Bulldog Bites: Dogs’ conditioning questioned

Knowshon Moreno often took himself out of drives. (Associated Press)

Knowshon Moreno often took himself out of drives. (Associated Press)

I’ve been hearing the murmuring among fans for a couple of seasons now about whether Mark Richt’s teams are really in top playing condition.

First it was all those shoulder injuries our linemen seemed to get. Then, amid the odds-defying run of injuries last season, fans wondered why Knowshon Moreno kept taking himself out of games in the middle of drives. This season, the same question as been asked about key downs when leading tackler Rennie Curran was on the sideline. Whatever happened to iron men like two-way player Champ Bailey?

Prior to last season’s NFL draft, there also were a couple of potshots taken at the Dogs’ level of conditioning in the national sports media by anonymous NFL scouting sources who questioned Moreno’s ranking.

And this season, there were all those lingering hamstring problems, and in the opening game against Okie State, the Dogs appeared to be feeling the heat a lot more than the Cowboys were. And as the season has gone on, Georgia’s offensive line, in particular, frequently has been manhandled.

Veteran UGA football observer Tony Barnhart raised the issue this week when, as one of his questions facing Richt, he asked, “Is the offseason conditioning program what it should be?”  Everyone’s always assumed so, because Dave Van Halanger, UGA’s director of strength and conditioning, came to Georgia with a stellar reputation after 18 years of doing the same job at Florida State.

But the Coaches Hot Seat Blog believes the answer to Barnhart’s question is an emphatic no. In fact, the blog maintains the Georgia football team is “out of shape” and “weak.”

That’s no doubt overstating it, but this does seem to be one of the aspects of Georgia’s program that Richt needs to revisit after the season.

BUCK BLASTS FANS

Buck Belue admits the Dogs haven’t looked good this season and that there hasn’t been a lot to cheer about. But he says a portion of the UGA fan base has performed poorly, too.

“How do you leave early, when the LSU-GA game outcome hangs in the balance? What’s up with the showing up tardy? How lame is all that garbage that was left behind by tailgaters? Embarrassing. Have another 6-pack and scream about firing Martinez and Bobo some more.”

Belue trusts that Richt will figure out what’s wrong. “In the meantime, his team is fighting. No one has quit … I sure like that. The fight is still there. That’s more than you can say about all those Bulldog fans that bailed out in Jacksonville in the fourth quarter. Fair weather fans … who really needs them?”

481 comments Add your comment

George "Kingfish" Stevens

November 5th, 2009
10:43 am

In shape? Out of shape? Ga fans has always left befo da game ended, cause its just party time and hype. I is still regusted!

L-Dawg

November 5th, 2009
10:48 am

GLORY GLORY TO OLE’ GEORGIA!!!!

WHAT DO GEORGIA TECH “FANS” AND UGA FANS HAVE IN COMMON?? THEY ARE BOTH OBSESSED WITH THEM DAWGS AND WHAT GOES ON IN THE GREAT TOWN OF ATHENS, GA!!!!

I CANNOT WAIT TO BE IN THE STANDS TO WELCOME OUR DAWGS HOME THIS SATURDAY!!!!

FIRE WILLIE MARTINEZ!!!

FIRE MIKE BOBO!!!!

HIRE DAVID POLLACK!!!!

HIRE COACH KILMER FROM WEST CANAAN TEXAS!!

SO GOOD TO CHEER FOR MY TEAM AS OPPOSED TO HATE/ENVY THE PROGRAM OF ANOTHER!!!!

GO DAWGS!!!! (DOES THAT MAKE ME A BLIND HOMER STILL?, FOR SUPPORTING WHAT I LOVE??)

