How can I stop drinking the Kool-Aid when you keep refilling my glass?

Damn it, J.J.

Q: Are you in the competition to return kicks?

A: “I don’t know. Highly classified. … I wouldn’t mind returning, but I also want to block a punt. I haven’t blocked a punt since high school and that comes easy to me. I’d rather have Isaiah back there, to be honest.”

Q: Isaiah McKenzie, the freshman? What have you seen from him?

A: “The guy’s fast and quick. Playing against him, going out there in competition, two-on-two and one-on-one and just watching the guy run, he’s not just a straight-line runner. He can make moves, but he’s also fast and quick at the same time. Y’all will enjoy watching him this year. Y’all will be having him up here (for interviews) real quick. That guy’s gonna make somebody some money someday.”

I’m not hyperventilating.  Yet.


Filed under Georgia Football

61 responses to “How can I stop drinking the Kool-Aid when you keep refilling my glass?

  1. Rebar

    Good to hear, but I’m gonna have to wait to see the proof in the pudding

  2. Chuck

    It’s Happy Hour at the Bulldawg Pron Club. I just hope we don’t regret it in the morning.😉

  3. Skeptic Dawg

    This program has been stocked with athletic talent for years now. The punt return issues have most certainly not been due to a lack of talent nor skill. This is the area where Richt’s true colors have shined the most. I agree with Rebar… will believe things have changed when I see it on the field.

    • It was not that way in the early years. We ran back and blocked kicks for points. Special teams were a weapon not an afterthought.

      • WF Dawg

        Somewhere between Damien Gary and Logan Grey, the philosophy changed.

        • Bingo. Richt decided it was easier to fair catch every punt rather than risk gaining additional yards and potentially turning the ball over. This same mindset creeped into the all aspects of the punt team. Fewer punts were blocked due to a lack of aggression. This concept bled into all ST’s. The final straw came in 2011(?) watching a Carolina D-linemen run a fake punt for a 40+ yard TD in Athens.

          • AusDawg85

            Don’t forget to blame Richt (the same coach you vowed to support at the end of 2012…but let’s not bring up ancient history except when making unsubstantiated claims, shall we?) for refs calling “illegal simulation of the snap” and “illegal jumping” on punts. No reason that should make him gun-shy about being aggressive.

        • OhioDawg

          I believe you could point to the fake punt WVU pulled on us in the Sugar Bowl at the end of the ’05 season. We had clawed our way back into the game by dominating the second half. We were within 3 with a few minutes left and Richt decided to be aggressive and go for the blocked punt. They faked it, burned us, and sealed the game. It seemed to me that we were never as agressive on special teams after that.

          It really doesn’t make sense. After all the great things we did by being aggressive on special teams in his first 4 or 5 years, (Remember the blocked punt to start the 02 SECCG that blew the lid off of the Georgia Dome?) I can’t believe we’ve become so passive and conservative. It disappoints me frequently.

          • We actually didn’t go for the block in that game. We were setting up a return and everyone turned their back on the punter, who ran for the first down. Point well taken — we’ve become passive (conservative is OK – passive is not). I’ve always thought we should either go all out for the block and fair catch, or set up a sensible return and go for it.

            • Silver Creek Doug

              Agree completely. I was sitting in the last row, upper deck behind the WVU punt team and we were screaming before the snap they were gonna fake it; it was that obvious we were setting up the return.

              And, there was NO doubt in anybody’s mind that if we had gotten the ball back on that punt, we were going to win the game; WVU had no clue how to stop us in the 2nd half.

        • I agree with Skep and Ohio that we aren’t as aggressive as we were early on under Richt. And we need to return to that. I’m hoping we will – THIS YEAR.

          At the same time, we just haven’t had punt returners with the necessary judgement, ball handling skills, and instinct that punt returning requires.

          But that is about to change …….

  4. SilverLining

    So Isaiah is the new fair catcher huh? Richt don’t have the guts to let the punt returner catch the ball or to call punt blocks (near bottom of NCAA in both areas).

    Richt’s too conservative to win a BCS Championship.

    Can’t wait to see the new fair catch guy…..

    • Could be that Richt hasn’t been able to trust anybody, who is a talented-enough punt returner, to handle the ball. I know there’s been nobody the past several years I trusted, except McGowan, and though he was a decent returner, he wasn’t what we needed back there.

      • SilverLining

        No, it’s Richt, he’s too conservative, you’re talking about finishing 124th out of 125 NCAA teams in average punt return, and 106th in total punt return yards.

        No reason to get excited about punt return.

      • SilverLining

        Sure, AJ Green wasn’t talented enough? Wow, kool aiders.

        • HVL Dawg

          Everyone used to think AJ should have been returning punts because he made plays. How does he make plays? He catches the ball. He can go up in a crowd and come down with the ball. That’s his special skill. That’s how he scores touchdowns. Now how in the hell is that useful on punt return?

