A fresh approach could pay off big

Too often in recent years, Georgia’s special teams, especially on kickoff coverage, have been, well, not special enough. Too many walk-ons, not enough truly special athletes on the field. And that tendency was exacerbated last year by the rash of injuries that reduced the pool of available players.

This year, Mark Richt is taking a step in the right direction. He told the Greater Atlanta Bulldog Club last night that he doesn’t plan on redshirting any incoming freshman skill players, with the exception of quarterback, and that he plans on giving those freshmen early playing experience on special teams.

The idea is that this will have a twofold benefit: The special teams get the “runners” and “hitters” that they need, and the freshmen learn what they’re supposed to do. “They’ll help us on special teams, and they will grow as players at their positions, too,” Richt said.

Putting more Grade A talent, even if it’s green talent, into our kickoff coverage sounds like a great idea. And as Richt said in the Athens Banner-Herald, some of these kids have the potential to be starters before the season is over. “Sometimes you’re two weeks in and you’re like, ‘They’re not ready, they’re not ready.’ Two more weeks, he probably is ready. Two more weeks after that, he may be your starter.”

This freshmen-will-play edict also means Washaun Ealey will get a crack at tailback. And Richt said it includes defensive backs and linebackers, though the need in those areas is not as pressing. I still think Branden Smith is unlikely to get much playing time in the secondary, though he could be a big contributor on special teams (possibly returning kicks) and probably will get a look at receiver in special packages, since he wants to play both ways. But the Dogs are so loaded at linebacker that, barring injuries, you wouldn’t expect to see freshmen Mike Gilliard and Chase Vasser in the mix.  

BULLDOG BITES: Richt told the Banner-Herald that he signed junior college kicker Brandon Bogotay on the basis of film study alone and said, “Even if he doesn’t become the kickoff guy, I think he’ll create the competition to make us better.” … Richt also told the ABH he hopes offensive lineman Josh Davis, recovering from surgery on both shoulders, will be able to play by midseason. … The Macon Telegraph takes a detailed look at how the injury problem spurred Richt to lessen the intensity of practices last year and how he says that hurt the Dogs, particularly on defense. … ESPN.com’s Chris Low, noting that the SEC has renewed its deal with the Georgia Dome for another five years, wonders why the conference doesn’t just make Atlanta the game’s permanent home. “Few events in college football have been as successful or have generated the electric atmosphere that the SEC Championship Game has in Atlanta,” Low says. “Anybody who has been to the game knows what an event it is every December in the Georgia Dome. It’s the closest thing to the BCS Championship Game that I’ve witnessed, and the Georgia Dome is the perfect venue.”

119 comments Add your comment

EW

July 28th, 2009
3:33 pm

I think more than anything Richt is going to let the Freshmen play because he doesn’t want to lose out on a year of eligibility like we did by redshirting Knowshon.

PMC

July 28th, 2009
3:44 pm

I just expect he wants them to push the competition. To get onto the field the younger guys are going to have to pickup the systems quickly especially blocking/catching for the RB’s.

The Grinch

July 28th, 2009
3:48 pm

To RAMBLE ON

Please tell me again what the poster “ment” so say. BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!

http://www.everydayshouldbesaturday.com/2009/07/23/joe-cox-everyone/

July 28th, 2009
3:57 pm

has anyone seen this pic of our ironically named quarterback yet? i’m more than a little concerned that he may have trouble getting penetration up the middle with that little unit.
http://www.everydayshouldbesaturday.com/2009/07/23/joe-cox-everyone/

Fools Gold

July 28th, 2009
4:00 pm

MiltonDawg ok lets see pot meet kettle like UGA meet Vandy, Gamechickens,Kentucky and Miss. State the weak sisters of the SEC. Not too many impressive wins against these schools since the Mark Richt era. But wait UGA has all of this abundance of talent and these guys are not even suppose to be in the same league with their 2 and 3 star recruits. Now the revelation from Georgia Yech from that ACC conference last year at Sanford. I mean 45 frikin points between the hedges? Two weeks to prepare for those guys and the dawg fans and CMR are salivating this year because this year they have two weeks to pepare for the gators. Yes pot meet kettle.

