The Urban Crier doesn’t like former Florida players criticizing the way his team is run, as he made clear in recent comments widely viewed as being aimed at ex-Gator quarterback Shane Matthews, who was critical on his radio show of the lizards’ offensive plan in their loss to Ole Miss last year. Said the Crier: “You’re either a Gator or you’re not a Gator.” The subtext: If you criticize the Crier, you’re not a Gator.
Over in the Bulldog Nation, Mark Richt thankfully has a much thicker skin and lets the very occasional criticism from former Dawgs roll off his back, at least in public. Mr. 60-Yarder, Kevin Butler, has been openly critical of the Dogs’ approach to the kicking game, particularly coverage of kickoffs, in some of his post-game broadcasts in Athens. And another UGA kicking great, Rex Robinson, has posted comments here critical of the Richt program’s penchant for directional kickoffs.
Well, Robinson apparently isn’t thrilled with the Dawgs’s defense over the past couple of years, either, as he makes clear in a post on his new blog. Says Robinson: “As an old school guy that played when Coaches Dooley and Russell were in control, I understand the bend don’t break philosophy of defense. I also understood the ball control offenses we employed then. Y’all hated both of them then and you hate them now. Some things never change. The thing is, if you are gonna employ that conservative approach to defense, you have to be able to tackle, and we couldn’t much of the time last year. Especially in blowout games.”
He goes on to make the point that he thinks Richt may be too loyal to certain staff members, and obviously he’s talking about defensive coordinator Willie Martinez. “Let me be clear,” Robinson says. “I love and respect Mark Richt. I hope he stays forever, but does that mean he’s perfect and does not make mistakes? No. I just want him to scrutinize the performance of his coaches and hold them to the same level of accountability as he does his players.”
Now, I know there are readers of this blog who take a view along the lines of the Crier: If you support a team, you shouldn’t criticize it. As longtime readers know, I don’t subscribe to that philosophy.
And I’m glad that in the Bulldog Nation, even if you don’t agree with the head Dawg, you can still proudly call yourself a Dawg.