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February 23, 2009

More on the Leadership Issue

The Georgia Defense (Image: Hipple)

It's been talked about quite a bit lately, and it'll be talked about endlessly until Game 1. Leadership -- the development of it - is THE point of emphasis right now. David Hale has two articles up on the topic. The first appeared in Sunday's Macon Telegraph. The second appears on his blog.

My concerns for next year are (in order):
  • Defensive End - The entire defensive system is built around getting a consistent pass rush from the front four. We only have four healthy DEs active for spring practice.

  • Leadership - Starting with Richt. Someone has to decide that playing an epic fail half of football once a month isn't acceptable. That half assed tackling isn't acceptable, and that shenanigans aren't acceptable. And then the team leaders have to make it so. The off season workouts sound promising.

  • Running Backs - The bulk of the mid-range and down-field passing game at Georgia is built around play action. The short stuff is mostly slants and screens, but everything else is built around play action. We can't run the offense that Richt and Bobo want to run without a serious running game. The offensive line should be lights out. But do we have the running backs?

  • Defensive Back Experience - You're going to laugh because of the way that our CBs not named Asher performed last year. But this worries me much less than you'd think. The other three are much bigger concerns.


Anonymous said...

A very good O line will make an average running back good very quickly. UGA might not have someone with the explosiveness of Knowshon, but I am okay with a steady back gaining yards.

Whoever the starting QB is is going to have to connect on passes early. I suspect everyone will be stacking the line and daring our inexperienced QB to beat them.

Anonymous said...

i agree with everything you say here, pwd. the book-end concerns of de and db could be completely devestating if good things don't happen there.

we could help ourselves a bit there by not giving up 35 or 40 yards of field position after every kickoff, so i'd add kickoff coverage to your list--just like every other year. . . .

Anonymous said...

Richt must also realize that maintaining the status quo while other schools are getting better isn't acceptable.

Losing to Georgia Tech isn't acceptable either.

Anonymous said...

If your defensive system is buily around DE pressure, and you realize you have no outstanding DEs to speak of, is it too much to ask that you have a back up plan or adjust your D accordingly?

Or are we going to continue running into brick walls, throwing up our hands and saying, in effect, "Oh well.."

Anonymous said...

We have historically had DE's show up having never been previously heard of. Each year one or two seems to burst onto the scene. Last year that didn't happen due to the laundry list of injuries. Not an excuse, just a statement of fact. No team can lose 22 guys, most of them starters, and expect to compete. I say we did well considering. I also believe that Joe Cox is going to be a huge positive for the team in attitude and in play. He was a stud in HS and will be again. Too bad MoMass is gone, but Green will be there along with a host of other receivers to pull in the ball. I think we are all going to be pleasantly surprised.

Anonymous said...

I think we are right where we want to be right now. A little under the radar, but working hard. I think our team is going to click this year better than any other team in the Richt era. Go Dawgs.

Anonymous said...

Attitude reflects leadership. It all starts and ends with the coaches. They pick the players, they coach the players, they make the game plan and they motivate the players. Lets hope for a better year.

Anonymous said...

I agree with baltimore dawg. I'm hoping everything that went wrong with special teams is all fixable because that was a disaster. As far as the running game is concerned, I wonder if one of the reasons why we weren't so impressed by King or Samuel is because they had very limited opportunity to impress us. Because we relied on Knowshon so much, I think the other backs were never really given the chance to get into a rhythm before they were taken out again. You could see with Knowshon, sometimes he had great runs, other times he was stopped at the line of scrimmage. I think the same will happen with King and Samuel. I don't think they'll be as explosive, but I really think they'll come into their own.

dawgnotdog said...

We need to calm down on the injury issue. Yes, we had injuries...but a good percentage were either redshirting or walk-ons...and no way is it most of the 22 being starters.

Anonymous said...

dawgnotdog: Even if none of the 22 injured players were starters, they don't make up the scout teams with cheerleaders.

dawgnotdog said...

True, but I bet, if truth be told...

And all of our rivals including those that won National Championships, and those that beat us running the perfect option included their scout teamers and walkons that their number would be MUCH closer to 22 or 24 or whatever.

Hey, injuries hurt, but the Gators lost the best TE in the conference before opening day, lost a starting tackle 3 games in....lost a couple of safeties,

and still have crystal balls.

Hobnail_Boot said...

I'd still put special teams as a whole at the very top of the list.

1) Have Walsh solely on FG and PAT.
2) Find someone else who can boot the crap out of it on KO's.
3) Use ONE punt returner, and preferably not the backup QB.

JT said...

Richt pretty much admitted that because of the injuries they had to practice a bit more tentatively. I'm a firm believer that if you practice scared, you play scared.

After the Tech loss, Richt got back to the fundamentals of tacking and getting dirty and not worrying about injuries. Lo and behold, we played much better and with more aggression.

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