Maybe I’m reading too much into this, but one thing struck me when I read this Bulldog Illustrated article about the Grantham hiring.  Check out these two quotes:

“I haven’t played in a 3-4 personally but I’ve seen a lot of it in the NFL,” said Gamble. “It’s a pretty aggressive defense and a lot of pass rushers come out of it. It seems to be very productive in getting guys to the ball and I’m looking forward to playing under Coach Grantham. I think it’s going to give everybody a fresh start and that’s good,” said Gamble. “If you’re good enough to play, you’re going to play. Guys who haven’t gotten to play much in the past may get that chance now. I know I’m going to work my hardest, just like I’m going in as a freshman, even though this will be my senior year. Getting the experience of having an NFL coach come in to coach you your last year, he can critique you and see what you need to do to get ready for the NFL. That’s a good thing for me and the rest of the guys who want to play in the NFL.”

“Not knowing Coach Grantham very well, I’m pretty excited, though,” said Boykin. “I talked with Tashard Choice (former Ga. Tech player) who’s playing with the Cowboys and he said Coach Grantham is a great coach, and I’m looking forward to playing for him. I’m just excited about playing in a 3-4. I will be watching the Cowboys a little closer this weekend to see what their defense is like … just be looking at things I haven’t seen,” added Boykin. “I think it will be a fresh start for everybody. The guys who didn’t get to play as much last year can prove themselves again and those of us who did play will have to reprove ourselves. I’m looking to get a chance to go up to Butts-Mehre and talk with the coaches and figure things out. Coach Grantham is still in his season but I’m also looking forward to talking with him to also figure things out.”  [Emphasis added.]

Notice how similar those quotes are?  It makes me wonder if there was a little more going on behind the scenes attitude-wise with regard to certain personnel decisions made on defense last season than was let on.  And whether that bled on to the field at times…


Filed under Georgia Football

21 responses to “Meritocracy

  1. RusDawg

    You wonder if?



  2. Scorpio Jones, III

    Gamble seems more generalized, Boykin more specific. You certainly could read there was some “disagreement” about who should play when, but it is not uncommon to have younger players who think they should play more (Branden Smith, for instance), and this is especially true when you have the caliber of young talent Georgia has.

    In fact I don’t think I have ever been around a team where a few of the younger players thought they were better than the seniors who were playing.

    But having said all that, the attitude about a “fresh start” could be interesting or enlightening depending on your outlook.

    As desperate as things were last year, and they were, any attitudinal problems at all would be bad. It is also interesting both of these observations come from the back end of the defense.


  3. Scorpio Jones, III

    slight correction in above.

    “In fact I don’t think I have ever been around a team where a few of the younger players did not think they were better than the seniors who were playing.”

    Also, I am really glad to see us giving Montez Robinson a chance to right his ship in Athens.


  4. DavetheDawg

    Simply put, the defensive talent has been there. The coaching has not. And we all know that the best players didn’t see the field nearly enough.


    • Mayor of Dawgtown

      I have said this before on this blog and do not want to be repetitive but the quote remains as true now as when he first said it: “College football players will play up to the level that they are coached.” Steve Spurrier, 1989.


  5. Scorpio Jones, III

    And since I’ve got the page open:

    Watching Derek Dooley’s UT press conference was like watching my cousin or something. Vince came to Georgia when I was a 7th quarter sophomore or something, and if I read the name Dooley it immediately pops most of my best Georgia football memories into my inner YouTube.

    Living where I do, it has really not been much fun watching the Vols disintegrate into a pile of lies, holdups and burning mattresses…I mean losing yes, great fun, but a total programmatic meltdown…well I feel for my Vol friends.

    I don’t know if Derek Dooley is the right guy for UT or not, there is some mighty hard repair work that needs to be done among the fan base, and it will take more than just winning, although that will certainly help.

    The local media has not figured out both Derek’s and his wife’s parents went to Auburn yet.

    Word around here is Derek could conceivably be working for a new athletic director pretty soon, and frankly that may not be a bad thing.

    Best of luck Derek, every week but one. And stay away from the Bar b que up there, it seems to add girth and slow the reactions.


  6. baltimore dawg

    i thought it was pretty obvious that the best players at all positions weren’t seeing as much of the field as their play would have indicated. there was no apparent reason why bryan evans and prince miller continued as defensive mainstays. maybe there were good reasons for that, but whatever they were, that situation was bound to create some resentment among the guys behind them on the depth chart. i know i resented the hell out of evans and miller by season’s end.

    but there have been a lot of personnel decisions that look pretty poor in hindsight the last few years, haven’t there? km’s redshirt; rs at running back; kiante tripp at every position; etc.


