Hotline talk

I’m sure last night’s Bulldog Hotline was a less than pleasant experience for all concerned and it was hard to expect much noteworthy discussion from it, but a reading of Bernie’s transcript (and kudos to him for taking the trouble) of the call-in show actually revealed some matters of substance were touched on:

  • The offensive line had a problem with crowd noise.  On the one hand, you wonder why Boise State didn’t seem to struggle as much with that.  On the other, field position may have had something to do with that.
  • Boykin didn’t see any more time on offense after his TD run because of hydration problems.
  • Branden Smith didn’t play on offense due to his foot not being completely pain-free.
  • None of the receivers are drawing serious attention from the opponent’s defense.

Richt had some criticism about players’ execution, but also expressed some criticism of the offensive gameplan, specifically with regard to Murray being allowed to run the ball and the use of screens to cut down on the effectiveness of the defensive pass rush.  He indicated that both would be more prominent in the gameplanning going forward.  Both are good ideas for development.  We’ll see if they really happen.

54 Comments

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54 responses to “Hotline talk

  1. Lrgk9

    The problem is that Richt and his staff is on a downward slide and it’s dang hard to go up a slide once you gain momentum.

    I don’t believe Richt can adapt and evolve. I hope he does, but I’ve stopped believeing…

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  2. Anon

    We won the toss and took that opportunity to receive, making many think that we had scripted first possession plays. Crowd noise is no excuse if this is the case.

    Hydration problems? We were apparently fed line after line of bull crap regarding our conditioning program.

    Both of these lie squarely on the coaches and staff.

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    • austintwo

      hydration?

      does out team not have a water girl?

      Seriously – did he actually say that??? WTF???

      Also – does the head coach not sign off on the game plan in advance???

      I just don’t have any confidence in Coach Richt left ….

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  3. Jim

    Hydration problems? Great new S&C program. Boykin wasn’t the only one either. Didn’t see the guys who practice in cool weather without much humidity (BSU) having cramping, hydration and conditioning issues.

    No receivers drawing much attention from anyone? Well, someone ought to be open then. We ought to be running and completing quick hit, high percentage routes until someone starts paying more attention to one or more of our receivers, which will open other parts of our game.

    Did Richt not think to review the offensive game plan at some point in the last eight months?

    These problems are not new. I am afraid we may be about to witness what sticking our heads in the sand about the undeniable trends in our program that were glaringly evident in 2009/2010 but actually could be seen as early as the Sugar Bowl against WVU.

    But hey – we did finish #2 in 2007 and Richt has won SEC Championships in 2003 and 2005. That ought to buy this staff at least another 2-3 years to firmly entrench us in mediocrity…

    Folks, Richt took our program to a level it had not seen since the best of the Dooley days. I am thrilled we hired him. But now it is time for the next chapter in Georgia football. The longer we wait, the more difficult it will be to change what has become a culture of losing in our program.

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    • Stoopnagle

      Well, no matter what it won’t be until December when anything along these lines happens.

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      • Jim

        Agree completely – would not suggest otherwise. Just wish it had been LAST December (or Jan) instead of having to live through another season of this.

        If we somehow turn things around and win the east I will be the first to say i was wrong but the last several years have not given me much confidence that has any chance of happening.

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    • BeerMoney

      Just FYI, Boise is not exactly cool in the summer. It was 92 there yesterday. Just sayin’.

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  4. ChicagoDawg

    The lack of screens and Murray not running the ball were huge gaps on offense. If they are going to incorporate more ‘spread’ elements then they need to incorporate all aspects. The spread is effective because of the running game aspects that it has, which truly make defenses play the entire field. The read option is deadly to defend when run well and Murray is well suited for it. We go spread when we are obviously going to pass and go ‘I’ when we are going to run.

    Either stay with the play action pro style or go all in on the spread. Right now, we are a half-pregnant mess.

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    • Xon

      Every system mixes up formations, though. We are pro-style offense, which means a lot of I but also some shotgun/spread with a single back, and occasionally even an empty backfield.

