Talking tough

Typical coachspeak, or legitimate concern?  You decide.

Even though Missouri’s defense is giving up 5.24 yards per play and 461 yards per game, Georgia coach Kirby Smart is still worried about blocking this Mizzou front. “A big part of the offensive and defensive lines is toughness and strike, and we didn’t do that Saturday. We’re moving on from that now and we have to do a better job against a really good Missouri defensive line that’s going to present a lot of the same challenges athletically. They’re a very athletic group, very active group, very disruptive group.”

He ain’t backin’ off what he wants, that’s for sure.

44 Comments

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44 responses to “Talking tough

  1. Granthams replacement

    I hope Pittman is as good as advertised. Without Payne leading the running game struggles. This offense is the same as last year, no deep threats, average or worse OL and outstanding RBs. Easons up side is going to be dictated by the development of the WRs. The talent at TE is also limits the effectiveness of the RBs, 2-3 TEs brings 8-9 in the box.

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  2. AusDawg85

    CKS is kind of boxed in on 3 sides. Lack of OL talent was a known problem. Freshman QB and ineffective senior QB limit the playbook severely. Chaney can’t really open-up the playbook when we’re still trying to get the basics down. So we either win with “vanilla” smash mouth football, or better find some wrinkles in the playbook and some playmakers besides Mr. Chubb to step forward and get the chains moving. I still look at the 4thQ drives in the last two games with Eason and see signs of an offense that can be very effective if mistakes can be reduced. Fast learning curve needed by errbody.

    I’m less concerned about the D. I think Kirby can coach that up and out-scheme all but the best of opposing offenses…like Ole Miss, but that’s in 2 weeks so I’ll worry about that later.

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    • Grathams replacement

      I think the Defenses biggest problem is the front 7 don’t get a good look from the OL in practice. Same with the DBs look from the WRs. Kirby is used to Bamas depth creating better competition in practice.

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    • David K

      I agree about our D. They played pretty good Saturday. Nicholls had the long interception return to set up a short field and the fumbled punt recovery as well. Other than their drive before the end of the 1st half where they put a few plays together, our Defense dominated that game. We had two interceptions and got a short field on a bad punt. Our offense should have EASILY put 2-3 more touchdowns on the scoreboard and they completely whiffed.

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  3. We’ve struggled in our first 2 games and Missouri’s DL should be at least as good so I’m certainly concerned. I get that the new staff is trying to implement their system, which takes time, but at what cost do we keep trying to beat our heads against a brick wall? Is Chaney and company incapable of or simply refuse to change it up? Or are we simply limited by talent? I don’t think the talent is bad by any means.

    What concerns me most is that our offensive sets and shifts on any given play have straight up given away the type of play we’re running. All well and good with good to great OL and WR. Maybe they’ll start executing better or maybe we’ll just keep doing it and struggle until we get the right talent in a year or two. I don’t know. What I do know is that the OL and predictable offense are worrisome for me. As I said yesterday, though, I do take solace in the fact that we played better against a better opponent in UNC. I also think Nicholls, especially on D, was better than most give them credit for. That + poor execution + turnovers = struggle.

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  4. HVL Dawg

    Here’s some read meat for The Senator:

    “I feel like our effort was great. I think it’s just continuing to just focus on the details,” Blazevich said. “You can’t get slack in the details, the little things.” Blazevich used the example of making the right step as you’re approaching a block. Not paying enough attention to little details like that was missing last week, he said.

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  5. paul

    As was discussed ad nauseam the last few days, Kirby seems determined that the players will adapt to the system (process) regardless of the short term results. Notice he didn’t say that we would be looking for ways to spread things out, get better angles, create leverage or any of the million other things coaches can do to adjust to their personnel. He said we need to be tougher and strike more aggressively. While many believed we were in for a three or four loss season, it could be an even more difficult year than some imagined. In my opinion we really cannot afford to lose Chubb again. Trying to play this brand of ball without Chubb could turn our season into a dumpster fire real quick.

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    • I agree. I’ve always heard successful coaches fit the players they have to a system they can handle, as opposed to trying to fit the players into a system they are not suited for. I understand the process he’s been under for so many years, but maybe CKS needs to ease up on his Alabama Man-Crush until he has that depth that ‘Bama has. We can beat this talent/no talent thing to death, but we have to play better with the players who we have in Athens now. And we have to coach better with the coaching staff we have now. All across the board..

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      • 81Dog

        Agree 1000%. It’s great to have a vision for what kind of guys you want to get in the future. It’s also important to have an understanding of what the guys you have today can and can’t do. I was under the impression that McGarity brought him in because he felt we were underachieving, and KS could take us up to the next level. Who wouldn’t want that to happen?