Fools Gold

July 28th, 2009
4:05 pm

One more thing Uncle Miltie….. key words are impressive wins! now go ahead and stop the kool aid drinkig and tale off those rose colored glasse for a change…..

ugablows

July 28th, 2009
4:07 pm

this is a serious question for all you barking idiots….has any college coach ever done less with more talent than the Rev. Richt?

Fools Gold

July 28th, 2009
4:09 pm

Gee do I have a sticky keyboard or what….. drinking and take those rose colored glasses.

Fools Gold

July 28th, 2009
4:11 pm

UGAblows….. yes it was the Florida Gators during the 70s. Just goes to show UGA still has hope…..

Festus

July 28th, 2009
4:14 pm

My ole distant cuz Bill King sure cain rite sum huh! he sure has youins awls fired up.

Dawg Doo

July 28th, 2009
4:26 pm

Here’s the latest reason (among so many glaring reasons) why OKST is pound the crap out GA in Stillwater.

Just think: Georgia’s most recent nationally telveised games were:

1. vs. Bama: a colossal BEATDOWN
2. vs. Florida: another colossal BEATDOWN
3. vs. GT: Being run out your own building

Next: vs. OKST: A Big 12 BEATDWON of an over-hypred, over-rated SEC team.

Pokes are gonna “step on your face with a hobnail boot…and break your face.”

LOLOLOLOLOLOL

See this link for the ugly truth:

http://rivals.yahoo.com/ncaa/football/news?slug=jn-okstate072709&prov=yhoo&type=lgns

Trip

July 28th, 2009
4:30 pm

I just looked on Purdue’s roster and D.J. Donley wasn’t listed. Does anyone know what happened with him?

Fools Gold

July 28th, 2009
4:37 pm

Dog Doo good article….. reminds me of another team who has defensive woes. “We just cant do it for four quaters”…….

Larry Munson

July 28th, 2009
4:40 pm

” They’re running through us like we’re a Oklahoma State or a Wake Forest”…..

LifelongDawg

July 28th, 2009
5:02 pm

If all the GT booger-eaters are on this blog then who actually comments on their’s?

ugablows

July 28th, 2009
5:04 pm

hmmm, the defensive mastermind of willie martinez vs. the legendary Bill Young….uh-oh sounds like trouble for the nad-lickers

Mahmoud Ughvoumit

July 28th, 2009
5:04 pm

I wish for GTech to win the game every year. It is good to watch the Jackets in Yellow play the futbol and I am proud to be studying explosion technology here. I have to go wash my camel.

Dawg Doo

July 28th, 2009
5:06 pm

Here’s a refresher course from 2008:

OKST:41 OK:61 (Game was OKST:41 OK: 44 with 9 minutes left in 4th Qtr)

FL:24 OK:14

FL:49 GA: 10

So, what does it all mean?

With the SAME OFFENSE and a NEW DEFENSE for 2009, it means OKST is going to DEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE–STROY the dawggies.

YoungDawg

July 28th, 2009
5:07 pm

Dawg doo, you just keep thinking that! I hope the whole OK St team is looking past UGA! If so it could be like AL & Clemson last year! If UGA goes out there & wins that game then it could be the start of a shocking year. I have a gut feeling about a few games this season. I think we may win some games were supposed to lose but lose some were supposed win.

BadgerDawg

July 28th, 2009
5:08 pm

@ugablows: key questions for you: has any school ever brought worse talent on to their campus than the NATS? Sure, they overperform, but bringing in everyone’s rejects ensures you’ll do better than expected, even if still very weak. Your school is Vandy, Duke, and Wake all rolled into one. Athletically, not academically. When UGA brings in top players, they have nowhere to go but down. USC “underachieves” every year they don’t win the NC, right? Without Richt, those players don’t make it onto campus in the first place.

Long Dawg

July 28th, 2009
5:10 pm

Dog Doo, did you even read the article… says they don’t have much depth on defense and players got tired because they play top talent and if an SEC team played in their league they’d see…. And who is Bill Young? Can’t seem to keep a job if you ask me.

