spare us from tragic reports that hit profusely last year. Buck up, Mark! You and the team are suffering thru , why not include us? We can take it. I’m pretty sure we can take it. Alright, some can. some can’t. If we stop wringing our hands and making up bad shit just to condition our frayed nerves, would you tell us then? Look. I’m telling you we are not fretting like we were last year and during the summer. OK, some are , some aren’t. Alright, most of us are, but we aren’t blaming you for any bad news you have to share. Yeah, some do, some don’t. Alright, most of us are sitting here with raw nerves hanging out everywhere and what do you do; – you..you…just go “Naa-nana-nana-naa” to us with the info and we are getting pissed off! Some are sitting on footlong corncobs threatening to get a yearlong redass if you don’t tell us something. Some are threatening to sit on the Clemson side and shoot birds at you! I mean with a slingshot and deadbirds they have collected, frozen and positioned beak first! They will hurt your ass! Some fans aren’t….ok… all of us aren’t going to take this any longer! Put that in your pipe and smoke it! …Hmmmm…

    • 202dawg

      Cojo forgot his pills today. Can somebody spot him a couple?

      • Cosmic Dawg

        If I had any of Cojones’ stash, I would not be giving it away to anybody, including Cojones. But much of this is simply being high on his Dawgs. :)

        • Scorpio Jones, III

          Cojo, with the inexperience behind the linebackers, Wilson’s injury is sho as hail the most frettable to me, Wilson’s spot is the glue for the rest of the backend of the defense…Wilson is more valuable to the team than Mitchell at this point.

          • Cojones

            I think we should dissect his backups and be ready to welcome the replacement instead of sitting on pins and needles waiting for the end of Ramik’s play for UGA. Pretend Ramik has a broken leg that has not yet healed. He needs a few more weeks to see if it will heal well enough to encourage his play. We still will be on p&n because we don’t want him to reinjure himself and secretly don’t want him to tackle as hard. Well, duh. We’ve backed ourselves into a corner of concern for his health and his ability to perform at the highest level. Wouldn’t you prefer to bite the bullet now?

            Think of our ambivalence toward Gurley last year. When was the groin pull going to get healed? When will the leg/foot heal enough for him to take the field and gladden our hearts? Secretly we knew he wasn’t to full capacity, yet our eyes wanted to verify that we could pretend all is well if he just took the field. So it goes with Ramik. Do we want the drip, drip, drip of concern to sharpen our pain or do we want to face the fact that he may already be in that twilight area of play/don’t play? Maybe the threat of his presence has value and Richt will use it all, including inserting him into the field lineup and pulling him before the ball is snapped. Who knows, but I think we all should look closely and love his backup before the first game instead of agonizing over something that may have already gone down. It’s better for Ramik, his backup and the fans.

      • AthensHomerDawg

        He’s just having fun. Roll with it.

    • David K

      Consider Mitchell done. If by some miracle he returns and is any good it would be great. But in all likelihood it ain’t happening.

  18. Noonan

    According to the Fabris Invitational, we are a 9.5 point favorite. Remain calm.

  19. Scorpio Jones, III

    Lost my best friend to canine lymphoma yesterday. I got a whole new set of bad juju to worry about now…fret my ass, I am fucking worried.

    • Slaw Dawg

      Sorry about your loss, Scorp. Our furry canine pal also has some type of big C thing and that worry trumps my worry about the R&B Dawgs. That said, re: your last phrase, count me in.

      (Weirdly positive side note: last year, many of us were feeling pretty good about the season, eating up the positive reports and downplaying the green secondary problem. So maybe being f’g worried this season will have some sort of opposite effect? Gawd, let’s kick off already…)

    • Cosmic Dawg

      Ah, man, Scorp, so sorry to hear that….I hope you are hanging in there, they just do not hang around long enough. I have a guy that’s 15, has put up with me in Atlanta, New Orleans, Lexington KY, Idaho, Los Angeles, Athens….marriage, baby, you name it. Wife came home from the vet crying yesterday, dog is getting a bit senile and in some pain…crazy how things work out, it was touch and go when those two first met….so sorry, Scorp, it is tough to lose them.

