Archive for the 'Coaching' Category

Bobo being taken for granted?

Let’s throw it out there. Mike Bobo is a massive lightning rod when it comes to the UGA football program. Mention his name and you’ll either have fans talk about how great he or how he needs to lose his job (which I still fail to understand, for what it’s worth).

Georgia, however, is running a high risk of neglecting Bobo. There was recent news that Bobo received a contract extension, but a pay raise was not included.

Look, I get the fact that the defensive staff has to be offered more to lure them in, and I have no issue with that. If Pruitt and Company produce, they are worth every penny.

But when you have a coach such as Mike Bobo, whose offense is the only reason that this team was a national title contender two years ago and made itself a factor for Atlanta again this year, you have to, as they say, “Pay the man.”

And then there is the fact that Georgia’s upswing in South Georgia recruiting has a lot to do with Bobo.

Bobo is a loyal guy to both Georgia and Mark Richt. But when you underappreciate someone long enough, the end result is that person making an easy decision to leave.

Let’s hope it never comes to that.

Go Dawgs!

Lugnut Dawg

Gator Bowl Review: A Crummy Commercial

Be Sure to drink your Ovaltine.  Ovaltine?  A crummy commercial?  Son of a bitch!
-Ralphie

I have a few thoughts about the Gator Bowl yesterday, but before I jumped in the specifics, I wanted to touch on some big picture thoughts.

I hate when the Dawgs lose.  I hate it so bad.  I want, and most years expect, Georgia to win every game.  I have as unrealistically high expectations on where I want the football program to be as anyone.  I was devastated after the Auburn loss, and in the past, I have been devastated by losses in bowl games.

But not anymore.  I saw a lot of venom and angst yesterday on Twitter, but I simply don’t care that Georgia lost yesterday.  If Georgia had won, I would have felt good, but not have the same feeling of happiness I have when we beat South Carolina, LSU, came back against Tennessee and Tech, and beat Florida for the 3rd year in a row.

Don’t be confused; I am not one to hate on the Bowls.  I love watching these games.  I stayed up to 12:30 in the morning last night watching UCF beat Baylor.  I was glued to Texas A&M and Duke.  These are fun games.  But in the end, they are just glorified commercials for the sponsors, ways for local towns to fill up hotel rooms, and ESPN to have content and sell advertising space.  That is all.  The bowls have no merit other than that.  Except the National Championship.  And I’ll even say the bigger bowls have luster.  Living in the South and having the tradition, you want to say you won the Sugar Bowl.  The Rose Bowl is important to the Big 10 and Pac 10/12.

But these mediocre bowls are just exhibition games and fun games to watch.  How many times yesterday did they talk about the bad playing conditions on the field, yet they let Junior drive his car out on the field and hand over the coin?  It was done for pomp and circumstance, and to let Tax Slayer have their spokesmen get TV coverage.  I’m sure if this was game in Sanford Stadium, there would be no way in hell a car would be driven on the field, espeically in those conditions.

I saw stats yesterday that UGA is 1-3 in Bowls the last 4 years, or they’ve lost X number of games the last five years and this and that.  I hate these stats, because they are intellectually dishonest.  If we had won yesterday, UGA would be 2-2 in their last four bowls.  Just like with the beating ranked team argument, those stats are only thrown up after a loss. If we had won, no one would say “Hey, Mark Richt is 47-21 his last five years.”  But since they lost, it was “Mark Richt is 46-22 his last five years.”

Previously, a bowl win might help you in the polls for next season.  But now with the playoff selection committee, the polls are completely irrelevant.  And Auburn and Baylor showed that if you start the season unranked, you can still climb up in the hearts and minds of America if you just win the games.

