A hard but fair look at stumbling Dogs

Paul Johnson is riding high right now. Mark Richt, not so much. Will Richt address the "decay" in his program? (Brant Sanderlin / AJC)

Paul Johnson is riding high right now. Mark Richt, not so much. Will Richt address the "decay" in his program? (Brant Sanderlin / AJC)

My friend John is kind of blunt but prides himself on being “hard but fair.” That’s how I’d characterize this assessment of the current state of the Dogs by ESPN.com’s Chris Low:

“There was already a black cloud hovering over Georgia’s football program. This season hadn’t been what anybody wanted, but then the Bulldogs went out and lost to Kentucky … at home. Not only did they lose, but they dominated the statistics and still managed to lose. But that’s what happens when you turn the ball over four times in the second half and have 75 penalty yards for the game. The Bulldogs (6-5, 4-4) are staring squarely into the face of their first non-winning regular season since Jim Donnan’s first season in Athens in 1996. The Bulldogs might not be one of the top two most talented teams in the SEC, but they’re certainly one of the top three or four. Talent is not Georgia’s problem. It’s focus. It’s execution. It’s player development and it’s discipline. When you commit as many penalties as the Bulldogs have the past two seasons and turn the ball over as many times as they have this season (26), it’s obvious that there’s a decay in the program somewhere that has to be addressed. Mark Richt has been as classy as they come and as consistent as they come. But if he doesn’t address this decay with more than just cosmetic changes, then it’s going to be addressed for him.”

Ouch.

What do you think? Too pessimistic? Right on the mark?

I’ll be off Tuesday as usual, but the Blawg will return on Wednesday.

356 comments Add your comment

tech (poser)redneck

November 24th, 2009
6:58 pm

Wilson Fumwinnie, hate Tech all you want, but they’re still kick your AZZZZ.

dan

November 24th, 2009
7:02 pm

I think Richt is about to be finished. I actually think he’ll step down. Don’t think it can happen? If Murray doesn’t pan out and this team has a losing record next season, I think Richt will quit before he is let go.

There’s a difference when a team is losing games but they’re competitve. Like if this team was snake bitten by injuries and fighting, but coming out on the short end; then that’s one thing. That’s a situation that can be easily fixed for the next season. But when a team is straight up quitting, like they are right now; and when a team gets hit in the mouth and doesn’t respond AT ALL; that’s a culture problem and that’s a HUGE PROBLEM. These players aren’t fighting for Richt like they used to. They’re just not! I think UGA will be in the market for a new head coach in a couple of years.

LADY DAWG

November 24th, 2009
7:06 pm

Gator grad, now a Dog Dawg ….THANK YOU…well said. Not time for Mark to go. Dooley had some bad years & many people wanted him to go. Aren’t we glad that didn’t happen.

Buckhead Bulldog

November 24th, 2009
7:15 pm

Adams has got to unleash his control over Mark Richt, NOW! Adams is the flunky not Richt.

Think a little deeper on the root problem, y’all. Adams runs the football program…not Evans or Richt. Wake up people before we fall further, and lose a great coach and an outstanding coach in mark Richt.

The Board of Regents/Gov needs to do a little investigation on M. Adams and his evil shenanigans. Unless, of course, they are on the payola as well?!?

Fricking weasel Adams needs to be relieved of his duties at the flagship university of Georgia.

RW

November 24th, 2009
7:20 pm

This guy (CMR)worried me from day one. I remember reading an article where his wife was quoted as saying she had to slap him on their first date… to see if he was awake.I might be wrong but i dont see him firing any of his coaches after the season concludes.Some fans are very satisfied with CMR just as many were with Jim Donnan.What is wrong with wanting to be the very best you can be? I want UGA football to be the best in the country. For fans that feel like me, cmr is not our man.