    • PTC DAWG

      That sucks…

    • Cojones

      Yep. We all know we have to do right by our pets when we take them on. Their loyalty is irreplaceable, their companionship is real. The good memory of them stays with us forever.

      • Scorpio Jones, III

        And that hat, Cojo…..what if??????

        • Looks like you might have found your hat this season, Scorp. RIP to your DGD.

        • Cojones

          Priscilla and Fannie Mae want the used hats to stay as company when I use one on a search for my waterin’ hole, but they wanted me to tell you that the wife’s in Ca with children and grandchildren. Wanna couple of chickens? With or w/o tailfeathers?

    • AthensHomerDawg

      Sorry bout you’re loss. We were at our son’s place helping him box up for a future move. His house is situated on 200 acres with a cool pond. We took the dogs down for a swim and on the way back my wife’s dog took off after a deer. We searched for her until past dark. Searched for several days and put out flyers. By the folling weekend I had given up hope. It’s pretty hot out. We had already buried one dog from cancer this year and the thought of losing another was tough. The not knowing was terrible. On the 8th day we received a pic of the dog from my son. Ragged, thin, and worn out she had finally returned! Oh and she now stays on the leash. Shame really. Its good for her arthritis to swim.

    • AthensHomerDawg

      We were at our son’s place helping him box up for a future move. His house is situated on 200 acres with a cool pond. We took the dogs down for a swim and on the way back my wife’s dog took off after a deer. We searched for her until past dark. Searched for several days and put out flyers. By the folling weekend I had given up hope. It’s pretty hot out. We had already buried one dog from cancer this year and the thought of losing another was tough. The not knowing was terrible. On the 8th day we received a pic of the dog from my son. Ragged, thin, and worn out she had finally returned! Oh and she now stays on the leash. Shame really. Its good for her arthritis to swim.

      • AthensHomerDawg

        Sorry sports fans. I don’t know how I did that. I had ankle surgery yesterday. So I guess I’m should be in a green jersey. It was serious too. They had me in and out of the hospital in 6 hours. IDK, but if Bluto spent the night it wasn’t minor.

    • Macallanlover

      Man I hate to hear that Scorp, dogs are so all-in with us that it always take a piece of your heart. I am just thankful when we have a problem that we can remove the suffering….I couldn’t take that. Better days ahead for you, I look at as some dog that needs someone to take care of him is going to get a good home/master soon. We always get mutts, my current dog was a rescue and the most gentle soul ever…how in the hell could someone have turned her away. That was a good idea about the hat, got to be blessed.

      • Scorpio Jones, III

        We have a little acreage around us, so we have one on scholarship and two walk-ons. Very astute observation about dogs being “all-in”. The number of pets who get abandoned every year is an interesting comment on the values of this society. As Cojo says above, if you take on a pet, you have to do right by them.

        Kinda like a football team, but more fun.

        • Cojones

          Ain’t they? I’d volunteerone of the girls, but breaking up the singin’ duo would cut into their show. They go together to a window and bark like someone’s in our yard. They then face each other and get their in-your-face lyrics rollin’ at high volume with upturned heads and tail waggery. They pretend there is a microphone between them onstage with flashing lights and smoke.

          Gonna put on some Dawgs games and train them to do that when Uga comes through the goalposts. Gonna train’em on nonalcoholic beer so that the flavor of the game celebration hooks’em.

  20. Mayor

    I would be a lot less concerned about the unsettled personnel situation if our genius AD had scheduled a tune-up game to work out the kinks as first game. But since he scheduled Clemson first game and we have to play the Tigers and the Gamecocks as our first 2, without much of our team being battle-tested, well…….

  21. I say 42 gets the win this year, in every game.

  22. Bulldog Joe

    Coach is telling it like it is. With our personnel losses, we have tons of work to do just to catch up to where we were at the end of last year.

    This is our reality.

  23. 69Dawg

    What! Me worry?