One of the things I've wondered many times since 2006 or so...does Richt still seek outside counsel for issues such as self scouting? My guess is no. It's like he's gone through years of just sheer avoidance when it comes to glaring issues. A quality outside expert should be able to talk to you about...
- Directional kicking and the rudimentary math surrounding this idiocy
- Evolutions in Strength and Conditioning
- Scouting 2nd and 10 play calling tendencies
- And of course...tendencies in the punt return game
All of this goes back to my fundamental issue with the program the past several years which I've mentioned many times:
2. Lack of a Meritocracy -- if a senior or junior is allowed to play no matter how often he is "buddy checked" into the weight room or half asses it in practice, what incentive does an underclassman have to work harder? They'll get the starting job eventually via attrition or graduation. The depth chart becomes the sporting equivalent of royal succession. The same lack of meritocracy allowed Jancek and Martinez to hang around as long as they did. By fixing issue #1 with a pretty obvious hot seat, it's amazing how much work is being put into resolving this one. (Note: This is the real value of Coach T. He busts everyone's balls)
3. Personnel Utilization -- We'll see if this has been resolved, but the most recent example of this in action is the utilization of Branden Smith. Barring injury...any game plan that involves more carries for Carlton Thomas than Branden Smith should be thrown out before it sees the light of day. Hit youtube and watch Smith's run vs. South Carolina as a freshman. You think Urban Meyer, Nick Saban or Les Miles would've had a weapon like that remain so grossly under utilized?
I'm reluctant to be "that guy" with "that blog" who constantly pounds on the negative. And it's not all negative by any means. Plus, I do feel a greater sense of urgency around the program now, but it never should have come to this.
We shouldn't be in a position with such a narrow margin for error entering this season. We have to stay healthy and catch a few breaks early to keep the wheels on the track. While the schedule is easier this year...Boise, South Carolina, Miss State, and Tennessee are all a helluva lot hungrier right now than Georgia was last year.
How hungry is the team now? The sound bytes are nice, but we'll find out in about 75 days. In the meantime, healthy doses of self scouting and self awareness would prevent us from being on such a precipice again.
*We won the SEC in 2002 so I file that conversation in the "what worked" category.