Go Dawgs... Win

November 5th, 2009
10:51 am

I’ve been saying that for weeks! We have to be bigger, stronger and faster than the other teams. We are NOT that now. That is where we have to evaluate the coaches! Van Halanger may need to go! WM may need to go, but that is about it. The fans who left Sat game in J-ville should be ashamed! I finally got to go to the game and even with getting beat like we did, NO WAY was I going to let UF have the stadium to themselves. I hope everyone shows this week in Athens. If you aren’t showing, I’ll take your tixs!! Go Dawgs!!

gt

November 5th, 2009
10:57 am

I of course do not know if the Dawgs are in optimum shape. I have seen what I am about to write. I saw it clearly inn Jax. Our D-line men are, as a group, fat and slow.When Tebow-not Demps- ran around end one time (do we have a de on that side?)- it looked like to old Roadrunner comic. Tebow was The roadrunner.

Cannot win with lack of speed.

SadDawg

November 5th, 2009
11:03 am

Longtime fan of Belue, but this is is laughable. Most of these “fair weather fans” pay an obscene amount of money (look up UGA season ticket & contribution prices) to get these tickets, so they can arrive and leave when they please. Just keep on putting the fans down, Joe Cox, Mark Richt, and Buck Belue. Yes we may be stupid and know nothing about football, but we can sure see that you are getting your butts handed to you pretty regularly these days, and we might decide the product on the field isn’t worth the price of admission. I for one don’t particularly care to stay and see the 40th-something point slapped on, and take the heckling from the fans of UF, UT, Bama, Tech, etc. I’ll be glad to stick around til the end of the game, WHEN WE’RE STILL IN THE GAME!!!!!

AceDawg

November 5th, 2009
11:04 am

Both arguments are correct. Fans should do their part and certainly not trash the campus, but the world is full of things to do, and watching a team you’d like to see do well get stomped and look directionless is no fun. What to gain from staying to watch UGA fall to UF? A better statement is made by leaving.

Supes

November 5th, 2009
11:08 am

Buck is a homer, and CMR loyalist. He’s afraid that he’ll lose his “pal status” with CMR and “co” if he calls it like it is.

At least David Pollack doesn’t have his head buried in the sand and calls out UGA players and staff on his radio show.

Knowsone Moron Whenheseesone

November 5th, 2009
11:08 am

Are you guys making these names up?

Cuz

November 5th, 2009
11:13 am

Maybe those fans in JAX were trying to squeeze in 9 holes before the time change.

cajdawg

November 5th, 2009
11:16 am

Agree with the comments on strength and conditioning.

Buck is an insider-homer, he has the back of the coaching staff. While I like him (he seems like a nice individual) and I appreciate what he has done for UGA, I find that his commentary is neither insightful or interesting.

JAX STATE ALUM

November 5th, 2009
11:16 am

UGA needs to regroup and take the wins with the loses!!! We will not have a winning season every year.. UGA will be fine!!!

Saint Simons

November 5th, 2009
11:18 am

Tenn Tech 77, uga 0!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Have fun at Carpets of Dalton Bowl!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Sanford Drive

November 5th, 2009
11:18 am

Unfortunately, every team has their share of fair weather fans. I’d say on average, however, UGA has less. Even when we’re terrible, the stadium is mostly full.

Also, I went to the LSU game. It was a packed house and didn’t notice that a lot of people left early. Not sure what he’s talking about there.

MT

November 5th, 2009
11:19 am

I agree on the fan support.

The number of blue shirts on the UGA side was quite noticeable in Jacksonville, and beginning of the 4th quarter a lot of red in the stands was replaced by the empty teal seats.

People may want to give up on the coordinators, but don’t give up on the players. These guys have put in 4 or 5 or 6 years of sweat, blood and effort into the program ya’ll supposedly love and care for.

Be there for them. Be in the stadium on senior day to celebrate their accomplishment when they come out on the field.

Whatever you might say about Tereshinski’s throwing ability, he did anything and everything he could do to help our team, from being the upback on punt formations to longsnapping to playing myriad special teams, as well as being a vigilant QB. I was still proud of him and supportive the last game he walked out on the field.

Villa Rica DAWG

November 5th, 2009
11:23 am

I would love it if the BCS idiots put Tech in the Title game against Florida. Then, every time a Tech fan starts jabbing after we lose to them, all we have to do is remind them of how bad UF throttled their silly a$$es in 2009…

uuughh...