        I don’t say this thinking KS is incapable of figuring out the optimal ways to use the guys he has. But I sure hope the light bulb comes on over everyone’s head soon. It may not be the roster he’d ideally design, but he didn’t walk in here and find a bunch of talentless scrubs, either. There’s a difference between not being 2 deep with 5 stars at every OL position and not having anyone who can play. I’m pulling for Kirby. I’m a UGA guy, he’s the UGA coach, we all want him to succeed. Last week’s game could just be one of those one off deals; it’s too early to quit on him. Hopefully, this week is a step in the right direction.

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    • If we lose more than 4, Kirby is going to learn to be comfortable being uncomfortable this offseason. As many have said, he didn’t inherit a team that was 6-7 the prior year.

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  6. @gatriguy

    Kirby know what he wants, which is a start. But there is a difference between knowing what you want and being able to get it. I know I want a blowjob from Blake Lively, but I’m not going to get it.

    Baling wire and duct tape and get through the season. Help is on the way and I trust that Kirby has a plan going forward with regards to roster management, but for now he needs to play the hand he’s dealt and figure out a way to squeeze out wins.

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  7. shane#1

    The Senator says they did not run a triple option offense. So how come I was seeing three? Unless it was the twin athletes in the barmaids top. If she would stand up straight when she made the drinks I would have left sober! I hardly ever drink vodka so a Bloody Mary brunch is not my thing. Glad one of my Buds drove me home. As to the offense, Kirby, I don’t think you are in Alabama anymore. Here Toto!

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  8. We’re stuck between two interests both of which are laudable:

    1) win on Saturday
    2) create a program identity that wins championships.

    We can spread Mizzou out and chuck it around and win satisfying 1, but in doing so we’re ignoring 2.

    I’m hopeful, that we’re good enough to do a little of both. Meaning that we can open up the playbook when its necessary and play inside a phone booth vs. weaker teams.

    If you made CKS decide, I think he’d rather 1 suffer than 2 right now. He knows that he wasn’t hired to win in 2016. He’s been hired to push UF, UT, Auburn etc… around and at least stand in the middle of the ring and trade blows with Bama. You don’t get that done by going 4 wide and playing chuck-n-duck.

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    • CaliDawg

      Why are those mutually exclusive? I’m not being snarky, genuinely asking.

      Wouldn’t step one accomplish step two?

      Who the hell cares about a program identity right now if it’s going to yield sloppy uninspired football like last Saturday? Kirby obviously doesn’t have the personnel to create the program identity he wants so why not just focus on salvaging this season and winning in anyway possible.

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      • ApalachDawg

        Did Saban have the personnel to beat La Monroe and build his brand?

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      • Cosmic Dawg

        I don’t know why tough must = dumb either, Calidawg.

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        • Well I’ve been saying for years that Saban is a program builder via questionable means and not a great in game or game week coach. If you listen to the talking heads though, he’s the smartest coach in history. I say that if you take 170 guys divide them up randomly and they’re going to play in a month and I’ll take SOS or Urban over Saban every damn day. You give Saban the means and the time to build his own beast, and those guys will have their hands full every time.

          He’s going to have better, more prepared kids every time. He knows who to go out and get and he only lets the ones who do it right play.

          The bet we’ve made is that we can own Georgia and manage the roster in ways the won’t offend sensibilities, like my own. If we’re still signing the 8th to 10th best classes, this will be a disaster of epic proportions.

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          • snootynavel

            The bet we made is a defensive asst coach at Alabama would make a great head coach.

            No evidence of that under Saban yet, as none of his def guys have been good head coaches.

            I would have preferred for us to grab an offensive guy with a proven track record, like the Houston coach.

            Week one looked like we made the right move, week two looked like we made a mistake.

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            • Someone around here mentioned Hermann. I’ll think of who it was in a minute…..

              Anyway, just joking. I think this will work for us IF we get the players in, but it’s a risk. We aren’t going to roster manage like Saban did (I hope).

              Having Eason in the program will help a great deal in getting good early results I think.

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      • It may seem subtle but let’s assume for the sake of argument that Mike Leach gets the Georgia tech job. He wants to throw the ball with guys who basically think the forward pass may not be exactly legal. Does he run Johnson’s offense because the guys know that or do they begin to transition to what he wants to do? So they really are mutually exclusive.

        I think the subtlety here is that we don’t see CMR’s approach to football being that different than CNS’ or his apprentice’s. We run the same formations, similar plays, just recruit better and coach better call better plays right? That’s really not the case.

        Alabama was built by getting the best 85 guys on campus by hook or crook. If a RS Junior is hanging around, give him a back injury and show him the door. Whatever it takes. A kids been committed for a year but we’re out of schollys and we like another kid better, cut him loose. That’s the roster management side that I hope we don’t replicate.

