Let’s get physical.

— “For us, it was all about playing the Georgia way, the Georgia brand of football. Which is physical, relentless, tough, knock you back. I think we did that.” — Kirby Smart, Dawgs247, 9/5/16

As you’ve probably noticed, I’ve left that Quote of the Day up for a while now.  The facetiousness of my previous post aside, it’s apparent to me two games into the Smart regime, that if there’s one thing Georgia’s head coach is serious about, it’s having a team that will knock other teams’ dicks into the dirt.

It’s equally apparent after the Nicholls game that Smart doesn’t have that kind of team yet.  And really, that shouldn’t come as much of a surprise.  Culture change doesn’t happen overnight.

The problem Smart has is that he wants to instill a new attitude of toughness while at the same time trying to win games.  That’s a problem because it means, for one thing, that he’s forced to make personnel choices that favor one preference over the other.  Take, for example, the receivers.

That’s an evident frustration for Kirby Smart and his staff after the first two games, as receivers have struggled to get separation, and struggled even more to block.

“The physicality of the receivers right now is not where it needs to be,” Smart said. “We’ve got to block better. A big part is separation, but more important to me is their ability to, when we spread people out, to be able to go block people and go hit them. When we can’t do that, we can’t put them on the field.”

The blocking deficiencies at receiver were on full display last Saturday, as Georgia failed to open lanes on the outside. Experience and size are both problems. The team’s two leading receivers from last year are Terry Godwin (5-foot-10) and Isaiah McKenzie (5-7). That leaves more inexperienced players, such as Michael Chigbu and Jayson Stanley, on the field just to block, and it’s why Godwin (the leading returning receiver from last year) has played less than expected, with Chigbu gaining a lot of those snaps.

Purely as a receiver, Godwin is Georgia’s best option.  He has great speed and the best hands of any of the wideouts.  But he’s physically limited in the blocking game, even if his head coach thinks that’s more a state of mind than anything else.

“There’s only one ball on the field and it can only go to one person. The other 10, or nine if you take the quarterback out of it, have got to block somebody,” Smart said. “And that’s an area where we’ve got to improve at wideout. They’ve got to improve their physicality, not just their ability to get open.”

Smart’s biggest problem at receiver now is that his top two in terms of yards per reception are both smurfs, relatively speaking.  A receiving set that includes both Godwin and McKenzie may put the fear of God into opposing defensive backs, but it won’t be because of their mad blocking skillz.  Given what we’ve seen so far, I’d guess Smart means business about getting after defenses, so nothing is going to change in that regard.

Beyond personnel, there’s also the question of how players are deployed.  That’s Jim Chaney’s territory, and, again, the message appears to be mixed so far.

So, what kind of identity does Kirby Smart want his offense to have for the rest of the 2016 campaign?

The Bulldog head coach was asked that very question during Wednesday’s SEC Teleconference, and how that figured into to his choice of Jim Chaney as his offensive coordinator.

“What I looked for when I wanted to create an identity is one of mental toughness where we can run the ball, but somebody that’s also good [with] experience throwing it,” Smart said. “That’s what we looked for in a coordinator, one that had SEC experience, can throw it, can run it, can do both. You cannot be one-sided to win our league. You have to be able to do both.”

Through two games, Georgia has run a total of 134 plays on offense.  The breakdown:  91 rushes, 43 passes.  That’s greater than a 2:1 ratio on the playcalling front in a season in which Georgia has faced almost zero garbage time on offense.  It’s pretty clear so far where Kirby’s interests lie, and that’s in establishing toughness.

Keep in mind that even he acknowledges you can’t win the conference without being able to run and pass.  So to the extent that Georgia continues to emphasize establishing the run using three tight end sets with a fullback, what does that suggest to you about his early priorities?  If you think it means that he finds establishing a new mindset more important than winning enough games to head to the SECCG this season, I can’t argue with you.

Yes, Georgia’s 2-0 right now.  Smart’s choices haven’t cost him anything yet in the won-loss column.  But the conference schedule kicks in Saturday and gets tougher in the following two weeks.  The faster he can get that new identity established, the faster he can open the playbook.  It’s just that neither he nor anyone else can say for sure when that happens.

166 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football

166 responses to “Let’s get physical.

  1. Timphd

    While I understand the desire for physical play I do not understand why they would take their two best receivers out of play like that. Godwin and McKenzie are clearly the two most explosive players at wide out and taking them out makes me shake my head.

    • stoopnagle

      You have to Trust The Process.

      • Macallanlover

        No, I don’t. Camp is over, time to utilize your personnel to implement the best possible plan to achieve victory. If he stubbornly pursues this when all the evidence is pointing in a different direction, this will end badly. Maximizing the Ws is the best way to get the recruits he wants to move the program in a different direction over time. Just because you are turning the battle ship around doesn’t mean you have be endangering the home folks by shooting bullets in all directions and crushing all the supporting tug boats in the harbor. Hard to believe he will continue to do this, if it is indeed what is driving him. I support WRs blocking downfield as well, but there won’t be much to block for if we don’t get someone downfield with the ball besides the smurfs he is said to be punishing. Who has been downfield with the ball besides Godwin and McKenzie, except Chubb on 2-3 occasions.

        • Irwin R. Fletcher

          Camp is over, time to utilize your personnel to implement the best possible plan to achieve victory.

