Category Archives: Georgia Football

Greg McGarity is sorry.

“We just didn’t pay enough attention to the details, and that’s my job regardless of who signs it.”

Well, yeah, that is your job.  So are they gonna make you run stadium steps until you puke, or what?

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Filed under Georgia Football

He’s ‘da man.

Yes, the “ridiculously small sample size” rule is in effect here, but if you want to get some idea of how important Kirby Smart is to Georgia’s recruiting efforts, check out this survey.

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Filed under Georgia Football, Recruiting

One thing Kirby’s got going for him.

Nice schedule, fellas.

McGarity’s learned something from Jeremy Foley.

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Filed under Georgia Football

Everybody’s a comedian.

By now, I assume you’ve heard that the underage drinking and fake ID charges against Jonathan Ledbetter have been dismissed.  (Although Chip Towers is reporting that it’s unlikely that will lead to Ledbetter’s suspension for the opener being changed.)

Anyway, what’s a little striking about the decision is that the prosecutor felt the need to explain in detail why the charges were dropped by his office.  It sounds like something straight out of an episode of Law and Order:

Athens-Clarke Solicitor General C.R. Chisholm said while the evidence shows that the 18-year old Ledbetter was intoxicated “we would not be able to overcome a motion to suppress in the case. So we would not have been able to present that evidence if it had gone to a trial.”

… At issue was evidence against Ledbetter that appeared to have been obtained illegally.

According to the incident report, the officer wrote: “I could see the Georgia Driver’s License protruding from his wallet. I retrieved the license and observed the male’s date of birth to be (redcated) 1997.”

Chisholm said the license was grabbed before Ledbetter was under arrest and had not yet even engaged in conversation.

“Due to Ledbetter’s inebriated state and stature I asked him to step away from the entrance and I took possession of his wallet finding a fraudulent photo copy Georgia’s Driver’s License with Ledbetter’s information but with a date of birth of (redacted) 1992,” the incident report said.

Chisholm said a judge would not allow that evidence to be used in a trial.

Lenny Briscoe’s turning over in his grave.  Anyway, that leads to the comment of the day.

Chisholm watched video of the incident from the body camera of the Athens-Clarke County police officer and determined that the prosecution would have lost the case, based on two Georgia Supreme Court Cases, because of how the information determining Ledbetter’s age was obtained.

“It would have been a waste of court time to put that up,” Chisholm said. “I know how these cases look. Sometimes folks will think, ‘Oh, well, he’s a football player, he’s getting a break.’ The fact is this is one where it was a set of facts and we were not going to be able to survive a motion to suppress.”

Sometimes folks will think, ‘Oh, well, he’s a football player, he’s getting a break.’ ? In Athens, Georgia?  C’mon, mane.

Either that is eleven-on-a-scale-of-ten level sarcasm, or we’re being seriously trolled by a public servant.

 

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Filed under Crime and Punishment, Georgia Football

Opening act

Nick Saban, Kirby Smart and the story of a flashy, neutral-site opener:

“It started as a recruiting strategy by Nick,” said Georgia head coach Kirby Smart, who served on Saban’s defensive staff for the past nine seasons, “which paid unbelievable dividends, because we go into (Atlanta in 2008 to play) Clemson, and just smash them that one game (34-10), and it kind of started the program, and it set a trademark. … You go outside your footprint and have a great game. In recruiting, it helps and the national exposure you get you can’t replace.”

Smart starts his head-coaching career with the Bulldogs in a neutral-site opener against the ACC Coastal champion Tar Heels. He has adapted Saban’s offseason methods because he has seen them work.

“If you ask a strength coach, any strength coach in the country, they will hard-sell that opening game,” Smart said. “The trend is, you go in reverse, so the first week of summer workouts, they’re going to (show video of) the game they have last. At Alabama, we would start with Auburn. … You show clips of that game, whether you won or lost, you show motivating clips of that game, so they’re thinking about that opponent. A kid’s squatting, he’s looking at a picture of the guy he’s going to line up across.”

By the end of summer workouts, when the team is lifting the most, the players are watching clips of their first opponent. “It’s a hell of a lot better when that first game is Clemson, North Carolina or Wisconsin than it is when it’s App State or Western Michigan or somebody,” Smart said.

I’d say it’s something we’d better get used to, Dawg fans.  The question is, would you rather have that splashy opener in, say, Dallas, or another cupcake game in Athens?  The money’s about the same, so McGarity won’t object (though, tough luck, local businesses).

Recruiting sells, you know?

67 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football, Nick Saban Rules

The risk/reward ratio of Isaiah McKenzie

Question for you, Shane Beamer.

McKenzie is the main punt returner, barring injury (and he’s had a few) or something else. The 5-foot-8 (in high tops) speedster is a threat to score every time he touches the ball, and owns four career punt return touchdowns. He also has a kick return touchdown, as a freshman, so why did he only return four kickoffs last year? And why isn’t he back there for every single punt return? It’s worth pointing out that Davis brought back a punt for a touchdown last year too, and averaged a not-too-shabby 23.2 yards per kick return. But his longest kickoff return was only 39 yards last year. It’ll be interesting to see where Smart and Beamer go here: Get McKenzie, their most dynamic return option, back there as much as possible? Or do they end up with the same worries the previous staff had about McKenzie’s decision-making and ball control?

Okay, questions.  One of which I discount – if it’s a choice between Davis and McKenzie, decision-making and ball control is a wash.

Honestly, if coaching is all about getting your best players on the field, it’s hard to see how you can justify keeping a home run threat like McKenzie on the sidelines (assuming he’s healthy, of course).  And I say that knowing there are others, like Godwin and Michel, who have potential, but potential ain’t the same thing as five career touchdown returns in two seasons.

Hell, if you’re trying to hedge your bets a little, use a twin-returner formation on kickoffs.  But get Isaiah on the field.

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Filed under Georgia Football

The X factor’s X factor

I know I’ll probably get some pushback on this, but as much as I’d like to point to all sorts of things being the key to Georgia’s success in the SEC this season, I can’t help but think it really boils down to one item:  Nick Chubb’s health.

Here’s something ESPN’s Alex Scarborough wrote:

When identifying the biggest X factor in the SEC, you could simply say “Georgia” and be done with it. With a new coaching staff, a deep well of talent and a relatively easy road in the East, the Bulldogs have a chance to shake up the conference. But to be more specific, there are two X factors to consider: Jacob Eason and Nick Chubb. We’ll start with Chubb. Before Leonard Fournette came along and Chubb went down with a knee injury against Tennessee, Chubb was the best back in the league. If he can get anywhere close to 100 percent, he and fellow running back Sony Michel could form the most dynamic backfield in college football. If they do, Eason’s role could get interesting…

That’s putting it mildly.  You can talk about the lines, size on defense, depth, attitude and anything else you want, but a healthy Chubb makes his teammates on both sides of the ball better, makes his coaches smarter and makes that margin for error just a little larger.

Scarborough’s right in the specifics, too.  With Chubb as your number one back, Chaney’s got far more flexibility in how he deploys Sony Michel.  Remember what even Schottenheimer was able to do in that department before the Tennessee game.

And, yes, a fully loaded backfield takes tons of pressure off both Eason and the coaches, if they decide he’s earned the starting job.  (Eason’s most important immediate task may very well be mastering the art of selling the play action pass.)  It almost goes without saying that the more productive and dangerous Georgia’s offense is, the better Georgia’s defense will be.

All of which isn’t to say Georgia won’t win a few games without Chubb’s services.  But…

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Filed under Georgia Football