Richt acknowledging Dogs’ timidness is a step forward

Mark Richt wasn't happy with way his team played in Columbia. (AP photo)

Mark Richt wasn't happy with way his team played in Columbia.

ATHENS – Mark Richt beat me to the punch.

I’m in Athens today to sort through the carnage between Georgia’s loss at South Carolina last week and this week’s visit by the Arkansas Razorbacks and coach Bobby Beelzebub. My plan had been to write later today on what I believe was the Bulldogs’ most glaring deficiency last week – and it’s not play-calling – but Richt sort of beat me to it.

As chronicled by our Tim Tucker, Richt agreed with a caller on his weekly radio show Monday night who said that the Dogs looked “timid” and “afraid to hit somebody” at times in Columbia.

Richt on his show: “Defensively, there were a couple of times when you’re right –I think ‘timid’ is a very kind description of what happened. There were a couple of times when I thought we turned it down, quite frankly.”

(READ UPDATED COLUMN WITH MORE RICHT COMMENTS HERE.)

This is progress, ladies and gentleman. No, it’s not good when a football team basically is afraid to hit somebody. But it is a step forward when the head coach acknowledges it and publicly calls his players out for it. The concept of the Dogs being soft or not tough enough hardly is a new theme in Athens in the last couple of seasons, but Richt never has publicly confirmed it, at least not that I can recall.

Any way, I have some thoughts on this subject, but I’m going to save them for the column later, following Richt’s weekly state-of-the-Dogs address. For now, I wanted to get your feedback.

Do you agree with Richt (and the caller) on the team’s timidness, or do you believe Georgia’s problems lie in other areas?

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423 comments Add your comment

lazlodawg

September 14th, 2010
10:55 am

spot on… timid is a good word

Bob Sacamano

September 14th, 2010
10:55 am

The reason they don’t hit anybody on Saturday is they don’t hit anybody during the week. When it rains they go swimming…Think Saban or Meyer do that?

Jones

September 14th, 2010
10:56 am

The dogs need to man up!

ahs

September 14th, 2010
10:57 am

YES I AGREE WITH CALLER

gadawgs

September 14th, 2010
10:57 am

No doubt they were timid Jeff. I would actually say chickensh*t. Glad coach saw it and hope he sticks a foot up some people’s rear ends this week in practice.

mike Jay

September 14th, 2010
10:58 am

I hope every bulldog player reads this and is embarassed.

That being said, I do not think timidness was the main problem with the defense. That was the worse tackling game of football I have ever watched. Wrapping up is fundamentally sound football. why was every player trying to tackle that huge RB with their shoulders. It was awful. Got to teach the basics and bench players that think they knock someone out every time.

Jeff Schultz

September 14th, 2010
10:59 am

Bob Sacamono –Funny comment on the swimming, even if not quite accurate. They only do that once a year.

Jeff Schultz

September 14th, 2010
11:00 am

Gadawgs — I think a lot of us have seen this before. Is Richt only seeing it now or just only acknowledging it now.

gadawgs

September 14th, 2010
11:03 am

Very true Jeff. I sincerely hope that he is just acknowleding it now because if we can see it I sure hope the head man could too. But then I have to say if he has seen it and it is still happening why has he not done something about it yet?

Not Disappointed

September 14th, 2010
11:05 am

Jeff, I was afraid of South Carolina from week one. I really don’t like the timid word, but I do believe they can be a decent team this year. What do I know, I’m a Jacket alumn, but I like the pups as well.
Quick question, :”Who good are the Gamecocks Jeff?”

I remain, Ramblin Wreck!

Hank

September 14th, 2010
11:09 am

More like a deflection to keep the obvious questions away. Why did we play so much defense anyway? We ran the zone read a 1000 times with stafford and cox, now with an athletic quarterback, only once and a give. No boots, sprints, one throw to the TE and not enough play action against an 8 man box. Let the man play and don’t play to avoid injuries.

Crimedog

September 14th, 2010
11:09 am

Richt is the timid one. His players aren’t afraid of hitting potted plants or parked cars and girlfriends. I know that Richt prays for them, but sometimes that approach doesn’t work.

GeorgiaBorn

September 14th, 2010
11:11 am

I think it’s a copout for Richt to essentially blame the D. In years past, our O needed to score 40+ points to even compete in a game. The D kept us in this game in spite of the horrible tackling. IMO, the play calling and later admiittance by Richt and Bobo that they held Murray back and didn’t let him play his game is what cost us this game. The run off tackle didn’t work from the get go, but Bobo kept calling it all game. How many freakin times were we 2nd and 10, 12 or 13 and Bobo would call that darn off tackle run for 1 or 2 yards and then end up with 3rd and 10 or 11 only to call a pass play with a primary receiver that was not even at the 1st down line?