      On Saturday, we seemed to run a good bit out of the “spread” formations. Thats’ also when we usually got blown up, as our Oline play was awful, and those were the only blockers we had in those formations.

      Something is definitely wrong, but we aren’t as “predictible” as people think. It’s also usually difficult to really know whether a play dies b/c it was a bad call or b/c it wasn’t properly executed. So there’s that as well.

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      • ChicagoDawg

        Of course, being multiple is perfectly fine and expected. A pro style offense is predicated on that. However, play action comprises a significant portion of what allows you to throw over the heads of safeties who walk up into the tackle box to defend the run. Or allows you to utilize the TE on the drag route because LBs are reading run and filling.

        However, we are dreadful with no identity — period.

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        • ChicagoDawg

          Also, if you are going to run out of the spread formations, utilize the read option. Murray would actually be a credible threat running that.

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      • AusDawg85

        C’mon Xon. Half of us Bulldog Joe’s can predict what we’re running in almost every given situation. THIS is the criticism of CMB.

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        • Bulldog Joe

          I disagree on being able to predict every play but it became clear early in the game that we were not interested in running Aaron Murray. This allowed the defense to correctly anticipate a handoff each time on our read option.

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      • Dboy

        ” difficult to really know whether a play dies b/c it was a bad call or b/c it wasn’t properly executed. ”

        But the same individual is responsible for both: the offensive coordinator.

        Our players should be trained by the coaches to properly excute & our coaches should call successful plays. This is the simple reality every offensive coordinator faces. Ours just hasn’t been particulaly consistent / successful over the past 5 years or so.

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    • Bulldog Joe

      I will give our coaches some credit in their interest in innovating the offense. However, if we had depth along the line and were willing to let Murray run, we could run a no-huddle spread effectively and put some pressure on defenses. Until some of our younger linemen grow into viable backup roles, it would be difficult for us to run it without gassing ourselves or leaving our QB vulnerable to some clean shots in pass protection.

      We saw as the game wore on, we were down a lineman and our no-huddle turned into Auburn’s offense without a Cam Newton running threat, looking to the sideline for a play while the clock ran down to five seconds or less.

      Given our challenges on the line and the flexibility in using Branden Smith and Brandon Boykin, Mike Bobo may want to take a good look back to his old playbook and pull some of the Hines Ward / Champ Bailey plays that were successful when he was playing quarterback.

      Also, Bruce Figgins and Aron White are very good blockers and we have the speed to attack the corners with Isaiah, Murray, the Brandens, and Lemay. I would love to see us use it.

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  5. Normaltown Mike

    “Richt had some criticism about players’ execution”

    Same garbage different year. I’ve listened to CMR trot this line out for the better part of a decade.

    This is the fundamental flaw of CMR’s “approach” to “offense”. Georgia will never succeed at FSU-vs-the-ACC-in-the-90’s levels unless some physicist on South Campus builds a time machine and puts us in the ACC in the 90’s (and takes FSU out at the same period).

    Under CMR we’re waiting on perfect execution and superior talent. When we have both we’re 10-2 with a Blackout (Oh boy!). When we have neither we’re neck and neck w/ Kentucky or UCF and get obliterated by good SEC or great MWC teams.

    Teams with gaps in talent or poor execution have to use coaching to overcome these inadequacies. I saw none of that on Sat nite.

    If this hasn’t dawned on CMR yet, it never will.

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    • MinnesotaDawg

      +1. I can draw up a 100 plays that will “work” IF every single Dawg performs his job exactly as drawn up AND wins his assignment against every other defender. Coaching in a vacuum.

      Of course, when the inevitable happens–there is an inability by someone to win his assignment (because of some boneheaded mistake, miscommunication, mental error, or he simply gets beat by the other guy)–then this becomes an “execution problem” according to our coaches.

      Good coaches actually take these aspects of the game and the other team into account when preparing a game plan and calling plays–especially the probability of certain of his players getting beat by the talent on the other side. We don’t seem to recognize or acknowledge this reality.

