And the whisper campaign begins

From Bruce Feldman:

Word is first-year Georgia head coach Kirby Smart is struggling with his overall management style of the football program and its effect on the operational aspect of the team. The Bulldogs are 3-2, and though this is a rebuilding project where the Nick Saban disciple has an inexperienced true freshman QB, an underwhelming O-line and only one starter back in his front seven, this is an issue worth keeping eye on.

Jimmy Sexton ain’t never played the Georgia Way, baby.


UPDATE:  Interesting response from Dan Wolken.


Filed under Georgia Football

175 responses to “And the whisper campaign begins

  1. D.N. Nation

    What does that even mean?

    Also, I like that it’s a news nugget right after extolling the virtues of a QB and team that Kirby beat by two scores.

    • It means that Butts-Mehre’s gonna Butts-Mehre.

      • D.N. Nation

        Same as it ever was. Same as it. Ever. Was.

      • Ugh is this the beginning of the Butts-Mehre, Kirby conflict? Yay. Wonderful. Can’t wait to read more!! [/sarcasm font]

      • Debby Balcer

        This infuriates me. It is impossible to coach when your support is undercutting you. It hurt Mark Richt and it will hurt Kirby’s chances of being successful. We made the change we have to give Kirby a real chance.

      • TimberRidgeDawg

        So is Kirby struggling with his management style or is Butts-Mehre struggling with Kirby’s style because he’s stepped on a couple of toes and doesn’t seem to have “time for this shit” as it were.

        • I think there are some disgruntled folks at B-M, same as it’s always been.

          • See my post below. They had a problem with one Jeremy Pruitt. Now they have a whole bunch of them. There is going to be attrition. But I believe Kirby is going to win out on this. From everything I’ve heard, he knew what he was getting into and knew the leverage he had and McG realizes he’s tied to him.

          • Jeff Sanchez

            Are they ever just “gruntled”?

          • TimberRidgeDawg

            If Kirby is stirring up that nest of magpies over there, then I see that as a good sign. I just hope that the right folks have his back. Wolken is right, he’d better win but to do that he’s going to have to clear out some of the inertia that has been holding us back for year.

        • Otto

          It is only natural that Smart will learn some thing in his 1st year. Is it struggle? I am not sure about that but mistakes will happen.

          As the Senator said, B-M gonna B-M.

          I am surprised to hear positive things about Feldman, I always thought he was a musing tool of a reporter.

    • Bright Idea

      What does anybody expect? We grew tired of a warm and fuzzy coach where players, staff and B-M got lazy and complacent. We hired a no nonsense rookie head coach who survived a decade with Saban which proves how tough he is. Every word out of his mouth is about getting tougher and more physical yet we still want warm fuzzy. This is all a typical sign of change.

  2. Bruce “Captain Obvious” Feldman.

  3. Silver Britches

    I have no idea what this means.

  4. Hobnail_Boot

    Talk about your textbook definition of a Hot Take.

  5. Gravidy

    “Word is first-year Georgia head coach Kirby Smart is struggling with his overall management style of the football program and its effect on the operational aspect of the team.”

    I don’t even know what that word salad means, and he doesn’t bother to flesh it out for us. Forgive me if I don’t get all upset over stuff like that.

  6. Granthams replacement

    That’s the kind of TMZ type BS that writers write on the internets. I’m surprised the AJC fishwrap didn’t write it first.

  7. Can someone translate this to English? What is the difference between “operational” and “overall management?” Do we need Venn diagrams?

    Frankly, I thought the coaches had their best outing yet on Saturday. Unfortunate ending, but you can’t say that they didn’t put us in a position to succeed.

    • Will (The Other One)

      Well, all the coaches save the special teams coordinator (though he also coaches TEs, so at least the bad was offset a bit.)

    • Russ

      Agreed, Derek. I thought they finally used the players to their best advantages. Move our undersized line around to create space. Use our runners’ ability to cut back/race to the corner. Finally use our tight ends to catch some slants and other passes. For a rookie HC and freshman QB, they did well and should have won the game except for a fluke at the end.

  8. paul

    So we have an “inexperienced true freshman QB, an underwhelming O-line and only one starter back in his front seven” and the problem is Kirby’s management style? Well, I guess Bruce had some space to fill.