November 5th, 2009
11:26 am

STFU Buck Belue. Why does he get a voice? Because he was the QB when UGA won the NC near 30 years ago!? Let me tell you something Buck Belue…you won the lottery pal. You just happened to be the QB that was there when Walker came through. Joe T III would have won the NC with Hershell to hand off to. Now because of Walker, Belue is a hero amongst the UGA faithful…and makes a good living because of it. What skill does that guy have other than sitting on his can in front of a microphone spewing the party line in an attempt to preserve the open communication line between him and Richt.

I am over Buck Belue….will never listen to his show again. What a moron.

Reality Check

November 5th, 2009
11:28 am

Hey you cry babies I agree with Buck. SadDawg you are correct, people do buy their tickets and they have the right to do what they want with them but to help the team and the program they should stay the whole game and make an impact. Leaving discourages the team and most of all recruiting. Good fans matter and although money is a huge part of it, its not all that matters.

For the other cry babies that say Buck is just saying this to please Coach Richt are just offended because you have left early. I have heard Buck critisize our coaching staff plenty and I think he is entitled to call out fans for leaving early if he choses too without being on the coaches side. I agree there must be PLENTY of changes made this off season especially on the defensive side of the ball but fans need to do their part. The funny thing is, the ones who are leaving are the biggest whinners of all. If you want to see the program get back on tract the most, why don’t you do your part as a fan to help out?

Reality Check

November 5th, 2009
11:30 am

uuuuuuggggh – Who cares what Buck has done or not he is right! I guess its safe to say you have left the game early and arrive 30 minutes late as well. Did you also sell your Florida tickets on Ebay?

kevin

November 5th, 2009
11:30 am

Funny thing and big difference between UGA and Ga. Tech, UGA is upset about being 4-4. Ga. Tech is happy to be ranked 10th in the country. UGA would not be happy with that either…..UGA has beat Tech’s ass seven out of eight years…….and oh boy if the Dawgs get them this year…..watch the crying from the Tech fans…..it’s gonna happen…UGA will beat them again this year and make it 8 out of 9…maybe Paul Johnson will buy his cry babies another ring if the try real hard…..Tech won’t even win the ACC…go Clemson!

Georgia Headlines – 11/5/09 | MrSEC.com

November 5th, 2009
11:32 am

[...] Georgia player thinks criticism of Richt’s calm demeanor is silly.4.  Former UGA quarterback Buck Belue took on the Georgia fanbase yesterday.  “How do you leave early, when the LSU-Georgia game outcome hangs in the [...]

whoknowsnow

November 5th, 2009
11:34 am

Great comments, coming from a great quarterback! sike. What a joke this is to call out the fans. They at least showed up in Jacksonville. A lot of people didn’t even want to go to the game. At least the fans were there. Heck Buck if you would have played against Willie you might have had a career day too. This kind of crap makes me sicker in the stomach.

knoxdawg

November 5th, 2009
11:35 am

The offensive and defensive linemen are overweight. They need to slim down while also bulking up. Got to get rid of the poy bellies. To much off season beer I guess. I’d rather have a smaller lineman that is strong and quick than a bigger lineman that is strong but slow. Off season conditioning program needs to be looked at. Defensive and offensive schemes need to be revamped. Coaching staff needs to be evaluated and improvements made. Coach Richt needs to reenergize himself. Just please do whatever it takes to make this program top notch again!

gomdawg

November 5th, 2009
11:36 am

Georgia will BE BACK , there is not To MANY team that could go through the first six game and being on the road like we have that would be any better 4-4.

DestinDawg

November 5th, 2009
11:36 am

Buck apparently the team has quit, for the second time this year they got embarrassed on the field and as soon as they got back to Athens they went to the bars and were dancing on tables. What a joke and it all goes back to the head coach. Do you think Myers, Saban, Miles, or Spurrier would allow this trash?

shannon1776

November 5th, 2009
11:37 am

Come on Buck!!!!! Laving early has nothing to do with 12 penalties per game, 3 turnovers per game, having a very deep cover two on 3rd and 1 foot, throwing 18 yard outs on 3rd and 1 foot when a simple roll out/boot leg pass to a TE 4 yards down field would keep the chains moving.

