A big reason tailback still looks like a committee at UGA

I’m back from a vacation that saw me soaked but happy at a terrific Paul McCartney concert, spending way too much on school supplies and books for my daughter, and enjoying some fun family time. While I was gone, the Bulldog Nation had a scare over Ben Jones’ ankle, UGA announced the football coaches will have to take furlough days, and Mark Richt finally made it official that sophomore Richard Samuel is “a solid No. 1″ at tailback.

I thought it interesting, though, that quarterback Joe Cox sort of added an asterisk to that No. 1 designation in an Athens Banner-Herald article noting that tailbacks at UGA don’t just run and block. They also catch the ball a lot, with the departed Knowshon Moreno third in receptions for the Dogs last season.  

And as Cox sees it, while Samuel might start at tailback, he’s more likely to be tossing the ball to Carlton Thomas and Caleb King out of the backfield. He was pretty brutally frank in summing up Samuel’s weakness in that regard. “I think we’re kind of going to pull from everybody to get certain aspects of what Knowshon did,” Cox told the ABH. “Richard’s a hard runner, he’s kind of a bruiser. He gets open, but it’s not like he has incredible ball skills. He catches well, but a guy like Caleb and Carlton, they have really smooth hands. … I definitely think we’ll be using all of them.”

Sounds good to me. In fact, I can’t wait to see what Thomas can do in open space after Cox dumps the ball to him out in the flat.

78 comments Add your comment

Saint Simons

August 24th, 2009
10:35 am

45 – 42 hahahahahahahahahhahahahaha Enter your comments here

dgroy

August 24th, 2009
10:46 am

Caleb King will never be a force at UGA…..he was a “flash in the pan” in high school and just doesn’t have the stuff to make it….

hop

August 24th, 2009
10:58 am

i could not agree more that georgia will play all three tailbacks which is not unusual in college football today with all the pounding these running backs receive during a season.

each brings a special talent to the position and all will contribute very nicely as dawgs will be the surprise of the SEC as espn gary danielson has already suggested!

Bob Horner had a sweet compact swing

August 24th, 2009
11:01 am

Welcome back Bill….ummm I think the running back situation will be fine with a running back by committee approach…because we have such an outstanding line…that said I think Samuel has the most upside…

RAMBLE ON!!!

August 24th, 2009
11:03 am

Good thing I didn’t see you at Sir Paul’s show, I would have taken your UGAg ball cap, and wiped my butt with it.

Now, football.

In other words, our running backs sux, so we’ll do it by committee. All of them would be 3rd stringers in GT’s back field.

DawginGermany

August 24th, 2009
11:16 am

Welcome back Bill!

I am with you, I can’t wait to see what Thomas can do with the ball. I hear he is a real burner when he gets in space. I hope Joe Cox does well, but I am interested to see what Logan Grey can bring to the table. The guy has some wheels, and I hear is arm is better than average. I hope Bobo puts together a package or two for him.
I believe the defense is going to be a strength this year. Ole Willie will have a good year, and some of these folks will have to find a new scapegoat.

Georgia goes 9-2 this year, we lose to Florida and a team we probably shouldn’t (S. Carolina, Arkansas). We get our revenge on Tech, and put and end to the Okie Light story before it gets started.

Welcome back Bill, I can’t wait for Sept. 5!!!!

GO DAWGS

Vick=Dog killing thug

August 24th, 2009
11:21 am

I’m with you Germany…. I’m worried about Arkansas… but I feel we will handle OK state pretty well… GO DAWGS !!!

MAJim

August 24th, 2009
11:21 am

Welcome back, Bill. You’ve probably seen these, but wanted to make sure – new Bulldog BBQ grills.

http://www.teamgrill.com/grills/sports_bbq_gas_grill_MVP.cfm?Target=gabull

L-Dawg

August 24th, 2009
11:23 am

WELCOME BACK BILL!!!

GLORY GLORY TO OLE’ GEORGIA!!!

GREAT TO PASSIONATE ABOUT MY TEAM AS OPPOSED TO HATING/ENVYING ANOTHER!!!

GO DAWGS!!!

12 SHORT DAYS MY FRIENDS!!!

L-Dawg

August 24th, 2009
11:25 am

*** GREAT TO BE PASSIONATE……

Sic Em'

August 24th, 2009
11:27 am

I think it is now OBVIOUS that Bill King is Saint Simons…. Saint Simons was not heard from the entire 10 days of Bill’s vacation, on any blog, other than the obvious imposters. So thanks Bill, for keeping Dawg fans motivated to disliking Tech, and planting the seed on every one of your blogs to make the Nov 28th victory over the bumble bees that much sweeter.