I am not just saying this as a defense mechanism because the Dawgs lost or having sour grapes.  It was nice to get a win last year, but did it matter?  I mean, it was nice to close out on a win, but last year I was still hung over from the Alabama game.  Losing to UCF didn’t keep the Dawgs from signing the Dream Team or winning the SEC East in 2011.  Losing to Michigan State didn’t keep Georgia from signing the “Ring Team” or winning the East in 2012.  Beating Nebraska last year didn’t do anything to help us for 2012 against Clemson or keep anyone from getting injured this season.

I opened with a quote from one of my favorite movies.  I’ll throw in another 80s movie franchise example.  In the Rocky movies, what bout was more important-Rocky beating Apollo Creed for the title in Rocky II or beating Ivan Drago in Rocky IV?  Clearly, beating Creed was more important.  It was for the belt.  Did Rocky’s fight against Thunderlips in Rocky III matter?  No, it was a charity exhibition.

Like with Ralphie and his Little Orphan Annie Decoder that was thought to be something more than it was, these bowls are just a crummy commercial.  Any more or less emotional investment in them is just a waste of time.

The actions in the game certainly frustrated me.  Same old, same old.

-I want to get into special teams more in detail later, but how we can’t be competent in the punt return game is maddening.  As I was watching UCF last night, every time they received a punt there was no drama.  Remember when we had Damien Gary, Thomas Flowers, Mikey Henderson, and Brandon Boykin would could actually make plays?  We can’t even field the punts anymore.  Man, I long for the days of Logan Gray.

-I think the defense quietly played its best game of the year yesterday, with one glaring mistake.  Of course, the glaring mistake was a big one.  For all intents and purposes, a 100 yard touchdown pass is not something you see often, especially from Nebraska.  And what sucked so bad is as soon as he let it rip, you just knew it was going to the house.

-Gurley was hobbled, it was clear he wasn’t 100% still.  But he still had a very good game.  I think that if he was 100%, he would have scored on the 3rd and 10 draw play in the closing minutes.

-It seems like Lynch has had some big drops and other miscues this season, but Lynch is still a good player and will be sorely missed.  I wish him nothing but the best in his NFL or other future endeavors.

-Not having Matthews or JHC at safety was evident.  I hope JHC can get his act together, because I am not sure his leash is going to be incredibly long going forward.  He is reminding me an awful lot like Ealey and King.

-Mason did well statistically, but 182 out of his 320 yards (57%) came on little dump offs to Gurley and Douglas, and the one long pass to Bennett.  I get the weather didn’t help any, and the O-line protection was shaky, but it seemed he was a little off, hesitant, and held on the ball for way too long.  Like I said last week, hopefully he was able to learn something.

I don’t know if I have ever said this, but I am glad this season is over.  I love watching the Dawgs play. I pine for it all year.  I talk about it all year with friends.  Hell, I take the time to blog about it.  Football season is fun, even if the team is not doing well.  It is even more fun when they are.  But this year was an up and down roller coaster of emotions and I’m glad it is came to an end.  I’ll be jacked up for the 2014 campaign soon, but right now, I am just glad this year is over and behind us.

Corbindawg

Bobo’s Future Sign of UGA Success

It is being floated around that Bobo is going to talk with Georgia Southern after the Gator Bowl.  Bobo won’t go to Southern.  That would absolutely dumb for a few reasons:  One, Southern sucks.  Two, with the move up to FBS this year, GSU is going to get their brains beat in for a few years.  It is going to take time for the Eagles to have success in the Sunbelt.  He’d be setting himself up to fail.  Finally, GSU runs the triple option.  Not going to have players to run his scheme.

Look, I know folks out there give Bobo a hard time.  But let me just shoot it straight with you:  if you seriously think Bobo draws plays with a crayon, or think he is a terrible OC, or think that UGA should dump him, or think that just now in 2013 he FINALLY proved himself  to you , then you are an idiot.  An absolute freaking idiot.