        The on the field stuff is:

        1) they are going to play essentially the same defense every week. There may be tweaks here and there but essentially they are going to play their defense whether they are playing Greyson Lambert or Jacob Eason. Doesn’t matter to them. They just want to do what they do so well that it doesn’t matter who the opponent is and the kids can play without thinking. They want to shut the running game down, put it on the qb and make him make throws most qbs can’t make.

        2) on offense they want 5 road graders that can control the LOS no matter what the front looks like. If they need to salt away a lead or if they’ve got a liability at qb, they want to run the ball even when the other team sets up to stop it. The one thing Saban has stopped doing is being conservative every week. He knows that he needs to out score some people because every now and then they play a capable qb.

        Playing this way requires 85 really good players and a commitment to being stronger and meaner than everyone you’ll face. Let them adjust to you. Let them gameplay for you. Your plan is known to the world and you don’t think that they can handle it. That’s what we got a big dose of in 2015 and 2008. Because we had a really good qb and Gurley we were able to challenge them in 2012.

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        • Scorpio Jones, III

          Derek…my man…If I might inject, for the sake of argument, one other bit of information. Saban is at Alabama. Alabama, where the mission statement of the university includes winning football teams winning football games and championships.

          Thus…”Playing this way requires 85 really good players and a commitment to being stronger and meaner than everyone you’ll face. ” is certainly, without doubt a significant part of the equation, but putting together a team that can do that, may very well, it is my argument, take place only at a school that has as part of its mission statement all them goodies above, there.

          The last time I read the mission statement of the U of Ga has been some time, but I don’t seem to remember there is much of anything about winning football games in it.

          All I am saying is that all you say and more, is true.

          And if you are looking for hints as to how things may go in the intangible area of institutional will-building…how do you rate an escapade with a BB gun?

          And, would Cam Robinson still be knocking people off the LOS for dear old UGA?

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          • I hear ya. I waved all these red flags last fall, winter and spring. I thought Hermann may be a better fit for all the reasons you say.

            However, there is an argument that if we can dominate Georgia in recruiting that we can replicate Alabama’s roster without all the other institutional blindness/advantages. If you look at where we are with the Top 15 in state recruits, we may have made the right bet. Moreover, I’m not sure that you have to be a greedy as Saban is to get it done either. John Taylor just boggles my mind. As if Saban didn’t already have a slew of 6’5″ 330 lb beasts to rotate in there.

            The point though is that we are where we are. I just wish everybody understood that what we are watching is not better coaching in the sense of knowing football better or calling better plays or better game planning.

            Its about a totally different approach to building a program, a program that has as its identity toughness and physicality. I will say that one of my biggest complaints about CMR was that we really lacked that identity. We were physically and mentally weak far too often. I did think we were getting better though at a time when the QB;s just dried up on us, but…….

            We have had the identity CKS is searching for before but without the star recruits and that was when Vince was here. Vince never recruited well and we might not have been that great that often, but we felt we had a chance every time we lined up because we played a tough, hard nosed brand of football. I would have made different choices at the time, but I’m relatively confident about where we are and where we’re headed.

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            • Scorpio Jones, III

              “However, there is an argument that if we can dominate Georgia in recruiting that we can replicate Alabama’s roster without all the other institutional blindness/advantages.”

              I don’t disagree with that thought at all, I guess we shall see, and btw, I think the handling of BB-gun gate is a positive indicator. I guess the real test will be when somebody does a real bone-head thing, something that is really wrong.

              And I think your assessment of football a la Vince is spot on. I am not, with the benefit of hindsight, convinced Vincent was a football genius, but he could sure get what kids he had ready to knock the shit outa somebody on a regular basis.

              And, of course, Vince had ole…what’s his name?

              I think what it all boils down to is whether we (the institutional we) really want to do the things we have to do to have the kind of program many of us seem to think we should be.

              I think its gonna be an interesting ride and if you get freaked out by a bad win, you gonna have lotsa hangovers.

              I just want more bad wins than bad losses. And I really don’t care who the hired help is.

              Peace, my brother.

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              • He did have Erk through 1980, but I’ve always though Vince was the real hard ass. Erk was more of a motivational guy. The players weren’t scared of Erk but they would run through walls for Erk. Do you remember after the Gatorade bath became a thing and they decided to dump towels on Vince out of a water cooler? He snapped around and looked at those guys with a look that would kill. That guy did not play.

                I can’t remember after what season it was, but there was a season that didn’t go as well as they’d like and Vince told the team referring to spring practice: there will be blood.