Bill King

August 24th, 2009
11:31 am

Maybe he’s my cyber stalker.

G

August 24th, 2009
11:42 am

Hey Bill I called this one? Keep up the good stuff.

G

August 6th, 2009
5:12 pm
I can’t understand why people don’t like Samuel. He did fumble some last year but he is big and strong not to mention the fastest back. He runs north and south and was only 16 last year. I think he is alot better than King. King hesitates in the hole and runs with no passion. Samuel could be a Adrian Peterson type back , watch out for 22.

G

August 24th, 2009
11:43 am

good point sic em

Saint Simons

August 24th, 2009
11:53 am

i’m fast just like Roddy Jones!!!!!!!!! hahahahahhahahahahahaha

how2fish

August 24th, 2009
12:05 pm

Samuel was impressive last year in the last few games I saw him in…he can run by a lot of folks and over the ones he can’t…I think he and Thomas and King will get a lot of reps as the season unfolds..and if the line can stay healthy I think they will all do well!

Atlanta- Bob

August 24th, 2009
12:05 pm

Hey Bill..What do you know about a cheating scandel at Tech this summer involving four or five Tech football players(three starters) and some basketball team members. My sources tell me that CPJ is doing his best to keep it coverd up.

45ACP

August 24th, 2009
12:08 pm

Bill King, mild mannered author of the Junkyard Blawg. Starts a new blog then runs to a phone booth and reappears as Saint Simons, Dawg Hating Mystery Blogger.
Hmmmm…. very interesting…

Michael Scharff

August 24th, 2009
12:24 pm

Bill, great to have you back on board!

F. Sinkwich

August 24th, 2009
12:26 pm

I fear that Caleb King is just another Jasper Sanks.

Cuz

August 24th, 2009
12:30 pm

Sic Em, you just did not read enough blogs, Saint Simmons is on them all.

Bill King is Saint Simmons? That is the most bizarre case of split personalities since Herschel.

mcdawg

August 24th, 2009
12:41 pm

so whenever C. King or C. Thomas are in the game its going to be a pass?

nice scouting report

BIG UGLIES WIN GAMES!!!

August 24th, 2009
12:49 pm

Dont be surprised to see #22 catch screen pass on the first play of the game…..

reality check

August 24th, 2009
12:51 pm

G, I am right there with you and Tdog in predicting success for Samuel. I don’t understand why bloggers are not more aware of his speed. He is definitely faster than the other backs, even Carlton Thomas. He isn’t quite as fast as Herschel was, but he is bigger. Here’s what I had to say:

reality check

June 26th, 2009
11:40 am
I agree with T-dog about Samuel. The guy is really young and last year his progress during the season was noticeable. He averaged 5.1 ypc last year, and that average increased as the year went on. He will play at 225 pounds this year and he is clearly Georgia’s fastest back.

McCendon is right when he says Moreno can’t be replaced. Richt is also right when he says he believes we will be sound at the RB position this year.

I for one believe one of our problems last year was over emphasis of the passing game. The statistics under Richt are clear and unequivocal. When we run 60% or more we have won. When we pass 50% or more we have lost.

bird dawg

August 24th, 2009
12:52 pm

atlanta-bob, it wasn’t really a cheating scandel, more like a robbery scandel. and evidently CPJ didn’t do a good job of covering it up, it has been all over the news…someone getting robbed on north ave almost on a daily basis…

bird dawg

August 24th, 2009
12:54 pm

samuel just needs to prove that he can hold on the dang ball..

bird dawg

August 24th, 2009
1:15 pm

it kinda looks like ealey may be redshirted??

G

August 24th, 2009
1:16 pm

I just hope we dont start the game with the Fla State bomb. I think not having Staffords arm might be a good thing. Donnan ran some great short slants and dump off’s in Bobo’s years. Hopefully Mike will spread the field out like Donnan did. Got so tired of seeing Staff over throw guys deep.

Nostra-chazzo

August 24th, 2009
1:22 pm

Let me say it one more time. It is going to be a really exciting season. An interesting schedule, lots of possibilities on “O,” and lots of new talent. I predict several close games. Welcome back, by the way, this is always a good blog.

m

August 24th, 2009
1:24 pm

The three top rated high school running backs in Georgia two years ago were Johathan Dwyer, Roddy Jones and Caleb King.

Of course Tech got the two good ones and they ran all over ugag last year.

Caleb King is a total bust…but that just makes him fit in well with that scrub team over at the athens correctional institute.

45-42…glad it still hurts so bad…and it is only the beginning.

G

August 24th, 2009
1:27 pm

There’s no nerd-terrorist-child molester jackass blog?

