A note for all you armchair coaches out there

If I had a dollar for every one of you out there who insisted that Georgia should have spiked the ball in the 2012 SECCG so that the coaches could remind the players not to do what Conley did with the tipped pass, I’d be a richer man.

Too bad your advice doesn’t mean shit in the heat of battle.  Take, for example, what happened on the key play of today’s game, the screen pass Vandy hit to Ralph Webb for a big gain that set up what turned out to be the winning score.

Vanderbilt gained 75 of its yards on one drive: Its first of the fourth quarter, which gave it what turned out to be game-winning touchdown. And it was set up by a play that encapsulated the frustration of Smart, now a head coach but a defensive coordinator at heart.

It was third-and-12 from near midfield. Vanderbilt had been struggling on third downs, and had not pass protected well. Georgia coaches knew that, and anticipated Vanderbilt would try a delayed screen. They would counter by putting one man on the tailback. In fact, defensive coordinator Mel Tucker told his players before the drive started.

But when it happened just the way Smart and Tucker predicted, tailback Ralph Webb was still free, caught the ball, and gained 37 yards down to Georgia’s 11-yard line. The man who was supposed to be on Webb, whom Smart didn’t name, just “got lost in the shuffle” during the play.

“It was a call we practiced for the screen,” Smart said.  [Emphasis added.]

Well, fuck me.

If this game were as easy as we believe it is sometimes, we’d all sign million dollar coaching contracts instead of whining in the comments section of a football blog.


Filed under Georgia Football, Strategery And Mechanics

112 responses to “A note for all you armchair coaches out there

  1. It’s a fucking game played by kids. Every swinging dick walking out of the stadium knew just what we should have done. Big deal.

    • DawgFan1

      I thought tat later, this is expected from an 18 year old True Frosh QB, 2 TEs, 2 WRs, most of our DLs, and almost no Sr leadership save Mo Smith.

      You have grown men DCs throwing everything they’ve ever learned at Eason.

      We hope for better, but the TRUTH is that a Soph/Frosh laden team with a True Frosh QB will, I repeat, WILL have growing pains. They’re called pains for a reason!!

      Better days ahead IMO.

    • Olddawg 55

      I believe we “practiced” the Hail Mary defense, too. Now we anticipate the screen pass. End result: disaster. Yes, most OCs aim at the screen in any rush situation..even armchair QBs know that. So?? It still comes down to execution..and we know that. So we should never complain or “Monday morning QB” a game, just excuse the staff for anything. Even the recurring nightmare of the HC from a previous Auburn game..and don’t question decision making because you’re not in the “arena”. Come on GTP commenters..we’re making Comey look good in his interrogations!!

  2. sectionzalum

    well, at least special teams are solid, and we can man-ball folk, and only had 6 penalties by mid 2nd quarter, and have EXCELLENT clock management, and only had illegal formation in Q4 once.

    “this close” to bama.

  3. I have to agree with to many Armchair Quarterbacks for doing
    this to be a mistake. The Dawgs DO have some talent.
    It just Is not being properly used. We should be winning games
    not heading toward the basement.Coaching IS the problem.

    • dawgfan

      The 2016 season is in the toilet. These last 2 home losses will not be forgotten by UGA fans. If you were in Sanford Stadium, you know how bad they were. The whole game today was difficult to watch. We will see if Smart can hold recruiting together and show MAJOR improvement in 2017. There is a lot to be fixed, starting with better preparation and game management by the coaches. You can be big and physical all you want but if don’t know how to use timeouts and line up for plays properly, it won’t matter. By the end of next year, we will have a pretty good idea of what kind of coach we have. Hopefully we don’t end up like Tn after firing Fulmer.

  4. JJC

    Here’s the thing, Senator… I think you’re making the opposite point of what you mean. The coaches knew what was going to happen and they they told the players about it, and yet they STILL screwed up the play. They should have been able to coach up the players to prevent what happened, but they jus didn’t. Kirby should be standing up and saying “this was my fault. I knew what was going to happen, and I didn’t prevent it.” Instead, he implied that it was the players’ fault. Say what you will about Mark Richt, but he never threw the players under the bus.

