The game’s afoot.

Chip Towers is reporting that three men will interview with Mark Richt this week for the open offensive coordinator position:  Mike Bloomgren, Kurt Roper and John Lilly.

I don’t know if that means these are the finalists (which is what Towers’ “sources” lead him to think), or if it’s just Richt’s start list.  I guess we’ll know something in a week or so.

*************************************************************************

UPDATE:  Another source.

That popped out about the same time as Towers’ story.  Who’s right?

114 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football

114 responses to “The game’s afoot.

  1. Silver Britches

    Is he really compelled to interview Lilly? Wouldn’t one have all the information needed by now?

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  2. @gatriguy

    I feel like I must be missing something re: Roper. He does nothing for me.

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    • I think Roper is more similar to Bobo than Bloomgren.

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      • Russ

        Agreed, if he learned from Cutcliffe, I’d say he’s worth a look. Should be similar fit to Bobo. I don’t think Bill Walsh could run an offense under Boom, so I don’t hold Roper’s time in Gainesville against him.

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    • He’s basically a David Cutcliffe disciple. He’s coached under Cut for 16 of his 18 years of coaching at several different spots. Obviously Cutcliffe believes in him because he takes him wherever he goes. Last year, he wasn’t really transformative at Florida, but he didn’t have much to work with either. There wasn’t a good quarterback on the roster. The WR’s left plenty to be desired, and Florida still scored 30 ppg, which was good enough for middle of the pack in the SEC. That doesn’t seem like much, but Florida scored 18.8 ppg and was last in the SEC in 2013.

      The name may not tickle the cockles, but I think Georgia could do much worse cough, cough Callaway.

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      • Totally agree…I think he would tear it up with the guys already on the roster.

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      • TXBaller

        If Cutcliffe is a prerequisite, why not Randy Sanders? He’s certainly done a shit load more developing QB’s than any of the three getting “interviews”.
        Roper is a poor option considering the candidates available. Me sees the Roper interview as courtesy only.

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        • Maybe Sanders isn’t interested. He’s also not the play-caller at FSU, even though he is the co-offensive coordinator (FSU has two offensive coordinators, but Jimbo calls his own plays. How bizarre.) I don’t object to him as a candidate (or any of the others either), but I don’t see him as a much better option than those three mentioned. I am curious as to why you think anyone in B-M would feel the need for a courtesy interview for Roper?

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      • Olddawg 55

        Roper’s planned offensive sure beat the hell out of us, huh?

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    • PTC DAWG

      Based on what?

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  3. Bulldawg165

    Bloomgren seems like an awful hire. They were second to last in the Pac-12 in scoring offense this year, and only 7th for 2012 and 2013.

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    • JP

      Felt the same way until I read this: “Rivals.com named Bloomgren as its 2014 National Recruiter of the Year – the latest such honor that began in 2012 when ESPN recognized him as its Pac-12 Recruiter of the Year. Notable football coaching resource Football Scoop named Bloomgren its 2013 Offensive Line Coach of the Year following two years of eye-opening player accomplishments.” (http://www.gostanford.com/ViewArticle.dbml?DB_OEM_ID=30600&ATCLID=208167701)

      If he can coach up the o-line and help bring in talent (especially along the line, which has been a weakness under Richt), I wouldn’t mind seeing him get the job. Doubly so if someone else (Lilly? New QB coach?) were named passing game coordinator, mimicking the split Bobo and Friend shared.

      It still wouldn’t be the slam-dunk kind of hire Pruitt felt like last year, but I wouldn’t be in full-on panic mode.

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      • Bulldawg165

        Meh.. recruiting hasn’t been the issue at UGA unless you’re talking specifically about the offensive line. This is going to be a huge downgrade from Bobo, no question about it.

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        • Rick

          Has it not? We’ve averaged 5th in the conference in recruiting rankings the last 8 years, and averaged 3rd in W/L at the end of the year.

          You wouldn’t like to see the results if our average final rank in recruiting was 2 or 3?

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          • Bulldawg165

            It’s so subjective and one or two good prospects can take a team from 5th to 1st (or from 1st to 5th if you lose them).

            How many losses can you point to in the past 5 years that you feel we lost because of talent? Heck, most of our losses have come to teams that we recruit better than.