  9. BarneyDawg

    How very Michael Carvell-esk of Brucie.

  10. The other Doug

    I was starting to wonder about Kirby before the game, but the loss did show me a coaching staff that was scheming to find away around our problems. The last 10 seconds of the game is what will take time to fix. I get that, and I’m cool with it.

    What’s really troubling is who is he quoting? Player, athletic department staffer, booster, or opposing coach?

  11. DawgPhan

    What I really want out of this is week is for someone to ask Kirby if he specifically told the players to knock the ball down on the hail mary.

    I dont care about the answer, but seeing Kirby answer it would be awesome.

  12. sUGArdaddy

    He’s not quoting anyone. He’s a reporter and heard something that somebody might have said, and if we knock down the pass the few sentences aren’t there.

    I know ‘enough’ people in the program and there aren’t any challenges like what Feldman is speaking of.

    Go beat South Carolina and the rest of ’em. Winning cures all.

  13. SAtowndawg

    What it means is that one of his sources in the ADs office is speaking to Feldman and planting seeds…

  14. 3rdandGrantham

    If Bruce Feldman covered politics:

    “Sources in the Clinton camp are concerned about the muddled political battle with Trump, and whether that will translate to different poll numbers. On the Trump side, the main issue of concern relates to communication and whether an effective campaign will change the overall trajectory of the race. These two substantial issues will determine who ultimately wins in November…something certainly to keep an eye on.

  15. Hopefully not 2012 Derek

    It means ADGM knows his ass is on the chopping block if his “coaching search process” goes south.

  16. Many people say it’s bad. Very very bad. Not good folks. I mean, it’s so bad. They’re laughing at us. I mean it’s so bad. Believe me. I can’t even tell you. It’s not good.

    Feldman is channeling the Donald when it comes to backing up his claims.

    I have no doubt it hasn’t been a perfect transition. But I didn’t expect one. Kirby isn’t used to not getting what he wants, and BM isn’t used to a coach with a vision relentlessly pushing back (IMO, chillax Richt battalion.

    Get the IPF, let the analysts and support staff settle into roles and decide if they can work in an environment where expectations are clearly set and accountability matters and the we’ll talk.

    We are basically 9 fully months into Kirby dealing with The Georgia Way. I think it’s too soon to say that it isn’t going to work.

    • Feldman isn’t making a value judgment. He’s passing along chatter. That there is chatter is what’s interesting about this.

      • But the chatter is “there are struggles with a new coach changing up the culture around a place for the first time in 15 years”. Not exact Woodward and Bernstein to me. From what I can tell and have heard (take that with the necessary grain of salt), the players are onboard. I’d be more concerned with chatter about the players resisting Kirby’s changes than the pencil pushers at BM (mostly bc whether they like it or not, I think Kirby negotiated the power to tell a lot of those guys to GFY).

        Just my two cents. Could be totally wrong.

        • JenniferLesley

          But that’s clearly the chatter. See Reggie Wilkerson snapchat post game Saturday night, and all the OMG EVERYONE IS LEAVING (8-9 upperclassmen) chicken little talk. In reality, I’m not sure that any of the upset players would ever be anything more than depth, and it’s my understanding that they are used to skating by and now they’re being held accountable, made to work, and not assured of their role on the team over young bucks who give it their all. I like that. And if you don’t like that, see JHC and Shaq Wiggins. Both of whom I wish were still here from a talent standpoint, but just one bad apple can ruin the whole bunch.

          All this to say, I haven’t heard there is chatter inside BM, but there is definitely some resistance among the boys.

          • It seems like more guys have bought in then haven’t I guess is the point I was getting at.

          • Irwin R. Fletcher

            What happened on Reggie Wilkerson’s SnapChat? <–Something I thought I would never utter.

            BTW…any way this is rival coaches? Bruce seems buddy-buddy with Pruitt and a bunch of other guys who wouldn’t mind planting some seeds. Heck, it could be Muschamp.

      • Dylan Dreyer's Booty

        I still can’t tell much from it; you say he’s just passing on chatter but I say unless we know where he’s getting his info we have no idea if it is real or just something to get clicks with. Isn’t this the guy who thought no one in Montana knew the Georgia G? I just don’t see him as credible as you think he is. YMMV

    • Got Cowdog?