          Kirby’s clearly focused on the overall health of the program and long term Victory with a capital V. If he’s not willing to take lumps to get the program where he thinks it needs to be, the program doesn’t move forward. That was one of the issues with the prior regime…they had lost the ability to take risk because a 6-6 season was going to get them fired, so they had to try to move forward while preserving the status quo…which, IMO, is basically impossible.

          If he stubbornly pursues this when all the evidence is pointing in a different direction, this will end badly. Maximizing the Ws is the best way to get the recruits he wants to move the program in a different direction over time.

          Disagree. I think recruits will respond to ‘this is what I want to do. these guys can’t do it. I have immediate playing time available for those wanting to win championships.’

          Who has been downfield with the ball besides Godwin and McKenzie, except Chubb on 2-3 occasions.

          I think this is a great point. Where is Reggie Davis?

          A little off topic here and lost in the stink-fest of turnovers on Saturday…I think the one thing that I do get a little excited about is passing on 3rd down. Small sample size not withstanding…it’s just nice to see Eason completing 5 3rd down passes and ALL of them going for first downs. Even Lambert has completed 4 3rd down passes for 3 first downs…both of their passer ratings are the highest on 3rd down (compare that to last year’s abysmal play calling that resulted in Lambert completing less than 50% on 3rd down AND only converting on 22 of 38 completions…)

          • DawgWalker07

            “Where is Reggie Davis?”

            You mean the 6 foot 159lb Reggie Davis? He weighs less than Terry Godwin. If the coaches aren’t playing Godwin because he isn’t big enough to block like they want him to they sure as heck aren’t going to play Davis.

            • Irwin R. Fletcher

              Good point. I was focusing on just getting downfield but if you go back to the article…well of course he isn’t playing. By the way…6′ 170lbs…which is less weight than either Goodwin or IMac.

              No wonder Stanley is the starter despite not having a catch in two games.

          • 81Dog

            In the long term, everyone is fired because they didn’t win in the short term. Smartly deploying the talent you have on hand versus strict adherence to The Plan For Long Term Victory is not an either/or decision. You can make the best of what you have today, and you can recruit to what you want to evolve your roster into all at the same time. This isn’t Johnny Majors strolling into a Pitt program that was a doormat for a million years. We have some talent on the roster, if not in the Alabama-esque numbers everyone would prefer. It would be nice to see some signs that somebody knows how to use it to win this year; we saw some of that in week 1. Let’s hope week 2 was a blip, rather than hail it as a sign that The Process Takes Time.

            • Irwin R. Fletcher

              I get the point…but I think it misses the point. Sometimes it absolutely is an either/or decision and a coach’s ability to recognize that is what separates the good from the great.

              It would be nice to see some signs that somebody knows how to use it to win this year;

              I guess 2-0 does nothing for you?

              • Dawgfan Will

                I’m on Kirby’s side, but if last year’s 10-3 was the worst 10-win season evar (as many make it out to be),this 2-0 is definitely unimpressive in light of last weekend.

                • Irwin R. Fletcher

                  The win against UNC stands to be as good or better than any win in 2015…that’s the point, isn’t it? To be competitive in and ultimately win games against good opponents and to run the table in the East…something that Richt, for all of his wins, never did.

                  Winning cupcake games in impressive fashion?…Even the terrible teams can do that.

                  I’m not saying I’m impressed after 2 games…but I’m sure not in the dumps over a let down and two insane turnovers against Nicholls either.

              • 81Dog

                I guess 10-3 did nothing for you. See? I can play the look at the numbers, don’t look at the game, too.

                If you took any solace from last week’s game that the new regime has any idea what they’re doing, good luck to you. Unlike week 1, where we made a pretty good comeback against a solid UNC team, last week we looked like we didn’t know if a football was blown full of air or stuffed with feathers. Considering that we were playing one of the worst teams ever to sign up for a payday ass beating in Athens, I find that a bit troubling.

                I’m a long way from giving up on the new regime. Everyone has bad weeks, and you could, I guess, argue that we were flush off a big win and looking forward to a couple of conference road games. But anyone who claims last week was “just a sign that we have no talent and Kirby needs a few years to make his system work” is drinking Kool Aid by the gallon. I didn’t understand that Kirby was hired to take us to 5-7 so he could build us up to Bama 2.0. I was under the impression that the AD and the demanders of excellence in our fan base felt we were severely underachieving with the talent we had at 9-10 wins a year.

                I’m not replowing the “should we have fired everyone” ground. That decision is made, that ship has sailed, Kirby is our new coach, we all want him to succeed. But I see no reason why a team that won 10 games last year, that returns a bunch of starters and contributors, which now has “better and more focused coaches” and a very strong recruiting class should look like a bunch of monkeys humping a coconut against a bad FCS program. If we play like we did last week against a decent FBS team, we are going to get our asses handed to us. I thought I was promised those days were gone forever last January. Your mileage may vary.

                • dawgman3000

                  Give me a win out of those 10 from last season more impressive than the win versus UNC this season . Take your time, I’ll wait.

                  • Chi-town Dawg

                    The ass whooping we put on South Carolina last year was every bit as impressive even if it turned out to be against an overmatched opponent. I watched UNC play Illinois in person the following week and wouldn’t get too impressed that we beat them. UNC is an average, middle of the pack ACC team in my opinion. I’m not ready to jump off any bridges and willing to give the new staff some time, but also share the views expressed by many that we need to show progress and anything less than an 8-4 season aren’t the kind of results I’m willing to pay lots of money to watch.

