Rex Robinson: Players in control in Athens?

Was Mark Richt's choice of uniforms against Florida a symptom of a bigger problem? (Brant Sanderlin / AJC)

Was Mark Richt's choice of uniforms against Florida a symptom of a bigger problem? (Brant Sanderlin / AJC)

Rex Robinson isn’t sure a new defensive coordinator will cure what ails Mark Richt’s program.

He blogs that “There have been ever increasing signs that the inmates were running the asylum at UGA. For three years the intermittent collapses on offense, defense or as a team left many Dawg fans scratching their heads. … Now it comes out that the strife on this team has reached new levels. I’m not going to go into specifics on here, but suffice it to say, it’s much worse than we imagined.”

While he doesn’t provide any specifics, Robinson cites Richt’s decision to go with the black helmets and pants against Florida as a case of him catering to the players to try and get them to perform. “It’s not the actual helmets and pants, or even black jerseys,” Robinson says. “It’s what they represent. The players are in control.”

He goes on to bring up again recurring questions about the effectiveness of Georgia’s strength and conditioning program and concludes: “Only time will tell if the changes being made right now are nothing more than a band-aid on the problem or if only a hand-grenade will do the trick.”

Wow. Rex certainly isn’t the only one to complain about the general lack of discipline on the field shown by the Dogs, as evidenced by the chronic problem with penalties and turnovers. But because of his status as a former player his disenchantment with the general direction of Richt’s program is noteworthy.

What do you think? Has the kicking legend put his finger on the true problem with the Dogs, or is he just another grumpy ole guy out of touch with the way the game is played nowadays?

394 comments Add your comment

Techster

December 10th, 2009
10:05 am

This is the inevitable result of CMR’s obviously lax past attitude regarding discipline, etc.

I think this attitude was ingrained at FSU, unfortunately.

HWS

December 10th, 2009
10:05 am

“Now it comes out that the strife on this team has reached new levels.” How does Rex drop a bomb like that and not mention specifics? Not even one? Anybody else know specifically what he’s grumbling about?

Dale

December 10th, 2009
10:07 am

I don’t think Robinson could be more vague if he tried. May he could substantiate something. That would help.

EW

December 10th, 2009
10:08 am

Funny that Rex is all about speculation and right when it gets time to spew some facts he says “I’m not going to go into specifics..” Sounds to me like empty self promotion…if he knows something’s up then SAY IT.

Chuck Carswell

December 10th, 2009
10:09 am

He’s not grumpy. He’s just trying to make a name for himself. You see his twitter posts and commentaries… all negative. Only positives he has to say are about kickers.

He like many others is trying to make a buck off new media and the best to do that is to be inflammatory.

The guy wants to be current and meaningful again, so he’s auctioning his wares as a speaker and commentator. He has no credibility.

Dawgdad

December 10th, 2009
10:13 am

Come on Rex, if you are reading this, and let us know how you know this to be true. You don’t have to provide specifics on what is going on, just from whom did you hear this and how credible are they. Do you have access that the sports guys do not have? You may be right, probably are, but before I get upset about it, I need more evidence.

suwaneedawg

December 10th, 2009
10:17 am

While I believe some of this is true, I also believe that CMR will, along with a new DC, gain back total control of the program.

SuperB

December 10th, 2009
10:17 am

It doesn’t matter if Rex is grumpy or just rrying to spur the Dawgs into improvemen, which I suspect was his motive. THE FACT IS: Georgia is undisciplined– the penalties– and the turnover ratio– the most important stat in FB, is anemic. And our DB’s, other than at the end of the GT win, couldn’t cover my house. Go Dawgs!

McDawg

December 10th, 2009
10:17 am

I just think there are alot of young players out there-did lack of discipline make Joe Cox throw interceptions-i think probably a lack of height had more to do with it

I would bet our kicker would prefer to kick the ball out of the endzone than those asinine directional kicks

if we are stillmaking the same stupid mistakes next year than i will give some credence to the theory that CMR & UGA football is adrift but just don’t buy it given his track record

PUP FAN

December 10th, 2009
10:18 am

I must have missed the memo about giving a crap what Rex has to say! You’re either with us or against us. Pick a side Rex. Go DAWGS!!!!