      I recall an veteran SEC coach on his knees, in Orange pants, after winning the last game we played. Get your wins while you can, be thankful of your blessings.
      As my old man says, ” the sun don’t set on the same dog’s ass everyday”
      I’m not sure what that means, but ut was luckier than a shithouse rat (more colloquialism?) to get the win.
      Pucker up ya’ll. There will be good ball in our future. Hopefully starting in the house that Steve left on Saturday.

  17. McGarity needs to realize that his wagon is hitched to Kirby. If Kirby doesn’t work out, McGarity will not hire the replacement. He has zero good will with the fan base, so it is in his best interest to eliminate anyone planting seeds of discontent.

    • Is that a bad thing? I think McG is 100% aware of that. Which is also why I don’t think Feldman’s story is coming from or in reference to McG.

      My suspicion is that some non-football support staff inside BM just saw one Jeremy Pruitt turn into 20 Pruitts and that the work environment isn’t as comfortable to be in as it was 24 months ago.

    • DawgPhan

      Not that McGarity was putting the stamps on, but the comedy of getting the “Donations are going up” mailer after 2 awful loses and then a review of the 2017 home slate was hard to miss.

      Just one of those details that gets over looked @ B-M.

    • Then ADGM should fire everybody in Butts-Mehre then.

  18. Jared S.

    Does it become a “shouting campaign” if Miami manages to beat #23 Florida State and #17 UNC over the next two weeks?

    • D.N. Nation

      Who’s Miami?

      • Jared S.

        A storied college football program with 5 undisputed National Championships under their belt since we last won one.

    • PTC DAWG

      Who cares? Other than a few thousand Miami fans.

      • Jared S.

        Do you honestly expect me to believe a large portion of Dawg Nation won’t take note if their former coach of 15 years does better in his first year at stinking Miami than CKS does at UGA?

        • UGA has played #6 SOS, UM has played…..#112. Maybe pump the brakes a tad, no?

        • D.N. Nation

          What would 2016 Georgia look like if Mark Richt were still its coach?

          Would Schottenheimer still be here? Would Pruitt? Would Richt get home run hires to replace them? Would you trust Richt to do that? Would Richt manage a true freshman quarterback better than he did Murray ’10 and Stafford ’06? Would he still gone with Lambert? Would our S&C still suck? Etc., etc.

          • D.N. Nation

            (ah hell, Aaron wasn’t a true frosh, but you get my point.)

          • Probably still be 3-2
            Almost certainly not
            Hell no.
            The history would suggest not.
            Not particularly.
            I’d imagine Lambert would still be starting.
            JT3 and Joe Cox would suggest so.
            This one is tough. S&C was a major problem around 2010 when DVH was running on fumes. But since then I never thought it was that bad. It’s more about the culture built through S&C than anything else in my opinion.

          • pldog

            good question.

            The Record would be the same, neither head coach could beat ranked teams.

          • OK, long post, but let me get it off my chest. Here is what Richt would likely have done:

            No, he would have went back to his way of doing things and take over play calling while he groomed Thomas Brown to take over, a la how he handled the transition to Bobo after 2005.
            I think Pruitt would still be here b/c his defenses were statistically better than previous years. He would have gotten one more shot.
            See # 1 and 2.
            Yes, he hired Bobo, Grantham(worked in 11 and 12), Van Gorder(man I miss those defenses), and Pruitt. Still hired Willie M and Shotty, so he doesn’t have a perfect track record. Plus if Pruitt had to go, I am sure he would have brought Manny Diaz to UGA like he did Miami (remember when he wanted Diaz back after firing Willie M?)
            Toss Up – He managed David Greene well as a RS Fresh and Murray was a RS Fresh as well and those were handled differently. Stafford was handled badly in the beginning, but he better managed Shockley’s involvement in 02. Not sure how Eason would have fared under Richt, so good question.
            Lambert would have played some, but watching Eason now, I think Richt would have played him more right away. Remember what he didn’t get with Murray, Stafford, and Shockley….a full spring camp their true freshman years…he would have gotten with Eason. I think Lambert would have been in safe situations….like 3rd and 8 backed up to your own end-zone with a late lead. It wasn’t like Richt was BFF with Lambert. My god he replaced him with a 3rd stringer for arguably his achilles heel his entire tenure at UGA, that being the Florida game.
            S&C improved after 2010. IMHO