                    • dawgman3000

                      Oh so now UNC is a middle of the pack ACC team because Kirby beat em! The team that was a controversial call from winning the ACC last season. Geez….You know……… just nevemind

                  • 81Dog

                    Give me a win the last 10 years that was more alarming than the narrow escape from a horrid Nicholls State last Saturday. I’ll wait.

                    I don’t expect Kirby to be perfect, and he may well be the guy we have all been waiting for. But nothing last week (and it’s way too early to draw any concrete conclusions) gave any hint that was true. So, we have one decent win against a decent team, and one really ugly win against a bad FCS team. It’s too early to draw conclusions, but it isn’t too early to be a little bit worried about the rest of this season.

                  • Chi-town Dawg

                    UNC was ranked 22nd coming into the game and we were ranked 18th, so I would describe both teams as average, middle of the pack in their conferences. I was happy to see us not rollover after falling behind UNC and battle back, but let’s not confuse this year’s UNC team with last year’s because they’re not even close. My bet is at season’s end this UNC team is ranked towards the bottom of the top 25 or not at all. And don’t pull that “because Kirby beat them” shit on me because I’m no Richt apologist or Disney Dawg drinking the cool aid.

                    • dawgman3000

                      If the shoe fits……

                    • The Bruce

                      Beating UNC wasn’t the greatest thing ever, but you’re telling me that there’s nothing impressive about beating a top-25 team on a neutral field with a true freshman playing at quarterback? Nothing at all?

        • stoopnagle

          Soulja Boy Telll ‘Em

        • PTC DAWG

          We had a band of dinks who haven’t won squat n 3 years….time to rebuild and try to win along the way.

  2. Rocketdawg

    And this kind of stupid shit is what will lose us games that we otherwise should win (like this weekend).

    I get Kirby wants to be all blood and guts, line up and impose your will on the defense type of team. No one likes that type of football more than I do. That being said we are not equipped to play that kind of football yet and his stubbornness in trying to fit a square peg in a round hole is what will be his undoing. Didn’t we just fire a guy who didn’t want to change?

    A great coach figures out how to win with what he has while recruiting what he wants. I’ve said many times over the past few days that our best option to win this year is to spread things out and take a lot of the stress off of the offensive line to hold blocks for long periods of time. It also will allow Godwin and McKenzie to make plays in space where they are at their best.

    • Saban didn’t. Does he qualify as a “great coach?”

      He lost to UAB while at LSU and La Monroe at Alabama while building the mentality he wanted. By late 2003 LSU was a monster and by 2009 Alabama was the same.

      • I don’t want to lose stupid games like Saban did while he was building. It’s those losses that generate the underachieving meme.

        • The other Doug

          Also, wins will help Smart recruit the players he needs. If we go 8-4 there will be a lot of opposing coaches telling recruits that Smart is BOOM.

        • Neither do I but its not like they interfered with the ultimate goal. I’d like to win every game, forever, but that’s not possible.

          What I would like to see a Georgia team that just beats down UT and UF. I’d like to see us go into hostile places with this attitude:

          And back it up. If that takes a couple of “teachable moments” along the way, it’ll be ok.

        • Irwin R. Fletcher

          It’s those losses that generate the underachieving meme.

          Nope. Channeling my inner Yogi Berra here…No one cares which games you lose. They only care which games you win.

      • Jasonc

        I understand what you are saying, but at the same time, look where Bama is now. They’ve got an offensive coordinator who has opened stuff up quite a bit. It hasn’t happened without growing pains, but I think the ratio of run:pass we’ve been using will end up biting us in the future. Whether that’s losses in the near future or losses in recruiting QBs & WRs further down the road.

        • Watching Henry last year I didn’t get the sense that Bama had gone soft. They have gotten more aggressive vertically, but not to expense of playing physical football. They have also gone away from the FB because the truth is that a FB doesn’t represent the threat to a defense that a TE does. Your best opponents are going to have LB’s who have no problem defeating the block of a walk on FB. Dealing with a 5-star 6-6 250 lb guy that can block catch and run? That’s tougher.

      • DawgPhan

        At this point I want Smart to get shit canned just so I can stop hearing about how Bama lost a game to ULM.

        Losing that game isnt the reason Bama has been so dominate.

        • You think the argument is that there is a direct correlation? That we mention it because every team that loses to La. Monroe wins multiple natties later on?

          FFS you gotta have more sense than that.

          • DawgPhan

            You act like those loses were building blocks to something else. They werent, any more than Saban eating oatmeal cream pies.

            But soon enough the georgia fans will be reminding us at every chance that Smart loves little debbies, eats em every day, just like saban. You know he gets the same lunch too because saban aint got time for menus.

            • DawgPhan

              I wonder if Smart has installed that automatic door opener on his desk that saban has…you know cuz process and saban aint got time for opening doors.

              If he hasnt, WTF? Smart must not be committed to the process..no detail is too small.

            • They were the result of focusing on things other than a W on that particular day with in mind building a team that would win championships in the future. That is the entirety of the point. He didn’t sacrifice the journey to impress the fans vs. La. Monroe and we all know that he could have.

              Those of you who think that hiring Kirby meant better X’s and O’s and better play calling were and will remain wrong. What we are going to do, if we are to succeed, is go from 8th to 4th in recruiting to Top 3 and we’re going to create an identity as a physical football team. That’s the formula and it has nothing to do with an impressive win over Nicholls State.

