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?”