I am a homer too, but don’t embarrass yourself brother!!!!!!

Dawgs73

November 5th, 2009
11:38 am

I can’t believe that Belue is actually ripping UGA fans that pay a hefty price to support their beloved Dawgs (and also supported him). I honestly believe that it’s simply a ratings ploy by 680 to incite the UGA listeners and increase $$$. I think Belue is smart enough to see that changes need to be made and is just “putting on a show” for radio.

It’s really pretty funny if you think about it. Of all of the apathy that we have here in the ATL towards our professional sports teams, UGA is hardly in that category. This is definitely Bulldog country and the word “fair weather” DOES NOT APPLY TO US…PLEASE!!!!!!!

Dawg Foot

November 5th, 2009
11:41 am

Buck has his head up his arse. What team has he been watching?

uuughh...

November 5th, 2009
11:43 am

Fans reflect the intensity of the team. If the team needs a different color uniform to get fired up for a big SEC match up every single year maybe the fans need the team to WIN a big SEC match up every now and again to keep their intensity up.

If the team/coaches quit…like they did at Tennessee and Florida (2 years running) how can you complain about the fans leaving?

Don’t act like the fans are letting the team down either. The Coaches let the fans down everytime the team shows up on Saturday unprepared (see too few players on the field for UF’s long fieldgoal as an example…or the entire UT game). The Players let the fans down every time they play with the lack of enthusiasm they have played with this season.

I want to see my team win. Frankly, I only buy tickets to see my team win. That is not always going to happen and I will stay through a closely fought loss. Folks we don’t get any close losses anymore! I paid my money for the ticket and watching a team that is outmanned, outplayed, and outcoached is not worth the money I have invested in the ticket. Why waste any more time getting frustrated? Get out early…we don’t fight through the adversity of a single bad call much less come back to get a victory.

That is real folks and these are my entertainment dollars. If it isn’t entertaining, I should spend my money on it.

Now if you want to buy my tickets Buck Belue, I will stay as long as you ask me to.

Reality Check

November 5th, 2009
11:43 am

whoknowsnow – Actually a lot of fans didn’t show up in Jacksonville. I had all kinds of UF fans sitting next to me and all of my section which was a UGA section. Our fans had sold them on ebay to UF fans! ABSOLUTELY PATHETIC!

whoknowsnow

November 5th, 2009
11:43 am

I think he’s jealous of kevin Butler getting the attention for his inputs. Butler’s actually make sense.

Billy Ray Valentine

November 5th, 2009
11:44 am

gomdawg….how can a team “go through the first six game and being on the road like we have that would be any better 4-4.”

Since they’re 4-4, wouldn’t that mean they’ve played eight games?

RMFT

Reality Check

November 5th, 2009
11:45 am

UUUUUGGGHHHH – I think you just told who you are and that is almost word for word a fairweather fan.

The L Dawg

November 5th, 2009
11:48 am

Supes – You are absolutely right. I stopped listening to Buck and started listening to Pollack for that reason. Buck is scared. He must be kidding some kind of royalty to pump up the program and defend the coaches. I’ve played football and know the game, but it doesn’t take an idiot to know when a team is awful!! One 30pt game allowed under Van Gorder, Fifteen under Martinez!! Enough said!

I shutter to think

November 5th, 2009
11:49 am

I hope we win, but I shutter to think how are conditioning is going to hold up against Tech’s 2nd half death march they have been putting on opponents lately.

We must score just about everytime we get the ball (and we should since Tech’s D sux).

The thing I worry about is that their Time of Possesion stats are off the charts. Tech leads the nation in TOP and that does not fare well for our team that may not have gotten the conditioning they need.