      How many times have we heard, “The play was run beautifully, just as designed, EXCEPT….”

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  6. Scott W.

    The lack of execution is in direct correlation to the lack of coaching.

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    • Cousin Eddie

      Bingo, we have a winner.
      If the play calling is bad it is the coaches fault, if the execution is bad it is the coaches fault (with some fault on the players).

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      • 69Dawg

        If the execution is bad do as Coach John MacKay said to the press when asked about his teams execution he said “I’m all for it”. Players play to the level they are coached unless they are extraordinary. H Walker did not need a coach to tell him how to run. UGA’s coaches coach like the players are all extraordinary and they are not. We either have bad coaches or we have players too stupid to take direction and remember what to do. I think unfortunately we have a lot of both.

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  7. Ron

    I love this quote from Richt…..

    “I think we all know to put this into perspective. It’s only one game and we have some very big SEC contests in front of us.”

    I never played college football but I have played plenty of organized sports. In every case, I have never heard a coach state that it’s only one game! Sure, my parents may have told me that later that night after a loss. Sure, I may have even thought it myself before. But never…and I mean never….have I ever heard a coach say this!!

    What’s funny is this Richt comment from last season following South Carolina….

    ”Obviously we’re not in the lead. We’re in last place in the East right now,” the coach said. “But it’s just one game. We are gonna play a very good team this week. An SEC team. We have a chance to even our record and a chance to play a top 25 team, which can help, if you get a victory like that, it can get you back in the race. But there’s just so much ball to be played this season. I would think a one or two-loss team could certainly win the East this year. It’s early, but it seems like it’s shaping up to be that kind of year.”

    Sound familiar?? Don’t expect a miracle Saturday. History tends to repeat itself.

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  8. D.N. Nation

    Richt had some criticism about players’ execution, but also expressed some criticism of the offensive gameplan, specifically with regard to Murray being allowed to run the ball and the use of screens to cut down on the effectiveness of the defensive pass rush.

    Gee, I was yelling that all game long.

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    • AusDawg85

      So CMR’s point was…”I don’t like what I (authorized) called?” Really? Stands in front of us and claims, “Hey, sumbody shoulda dun sumthin bout dat!” Add a “Daggum” and I can picture Ol’ Bobby.

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  9. Griff

    I’ll tell you what I’m sick of…a large majority of our fanbase. Booing the team is NEVER acceptable…getting upset because an 18 year kid hadn’t given up on the game and tried to get the crowd excited (even if we were down by 21 and driving with 11 minutes left)…non stop complaining about the uniforms (yes, they were hideous and impossible to read #’s from the stands) but they have no outcome on the game, and throwing out future coaches like they would never lose a game in their time as the coach of the Dawgs! That’s just my 2 cents.

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    • Yeah, our fan base has had better moments than what it showed Saturday night.

      I hope things don’t get out of hand this week. I’d hate to see a replay of the halftime crowd at the Auburn ’99 game.

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      • Will (the other one)

        If it does come to that, let’s hope McGarrity doesn’t make the same mistake Vince did and let it drag on for one more yet. (And think what BVG could have done with that 2000 UGA defense…)

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    • Russ

      Agreed, Griff. Same goes for the d-bags that were sending nasty messages to the players via Twitter. Takes a lot of courage to send anonymous messages to the players.

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    • Ron

      Griff, what will it take for YOU to get upset?? Just because we love our school doesn’t mean we can’t get upset with it – especially when we KNOW that we deserve better.

      I love my school today just as much as I loved it Saturday. Same for my wife. But every now & then – I get pissed at my wife. Last time I checked, that’s the definition of love.

      Blind loyalty may make you feel like a much better fan. But for me, getting owned in 8 of our last 14 games doesn’t sit well. And I refuse to just smile and claim “love” as the reason for not getting pissed. It’s ok to get pissed and, yes, it’s ok to make your anger public. Especially when every member of the football team and coaching staff recognize the fact that 90,000+ people put them in that position in the first place.

