Dogs’ old-fashioned August suffering

The old football maxim that the tougher the practices are the better off the team will be come game time has been questioned by some in recent years. 

The new argument goes that with the year-round conditioning programs that college players go through, particularly in summer drills, brutal two-a-days in August don’t really gain you that much, and might end up costing you in injuries, whether minor ones like hamstring pulls, or major ones that might cause a player to miss a year.

You won’t hear that kind of talk around the Woodruff Practice Fields in Athens, however. After letting up in practice last year because of the alarming number of players going down with injuries, Mark Richt saw the Dogs’ fundamentals, focus and discipline all slip. The results weren’t pretty.

Practices toughened up for the bowl game and, at least in the case of the defense, definite improvement was shown. Approaching this season, Richt vowed to stay tough in practices if at all possible.

Seems like he’s done it so far, judging by a report in the Macon Telegraph on Georgia’s “grueling” preseason drills. The head coach briefly thought about letting up a bit last Friday when it looked like it might rain because his players were so exhausted. But the rain held off and Richt went ahead with a full practice. “They are tired, they are sore, but they responded,” he said.

“My body aches, my body’s sore,” Jeff Owens told the Telegraph. “But to be great, you’ve got to keep pushing. You must get better every day.”

Added Rennie Curran: “If we don’t sacrifice now, it’s going to get ugly. The way I look at it is, I’d rather hurt now than hurt on ESPN or in front of those fans and look sloppy in front of the fans. We’ve been putting work in day in and day out, and hopefully it’s going to pay off.”

So what do you think? Can you practice too hard in August? Is the risk of injury worth it? What about all that practice time that’s being missed by Caleb King and company because of those strained hamstrings? 

Or can the shortcomings of last year’s team be attributed at least in part to not suffering enough on the practice field in August?

73 comments Add your comment

Frank Wren

August 25th, 2009
4:33 pm

Free Cokes

Free Hotdogs here !!!!


August 25th, 2009
4:41 pm

I like what Rennie says…


August 25th, 2009
5:53 pm

Of course practice is too hard. It is planned that way. If you never played you can’t answer this question. And who was it that said UGA practices were too hard? The “NOW” gang. Maybe PETA?

Minnesota Dawg

August 25th, 2009
6:13 pm

Hard practices keep the guys in shape for the game. Every aspect of the game hinges on the practices. Practice makes perfect. I wonder how many injuries wouldn’t happen if the players stayed in shape with tough but reasonable practices.


August 25th, 2009
6:31 pm

Saint Simon’s mother needs to limit his computer time but I guess she has too many Johns to service.

Big time?? Not

August 25th, 2009
6:35 pm

Four tickets, four hot dogs, four cokes


August 25th, 2009
6:36 pm

We’re talking about practice.


August 25th, 2009
6:57 pm

Obviously, poor tackling and poor discipline (penalties) cost the dogs dearly last year. If harder practices can improve those two things, I expect great things from the dogs this year. And that doesn’t mean a national championship and maybe not even a conference championship, but it means competing like champions every game.


August 25th, 2009
7:54 pm

This whole story is very “the chicken or the egg”. And mercifully in 2 weeks we wont have to cover, and recover, and recover old stories.

Every coach in the country goes as as hard as they, WHILE they can. Obviously we are going harder now, when we have a 99% healthy team. But too difficult was not the story of blown knees and broken bones last year. That was just Freakish. Even after cutting back, they still mounted, so obviously there is no magic formula, and its not even a matter of philosophy.

And the lack of (fill in the blank with subjective term) was just as much a result of a player having absolutely no back ups during the game as it was how they practiced during the week.

Let’s just keep a 3 deep rotation and not speak of this dark chapter again.

Saint Simons

August 25th, 2009
10:16 pm

HI everyone, when I post the numbers 45-42, I am actually telling everyone my penis size in inches (3).

Mike T.

