Climbing out of a deep hole

You want to know what’s missing from Georgia’s football program right now?  It’s all in two comments, the first from Washaun Ealey

“I feel like I got a lot more to prove,” Ealey said Wednesday. “I’ve got to earn the trust of my teammates, along with my coaches. I know that my team, they really need me this game, because I’m probably the only running back, besides Ken Malcome. Carlton Thomas is coming back this week. But I’ll probably be getting the majority of the reps.”

Ealey was asked if by earning the trust of his teammates and coaches, he meant his fumbling issues.

“Definitely,” Ealey said. “The fumbles, I’m pretty sure I lost the trust of most guys on the team. Hopefully I can go out there and gain their trust back this week.”

… and the second from Trey Thompkins:

… Thompkins, who was sharing the interview room with Georgia football players Tuesday, provided another hint of what is about to unfold.

He gestured toward the football Dogs and said, “They’re going to be coming to our games now” as if to say basketball was going to be the spectacle on campus for a few months, not football.

I love that “They’re going to be coming to our games now” statement – it’s not cocky, but hungry.  It’s Thompkins saying that he thinks his team is going to excel and he can’t wait to get out there and prove it.  And you know what?  You can’t help but buy into his attitude.

We used to hear stuff like that from Richt early on.  When he spoke of “lifting the lid” off of the program back in 2002, you knew his team could do it.  Now we get key players talking about having to earn back trust.

42 Comments

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42 responses to “Climbing out of a deep hole

  1. The Original Cynical in Athens

    The problem with Washaun, and he obviously is not self-aware enough to realize it, is that the fumbles are the on-field manifestation of loss of trust in him because of his immaturity off the field, not to mention that his “look-out” blocks have also likely created a lack of trust from the QB.

    It’s not just a loss of trust in him, but a loss of trust in the coaches by the other players on the team because of the incident Ealey had.

    I am certainly happy that Coach Richt has finally decided to put his foot down on discipline, but believe he should have begun with Ealey’s incident, and had he proceeded with a different course of action then, this season would have gone better.

    It would have been nice for Washaun to say that not only has the fumbling been an issue, but defying his coach, and taking advantage of the loyalty that was shown him really burns at him inside, keeps him from being able to sleep well at night and drives him to want to earn that loyalty back from his coaches and teammates. Until that level of accountability has returned to the program, it is going to continue circling the drain.

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    • It’s not just a loss of trust in him, but a loss of trust in the coaches by the other players on the team because of the incident Ealey had.

      Maybe you talk to the players a lot and know this to be the case, but otherwise this just sounds like you’re projecting your feelings on to them.

      I’m not making a point about discipline. It’s about attitude. And before you tell me it’s all tied together, consider how many programs have had off the field problems which didn’t affect them once they got on the field, and clean programs that couldn’t get it done in games.

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      • The Original Cynical in Athens

        I am sure that you read the quotes from Aaron Murray and Tavarres King, I believe that there was also one for Abry Jones, which was very poignant, but of course, I cannot find it.

        Just like recruiting and directional kickoffs, I think that the theme of the program has been disorganization, lack of attention to detail and poor communication, and the disciplinary issues fall into those categories as well.

        I get what you are saying about attitude, but I think it is hard to have “swagger” when you are not sure that what the coaches are telling you is really the best thing, and when you don’t stay “on-message” to an 18 year old kid consistently, they begin to lose trust.

        It’s also notable that most of the teams who have succeeded with disciplinary problems, (a) had more raw talent, by far, than anyone they played, and (b) often used their disciplinary issues for a “Me against the world” attitude, which actually made them better.

        Yes, I am specifically thinking of 80’s Miami and Oklahoma.

        The thing is, though, UGA right now is in a weird spot, because it is not like the kids are shooting Uzi’s in the lobby at McWhorter or doing blow with strippers at the Coach’s house.

        Most of the arrests are really petty stuff, but they are arrests of disorganization and lack of attention to detail. It’s not like these guys are running around like the Blades’ brothers, they are just good kids who are not being disciplined strongly enough.

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    • TennesseeDawg

      Well Zach Witchett (a committed Georgia recruit) just got kicked off his team for a run in with a coach that he published on Facebook. Adding insult to injury, when he apologized on Facebook he spelled it “Apolygize” then rationalized the apology. This guy should no longer be extended a ‘ship but we’ll see what Richt does.

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      • Barstool

        FYI, pretty sure it was Zach Debell, not Witchett, that got the boot from his team. That’s a story you don’t want to circulate about the wrong guy, and from all accounts, Witchett is a good kid. That said, I wouldn’t be surprised to hear that Debell decommits in the near future.

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          • The Original Cynical in Athens

            His scholarship should be revoked immediately. This is a pretty easy call.

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            • The Realist

              You should rename yourself The Executioner. That’s your response to everything. Speeding ticket? Done. Chose chicken carbonara instead of chicken fingers? Done. You don’t even know what the kid did, and you want him off the team before he is even on it.