      If you don’t like it – I’m sure Sputhern Miss or UAB would love to have you. I don’t think they boo there.

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      • Griff

        A couple of things Ron. First, I never said I wasn’t upset. I’m very upset. BUT do you honestly, deep down, think that our kids aren’t trying? Were you there Saturday night to hear all the boos? Please tell me you don’t boo your own kids (if they play sports)…that would just be pitiful (and I recommend you look up the definition of love since you admittedly haven’t done that recently). Second, you are definitely entitled to your opinion that public anger is the way to show 18-22 year old guys that you are “the person that put them in that position”. But, I have been a season ticket holder for a long time and not once has a recruit or a coach asked me my permission or opinion as to if they should go to UGA.
        I would challenge you to re-read my first post where I pointed out very specific reasons that I am upset with our fanbase (and Russ added another very good one as well). I never said we shouldn’t be upset, I just think we are getting upset at some really dumb things.
        Thanks for the suggestion on Southern Miss and UAB, but I guess I will continue to pull for Georgia since I have done so my whole life (through thick and thin).

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        • Evidently Normaltown

          We’re all upset right now and we deal with it in different ways. I do think that booing is probably the wrong way to show it, but in the heat of the moment, that very well could have been my reaction too (not the tweets, however, that, to me, is crossing another line altogether). Anyway, I’m not trying to judge anybody; my point is precisely that we should all try to judge others a little less. Maybe it’s better to explain why we shouldn’t boo than to just call it despicable and label all the fans–not calling you out, Griff, just responding to what I’ve seen as a lot of high horses. We’re all on the same team, dudes.

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          • Griff

            I agree with you on the judgment part EN. Just for clarification I think “booing” is part of sports, but my reason for not booing my own team is, first, that these guys are amateur athletes and second, they are the guys I came to pull for. People can argue all they want to about getting a free education, etc. but the truth remains that they do not get paid (legally). I honestly have no problem with booing coaches, booing the other team as they run on the field, booing officials, or booing opponents if they they disrespect us (Jayson Allen from Tennessee a few years back for example). Not sure if you were at the game, but when Ogletree got hurt during Boise’s first successful hurry-up offensive drive, their fans boo’d. Obviously they thought he was faking it to slow down the offense, but as we unfortunately know, he wasn’t. I wasn’t upset about that because they have probably seen opposing players use that strategy. But when Boise was moving down the field and our defense wasn’t getting set, the crowd had sustained boos that seemed to be directed at our players. There were several other times as well but I have definitely typed the word “boo” way too many times! Go Dawgs.

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            • Evidently Normaltown

              I hear ya. For what it’s worth, I think the boos were mostly directed at the coaches (although it’s true the players may not realize that), and I didn’t really have a problem with anything you said, more just a wish that people would call out their fellow Dawg fans in a nicer way, but that’s just my personality. It’s bad enough that we as a country can’t communicate with one another, but when Dawgs turn against Dawgs that’s plain sad 🙂

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              • Bulldog Joe

                I don’t participate in the booing. Given its timing it was clearly directed at the play calling, specifically that same draw on third and long only to set up a decision to punt from Boise’s 41 yard line down three touchdowns late in the third quarter.

                Those calls were asinine coming from professionals making the money our guys are pulling in.

                Our coaches got the message and made the right call once the Boise player gave us the second opportunity to convert the fourth down and the TD.

                We have passionate and very knowedgeable fans. This is a good thing.

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                • Russ

                  I just want to clarify that it is perfectly acceptable (and in fact required) to boo Penn Wagers (and that other jackass that I can’t remember right now) at any point in the game, or pre-game for that matter.

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                • Scott

                  Our fans did cheer excessively when we were on offense in the first period, which was not too knowledgeable (we jumped twice on the first possession and were penalized). In Lincoln, Nebraska fans are silent when on offense.

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    • Carolinadawg

      I didn’t boo, and prob never will, but I am confident that the boos were directed at the coaching staff, which is perfectly acceptable, IMO.