Buckhead Bulldog

November 24th, 2009
7:21 pm

Correction: and lose a great coach and an outstanding man in Mark Richt

Paul's Johnson

November 24th, 2009
7:25 pm

SOUTHGADAWG88:

Your 6:26 PM post)

Who’s Matthew Sun?

please explain

November 24th, 2009
7:33 pm

can somebody please tell me what is so great about richt? what i have seen on the field is far from great. i have seen 6 and under coaches have better control of their team than he does, seriously.

fear

November 24th, 2009
7:38 pm

all the years i played football, i feared my coach. he made it that way. how many fear richt? it shows on saturday.

..I.,

November 24th, 2009
7:43 pm

“please explain” and “fear”: such profound statements of nothing.

fear

November 24th, 2009
8:33 pm

your football team is nothing…. oh my bad they are a disgrace.

SOUTHGADAWG88

November 24th, 2009
8:33 pm

Buckhead Bulldog

November 24th, 2009
8:37 pm

2001 08-4-0
2002 13-1-0 SEC Champs
2003 11-3-0 SEC East Champs
2004 10-2-0
2005 10-3-0 SEC Champs
2006 09-4-0
2007 11-2-0
2008 10-3-0

..I.,

November 24th, 2009
8:40 pm

Maddawg

November 24th, 2009
8:46 pm

In the scheme of life, just how important is this thing we call, “football”? Not important at all. If a very, very good coach and person like Mark Richt gets fired, my support for the U of Georgia as an alumnus and fan is over. Talk about a society and culture that is so out of whack…..

J Dog

November 24th, 2009
9:19 pm

I used to race cars. I loved the compition, liked to pit my skills against others who thought they were superior to everyone else. If you wanted to win, as most do, you did your best to gain an advantage or edge and move to the top. Cream rises, everyone has heard that statment before. A few of the guys just enjoyed racing and the social aspect of it all, they really didn’t care about winning that much. They could not understand why most of us worked so hard to win.
Some of you remind me of that type of racer, you like racing and talking, but winning or being on top is just not that important to you. Most of us however have that fire to win, to rise to the top. I understand your viewpoint, just understand that most fams have fire and are not satisfied to just play football. Most of us want to win.
Richt does not need to be fired. It’s frustrating he has let this Willie deal fester several years and done nothing about it. But now that the heat is on, we owe it to Richt to give him the chance to “see the light” and fix the problem. This might be what needed to happen for him to mature as a head coach.

Mike

November 24th, 2009
9:19 pm

Willie Martinez might be a great guy, but defense is the difference in UGA right now. Right now UGA has to outscore teams. David Greene would not be 2nd on the all-time NCAA wins list if he had this defense to play with for 4 years…not even close.

The biggest difference in UGA when Mark Richt arrived was the defense shot straight up the charts. It was a championship defense that often won games when the offense was not up to par. At the least, UGA never was out of a game. This trend continued until last year.

Since last year, UGA’s defense has regressed into the soft style that characterized the teams in the 90s. It is a big part of the reason Donnan was fired in the first place.

At the very least, Martinez needs to be demoted back to DB coach. Someone with another aggressive style of defense needs the job.

Macho Man

November 24th, 2009
9:27 pm

The tone of this blog is disturbing

I really think we should give Martinez another 4 years to right the ship

I mean come on we can’t get any worse can we

Or maybe it is possible for the points per game to go to 40 what do you think

DAWG

November 24th, 2009
9:30 pm

Do not fire coach Mark Richt,this will be a big mistake.

John

November 24th, 2009
9:31 pm

I think Richt deserves the right to a bad year. Goodness knows we can do worse with another coach. You get rid of what you know and it can take years to find someone as reliable. He has raised the level of expectation to where an 8-5, 7-6 is unacceptable. This is good.

BUT, he clearly needs to address the discipline issue. The flags and turnovers kill me to watch. It’s one thing if the talent just isn’t there, but it kills me every time a big stop is made, but the team gets another shot because of a late hit. Or a big drive is ended by a lame turnover. Unacceptable. It’s two years in a row, so something has to give. If he can’t do it because he is too nice, or blinded by loyalty, then it will be fixed for him, I agree on that.

