Archive for July, 2010

Braves Shake Things up at Deadline

Goodbye Jesse Chavez and Gregor Blanco; welcome Rick Ankiel and Kyle Farnsworth.

This seems like it will be a nice deal for the Braves. We’re strengthening our already deep bullpen with the hard-throwing Farnsworth (a former Brave, btw) and adding much-needed OF support. Ankiel has not played much this year, but appears to be geared up and ready to go, having played fairly well the past 8 games after a long layoff recovering from injury.

I liked Jesse Chavez alot, but I think Farnsworth will be an even greater asset. You’ve got to think Ankiel will get a shot at CF immediately. Our OF should see a pretty quick boost in offensive production with his arrival.

For what it’s worth, Farnsworth will wear #43 and Ankiel will don the #28 jersey.

Glad Wren didn’t sit on the sidelines. Looks like we’re at least giving it an effort to gear up for October!

ucheedawg

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How About That Leadership?

I have spent a week in South Georgia the last two days, being outside the majority of the day outside one of those days.  100 degree temperatures and gnats.  Needless to say, I was in a foul mood Wednesday and Thursday evenings. 

So, when I check into my hotel and flopped down on the bed around 11:00 pm Wednesday night and turned on Sportscenter, I saw something that turned my already foul mood into something worse.  One of the lead stories is about King Gator, Tim Tebow, and how he was missing some extra practice time before training camp starts next week waiting for a contract.

It proves my theory I have had for the last 4 years.  Tim Tebow is a media hyped up punk. 

I am not saying he isn’t a good, Christian guy.  He is.  But he also isn’t the golden boy that everyone would make you think he is either.  He has shown why he is a hypocrite.  

Let’s look at a paragraph from the GREATEST SPEECH EVER DELIVERED:

You will never see another player in the entire country play as hard as I will play the rest of the season. You will never see someone push the rest of the team as hard as I will push everybody the rest of the season.

Well, this speech lives on in Gator- the SEC, for that matter-lore. 

But is it just empty words? 

I know it isn’t training camp he missed, just some extra time.  But this time was designed “to give rookies, selected veterans and players coming off injuries a head-start on the playbook and practice plans — and also to get the jitters out before camp starts this weekend.”

For 3 solid years, when Tebow was the star of College Football, we constantly heard about how much he was there for his teammates and his coaches.  How much he loved being a Florida Gator.  How he loved Coach Meyer. 

It is easy to say all that, but when the chips are down, we see how someone truly acts. 

This is what Coach McDaniels had to say about the workouts:

“It’s just an opportunity to feel better about playing faster,” McDaniels said. “And I think whether you’re a rookie quarterback or an injured player, it makes sense to come in and try to start crawling before you walk and walking before you run — because certainly none of them are going to hit the ground running because they’re behind…every day is a great opportunity.”

If Tebow is going to be the leader of the Denver Broncos, he should have had everything worked out and been at any function Day 1.  Not exactly getting off on the right foot.  If he cared about his other teammates, Coach Josh McDaniels and the fans in Denver, then he should not miss these practice times. 

Tebow’s agent, Jimmy Sexton, works for HIM.  Tebow could have made a deal worked out without waiting this long.

Corbindawg 

Before we hated him…

This year, even though Notre Dame has Brian Kelly, I think its going to take a few years for the Irish to be a player in the National Title discussion.  Irish fans up there are salivating for BCS bowl, even though the last time they got that far, their defense made Jamarcus Russell look like a #1 pick (And the Raiders were stupid enough to take him…but that’s another post).

The recent post from the folks over at Every Day Should Be Saturday features a baby faced Urban Meyer and the beginning stages of the “Tebow Dive/Where’s the ball?/Oh crap” offense. Could you imagine if Meyer had stayed there? And if Tebow would have gone there?

Here’s the video:

I’m more a fan of stifling defense and a run first offense. I really think Nebraska should bring back the option ASAP– with their defense they would be unstoppable, but it is a thing of beauty seeing this Urban’s offense in its beginning stages.

barndawg

Lewis Grizzard Wednesday:: Miami

Lebron James isn’t the only one who was fond of Miami.  Here is Lewis’ take on Miami…

Why I Like Miami

MIAMI – One of the primary reasons I enjoy visiting Miami is there are a lot of Spanish-speaking people here and visiting gives me the opportunity to practice my mastery of Spanish, which I studied in high school and college. 

I am also quite adept at finding my way around in a frog’s innards because of my keen interest in biology, and I was also a whiz in geography. Ask me any state, and I will give you the capital. 

“Missouri.” 

“Jefferson City.” 