Silencio

December 10th, 2009
10:19 am

I think he’s over reacting to the uni thing. CMR was trying to find something to get the players excited. I thought it was lame too, but I’m just some guy in Section 119. It didn’t make a lick of difference, so I wouldn’t expect CMR to keep rolling this out.

This season was killed b/c of one major thing: turnovers. If you correct that alone, Georgia might have 2 more victories. The slower strategy change will be in a new DC. Whomever it is will have to do what CMR and Bobo have learned to do on offense: play young players if they warrant it. If Willie had not clung to his more experienced less talented players, our defense would’ve been (slightly) improved. This wouldn’t fix the “brain freeze” CWM would have in games where he couldn’t figure out how to defend a change in strategy by the opponent (see UT this yr, UF in 06)

coach smith

December 10th, 2009
10:19 am

Sorry REX, but you sound like a disgruntled fan with a PERSONAL vedetta against RICHT

Funny how he knows of some “strife” that NOBODY ELSE in the free world knows about

If Richt didn’t have control, there would have been no way the Dawgs would’ve bounced back from the UK loss to beat Tech

NJ Dawg

December 10th, 2009
10:20 am

Although Robinson doesn’t offer anything of substance here, I wouldn’t be shocked if this were true. During Richt’s best years, he had two obvious locker room leaders, one on each side of the ball, in David Greene and David Pollack. Moreover, Brian Van Gorder was a no-nonsense defensive coordinator. I can’t remember who they were playing, but the Dawgs were shutting out their opponent late the fourth quarter and the reserves were in when the other team started marching down the field. BVG got in his starters’ faces and made them go back in the game to preserve the shutout. I don’t think the Dawgs have seen that kind of leadership since the Davids graduated, or that kind of intensity since BVG left.

Recent players have been leaders in their own way–the team definitely fed off Knowshown Moreno, but as far as I can tell, there just hasn’t been that kind of off-the-field leadership, that commitment to being together as a team, to practicing hard, to staying out of trouble, to pushing their teammates harder all week long instead of just on Saturdays.

Richt was lucky to have had those two players at the beginning of his career, but if he wants to regain and maintain that level of success, he’s got to go recruit those players and also bring the hammer down himself from time to time.

senoiadawgs

December 10th, 2009
10:20 am

While what Rex says is what a lot of us think without getting into specifics it would be just like me saying the same thing. I can’t say that is what has happened for sure.

As for the Black Helmets, remember the first Blackout in 07. Richt said then that he would allow the SR’s one game a year to wear the Black Jersey’s or something else that is different if they choose. He made that animal himself. I personally do not mind it as much as many others. I think the once a season different look is fun and hey if the win the game merchandise sales will jump.

Now on to the topic of the day. Why in the crap are we hearing nothing on the coaching search? Are they really that tight up in the Athens that nobody in the media can break in and find out what is happening? As he threatened the people he is interviewing if it leaks you have no shot? Are they not interviewing yet and letting all the other teams rebuild their staffs and are going to take the leftovers?

Silencio

December 10th, 2009
10:22 am

Oops, I meant UF in ‘05 (the Billy Latsko coming out party)

Dom 'the Don' Wilkins

December 10th, 2009
10:22 am

Rex Robinson = Glenn Beck

RD

December 10th, 2009
10:22 am

Rex hit the nail on the head. All the gimmicks that UGA has used is a coverup for lack of discipline and focus. Blackouts, changing uniforms and helmets are gimmicks that do not replace hard work and discipline. When UGA’s entire team stormed the field against Florida a couple of years ago is the best example. CMR claimed he didn’t know about it beforehand. Either he is not telling the whole truth or worse, he is telling the truth and the players aren’t scared of consequences. Either way, it is the perfect example of what is wrong at UGA. Do you think Nick Saban or Urban Meyer would tolerate this or use a change of uniforms to motivate? Not a chance, and until UGA realizes this, they will continue to be a mid level team even if they hire 2 or 3 good defensive coordinators. Bank on it.

senoiadawgs

December 10th, 2009
10:25 am

No Urban Meyer would never change uniforms…. White Helmets to weeks in a row?