DAWG

November 24th, 2009
9:31 pm

Do not fire Mark Richt, a big mistake.

instate

November 24th, 2009
9:35 pm

Macho Man

November 24th, 2009
9:42 pm

What disturbs me about Richt is he seems to act like his mind is somewhere else

Georgia_Jim

November 24th, 2009
9:49 pm

Dumb & Dumber (Bobo&Willie) have to go are Richt is gone!

Wally Walsh

November 24th, 2009
10:04 pm

Mark Richt has been wonderful for Georgia and Georgia football. It seems the vocal few are receiving too much attention. You should be grateful for this man leading your football program. He wins, and more than any Georgia coach in a long time. Be very careful what you ask for!! Wally W.

td

November 24th, 2009
10:08 pm

Buckheaddog, You are absolutely right. Adams is the real problem with the program and until he is pushed out we will never go any higher.

Adams controls the program and the money and this is my prediction of what is going to happen.

CMR will probably make a change at DC but because Adams will not allow him to pay a DC more than $600,000 per year, he will have to find another coordinator with no NFL experience or no one with BCS experience. A huge risk. This might or might not payoff but it will not get us to that MNC unless we get real lucky. These stupid fans that can not see the big picture and think they can make changes if the *itch enough will then call for CMR’s head. Adams will give the loud dumb minority what they want in three years (after the buyout clause is down) and he will take personal charge of hiring us the next winning coach (Remember he is the one that hired Harrick over CVD objection). Our program then will be caught cheating and we will be put on probation and be the same as the basketball team for the next 6 or 7 years. The alumni will finally wake up and by then Adams will have either retired or move on to bigger and better things.

GT Rules State

November 24th, 2009
10:18 pm

Watch 2nd half of 2008 … a taste of what’s gonna happen all night long Saturday.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pruMPBJGDOU&NR=1

lt crk

November 24th, 2009
10:22 pm

If everyone had a pc in 1976 you would have wanted Dooley fired. Look what happened after that season 2 SEC titles and 1 national title. Just chill, put your thumbs back in your mouth and let things play out and quit being so damn impatient.

Paul's Johnson

November 24th, 2009
10:28 pm

Macho Man:

“What disturbs me about Richt is he seems to act like his mind is somewhere else”

My brother, who is an avid GT supporter for 20 yrs., and has one kid possibly commiting to GT next year on a baseball scholarship, has commented for the last two years is that how CMR seems to have his head somewhere else during interviews as compared to his early spots where he soke with passion about the program. Rumors have been around that maybe he wants to focus his direction more on missionary work since he has the means to make a contribution in other countries on behalf of his religious beliefs.

Maybe the fire for competitive sports on a big time stage has fallen by the wayside in what his passion for life’s truer gifts means.

jesse james

November 24th, 2009
10:34 pm

Anybody that thinks Coach Richt should be fired is someone that will never be pleased. Also, I think he knows how to handle his coaching staff without help from us. I’ve decided there’s two things in this world that everybody thinks they can do and that is Coach and Teach School. The critics have all the answer for the field and classroom.

Steve

November 24th, 2009
11:00 pm

Turnovers and Penalties, a crazy brutal schedule at the beginning, and the loss of Stafford, Moreno and Allen have killed us. We’ll be back – but stop the negativity – it kills recruiting, then we have a self fulfilling prophecy. Look at USC who loses Sanchez, and Oklahoma who lost Bradford, and Missouri who lost their QB – it happens, get over it and root for the Dawgs!

td

November 24th, 2009
11:04 pm

Jesse, You have hit the nail on the head with your post. I have seen so many post where they have talked about the D playing a soft zone and if you watch the tape they were playing man to man. These wanta be coaches do not know what they are talking about and they do not understand how a team can have a bad year. To much instant gratification. I am starting to believe that the best thing for the program would be for CMR not to take any action and let us have a purge of the fan base. The money may go down for a couple years but the over all program would be a lot better off without some of these type fans around.

jesse james

November 24th, 2009
11:11 pm

I’m with you TD!

dawgma

November 24th, 2009
11:28 pm

It’s the biggest off-season in CMR’s mostly wonderful career at UGA. He has earned the right to have a crappy season and not fear for his job – BUT he must change his coaching staff. Bobo is a boo boo. Willie must be fired. GOD – I wish Erk was here!