    • Agree with you about Evans, but I thought Miller played some good ball by season’s end.


      • a22griff

        I agree about Prince as well. Corner has got to be the most difficult position to play simply because you are left on an island so much. Prince made a lot of plays towards the end. Bryan Evans, on the other hand, was simply awful not only at safety, but also at corner his sophomore and early junior years.
        I think part of the players frustration was the constant confusion from the coaching staff (Willie). I would love to see a breakdown of what side of the ball called a timeout. It seems to me that we called as many TO’s on defense as we did on offense. That is ridiculous. It seemed like we were one step behind all the time…which had to be frustrating. I remember post game player interviews from the BVG era where the players constantly praised BVG for “having us in the right position”. I never heard that from WM’s players. As bad as it appears Evans was, I can’t help but place some of the blame on coaching and (lack of) preparation.


      • Puffdawg

        I said the dame thing to my dad, only mockingly, considering Prince had been here 5 years. Took him a while to catch on!


  7. Merk

    The biggest factor of the season was the Tenn game to me. Rambo got a pick six…the next series BE is back in and 2-3 plays later BE gets burnt for a long TD that takes all the momentum out of the team. You DO NOT bench a guy who just got a pick six.


  8. Rambo was the most glaring example of someone CLEARLY being superior to the starter, and suspiciously not getting the playing time. So I definitely think there is some potential accuracy to this conclusion. It has long seemed like the UGA staff is a little too obsessed with seniority rather than merit (red shirt of Knowshon goes in there too, incidentally).

    But lets be careful about how we interpret these off season comments. Remember how we all took the bait on the whole “we are finally going to have some leadership now” comments?


  9. 69Dawg

    I’m with you Senator the only head scratcher that stood out was Evans. He never stopped looking confused. He would look at WR’s blowing by him like a deer in the headlights. Best example of playing seniority over talent I have ever seen.


  10. 69Dawg

    And the RS of KM was only the tip of the iceberg. Coach J was going to RS Rennie until ordered to play him by CMR. Now that would have been a real big mistake. Between CMW and CJ we were saving ourselves for later.

    While we are talking coaches, the O better start protecting the ball better or I’m through with Bobo. We hire a GA to coach the RB’s and they don’t even know in which arm to carry the ball.

    The KO teams could not cover. The KO return teams were inconsistent we ran some back but we fumbled others, hopefully we will not waste a coaching spot to coach DE’s. The D got the blame but the O lost as many games as the D, look at the penalties and turnovers.


  11. Lee

    I don’t know if I’d read that much in to it. I have no inside knowledge, but from the outside it didn’t seem like too many players were disgruntled. You’d think some of that would leak out, certainly after the firings, if it was a big problem.

    I’d speculate that the players who haven’t played a lot are just hoping a change of system and staff will give them an opportunity to succeed.

    As for players always feeling they are better than their competition, that’s just normal right? I mean, we all now know that Adam James is TTU’s best receiver… 🙂


  12. HottCheesE

    They are repeating what their PR coach told them to say. Seniors always play over underclassmen unless there is a huge gap in talent. This is not a big deal.


  13. MauiDawg

    Should I remind everyone that these two player comments are consistent with Mark Richt’s comments after firing the coaches in December.
    Even Richt noted that it will give a fresh start with a new Def Coaching staff.


  14. LetItBegin

    I am also hoping that we put in our best and leave them. Allow them to get in a flow and make plays. Rest them only when needed, so as to have them still playing hard at the end of the game. Our players on defense hardly ever play series after series and get into a rhythm. Maybe our strength and conditioning wouldn’t allow it…………. if so that problem should also be fixed!!


  15. Ubiquitous GA Alum

    Weiszer has the full presser from Fri night on his blog at the ABH … This fits nicely with this thread …

    CTG: … “I rally believe the best way to go about it is, you rank your players. You evaluate your players one through 50 and you find a way to get your top players on the field because to be an aggressive attacking style of defense and to make plays, you have got to have playmakers. You’ve got to put those playmakers in position to make plays. I think the most important thing is to evaluate the players, find out what their assets are and what they do well and put them in position so they can make plays.



  16. sean

    I’m in class with a lot of the football players, and it was apparent all season long that there were issues with “favoritism” and what-not.

    Sanders Commings was going to transfer, but changed his mind once willie was fired.

    Several other DBs were considering it, according to Marcus Washington.