    • Let me see if I got this straight:
      1) They practiced a play to defend against the screen.
      2) They called the play to defend against the screen.
      3) Vandy ran the screen.
      4) Defense doesn’t defend the play they specifically practiced against and assumed was coming despite calling the practiced defense that was to be used to defend the play that was called.
      5) It is the coach’s fault.

      Kirby opened his press conference by saying that it was his fault, and didn’t name the player that got lost in the shuffle. That’s a far cry from throwing players under the bus.

      • Oh, wait… he was serious about that? Oy.

      • JJC

        Unless Kirby takes full responsibility, he is throwing the players under the bus. They’re kids doing what millionaires tell them what to do, and what the millionaires are telling them is wrong.

      • DawgPhan

        I know you love to cape up for this coach, but he didnt open the press conference with saying it was all his fault.

        He opened with “we didnt play very well”.

        • I’m not caping up for anybody. I just think it’s ridiculous to bash on a coach who is in his first year This isn’t 2001 Miami Kirby is coaching. The team has lost a couple close SEC games and got blown out by a better team. The youngsters offer hope, the defense seems improved, but the offense has some glaring weaknesses. The special teams are still a disaster. They need to get that fixed. The good news is it is fixable, and next year is right around the corner. The change may not be all smooth sailing, but to me, the opportunity for hope is more palatable than abject misery because my favored headset stand moved to South Beach.

          • Napoleon BonerFart

            Our talent is better than Vandy’s. Shouldn’t a good coach be able to win a game against a team with inferior talent?

  5. PJsPound

    Senator, my biggest problem is the offensive play calling. The coaches certainly know more than me. That said, even a kid from Savannah knows that 230#Nick Chubb > 175#MacKenzie when it comes to 1 yard gains. That play had no chance. While I’m here why do you think it is that Ridley who obviously has great hands isn’t playing as much as some of the others who are wearing ball repellant gloves?

    • truck

      When Chaney was hired the knock on him was that he occasionally got too cute with calling plays. At any other time in the game putting IMc at tail behind Chubb would have been a welcome change up. But needing to convert a 4th and 1 with the game on the line and not giving it to Nick or Sony seemed like “getting too cute.” I know the OL had struggled, but the edge was there on that play and only required one broken tackle to convert. There. I feel better now. That is the last of my armchair coaching.

      • My problem with Chaney is that if he were the offensive genius we were sold he would have had a crack at a head coaching job at some level. He hasn’t been and that should tell us something.

        Everyone knew that play was coming … I thought Mason bailed us out by calling time out, so we could think about the call. Damn if Chaney doesn’t go right back to it …

        • Brandon

          FYI we called the timeout. That should have been called prior to the 3rd and 1 play while we let another 25 secs run off the clock

          • We called timeout on 4th and 1 after the incompletion to Chigbu to select the play. Mason called timeout after we lined up and IMac dotted the I. We then came out and ran the exact same play.

    • This is what I’m wondering. I get it. He’s a freshman and probably not doing a great job of blocking yet. But it’s not like anyone else is either. Apparently Ridley screwed Chaney’s daughter and Chigbu has pics of his wife.

  6. ZeroPointZero

    I’m sober and missed most of the game coaching U8 soccer (oh the humanity). I’m uncharacteristically nonchalant about this loss. Maybe Bluto’s advice about drinking heavily isn’t the answer. Step back and hope for better things to follow next year. I feel like a Mormon. Pass the Sprite. OK I’m on to the sauce now, but still don’t give a shit about this loss. Apathy, my friend, I’ve missed you.

  7. Keese

    Goff 2.0 with a destiny similar to Muschamp and excuse vocabulary akin to Willie Martinez

  8. lakedawg

    Saban may be able to blame whoever, but Kirby needs to realize he is not little Nicky and own up to losing to an outmanned Candy team. Completely out coached by Mason.

  9. 80Dawg

    As usual, excellent comments. I hope Kirby can get all these freshman on board.

  10. sniffer

    Ha! I only offer observations, not coaching advise. I don’t have a clue what should be done about the breakdowns, inconsistencies and general incompetence (much of the time). Apparently neither does Kirby.

    snarkly said

  11. Normaltown Mike

    Let’s all take a deep breath, all of our season’s goals are still in front of us…we just need to win out and so long as UT drops 2 out of 3 and same for UF then we’re back in the driver seat…amirite or amirite?