The dawg nation requires a winning program that wins SEC championships.

We hate cheap shot, penalty ridden teams. This ain’t UM or FSU.
We don’t give a D**N what color your helmet, jersey, or jock strap is – GIMMICKS R FOR LOSERS!
We win at home.
We win the war at the line of scrimmage.

I still believe in CMR. I bleed red & black. Go dawgs and to hell with ga tech!

dawgma

November 24th, 2009
11:34 pm

TD and Jesse. UR idiots.

Lose to purge your fan base. Brilliant.

TallahasseeDawg

November 24th, 2009
11:55 pm

Fire Richt? What a joke! I’m sure that those who are making such a stupid demand are the middle-aged, middle class, mid-level management losers who were so drunk they blew chunks on the AXO lawn. Classy . . .

td

November 25th, 2009
12:12 am

dawgma, “Lose to purge your fan base.” Where did I say that? I do not think Jesse said it either. I think I was saying the instant gratification fans would go nuts and leave the program if there are not any changes made and I say that would be positive for the program as a whole (especially the fan base that wants CMR fired). These are the types of fans we do not need or want around the program.

I think you are trying to say if CWM and CMB are not fired then we will continue to lose? I do not know if that is true or not but I do know that both of them have been with the program since CMR arrived and I do not think they have lost their ability to coach this season. I trust CMR to make the right decisions because I know he has forgotten more about the game then most of these lunatics will ever know.

I also know that even if CMR believes changes are needed, Adams will not let him spend the necessary money it will take to get an experienced DC or OC of NFL caliber. Also, both CWM and CMB are two of our better recruiters and have built relationships with not only players in this years class but in probably the next 3 or 4 years to come.

So my question to you is: Do you think it may be better to keep what we have and work to improve or to change to an inexperienced unknown lower tier coordinators or no experience higher caliber position coaches?

Just making and real analysis of the situation and asking questions not trying to make changes for change sake.

Greek Dawg

November 25th, 2009
12:37 am

CMR will makes changes AT THE END OF THE SEASON. For you moron UGA followers, there never was any chance of changes being made during the seasn. Martinez and Fabris are as good as gone. We have to shore up the recruits they are recruiting. Neither will be fired. They will move on for the same reason CMR won’t fire them: Loyalty. When looking at how CMR coaches, look to from where he came. FSU. The same D coach for 26 years. CMR is as smart as he is spiritual. He’ll take care of things, but in his style: CLASS.

Seen Willie Martinez's Resume?

November 25th, 2009
1:14 am

2000 Central Mich. #1 in Pass Defense in the NCAA
2003 Helped set every kind of defensive record you can imagine
2005 8th in Scoring defense
2006 #5 in the NCAA in Pass Defense
2006 #8 in the NCAA in Total Defense

You get the idea.

2009?
Ga Tech has to hope Willie FORGOT HOW TO COACH. He hasn’t had a SINGLE 100 yard rusher in 2009. He is brutal on 3rd down in 2009. He shut down the #1 offense a couple of weeks ago, Auburn’s Gus.

Willie didn’t forget how to coach defense, as his resume, and his 2009 stats prove.

Willie’s been kiling offenses 2000-2009 in the stats

Seen Richt's Resume?

November 25th, 2009
1:16 am

Here’s a sampler for the nitwits….

60 wins in 6 years, 70 in 7, 80 in 8 years.

46 NFL Drafts.

#4 winningest active coach in the NCAA.

College Footbal Fan

November 25th, 2009
1:18 am

If Mathew Stafford and the 3 other 1st round NLF pickes were there… we coud have gone 9 and 3.

Man those were the days.

Remeber when we pounded the Hawaii Rainbows?

DawgVoiceofReason

November 25th, 2009
1:36 am

Dan,

I quote, “when a team is straight up quitting, like they are right now; and when a team gets hit in the mouth and doesn’t respond AT ALL; that’s a culture problem”.