In fact, Mike Bobo’s offense is the best thing about this football team, and it has been for quite sometime.   Not only his playcalling abilities, but also throw in his recruiting and his QB development.  The man knows what the hell he is doing, and has proved to be very good at it.  As Bernie pointed out in this quote-Bobo blistered several coordinators who make more than he does including scoring at least 35 points on: LSU’s John Chavis (44 points; $1.1 million), Georgia Tech’s Ted Roof (41 points; $600,000), South Carolina’s Lorenzo Ward (41 points; $650,000), Auburn’s Ellis Johnson (38 points; $800,000) and Clemson’s Brent Venables (35 points, $800,000)-Bobo’s success isn’t just against the also rans.  The job he did in 2013 is especially commendable with all the injuries, and 247Sports recognized that.

Greg McGarity is going to have to dig in to pay Bobo what he deserves.  I know Mike Bobo will leave UGA at some point.  He is young, ambitious and successful. But Georgia shouldn’t let him leave for just any job.  He won’t go to Southern.  Coaches’ salaries have gotten really big, even at smaller schools.  If Bobo leaves for a Sun Belt job or C-USA job for a million bucks, it will be awful.  I can live with him going to a big school for big money.  But there is no reason at all he should leave for a small school for “not much money” when Georgia not only can pony up and pay him, but should pony up and pay him.

Georgia has got to make Mike Bobo the highest paid coordinator not only on staff, but in the SEC.  He is a former player, the longest tenured coach on the staff, and has proven himself.  Name me one coordinator in the SEC who has been in their current position as long as Bobo and who has done as good a job over a 7+ season tenure.   I can think of three:  Kirby Smart, Ellis Johnson, and John Chavis (though the last two have not been at their current school for that long).

Alabama has kept Kirby Smart.  Texas kept Muschamp around for a while.  Clemson is stepping up to pay Chad Morris and Brent Venables.

If Georgia lets Bobo leave for financial reasons, then rage and anger on the message boards, in the stands on Saturdays, and on the Bill Shanks show should be directed at the UGA administation.  People always ask, “Do you think Alabama and Nick Saban would do X?”  I’ll have another question: Do you think the University of Alabama would not properly pay Kirby Smart?  Would they let Kirby Smart leave over money?  And to Richt’s credit, remember he went out of pocket to pay his guys becuase UGA wouldn’t.

People want to constantly point fingers at Richt as to why Georgia isn’t winning a National Championship.  Though a Richt guy, I can see room for criticism.   Critics say all issues start at the top, meaning Richt.  He has to be the one who is ultimately accountable.   Remember that Richt has people over him.  If UGA wants to be successful like Alabama, then it does start at the top.

And I don’t mean Richt.

Corbindawg

(I also think Richt is under paid, based on what the market is demanding.  Look at the other SEC head coaches.  Regardless of what you think of Richt, for him to be paid middle of the pack and the same as Hugh Freeze doesn’t make sense.  But that is another post for another day)

Could Richt Be On Texas’ Radar?

Since Mack Brown resigned at Texas, around the same time that Nick Saban helped make Jimmy Sexton’s bank account all the more richer, the buzz around who Brown’s replacement at Texas settled partially on the SEC.

Two logical candidates are James Franklin and Kirby Smart, but there’s a third SEC target that could have some intrigue, if Texas opts to go this route – Mark Richt.

When you think about it, Mark Richt and Texas could actually be a nice fit.

If Richt wanted a fresh start, Texas would be a nice place. You swap the likes of Bama and South Carolina for Baylor and Oklahoma State. When you play teams like that each year, it is easier to make it through conference play as a ‘pretty good’ team than having to be a ‘great’ team in the SEC.

Much like Georgia, Texas is a very fertile recruiting ground. Richt made an early intent at Georgia when he sought to ‘close the borders.’ Texas needs to do the  same after some very bad looking recruiting misses – RG3, Manziel, Winston…

When you think about, it may not be a bad fit after all, and there would be a segment of Georgia fans willing to back a grassroots campaign to get Texas to hire Richt.

All of this, of course, would hinge on Richt deciding to leave Athens. And as we all know, it’s hard to dislike Athens, let alone want to leave on your own accord.