Nate

December 10th, 2009
10:26 am

I have to agree with Chuck on this. As much as I loved Rex and Butler…I don’t see anything thing good coming out of this so why write it.

With some facts to back it up, it could be a bomb that is needed to fix what is wrong. But the way it is written…it saddens me he has to do this.

SC Dawg

December 10th, 2009
10:26 am

Hey Rex. Put up or shut up. We don’t need empty speculation. Crawl back into the woodwork.

Billy Bennett

December 10th, 2009
10:27 am

du duu du du duuuuuu!

PDawg

December 10th, 2009
10:27 am

He’s a former player who is close enough to the program to know. He is probably on to something. If you step back and look at the body of work the last few years (tackling issues, arrests, need for uniforms to promote excitement, defensive let downs) I think he is more right than wrong.

Cuz

December 10th, 2009
10:27 am

This just in from Rex’s blog. There are bad people in this world that do not like us. Nowhere did it state what part of the world or who the bad people were.

How is Bobo not fired?

December 10th, 2009
10:29 am

Rex has some good points. Richt has not been good at all at getting to root causes of problems and he has a history of poor judgment in that area: penalties, turnovers, jersey changes, etc.

The amazing thing to me is Bobo still has a job. Apparently, Richt thought Martinez and his 37+ points a game 4 or 5 times a year was all Willie’s fault. In spite of the fact that Willie was undefeated when the offense committed 0 turnovers and Willie gave up 0 100 yard rushers in 2009, and outcoached the top 2 offensive geniuses in the college football in 2009, Gus and PJ. WRONG!

4 out of 5 of Georgia’s losses this year came when Bobo’s offense, due to poor high risk play-calling, turned the ball over 3 to 4 times. Nothing’s going to change there. Stafford struggled with ball protection issues too. Bobo simply doesn’t know how to fix this problem.

More alarming about Bobo:
Bobo has a “pass-the-buck” mentality–he doesn’t want the responsibility of having the ball in his hands the last few seconds. Defenses bait Bobo into a quick score, and he takes the bait, giving them the ball back on the final possession. The LSU game was a great example, as was the Kentucky game, in both games, Bobo tried to leave the win/loss responsibility on his DC. He threw Willie under the bus. Tell me a game in 2009 where Bobo’s offense won it on the last possession?

Bobo’s pass-heavy play call mix and poor time possession does NOT reflect SEC best practices of what the leader’s are doing. Bobo is more like Charlie Weis offensively, which is scary, your team loses a lot with that offensive mindset.

Rex is right that Richt misdiagnosed the problem–AGAIN! But Rex is wrong about the root cause–it’s not discipline or penalties, Florida won the Natl Championship in a year when they had lots of penalties, Fla St and Miami won Natl Champs with lots of penalties, Richt is 25 wins and 2 losses when Georgia commits 10 or more penalities.

The root cause is offensive: pass-heavy play-mix–Florida/Bama call a 60% run, Georgia typically goes for a 60% pass. This leads to lots of giveaways and poor time possession. The SEC in 2009 is not Fla St. in 1999. Things have evolved. I don’t think Bobo can or will change his stripes.

Jax Dawg

December 10th, 2009
10:31 am

Hey RD, Urban’s Gators wore white helmets in their loss to Alabama.

Cuz

December 10th, 2009
10:31 am

Bill, I know what Rex posts about the program is “fan worthy” of your column. I am not shooting the messenger. Get Greenie’s opinion, someone who actually played for Coach Richt.

McDawg

December 10th, 2009
10:32 am

RD UF changed there uniform this year-and the Auburn blackout was the brilliant-you just can’t go to that well

the leadership thing is an interesting point-I never thought Stafford really took ownership of the team the way Greene and Shockley did

next year the leaders will need to be Ben Jones, Clint Boling, AJ Green, C. King

on D we are looking at a void pending on what Curran does-that will be a key-the talent is there

Covington Dawg

December 10th, 2009
10:32 am

I knew before I even read this that it would be negative. Rex Robinson is trying to get himself a radio spot. It is obvious that he’s jealous of Buck, Pollack, Green, Zeir, KJ, Butler, and any of the other former players who are either on TV or Radio or Both. He has to grab our attention with an “insider” scoop that turns out to be negative about the program..like most of the rest of his writing.
Good grief Rex, can’t you do better than this?
If what you have to say is legit, then don’t dance around it and say you know something but won’t tell us. Come out and say it, be a man, oh thats right, you’re a kicker. You want to be part of the game, but you don’t want to really be a part of it, you just want credit for being part of the team.