Did you not see the defense shut down Kentucky, 3 and out in the last 2 minutes of the game? And you call that quitting? Before that did you not see the offense drive down the length of the field to just short of the goal line, where a costly fumble ended the drive? And you call that quitting? Did you not see the team fight to the very end after a total of 4 devastating turnovers that would have killed ANY team in the country? And you call that quitting?

What I call quitting is the attitude of people like you who don’t bring anything more to the table than that junk and then have the utter gall to say that you don’t think Richt will be here in a couple of years based on that same junk.

TXDawg3

November 25th, 2009
1:38 am

UGA needs a change at the Head Coaching position just as much as the USA needs ObamaCare.

There are those that believe change is needed just for change’s sake, but fail to think through the logical conclusion of their personal suggestion…please consider what has happened to the people and economy of the USA since the people were swayed by the chant, “change, you can believe in” and the subsequent chant, “yes we can.” If you are honest with yourself, you will admit that change for change’s sake is futile and often destructive.

UGA is fortunate to have CMR…CMR is fortunate that Evans doesn’t listen to people who like to open their mouths and show the world their level of intelligence.

DawgVoiceofReason

November 25th, 2009
1:41 am

Thank you, Greek Dawg. Well said.

darrell starks

November 25th, 2009
1:58 am

I dont see the passion in mark richt any more, when he first came here he was and energetic firey coach, now i dont see that anymore.
GO DOGS!!!!!!!!!

darrell starks

November 25th, 2009
2:01 am

Mark need that swagger back but first martinez, and bobo gots 2 go.
GO DOGS!!!!!!!!!

doug

November 25th, 2009
2:24 am

You think this was a bad year. Wait till 2010. 5 wins will be a challenge.
When you loose Vangorder and promote Martinez you take a step backwards. When you loose your top skill players you take another step backwards. Richt has no visible means of support. He cant motivate or dicipline. He is fully exposed now. We have no talent at RB. Ealey is not the answer. Gray is a mistery and the other 2 freshman are not even close. We loose 3 good DTs. UGA is sunk in 2010. CMR simply went to sleep. Bowden style.

BlewsDawg

November 25th, 2009
6:52 am

Come on Dogs fans – THINK!!! Vince Dooley was a decent coach. Take away Hershel and you get maybe less than decent. Goff, no need to comment. Donnan, a 7-8 wins/yr coach and no chance of beating FL or TN with his Marshall trickeration “we can’t win head-to-head” mentality. Richt is solid. Does he need to make some changes? Yes!!! But you cannot deny – we are NOT an elite program and will NOT be one without stability. The elites are USC, Texas, OK, Alabama, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Michigan, and possibly Florida although their success is fairly recent. Those schools can pick their coaches. Those of us who round out the top 20 programs have to attract ours. Who in their right freakin mind would come to this fan base who doesn’t appreciate teh dramatic turn around Rich has made happen. Win 10 a year, a couple SEC titles, lose the nation’s best QB and RB, rebuild, and have your fans turn into hemoroids. ANd which recruits want to come to a program with the fan’s expectations so out of whack. Damn! Support your coach in a rebuilding year or two. We aren’t going to do better than Richt because other good coaches will look at this and say, “Not hally with 10 wins a year? Forget that! Your fan base blows”

yo yo yo

November 25th, 2009
6:52 am

the situation at UGA is similar to the situation a Michigan a while back … be careful what you ask for Dog fans

Gt4ever

November 25th, 2009
8:13 am

If GT takes care of business then we have something to talk about….. Until then I would stay very humble GT fans. The talent on the UGA side of the ball is very GOOD. It will all boil down to turn overs and defense. If GT can hold on to the ball and play some defense then we should win….. If UGA’s offense scores at will, then it will be a toss up, and UGA may be the ACC champions as well as the state champions. I for one, am looking for a FULL game of DEFENSE and Offense, and NO excuses. If GT is to become a power to be reckoned with then we need to win this game, PERIOD!