  12. doofusdawg

    maybe our “call” wasn’t sufficient to stop their screen. Webb would win that match up 4 out of 5 times. All our defensive calls were right… and all of or offensive play calls were right… we just didn’t execute… or their guy got just off a block… does that mean our blocker didn’t execute. Fuck…coaching is hard.

    • Even including the bust on the screen, they held Vandy to 171 yards. WTF are you going on about?

      • He’s just in prime bitching mode.

      • 69Dawg

        What do you attribute our loss to? I’m sure the coaches have touched on all of the things that went wrong but I seem to recall the same reactions when this sh*t happened to Richt. The big problem is we are not getting any better. We are losing to worst teams and I frankly think this season is toast. We may only beat ULL. No bowl practice is going to hurt. Oh well its not like I haven’t been a Dawg for 50 years I should be used to this.

        • It’s one of the weirdest losses I’ve ever seen. There’s plenty of blame to go around, I suppose.

          • Remarkable isn’t it? I was telling my neighbor while watching the game, how the hell does Eason have so many yards and we don’t have more points? And holding Vandy to 171 yards???? Really weird. Other than Vandy stuffing the obvious runs, I am struggling to see why we weren’t more successful.

          • Rick

            As one of the dicks lamenting the Richt/Smart swap from the start: this game was fine. It’s a bad luck loss of the same ilk that many good coaches suffer. If every loss this year was of the same variety, we’d have a decent coaching staff on our hands.

      • 86BONE

        I surf fished today and life was great…how bad did we beat Vandy? It must have been a beautiful day in Athens. I was stuck on Galveston Island dreaming about our victory……

    • Normaltown Mike

      To your point, I can’t recall who it was (looked like a single digit jersey) but there was a defender that was exactly in the right position but he took the bait and ran to the QB when he should’ve stuck with the back.

  13. I’ve seen a lot of Georgia losses over the years, but I never thought I would see one where we gain 400+ yards with no turnovers and hold an opponent to 170. One of the oddest losses I’ve ever seen …

    • Normaltown Mike

      10-4. When I saw the total yardage deficit at half-time and then we settled for a FG in the 3rd to go up 6, I had a bowel stewing moment of clarity.

      Glad I left with 9 minutes in the 4th quarter to beat traffic.

    • 81Dog

      it takes quite a bit of coaching to figure out how to lose a game when your team outgains the other team by better than 2-1, with no turnovers.

      oh, and that other team was Vandy, not an Urban Meyer or Saban or whatever coached team. Fucking. Vandy. As in, hadn’t won a road SEC game in 3 years Vandy. Lost to South Carolina Vandy.

      I’m at a loss to explain this one in some positive way. Perhaps KS is the next great coach. Perhaps he isn’t. I have to admit I’m not seeing much to make me believe he is, so far. But, let’s see how the rest of the season plays out. Do they quit on him? Does he quit on them? Do we make what looks like improvement? Do we regress?

      I will say this: Eason is a work in progress, but that kid has grit to go with his pro strength arm.

      • It’s the house of horrors that are our special teams. They’re worse now than with the previous guy. I think I saw Brice Ramsey’s face on a milk carton at the local Publix after the game … missing UGA punter who can force a returner to call for a fair catch. Guys on the coverage teams should be head hunters … they can’t get out of their own darn way.

  14. When you kick field goals instead of TDs, don’t force TOs, and lose field position game, it is almost impossible to put anyone away.

    We’re simply not good enough to overcome mistakes.

  15. Moving along

    Once again. A post that makes me wonder why I read this blog. Your opinion. Glad you have a forum for it. Time is the only thing you can’t make more of. No point in wasting any more of mine here. I won’t complain about you coming across as self righteous. It’s your blog. Say whatever the hell you want. But the whole “fuck me. We should all sign million dollar contracts” is just piss pour drunk talk from some jerk who, like typical jerks, thinks they know something about everything and that they are the smartest guy in the room. Your blog. You’re the smartest fan here. All hail! You can Enjoy the sport. Cheer your team and Bitch and moan whenever you want . Learn to have different opinions and enjoy the debate.
    Or Insult your readers. Act like an asshole. Who gives a shit. It’s your blog. Doesn’t cost me money to read it . I’m not your customer. You owe me nothing. So be an asshole all you want. I don’t have put up with your arrogant/self righteous ass. And you don’t have to put up with mine.