Reality Check

November 5th, 2009
11:49 am

Billy Ray – He meant our first 6 games were really tough. Our 7th game was Vandy.

now tha't funny

November 5th, 2009
11:49 am

I have felt that our conditioning has been poor for a while. We always “cramp up” the first 2-3 games of the year. We get pounded by a more physical team. Yes, wholesale changes should be made. SC

95Dawg

November 5th, 2009
11:50 am

So, driving 12-14 hours round trip. Taking time off work. Spending several hundred to several thousands of dollars on Gas, Lodging, Tickets, Being taunted by drunken FL fans after we get embarrassed yet again, isn’t a commitment by the fans???

I stopped going to the game years ago, but many of my college buddies (who are perpetually 23 years old) still go every year.

Maybe if we weren’t getting humiliated for the 17th time in the last 2 decades, then perhaps the GA fans would’ve stayed. That is what fans do. I don’t care what sport or city you are in……..

Roy Wood

November 5th, 2009
11:51 am

Lot of fair weather fans shouldn be to hard to get a ticket this Sat No one is great ever year even Coach D had bad yrs now and then.I do admit I would try a new QB and possibley a new DC but I am still a UGA fan and CMR fanI can remember some of those clowns that have been therel.If CMR goes it will take 10 yrs to get back right again.I like 10 wins a Yr I can live with a down Yr Faithful Dog

toccoadawg

November 5th, 2009
11:51 am

I love the Dawgs but truth be told we need some new coachs and if CMR isnt going to do it . He has to go too. Buck Belue can kiss my dawg butt if he dont like it.

Cuz

November 5th, 2009
11:52 am

Let me get this straight. The fans left the game early to go partying and that is okay. The players went out partying after the game and that is disgraceful. Okay now I disunderstand.

JB Wright

November 5th, 2009
11:53 am

Little Buck Belue come blow your horn… out of your backside!

GA is un-discipled, badly coached and out of shape. And Richt just stands their with that serene look, like all is well.

Reality Check

November 5th, 2009
11:53 am

95dawg – How does staying 30 minutes longer cost a fan anymore money? You are right, it is a sacrafice to go but there really wasn’t any excuse for them to leave late in the 3RD QUARTER when we were only down by 14 at the time against the #1 ranked team in the country.

Everybody has a part in this program if you are a bulldawg and that means fans.

Todd

November 5th, 2009
11:55 am

COME ON BUCK BELUE. YOU CAN’T DISPUTE THE STATS. IF YOU WANT TO TALK TURNOVERS FOR STARTERS, DUDE YOU’VE LOST YOUR MIND TO BE ON THE AIR AND START TALKING FAIR WEATHER FANS.
MARK RICHT STARTS TELLING FANS AFTER THE LATEST FLORIDA BEATDOWN “WOMAN WANT LOVE, MEN WANT RESPECT”
FROM THIS ALLEGED FARE WEATHER FAN, I SAY NO MEN WANT A SOLID COACHED FOOTBALL TEAM THAT GIVES GA THE BEST CHANCE TO WIN.
AND TO BOBO, DUDE 3RD AND ONE OUT AT THE 5O YRD LINE MIDWAY THRU THE 3RD, IS THAT YOUR BEST CALL , THE ONE THAT MADE COXY LOOK LIKE A HS QB. ARE YOU FREAKIN SERIOUS, THAT PLAY CALL AT THAT POINT IN THE GAME.
NO BUCK BELUE, DON’T PLAY THE FAIR WEATHER CARD B.C YOU CALL GAMES FOR CSS AND DON’T WANT TO UPSET THE ATHL. DEPT.
WE GOT YOU FIGURED OUT BUCK BELUE.

chris

November 5th, 2009
11:56 am

Buck..people are leaving because they are embarrassed. Give me a break..how else can fans express their displeasure than with their attendance and their wallet. I am a die-hard UGA fan, but we have some major issues with some coaches.