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            • Derek

              “Most” losses is not relevant. The teams we lost to that kept us from winning titles recruited better than us. That’s the yardstick. We were not the most talented team vs. Bama of LSU in the dome. That’s what matters. Cleaning up losses to inferior opponents is not unimportant, but cleaning that up still leaves you being SEC east champs. Ladi-frickin-da. If there is one area we need to get better at, its recruiting big ugly offensive lineman. Whoever can do that has my vote.

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              • jermainesdye

                Cleaning up losses to inferior opponents is not unimportant, but cleaning that up still leaves you being SEC east champs. Ladi-frickin-da. If there is one area we need to get better at, its recruiting big ugly offensive lineman. Whoever can do that has my vote.


                This.

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              • Bulldawg165

                So you think we’re gonna win a championship by recruiting slightly better? Lol. Ok. We will still lose to the South Carolinas of the world and hope to backdoor our way in to the SEC championship game. A slight uptick in recruiting wouldn’t have won us any pivotal games the past five years. And that’s making the BOLD assumption that this guy will be an improvement over Bobo.

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                • A slight uptick in recruiting could of resulted in a deeper secondary. As close as some of the pivotal games have been, you can’t make that assumption.

                  It is however, a bold assumption that this guy will be an improvement over Bobo. I give you that.

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                • Bulldawg165

                  Yes, it certainly could have, but I doubt that would’ve made much of a difference. There are several DB’s from UGA that are playing on Sundays now and not a single one of them helped UGA have a shut-down passing defense.

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              • Bulldawg165

                We have to win the east before we can win the conference. Won’t happen with a slight uptick in recruiting.

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                • We won the east in 2013 and 2012 with the recruiting we have. We then lost. Not good enough. Those losses were more about talent than any other factor especially at the LOS. I’d agree that we had the horses to win the east this year and we face planted in Jax. Oh well. However, we would not have had the horses to beat Alabama imho. We recruit ok. We need to recruit better. We especially need to recruit OL better. To suggest that some other coaching staff would have won titles with our 2012-2014 rosters is simply wrong. We need improved personnel. You know who calls good plays? The guy who gets to call a handoff to gurley. You know whose a shitty play-caller? The guy who hands it off to carlton Thomas. Talent is what matters most.

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                • Bulldawg165

                  This is the weakest the SEC has been in nearly a decade and we couldn’t even win the weaker division. Moving from 5th to 3rd in recruiting isn’t going to fix that, especially once Florida finally gets back on track and Tennessee starts being halfway decent again (remember, the dumpster fire that is Tennessee has played us incredibly close the past several years, which doesn’t make me feel good about when they actually return to their ceiling of 9-10 win seasons)

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                • Well fuck it then. Let’s give up! Doom despair and agony on me. Deep dark depression incessant misery whoa!!!!!!

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                • Bulldawg165

                  This is what you resort to when someone disagrees with your opinion of what it takes to “get to the next level?”

                  Geeze.

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                • Mayor

                  If it weren’t for bad luck we’d have no luck at all, whoa!!!! Gloom despair and agony on me.

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            • Rick

              Subjectivity is irrelevant if you have enough data. I’m not saying 8 years is enough, but it’s getting there. It’s not like there is a conspiracy to consistently underrank our recruits. Our average talent level is somewhere around 5th. It’s definitely not 10th, but it’s definitely not 2nd or 1st either.

              As far as losses being attributed to talent, that isn’t how this works. Each loss doesn’t have one ‘reason’ that we lost. ALL losses happen because we didn’t play defense well enough (can’t beat us if we don’t let them score). ALL losses happen because we didn’t play offense well enough (no one has ever lost when scoring 250). Likewise, ALL losses happen because our talent wasn’t good enough. It’s so tempting to find The Reason ™ that a loss happened, or a season happened, but it is never, ever that simple.

              If we had recruited classes averaging 3rd in conference, we’d have more wins and less losses. ALL the games would have turned out differently, and some that we won would have been lost even with better talent because of the randomness of the game, but more that we lost would have been won.

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              • Bulldawg165

                That’s quite the novel. Just name one game from each season you think we’d have won if we had recruited third instead of fifth.