  16. paul

    So all the folks who were upset we didn’t go after a proven head coach are feeling pretty smug about now, What bothers me isn’t the loses per se. Don’t get me wrong, losing sucks. But we were led to believe that while Kirby would certainly have to learn how to be a head coach, the team would be disciplined and prepared because Kirby is a details guy. A team can be disciplined and prepared and still lose games, But I don’t really think we’re seeing disciplined and prepared just yet. Halfway through the season I believe that’s an issue.

    • JJC

      I agree 100%. They fired Richt for the losses, yes, but more so for the games where the team just didn’t show up. Nicholls, Ole Miss, and Vandy were as bad as any of the horror show games of the Richt era. This team somehow seems LESS disciplined and focused than last year’s team.

      Even worse, I wonder if they’ve quit on the coaches. Kirby criticized the PLAYERS after the Tennessee loss. They played their asses off in that game and lost on a BS penalty and a fluke play. Are they still on board with him?

      • Nicholls and this Vandy game were worse than any game of the Richt era. I get the 2013 class is a smoking crater in the depth chart right now, but players can be fundamentally sound. This team doesn’t look well drilled in the basics of blocking and tackling.

  17. did somebody shit in Blutarsky’s cheerios?

  18. BWD

    I don’t have the energy to read all the comments anymore. This is all I know: the transitive property says that CKS < CDM < CPJ < CMR < CLF < CKS. So we defintely made the right move.

  19. Qne play didn’t decide this game. We were the lesser team. More talented individually, but weaker as a team.

  20. Normaltown Mike

    Sorry to do this, but I’d be remiss if I didn’t drop a deuce in the middle of the Thanksgiving meal….we were offsides on that abomination called the opening kickoff and we followed that up with a 12 men on the field.

    • Russ

      Yeah, that was one of the worst openings to a Georgia game that I can remember. But I’ve only been watching the Dawgs since the 60’s.

      Seems like I’ve said similar things a few times this season.

    • stoopnagle

      Wait, you mean we started with the same penalty we finished our last home game with? AWESOME!

  21. BK

    No matter how you parse it, this Georgia team is a mess. Whatever the reasons are is immaterial. This season is toast and we can only hope the team can figure out what th he’ll is going on. Confidence is NOT high! I repeat confidence is NOT high!

  22. Will Trane

    Beamer and Del McGee need to go now.
    Eason plays better in more up tempo.
    Put Chaney on a diet of saltines and water the rest of the season.
    Tell him to get the offense up tempo and get ahead in the play schedule.
    He gets a steak when the offense outscores the opponent by 21. Otherwise it is a diet and cot on the sidelines.
    He wastes time and slows momentum. Can not give the defense time to see and adjust especially like a Vandy Mason or a Florida Collins.
    I would be one pissed upper classman right now. Two fucking games we let get away. Could be 6-1
    Upper classman have to give 16 and 12 hell this week and next in practice.
    12 is so slow and lost. Plus 27 has stopped blocking. He only wants to run thanks to Del McGee. MeGee was the coach of that greatest ever RB out of Columbus who quiet when he was hit. A total fuck up.
    Slowly beginning to lose confidence in this staff.
    But when Beamer and McGee go, so should that damn fuck up McGarity. Thanks asshole for playing on Sunday. Spineless prick.

