Daily Archives: April 23, 2014

“I absolutely support continuing the Auburn series.”

Yeah?  So how reassuring is that?

Answer:  not very.

Morehead, who will cast one of the 14 presidential votes on the matter, was asked if Georgia fans should be concerned about the rivalry ending. He chose his words carefully.

“The presidents and the athletic directors will meet and resolve the scheduling issue shortly,” he said. “There hasn’t been a resolution on any of those issues at this point. So until a vote is taken by the presidents following that meeting, I can’t predict what that outcome may be. We certainly appreciate that it is an important and longstanding rivalry for the University of Georgia.”

“Choosing his words carefully” is not an observation you want to read about a fellow who presumably has already been in touch with his peers to take their temperature on the subject.



Filed under Georgia Football, SEC Football

Salty, bitter Gator tears are salty, bitter and delicious.

By Gawd, if this article doesn’t brighten your Dawgly soul today, you are beyond hope.  This, in particular, is priceless:

“I don’t let small things affect me anymore,” Harrison said. “I don’t let small things faze me. I’ve learned to drown out the nonsense, the clutter. I’ve learned to accept things that only get me better and to completely ignore the negativity, the clutter that can’t help me succeed in life. It’s just made me a lot stronger.”

So over the phone, the 6-foot-3, 304-pound Harrison is asked about “that incident” with another player.


“Which one?” he asks. “Are you talking about the blocking incident?”

No, but that was rough, too. In the 26-20 loss to Georgia Southern, Harrison inexplicably blocked his own teammate, a lowlight that ran as the No. 1 “Not Top Ten” on Sportscenter for several weeks. It’s hard keeping the misery straight.

Wallow in it, baby.  Just wallow.

(h/t Doc Saturday)


Filed under Gators, Gators...

The Britain Project

A Brit intends to visit the states for a week to take in a few college football games with his friends and asks Stewart Mandel to suggest an itinerary for them.  Mandel obliges, starting with a trip… to Athens, Georgia.

To truly experience as many different styles and scenes as possible, I think you need to hit three games in a week. Here’s the itinerary I’ve come up with:

• Sat., Sept. 27: Tennessee at Georgia. Visit the new College Football Hall of Fame in Atlanta, then make the short drive to Athens, where your friends will get a taste of all things SEC football: the sundresses and the khakis, the Redcoats, Uga, the hedges and Todd Gurley running between the tackles.

I’m finding it extremely difficult to tamp down the snark bubbling up inside me.  So before I burst, let me just say, Mark from London, I hope you’ll visit the Classic City.  Feel free to drop by our tailgate anytime.


Filed under Georgia Football, Media Punditry/Foibles

Coach Red Bull

This is pretty funny.

Richt said he makes sure to drop by Ekeler’s office once a day “just to get some positive vibes, you know. Sometimes (Mike) Bobo and (Jeremy) Pruitt, they’re down about something. Ekeler, hopefully it’s not against NCAA rules, but he’s got a refrigerator, he’s got a lifelong deal with Red Bull. He’s got a Red Bull refrigerator. They send him cases of Red Bull whenever he asks for it. I think something happened at Nebraska. They called him Coach Red Bull and they gave him a lifetime supply.”

And remember, last season Ekeler coached with Ed Orgeron.  Talk about your epic quantities of Red Bull consumption.  I wonder how many holes they put in the walls of Southern Cal’s coaches’ offices.


Filed under Georgia Football

Hell hath no snark like a genius scorned.

More as a shot towards his team’s fan base than the kid, Paul Johnson refers to the now-departed Vad Lee as “an Internet legend before he ever played a game”.


Filed under Georgia Tech Football

“We’ve got to… play in space more rather than just wad up and just hammer.”

There’s a tendency to think that, because Grantham and Pruitt are branches on the Saban coaching tree who both use the 3-4 as a base defensive scheme, the transition on defense between them won’t be as dramatic as it was in 2010, after Richt dismissed Martinez.  We need to be careful about that.  Underneath the continuity in base scheme, there appears to be a real change in defensive philosophy.  And that’s going to have a major impact on strength and conditioning, it sounds like.

“The game is going to a lot of speed, a lot of tempo, a lot more plays are being run,” Richt said. “It’s go hard and rest just a minute and go hard again. The recovery time is not what it used to be. You might have 40 seconds in between a play back in the day. Now you might have 15 seconds. So you have to train them a little differently.”

How differently?