            My opinion is with Richt, we would likely be 4-1 or 3-2, but with differing results. 4-1 because he plays Eason early and the Dawgs beat UNC and Tennessee or 3-2 because he doesn’t play Eason much against UNC and we drop that game, but brings him out against Nichols and Mizzou and hands the job to him at that point. Ole Miss is still a loss, but Eason and Richt get the big win against Tennessee. We will never know to be honest. All I know is we are 3-2 with Kirby Smart and are already out of the SEC East race.

        • PTC DAWG

          Not sure how the two can be compared, keep trying though.

  19. D.N. Nation

    Wolken. What’s up with that guy? Of all those of his ilk, he’s chosen to take the removal of Richt personally.

    • It’s funny because when Richt was here, he would gleefully shit on the program every chance he got like Richt stole his kitten or something. For whatever reason – he seems to have a personal ax to grind with UGA football.

  20. 3rdandGrantham

    Don’t know about the rest of you, but the Dan Wolken quote about the Georgia Way no longer existing gives me chills (in a good way, mind you).

    I’d be more concerned if there weren’t rumblings of consternation within the program, so this is a good thing imo. Change is hard, and most people hate change, so I’m totally down with the palace intrigue taking place inside Butts Mehre.

    • Dan knows some folks, too, so, yeah, that’s interesting.

      • 3rdandGrantham

        Indeed. Taking a stab at translating this, Feldman and/or Wolken are basically saying that the folks inside B-M were immediately uneasy with this young, hyper type-a personality type coming in and turning things on its head. Especially compared to the rather gentile, country club atmosphere that CMR harbored. Smart quickly wore on people but there was nothing they could say, as he was the new program darling who held all the power.

        But now with consecutive losses, all those people with pent up opinions or frustrations are vocing their concerns, as they finally feel comfortable enough doing so with Smart being knocked down a peg. Again, no surprise.

        Fwiw, I’ve heard that Smart can be quite difficult and overbearing, and will mentally wear you out. Thisbdiesnt mesh well with the more laid-back, type-b personality types inside BM. Frankly, I’m surprised we haven’t heard more rumblings…but then again it’s only Monday.

        • pldog

          If The Georgia way, is finding a way to lose games where you have a 98-99% chance of winning in the waning minute, then it’s alive and well.

          If the Georgia Way means beating unranked teams, and losing to ranked teams, it’s still very much alive.

          • 3rdandGrantham

            I don’t hold that cynical bent. CKS is 5 freakin’ games into his tenure. Changing the culture putting your own process in place takes time; hell, it took the greatest CFB coach in history, Saban, a full year to get things turned around after a disastrous first year.

            Let’s not forget that it took an almost equally absurd play for us to take the lead with 10 seconds left — the fight and resiliency shown by the young pups was very impressive regardless.

            • pldog

              Great coaches can win without 5 star talent (Herman, McElwain, Spurrier, Washington Head Coach, Notre Dame, etc.).

              Lack of 5 star talent and depth is no excuse.

              Great coaches find a way to scheme around it.

              • Maybe pump the brakes on McElwain. Petersen has been at UDub three years. He lost 6 and 6 his first 2. Brian Kelly? Really? The man that’s currently firing people left and right to save his own job?

                How did Spurrier look at USC without Lattimore and Clowney?

                If you’re going to troll, do a little research first.

              • 3rdandGrantham

                McElwain won on smoke and mirrors last year, including several games they had no business winning (such as UT, who totally choked the game away). Kelly at ND is a disaster this year and his program has actually gotten worse. Petersen at udub…you do realize he’s in his 3rd season, right, with his first two seasons barely being .500 campaigns with something like 7-6 records? Hell they were ready to run him off after his first season, as you had a player mutiny with quite a number leaving the program (including several key starters).

                • @3rd: /From a UW alum. A group of fans were ready to run Petersen off after year one and even last year. Last year though one could watch and catch the improvement. If Eason makes the same jump next year that Browning at UW has from the freshman year, people will go to games just to watch him. Also, there have been coaching assistant changes. I look for the same to happen at UGA-players leave after this year and some coaching changes. Yes, it is in the 3rd year. in Seattle Some fans need to give Smart a chance. If he wins then that overbearing personality is seen as wonderful(see Saban).