I am also quite at home with the subjects of history, polticial science, economics and English grammar. That goes without saying, I suppose, due to the fact I are (sic) a Georgia graduate. 

Anyway, the first thing I did when I landed in Miami was hail a cab. Nine out of every 10 cabdrivers in Miami speak Spanish. If the Cisco Kid had lived, that’s probably what he would be doing now. Driving a cab in Miami. 

“Buenos dias,” I said to the cabdriver. 

“Habla espanol?” he asked. 

“Si,” I said proudly. Cabdriver takes off 

The cabdriver began speaking Spanish at a rather rapid rate. The airport noise gave me momentary trouble interpreting. I figured he had asked me, “Where to?” so I told him the name of my hotel. 

“El Holiday Inndo,” I said. 

Off we went. He said a lot of other words in Spanish I didn’t quite get due to the fact I was sitting in the back seat so I said some of the things I had learned in Spanish back in school. 

“El burro es un animal de Mexico,” I began. 

That means, “There certainly are a lot of donkeys in Mexico, aren’t there?” Spanish people always like to talk about donkeys. 

The driver spoke some more Spanish. Probably because of the strain of the long flight, I again couldn’t quite understand him, so I said, “Beisbol es un juego de Mexico y los Estados Unidos, tambien,” which means, “They play baseball in Mexico and the United States, too.” `Ay-yi-yi-yi-yi!’ 

My driver, who looked a little like Fernando Valenzuela, seemed to be getting into the spirit of the conversation. He threw up his hands and made a happy sound that went “Ay-yi-yi-yi-yi!” which I seem to remember is Spanish for “I am picking the Dodgers to go all the way.” 

I countered with another Spanish phrase. “Pasame el bon, por favor,” I said. That means, “Please pass the bread.” 

The driver stopped at a McDonald’s and ordered me a fish sandwich. 

As we drove on toward the hotel, I noticed a pretty lady walking on the sidewalk. 

“La mujer,” I said, “es muy bonita.” That’s Spanish for “My, isn’t that a lov ely lady.” 

The driver pulled over to the lady and said something to her in Spanish. There was a lot of traffic noise, and I missed what he said. 

“Cien,” the woman said to me. That’s Spanish for “100.” 

I wonder why she said that. 

Anyway we reached “El Holiday Inndo.” The bellman took my bags to the front d esk. I tipped him a quarter and said, “Gracias, mi amigo.” 

He threw up his hands and made the same happy sounds the cabdriver had made, “Ay-yi-yi-yi-yi.” 

I never knew there were so many Dodger fans in Miami.

www.lewisgrizzard.com

The 1980 Team and “Bulldog Bite”

Excellent video from Bernie’s Dawg Blawg from the 1980 title season.  Has the Dawg players singing the great song “Bulldog Bite”.  Check out those sexy short shorts will ya!  Also Loran Smith styling and profiling in his coat and thin mustache.  This is great stuff!  Kudos to Bernie Dawg!

Kensingtondawg

Dent out 4-6 weeks

Well bad news has hit UGA just a week before the start of fall camp.  Starting “Mike” ILB Akeem Dent has suffered a broken toe that will cause the LB to be out 4-6 weeks causing him to miss most if not all of fall camp. 

According to the AJC”s Tim Tucher, outpatient surgery was performed early this morning at St. Mary’s Hospital by orthopedic surgeon Dr. Joe Johnson. 

According to LB coach, Warren Belin look for Christian Robinson to slide over to ILB.  This is big hit to an already thin LB corps that will learning Coach Todd Grantham’s new 3-4 scheme.

Kensingtondawg

5 Players UGA Can’t Go Without

Fortunately, A.J. Green is a country boy that would rather spend Memorial Day weekend with his family than a bunch of pimpin agents on South Beach.

I, along with the rest of the Bulldog Nation, said a collective “Oh crap” when I heard that the NCAA was wanting to investigate.  Now it seems that it is much ado about nothing, but for half an hour I was legitimately piss my pants scared.

So, for now, our star player seems poised to light up defending secondaries until he gets hurt halfway through the season (a zinger).

I got to thinking last night:  if any player went down, or was suspended,  what kind of detrimental effect would it have?

I am going to rank the Top 5 players that may not be the best on the team, or may not be the most used, but are the ones that if the Dawgs lose for any extended period of time we can start to look up to see falling sky.