  23. In the fall of 1994 I was a 2nd year senior at the University of Georgia. I was living off campus for the first time. I had a pilot slot and I was guaranteed to be active duty air force and go to pilot training.
    This was perhaps the peak of my come up’ness.
    In the 1994 season, we didn’t have blogs or boards or facebook. You watched or listened to a game, and that was pretty much it. But I had one small thing I knew as a 2nd year senior – “this really is it, soak it in, remember, enjoy”. In fact, I climbed all over Sanford. I snuck liquor into games. I sat at the top, top, top of the stadium as far away from the field as possible, and heard from a lady “Hunker down you hairy bastards!”
    And I was in the student section after getting up at 11am (ish) on our homecoming day in 1994. I caught some sort of parade whatever on the bridge. With no people, I just did what I knew I had to do, I soaked it in, watched, tried to remember.
    I had no idea that day I would need to rembember that day today in 2016.
    I was in the student section, ran into some people I vaguely knew, got some liquor that was mint. We got to cheer a good bit – high scoring game.
    The Goff love was waning, the lack of SEC’s was kicking in. The game was just so early.
    And we lost my homecoming game. To a bad Vandy.
    I sat in the stands. I wondered around. I have little memory after that. That memory was my last memory besides graduation was a bad one.
    And here we are 22 years later. With just 2 SECs later. With a whole lot of amazing things I have done later. And a whole lot of how many things I have screwed up later.
    I believe, sincerely, our team is going to be very good for the next bit. I do. I just have to acknowledge that today hurt a bit.

  24. Will Trane

    But I think I said this at first of season. One big weakness for Dawgs is the center. 54 never got to 41, and Chubb blocked outside. Outside with Mckenzie was better and stopped the clock on out of bouands.
    Mckenzies size came into play and the blocking of the running back chubb.

  25. Will Trane

    I would suggest to Smart and Chaney. You guys need to look at some North Dakota blocking schemes from stopping backside pursuit and running down the back on edge plays.
    North Dakota State uses the TE to come back and blindside the pursuit a few times. Knocking the fucking shit out of a backside pursurer is how you stop that damn crap. 41 was hell on the offense.
    Guess he was not good enough for UGA to recruit under MR along with some lineman.

    • gastr1

      Excellent point. The crashing down on the backfield has got to stop and these experienced offensive coaches have to figure that out.

  26. Will Trane

    Takes this to heart UGA alums.
    When it comes to the men’s big three programs, football, basketball, and baseball, Vandy is better than us in all three.
    Thanks AD McGarity, you fuck up

  27. Dylan Dreyer's Booty

    Maybe this close is further than it looks like when he holds up his thumb and index finger. This game is painful; I am sure for the kids as well as the coaches. We’re out of it for sure now if we weren’t before. Maybe we can use play loose and ruin Florida’s season. LET’S DO IT!!!

  28. W Cobb Dawg

    This is a good time for the parable of the two farmers….

  29. D as in Dawg

    I went down for a nap at halftime and enjoyed the second half more than anyone on here. This sucks. It’s everybody’s fault. If we would have hired half of the commenters on here, we’d be undefeated right now. I work a lot with spreadsheets. Funny thought. What if people watched me all day and commented on what I did? Damn, suck ass employee! Insert a column moron! This guy wouldn’t know a relative link if it bit him in the gonads. Great! Screw auto sum! Just add them up one by one. We could have hired Tim Harmon. Instead, we had to have Ned Sabon, Jr. We’re getting the Dairy Queen coupon bonus this year.

  30. I sure do enjoy reading the Comments. They are much more interesting
    than the game was. Also more exciting than the play calling.
    Wait till next year? & I am ready for Spring Practice. Recruiting Is now
    also a question mark. Who Is still excited about this Coaching Staff?

  31. AthensHomerDawg

    I think some of the posters would do well to remember you’re guests here. I know we all been outta line with each other but I don’t see a need for insults aimed at our host.

  32. Mary Kate Danaher

    Isn’t there some way I can blame this whole fiasco on McGarity?

  33. Hogbody Spradlin

    Armchair coaching is the heart and soul of these blogs, and it occasionally gets a little overdone after bitter losses. I don’t know a chop block from chopped liver, but I do profess a little hard won experience in human nature.

    I’m still confident that Kirby Smart is as good a candidate as we could, as a practical matter, have hired. Not a lead pipe cinch but a man with the potential to succeed and excel. However, Kirby Smart is not a finished product. He has to learn how to ‘be’ a head coach. Richt went 8-3 his first year. Vince went 7-3. Both pretty good marks. Kirby probably won’t match those. He served a very thorough apprenticeship, but must develop his own substance and style. I see things looking a little sloppy now.

