If it’s July in Athens…

… you know it’s time for that great Georgia tradition, preseason happy talk.

John Theus has noticed a positive change in the strength and conditioning program over the past seven months since Mark Hocke took over this past winter.

Hocke arrived from Alabama after spending the past six seasons as a strength and conditioning assistant. Now that Hocke is running the show at Georgia, Theus said his position group has already seen some encouraging results.

“The linemen are leaner,” Theus said. “They’re doing a great job, along with the nutritionists, of giving us the ability to play with high energy. They’re pushing us every day to be the best that we can be. I think a lot of the linemen have also taken the initiative to better their bodies as well. We have all gained muscle mass.”

I will say we haven’t paid much attention to the S&C transition from Joe T to Hocke.  It probably deserves more than that.  (Although I thought the team’s conditioning last season appeared improved from years past.)


Filed under Georgia Football

27 responses to “If it’s July in Athens…

  1. JT (the other one)

    Senator…I thought this post was going this way: “If its July in Athens…a football player is in trouble for _________”
    Must be the cynic in me…


  2. Athens Dog

    Thought the same thing………….but this is also consistent. “We have better senior leadership” “we are much more focused” “It’s a different feeling in the locker room”

    Hope it works……………


    • JCDAWG83

      You forgot “everyone is participating in the offseason workouts”. Same song, different verse.


    • mdcgtp

      It is intellectually lazy to chalk this up to preseason happy talk that we should all take with a grain of salt.

      There is a difference between trying to convince (we worked harder, we have better leadership) and convey (we have better nutrition and as a result we are probably leaner). Theus conveyed information. You can choose to believe it or not, but he gave concrete examples of what is different. He gave none of the examples you listed above or some of the other guys have listed below. Simply put, any time you have a change in S&C, there is going to be a change in routine. Whether different is “better” remains to be seen.

      take his comments for what they worth…no more no less.


      • Where does “They’re pushing us every day to be the best that we can be” fit into your lecture?


        • mdcgtp

          The “lecture” is not to take the comments to mean that much in the first place. That said, to address your question. Ask yourself if the quote you referenced in any way means “we worked harder than ever” or “our participation is better than ever” or “we are closer”.

          He simply said they are being pushed to try to realize their potential. Is there any other reason to be pushed? Should they be pushed to be less than their best?

          For someone who lectures about thoughtless and lazy journalism and prattles on about on click bait as often as you do, the linkage of interviews with players under the title of “Dawgporn” as click bait, while simultaneously making light of the players comments, is the definition of hypocrisy. But hey whatever works…..


          • Oh, puh-leeze.

            I’m not a journalist. I write a fan blog. If you think the two are equivalent, that may explain why you’ve got your knickers in a wad.


            • mdcgtp

              Ah..the “i just run a blog so don’t hold me accountable for my intellectual dishonesty and hypocrisy” defense. I will remember that the next time you are touting the number of visitors the “fan blog” generates.

              If you are going to stand up on your soap box to make the point that “preseason happy talk” is an annual Georgia tradition, at least be intelligent enough to pick an article that actually supports the view. Either that or be honest enough to admit that the rationale for posting it (click bait) that you take pride in chiding others for doing.

              Again, perhaps you need to familiarize yourself with the difference between convince and convey.

              Let me give you a primer

              “The lineman are leaner”…that is a convey….it’s either true or its not

              They (the S&C staff) are giving us the ability to…..play with more energy” that is convey.

              Now had he said “we are all playing with more energy”, that would be a convince.

              See the difference Senator or does the fact that you run a “fan blog” prevent you from knowing the difference.

              “We worked harder than ever this offseason” – that is a convince statement.
              “We have better leadership this year” – that is also a convince statement


              • I have apparently gotten under your skin more than I realized. For that, I apologize.

                But I’m going to have to disagree with you, which probably comes as no big surprise.

                When I say I write a fan blog, it means I get to take an emotional approach to writing about the team in a way that a journalist simply can’t, or at least shouldn’t. When I post about something I consider to be Dawg porn, it’s not because I’m chasing blog hits. It’s because it’s something that has gotten me excited about Georgia football – probably irrationally, but still. I may hope my readers share my excitement, but it’s still mine to start with. Too bad if you can’t see the difference.