G

August 24th, 2009
1:28 pm

If you listen closely the gt fight song they say go jackass

G

August 24th, 2009
1:30 pm

robster craws

AceDawg

August 24th, 2009
1:34 pm

I’m optimistic about Samuel and Thomas but am not sold on King yet. I’m sure he offers something though. Let’s just hope Richt and Bobo find the right balance and have a willingness to go with a hotter hand. Samuel’s physical presence should make him the sustained drive guy, and Thomas looks like the guy that’ll give defense fits in open space. My guess is Ealey and Baldwin aren’t gonna be in the mix too much, but my guess comes with zero credibility!!

DawginLex

August 24th, 2009
1:35 pm

m hanging out on a UGA blog. Delusional idiot never goes away. Can’t wait for the 1st loss for your savior coach and read your blog post about how you want to escort him out of town.

AltamahaDawg

August 24th, 2009
1:35 pm

Well Ramble, at least they would become very good friends with all of your WRs.

hop

August 24th, 2009
1:36 pm

it will be interesting to see who will be the must disappointing teams in both the ACC AND SEC!

Tech,Auburn,clemson,LSU and Virginia are my picks!

AltamahaDawg

August 24th, 2009
1:49 pm

see, now you know it’s the original RC, when the 60% run/pass stat comes out.

Freddie G

August 24th, 2009
2:04 pm

Sinkwich, Jasper Sanks was a good back who ran hard, his problem was his head, and he would not give up the Joint. King will be fine, he is a different back from Samuel, I see King more like our back that played a few years ago for New England Patriots.

Wil Walton

August 24th, 2009
2:10 pm

Agree, first offensive play of the season… screen pass to Samuel. If Samuel is starting, then Thomas and King need to be returning KOs.

Wil Walton

August 24th, 2009
2:12 pm

Ace, who is Baldwin?

Freddie G

August 24th, 2009
2:12 pm

With the abundance of RB’s it is hoped that Bobo will utilize them and don’t have Cox putting up the ball 70% of the possessions. Despite the talent the reptiles show on paper, I feel optimistic that an upset is in the making if Bobo and Willie call a good game.

BruffDawg

August 24th, 2009
2:12 pm

Samuel will pound the pokes into fatigue, and thn we strike with thomas who will burn them up. Does this game remind anyone of playing Hawaii? How will we stop their offense? Running it down their throats!!!

WildBill

August 24th, 2009
2:17 pm

Running back by committee!? Whats next, quarterback by committee? Coaching by committee? Just 12 days and we will have some answers(maybe).

dawgstephen

August 24th, 2009
2:22 pm

I agree that Richard is stepping up but those who think that Caleb cant play are sadly mistaken. He is gonna shock a lot of people. Go Dawgs

http://www.dawgstephen.blogspot.com

Denver Dog

August 24th, 2009
2:53 pm

Get off of Caleb’s case he will play alot, IHe is hurt and you have to get over the hamstring injury or it will stay there all year. I still say the little guy will play a lot too. Running back of several is not bad. Wasn’t too long ago that you had Brown, Ware, and Lumpking running. Last I checked they had all made the NFL. So King, Samuels, Thomas, and Ealey will do just fine. As far as the Techies on here, forget them, they are all just egomaniacs with inferiority complexes. Other wise they would go on the Tech blogs.

Doyouknowshon

August 24th, 2009
2:56 pm

G,
Good call on Samuel except for the part about him being 16 last year. He turned 17 in February 2008. Still, good call overall.

45ACP

August 24th, 2009
3:07 pm

Everyone is healthy and back at their position.
They should be able to run on anyone and stop anyone.
No more excuses, I hope.

LaGrangeDawg

August 24th, 2009
3:20 pm

m stands for “my team finally won a game in 8 years.”

Voice of Reason

August 24th, 2009
3:33 pm

Ramble On- wouldn’t you say GT has a tailback by committee as well? I know you call them different things but seriously.

G- Richard Samuel was not 16. He was 17. Not that big of a diff. but come on. 16 in the D-1 college football?