    I’m willing to be patient for three years or so.

  34. Granthams replacement

    How do the coaches decide the kicker returners? Every decision on fielding ever kick today was the wrong decision and it cost a loss. Same root cause as the botched screen pass defense.

  35. Russ

    Here’s a little armchair coaching tip for Kirby. You can actually put two returners back for a punt. Might be useful when one person can’t figure out where the punt it going and we continually give up 60 yard punts.

  36. Bulldog Joe

    The block in the back on Chuks should have nullified the screen play.

  37. raintdog

    I wonder how often Chubb practices lead blocker on run plays during the week?

  38. Timphd

    Mark Richt is not our coach anymore. Can we please let it go? I wanted a better performance this year too, I was nauseated the entire game yesterday. But this ongoing crap about Richt versus Kirby is annoying. He is at Miami. He lost yesterday too, to a team our guys beat. Give it a rest for God’s sake.

    As for my opinion on the game, the kickoff coverage and return teams lost that game. Vandy’s first ten points came after their kickoff return and after Reggie stepped out at the three. Of course there were other plays that could have made a difference too, like Chubb standing in the field wide open while Eason through an incompletion down field, on the last drive I believe. He would probably have scored. He also missed a wide open receiver to throw a short completion to Nauta earlier. He’s a kid who is learning and I expected some mistakes from him, so I’m not blaming an 18 year old kid. Sucky game all around.

  39. stoopnagle

    Let’s hope Kirby recruits like a mo fo.

  40. tonyqbr

    I’ll admit it, I was wrong about some things re Chaney.

    1- I threw Chaney’s red zone offense under the bus vs Vandy
    True, he did only convert 33% into td’s vs Vandy, but he was at 67%-75% at doing that in the last 4 previous games.
    He got beat by a great defensive team in Mason.

    2- I threw Chaney under the bus for not having a plan if they stonewalled the run
    He did have a plan, as Eason threw for 350 yards.

    3- I threw Chaney under the bus for Eason not developing prior to this game
    Eason improved dramatically vs a great pass defense that came into the game ranked #1 vs SEC teams.
    Eason completed 67%, over 8 yards per pass, and over 350 passing yards. Unreal.

    4- I threw Chaney under the bus for the 4th and 1 call.
    On the 4th and 1, I watched it several times.
    1- 41 lines up over center, immediately targets mcKenzie
    2- 41 alludes Kublanow’s block
    3- Chubb heads upfield and blocks no one, shit you have to at least block 1 guy and give McKenzie a chance
    4- had Chubb turned left and blocked 41 or slowed him down, McKenzie likely gets the 1st down.
    5- I would have doubled Cunningham, #41, he’s a beast. Chubb may have lost 41, he lined up over center, and kind if snuck in there
    eluding Kublanow’s block and sliding left headed straight for McKenzie while smartly letting Chubb go right by him
    6- Cunningham, the LB who stopped McKenzie, is a stud, he leads the SEC in both tackles, and tackles for loss.
    7- Cunningham just did what he does, make great reads, avoid blocks, he lined up on the line, which was smart,
    and avoided Kublanow, avoided Blazevich, and let Chubb go by him, then got to a very fast McKenzie and brought him down short of the 1st down.
    8- McKenzie, by the numbers, had almost no rushes for loss this season (besides the SC game) so it was a high probability call.
    9- On the timeout, you could see McKenzie was jacked on the sideline and determined to get the 1st down. I bet 9 of 10 times in practice,
    that play worked because we ain’t got a guy like #41 Cunningham.

    I didn’t realize coming into the game, how good #41 was for Vandy, Cunningham is a complete stud and beast. He had 19 tackles in this game.
    And made a great play on that critical 4th and 1.

    • Olddawg 55

      Number 14 (Wright?) was a very competent bookend for 41, who was the epitome of a linebacker. Vandy develops good linebackers and under Mason will only get better!

  41. That All makes It sound like the Dawgs lost to a very good team?
    Not one that has lost to the teams they have lost to & not one
    that Is going to lose several more games. Go Figure?

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