5.   Blair Walsh, K: Walsh is kicker who was given a scholarship.  His YouTube Videos of him crushing field goals from 60 yards made you excited.  He struggled some in 2008, but in 2009 he had a stellar year hitting 20/22 FG and 42/42 for PAT.  Though we have others  who may could kick the ball from 3 yards away through the uprights, one cannot underestimate the value of a kicker.  Kicker’s aren’t noticed until they screw up.  In 2008, Walsh missed twice against Florida.  How different would the team feel going into the locker room down 14-9 instead of 14-3?   In 2006, we lost the Vanderbilt game and most certainly the Kentucky game because Andy Bailey missed field goals that were automatic for Brandon Coutu.  If Brandon Coutu was healthy, the 2006 squad is 11-2 instead of 9-4. Hopefully we won’t have to try and outscore opponents like we had to do in the last two years of the Willie Martinez reign of terror.  In the close, physical battles of the SEC, a good kicker can make or break you.

4.  Drew Butler, P: I’ll admit, I was one who thought “Why are we wasting a scholarship on a punter?  It is just because of his daddy.” The reigning Ray Guy Award winner, Butler is by far the best punter in the country, and unfortunately, had several opportunities to showcase  his tremendous skill in 2009.  Butler will help out the defense by placing the other team deep in their own territory.  Under Mark Richt, special teams have usually been solid, and there always seems to be a solid punter as well as kicker.  Jonathan Kilgo, Gordon Ely-Kelso, Brian Mimbs and Butler have all been solid, but of all these, Butler has that extra something special.  There is a difference between a good punter and an elite one.  You can replace Ely-Kelso or Mimbs, but there is not another Drew Butler.  The early games against South Carolina and Arkansas where our new defense will be put to the test, Butler will be a key to victory in those contests.

3. A.J. Green, WR: He is the best wide receiver in the country.   But as UGA proved last year versus Georgia Tech, Auburn and Kentucky, the offense is capable of moving the ball without him.  Last year we lost 4 times with him playing, and lost once without him.  His presence on the field makes T.  King, Kris Durham and Wooten better. The addition of Orson Charles, White and Figgins gives the receiving corps some depth.  It wouldn’t be pleasant if the Dawgs didn’t have A.J. Green, but I don’t think it would be a complete train wreck either.   

2Brandon Boykin, CB: Boykin improved tremendously last year as a cover corner.  The cornerback position-the whole secondary as a matter of fact-is one that chopped full of talent but not a lot of experience.  Branden Smith played some last year, and Vance Cuff is an upperclassmen, but neither have seen the field very much.  Boykin got burned some last year, but all corners get burned some early in their career.  Look for Boykin to have a big season, because the depth at corner back doesn’t have much PT after him.  We must not discredit his role on special teams.   3 KO return TDs  last year was impressive, and it was the difference in some ballgames.  Getting good field position from the return game will help ease the young quarterback.

1.  Justin Houston, OLB: The increased play of our defense is going to the #1 key of Georgia’s success in 2010.  The offense, with a proven ground game, steady offensive line and a total of 10 returning starters is going to flourish.  However, the misplacement of certain players on defense combining with learning a new scheme will be a challenge.   Justin Houston could be playing his final season in Athens next year.  He seems perfectly suited to play a pass rushing outside linebacker.  I am not as well versed in the intricacies a 3-4 scheme as I should be, but I do know Justin Houston is  one helluva football player.  Putting pressure on the Quarterback is fuel behind the Todd Grantham scheme’s fire, and making the QB scared to death is going to be Justin Houston’s number one job.  There are few in the conference that are better at that than him.  In order to make our new, aggressive defense work, there must be an effective pass rush.  Therefore, there must be an effective Justin Houston.

Corbindawg

_______________________________

Rebuttal from Granite:
I can’t argue with the players Corbin listed but one of the most important and overlooked units on the team may be the Offensive Line.  Sadly no one notices or thinks of the line until they get hurt or miss a block.  And in my opinion the most important lineman is the man in the middle, Ben Jones.  Phil Steele list him as the 2nd team All SEC center and the health of our o-line will determine how good of a season we can have.

Two examples of this are the 2007 & 2008 seasons and our last two games last season.  In 2008, even with Stafford & Moreno, there were a few too many close games and loses than anyone was happy with.  While we can point blame on different coaches and players all day, not having a healthy line and playing musical chairs with your starters never helps.  They couldn’t gel and feel comfortable in their position week to week.

This year’s line lived through those two rough years and for the first time in their career, everyone is healthy.  If the line stays consistent it can can be one of the best in the country and will allow Murray time to shake those freshman jitters.  They proved at Tech last year that when they play as a strong unit a quarterback doesn’t have to win the games for you.  Granted that was only against an ACC team and not against a real defense.

But back to my point, while we can’t afford for any of them to get hurt, Ben Jones is the linchpin of the group.


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