The first year is always the hardest.

David Greene tells an interesting story about his first season with Mark Richt.

Like Eason, Greene’s first year as the starter coincided with a new coach. There was a culture adjustment for the whole team, including Greene.

“They coached us and I think we practiced probably harder that first year than we ever did,” Greene said. “Probably a little bit harder than we should’ve. I think everybody was gassed by the end of the year, that first year. Our legs were toast. That first year was a complete grind.

“At least going into the second year you kind of knew what to expect, and our bodies were able to get prepared for it a little bit more. But Year 1 was a challenge. It wasn’t so bad in September and October, but it got to November and I was hitting the wall a little bit. Because I hadn’t done it before, and my body hadn’t been through it as well.”

Georgia started that season 5-1, highlighted by that memorable win in Knoxville.  The Dawgs went 3-3 down the stretch, capped by a disappointing bowl loss to Boston College.

Does some of that effect explain last season?  It’s not hard to see that it could, especially when you consider that Smart, like Richt, had never run a program before.  Not to mention that Smart also had to deal with the fallout from a 2013 class that provided little depth by the time 2016 rolled around.

He’s got better numbers and more familiarity this season.  Let’s hope that pays off much like it did for Greene and Richt in their second season together.


Filed under Georgia Football

11 responses to “The first year is always the hardest.

  1. Hogbody Spradlin

    Yeah, but Tim Wansley’s pick six off George Godsey is still sweet.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Did Jeff Dantzler call 2001 a throwaway season?


  3. old dawg

    I remember Richt’s first spring practice…it was delayed a week or two for suspicious reasons…the truth was the team was nearly dead from conditioning…Van Halanger up to mischief? I knew a lot in those days as a customer of mine was wired into the coaching staff…


  4. Greg

    1) Greene

    2) Murray

    3) Zeier

    4) ?

    5) ?


    • Biggus Rickus

      Murray was better than Greene. Zeier might have been. Beyond that, Stafford, then maybe Bobo? And how does a guy like Tarkenton fit in? Belue? Sinkwich? Rauch? Bratkowski?


      • Greg

        Argument could be made for those 3 (order)…thinks we both got the three right though. Goff, Cavan, and Robinson also need a mention (other).


  5. DawgFlan

    Makes sense to me, and we all HOPE it’s true. It would explain the apparent lack of progress as a team, and potentially some of the red zone woes.


  6. 69Dawg

    It would be very easy for a coach coming from a program known for it great conditioning and depth to wear out a team that was not used to the conditioning and did not have the depth to rest any starters. I think if nothing else the team will be conditioned better this year but given the reports out of Saturday they might not be ready for Prime Time.


  7. Captain Obvious

    Its 10% physical, 90% mental. “Guts” and “pride” are not a substitute
    for fitness. A leader relying on “guts” and “pride” will fail. Units, and their leaders, that do not have the mental and physical strength to overcome fear will not be able to fight effectively and overcome friction.


  8. W Cobb Dawg

    The 2001 team had plenty of talent leftover from Donnan, and arguably CMRs first class was his best recruiting class. Losses are on the coaching, not the players legs.

    Greene’s legs tired? Bring in Shockley. I fail to see that situation as a problem.


  9. Pingback: “I’ve talked to people. It’s the only way to grow.” | Get The Picture