              When we stop getting punched in the mouth and start punching other people in the mouth then you’ll know we’ve arrived.

              As far as little debbie’s and fans I don’t doubt that such stupidity exists.
              Can’t fix stupid so don’t worry about it. You can have fun with it though. That’s sort of why I’m here…. It can be very entertaining.

              • Good points. We are going to have to look at this long term–with the hope that short term setbacks don’t disrupt the long term vision.

              • ugadawgguy

                THE key to winning consistently using Alabama’s pre-Kiffin offense (which appears to be Kirby’s strategy, come hell or high water) is consistent top-3 recruiting classes, year after year. Winning with that offense, particularly in the SEC, is impossible without a talent level that overwhelms your competition.

                That is a very, very tall order. Georgia has never been $et up to en$ure top-3 recruiting, at least not in the last 20 years, and most of the factors behind that are out of Kirby’s hands.

                I sincerely HOPE Georgia can somehow go from consistent top-6 to 10-type recruiting classes to consistent top-3-type classes, but I am not optimistic about that. I’m even less optimistic about the chances of that happening if Georgia loses 5+ games this season.

                • Irwin R. Fletcher

                  THE key to winning consistently is consistent top-3 recruiting classes, year after year.

                  fify

                  • ugadawgguy

                    I see where you’re coming from, but there are a number of programs who have won very consistently in recent years without being Alabama (the ONLY program with top-three classes every year).

                    Florida State, Oregon, Oklahoma, and Ohio State come to mind.

                    • Irwin R. Fletcher

                      If you’re calling Oklahoma a consistent winner, you should put Georgia on that list, too. And we fired our coach.

                      Are you talking about WINNNNING or wins? I’m talking about WINNNNNING…and you don’t do that consistently without the talent.

                      BTW…recruiting classes…OSU was #5-2012, #2-2013, #3-2014, #7-2015, #2-2016

                      FSU…#2-2011, #3-2012, #11-2013, #4-2014, #3-2015, #4-2016

                      So Ohio State’s median in the past 5 seasons is #3. FSU’s median in the past 6 seasons is 3/4.

                      If you’re wondering…UGA’s is 8.

                    • ugadawgguy

                      Huh…WordPress doesn’t give me the option of replying to Fletch’s reply below.

                      In fact, I WOULD call Georgia a consistent winner in recent years, but Oklahoma is measurably more consistent. Georgia’s winning percentage (72%) is 9th out of all Power Five programs since 2005, and Oklahoma’s (77%) is 5th. Alabama’s — the gold standard, right? — is 78% and #3 over the same period; Ohio State and Oregon are ahead of them.

                      Even if you think top 9 out of 120 over a ten-year period is unacceptable, top 5 is very strong by any objective standard.

      • dawgman3000

        Exactly. Gotta change those guys mindset or deal with the same issues we’re currently deal with.

          • RocketDawg

            Such bullshit. To quote Herm Edwards “You play to win the game.”

            So what you are all basically saying is a big ole Fuck You to Nick Chubb and the rest of the upperclassmen because “The Process”. Jesus I am already sick of this shit and it has only been 2 games.

            • dawgman3000

              Well Kirby could continue doing what his predecessor has done and lose 2 or 3 games a season because his team is mentally weak

              • I’m sure you would be willing to tell Todd Gurley to his face that the teams he played on were mentally weak.

                • dawgman3000

                  Whatever. The fact your guy is now in Miami says that I’m closer to being right than wrong.

                  • My point is that you wouldn’t say that to a member of one of those teams … just as you wouldn’t say that to a member of the team right now. It doesn’t have a darn thing to do with who is the coach.

                    • dawgman3000

                      Whether I’ll say it to anyone’s face or not has absolutely nothing to do with whether they are mentally tough or not. You just want to change the narrative because you don’t like what I said.

              • 81Dog

                so that’s worse than losing 4 or 5 games this year because Kirby “has a vision for next year” with a team that could win 9 or 10 this year. Perfectly logical.

            • Where were you when CMR needed you? I preached patience. The program was headed in a good direction we just needed a QB.

              I was also concerned that we couldn’t replicate Bama. That’s what we chose though.

              What choice do we have now? You can scream until your blue in the face, but we are where we are. Understand it and hope it works. That’s what I’m doing.

              • dawgman3000

                Derek, I hear you, I really do. I checked out on Richt after the 08 Bama game. He had 7 years after that to prove me wrong and he didn’t. How much more patience should we have had?

      • stoopnagle

        …and at LSU he inherited a 3-8 team and at Bama a 6-7 team.

      • 81Dog

        I see your point, but Saban didn’t inherit a team that had been winning at a pretty high rate. Saban may not have made too many first year adjustments because he didn’t have many viable alternatives. We may not have Max Saban depth, but we aren’t bereft of workable talent that can win games right now, if used smartly.

        • I don’t disagree. I think you can walk the line between maximization and process because we have a good roster. I just think we need to understand what we’re watching and not pretend that we fired dumbasses and hired genuises. That’s not what happened. We fired a very good coach and replaced him with a guy that has a totally different approach to program building. We know what it looks like when it works: LSU and Alabama. We know what it looks like when it falls on its face: UF.

          The biggest difference between what worked and what didn’t was recruiting good offensive playmakers. Will never got a QB and it sunk him. Saban has had 2 Heisman trophy backs and every starting qb he recruited out of HS to Alabama except Sims was drafted.