  21. Mad Mike

    He probably saw Wilkerson’s Snap, or whatever the hell it was and decided to create some intrigue.

  22. sUGArdaddy

    Whenever I read something like this, I’m reminded of the plethora of players that transferred or were dismissed in Richt’s first year. It happens.

    Win the next one and the next ones.

  23. Will Trane

    “The Way”?
    Here is the only way I see this.
    A first year head coach with a brand new staff with a young squad of players.
    The way it is going is this way.
    Care to take a look at the first year frosh QB play thru three SEC games. In two of those in the closing minutes he moved a team the length of the field and punched in a TD pass.
    The way you throw the ball is the way Eason does…on the money and on time.
    For a young man just 5 games in he is showing the way to be a playmaker.
    Is there any other freaking damn way.
    Oh yes, the girlie writers have to write something for a pay check , and usually it is nothing! Stop writing and being over critical like most liberal writers do today. Just watch and enjoy the sport for awhile.
    Well maybe some are afraid of what they are seeing on further review, except Al Ford.

    • lakedawg

      Amen, and thank you Bobo and Richt for this QB who could be our eat ever.

      • lakedawg

        Sorry, “best”

      • pldog

        Kirby reminds me so far of another Saban disciple, Derek Dooley.

        Both were disciples of Saban, both had a swagger as a Head Coach that wasn’t earned, both had a dissapointing last minute loss in their first season.

        Kirby needs to start winning soon or the Derek Dooley comparisons with only get louder.

        • 3rdandGrantham

          You’re not even comparing apples to oranges — more like apples to space shuttles. If you can’t decipher the difference between Smart and Dooley with just a few of their words and actions, I respectfully have to question your overall intelligence. Not to mention the many years Smart spent with Saban, the fact that Saban said Smart was the best assistant he’s ever had, etc.

          Dooley was a total goofball, and everyone knew it at the opening press conference. The head sports writer at The Tennesseean was asked during Dooley’s opening presser —‘this isn’t going to end well, is it?” His reply, “nope.”

          • pldog

            Time will tell if Smart is like Derek Dooley or not.

            So far, the resemblance is uncanny.

            Dooley went 6-6 in his 1st season, .500% win %, so far Smart is just a little better than Derek Dooley at 1 game above .500.

            But boy can they swagger.

            Big whoop.

            • Expect that Dooley had already proved at La Tech that he didn’t know wtf he was doing and Kirby is 5 games in. Besides that, you’re right on.

            • Irwin R. Fletcher

              pldog with the solid troll game working today. A SOD shout out after week 5. LOVE IT!!!!

              My only question is how many other ideas did you and your other ‘friends’ go through on StingTalk before coming up with that gem?

          • Hopefully not 2012 Derek

            Maybe you should change your handle to 3rdandChaney.
            A few facts for this ballbusting Monday (I live in TN).
            No Saban assistant has ever beat Saban head to head.
            No Saban Assistant has turned out to be a quality SEC HC (McElwain is unproven yet as others have already pointed out)
            I have no problem with a coaching change. But why on earth did we go after an unproven Coordinator. And don’t whine about Vince & Richt being Coordinators when they came in. We were a much better program in 2015 than in ’64 & ’00. We should have gone after a proven HC. Saban was proven when he landed in Tuscaloosa with the key to the Sheriff’s Department. In my opinion Kirby rode his Daddys coattails until a big program could take a chance on him. I would say the Derek comparisons are valid from the perspective that UT fired a respected and loved coach (some fans were happy/some were angry). Those that didn’t want to pull that trigger were nervous that we turn into Tennessee or Texas. You can’t fault those fans for feeling that way. And Kirby didn’t help matters by bringing in Chaney & Pittman. Both were on Tennessee’s staff filling the same roles when Derek crashed and burned in 2012. And a side note the Tennessee radio stations are pointing out about Chaney. His offenses have never beaten their DC’s defenses. Something like 8-0 or 9-0. So…..I’m more okay with Kirby and less okay with who he hired. And knock off the Derek bravado. Kirby’s not Saban. When he’s earned the right to be a prick, be a prick. Until then, shut up.