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                • Rick

                  It’s a silly question. It’s all probabilistic. We’d have had a marginally better chance of winning every single game, period. Heck, some games that we won we would have lost with better talent, but the net effect would have been more wins.

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                • Bulldawg165

                  And in how many seasons would a “marginally better” performance have gotten us an SEC championship? 2012? That’s pretty much it.

                  Plus, the entire point of this argument is that Bloomgren better be bringing a whole lot more to the table than just recruiting prowess or we’ll continue on our path of being on the outside looking in.

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                • Rick

                  Yes, he certainly better.

                  As far as which season could have gotten us an SEC championship: any season, maybe one, maybe two, maybe none. Everything would have played out entirely differently.

                  The important point is: which SEC programs have been better than UGA in the last half decade? Alabama has, and always will be as long as they pull #1 every single year and have a coach of Saban’s competence in charge. LSU has also been better. We’ve been #3, right around Auburn and just ahead of USC. With better recruiitng, we could have been #2. Would that have produced a championship? Who knows, but I’d like the odds.

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                • Derek

                  Bama at the dome. We needed to grind out a couple of first downs the drive before they hit cooper deep to take the lead. If we push the ball out to midfield and punt, we likely win. 3rd and 1 at around the 20 something yard line with about 7 to play. Bobo decides to give it to Gurley up the gut. Stuffed. We needed some push up front and didn’t get it. A good OL line gets us that yard. We needed that yard. We were really that close to winning a BCS championship. A yard. I’ve said that Bobo should’ve known Jesse Williams would stuff us and should have called for a PA pass. Of course, Bobo would say that if it falls incomplete the fans bitch about not giving it to Gurley up the gut. Lesson: never ever listen to the fans. They be dumber than a sack of rocks.

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                • Mayor

                  I guess that would include fans that post on this blog. 🙂

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                • playmakers in space

                  Right, when someone gives you a curt response to your idiotic inquisition, you resort to immediate dismissal, but when someone gives you a reasonable, detailed response it’s “quite the novel”. You are the type who can NEVER be satisfied.

                  If we want to be consistently great and compete for conference titles regularly, then we need to be consistently in the top 3 recruiting IN THE CONFERENCE (not top 5 or top “10 nationally”. Almost all of the SEC champions of the last 15 years have met this requirement over several classes.

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                • Dawgfan Will

                  Not for us, but a good example would be Alabama/Arkansas this year. In my opinion, the reason Bama survived that game was because their overall talent level overcame their apparent will to win.

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                • Dawgfan Will

                  LACK of will to win, that is.

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        • JP

          “This is going to be a huge downgrade from Bobo, no question about it.”

          Agreed. In regard to both recruiting and the OC job. I think a lot of people will be missing Bobo next year.

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    • Rick

      I think scoring offense is overblown, it’s so sensitive to other factors like turnover, field position, pace of the game, time of possession.

      I’ll take ypp any day. They were 7th in conference last year, but only 0.15 yards out of 2nd. His first year they were 2nd in conference.

      Of the options mentioned so far, I am really hoping for bloomgren, the recruiting could make it a very strong hire.

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      • Bulldawg165

        “I think scoring offense is overblown”

        As I’ve shown in another thread, it correlates with SEC championships much more than scoring defense

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        • Rick

          I would say the exact same thing about scoring defense vs. ypp defense, for the exact same reasons.

          Important point: correlation in past data is of very limited usefulness. Win/loss record, for example, correlates better than anything to SEC championships, and has a 100% correlation to wins and losses! The far more interesting question is what PREDICTS future wins and losses (and hence, championships). AFAIK, offensive and defensive YPP does a far, far better job that scoring anything, and the more complicated metrics (F+ and whatever) do even better.

          Example: FSU was undefeated, Oregon had one loss. Was anyone predicting FSU to beat Oregon? No, because if you took an even slightly deeper look statistically it was clear that Oregon was the better team. Scoring offense/defense showed this, and ypp efficiency showed it even more effectively.

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          • Bulldawg165

            “offensive and defensive YPP does a far, far better job…”

            Our offensive yards per play have been significantly better than Stanford’s each of the last three years.