          • Mayor

            “Will never got a QB…” Driskell was/is a very good QB. #1 in the nation coming out of HS and playing on Sundays now. The problem with Driskell (bless his heart) was coaching.

          • 81Dog

            Didn’t Will inherit the returning “second best QB in the SEC from the previous year,” John Brantley? I seem to recall Gator fans proclaiming him the Heir to Tebow, possible Heisman guy, etc. And, Driskell was supposed to be pretty good coming out of HS.

            (just messing with you).

            Muschamp never had much of a QB, but I don’t know if that was because he couldn’t sign one or he couldn’t develop one. Kinda the boat Les Miles seems to be in at the moment, isn’t it?

            • Mayor

              All I can say is that when SOS was HC (and Corch too) of the Gayturds they always had a really good QB–even when the QB wasn’t supposed to be very good. Coaching–that’s the ticket.

      • Billy C

        So how does Saban losing those games and turning around two programs ensure Kirby will be Saban Jr.?

      • Will (The Other One)

        Saban’s still running 350+ NGs on defense and avoiding true freshman QBs like the plague? Oh wait, he’s made changes to his defense and the offense plays with tempo and spread sets so much they almost never use the power-I.
        Urbs, as disliked as he is here, still stopped trying to force Zook’s recruits into his Utah offense and went back to more pro style stuff after Bama whipped them.
        This idea that the best coaches are stubborn and don’t adapt is asinine, and not backed up in reality.

    • aladawg

      +1000. See my post detailing the very same thing.

  3. Russ

    He sounds more and more like Boom 2.0.

    • Aunt Edna

      You used the word “more” twice which also equals the number of games we’ve seen him coach in. Let’s give him a little break before we start comparing him to ‘ol Muschump.

  4. rchris

    If Smart “finds establishing a new mindset more important than winning enough games to head to the SECCG this season”, then something’s wrong. This is the year we have both Jacob Eason and Nick Chubb, a confluence potentially superior to Stafford and Moreno or Murray and Gurley (provided Eason develops quickly enough). That’s nothing to sneeze at or squander. Yes, sometimes the toughness comes and then the wins follow, but there’s more than one way to skin a cat. If the wins come first, followed by tough recruits, then competition will make the toughness happen.

    • Russ

      Re: Eason and Chubb, you’re exactly correct. People have lamented here how Richt wasted opportunities, or how bad luck wasted them, but having Eason and Chubb together should not be wasted by a stubborn coach trying to make a point. Use them to our best advantage now.

    • ACM

      If you seriously expected Eason/Chubb this year to be better than those other pairs, your expectations were way too high. No true freshman QB is going to compare with soph/JR Stafford or JR/Sr Murray.

    • The Truth

      Yes, the best way to make sure your “tough” recruits don’t de-commit on you is to win some ballgames.

  5. The other Doug

    I wonder how McGarrity feels about this. It would be a lot easier to sell those expensive tickets to our crappy home schedule next year if we win the East.

    • Mayor

      I’m glad you brought up the schedule. Not only is the home schedule next season awful but the away schedule is a killer–all the toughest games on the road. You can put some of the blame on the SEC front office but ND in South Bend? That’s all on McGarity.

  6. Great coaches can beat you with his and then turn around and beat you with yours. Play to the strengths of this team and GATA, Kirby.

    If we need to spread, do it. Being a spread team doesn’t mean you can’t impose your will. Look at Ohio State.

    • but Ohio State is built to be a spread team with a qb who is a threat to run. There’s a difference.

      If you want to see the problems of spreading out and playing finesse with a passing qb, talk to Mike Leach. His team is a bunch of pansies and he knows it. So do his opponents.

      • Mike Leach doesn’t know what a running game looks like. He could never recruit a Nick Chubb, Sony Michel, etc.

        What was different this past Saturday from the previous Saturday? We clearly played a better football team on Labor Day weekend. UNC would have beaten Nicholls senseless this past Saturday. We got after people on both sides of the ball against UNC. Against Nicholls? Not so much.

        I would suggest that’s the fault of the coaches and the players for believing that a team was going to roll over just because we showed up in red jerseys with a G on the helmet.

        If we had played UNC with that type of effort, we would have been beaten by 30.

  7. Dylan Dreyer's Booty

    I understand everything Kirby says about blocking and being physical. That said, HW was never much of a blocker, and only an idiot would have sat him down because of that.

    Godwin catches everything in his zip code. We need that. But at the same time, if Godwin wants to play professionally, he needs to learn to block. The NFL will like his skills, but they can get other people with skills who will also block. Which leads me to this: Hines Ward, who may be the best blocking receiver of all time – and who isn’t all that big – wants to help out at his alma mater. If there was ever a golden opportunity for him to help out with receivers this would seem to be it. The dude knows receiving and blocking as a receiver. We may be maxed out on coaches and staff, but maybe a motivational speech or something…

    • The problem though is that you can’t tell the wr corp that blocking is important while they sit in the film room and watch the guys that ARE playing “matador” their blocks. I don’t think they need Terry to take anyone’s head off. I think they just need him to show that he’s “willing.” If he’s “pretending” to block because he’s scared, that becomes a systematic problem.

      And as good as he is, if Chubb can’t or won’t pass block, he’s not playing. Can’t get the qb killed no matter how good you are.

