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

KennyP

December 10th, 2009
1:43 pm

What a terrible joke of a story and source. When i first read that an ex-bulldog was saying that players were running the show, i was not expecting it to be someone from the 80s! Cmon now! What we have here is a guy that couldnt get a job at 680, 790 or AJC and is just saying things to get attention. stupid to even waste time on this.

ugaman

December 10th, 2009
1:44 pm

only the last 2 years have been troublesome with the penalties and what not. when it we had greene and shockley we didn’t have these types of issues. who is to say what it is. i have heard about 20 reasons. i think cmr can correct it. i don’t think he all of a sudden just lost it. only time will tell. it has however improved over the last 2 or 3 games.

Joshhh...

December 10th, 2009
1:47 pm

Robinson is just trying to make Georgia’s problems be ever worse than we think.
Whenever someone in the media or anyone with a name starts talking like this it’s aim is to create more and more problems within the program.
Yes, Georgia does have discipline problems but I don’t see how the players (or “inmates”) are running the team.
The Black helmets was something for the team, we as fans HAVE to stop thinking that every time we come out in a different uniform that it’s a motivational tactic!
Florida has worn white uniforms or throwbacks in 2 games this season, I really doubt that Urban Meyer is doing it to motivate his team.

richard cranium

December 10th, 2009
1:53 pm

18 arrest in 4 years and you wonder IF there is a problem…???

If it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck….

Why do think they call the Clarke County Correctional Institute…??

exNFLplayer

December 10th, 2009
1:53 pm

Who ya gonna hire Ashburn Dawg? Give us some names. And puhleeeeze….none of those flavor of the month types like Brian “no defense” Kelly. Short of Bill Belichik, Bill Cowher, or Jon Gruden who can come in here and run roughshod over the SEC. Even those guys wouldn’t do it year after year. You think Urban Meyer will win 10+ next year minus Tebow and that long list of guys he’s losing this year?

Brucemac

December 10th, 2009
1:55 pm

It is funny to me that the same “THUGSS” we recruit are on everybody else’s list. Then these “THUGS” actually commit heanous crimes such as driving without a license, drinking at Frat parties, speeding. Oh My Goodness what a bunch of THUGS that everybody in the country wanted. Just shut up with and put your sheet back on.

boston dawg

December 10th, 2009
1:57 pm

this is a non-story. period.

On the other hand...

December 10th, 2009
1:59 pm

Maybe CMR didn’t lose “it”, but maybe he never had “it”. His best years were before Meyer, Saban, Petrino, Johnson, et al were competeing for talent in the southeast and, more importantly, Georgia. Seeing as how half of the SEC championship games have been UA vs. UF, how long did you expect both to be mired in mediocrity? Maybe Richt just never is, never was, and never will be a head coach with the chops to compete against guys of this caliber.

Haley Hutchinson

December 10th, 2009
1:59 pm

Rex was a great kicker for UGA but that was decades ago and he’s years removed from the program.

Don’t know what he does for a living but maybe he should go into coaching somewhere.

Anduras22

December 10th, 2009
2:00 pm

You SEC idiots claiming that the SEC is great and UGA is the ACC champs are stupid. You do realize that the ACC was 6-5 against the SEC this season correct?

Delbert D.

December 10th, 2009
2:04 pm

The Georgia uniform thing was not the same as the Florida uniform thing. Florida and other schools announced in advance that they would be wearing new hi-tech uniforms as part of a national promotion. I saw one other team on TV the same Saturday that Florida wore them for the FSU game. Helmet design aside, they had the jerseys with the palmetto plant/spikey bird feathers look on the front of the shoulder pads, and from the rear, the pants look like white garters are holding up their socks. I can’t recall the other team that wore them.

Maddawg

December 10th, 2009
2:05 pm

Totally and emphatically DISAGREE with Rex Robinson. He couldn’t be more wrong about this and that’s all I’ll say about it.

Al

December 10th, 2009
2:07 pm

As with all organizational problems which do not get solved, the problem starts at the top. Next year should be the HOT SEAT QUICKENING for the program. Also, we need to better evaluate the caliber, potential and character of our recruits; It has been sorely lacking at UGA for many years. The loss to Boston College started this problem and it has persisted for all these years.