            • 3rdandGrantham

              Thanks Barbara Dooley.

            • Irwin R. Fletcher

              We should have gone after a proven HC.

              We did go after Glen Mason…oh wait. Nevermind.

            • Check your fact. Dooley didn’t follow Fulmer. There was a trainwreck named Kiffin in between. Joey Freshwater left them a week before signing day and they panicked and jump on Dooley.

              • CPark58

                Kiffin? Don’t cloud the issue with facts about a one and gone head coach during a highly sensitive transitional period at a major program. Facts are very detrimental to an otherwise perfect analogy. Anyone can see that 2008 UT/Fulmer and 2015 UGA/Richt are the exact same just as Derek Dooley and Kirby Smart are the exact same.

                Derek and Kirby hired the same OC and O-Line coach, Derek was a position coach for Saban and Kirby a d coordinator, they both wear visors, both know Vince Dooley, lived in Athens at some point, and I have it on good authority that they both like Varsity chili-dogs with onions. They are obviously the exact same, so it stands to reason Kirby will ultimately be replaced by a coach who bears a striking resemblance to an obscure 60’s sitcom character.

              • Hopefully not 2012 Derek

                Well aware of Train wreck Kiffin. I wasn’t referring to him. That fact was skipped because it was irrelevant. It doesn’t change the fact that Saban Assistants haven’t panned out in the SEC as HC’s.

    • Hogbody Spradlin

      The conservative sports writers gotta troll for hits just as much as the liberals.

  24. John

    Grumblers gonna grumble but what exactly did people think Kirby Smart was going to bring with him when he was hired? I was sorta under the impression that Kirby Smart was hired precisely because the “Georgia Way” had, over the last 5-6 years, proven to be inadequate.

    McGarity needs to be the one to put a stop to this sort of thing. He hired Kirby and needs to ensure that the path is cleared for Kirby to implement his vision for the program. If McGarity isn’t willing to do that he is either A) a complete idiot, B) a total coward, C) A &B or D) is delusional and believes that Kirby’s success or failure will not impact him.

  25. Agreed, but is there any evidence that McG hasn’t done that? Look at the number of analysts and support staff. We’re finally getting that IPF. We’re spending more than we ever have. I think McG is the poster child for the Peter Principle as much as anyone, but I don’t see any signs that he’s handicapping Kirby.

    I see a bunch of Baby Boomers having their work environment turned on its head.

    • And let me go ahead and clarify. That’s not a shot at baby boomers. I simply meant there are a lot of people there familiar with one work environment that are now going to have to adapt to a different one or leave. It’s not all that uncommon actually. It happens whenever there is change.

      • Hogbody Spradlin

        Well, you coulda mixed in a few Gen-X’ers and Millennials, hit all the demographic buzz words.

        • Isn’t there also “bounce back” generation too? Or Gen Y?

          I’m 35, so I fall perfectly into the “wtf generation are we a part of” generation.

  26. Rocksalt

    I’m looking forward to 2020 when ADs and Head Coaches face daily coin flips for their jobs.

  27. John Denver is full of shit...

    me until Saturday

  28. Shit how can anyone define a management style after less than 12 months on the job and 5 games into the season

  29. pldog

    Mark Richt is smiling somewhere reading this. Hotseat already, wow?

    Kirby was was brought in to beat ranked teams, and he is 0-2 in his last 2 attempts.

    The defensive numbers are terrible for an SEC team.

    The special teams are terrible.

    I think Kirby knew how to win with 5 star guy, depth, and the best head coach in history, but so far, it looks like Kirby can’t get it done without them.

    In other words, he’s no Jim Mcelwain or Spurrier or Tom Herman.

    That is beyond obvious and why the fan base is so down now, the future does not look bright. Why we didn’t get Herman is beyond comprehension.

  30. This is pretty rational 5 games into a new coaches tenure.

    • @gatriguy: Welcome to 2016. Not meant in any type of snide way, just the way it is now. Hell, lose next week and Smart should be fired and the entire team tarred and feathered.

  31. Midnight Rambler

    Kirby has actually handled some of the PR stuff poorly, IMHO.