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    • Dawgfan Will

      The problem with trying to rationalize booing at an amateur sporting event is best illustrated with Kyle King’s analogy: booing is like honking your horn. Sure, you may intend it for that jackass that just cut you off, but nobody around necessarily can tell that. It may seem perfectly plain to you that you are booing the coaches, but I don’t think it’s worth the possibility that it might be misinterpreted by players.

      Now if, on the other hand, you could get a large section of the stands around to join together for a rousing “Coach X, your playcalling sucks!” Well that would be hard to misinterpret. 😉

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  10. Marshall

    Anybody remember the Ray Goff call-in shows from the mid 90’s? I swear I’m waiting for Richt to throw out a “We just gotta work hard to get better.”

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    • austintwo

      Coach Richt is simply not the same guy he used to be – it comes through loud and clear to me when I listen to him in press conferences, interviews, Bulldog Club meetings. It is sort of jarring even though I can’t put my finger on what it specifically is – but he is not the same guy.

      I don’t think there is a high likelihood he can turn us around.

      And by the way, I have now read stories/notes about 3 starters’ social media activity within the last few days – Boykin’s “dare” to BSU’s coach, JJ’s telling fans to shape up or ship out, and CRob’s terrifying threat (sarcasm intended here) that he will stay off Twitter for the next 7 days – this is a team out of control, everyone going in their own direction. What does Boykin think he’s doing and how do the coaches allow that crap?

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  11. AlphaDawg

    My 3 cents for the weekend.
    1. Those Uniforms = EPIC FAIL
    2. We were playing checkers while Boise was playing chess
    3. The Dome experince was horrid No Replays, No scores from other games, and you had to go to the lower level to buy a shirt.

    One the flip side:
    The crowd was great, even later on after the game was decided.
    The Boise crowd was nice too, I talked with several and didn’t meet a single AssHat. They loved the scenery.
    Dragoncon was actually pretty cool. I may bring the kids next year.

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  12. Vegas

    We have to get some quick safe passes to slow down the passrush and to be less predictable. I’m thinking screens to backs, Samuel looked great on his catches with his speed, Crowell & Thomas are shifty. WR screens are also good, especially from a bunch set so a DB can’t jump the route. End around runs like Percy Harvin used to run, tight end counter runs like Meyer used to do, slant short passes like Boise ran all night. Our speed guys need more touches: Smith, Boykin, Mitchell, Wooten. We need to create space on the bomb passes by picking on their worst DB. For passpro, we can use a TE to double their best DE, and keep Samuel/Figgins in to block.

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  13. Vegas

    I’d also like to see the “good hands” guys at WR to help out Murray until he gets his timing down. Michael Bennett only dropped 1 ball since Jan, and Aaron White has a 90%+ catch rate, stick Orson on the wing, and with Mitchell & Bennett, those are some tall guys who catch nearly everything.

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  14. Biggity Ben

    Did anyone happen to notice how they were neutralizing Kwame/John J? It seemed like the center would take a half step back and dive at their knees? I don’t know the rules on offensive line play well enough I guess, but that seems like the pussy/illegal way out.

    Also, after watching a replay, I noticed some pretty egregious blocking penalties against BSU that weren’t called. I’m not saying that’s why we lost. I think those reasons are pretty well documented on here already. But I’ll give you an example. If you watch the TD run by Doug Martin. The two plays before that there were both insane holds that weren’t called. One would have directly put major pressure in Kellen’s face and could have disrupted the complete pass that went for a first down. On the TD run Boykin was actually tackled from behind when he was in position to (at least) slow Martin down and allow more help to tackle him. There was also one more hold in between those plays, but I can’t recall the scenario. It was three plays in a row. All three plays directly led to the TD. After watching the replay, they were holding us up and down the field the whole night. We actually were getting some push here and there and when we did…we got held. (not every time of course..but I noticed it a lot)

    Anyway, just wondering if anyone else noticed that.