      • Dylan Dreyer's Booty

        I’ve seen Chubb make really good blocks, mostly picking up the blitz because he’s still in the backfield, so I am fine leaving Chubb in the game.😉

        But I think I was saying what you’re saying as far as receivers and blocking. They all need to work on blocking. First, they need to do it for the good of the team, but failing that, for their own good and their futures. And we do have that receivers block – I don’t know who it was, but some receiver laid out a killer block that got IM in the end zone last Saturday. We just have to up the game, and be more consistent about it.

    • LamontSanford

      Maybe get Ward in Grad School and let him be a G.A. with 75 year old Kevin Butler.

  8. Atticus

    So what’s wrong with using 3 future NFL TE’s more in that “process of toughness”?

  9. 92 grad

    So, like many of us thought, 2016 is all about laying groundwork for 2017 and beyond. It does bring clarity to the qb situation too, Eason is going to be playing more often as we go. The conundrum is not so confusing anymore, as they attempt to do justice to the upper classmen and of course Chubb. They deserve a quality season that doesn’t just get glossed over looking towards 2017 and beyond. Really, all it takes is letting Godwin play a quarter here and there allowing the O to score some points, then Kirby can go back to playing his players.

    • Jeff Sanchez

      What CKS and CJC did to Chubb last week was humiliating, and it gets me angrier the more I think about it

      • Billy Mumphrey

        Interested to know how they humiliates him.

        • 69Dawg

          That’s pretty simple, they put him into the game when the other team had eleven men in the box and they still gave him the ball. So the second greatest running back in UGA history loses his 100 yard streak. Why because Kirby wants to punish the other team. Guess what the other team had men on their side too.

          • Billy Mumphrey

            Yes, I’m sure Chubb didn’t want the ball. And I bet Chubb doesn’t give a shit about a hundred yard game streak.

            • Jeff Sanchez

              WTF does Chubb wanting the ball have to do with anything?

              They didn’t put our best player in the best scenario to succeed.

              • Billy Mumphrey

                Still not sure how Nick Chubb was humiliated which was the original point. Maybe you were humiliated, but Chubb was not. And again, 100 yard games are something fans worry about, not players.

                • Mayor

                  Let me say it a slightly different way from 69: They put Chubb in the game with little chance of success. The HC’s job is to put his players in the best possible position to succeed. Kirby ain’t doing that because of some preconceived “toughness” notion he has. Remember, the object is to WIN the game, not lose the game while beating up the other team. If this is going to be Kirby’s MO going forward………..

                  • Billy Mumphrey

                    Chubb had a four yard average, but OK.

                    • 81Dog

                      what was his average for games prior to last week? See any difference? Chubb got an average of 4 per carry because he’s an inhuman superman, not because the staff schemed wisely to maximize his obvious talent.

  10. Jared S.

    Why does it feel like we’re about to get a 38-24 win over Mizzou and then faceplant in a 35-14 loss to Ole Miss the following week?

  11. Greg

    You play the cards you are dealt….you adapt. So far, I am not convinced that he knows how (Kirby). I certainly hope that I am wrong. The talent is there, I hope we find a way to use it. The Missouri game….”I’ve got a bad feeling” about this one:

    https://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=i+got+a+bad+feeling+about+this+red&view=detail&mid=A2551C539F21343A74FFA2551C539F21343A74FF&FORM=VIRE

  12. mp

    As much as I hated living through it, I am glad that the score wound up being close – with the last 14 points gifted to Nicholls after the INT return and the fumble. A 16 point margin of victory (19 or 23 if UGA had scored when Eason threw the pick) would have potentially masked the urgency of the issues. They played (and gameplanned?) like crap and deserve to have the criticism and scrutiny they have received. Hopefully it served as a real wake-up call.

  13. dawgman3000

    Hmmmm. Interesting observation Senator. If that in fact is what Kirby is doing, then I agree with it even at the cost of winning some games (this season.) A well built structure always begins with a well laid foundation. I feel like mental toughness is one of the most glaring needs missing from this team. Kirby needs to fix that NOW or we will still be stuck in that good but not great gray area.

  14. ASEF

    It sounds as if there is a bit of contest of wills going on – Smart’s standards versus some player standards. A coach can’t lose those contests.

    It’s no different than a basketball coach sitting a gifted offensive player because he won’t do his share on defense. Who do we look at as the truly remarkable coaches in college sports? The ones who create cultures of accountability where everyone is doing the invisible things that win games, even the stars. Some coaches cut some corners and experience some short-term success – but that never works over the long haul at the college level. You gradually lose more and more credibility to impose standards, and then you wake up one day and your players are running your program. How many times have we seen that dysfunction at other schools?

    I don’t see Smart as a new Boom. Boom had visible conflicts with the offensive coaches at Texas. He suffocated his offensive coordinators at Florida. He clashed with them again at Auburn. His sideline explosion in last year’s Iron Bowl towards a ref was damn near a Woody Hayes moment. Boom has serious temper and interpersonal relationship issues that interfere with his success at coaching.

    • Macallanlover

      But this need not be a zero sum game. Agree that coaches should not lose if pitted against player, but that isn’t what we have here. This team has enough talent to win and Kirby can teach is toughness/physicality theme. If we have small receivers, we don’t throw them out with the bath water, we make them as good as we can while utilizing their limited blocking skills and begin recruiting larger receivers. Not necessary to take losses due a coach’s “my way or the highway” edict, and stubborness. I will tell you we will lose receivers that we are recruiting if we continue to keep quality receivers on the bench, refuse to throw the ball downfield, and have a 2/1 run/pass ratio.