[...] Rex Robinson suggested yesterday that there are further issues within the program that need to be addressed. He said that strength and conditioning at UGA is not on par with, much less in front of, competitors. He also questioned if the “inmates were running the asylum”. In addition, he mentioned that there was strife among the players. Today that post was discussed by AJC’s blogger Bill King. Well, you should take a look at the comments. [...]

heyberto

December 10th, 2009
2:11 pm

I call B.S. If Rex Robinson can identify his source, then this story becomes valid. Unfortuately, the Junkyard Blawg has reduced itself to tabloid status.

jsmuga

December 10th, 2009
2:11 pm

After beating GT CMR gets a pass from me for a while……………

Don in DC

December 10th, 2009
2:11 pm

Bill King has written the most asinine commentary on Georgia football by a professional journalist that I ever read. He asks, “are the student athletes running the football program?” He gives as the only evidence that the answer might be “yes” the fact that Georgia wore black helmets during a game. Wouldn’t it make more sense to ask, “are the paint manufacturers running the football program?” I’m not going to waste anymore time reading this blog.

Ed

December 10th, 2009
2:11 pm

I think Robinson is on the money. Unless Richt suddenly has an affinity for the color black, it certainly looks like he is catering to the whims of the players (I recall that Richt finally gave in to his players’ call for black in ‘07 – it seems he has since grown use to the idea). The same dumb penalties, blown coverages, and poor fundamentals have been displayed repeatedly with no apparent consequences. The same bad actors start and finish every game (there’s a certain ineffective defensive back that comes to mind – either the kid must has compromising pictures of somebody high up in the UGA food chain or Georgia has done a terrible job recruiting DBs in recent years).

By the way – I still remember watching UGA take on Baylor in a televised game back in 1978, I think. Rex Robinson made a long field goal to help Georgia win a competitive game against Baylor and Mike Singletary. Quite a thrill for a youngster who bled Red and Black.

fair tax

December 10th, 2009
2:12 pm

ok enough. you got rid of wm. what are you gonna get in his place? keep on and you’ll run mr off. what will you get then? another ray goof? just keep on!

superDawg

December 10th, 2009
2:13 pm

Lets see what happens in 2010.

GMAN

December 10th, 2009
2:15 pm

18 arrest in 4 years doesn’t appear too outrageous to me. The Clark County Sherrif, Athens City Police, and ALC don’t bow down to UGA like the authorities and newspapers in Gainesville, Knoxville, Tuscaloosa, and Baton Rouge. Think about it!

Another Dawg

December 10th, 2009
2:16 pm

It seemed at the beginning of the season, everyone complained that the players were out of control in this program (certainly, they have shown a wanton disregard for International Scooter Law.) Now Robinson claims that they’ve been in complete control and doing what they want the entire time?

The story behind the Florida jerseys seem pretty clear. We thought we could get a motivational edge, as well (and this is the key point) SELL MORE MERCHANDISE. Pro teams do this all the time. A number of successful college teams this decade (Florida, Miami, Va Tech, WVU, Oregon, Notre Dame… well maybe not ND, even OHIO friggin STATE did it this year) have played around with jersey and helmet combinations to boost memorabilia sales.

On the first page of replies, there was a bunch of unrelated ranting about the merits of Mike Bobo’s offensive scheming, particularly with Richt’s W/L record with a 100 yard rusher. While that’s all well and good from a high level, statistically insignificant perspective, that’s just an easy stat to jump onto. Having a 100 yard rusher isn’t the key, it’s time of possession and yards per carry. I don’t want a 100 yard rusher if it takes us 40 carries to get there. Having a 100 yard rusher is not what wins us the game; that’s a symptom of having a strong push on the offensive line as well as the ability to control the clock and keep the defense honest with a balanced offense. In fact, the 100 yard rusher stat is probably a better indicator of how well our playcalling is going rather than how likely we are to win. That statistic ought to be “Richt is 40-3 on games when he has successful offensive playcalling and strong offensive line play.” Which is hardly impressive.

I mean, I don’t like Mike Bobo, but if it comes down to him or some guy who wants to chase 100 yards rushers like a fool, I’ll take Bobo’s occasional bursts of brilliance.

Delbert D.

December 10th, 2009
2:16 pm

“He said that strength and conditioning at UGA is not on par with, much less in front of, competitors.”

Chuck (Oliver?) on Chuck and Chernoff said a month ago 680thFan that the Georgia players had not developed sufficiently. He stated that offensive and defensive linemen were the same size as when they entered the program. That surprised me, and I don’t know if the point is arguable or not.
With strength and conditoning coach gone, that issue if true should change for the positive.

01HAWK

December 10th, 2009
2:16 pm

Sad to hear the fans on this blog talk about a successful season would be 9-3 or 10-2 next year. I thought we were shooting for National Championships. Those records will not make it. Florida, Bama, LSU, Oklahoma, Texas all talk about National Championships.

Time to admit that the program is headed south with CMR. Can you say Brian Kelley of Cincy. Buy CMR out and get a Kelley.