Richt said about 80 percent of the defensive players need to get slimmer to keep up with the uptempo offenses.

“Most everybody is on a trim-down phase,” Richt said.

He added: “Not that we’re a bunch of fat guys but in some ways we’re strong and thick in the legs and rear and all that kind of thing. Not that you don’t want to be strong, but we’re willing to give up a little bit of size for quickness and the ability to recover quickly.”

The strength coaches and positions coaches talked about each player individually in meeting this week and Richt talked about each position group that needs to trim down on Tuesday.

“I was going to say mostly linebackers and D-line, but there are some safeties we want to cut some more weight,” Richt said. “A couple of little skinny corners we want to try to get a few more pounds on them and get a little more muscle on them so they can tackle.”

Here’s how Richt described the difference in the weight room.

“Instead of just doing 10 bench presses and then I’m chilling and getting a drink of water and I’m coming back and get me 10 more and build strength, you want to build strength, endurance and even get your heart rate pumping,” Richt said. “Lift, lift, lift, boom, get a little quick blow. Boom, boom, boom. You’re building strength and endurance at the same time.

I don’t know how this all works out in the end, but it’s clear Richt and Pruitt aren’t waiting for the NCAA to pass a 10-second substitution rule.  It’s another indication that the HUNH is definitely changing the way college football is played.


Filed under Georgia Football, Strategery And Mechanics

Eight is great.

The SEC’s head coaches had a little get together yesterday and, not surprisingly, the topic of conference scheduling came up.  Nick Saban is gloomy about the prospects for a nine-game SEC schedule.

Talk of a nine-game schedule and preservation of traditional cross-divisional rivalries like Alabama-Tennessee were discussed by SEC coaches in a meeting Tuesday.

“I don’t think there’s any support for that, it doesn’t seem like” Alabama coach Nick Saban said before a Crimson Caravan stop in Huntsville. “I think there’s a little bit more support for staying with an eight-game schedule and everybody playing a ninth opponent that’s in the five major conferences.

“My thing is I’m for playing nine conference games and still playing another team in the major conferences, so you play 10 games because of fan interest, people coming to games looking forward to seeing more good games.

“So that’s the starting point for me. I think it’s important for the players to be able to play more teams in the SEC East, on the other side, which we only get to play one now. I don’t know if we stay with the 6-1-1 or 6-0-2. I don’t know.”

Everyone seems to agree that Saban’s not a stupid guy, so why ignore his point about “fan interest, people coming to games looking forward to seeing more good games”?  Well, because short-term selfish interest always trumps long-term planning in what passes for today’s management of college football.

Besides, we’ve got the dynamic duo looking out for our interests.

But as Richt pointed out, the vote ultimately comes down to the school presidents, and not the coaches. Of course the coaches could lobby their presidents, or at least their athletics directors.

“It may be I talk to Greg (McGarity, Georgia’s A.D.), and Greg talks to him [UGA President Jere Morehead], sometimes we all talk together,” Richt said.

I feel better already.


Filed under SEC Football

A little misdirection

A panel at Athlon looks at who might lead the SEC in rushing this season, starts by asking if it’ll be T.J. Yeldon and finishes in a different place.

I’m starting to think this Gurley kid might be pretty good.


Filed under Georgia Football, SEC Football

Putting the special back in special teams

The more I read about the realignment of staff duties with regard to special teams, the more I’m convinced that it’s not the reshuffling of coaches that may make a difference this season.  It’s the renewed focus on paying attention to special teams in practice that may.

No matter the coaches, Georgia did invest more practice time this past spring into special teams.

The Bulldogs typically spent two full periods, splitting them up into early and middle portions of practice “Which in some ways is kind of nice, because that’s how it is in the game,” Lilly said.
Richt said it was more this spring than Georgia had done in previous springs.

“Part of it is just to find who the special teamers are and who can do what but also to try to perfect some skills that they have to have to be good in the fall,” Richt said.

“We got a lot done,” Ekeler said, “and really it was just creating a profile on each one of these guys and seeing what their strengths are and what they can do. The schematics and all that, we’ll get that in fall camp. We know the guys right now who we’re targeting to be on those teams.”

It starts with no longer treating special teams like a bastard stepchild.  Evaluating personnel to see who best fits instead of sticking athletic freshmen and walk-ons there and spending valuable time honing skills is a good place to start.  Now if the staff can convince Richt to ditch the Logan Gray strategy for punt returns…


Filed under Georgia Football