Adjustments at half is what coaches like Meyer, Saban, Myles do so well. We run the same game plan for all 4 quarters, no matter if it’s working on not. There have been many coaches in the SEC that say that UGA is an easy team to prepare for because we have been running the same offense for years. No imagination, no trick plays, no adjustments.

athensdawg

September 14th, 2010
11:11 am

folks, when you have been coached by read and react willie martinez for five yeas, what do you expect? when you get in a big game, you are going to revert to what you know…..give grantham time….lots of positives in this game for the defense….

i’m more worried about the cluelessness on the offense. Jeff, could you see if Mike Bobo is related to Al Davis he has the same love of the ‘vertical passing’ game….
aka, let’s throw a bomb rather than move the chains.

Whopper Dawg

September 14th, 2010
11:12 am

Defense did not play well, but played well enough to win. An offense that scores 6 points and has at least four three and outs is not going to win any ball games. Time for the other shoe to drop and the shoe is Mike Bobo.

TheDeegan

September 14th, 2010
11:12 am

This team and this fan base is a pure reflection of its head coach, timid and boring.

TXDawg

September 14th, 2010
11:13 am

I’d say it was pretty obvious to everyone watching that the tackling fundamentals were missing and that whole “timidity thing” was going on. Are the guys just trying to think too much with the new 3-4 instead of just lining up and going after the ball carrier?

BG

September 14th, 2010
11:13 am

8 out of 9 is not timid!!!!

Chuck

September 14th, 2010
11:14 am

I also believe the physical play of South Carolina had a lot do with it on Saturday. The Gamecocks took the fight to Georgia’s defense, and the Bulldogs didn’t react. In short, USC punched UGA in the mouth, and the Dogs backed down.

J Bling

September 14th, 2010
11:15 am

Defense had cinder block shoe syndrome. Slow movement, lacked aggression, emotionless, poor tackling fundamentals, confused assignments, couldn’t control the line. GA defense appeared to prefer being run over by Lattimore rather than pursue and tackle. GA showed showed the skill to improve some in the 2nd half, but still played flat. Better get up and play hard, or send them to the bench for AK!

Is there?

September 14th, 2010
11:16 am

Is there a player at UGA besides AJ that could start for Bama or Florida?

Dr. Kenneth Noisewater

September 14th, 2010
11:17 am

agreed, D kept us in the game for as long as possible. it was the offense that kept on going 3 & out, BoBo’s horrible play calling that kept the D on the field way too long. stop tackling in the shoulders and go for the middle of the body and legs.

Hankie Aron

September 14th, 2010
11:19 am

MARK RICHT NEEDS TO GO BACK TO CALLING HIS OWN PLAYS. THEN IT’S HIS TAIL WHEN THE DOGS DON’T WAG

DP

September 14th, 2010
11:19 am

Jeff, do you remember this column after the 2008 season? If Richt was supposedly going to go “old school” 18 months ago why are the Dawgs still physically soft?

http://blogs.ajc.com/jeff-schultz-blog/2009/03/16/richt-its-time-to-go-back-to-old-school/

It appears to me that Richt is all talk and no action whether the issue is toughness on the field, discipline off the field or too many penalties (though that has been less of any issue the first 2 games of this season).

RJM Dawg

September 14th, 2010
11:19 am

I definitely agree that they were timid. I also agree that they tried to dive tackle the SC players the whole game as well. They looked like a bunch of seals diving at players the whole game…. as if their arms were stitched to the side of their body. They would dive and bounce right off while Lattimore gobbled up more and more yards.

Sam

September 14th, 2010
11:20 am

Hank, for play action to work, you have to have a running game. UGA did not have a running game that day.

Hankie Aron

September 14th, 2010
11:20 am

I hate BooBoo’s playcalling.

johnny fontane

September 14th, 2010
11:20 am

“We run away from this state.”

Your Tattoos are lame

September 14th, 2010
11:20 am

The state of this program has declined in the past 3 seasons. No one is scared of our defenses, no one is confused by what we will do on offense. How many coaches have said that they think our lines are soft and get blown off the ball easily??? How many years has this been going on? Searles is supposed to be one of the best, and this line is his best and what do we get?