          • SilverLining

            Punt is AJ is talented enough, and can catch a ball. But Richt didn’t risk it.

            Trendline is not good for Richt in punt return average in SEC:

            1st in 08′, 4th in 09′, 5th in 10′, 6th in 11′, 10th in 12′ and 14th in 2013.

            Gets worse every year.

            Richt has no idea how to correct it.

            • sUGArdaddy

              Gosh, Silver. I hope I get to sit beside you at a game🙂

              No, we couldn’t find anyone last year. We tried everyone. They all fumbled. Swann, Davis, and even McGowan late in the year. We kept trying to put Malcom back there in 2012 and he kept doing stupid stuff. He was clearly our best athlete.

              AJ was not a punt returner. It’s a funny little job. It’s not all about speed. It’s about making the first guy miss. Gary was good at it, Sean Jones became good at it, and Flowers was good at it. Prince got good at it and was dangerous back there. All our guys with those fast twitch kind of movements haven’t been very trustworthy catching the ball or making decisions. It’s an art. Izzy might be the artist.

              If you think Richt is happy being last in the conference at it, then, well…you don’t get much about ol’ CMR.

    • Dawgfan Will

      So what’s the silver lining?

      • Cosmic Dawg

        That he has to sleep sometimes.

        • AthensHomerDawg

          Lol! U got me in trouble. I’m quietly reading and my beautiful bride is asleep until I read your comment and laughed too loud. Now I either go to my study or turn the light out. Hah! Good night sports fans!

      • SilverLining

        Silver lining is that the punt return has actually been very good in big games vs ranked teams.

        Only team in SEC, BESIDES ALABAMA, to finish in the top 4 in the SEC in punt returns vs ranked teams 3 out of last 4 seasons.

  5. Dawgoholic

    Maybe it is the talent. Thomas Flowers, Damian Gary, Brandon Boykin, Prince Miller, and Mikey Henderson all got to take a few back.

    • Yeah. If we’ve had a returner since Boykin, I can’t think of who it is.

      • SilverLining

        No, just too conservative to use guys like AJ Green on punt return, afraid they’ll get injured, so he likes to fair catch it most of the time. Afraid of a fumble.

        • He put AJ back there a time or two, and I almost had a heart attack. Thankfully, he didn’t do it much. You don’t risk a franchise WR returning punts, unless he has a special nack for it.

          But I don’t believe Richt is any more conservative than any other coach, in that regard. You don’t expect anything out of punt return this year, and i get that. I do. We’ll see.

        • rob10274

          Yeah and if he had used him on PR he would have gotten hurt and you’d be bitchin’ about that…..What in the hell was coach thinking putting our best WR in to field punts

  6. SilverLining

    I would let JJ Green do anything he wants, the guy’s a complete beast.

  7. HVL Dawg

    I want to block a punt

  8. 3rdandGrantham

    Ahh…gotta love early August across the football landscape, where fans of all CFB and NFL teams honestly think this year is the year for their team.

    Even here in C’ville, UVa fans are pegging this as the turnaround year, starting with a major upset over UCLA in the opener. Ironically, as soon as the game is over, they’ll be lamenting the 30 point defeat and will wonder when Bennett Ball starts up.

    Mind you, I’m certainly not comparing UGA football to UVA in the slightest; just that we’re all more than accustomed to such glowing reports out of Athens this time of year. I still chuckle over the gushing reports of Joe Cox taking over for Stafford in ’09 and Washaun Ealey’ absolutely killing it in camp in ’10. You get the picture.

  9. sectionzalum

    for a young guy who’s had a position change and a coaching change and managed to thrive and smile and say good things about someone he thinks would be better than he is at a spot, I am impressed and establishing a JJ Green fan club.

  10. SilverLining

    There is a reason Richt wins 9 or 10 games a year, but never a BCS Champion.

    He’ll play it safe on punt return to limit risk of injury or fumble, that might win you 9 or 10 games, but won’t win you a BCS Championship.

    Love Ole Les Miles, letting his best player return punts, and it worked, Honey Badger turned around that SEC Championship, busted the game wide open with 2 big punt returns, some coaches (like Richt) never learn.

  11. Reservoir Dawg

    JJ can do it. Hard to believe that he was an afterthought recruit. Down here in Cam-bodia, we knew he was the real deal. Coaches came to recruit Ramsey and wound up JJ fans. He will exceed expectations.

  12. Jack Klompus

    Great title. Very good.

  13. Macallanlover

    Have to say, I told you so (yes, still and an early call). I was out on a limb on this in the spring, UGA has not been blessed with a “water bug” type returner in my memory, but McKenzie has the potential to be the best returner we have ever had in Red and Black. We have had decent return guys before but never one that was outstanding, this young man might be the one. Bobo will find a way to get the ball to him on offense as well. Human Joy Stick indeed!