              From the article:

              “He had an incident yesterday and I had to discipline him,” Pritchett said Wednesday. “Right now, it’s permanent.

              Emphasis mine, obvs., but his own coach hasn’t even closed the door on him returning this year (which I bet a dozen Krispy Kremes he does). And, because an 18 year old kid did something stupid — probably out of a grandiose sense of self worth — Georgia should pass on him in October?

              Why not let it play out, see if he rights himself now that football has been taken away from him, and make that decision in December after his football season is officially over?

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          • Barstool

            Withdrawn. Sucks.

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    • Spence

      Tell me more. Don’t stop there, we’re just scratching the surface. Tell me about Washaun’s mother, his childhood, and whether a clown scared him one day and scarred him forever. Relax, you’re in a safe place.

      Or spare us all the psychobabble.

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  2. Brandon

    Field of Dreams whisper: “If we can get back to playing championship defense…the wins will come” OR if you prefer: “lift…the lid…again”.

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    • They’ve got to believe they can do it, first. Right now, they don’t. Or at least not enough of them do to matter.

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      • Brandon

        I think they quit believing because for years they did what Martinez said and still lost, finally they quit on him. If they say that Grantham/Belin/Lakotos and Co.’s advice bears fruit they’ll start believing again.

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  3. Biggus Rickus

    It really is sad that I’m stuck looking forward to basketball season.

    As to the statement, it would be insane to sound confident after you’ve fumbled inside the five three times (losing two) while playing for a 2-4 team. It’s easy to use phrases like “knock the lid off the program” in the offseason or when you start 8-0. Any perceived lack of confidence is circumstancial, I think.

    Which is not to say there aren’t problems with the team or program or whatever. I just get tired of the theorizing and psychological assessments when none of us really know what’s going on inside the program.

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    • I take both comments at face value for honesty. I’m not saying that Ealey should be blowing smoke up anyone’s ass right now – just that it’s sad that the believably confident player is a member of a squad coming off of a 14-17 season.

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      • Biggus Rickus

        True. There is certainly a much more optimistic vibe with the basketball program. One that left the football program around halftime of the Bama game in ’08. Or maybe it was the Tech game that really killed it that year.

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        • The Realist

          The Tech game killed it. It was obvious to everyone (except Richt) that WillieMart had to go. And yet he got 2009. That wasted year set the program back at least one year. We’ll see if it is two next year.

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      • anon

        We won 14 games last year.

        And the confidence comes from the coaching staff. They’re buying what Coach Fox is selling, and you could tell that last year with the big wins. Sure they lost several they shouldn’t have, but the product is there.

        I hope sometime soon we don’t have people saying “I’m stuck looking forward to basketball season.”

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        • Russ

          +1

          Fox has the boys playing hard and they obviously bought into the system last year. 14 wins with their talent was close to a miracle. I’m looking forward to BB season, and it’s not because we’re down this year in FB.

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    • By comparison, how much do you buy this comment?

      “We knew all along we were a good team. We just had a bunch of self-inflicted wounds,” receiver Tavarres King said. “We had a bunch of things that we did wrong and hurt us at the end of every game. We knew that we were right there but (beating Tennessee) did push over the top and confirmed that we were a good team and could play with anybody.”

      Not much? Me neither.

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      • Biggus Rickus

        I don’t know what to make of anything coming out of the footbal program at this point. It really all depends on what happens going forward. It is certainly true that if not for a handful of mistakes during the four-game losing streak they could have won them all.

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      • Dawgwalker07

        I wonder if what this team and program needs is a “hobnail boot 2.0” type of game. Something like an upset of Florida or Auburn may help turn the tide of confidence inside the locker room. I certainly don’t think those things would fix the problems all at once, but I think we’ve got to start somewhere.

        Marching down the field and snatching a win from someone who’s supposed to beat us instead of a loss could go a lot further than we imagine at this point.

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  4. Go Dawgs!

    To take a slightly different approach from the rest of you, I actually like the fact that Ealey realizes the fact that he wouldn’t be in this position without Caleb’s injury. He knows that he hasn’t played worth a flip this year, at least, not for sustained stretches of time. He knows that his teammates don’t trust him to hold on to the ball anymore. He knows that he’s got to work hard to get back into their good graces. He’s approaching it from a humble place and he’s going to work hard this week to try to take advantage of an opportunity. That’s good stuff. I don’t read any kind of timid spirit there, I see a guy who is embarrassed by how he has played and who probably has a chip on his shoulder about it, and is ready to strap it on. Give ’em hell, Washaun.

    Also, go and freaking get them, Trey Thompkins. I am pumped about basketball season and what you and Leslie and the rest of Fox’s Hounds have a chance to do this year. Keep building it, big fella.

    Man… I am feeling pretty positive this morning, apparently oversleeping and missing breakfast is the way to go.

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  5. sUGArdaddy

    I am certain that at 2-4 we all read too much into comments. Heck, we do it when we’re 5-0. In 2008, Bama week was the cockiest and confident I’d ever heard Coach Richt. He was smiling at the press conference like he knew something we didn’t, like we were about to put a colossal beat-down on them and get back to the #1 ranking we’d had a few weeks earlier.