                As for your “convince vs. convey” distinction, it boils down to something that none of us can verify right now. You think that Theus makes for a totally credible observer, and that’s certainly your prerogative. Me? I’ve been taken in too many times before by that kind of talk – which is my point. If it turns out that Theus is on to something, I’ll be the first to go back and offer a correction. If that’s not good enough for you, perhaps you need to find a place where the author is better able to meet your high standards.

                This blog is almost nine years old at this point. I’ve put a lot of blood, sweat and tears into getting it to where it’s at now and I haven’t had to stoop to Bleacher Report-style tactics to do that. I’m pretty proud of that, so you can take your hypocrisy criticism somewhere else, too.


              • By the way, perhaps you need to give Marc Weiszer a piece of your mind.

                Stop Greg Pyke if you have heard this before about Georgia’s offseason work.

                It’s the best under first-year football director of strength and conditioning Mark Hocke.

                Sounds similar to what players seem to say every year about this time.

                Ah, but what do I know? I’m just a fan blogger. 😉


  3. Puffdawg

    That headline and first part of first sentence is just plain wrong, Senator Bradl— I mean Blutarsky. Temporary heart stoppage there…


  4. Hocke…. There’s a coaches school In Alabama. The only Degree is a MASTERS in various degrees of Coaching. STRENGTH AND CONDITIONING ARE THE FOUNDATIONS of Great CF Teams. 🏈


  5. Lrgk9

    Now if McGarity will man up with the SEC officials – the playing field will begin to level.

    Whatever Bama did to go a whole year w/o a holding call – that’s the standard Greg. McGarity is pitiful at making sure the SEC Refs toe the line.
    Poor isn’t even close – Just Plain Pitiful & Putrid.


  6. Senator, you should apply for a job as a headline writer for the AJC.

    Please don’t ban me for that comment. 🙂


  7. Go Dawgs!

    The fact that the “July in Athens” headline doesn’t mean what it used to mean might just be evidence that the preseason happy talk isn’t all BS. There are still just as many opportunities to get in trouble in Athens and beyond. I’m knocking on wood as I type this, but it certainly seems that some leadership has taken hold on this team. And if that extends into the physical conditioning, that’s awesome.

    UGA has been putting out a lot more video from offseason conditioning than they have in the past, so I really don’t know what the program looked like under Coach T or Coach Van other than mat drills. I don’t know how different things really are. But I’ll say that I love the energy that Coach Hocke is putting out there and I love how he has embraced Georgia and has already given us a new rallying cry (pound the G!). Look, everyone is working out. Everyone is getting bigger and stronger. Every single team, including UL-Monroe. What it comes down to is energy and belief. If this new guy is putting that into our players, that can’t be a bad thing.



    Seems to me that some would rather read about bad news out of Athens than this. We have made changes to the S&C program, folks bitched about the previous constantly, UGA makes changes, folks still bitch…the beat goes on.


  9. The Dawg abides

    I used to feel it was all the same old happy talk, year after year, also. But I started thinking about it and put myself into a senior player’s mindset. As fans, we do hear these same statements every year. The players don’t. The first three years they are usually following and don’t get asked by the media about offseason workouts. When they are seniors, they become the leaders. They feel like this is their team, and they’re going to work harder than anybody before them. So to them, they actually are working harder because of maturity and a sense of urgency they didn’t have the first three years. When they get asked about it, they just state what they believe is happening. It IS new to them. My bet is that if you were to ask a senior from any given program in the country, the majority would state that the team is working harder and getting better results than their previous years in the program. It’s just basic human nature from a 21 or 22 year old. All that being said, anytime a change is made in S&C there is an uptick in energy initially. From all reports Hocke is bringing some new passion to the program, and the emphasis on conditioning seems to be tangible, not just hyperbole.


    • Cojones

      All of those things you’ve said are true. And we continue to eat up all Dawg porn like cotton candy, …well, not the cookie “cotton candy”.