Well Florida kicked Oklahoma’s ass and Ole Miss Kicked Texas Tech’s ass so the SEC matches up pretty well against the Big 12. The games are played on the field not on this blog but spew if it makes you feel better.

PeligroPero

July 28th, 2009
5:14 pm

No matter how many “A” team guys are on the special teams, if you’ve got the same coach scheming its still a problem. Not all of the problems on special teams was because we had walk-ons and “B” grade players.

tony

July 28th, 2009
5:24 pm

Mark Richt made a bad decision by reshirting Moreno. He will make another bad decision when he redshirt Aaron Murray. Aaron had the best spring of all the qbs. Here are Aaron and Mettenberger spring stats:

Aaron Murray – 13 of 31 passing for 325 yds and 3 touchdowns, no INT

Mettenberger – 2 of 18 passing for 43 yds, with 2 interceptions

Richt said that both qbs had a good spring. GIVE ME A BREAK MAN! Take a look at what each qb did on G-Day, starting with Cox:

Cox – 9 of 16 passing for 105 yards

Gray – 9 of 13 passing for 91 yards

Murray – 3 of 5 passing for 62 yards

Mettenberger – 0 of 3 passing for 0 yards

If Murray had 6 more attempts, he would have gone over 200 yards passing. That would have made Cox look bad if Richt had left Murray in the game. Like I said, Murray is the best qb on that team. Richt is cheating that young man. Murray parents should encourage their son to transfer so he can shine somewhere else.

DawginLex

July 28th, 2009
5:24 pm

2003: “UGA can’t win at Clemson. The orange tiger paws will leave marks all over the little doggies.” 30-0 UGA

2005: “No Greene=No chance. Boise is coming in to Sanford with something to prove.” UGA 45-14

2006: “UGA is sitting at 6-4 with Auburn, Tech and a bowl game ahead of them. How are all the little doggies going to react when Richt ends up 6-7?” UGA beats Aubie, GT and VT

2007: “Oklahoma State has a high powered, dynamic offense that will leave the little doggies running to the exits midway through the 4th quarter.” UGA 35-14

2008: “With that schedule, the doggies will be lucky to win 7 games despite Stafford and Moreno. Going to Tempe? That’s a beatdown waiting to happen.” UGA 10-3 beats ASU like a drum in the desert

SEE A PATTERN ALL YOU HATERS???????????????????

Dawgman

July 28th, 2009
5:25 pm

30-10 , where were you in the second half of the game St Mobile. Only 65 yards total offense in second half…Great teams play the entire game……One and done….27-24 in OT,,,shhhhhhhhh..its quiet in Tuscoloosa.

DawginLex

July 28th, 2009
5:28 pm

Tony,

Playing a true freshman QB in the SEC is a sure fire way to lose games. You can play a freshman some, but not all the time. Tebow played some. Stafford started late in the season but the Dawgs still lost 4 games. He lost the Kentucky game with stupid decisions.

If Cox implodes, Murray will get his chance. I think Cox fits this team much better with a great OL that can control the ball and an improved and deeper DL.

2 Dawg

July 28th, 2009
5:34 pm

I hear that Gilliard is gonna get reps with the 2 deep @ SAM in Camp. he might be one of the freshmen that gets some PT.

GTDog

July 28th, 2009
5:40 pm

LMAO! I love this one blogger guys…hmmmmm

Uses the name ugaBLOWS, talks about licking “NADS” and can’t keep his mind off the size of our qb’s, uh, PENI$?

Is there some kind of subconsious thing going on with this guy????????

S.C. DAWGS

July 28th, 2009
5:42 pm

SAINT SIMONS BOY WHY DON’T YOU STAY ON YOUR OWN WEB SITE YOUR DAY IS COMING.

Dawg Doo

July 28th, 2009
5:49 pm

Dawg-in-La La Land:

Keep living that dream…the past.