    Very limited access to fans on the coaches tour, picture day no longer fun, etc.

    If you’re winning MNCs this may be fine, but making friends is also a good idea.

    • sUGArdaddy

      Maybe it’s those things that actually lead to championships.

      • DawgPhan

        you think that picture day was holding us back from winning a title..

        picture day?

        • sUGArdaddy

          No. But I think personality traits that lead to some of those kinds of decisions might be part of the equation to championship football coaches in this day and age. Saban, Meyer, Fisher…the guys winning titles these days are control freaks of the highest order.

    • pldog

      Being an asshole doesn’t guarantee championships, ask Derek Dooley.

      • What is your beef with Derek Dooley?

        • pldog

          What do you LIKE about Derek Dooley (Kirby’s Big Brother).

          Damn bro, go earn the right to swagger by winning some big games and having a year where you exceed expectations.

          Dooley and Smart, so far, cut from the same cloth.

          • Hopefully not 2012 Derek

            Don’t forget Boom. The Anger Trifecta.

          • What do you LIKE about Derek Dooley (Kirby’s Big Brother).

            Well, Derek Dooley has neither Jack nor Shit to do with Kirby’s coaching tenure here or at Alabama or UGA football in general. Dooley was 17-20 at Louisiana Tech, and Tennessee was stupid enough to hire him to be head coach when he wasn’t even a hot shot assistant… ever… in his entire career. I think that says more about Tennessee than it does Dooley, though. If they offered me a couple million dollars to coach the Tennessee program that Kiffin left in a ditch on fire, I probably would do the same.

            I just don’t get the vitriol towards a man that has nothing to do with UGA football nor Kirby Smart except that they worked together as assistants in 2004 and again in 2006. When Saban arrived in Tuscaloosa, he kept Kirby from his Miami staff, who then led the defense for eight years under the best college football coach in the last thirty years, and perhaps ever by the time he retires. Dooley was free to take over the floundering La Tech program where he had no success. They are no where near being from the “same cloth.”

            And for those that honor Mark Richt as holy, remember his coaching snafus cost UGA several “big” games in 2001. Running the ball up the middle at the goal line with zero timeouts in the Auburn game has to rank up there with the stupidest coaching decisions ever made. He won the SEC the next season. It seems to have worked out okay. Also, don’t forget Tom Herman’s Houston squad lost to UConn last year. Houston was 10-0 at the time, ranked in the top 20, while UConn was 5-5.

        • Kirby Smart could personally hand him a $100 and he’d bitch that Richt would have broken it into $20s.

          • pldog

            There is reality, and there is illusion.

            Reality, so far, hope I’m wrong and the trend reverses,

            looks like Kirby is another Derek Dooley.

            Kirby needs to match his win-loss record with his swagger, Dooley couldn’t.

            Hell, what is Kirby so cocky about anyhow, he ain’t done shit as a Head Coach.

            • Dude. Being prickly with the media and cutting back photo day isn’t cocky. Tone deaf? Sure. But not cocky.

              Derek Dooley had already proven himself to be awful at another school before UT panicked a week before signing day and offered the job to an SEC legacy that they knew wouldn’t turn them down.

              I get that maybe you have reservations about Kirby, but surely you can find a better comparison.

              • Hopefully not 2012 Derek

                I think his comparison is accurate so far. Maybe & Hopefully we hired the exception to the Saban SEC coaching tree. Time will tell.

          • 69Dawg

            Not to defend pldog because he’s not all right but he does have a point about waiting until you have won some games that matter before you go all Saban on the press and the fans.

            • Hopefully not 2012 Derek


            • I actually think this is debatable. He has to set the tone he believes will lead the organization to success. If that means he has to be prickly with the media or tell a kid he can’t transfer to Miami, then that’s what he has to do and gets paid a lot of money to do.

              I don’t know, I don’t think he’s that big of a jerk. I just like to complain.

      • sUGArdaddy

        I’ve worked with Derek, and he was one of the nicest guys around. Kind to everyone in the organization. You have no idea what you’re talking about.

  32. Hillbilly Dawg

    Asshole experience speaking. Oh look…it time for 3rd period biology class.