Ace- Who the heck is Baldwin? Daniels maybe? (didnt help the credibility for future posts)

WildBill- RB by committee is used at a large number of colleges around the country, maybe even most. It is nowhere near the same as QB by committee, so why the shcok like it is something bad. Ever heard of “Earth, Wind, and Fire” (not the singing group, but the tandem, or committee of RBs that led the NY Giants to the SB victory?) or all of the tandems referred to as “Thunder and Lightning”. How about James Davis and CJ Spiller who have done a great job at Clemson sharing carries? Would McFadden have been as good without Felix Jones? How good did Addai do in Indianapolis after they lost Rhodes? Can you name the RB for the Patriots SB wins? How many were there? (Not just one) How did UGA handle the RB situation before last year? (Thomas Brown, Danny Ware, Kregg Lumpkin) Ever hear of LenDale White. Without him you probably wouldn’t have heard as much about Reggie Bush. Fred Taylor/Maurice Jones-Drew, Michael Turner/Jerious Norwood, etc. Having one RB get a vast majority of carries such as Knowshon last year is a rarity these days. Keep up.

smashmouth

August 24th, 2009
3:44 pm

Yah, when Caleb is in the game don’t expect much and they’ll never throw the ball to Richard Samuel. I think they should forfeit the season since Joe Cox just told everyone the whole darn game plan!

Samuel's the man

August 24th, 2009
4:04 pm

RS is bigger, stronger AND faster than Caleb, and is only a few months past his 17th birthday. His only question mark is: can he hold onto the ball? If so, he’ll be hard to displace. Joe did say that about Richard’s hands, which goes back to what I’ve said about Joe all along…he is a vocal leader who is not afraid to speak up, something we have not had since DJ left town. Combine that with the fact that as a HS senior, he was generally regarded as a top 5 qb nationwide, won the elite 11 qb camp accuracy award over, among others, Mark Sanchez, and you now know why we will look back and wonder why he didn’t play more the last three years.
H B T D

Samuel's the man

August 24th, 2009
4:04 pm

Oh, sorry I forgot, welcome back Bill.

reality check

August 24th, 2009
4:05 pm

Yep, you got me Alt. I don’t post much anymore and I can’t help the statistics thing. I am a recovering CPA.

The thing is, the run/pass ratio as a predictor of success was true last year too. In fact, it was just as striking as it has been every year since Richt arrived.

Alabama 16 plays rushing, 43 passing
Florida 29 plays rushing, 37 passing
Tech 22 plays rushing, 40 passing

The disturbing thing is that we outgained both Georgia Tech and Florida. We had 10 yards less total offense than Alabama. But Alabama and Florida beat us like a rented mule and Tech squeaked one out.

All the rest of the games Georgia ran more than 50% of the time and we won them all.

This is one of those situations that the statistics tell a compelling story

Samuel's the man

August 24th, 2009
4:05 pm

okay, RS is a few months past his 18th birthday, he’s still young, strong and fast…..Go DAWGS

Voice of Reason

August 24th, 2009
4:29 pm

Why does RS being 18 matter? He, just like Caleb King has 3 more years of eligibility. Do you really think that his being a year or 2 younger makes him better? He may be the better back, maybe not, but his age is not going to determine that so why bring it up?

bird dawg

August 24th, 2009
4:30 pm

baldwin, daniels??? i think both of y’all mean jackson….dontavious jackson would be the fourth, maybe 5th,depending on ealey, in the mix.. but seriously, who is baldwin, the only baldwin i knew of was the safety that kept getting hurt or suspended..oh well, on to more important things..

i heard from my big 12 friend over the weekend and he says that okie-dokie state has all of their big,famous alums coming to stillwater to see the buttwhipping. you know, all 3, t.boone, barry sanders, and garth….

Voice of Reason

August 24th, 2009
4:32 pm

oh, and I’d rather have a slower, smaller back who gets 4 yards a carry than a bigger faster one who gets 6 yards a carry and then fumbles the ball every drive. Until he proves he can hang on to the ball and not run straight up I am not sold on Richard Samuel.

Voice of Reason

August 24th, 2009
4:35 pm

bird dawg- I was referring to Kalvin Daniels. I didn’t mean Jackson bc he has already had a redshirt and therfore Ace wouldn’t have predicted him to be redshirted this year (would he?)

Denver Dog

August 24th, 2009
4:37 pm

Which Tech running back one the Hiesman trophy,and Doak Walker award last year. HMMM? I can’t remember which one it was

ISN”T IT A SHAME ABOUT TECH

shane#1

August 24th, 2009
4:37 pm

I think King has the talent to be starting tb at UGA and I hope he has a very good year. I do think he has a short window to take the starting job because if Ealey does not redshirt and learns the system and improves his blocking he will be in the mix with King, Thomas, and Samuel. Ealey has an agressive running style that would complement Samuel and Thomas would make a good change of pace. Ealey also seems to have good hands for a running back. So if Caleb wants to make a move he needs to make that move in the first couple of games. I came off a little harsh on King yesterday and I believe he will be an asset to the Dogs this season, I would just like to see him step it up and reach his potential.