                I always thought that the games that defined Vince were the cotton bowl, the 1985 Florida game and the game between the hoses. All were after Erk had left. We had no business winning those games, but we did. One of them wasn’t even close.

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    • ApalachDawg

      Derek – I feel like you are Apollo Creed taking me back to the basics in your hometown LA gym to break me down to build me back up. This is two posts in a row that I agree with you.
      When do we head to Venice Beach for the race?

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  9. shane#1

    Anyone out there looking for good news? Jake Fromm has thrown for over 1800 yds and 19 tds in four games. He is at a record setting pace.

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    • 81Dog

      Trevor Lawrence has a more lionlike mane, too. So now all we have to do is outbid, errrr, outrecruit Dabo and Dawg knows who else.

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  10. Will Trane

    Great expectations?
    Everybody thinks CMR left a roster loaded with talent, and a nine year top assistant from national-forever Bama would guarantee a 10-11 game wins.
    Frankly, I do not think it will happen, even prior to the UNC games.
    Unfortunately, I am somewhat in agreement with [ugh!!] Mark Bradley. I just do not see the talent on the roster. Below average talent, inexperienced young players, new staff, 3 of first four games on the road almost assures KS a 1-3 start.
    2-0 is a miracle!
    Everybody just assumed KS inherited a Big Red Ferrari when all along he had a KIA.
    Simply look at the rosters at Tennessee and Florida and the level of their play this past weekend. Dawgs are nowhere near that. Somebody must love them to even have them at # 16.
    Look, I want them to win as much as anybody. But I took the position before the season to focus on the level of play, the level of coaching, the schedule, and not on the score board.
    The O line is way short of players. Same for the D line. You can send your complaint and thank you’s to the prior coaching staff.
    What I would like to see is more speed on the corners and setting blocks. Perhaps the full return of Michel will help their. As for speed out of the “human joy stick”, well, that is like a box of chocolate…the coachs never know what is going to happen…it is a roll of the dice.
    And if the folks think that Chubb can carry a load of 25-35 carries a game here on out…well, that would not be good.

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  11. Will Trane

    What we do know after game two.
    Well, the strength and conditioning has not moved one inch.
    Recruiting ranking mean nothing. But it is a damn lot of fun after and before
    a season for all the bloggers. What is even more fun is to listen to the announcers discuss talent, discuss plays, discuss coaching abilities, and etc., while all along not a one of those dudes are under a coaching contract. Which means not one damn AD has them on a list of hires!
    And off field issues could impact your game plans.
    Frankly whoever is in charge of Nicholls S&C is as good as the Dawgs.
    Which adds verification to the saying “I’ve got a nickel pushing a dime”.

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  12. Bright Idea

    Not that they’re very good but after watching the replay our big guys have dead legs IMO. Add no motivation for a cupcake and the quick score to start the game and we got what we got. One guy needs to be the QB until he either gets hurt or totally blows up. Stop waiting on one to be perfect. As for Fromm he may decide he’s not interested in the waffling or handing off 50 times per game.

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    • shane#1

      I think Fromm is in the bag. He has stated that he isn’t afraid of competing with Eason and would red shirt if the coaching staff thought it best. He is also recruiting for UGA.

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  13. snootynavel

    I hope we win, ESPN Power Index gives us a 51% chance of winning this one.

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    • Sparrow

      I’ve seen several comments looking ahead to Fromm & I have a question… Have we really written Eason off to the point that we are now pining for a guy in high school? I’m not asking to be combative and I may be missing the intent of the commentary. I sure hope we aren’t already selling out our current brand new QB for another guy.

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  14. Dylan Dreyer's Booty

    Y’all need counseling. Last week, it was all “Welcome to Athens, Kirby!” This week, it’s “We’re doomed! It’s time to panic and run the spread!”

    I admit to be being disappointed and embarrassed by Saturday’s game, mainly because the fall off was so CMR we might as well have kept him. But it’s still only two games, and we’re still 2-0.

    There’s prolly a doc near you that will write you a scrip for some generic Xanax.

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  15. Nate

    I’m trying not to get too worried about this squad. A part of me wants to believe that a combination of factors effected the level of play last Saturday.
    1- The coaches very conservative game plans, not wanting to show future opponents any useful Intel.
    2- The players low motivation for playing against such a lowly opponent that they were supposed to beat by 55 points.
    3- Noon kickoffs are hard to “get up” for when the party liquor was flowing well into the AM.
    4- Nichols was highly motivated and played their equivalent of the “SuperBowl”. Those boys should be commended for leaving everything on the field.
    5- Coaches were “looking ahead” (and nearly got snake bit).

    I’m confident that after sundays come to Jesus meeting, the players and coaches will have a bit more motivation come sat nite.

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