August 26th, 2009
12:22 am

Mine eyes have seen the glory
of the stomping of the dawgs.
We will make those poor, dumb farm boys
Wish they’d stuck to slopping hogs.
When our team is victorious
We will sing a mighty cheer:
“We’ll do the same next year!”

Now that is poetry there nerd.
Now this!
How about them Dawgs! 59-36-5, we own Georgia Tech, even with last years fluke 3 point Tech win.
Only a couple of more months to enjoy it, then the Dawgs start another win streak, against the team with the world’s ugliest uniforms.


August 26th, 2009
5:26 am

And if I had a daughter, I’d dress her in white and gold.
And stand her on the corner her virginity to be sold.
And if I had a son, sir, I tell you what I’d do
I say “Sell yourself for money!”
Like your mother used to do

41 38 49 38 45

August 26th, 2009
6:28 am

Its the DEFENSE stupid!

Turd Kennedy

August 26th, 2009
6:31 am

Yall are a bunch of dawg turds!


August 26th, 2009
8:09 am

GAWD…bunch of lame ass bozos

Dawgs Fan

August 26th, 2009
9:09 am

Of course you can’t practice to hard in August. King’s injury is just one in a long list of problems he has had since he broke his leg in high school. I don’t think he has the fire inside for football anymore. It is very evident in the way he runs. Compare Samuels and Kings running style. Samuels wants it bad, King is just trying to be careful.

Habersham Dawg

August 26th, 2009
9:10 am

As long as the Dawgs are healthy enough to practice at near game conditions, then they need to hit and hit and hit during these practices. But for the cliches, here’s the rebuttals, “Practice doesn’t make perfect, perfect practice makes perfect”. Second, and my biggest pet peeve for a saying is the one by Nietzche, “That which does not kill us makes us stronger.” That saying is crap. There are many things that don’t kill us that weaken us and harm us. Remember, Nietzche also said “God is dead.”

Dawg Tired

August 26th, 2009
10:02 am

An old coach here. Tough practices make players mentally tougher. Absolutely necessary.


August 26th, 2009
10:32 am

Speaking as a former football player, I think practices need to be hard AND smart. It’s less about beating the ever living hell out of each other and more about practicing the technique at a variety of speeds( half speed, full speed, slow speed). Doing something fast or hard doesn’t mean you’re doing it right. ” Slow and Strong” can be better than ” Fast and Wrong” in some situations because when someone is in an adverse situation, it’s the fundamentals that they will fall back on. If the foundation is weak, the house will crumble.

I think the bigger issue for the Dawgs is going back to the ” Finishing the Drill” mentality that Richt’s earlier teams had. In every single one of their losses last season, the Dawgs got hit in the mouth and DID NOT respond. This was the first team under Richt that has performed in such a way. They were very weak mentally, like they were scared out there. I’m not 100% sure how you fix that, but they better otherwise it will be a LONG season.


August 26th, 2009
10:51 am

Habersham, a few more of those worn out cliches’ and we would have lost 2 more games last year.

Richt said this morning that they are basically doing what they always done in camp, including last year.

Simply lost too many players during the year, and in an effort to field a team, he did what every coach in America would do. And could only win 10 games in a tough schedule. <- my words



August 26th, 2009
10:58 am

Gotta practice hard. Certainly Saban is. Certainly Meyer is. Even most ultimate of pricks like Bob Stoops are.

Habersham Dawg

August 26th, 2009
2:25 pm

Altahama, glad you agreed with me.


August 30th, 2009
12:32 am

Don’t send my boy to MIT
The dying mother said,
Don’t send my boy to Emory
I’d rather see him dead,
Send my boy to Georgia Tech
T’is better than Cornell
As for the University of Georgia
I’d rather see him in Hell

To Hell, To Hell, To Hell with Georgia
To Hell, To Hell, To Hell with Georgia
To Hell, To Hell, To Hell with Georgia
The Cess Pool of the South