      If you took over a company that had less than optimum manufacturing equipment, would you turn it off and pout, or would you make do with what you have and have a plan to buy more modern equpiment to be phased in as you can bring it on board? No brainer in business, and no brainer in coaching, at least to me. Let me say, I am on board with CKS’s desire to make UGA more physical as we move forward, and don’t really believe he is making a mistake of this magnitude. It would be seriously stupid to dig his heels in and end up 6-6 or 7-5 while pursuing recruits who want to play with winners. This doesn’t have to be a do or die strategy, we can have it all in a reasonable amount of time. You reform, not revolutionize, unless you are in dire straits, we aren’t.

      • ugadawgguy

        Precisely.

      • ASEF

        I’m not suggesting an either/or. I hate those propositions as a rule. It’s usually simplistic thinking by people who are too lazy to deal with the complexities of a situation.

        But there’s a difference between asking a small receiver to put a big safety on his butt and asking a small receiver to do more than set a pick. I don’t think Kirby is asking anyone to do more than they are physically capable of doing.

        Blocking is sort of like rebounding. The more you want it, the better you do it. He prety much directly said that people’s playing time is connected to their want-to on blocking.

  15. AusDawg85

    During live action, I’ve got to believe the O play calls are all Chaney. There may be a philosophy. There may be a script. But personnel (outside of QB changes) and play calls are probably all on Chaney. Now maybe this is not very accurate, but his Wikipedia profile credits him for being an innovator of the spread offense (“basketball on grass”) who even Corch consulted after his success with Purdue. But it also shows he fell back in love with the pro style offense and worked closely with Kiffen. As noted above, Kiffen is not just “Bama smash mouth football” and was brought in by Nicky to open things up some, and he certainly has.

    Small sample size, but I don’t see any philosophy with Chaney yet. Certainly not spread. Not the Kiffen downfield passing attack. Maybe this coaching staff is far from gelling on exactly what they want to do (hence the QB confusion) and that may inevitably be working it’s way through the entire offensive side of the ball…lots of individual pieces, but no cohesion. No sum of the parts being greater than the whole. Kirby’s new. First time holding the reins. If this is one of his first “mistakes” it’s more than understandable. I frankly expect him to influence the D this season more than the offense anyway as his primary stamp on the team. This may be where we lose 3 – 4 because this new regime just isn’t ready and able to pull together the personnel and offensive scheme they eventually want in their first season.

    To me that’s a mirror of the prior regime where the O (under Bobo, not Schotty) had a clear philosophy and at nearly 40 PPG was asserting its will on other teams. We just lacked the same on the defensive side of the ball. Folks can easily point to the symptoms that led to CMR’s firing, but the cause was the failure in choosing Martinez, Grantham, Pruitt and Schotty (plus the loss of Bobo). We never got a complete D and/or stability behind the scenes. That’s on Richt and that is worthy of firing. With better assistants, he’d probably still be here.

    Smart will grow. Maybe he already has the right assistants. Maybe last week was a one time blip. But I really think we’ve traded similar situations and now hope the new guy in charge makes better hires around him. Early evidence suggests he has with the possible exception of Chaney where the jury is out until we see his full body of work for a season or two.

    • Jared S.

      I hate to say this, but I think Georgia needs to throw the ball more. Especially if they find themselves in a situation like last week where the OL is getting man-handled.

      Where are the short routes to the TEs?????

  16. Biggus Rickus

    On the play spits, it’s also worth noting that they’re working with two unreliable QBs. Focusing on the run makes sense under the circumstances. We’re also two games in. It might be a little early to worry about any trends.

    • Aunt Edna

      I’m with you. The amount of analysis some people on this blog want to commit to with only two games having been played and a few random quotes here and there is confusing. A lot of people jumping to a whole lot of conclusions.

  17. DawgPhan

    This nonsense of losing today to win tomorrow is so packed with confirmation bias it is crazy.

    Lots of coaches lose today and then continue to lose tomorrow and the next week until they are fired.
    So any coach that gets to continue to coach has past losses so you can always point to some loss in the past to act like that was him building his team.

  18. Debby Balcer

    I hope Kirby does not feel it is an either or situation. You need to play to your players strengths or you are setting the team up to fail. Success helps grow toughness. He needs to realize he is not at Bama anymore and work with the tools he has. A great coach can instill their idetity and win with who he has.

  19. Lots and lots of comments about the “process” on here lately. I do not think many even understand what Saban’s process is. They just like to spout off about it and run Kirby down over it. Whatever. Richt is gone, and we helped him leave. How you say? By clearing out of JAX at the half, getting up to leave together in the rain vs Bama and by completely staying home for Kentucky. It is called apathy, and much of it left with Richt. Time to forget him and what he would do and trust that Kirby knows what he wants and that it will be positive for UGA. Otherwise hoping for Kirby to be fired already or saying you are tired of his decisions already makes you look like a damn fool. Two games people……two.

    • PTC DAWG

      Post of this thread.

    • Hardcoredawg 93

      Great post, dudemankind.
      Anyone that has given up on our new coach after 2 games- both wins, one of which was over a ranked opponent- is not thinking correctly.

      Toughen up and and be optimistic. Now, if we are in year 3 and getting trucked by Florida, or bitch slapped by Bama, then it will appropriate to whine and moan.

      And, I hope Kirby gets his waterfall if he wants one.

    • dawgman3000

      Thank goodness! Another voice of reason besides Derek.