    I was feeling differently by halftime…

    You can say what you want about Tech that year, but I’m convinced those boys from T-town came in and stole our manhood and we’ve struggled to get it back. But I think Aaron Murray might be the guy to do it.

    Oh, and book it…we’re going to beat Florida. It’s just going to happen. And it’s going to feel very weird walking out of that stadium w/ 4 losses and a win over the Gators.

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    • Oh, and book it…we’re going to beat Florida. It’s just going to happen. And it’s going to feel very weird walking out of that stadium w/ 4 losses and a win over the Gators.

      If by “weird” you mean ecstatic, I’m with you. 😉

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  6. PNWDawg

    I’m at the point where I don’t buy into any talk whether it’s basketball or football.

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  7. 69Dawg

    What the UGA fan base needs is a dose of the medication for Bi-Polar Disorder. It is apparent that we just can’t be rational about this season. I have watched the replay of the UT game and we were back to a point where given UT’s lack of talent we once again were able to win. We would have won 24-14 without the turnovers. Realistically we should out talent Vandy for the win. We will be hard pressed to beat UK because they will play harder than we do, and we will be thinking about UF. Barring a complete meltdown by UF they will beat us by at least 2 TD’s. We come home to exercise Idaho St (thankfully not the U of Idaho).
    Auburn will be on fire to break the losing streak and they have UGA kryptonite a great running QB. They will destroy us. So it is up to GT and UK. Our season comes down to beating these two. I’ll believe it when it happens.

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    • gastr1

      Yeah, but Tennessee’s issue is not talent, it’s depth. Don’t forget that their record would be a lot better if they could hang in in the 4th quarter. This is the only game UT has had where they got beaten pretty hard out of the gate. With that the case, there’s no doubt we took the foot off the gas in a way that Oregon did not because Oregon was tied with this team at the half and only led 27-13 going into the fourth. Yes, it might have been different were we playing at Neyland as Oregon was…but Tennessee has had a consistent pattern up to this one game. Seems to me that has to at least be taken into account.

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    • tduga1

      I agree that the turnovers played a large roll in the victory but your post doesn’t take into account that we completely coasted to the win in the 4th quarter and ate up clock.

      Also, you have to admit that in the past those turnovers were not created by our defense and special teams. How many times have we seen a DB drop the interception Rambo made? How many times have we seen the punt gunner fail to recover a loose fumble. I think our team deserves the credit for making those plays and putting together a solid 60 minute effort.

      I am not expecting a miracle but I think we have a good enough team to expect 6-6 and a bowl game. No, I am not excited about it but if we can finish the year 4-2 and make a bowl I would count that as a solid turn around.

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  8. Normaltown Mike

    Everybody lay off, he’s a Sophomore that only played half of last season.

    A “true” sophomore that was born in June of 89.

    http://www.georgiadogs.com/sports/m-footbl/mtt/ealey_washaun00.html

    He’s not a seasoned veteran like Senior Clint Boling, born in May of 89.

    http://www.georgiadogs.com/sports/m-footbl/mtt/boling_clint00.html

    A lot happened between May and June of 89.

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  9. D.N. Nation

    In his first season, Fox beat Tech, Tennessee, Bama, South Carolina, Florida, and was damn close to winning in Rupp. Now consider what the football team has done with those teams recently. So yeah.

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  10. HVL Dawg

    GATA Trey!

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  11. Chuck

    So what is the issue?
    is it players,
    is it a certain coaches,
    is the head coach,
    is it the psyche of the players
    is it that our players are out of control criminals
    I have heard about every explanation out there, and I would love to know so that it can be fixed. I do not agree that it should be CMR job. Who the hell do we give the job to? I believe that he is owed another year to get things corrected and fixed. I believe that we are on the right track with the hiring of CTG. I do believe that he needs to get tougher and I agree with the harsh discipline. There should be a hefty price paid if you do something wrong. I also believe that if a player does not perform you put someone who can. Play the freshman. Aaron Murry has proven that playing a freshman is not a bad thing. So put the freshman in a running back and let see what the kid can do. As stated before it all about the TEAM and making sure that we are putting a good quality team on the field. I saw for the first time in the Tenn. game that they played as a team. The plays that Tenn. scored on where plays that we got beat, but you could see that we were getting penetration through the line and getting after the Tenn. QB. I fill good that we have a very good opportunity to finish up the year with only one more loss. If they play them the way they did against Tenn. then that is a very plausible outcome. If they play like they did against Miss. State and Colorado they do not have a prayers chance. But folks this is nothing new, we have seen our beloved Bulldogs lay huge eggs in the beginning of the season a loss to teams that we should not have loss to and then beat teams in the second part of the season that we fill were going to kill us. But as the late great Lewis Grizzard would say. “I was bred a Bulldawg, I will always be a Bulldawg, and I will be by GOD Bulldawg dead!”

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