Go Dawgs

Lugnut Dawg

The positive of all these injuries?

Let’s get right to it. The injuries that this team have suffered have been crippling to any hopes this team had of a MNC. Take them away and this team has a good shot to beat Clemson and does not lose to either Mizzou or Vandy.

But the injuries have happened, making the offense a shell of itself, a bad combo with Grantham’s sieve of a defensive unit.

But in the middle of all of that, there’s a silver lining, oddly enough.

As unfortunate as it is, it has taken the last few games for it be glaringly obvious that this team has issues that were shielded by tremendous plays by guys like Jarvis Jones. Now that talents like that are gone, it’s becoming more and more clear that this team has serious things to fix, especially defensively.

The good news of all that is that Richt essentially has a mulligan. Did the defense fall flat this year so far? Yes. But thanks to the injuries, there is something to pin those setbacks on.

Georgia, thanks to injuries basically has a throwaway year. It may not have met expectations so far, but now those shortcomings open the door wide open to reevaluate everything under the cover of injuries.

Without injuries, this season would be a dumpster fire. But due to them, it’s chalked up, so far, as one where unreal adversity threw this team off course.

Lugnut Dawg

The most important game of Richt’s career?

Mark Richt’s career at Georgia has been nothing short of successful. And with that success, which has included multiple SEC title and SEC title game appearances, have come critical games – the 2001 Tennessee game, 2002 Auburn, 2007 Auburn and last year’s Florida game come to mind. 

But today, I would argue may be the most important game of Richt’s time at Georgia. The win over Auburn in 2002 got Georgia over the hump and to Atlanta, and the win over Arkansas capped off the formality of an SEC title. The two-game Florida to Auburn stretch put Georgia into the national title conversation in 2007, and the last two Florida games got Georgia to Atlanta.

But those two Florida games got Georgia back up to the upper crust of the conference. Today may very well determine the future course of this program. Was last year’s title run a flash in pan or not? The bottom line is that if Georgia loses today, any hopes of a SEC East title are very very much done more than likely. 

If Georgia wins, it is still an elite SEC contender. If not, this program will be defined as a team whose success was helped largely by a weak conference schedule the last two seasons. If it wins today, on the other hand, this program will be firmly supplanted at the top of the SEC.

Top of the line program or mid-pack. That identity will be carved out later today.

Go Dawgs and Eat More Chicken!

Lugnut Dawg

Last Look Back

Saturday night was tough. Fun, but tough. Clemson is a very good team that has a legitimate chance to play for a MNC. It kind of feels like one of those times (they happen often it seems) where UGA is going to say at the end of the year that the only team that kept them out of the MNC game is the team that won it all. Not saying Clemson is going to win it all, but they’ve got a great opportunity to play for it.

That said, I have a few closing remarks before we look ahead to SC.
1- Per usual, most of the hate I’m hearing is geared towards Aaron Murray, Mike Bobo, CMR and the offense. People, I understand that it is difficult to watch a draw from the shotgun and other questionable play calling, but UGA still scored 35 points vs. an ACC team. Don’t you think an SEC team should beat an ACC team when the SEC team scores 35 points? Don’t you think an SEC team should be most anybody in the country when they score 35 points? Very few people are talking about CTG’s front 7 that were dominated all night long. Our secondary (everyone’s main concern) actually played pretty decent against one of the best QB/WR combos in the country. We got gashed up front. It was bad. That is the main reason we lost. Not because Mike Bobo can’t call plays, and not because Aaron Murray can’t win big games. We got beat because our defense, an SEC defense playing an ACC team, gave up huge chunks of yardage all night long, and ultimately, 38 points. You give up 38 points and you deserve to lose. Sorry, I know it’s easy to hate on Aaron Murray and Mike Bobo, but if you do I think you’re wrong. Why do we let CTG and his defense off the hook so easily? Something I’ll never understand.
2- It’s not over. We have a lot of football left. We need to win on Saturday. Then we need to get ready for North Texas and LSU and win both of those games. Leave September 3-1 and we’re in good shape. Leave Jacksonville with only 1 loss and you’re looking at a possible SEC Championship game. Win that and let the pieces fall where they may. UGA is a good team this year. We have a long way to go. The sky isn’t falling just yet.