This is the SEC, how in the WORLD can you be playing timid? Its a CONFERENCE game!!! How can you be TIMID? Is he not at practice? How you practice is how you play.

The embarassment is getting too much to handle, and the fact that he admits this to the media. The other schools are laughing at us.

FOR GODS SAKE, WAKE UP

Concrete Pete

September 14th, 2010
11:20 am

WE NEED A NEW STRENGTH COACH

kevin

September 14th, 2010
11:21 am

2008 against GT was the last time I remember UGA tackling as bad as they did against SC on Sat. However, I think that problem is fixable. Of more concern to me is the play of our experienced “best” offensive line in the SEC. The offensive line, while decent in pass protection, was pretty bad in run blocking.

Give credit to SC–they played well. Though, it’s a shame we could not play them with AJ. Can someone please explain how the NFL suspends Big Ben for 4 games for potentially raping a woman and the NCAA suspends AJ for selling a jersey. Completely ridiculous.

David

September 14th, 2010
11:21 am

It amazes me how the state of Ga can coddle Richt. Most people have realized for a couple of years that Ga is not physical. Richt is not a stand up and take credit kind of guy. Go ahead continue to blame everybody else but Richt. I think it was Spurriers fault, yea that’s the ticket.

sunny purdue

September 14th, 2010
11:21 am

Are we talking about the same team that was all world last week? You remember, Aaron Murray was going to win 4 Heisman’s. The 3-4 defense was going to set the SEC on fire. Ealey was going to be the second coming of Walker. I did “book it” based on all the experts. Now I need a refund.

Frank Reynolds

September 14th, 2010
11:22 am

I see your point Jeff but what bothers me is that he’s pointing fingers at the defense. Look, I realize the defense missed a lot of tackles BUT…they only gave up 17 points, only 3 of which came in the second half. The poor tackling can be cleaned up. I think the defensive scheme and strategy was good.

The problem was the flippin’ OFFENSE! Wake up Richt! The OFFENSE looked timid!

FBfan

September 14th, 2010
11:23 am

After Lattimore hit them a couple of times they were just plain scared!!! Man up puppies!!

RJM Dawg

September 14th, 2010
11:23 am

And that Vanilla offense was horrible as well…. . Granted, Orson didn’t have a good game, but why don’t we utilize the tight ends more when we are in the red zone. We have some of the best tight ends in the country! Instead of running up the middle when our O-line can’t clear a path for s**t!

J Bling

September 14th, 2010
11:24 am

@ Whopper Dawg

Agreed! The offense was so lame… Bobo’s play calling scheme sukt. Nothing orginal. Murray played well considering kindergarten schemes, lack of support from O-line, Waushout dropping balls in red zone, etc…

Kennesaw Dawg

September 14th, 2010
11:24 am

What about Red Zone offense and the play selection in the red zone? No one is talking about that. It continues to be a big problem area.

Big Jackiss

September 14th, 2010
11:28 am

I think we should let Todd G take Bozo into backroom and “finish the drill”
We will NEVER be a top 5 team with that Clown running the offense.
But since he has like 5 kids, Mark “I’m on a mission” Richt will never let him go.

bart

September 14th, 2010
11:28 am

Being timid is a part of it, but I’m beginning to wonder if Bobo needs to go too. I was certainly disappointed in Grantham’s defense last Saturday. I don’t think he can blame it on a “new scheme” because from day one Van Gorder’s players came out and played tough. I thought he was going to light a fire under the guys.

Dawg Tired

September 14th, 2010
11:28 am

Very true Jeff. Rambo being the most obvious. Having played defensive end, I certainly know the feeling of having to hit a back who is bigger and stronger than you are, but you’ve just got to suck it up and go in there full speed or else you are toast.

I would definitely bench Rambo. In addition, it was painfully clear that Tyson can not play nose tackle. If he is the best we’ve got at that key position in the 3 – 4 this is going to get real ugly. Our linebackers were in good position most of the time, but showed poor tackleling skills. In a 3-4, the LBs must be very good tacklers or else teams will run the ball all day long. Hopefully Lattimore is the best back we’ll see. He’s obviously very good, but who knows whether he is really that hard to tackle or whether we just can’t tackle.