HDawg

December 10th, 2009
2:20 pm

The defensive coaches not opting to coach in the bowl game says a lot. If they are such good friends with CMR, why would they leave the team high and dry at the foothills of a bowl? Sounds like sour grapes against the rest of the staff if you ask me. I think there is a bigger problem as evidenced by the lack of discipline on both sides of the ball. But,it is solely Coach Richt’s responsibilty to right the ship. He chose the firings as his starting point. Lets see what happens.

As for the black helmets…it made the Dawgs look desparate. It also sent a message that there is a thought that our traditions aren’t good enough, and changing them would create momentum. That is the poorest decision I have seen in a while. Athens is no place for gimmicks…and that is all that was.

Haley Hutchinson

December 10th, 2009
2:21 pm

Here’s something for Robinson to consider. If he’d helped Amp Arnold learn how to read, maybe UGA wouldn’t have gotten a black eye during the Jan Kemp revelations.

Bottom line: The UGA program today — run by Richt — is far cleaner and above board than the program Robinson was a part of. What does Robinson have to say about that?

Xenophon

December 10th, 2009
2:21 pm

Richt’s coaching style has caught up with him. Maybe a new DC will help. But I have my doubts. Actually, if Richt wants a DC who thinks like him, he should probably hire a fundamentalist missionary.

Bank Walker, Texas Ranger

December 10th, 2009
2:22 pm

I’ve heard this the past two years in regards to discipline and conditioning. I believe RR is right. I think UGA in going down the same path as FSU and Miami, without the multiple National Championships of course. It is no coincidence that Richt got his training from both schools.

Another Dawg

December 10th, 2009
2:23 pm

I’d love Brian Kelly. Let’s hire a head coach who promoted John Jancek at every job he’s had. We’re sitting here complaining about defense, and you want Brian Kelly to come coach? Please, let the Irish have him and all his slow Ohio Valley recruits.

Papadawg

December 10th, 2009
2:23 pm

I agree, Coach Richt has made mistakes but all coaches make mistakes when they go from assistant coach to head coach. He’s been a head coach for 5 years and it looks to me like he’s learning by firing good friends in order to better the program. He’s always liked the pass happy offense but I hope he learned from the GT game that a strong running game is needed especially in the SEC.

Lindsey

December 10th, 2009
2:25 pm

Rex sounds like The Grinch, GO DAWGS!!!! Best of luck at the Independence Bowl. It does not matter to me what color uniform you wear, just win!!

Dawg Central

December 10th, 2009
2:25 pm

I didn’t even know Rex Robinson was still anywhere around….until now….guess that shows how relevant any of his comments are anyway.
Someone needs to tell Rex that anyone with a pea size brain can speculate and thats exactly what he is doing…..unless he wants to give examples, incidents, etc..if not then he should close his liquor hole……Rex is underminding one of the best coaches in UGA history…and about the arrest of players, penalties, etc……these guys are grown men…you can teach them, but you cannot make them conform……I was in the US Marine Corps, which is the most discipline branches of service…and can I tell you how many Marines get their asses locked up outside the gates of Camp Lejune N.C………so the next time you have a thought run through your mind Rex…just let it pass softly in the wind between your ears…..Go Dawgs and Coach Richt….true Dawg fans are on board…and if any of you think the ship is sinking….go ride the Yellow Jacket bandwagon……and by the way Rex, it was Kevin Butler that made the 60 yarder against Clemson, right??? LOL

deltonadawg

December 10th, 2009
2:26 pm

As I posted on Rex’s blog, it looks to me like both of you are trying to promote your blogs. Anyone can make statements give me some facts and I will be more inclined to believe you.

jack bull

December 10th, 2009
2:26 pm

first off, the players DIDN’T KNOW when they were going to wear the black uniforms, people. it was a total surprise to them before the Auburn game…along with this year against Florida, they didn’t know anything about it..yes, it was a “shot” at getting them to be a little more fired up for the game..should they have to be more fired up to play florida?? no!! but heck, we’re not the coaches, and we don’t see the KIDS emotion during the week, maybe CMR thought it may inspire them a little..can’t blame a man for trying things to beat Florida, nobody else had at that time for over a year.(especially not us),

up to date rumor mill,,,,Vic Koening, who went to school with TCU’s Gary Patterson and coached under Bill Snyder(who is a defensive genius), will be named the new DC at UGA by the weekend…Mark Stoops, brother of Bob(OU) and Mike(UAZ), has turned down the job..now, please read my blog, please read my blog,….

boog

December 10th, 2009
2:27 pm

Rex who? Whatever….