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            • Rick

              Yep, but what can you do? Bobo was producing better than almost everyone, the few that did better are hard to pull.

              Bloomgren did well wrt to his conference, which may be a better comparison than trying to compare a Pac 12 to an SSEC school. I’d love another splash like Pruitt, and if we can do better than Bloomgren, I’m all for it, but it looks to me like a decent hire.

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              • Bulldawg165

                Fair enough. I guess when you break it down, Bloomgren was usually at a talent disadvantage most of the time whereas Bobo had a talent advantage over his competition most of the time. Even if Bloomgren and Bobo were equally talented OC’s, Bobo would still have better ypp.

                <audible sigh. Alright, fine. I'm still not 100% sold on it but I'll wait and see before sipping on any more haterade

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                • Rick

                  Hey, none of us should be 100% sold 🙂

                  TBH, looking at his record I thought ‘this guy looks maybe probably OK’ – it was the recruiting prowess that got me actively favoring him over the field of candidates mentioned so far.

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  4. Brandon (Version1)

    As I said yesterday if those are the choices I’d promote Lilly. I have a feeling some folks are going to miss the crayon.

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    • Irishdawg

      I do already

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      • Brandon (Version1)

        To paraphrase Lt. Frank Drebin from Naked Gun: Like the ozone layer Mike Bobo was never missed in Athens until he was gone.

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        • SouthGaDawg

          The Naked Gun…

          Frank: It’s the same old story. Boy finds girl, boy loses girl, girl finds boy, boy forgets girl, boy remembers girl, girls dies in a tragic blimp accident over the Orange Bowl on New Year’s Day.
          Jane: Goodyear?
          Frank: No, the worst.

          Best comedy evah!

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  5. WF dawg

    Interesting that the WKU guy isn’t mentioned. His team’s stats were pretty eye-catching. But admittedly, that wasn’t against great competition. The only thing I feel strongly about at this point is that a condition of hiring any OC be that he retain BMac and Ball. Lilly surely would. If the other don’t want to, that tells me all I need to know about them.

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    • Will (the other one)

      Still hoping that guy comes in as QB coach/passing coordinator with Bloomgren as OC/OLine

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      • SouthGaDawg

        I like that thought. Also read that it may be Bloomgren & Weinke. I hear nawsayers coming in 1,,2,,3. Weinke has not been a coach but he presently works for IMG Academy where he teaches QB mechanics. Sounds like a QB coach to me. Richt and Bloomgren can teach him how to recruit.

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  6. We better know something sooner than a week. Recruiting needs to be solidified and none of these cats have a game to prepare for. This should be wrapped up by FRI at the latest.

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  7. What about Chris Weike as QB coach joining Bloomgren as OC?

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    • PatinDC

      Sounds good to me! Make it so.

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    • Dawg Flan

      I’m all for Bloomgren + up and coming QB coach a la Chris Weinke. We need better OL recruiting, as well as more consistent OL play/development, which I think Bloomgren nails. Add to that Bloomgren already has many of the South Georgia connections that we depended on Bobo for in recruiting across all positions. Richt will be hands-on throughout spring/fall practices to make sure the Offensive packages installed maintain the Richt/Bobo fingerprint and develop from what we already do. Not worried about the play-calling, and Bloomgren’s recent stats at Stanford don’t scare me. It’s difficult to understand how much control he really has on game days with Shaw (the former OC) calling the plays. Shaw has faced a lot of criticism for his overly conservative red-zone play calling.

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      • Dog in Fla

        “Bloomgren + up and coming QB coach a la Chris Weinke.”

        Add one more and we’ll call it a cerberus, a multi-headed dingo which guards the gates of our offense, to prevent those who blitz across the river Styx/our line of scrimmage from ever escaping

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  8. If Richt goes with either Bloomgren or Lilly, he’s going to have to hire a QB coach unless he takes on that responsibility himself. Bloomgren is line guy and Lilly, as we know, works with TEs. Roper is the only guy who has QB coaching experience.

    On staff retention, I would imagine that Richt will require an outside OC is to keep all 3 assistants on staff. Regardless, you have to think the next OC will keep McLendon and would likely keep Ball. Lilly would be the wild card since he only is the TE coach and special teams but also has a significant recruiting role.

