Monday, April 18, 2011

GDay: A retrospective

I had decided that I wasn't going to write about GDay.  There are several other better places to learn about what happened, how the teams performed, who looked great, who didn't.  That sort of thing. 

However, I do feel compelled to write about a couple of things that I can't get out of my mind.  All of this is prefaced by saying that these are mere observations of a dude sitting on his couch 700 miles away watching on a computer.  Also, it is prefaced by saying GDay is to an actual game what watching food thaw is to a hungry person: it might be something worth having later, but we are a long way from eating.

First, We have issues at receiver.  I tweeted during the game that it seems all of the receivers have short-arm disease.  We have a ton of work left to get competent at the slot and flanker spots.  There is no way to sugar coat that issue.  The good news is we have at least two TEs that can stretch the field pretty well, plus at least two FBs that look like they can catch passes out of the backfield.  We'll see if that means anything more than a steady diet of quick draws, but it makes me not so nervous about the passing game.

Kwame Gathers, OMG!1!.  Yeah, he looks like a different player.  Hopefully, he will be.  I am also very high on both Ogletrees and Jones at LB.  We'll still have issues with any team with more than one very quick WR, but I don't think the line of scrimmage will be as much in doubt this season for the defense.

Branden Smith looks very, very sharp.  He looks stronger and quicker.  It'll be fun watching him on both sides of the ball this fall.   I am not sure who Alex Parsons or Connor Norman are, but I wouldn't bet against seeing them on special teams a bit.

Timeouts?  Seriously?  Why are we still, even in a scrimmage, having issues with personnel and play calling inside the opponent's 20 and inside of one minute to play?  I have an idea: go to the end zone.  Three times.  More, if they will let you. 

I have a deal:  If during the 2011 season, we only call timeouts to stop the clock setting up a field goal attempt because we didn't get a touchdown, you know, actually trying to get a touchdown, I will donate $1000 to UGA to start a Michael J. Bobo Fellowship in Play Calling.  I swear I will. 

'Will the changes in S&C yield results' is a recurring theme, and one I can't shake out of my thoughts.  One blogger caught flak for mentioning he though Joe T isn't respected by the players.  I am not sure I care if the players respect Joe T.  Putting aside if they do or don't, it is important that they are held accountable for their training regimen.  Even if that training regimen is nothing more than deep knee bends and pilates, being accountable is far more important than issues with technique or what types of workouts are being done.  Players loved, no revered, Coach VanH.  There were reasons they did so.  It is apparent that part of those reasons had to do with his lack of enforcement of nutrition rules and not holding players accountable for workouts.  By all accounts, Joe T is holding feet to fire.  If he sounds like Izzy Mandelbaum doing it, so be it.  

Hell, the players respected two 24 year olds coaching them in a bowl game.  Which is more respectable, a kid that is a year older than you, but with less time in the arena or a guy that has five SEC championship rings, including one he won as a starter for the Dawgs and two kids that played D-1 ball?

I don't know if Joe T is the answer.  Regretfully, only time will really tell.  I will say that how Joe T sounds or if the players respect him isn't really a concern.  Them showing up for workouts and actually doing them is.

Finally, the good news is that we only lost one starter in the spring (what a devastating blow to such a Damn Good Dawg).  The bad news is that we have many questions that might not get answered until freshmen show up and get assimilated into the offense and defense.  Some of them might not get answered for at least 138 days.

Let the countdown begin.

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