Skitty Fritty

December 10th, 2009
2:28 pm

Why would anyone listen to a kicker unless it is Kevin Butler? Kickers don’t have a clue about how the team functions in football!

exNFLplayer

December 10th, 2009
2:29 pm

Are you talking about that guy from Cincy that doesn’t play defense, 01HAWK? Seriously. Name a flavor of the year coach not named Urban Meyer that has produced big time results when moving to a bigger stage. Do the names Dan Hawkins and Gary Barnett sound familiar? Tyrone Willingham? I might buy Gary Patterson for the simple reason that he understands defensive football, but Brian Kelley won’t have the same success at the next level that he has had at Cincy. He’d get eaten alive in the SEC.

UA Alum92

December 10th, 2009
2:34 pm

LOL! For us to have throwback uniforms, I guess we’d have to remove the facemasks. Or go back to those long sleeve cotton jerseys with the sewn-on numbers.

jack bull

December 10th, 2009
2:45 pm

brian kelley?? umm, tell me, how did auburns new OF do this year, in the SEC? i believe against teams in the conference they averaged about 17 pts a game. and i also believe his offenses were ranked number 1 for a few years,,,,,,AT TULSA!!!! brian kelley,,,come on now…

Reptillicide

December 10th, 2009
2:46 pm

Some of you are really acting like some naive Quakers in here. Why are we referring to UGA players as “thugs” for getting arrested for “emerging from an alley” on a scooter, driving with a suspended license, being caught drinking with the rest of the underage students at UGA who drink (every single one of you that graduated from UGA along with me know exactly how it is) and forgetting to pay traffic fines? Thugs? Really? There’s what, close to a hundred players on the team, and you think that these things aren’t natural? Let me ask you this: if you took 100 random students (non-athletes) from UGA and kept track of them for a period of a year, how do you think their arrest record would look by comparison? I’m betting it would either be the same, or worse.

18 arrests in 4 years. And you’re complaining that our players are thugs. Your head is truly in the sand.

Alabama Jack

December 10th, 2009
2:49 pm

To dawg nation:

We sincerely hope you are not too stupid to throw Bobo or Richt under the bus. We think they should stay and the team should vote every week on what uniform to wear. Strength and conditioning should be optional just like class work and practices should including bowling or swimming as options every day, instead of that ugly blocking and tackling stuff.

Don’t worry about plays, you can make them up as you go along.

Sincerely,

ULL
South Carolina
Arkansas
Mississippi State
Colorado
Tennessee
Vanderbilt
Papa Kentucky
Florida
Idaho State (who?)
Auburn
Georgia Tech

PS. Thanks for posting the Florida-Alabama End of Season game reminder on your schedule. Should help you remember to get your tickets early.

jarvis

December 10th, 2009
2:52 pm

I’m just hoping Wayne Johnson doesn’t come out against us.

bigdawg88

December 10th, 2009
3:00 pm

PhilDawg,
Thanks! At least someone has some sense.
How the heck is riding a moped without a license thug activity? Other than that underage drinking (also NOT thuggish) those are minor penalties. I don’t even know how they can go to jail for that. Cops in Athens must have nothing to do. I bet a cop in Atlanta would just laugh at a 300+ pound guy on a moped. We must have stopped paying our players if all they have to ride is mopeds.
Sounds like maybe our players are going soft. Heck the only people who rode mopeds when I was at Athens were the Wendy’s delivery drivers.

dog-blabber

December 10th, 2009
3:05 pm

Rex, Come on!!!!!!!! You’re a kicker. Who really cares what you blog about. Your old school. Kids are different now. I am sure if you were in charge you could run a strict program like Felton did………..oh yeah, he ran off all of the good talent.

Dawgs Stink and Suck

December 10th, 2009
3:06 pm

HDawg

December 10th, 2009
3:07 pm

I cannot understand how Dick Bumpas at TCU is not mentioned more often. But, I don’t hire or fire, so what do I know?

A Few More Afternoon Nuggets | MrSEC.com

December 10th, 2009
3:08 pm

[...] coordinator job.  Seriously.4.  Speaking of Georgia, former Bulldog Rex Robinson believes the players in Athens are running the program, not Mark Richt.  (If his belief that UGA’s black helmets and black pants prove that the [...]

gdawginkalamazoo

December 10th, 2009
3:10 pm

“The same dumb penalties, blown coverages, and poor fundamentals have been displayed repeatedly with no apparent consequences”

I think those coaches got fired.

“The defensive coaches not opting to coach in the bowl game says a lot”

Yes, it says “we got fired and don’t have a key to the building anymore so we will just mill around at the student center game planning, after we finish our air hockey game.”

Bill King

December 10th, 2009
3:16 pm

Don in DC:

Try reading it again. It’s Rex Robinson saying the players are in charge. Not me.

Don in DC

December 10th, 2009
3:20 pm

Sorry Bill my apologies. It sounded like your voice. Did you know that you sound just like Rex Robinson?