  33. 69Dawg

    Well it is what it is. It took Kirby four games and a beat down by Ole Piss to figure out he is not going to keep playing Alabama football with these guys. So he finally lets the OC turn it loose and hot damn we can score. The problem is that Kirby and Tucker can’t seem to do what Pruitt did and scheme the D into a position not to get massively scored upon. Maybe they can correct that but until they do we had better hope that Chaney is the second coming of Mike Bobo and can keep Eason alive long enough to throw the bomb. I think this last game will have the results that we need as far as stacking the box. If we play our best receivers and not our best blockers at wide out we can go long range ballistic on the defense if they don’t give their CB’s safety help. Could be fun to watch.

    • pldog

      “If we play our best receivers and not our best blockers at wide out we can go long range ballistic on the defense if they don’t give their CB’s safety help.”

      Helluva observation there, good point, and it’s time to put the talent and playmakers at receiver on the field, Nauta looked like Gronk out there as receiver.

      And damn, enough of Chubb, let’s go with Sony & Herrien, they are productive

      Also true, that Kirby will need to adapt his scheme to his talent and depth if he’s going to turn this season around.

      Most teams only have 1 great offensive player, go Billechek and take him out.

    • Agreed. Though, I will say that Pruitt got toasted by UT in 2014 and 2015 too.

      UNC, OM, and UT can all score some points.

      If the D doesn’t look much improved against SCU and Vandy, then yeah–it’s time to panic.

      • Daniel Simpson Day

        The D is improving. Biggest problem is that 2 years ago Pruitt had Hererra and Wilson in the middle and last year he had Jenkins and Floyd. All were upperclassmen and all in the NFL now – and…they had a way more experience DL to help. I’m not seeing any seeing anyone stepping up to fill their shoes which puts more stress on the back four. The cupboard wasn’t exactly left full. Kirby has at least started addressing the holes but that takes a while. Don’t panic for a few years.

        • Will (The Other One)

          The run defense has looked better than it ever did under Pruitt. Pass D is still a weakness, but we should at least hope UF doesn’t set a season-record for rushing on us for a 3rd year in a row.

  34. DawgPhan

    this thread went emperor’s new clothes quicker than I thought.

    should have known.

  35. PTC DAWG

    Hungry trolls leave.

  36. Mike Cooley

    Feldman is a dipstick. He’s trying to create news. Kirby’s got this. Get on the bus or get run over. Funny that Barnhart gets treated a like a stupid hayseed for this very same stuff. Feldman can be Mr. Faux Controversy, I guess.

    • Hopefully not 2012 Derek

      “Get on the bus or get run over”
      LMAO. You’re kidding, right. Which bus? The one with the coaches yelling at everyone while they try to figure out which road to take?

  37. North State Dawg

    Feldman is just reflecting the general sentiment that Smart was expected, right or wrong, to produce immediate results with the talent already in Athens, and there have been some baby-step stumbles that were NOT expected. If we don’t beat SC, UF and Tech, there will be a lot more than whispers.

  38. Mike Cooley

    No he’s not. What sentiment? Who thought we were going to win the SEC this year? Who thought the transition was going to be smooth as silk? Anybody who thought that wasn’t thinking or wasn’t watching last year. Feldman isn’t “reflecting” anything except maybe being a hack.

    • North State Dawg

      I read the threads over the summer. Expectations seemed to run a little high. Maybe not yours. If that’s the case, I admire your realism. But some folks might have been over-expecting. I think four years is the right time period for a fair evaluation. But a lot of factors — big money, built-up frustrations at getting close with no cigar, and the fact that Smart followed a successful and popular coach — are also in play. Go Dawgs!

  39. Lumpdawg

    I was listening to a show that was discussing the failures of those who came out of the Bill Belichick coaching tree. For each example, the host said the coach came in and tried to be Belichick instead of being himself, and the players saw right through it. The host specifically spoke about Josh McDaniels who failed at Denver before returning to New England. He said he came in and tried to be tough like Belichick, but the players just thought he was a jerk.

    I wonder if this is what this quote is alluding to. Is Kirby coming in and trying to be Saban, and the players are seeing through the lack of sincerity and not buying in? Based on the early returns, it could be argued this is the case. At several times in several games, the players look like they don’t want to be there and don’t care who is yelling at them.