DawginLex

July 28th, 2009
5:51 pm

dawg doo,

Go crap yourself.

tony

July 28th, 2009
6:02 pm

DawginLex, that may be true in some cases but not this 1. I Know a true talent when I see 1. Aaron Murray is THE ONE! Richt been making bad decisions since he been at Ga and I’m afraid is about to make another bad decision for this program.

If you would go over to USC website, you will find that Pete Carroll has already place Matt Barkley as his #2 qb. How do you think he got moved up to the #2 spot? Because he out played the other qbs during spring workouts.

Aaron Murray out played Cox, Logan and Mettenberger during spring workouts but CLUELESS Richt wants to redshirt the kid. If Murray can make plays against our defense he also can make plays against the SEC defenses. The kid got guts. Don’t underestimate a true warrior.

GTDog

July 28th, 2009
6:02 pm

Aha….Coach Tony, you’re back!

DawginLex

July 28th, 2009
6:07 pm

You gotta give Cox a chance. It is unfortunate that the opener is not an OOC patsy but that is the way it is.

I don’t understand your clueless richt comments. He saved Shockley until 2005 and won the SEC. He has won 82 games in 8 years including the 1st 2 SEC titles in 20+ years. He has consistently made good decisions while at UGA.

chris in athens

July 28th, 2009
6:12 pm

no I am not RX Dawg. who is asking??

UGA Grad '08

July 28th, 2009
6:15 pm

Fools Gold, here are some major wins:
2001 UT, 2001 Ga Tech (With a frosh QB and first year HC, O’Leary and Godsey are gonna kill them), 2002 UT, 2002 Auburn, 2002 SECCG (I know this isn’t that big of a game but humor me), 2002 Sugar Bowl
2003 UT, 2003 Auburn
2004 Defending Nat’l Champs LSU, the mighty Gators
2005 Boise State (04 undefeated and the next year beat mighty Oklahoma), UT, SECCG (13-1 #3 LSU, again humor me)
2006 Auburn, GT (Calvin Johnson’s last game)
2007 OK State, Defending Nat’l Champion UF, Auburn, Sugar Bowl
2008 Undefeated LSU

harleydawg

July 28th, 2009
6:19 pm

hey tony where did you get your coaching liscense geez

tony

July 28th, 2009
6:36 pm

I use the term CLUELESS because Richt make inappropriate moves. It was inappropriate to redshirt DJ Shockey because he was the best qb. It was inappropriate to redshirt Moreno because Moreno was the best rb. It was inappropriate to not change defensive coordinator after West Virginia beat us in the Sugar Bowl. It was inappropiate not to give our team full practice last season. It was inappropiate to let Matthew Stafford change plays at the line of scrimmage 95% of the time even when he didn’t help the cause. I can go on and on. It’s about time for Mark Richt to start making appropiate decisions so we can win a NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP, starting with Aaron Murray as our starting qb.

UGA Grad '08

July 28th, 2009
6:39 pm

Sorry i meant to write 2008 defending Nat’l Champion LSU, brain fart sorry.

CJDawg

July 28th, 2009
6:43 pm

Despite this turning into an insane asylum, has anybody given any thought to the fact that the SEC has just signed a HUGE contract with ESPN?? Each school will be allotted a certain amount of money AND playing on TV time, so that will attract more great players from a wider range of places. In turn, this may prove to provide some parity in our league. In a way, this may be a double edged sword. But to me, the more SEC, the better!!!!!!!

DawginLex

July 28th, 2009
6:50 pm

Greene ends up the winningest QB of all time and saved Shockley’s rear end in 2004 against GT when Shockley had his chance. Richt was right.

Richt admits that Moreno should not have been a RS in 2006.
Jury still out on WM.
Stafford gets picked 1st overall in NFL draft.

You want Richt fired because he hasn’t won a NT?
Do you want to go back to 6-6 seasons?
He has us in the hunt and I trust he will do the right thing as he has proven.

You want to win a national title in the SEC?
You will NEVER DO IT PLAYING A TRUE FRESHMAN QB AS YOUR STARTER.

Jonesboro Dawg

July 28th, 2009
7:23 pm

Enter your comments here

Cuz

July 28th, 2009
7:55 pm

Wow Lex, I am speechless. Yeah that is a first.

