Sunday, October 30, 2016

Gary Danielson, and the dreaded "REBUILDING" year

Many fans dismiss Danielson's analyses because he also tends to fall in love with teams and players, typically not Georgia. He still secretly wishes Tim Tebow had 10 more years of  eligibility.

That aspect notwithstanding, if you listened carefully to what he was saying about Georgia, particularly offensively, you see that he knows what's going on.

After dissecting several plays, and I'm not saying this is all a big secret, he nailed our issues on offense.

In a nutshell, there was no protection, no run-blocking, no separation by receivers, etc. But, more to the point, all those things pointed to Florida being able to sit on anything short or intermediate, because the lack of worry of getting beat deep, coupled with the fact that they knew there would only be a clean pocket for maybe 2 seconds, turned a tough situation into an impossible one.

Georgia's o-line, time and again, had one or more o-linemen getting tossed aside or otherwise man-handled by a bigger, more athletic defensive front.

Even when Georgia was able to run a play that should have been successful x's and o's-wise, it resulted in either a dropped pass or an errant throw.

We as fans had hoped that Georgia was a team that never had to rebuild; just reload. We were wrong.

To recap:

Freshman QB, sub-par O-Line, mediocre receivers, Chubb at 75%-ish, rookie head coach, young defense, no pass rush by front 4, pitiful punting game/special teams, overall lack of senior leadership...probably leaving a few off.

The jury is still out on Cheney for me, but I did see him trying a number of different things to get the offense going. The real issue was that nothing was working. To me, this boils down to youth in some areas, but mainly just not having the horses to do what we want to do.

Thus, we are (HOPEFULLY) in a rebuilding phase. We had what looks like a solid '16 class, and if we can finish strong, should have an excellent '17 class (big 'if' if we don't win a few more games this year).

However, because it will take another year or two for these classes to bear fruit, we're stuck in this rebuilding, and not reloading phase. And it sucks.

Monday, October 17, 2016

What you don't want to hear, but have to deal with this season

First, to be clear, Georgia has not played well this season for the most part. We know that. Can't lose to Vandy at home.

But, while the coaching staff and players continue to try to improve, we as fans are either at, or fast-approaching a crossroads. The crossroads consists of two choices, so it's a Choose-Your-Own-Adventure book, for those who are old enough or young enough to get the referenced.

1) You decide that Kirby is in over his head, that Chaney is not a good OC, that Beamer cannot coach special teams, etc., and scrap this little "experiment" before it's too late.

2) You acknowledge that this is a transition year, rife with the characteristics brought by a whole confluence of events which include, but are not limited to:

- First year head coach
- New offensive system
- Undermanned/Under-talented offensive line
- True Freshman QB
- Departure of a (from what we know) beloved head coach causing some lack of 'buy in'
- Lack of senior leadership
- Significant minutes being played by underclassmen
- Lack of familiarity with personnel/Lack of personnel equipped to do what we're trying to do

Now, to be fair, let's all acknowledge that there is a fine line between a reason and an excuse. Those with closed minds who are fed up beyond reason will say these are nothing but excuses. Perhaps they are. I believe that they are legitimate reasons.

Many will go back to what I initially acknowledged, that "even with all this, you still shouldn't lose to Vandy." No, you shouldn't, but you did. So, what exactly does that mean?

The simple truth is that nobody knows. When you are dealing with a laundry list of problems related to newness and inexperience, there's no real bar set as far as how good you should be, or how bad you're "allowed" to be.

So, again, you're nearing a crossroads.

My preference, which is in line with what I believe, is that we're having to break down a lot of aspects of the program in order to build it back up better. That's not always a pretty thing (which is not to say there aren't exceptions). I know I wasn't alone in being weary of fruitless 9 and 10 win seasons. So, if we have to deal with a 6 or 7 win season to set up for better years in '17, '18, and beyond, then that's something I'm willing to deal with, and it doesn't matter to me that we suffer a few embarrassing losses this year.

Now, we lose to Vandy next year, and I'll start to see what the other pages of that Choose-Your-Own-Adventure book look like.

Sunday, October 2, 2016

Blame the loss on coaching? No freakin' way

Read some ridiculous comments about how Rico McGraw running out on the field without his helmet, leading to a crucial 15 yd penalty, should be blamed on coaches. Likewise, Georgia's inability to knock down a hail Mary pass was due to poor coaching.


When you have one guy (I guess a second in street clothes made his way out there) out of nearly a hundred doing something like that, it's the fault of an individual player. Perhaps next time the coaches should put shock collars on everyone if it's their fault.

As for misplaying the Hail Mary, I can say with a high degree of certainty that that scenario is practiced (properly) many times before and during the season. The only potential change I could see would be having a few taller folks out there. Maybe put Javon Wims, the 6'4-6'5 WR planted on the goal line, but that's splitting hairs. The bottom line is that UT's WR got in just the right spot, and our players did not.

Hell, I can look at Georgia's touchdown prior to the heartbreaking Hail Mary and tell you that UT's DB was probably given explicit instructions: "Do NOT let them get behind you, whatever you do." But, their DB got lulled to sleep by Ridley, who then turned on a burst to catch a long TD.

All this is not to say that the coaches don't have their share of responsibility in these cases. It is, of course, up to them to make sure they're not only teaching their players what to do and what not to do, but that they get players to respond and execute.

Kirby cites a lack of discipline. It is ultimately up to the coaches to make sure the players are exhibiting said discipline, but no matter who you are as a coach, in the moment, sometimes players just don't do what they're supposed to or need to do.

This loss, while devastating to me as a fan, will be a better teacher than any coach or drill can be going forward.