    If you think pro-style offense, Bloomgren is going to be the guy. If you want a similar resume to Bobo, Roper is the guy. If you want the least cost option with guaranteed staff continuity, Lilly is the guy.

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    • Union Jack

      I was thinking the same thing. Since he is a current OC, I don’t think Bloomgren comes here if he is not the OC at UGA. Not sure how many other suitors Roper has but he might be willing to come to UGA as QB coach (passing game coordinator).

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      • ugadawgguy

        That would be almost too good to be true…to the point where I doubt it happens. If Roper wants to be an OC again going into next season, I have no doubt that he can find an OC job, even if it’s something on a lower tier than UGA.

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      • No way Roper comes to Athens as QB coach only unless he has no other options available to him and he wants to stay in the game while he has his buyout.

        I don’t think either of these guys come to Athens for a “co-coordinator” role.

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        • SouthGaDawg

          I do not like “co-coordinators.” One guy needs to be the man on O and one guy on D. Now you can have passing game coordinators and running game coordinators, but there should be only one OC and one DC.

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      • RugbyDawg79

        sounds good to me !

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    • doofusdawg

      actually roper is the least cost guy… has two more years at $700k guaranteed.

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      • I don’t imagine Roper will come to Athens for free and live on his buyout. He’s going to require at least what he made in the Armpit for a P5 coordinator job.

        Lilly will be the lowest cost option because I just don’t see how you give an unproven coordinator $700k or more. He probably gets what Bobo was getting at best.

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    • Olddawg 55

      Still like Brad Johnson as QB coach….experience in NFL, CMR bro in law…and years in the game.

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  9. Rob

    Just to throw it out there Jacob Eason liked Bloomgren on Twitter the other day. Maybe he was told some inside info!!! Just saying it is kinda strange to have that happen day before his name surfaced

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  10. Dolly Llama

    I don’t think it’s that weird. I mean, the people on this board have been talking about Bloomgren for a few days. I’d be worried if the kid is less “plugged in” to all this shit than the old fartbusters that hang out here (present company included.) He’s just trying to keep up with it like we are.

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  11. Cosmic Dawg

    ….and a +1 for the Sherlock Holmes reference!

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  12. PTC DAWG

    Still amazed at the amount of knowledge many have in the area of hiring an OC at a major school like UGA. IF this blog was in charge, a bad hire would never be made…

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  13. Jack Klompus

    “C’mon Blooomgren, Run the Damn BAWL!!!!” I don’t see the Tweet on his page anymore. Could be my poor tweetering skills…

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  14. DC Weez

    “I blame Bloomgren.” It kind of has a ring to it.

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  15. Scorpio Jones, III

    First they bitched for years about Bobo, now they are bitching about somebody who has not even replaced Bobo.

    Like sands through the hour glass, these are the daze of our lives.

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  16. W Cobb Dawg

    We actually have 3 jobs, but 2 job openings: OC, QB coach/recruiter, and OL coach/recruiter. I could see Lilly adding the OL job, but I have a hard time seeing him as OC or QB coach – no experience. I’m okay with either Bloomgren or Roper – both appear to have some good attributes. Getting both would be awesome.

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    • Scorpio Jones, III

      I think it may be more than three jobs…some GA’s are moving on, we may have hired a “director of football operations” (on-campus recruiting dude), but I am not sure about that. And, one would assume, there may be changes in the strength and conditioning staff.

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    • 4 jobs.

      Pruitt never filled the towel boy position.

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      • Scorpio Jones, III

        Oh…right, then actually it is five because the former DC…what’s his name? Had a special laundry person to handle keeping the towels clean.

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  17. playmakers in space

    Bloomgren will be the guy, and I am a fan. Let’s make that O-Line MEAN.

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    • Mayor

      Given the area of weakness on the Dawgs team historically has been the OL, Bloomgren makes a lot of sense. Can he call plays though? At Stanford didn’t the HC call the plays?

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      • For the next two years I can call the plays: “Give it to #27”

        The key will be finding a guy who can spot the most opportune times to not give it to #27. For two years anyway. And someone who can keep that good screen pass game working with Chubb and Michel — how fun was that to watch this year.

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