41 38 49 38 45

August 24th, 2009
4:56 pm

Samuel will be another Danny Ware till he gets his bell rung…….. The head aches will happen then come the excuses. Mark my words !

shane#1

August 24th, 2009
5:00 pm

Reality Check, good post about the 60% run factor. I know that a team that uses the play action pass as it’s bread and butter play needs to establish the run to be most effective. Meyer and Saban and Johnson also know that to beat UGA you must stop the run. Unfortunately for the Dogs Tech and Bama had very good dls and UF’s d was just dam good all over. When you have a patched up line with two true freshmen {one at center} and you face good defenses that are well coached and they want to stop the run, they will stop the run. Oh, and Bama took a 31 to 0 lead at half time, another good run stopping tactic.

WildBill

August 24th, 2009
5:13 pm

OSU Football Coach Mike Gundy. I believe Coach Gundy has a fire in his gut that will flow into his players and will be a real factor on opening day. I like CMR, but his fire seems, to me at least, to have waned over the years. Visions of Alabama and Florida still are in my mind from last years’ games. Times of utter collapse on UGA’s side were apparent to anyone watching the game. UGA, heed Coach Mike Gundy, he will be a force to be reckoned with.

41 38 49 38 45

August 24th, 2009
5:26 pm

Wild Bill …..You are on to something, CMR seems very cautious when he speaks to the media. He does praise his players after practices but I haven’t seen his confidence of overall improvement in his program. Makes one wonder…….

F. Sinkwich

August 24th, 2009
6:41 pm

I sure hope you’re right, Freddie G. Nothing would make me happier than watching Caleb burst through the line for big gains. So far though I’ve seen mostly up-the-middle for two or so. But I’m old, so my memory may be a problem here.

Buddy El

August 24th, 2009
8:42 pm

Voice of Reason: If you know anything at all about most males you have got to know that a 16 or 17 year-old is not nearly developed to his potential. It is a matter of record that most begin peeking at 19 or 20. RS is still growing and should reach 235 lbs. in the next couple of years. His speed should also increase.

Buddy El

August 24th, 2009
8:46 pm

Evidently Texas Tech didn’t get the word on running more ofton than passing but I will admit TT is an exception.

VegasDawg

August 24th, 2009
11:31 pm

I think our Dawgs will be the Dark Horse surprise of the SEC…since we always do better when everyone else thinks we’re mediocre. I’m also throwing this out there…but look for us to take revenge on Florida..when it happens, you heard it here first!

Big Dawg

August 25th, 2009
7:57 am

Carlton Thomas by the numbers inspring and camp and heart is the back that should be no. 1 then 2.Samuel 3. Ealey 4. King

reality check

August 25th, 2009
8:07 am

Buddy El, I agree Texas Tech didn’t get the word on running more often than passing, but that model applies to them too. Last year the only SEC team they played was Ole Miss. TT ran 14 times and passed 58. They got beat 47 – 34. Their running game was working. They averaged 7.5 yards a carry. They just abandoned the run, even though they were only averaging 6.3 yards per pass.

Ole Miss ran more, 45 plays running to 29 passing. They averaged “only” 5 yards per run, but their passing game averaged 10 yards per pass, partly because TT had to respect the run.

Running the ball works.

DamnGoodDawg

August 25th, 2009
8:30 am

This is the first time I’ve heard that Samuel is not a good receiver. He needs to be able to catch the ball, particularly if he is the #1 back.

G

August 25th, 2009
9:14 am

Still impressive and to go thru spring practice in the sec at 16 and earn playing time , Samuel that is. Orson looks like a beast.

G

August 25th, 2009
9:15 am

How can Samuel not be a good reciever, he returned kicks. In my book that means he has good hands.

Voice of Reason

August 25th, 2009
9:23 am

samuel was 17, not 16. there are a LOT of people on these blogs saying he was 16. He was not.

G- He was a fumbling kick returner though.

BIGBOY

August 25th, 2009
6:22 pm

I will wait until we play a SEC defense before I can say who can play and who can’t.

Mark

August 25th, 2009
9:05 pm

UGA has a stable of backs and the issue is going to be which know the offense and execute their assignments. King, Samuel and Thomas have the reps to know the playbook. If I’m CMR and Bobo I play the hot hand in the second half. As for catching the ball, Cox may be planting a seed in the minds of opponents or in the mind of Samuel. Cox has always been considered bright and I don’t think the fifth year senior is going to say anything that would damage his final season.

[...] to be led by sophomores Caleb King and Richard Samuel.  But all indications are that there will be many carries to go around.  King has suffered a hamstring injury in camp, after an early season-ending injury last fall.  [...]