Covington Dawg

December 10th, 2009
10:34 am

And about the uniforms…give it a rest people. These are college kids playing a game. Let them have a little fun. Uniforms don’t make a team, a team makes a uniform. Have you not watched college football the past couple of years? Lots of teams trot out wearing different uni’s all the time, just for the fun of it. I find myself thinking as I watch these games of other temas “wow, if this were a UGA game, the fans would blame the color of the helmets on the loss”.

charlotte_dawg

December 10th, 2009
10:37 am

I think Rex is dead on correct. In fact, looking at the evidence, it’s really the only logical possibility.

SadDawg

December 10th, 2009
10:38 am

Except Glenn Beck gives us the details…. and tells the TRUTH.

Erk Russell

December 10th, 2009
10:39 am

I have wondered why CMR leaves so many decisions up to the players. Whenever asked about the uniforms he always states that it was the players decisions. I think Mr. Robinson could be correct, you take a look at recruits at Bama and after a year there they are bigger and stronger. You look at guys we have brought in and they look the same as they did in high school. I know everyone is different and we all don’t put on muscle or weight like each other but when another team looks that much more intimidating then UGA does I ask why? We have just as much money and top notch facilities so why are we getting out worked in the offseason? Like I stated in a post earlier this year we need to adopt something like fu did after we beat them in 07. Everytime our guys get done in the weight room they should push themselves that much more. Instead of yards Moreno gained we use the number of penalty yards gained this year or our ranking in turnover margin and do that many pushups and situps after they complete a workout.

Cuz

December 10th, 2009
10:40 am

Good thing those Rose Bowl bound Oregon Ducks don’t worry about changing uniforms. They only have 384 combinations to choose from. Don’t believe me.

http://www.usatoday.com/sports/college/football/pac10/2006-09-12-oregon-uniforms_x.htm

Of course this is old, they might have added two or three more.

Dale

December 10th, 2009
10:40 am

I can’t get into specifics at this time, but there may be word going around that Rex perhaps might be involved in a potential conspiracy aimed at possibly undermining the Georgia program.

Think the worst thought you can. IT COULD BE WORSE!

But like I said, I don’t have specifics.

Football Ken

December 10th, 2009
10:41 am

Bill,
I think Rex is on to something here… I’ ve thought the same thing for a couple of years now. Seems to me the DAWGS have made deals with the devil, meaning when you recruit kids that come in with “behavior issues” and ‘inner city bravado”, you set yourself up for the consequence that come along with that kind of talent. If you are going to bring in that type of personality you better damn well have a coach or coaches that can handle them. CMR is not that kind of coach. Here’s hoping that the new DC and staff are that type and we supporters don’t suffer from this growing cancer. This thing could go either way.

gadawg

December 10th, 2009
10:43 am

He’s not “out of touch” with the current way the game is played! It’s still football and you have coaches for a reason- to motivate, discipline,encourage and create a game plan that gives your team the best oppotunity to win the next game. Discipline being the most important not ask players what they want to wear for the evening. If anyone has any disagreement look who’s playing for the NC this year.(Saban said he didn’t need to change colors of his uniforms to motivate his players). I like CMR and he has been great for our program BUT he has to instill more discipline better game plans and get better coaches.