DirtyDawg

November 5th, 2009
12:01 pm

There was a time more than a few years back, that if we were hopelessly out of it in the fourth quarter, I’d head for the car…and the booze. Until one time when my wife was with me – she didn’t routinely attend the games but was there that day – at some game where, sure enough, we were losing bad. I suggested that we leave to ‘beat the crowd’, when she said something that has stuck with me ever since: ‘Why should we leave? The players can’t.’

The point folks, is that we’re either all in this together, or we’re nothing. Now I don’t care what team you’re talking about, many of the losing team’s fans – assuming they’re losing big – will ‘make a run for it’, so it ain’t just us. Hell, I’ve seen the Gator/Alltel place void of orange and blue with more than a few minutes left – not a lot lately, but it’s happened. But sticking with the boys means, for one thing, you don’t have to put up with the pissants singing ‘na-na-na-na, hey, hey, hey…goo-ud bye’ in your ear and face on the way out. It also means that no matter what, I ain’t turnin’ tail and runnin’ from you bas***ds…and don’t even think about gettin’ in my face unless you want to lose your’s.’…or something like that.

Reality Check

November 5th, 2009
12:03 pm

Are some of you just not reading the article? Please show me where Buck says he doesn’t think there are problems and that we don’t need some changes? Guess what? It doesn’t, some of you are just pissed because you are them ones leaving early!

George

November 5th, 2009
12:04 pm

Who needs you Belue? Bye Bye 680/B and K. Hello 790 Pollack and Bell.

Colin C.

November 5th, 2009
12:04 pm

I’m a lifetime UGA fan and a UGA grad. I’m really getting sick and tired of the lunatic fringe that call into the radio shows and write on these blogs. UGA football has been as good as any in the country since Richt got here. We just had some bad luck the years we won the SEC that we didn’t get to play in the National Championship game like Florida and LSU. Teams are going to have some down years. USC (the real one) isn’t that good this year either because like us they have a lot of guys playing in the NFL off of last years team. Our defense isn’t great but either was Florida’s two years ago and either is GT’s or USC’s. I and most UGA fans I know would give Richt a lifetime contract right now. Fans need to be careful what they wish for or we could end up how we were before Richt. As much as I can’t stand Teebo he is one of the best college players in history and has beaten EVERYBODY, not just us. We never have to play him again, he is gone along with most of their defense next year. We hopefully will never have a harder schedule than we had this year. We will be fine if everyone will just relax because the way too many of the fans are talking and acting could scare off recruits. We will continue to enjoy much success under Coach Richt- good character always rises to the top.

shards1967

November 5th, 2009
12:04 pm

Please do not suggest that our schedule at UGA is rough and tough. This year OSU will end up about 7-5. or maybe 6-6 They are just now getting into their schedule and TX Tech will blow them out on Saturday and Tx Tech is lousy. See? Arizona St out hustled UGA in Athens but we won. THEY ARE NO GOOD. See? That leaves the usual rivals of U of T and they are rebuilding BUT THEY BLEW US OUT. See? With LSU we hung tough BUT when we had to play tough with 90 seconds left, we got penalties and missed tackles. See UGA’s #35 Curran getting blow out of his cleats on the Charles Scott TD run ……… in Athens for goodness sakes. Disgusting that last 90 seconds were and the D knows it too.
UGA IS NOW A LOUSY PROGRAM due to lethargy and folks being in jobs that they are un qualified for. Period. The players are a beaten down bunch of overrated kids. A new coach can rebuild it in 2010 IF we embark on finding one the day of the tech game.

UGA,class of 71 & 73

SOUTHGADAWG88

November 5th, 2009
12:07 pm

UGA “fans” are some of the worst fans in college sports and it’s getting worse.I look at TENN as an example…Fulmer struggled for his last 4 seasons and no matter how much the fans ragged on him they still packed Neyland stadium to the tune of a hundred thousand plus.That would not happen at UGA.As for the conditioning stuff I kinda think it has more to do with having undersized players for the most part and playing 19 straight games against BCS eligible schools.That has to be the longest stretch in college football.