Pass defense “appeared” to be much improved. However, Garcia is not a good QB. Mallet is a very good QB. After this Saturday, we’ll have a better read on just how good the pass defense really is.

ommyTa

September 14th, 2010
11:28 am

I think the problem is a little deeper than just being timid. As a coach, you get what you demand. If you lose and say it’s only one game, we didn’t do this or that, we should have done this or that, blah blah blah, then you get losses. If you refuse to accept losing, you get wins and NCs (assuming you have talent, and UGA does). Right now, the attitude in the program is that a good (not great) season (9-3; 8-4) is acceptable. CMR would deny that, but the actions and words of him and the players confirm it.

southjaxdawg

September 14th, 2010
11:28 am

Hmmm, I am a huge Richt supporter, but I think that I am starting to see the big picture. He has hired the wrong coaches and has become way too complacent. I believe his days are numbered in Athens…Unfortunately!

David

September 14th, 2010
11:29 am

Jeff,

I think they did look timid. But I want to expand it further and say offensively the coaches looked timid. It seemed the coached were more “shell shocked” by the AJ Green decision than the players and it showed in the play calling. There was a lot of talk about someone needing to step up in Green’s absence. Frankly, the coaches did not give Murray or any of the receivers the ability to prove their worth and ability.

Vance Duuley

September 14th, 2010
11:30 am

There’s a simple reason why dawg players were so slow and inept: those ankle monitoring bracelets are heavy.

SimpleDawg

September 14th, 2010
11:32 am

There were huge holes opened at times, but on a significant number of plays, we had someone there, but they failed to make the tackle….or tried an Ole’ tackle a la Deion Sanders. I’m not going to get on #18 again, because he did make some tackles in the second half, but there was a lot of timid play out there.

Our front 7 looked over matched, especially on running plays. They ran the same play most of the game. USC’s offensive line was a huge concern coming into the season….so either they’re really good, or we’re not.

It was a disappointing start to SEC play for UGA, but we’ve become accustomed to disappointment.

We need to improve…..dramatically.

Herschel Talker

September 14th, 2010
11:33 am

Schultzie:

This is baloney. He is who he is. He’ll tell us he’s dissatisfied, and then it will continue. Just like it has the last five years. Richt is a softy who is not cut out for this position.

HT

Todd

September 14th, 2010
11:34 am

Jeff, please read this over and over and respond.

The problem at UGA over the yrs. has been lousy offensive performances. Can’t anyone out there write about this or speak on it!

The defense gave up 14pts. Coach Sweatshirt did his job!

MR and Bobo did not. Nor did they on several occasions last yr. How many yrds. did the offense have at half last yr. against LSU? How many times did the offense put the defense in a bad spot last yr. mainly b.c of the ineptness of Joe Cox?

This is not hard to figure out. When the offense keeps going 3 and out it wears down the defense not only physically, but mentaly.

The offense was painful to watch Sat.

GATA Mark Richt and Bobo!

I’m not paid the big bucks and could be blind and see this!

Erin

September 14th, 2010
11:34 am

Even after the SC beatdown, it’s kind of sad to see all the Dawg fans getting so excited this year (just like the year before, the year before that, etc.). How long is it going to take for UGA fans to realize that UGA is simply no longer relevant in the SEC? In the national picture, UGA isn’t even a blip on the radar, and hasn’t been since the preseason #1 ranking two years ago.

Sit back and be grateful for the seven or eight wins you’ll get every year. Coaching genius Mark Richt may take you to 8-4 or even 9-3 occasionally, but Florida will still win the SEC, meaning no BCS bowls and no top 10 final ranking. Most years, UGA will be very lucky to finish in the top 25, and only after a big bowl win over a nobody opponent.

It’s a different world now, and Dawg fans need to adjust their expectations downward to reflect reality.

Unfortunately nothing is going to change until UGA changes its mediocre coaching. That’s where the difference is, and that’s why everyone outside Dawgtard Nation just laughs at Dawg fans getting so excited year after year about what a great recruiting class UGA gets. It doesn’t matter how many blue chip high school players go to UGA, they simply don’t get the coaching they would get at Florida or Alabama, to name two schools whose programs are far ahead of UGA. And that’s not going to change as long as Mark Richt is in Athens.

Get your heads out of the sand and face reality. And mediocrity and irrelevance.

But at least there’s the Fulmer Cup. That’s something, I guess. ;-)  

Florida Dawg

September 14th, 2010
11:34 am

No question the Dawgs were afraid to hit the SC running back. I remember a lot of teams were afraid to hit Herschel too. Instead of locking up and follow-through, they “nicely” slid off as if to “show”, oh well I was just a little too late. That doesn’t fool anyone.
They had better man-up or even GT will beat us.
Again, Green should just go away…no need for him now…we are destined for another average year…just average. Nothing special.