RD

December 10th, 2009
10:43 am

MCDawg, they wore them against FSU as well. I doubt it was for motivation. If you keep thinking these gimmicks will work and substitute for hard work and preparation, you should probably go ahead and make reservations in Shreveport for 2010 and beyond. I really like CMR, but UGA has a lot of catching up to do and not by changing uniforms and other gimmicks. All I’m saying is Auburn was motivated by trick plays and emotions and took the lead over Alabama, but eventually talent, determination and hard work prevailed in the end. Does UGA have these qualities?

jack bull

December 10th, 2009
10:46 am

yeah, rex is out of touch. you have to “cater” to the kids some, if you don’t, someone else will. that’s guaranteed. i guess UF lost to UA because of those hidious white uni’s and the throw back head gear. i definately agree with some of the other blogs from earlier, he’s just trying to make a name for himself and the best way to do that is be very crucial and come up with off the wall stuff and hope it sticks…

heck, for that matter, i’ll throw something out there, i heard from my K-State buddy last night and he’s saying that Vic Koening ,their DC, will be named UGA’s DC is the next few days….

if that sticks, i’m going into this business,,,fast!!! lol

The Problem Is Not Conditioning

December 10th, 2009
10:46 am

Georgia has won the 4th quarter in 2001-2008. This is the first year Georgia lost the fourth quarter. We lost the 4th quarter in 2009 due to high risk play calling and giveaways. Most of Georgia’s giveaways/TO’s came in the 4th quarter this year. 10 of Cox’s 14 Int’s came in the 4th Quarter.

It’s not conditioning, it’s high risk play-calling.

Walker

December 10th, 2009
10:47 am

Rex is an F’n kicker!!! who care’s what he thinks. He prob. still doesnt know how to put his shoulder pads on!!!

Defense is a Big Problem

December 10th, 2009
10:50 am

Defensive points scored against and total defensive yards given up per game is a big predictor of success in the SEC if you look at the SEC teams and their win/loss records, it almost EXACTLY lines up with those 2 stats in the SEC. Fla and Bama lead those stats.

So maybe Richt got it right.

Dawg Fud

December 10th, 2009
10:50 am

Rex is entitled to his opinion but I don’t put too much stock in his assessment.

Damon Evans assessment is the most important one.

UGA arrests show up ON THE FIELD TOO

December 10th, 2009
10:53 am

Doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see that UGA players are not good role models for anyone. Dawg fans don’t care that UGA players routinely get arrested week after week. Penalties on the field and arrests off it. No wonder the team is going down the tubes.

Stand up UGA fans… don’t tolerate your thug players. Oh, and try and exhibit some class yourselves… destroying the campus at your tailgate is making headlines too.

frank james

December 10th, 2009
10:53 am

Rex – Why don’t you go and meet with Coach Richt and share your feelings with him. You being a former player should not have a problem getting an appointment. You don’t need to go to reporters with your story and go public. Just settle it in house. I’m sure that is the way Coach Richt and the Dawg Nation would like it. This does not help the program in anyway. There’s enough bashers out there on the call iln shows and blogs. Go Dawgs and beat the Aggies!

Scott

December 10th, 2009
10:56 am

NIKE was the reason the Gators changed their helments, not a gimmick to motivate the team.

PhilDawg

December 10th, 2009
10:57 am

Rumors
Supposedly Kibry Smart was in Athens yesterday negotiating a potential multi-year, million dollar plus contract. Not substianted, but from the same sources that predicted the CMW decision 24 hours early. Bobo is in the thick of the “courting” process. Announcement, if positive, will be deferred until after Nat Champ game.

Ellis Johnson is second choice. Will take same type of deal – multi year, big dollars – to get it done if CKS says no. Also some issues with switching within the Division.

Scott

December 10th, 2009
10:57 am

ksleezy

December 10th, 2009
10:57 am

he’s just another grumpy ole guy out of touch, period!!!

"INMATES RUN THE ASYLUM"- Couldn't say it better

December 10th, 2009
10:58 am

UGA players compared to “inmates”… the comparison is more real than we know. UT players have been arrested recently, but Bulldogs are arrested nearly every week.

DAWGS ARE NOTHING BUT THUGS. AND THEY ARE NOT EVEN GOOD.

frank james

December 10th, 2009
10:59 am

I can tell you right now that UGA doesn’t like the arrests. It is happening everywhere. College football is becoming a corrupt outfit. There is alot that needs to be cleaned up Nationwide. Lack of Discipline is the decaying factor of this country. Lou Holtz was right when he said this country use to be about responsibilty and obligation and now it is a country of what can do for me because you owe it to me. College football players have a responsibilty to represent their programs well. That is not happening because society accepts it.