I know in today’s world of instant access and constant communication that we all have more avenues to vent today than ever before. Every time the Dawgs lose a game it seems as if life’s going to end. Trust me, it’s not. It’s still great to be a Georgia Bulldog. Always has been, always will be. Shake it off and gear up for a HUGE matchup this weekend. And as always, Go Dawgs!
ucheedawg

Slower pace? It could be a good thing against Clemson

The rock petters love to talk all about their offense running somewhere around 90 or so offensive plays a game. Of course, they didn’t rack up chunks of yardage or points against LSU or South Carolina, but don’t stop the gang from Clemson from pushing their narrative forward.

Clemson, without question has some very talented playmakers. But Georgia’s best chance to beat the Tigers may come by doing something that goes against the conventional wisdom seen from Mike Bobo’s offense last year.

As exciting as quick three-play offensive scoring drivers are, they’re one of the last things Georgia needs to do against Clemson. In years past, that was easier said that done for Georgia. It simply didn’t have durability of reliability in the offensive backfield.

The tandem formerly known as “Gurshall” has changed that. For the first time in a while, Bobo has a pair of running backs, and maybe more, to turn to and there’s minimal, if any dropoff when one comes out of the game for a breather. 

Georgia has weapons in its arsenal to grind things out, eat clock and control the game and keep the Tigers offensive weapons on the sidelines.

Last fall, this team showed off its inner toughness on a humid night in Missouri. Chances are that it’ll have to dig deep again on Saturday night of Labor Day Weekend, and it’ll likely come in the trenches.

Go Dawgs!

Lugnut Dawg

Grantham’s most critical season?

Without question, a lot of the credit for getting the Georgia football program out of the muddy, defensive sludge it was in belongs to Todd Grantham. 

But this year, we’ll find out how good of a defensive Grantham really is. Last year, the question was about how well Mike Bobo could get young offensive talent to gel. This year, the same impetus is on Grantham.

In 2010, Grantham’s first year in Athens, there was the expected transitional pains.

In 2011, his defensive charges learned the 3-4 system and those results showed on the field in a big day. It was probably the best defensive campaign overall.

In 2012, the defense was good at times, but had lapses as well. The potential was always there to be dominant, but in some instances it was puzzling how a defense could have problems slowing down teams like Florida Atlantic could also shut down the Floridas of the college football world. 

Now, there is this year. There’s no star power. This bunch is young, but has potential. Getting that potential translated to the field of play? That’s where Grantham comes in.

It’s one thing to inherit talent and build it up. Now, Grantham is working with a group that is fully his – he targeted these players, recruited them and now they are in Athens. 

In the next four months, we’ll find out not only how good of evaluator of talent Grantham is, but how well he can coach his players up. 

Go Dawgs!

Lugnut Dawg

Richt breaking down pass concepts

Smart football had a great post two weeks ago where Coach Richt breaks down one of Georgia’s simple but efficiently used passing concepts, the shallow cross, at a coaching clinic.  Since July is long, slow and dead I think this is a great time of the year to review basic formations and study up a little before the season starts and you can’t find a better place to do that than Smart Football.  First, take a look at CMR’s breakdown of the play and then scan through the second video of game and scrimmage footage of the shallow cross in action.  I’ve always thought of this play as a dink and dunk pass play that just keeps the chains moving and keeps the defense honest.  Kinda like the passing version of three yards and a cloud of dust.  But to hear CMR break it down really bring out the small details the QB goes through.  Seriously, if you have time to kill by reading The Grit Tree, do yourself a favor and check out the video below.

 

h/t smartfootball.com

granite



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