    • Aunt Edna

      Kudos on this post. This comment section is in need of a reality check.

      • Rocket Dawg

        I am not giving up on Kirby. I said in a previous post that I want him to be wildly successful. My fear is that his hard-headed approach and wanting the team to be something that it is not is going to cause us to lose games we otherwise should win. There isn’t a team in the SEC East that has more talent than UGA. It is up to the coaches to use that talent IN THE BEST POSSIBLE WAY TO WIN GAMES. Anything else is coaching malpractice. All I am saying is that if we come out with an I formation 3 TE set and run into 10 man fronts against Missouri it is going to be a long night in CoMo and an even longer season of watching shit on the field.

    • aladawg

      Did you see any empty seats for the Nichols game. A coaches home opener; first time ever and big empty spots everywhere. Thanks for the schedule McGoofy!

  20. Rocksalt

    The quality I look for most in high-paid leaders of high-profile organizations is “Short Term Thinking”. I think most great leaders begin laying the groundwork with quotes like “Bad weather today? What do we do now?!?!?!?”

  21. Bright Idea

    Most of us fear that Nicholls was NOT an aberration. That’s so us.

  22. 69Dawg

    I have said before on this board that Kirby may only know how to coach a team that is overpowering good. If he doesn’t have the horses he does not know what to do. He is in the honeymoon phase of his HC career here and of course, we support him. However, if we run Chubb into 9 man fronts against Missouri we will lose and lose big.
    Eason, bless his heart, either could not or would not change the play at the LOS. He is either under instructions to run what is called or he just is afraid to make the change call.
    If we are just engaged in a year of practice scrimmages so 2017 will be better, this team will lose the will to fight. My greatest fear of hiring Kirby is that he would not be a good coach of a team that had any flaws in it’s personnel or depth. So far he is just that. As far as the OC is concerned he maybe the most innovative OC in college football but he still has to do what the Boss whats to do. The Boss says run 2x more than we pass, we run 2x more than we pass. I will not blame the OC for any of this.
    In conclusion, this may very well be a long year and not a very pleasant one.

    • Biggus Rickus

      You have a two game sample featuring one pretty good performance and one terrible one. You may need to wait to draw conclusions.

      • dawgman3000

        They want Kirby to fail Rickus

        • Biggus Rickus

          I know. It’s what I expected last year during the Great Richt Debate (Argument? Digital Shouting Match?). I’m not sure Kirby was the right hire, but it would be nice if they didn’t treat every game as a referendum in his first season.

  23. Kirby should add a background music with the same title by Olivia Newton John, LOL.

  24. Mayor

    I had a HC like that in HS–believed in being physical, establish the run, hit the other team hard, etc. We went 4-6.

  25. W Cobb Dawg

    As said before the season, I like this staff. We have an experienced OC on the offensive staff in Chaney, as well as a former OC in Coley, and a highly respected OL coach. If they can’t develop a sound offense then we’ve got real big problems.

    The thing that bothers me most is that it appears none of the freshman or sophmore OLs we’ve recruited in ’15 and ’16 appear to be pushing for playing time. Baker, Allen, Hardin, Cleveland, Barnes, Kindley, Madden. We’ve already got 6’4″+, 300 lbs+ OLs on the roster, but they don’t appear to be pushing the starters. That just isn’t right.

    • Will (The Other One)

      Kindley might be getting close, based on recent practice reports (though for a true freshman to be that close does say something else about the line play so far.)

  26. Dawgy1

    I don’t know if CKS realized just how little time he’s gonna have to be successful before the fans and Internet coaches turn into piranhas.

  27. david gilmore

    relax and chill fellow dawgs! 2 games in means zilch except we’re 2-0.
    as a proud grad of 1980 who witnessed Herschel in Knoxville I’ve seen a lot.
    Each week is survive, improve and advance. Pour another bourbon, sit back and enjoy. Every season of UGA football is special and don’t take it for granted. Life is too short, enjoy the rollercoaster and remember these are just kids.You analysts, keep your day jobs.

    Proud Big Canoe Dawg

  28. I’ve seen a couple of references here to the 2007 Bama-La Monroe game. Believe me you don’t want one of those and it wasn’t a scripted part of the process.

    That game was the 11th game of the ’07 season and was the third of four consecutive losses we had to finish out the regular season.

    The season started with a bang and we were 6-2 following a big win over UT. But Saban held his nose at the beginning of the season and a few bad apples on the team started to stink pretty badly along the way.

    By ULM, Saban had had enough and thought he’d make a point and suspended one of our better players. I guess he thought he’d try to right the ship against a team we were favored to beat by more than three touchdowns. Obviously, it didn’t work out that way and we came precariously close to a losing season.

    Oh, and by the way, the suspended player was mysteriously allowed to play the second half of the game when our bacon was half-way into the fire.

    I’m sure the season didn’t exactly play out the way Saban expected and maybe ULM was actually the real turning point for the Process. But I don’t recommend that way.

    BD

  29. The Bruce

    Threads like this make me embarrassed to be a Georgia fan.

    People bitching about a team that’s 2-0. People bitching about the people bitching. People bitching about Mark Richt. People bitching about the people bitching about Mark Richt. People predicting greatness; people bitching about that. People predicting doom and gloom; people bitching about that. And now I’m bitching about people bitching about people bitching.

    I thought we were the Georgia BULL-dogs, but I guess we were really the Georgia BITCHES all along.

    /smdh

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