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    • Marshall

      I believe the key to getting a chop blocking call is you have to have one guy engaged and then have another one go low…but you’re right–it still seems pretty weak.

      And yes, I thought I saw multiple holds that weren’t called.

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    • BCDawg97

      I had heard about their OL taking out our DL legs. That’s coaching – both in how to slow our line and in how for our line to not get taken out…

      Heck, the AJC had a picture of a Boise player with what appeared to be a hand full of IC’s facemask.

      But I’m sure we had some holds not called too.

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    • Bulldog Joe

      On the quick slants, the entire Boise line would step and dive at the knees. It was very effective in keeping our DLs hands down, opening an easy throwing lane.

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    • 69Dawg

      Once again Boise did some coaching. Ask any fan of Div I FB and they will tell you that the SEC refs simply do not call holding unless you tackle to the ground. The one exception is they do like to call it on TE’s and WR’s blocking on sweeps. BSU knew that and held on tight. In the old days when I was in the Arena the O=line would always cut the D-line to slow down a rush. As long as the D is not engaged when you do it it is legal. Now what the D-lineman should do is stomp the living sh*t out of the O-lineman when he is on the ground and break his hand arm etc. I guess that is not PC anymore but it works to keep the aholes on their feet.

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      • Biggity Ben

        Well I only noticed the center doing it. Couldn’t we have had a DE cross and have the NG swing around him and negate that? Or does it not work like that?

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  15. Bulldog Joe

    The call in show is a P.R. tool for the athletic department and an opportunity to offer more compensation to the head coach.

    All schools do it and coaches are smart enough not to tip off what they are planning for the next game.

    Therefore, we shouldn’t expect any mea culpas and we shouldn’t try to make much out of what is said on these shows.

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  16. Mayor of Dawgtown

    ” SEC refs don’t call holding unless you tackle to the ground.” Not unless the flag is against UGA, then it comes out if you even look like you are thinking about holding.

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  17. Will Trane

    The more I watch and listen too CMR the more distant I become about his retention as HC. No trouble with withholding information about a player’s status for a game or answering the same question with the same answer.

    But when you respond about your QB running some; using screens, hydration and etc. Well, I’m as troubled this year as the past two. I do not think these guys put a lot of thought and work into game preparation and planning.
    Plus you have to know where you needs are on a roster. Last year had depth at LBs, but none at QB. Now it is reversed. How can that happen?
    Hydration. Inside game in controlled environment. Practice early in day to avoid heat…clearly understand that. But I’d want answers from players if they hydrated during the week and I want a record of it from my trainer, S&C staff, and nutritionist.
    If you want your QB more involved in the rushing side there has to be reason. Like depth. Maybe the opposing D’s schemes and tendencies. Now I understand how Bobo calls a game. He acquired this from CMR. Let’s let the QB run on this play. Next let’s hand it off. 3rd down let’s try a screen. In summation there is no offense at UGA. I did not need to hear that from the HC. That was obvious in Jax with Moreno and Stafford when we barely scored and UF lite is up. That was the game for me. From that moment is when I was convinced we could not win until we had a very stron offense.

    I get puzzled between the coaching ability and personnel. But I am now almost totally thinking it is a coaching issue. But we put up 21 against Boise. Is that enough? At one time, maybe. And your defense was very good. There was a time we put up 52. Lately, no, because most offenses can score due to many factors. Well we are not there on both sides of the ball. Even in a 3-4 scheme there should have been more production from the D line. Where are our DEs? Not one sack. Not one pressure against Boise.

    The O line I can understand to a point due to a new O line coach. First game, yeah. Second game, maybe, but I have to see noticeable improvement and production.

    Acclimate. He took the team to the Dome for practice. Coach Richt, I understand that. Artificial turf. Indoors. Not a place we have seen a whole lot of lately. But here is a clue. When you did go there did certain things come out. Like crowd noise. Different speed than grass or turf for grip.

    These guys just never seem to get ahead. And they coach at a premier D1 university. The team does not play smart, disciplined, focused, intense for the full “class” because the coaches do not.

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