Cuz

July 28th, 2009
7:57 pm

I swear reading this blog somedays one would be convinced Mark Richt is the worst coach in UGA history and has the number 666 underneath his hairline.

southgadawg88

July 28th, 2009
8:31 pm

Richt has that twinkle in his eye like he’s ready!This is going to be an intense fall camp..we will find out who can play real quick.

Carl Spackler

July 28th, 2009
8:48 pm

You don’t have to worry about Murray being unprepared…the kid already knows the playbook and is helping others…he lives to play football…BTW: he went head to head against Barkley at the Nike’s 7on7 and destroyed Barkley’s team (as well as the others)…as the “Ball Boy” at the Elite 11 between his soph/jr year he stood out, even against the college QB’s helping out…this kid is the real deal and should be allowed to “EARN” the position, not given, but if he outplays everyone then he deserves to lead the team…this isn’t H.S. where you you become the starter just because you’ve been around the program and “paid your dues”…he got a big jump by starting school last spring and is way ahead of the curve of those starting in the fall…Cox sounds like a heck of a nice guy and I’m sure that either he or Gray could get the job done, but they aren’t on the same level of Murray…just open the position up and give everyone a chance to compete for the starting job…

Dawg'94

July 28th, 2009
8:57 pm

Richt is a great coach. He has made SOME Georgia fans spoiled with 10 win seasons & Top 10 finishes. Do you haters remember the Goff & Donnan teams? I believe Georgia will have a great season & COULD win it all. We will see.

Fools Gold

July 28th, 2009
9:29 pm

UGA Grad ‘08 ….. humor me, 2005 Auburn 31 UGA 30 Willies defense blows and blew the game on a 4th and 1000 miles. A pathetic South Carolina team puts UGA in the SEC championship game. Sugar Bowl , West Virginia 38 UGA 35 …28 -0 before UGA knew what hit them! Willies defense blows

2006 Tenn.51 UGA 33 in Athens. The first of a SEC East 6 game losing streak. Homecoming Vandy 24 UGA 22 ouch. Florida 21 UGA 14 This game not even close as score indicates Fla. raced out to a 21 -0 lead. Kentucky 24 UGA 20 Willies defense blows again.

2007 SC 16 UGA 12 in Athens 5th straight SEC east loss. Stafford and Moreno couldnt score a TD on a pathetic SC team. Couldnt stop SC late in the game. Tenn 35 UGA 14 6th straight SEC loss. Willies defense blows again. Vols raced to a 28 -0 halftime lead. Vandy 17 UGA 20 Dawgs needed a lucky fumble to defeat Vandy. Team and program dips to new low by dancing on Vandy logo at midfield.

2008 SC 7 UGA 14 heavily favored dawgs needed lucky fumble to hold off SC. Blackout Fallout Bama 41 UGA 30. Bama beatdown 31 -0 halftime lead and cruises to victory. Willies defense blows. Fla 49 UGA 10. Need I say more? Kentucky 38 UGA 42. UGA pulls it out with a 1:54 left in the game and barely hangs on. Willies defense blows. GT 45 UGA 42. Blew a 28 – 12 halftime lead. Two weeks to prepare for a freshmen laden team. Willies Defense blows! Yes humor me UGA Grad ‘08!

tony

July 28th, 2009
9:39 pm

Yeah, you would have said in the spring of 1979 that we couldn’t win a NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP with true freshman Herschel Walker too, right?

Never said I wanted Richt fired.

Detroit was crazy for taking Stafford. They should have taken Aaron Curry.

DJ Shockley was not the starter in 2004. You perform better and systematically when you know you’re the man.

BetweenMyHedges

July 28th, 2009
9:51 pm

Why is it that CPJ can relax this summer and take a trip to Scotland to play golf, while Richt crys for a dead period for him where he can’t call recruits? Does somebody feel some new found pressure? hahaha, poor baby. The loser Gailey told him at 51-7 what goes around comes around, but it took CPJ to deliver not Gailey