Richt: Ealey even better, but QB may not surface until bullets are real

Washaun Ealey is only going to get better, Mark Richt says. (Georgiadogs.com)

Washaun Ealey is only going to get better, Mark Richt says. (Georgiadogs.com)

As spring practice gets under way, Chris Low of ESPN.com has been visiting Athens and posted some interesting quotes from Mark Richt in which the coach touched on a number of topics, including his “gut-wrenching” decision to fire most of his defensive staff after last season.

But the two comments that jumped out at me were dealing with subjects near and dear to Dogs fans’ hearts: the quarterback battle and tailback Washaun Ealey.

Richt again said that he’d love to have the starting QB settled after spring practice but “chances of that are going to be fairly slim.” The main problem, he said, is that the quarterbacks aren’t hit in practice, so you don’t know how they’ll do in a real game. “Now, if we decided to make every quarterback live, we’d probably know a lot more about him at the end of the spring. But it’s not worth taking that risk.”

And the matter won’t necessarily be closed when a starter is picked, Richt acknowledged. “You may think you’ve got your No. 1 and then you start playing the games and you’re on national TV and the bullets are flying. Sometimes, you’re three, four or five games into it before you get a gut feeling of who it should be or you’re really certain who it should be.”

OK, that’s not exactly a scenario Dogs fans want to envision.

But we can take comfort in the fact that Richt said Ealey has shown up big in the offseason mat drills, is even faster than originally thought and looks to be a much improved tailback in 2010.

“Washaun will only be better next season,” Richt said. “He will be in much better condition, will understand much better what we’re trying to do, and he’ll understand what it means to play in the league.”

Again, you get the definite impression that Richt and Mike Bobo are thinking they’re going to be leaning heavily on their running game, at least to start with, until they feel comfortable with whoever winds up at QB.

DOGS IN SEC ELITE FOR THE DECADE
Mark Inabinett of the Mobile Press-Register broke down the SEC records for the past decade (2000-2009), and the Dogs generally rank in the top three no matter how you look at it.

In overall record, Georgia (98-31) came in third behind Florida (100-30) and LSU (99-31). If you go by conference record, Georgia (55-25) was tied with LSU behind Florida (61-19). For nonconference record, the Dogs (43-6) were second behind LSU (44-6) and ahead of the mighty Gators (39-11). Going by record against other BCS conferences, Georgia (21-5) was on top, followed by LSU (13-4), Kentucky (9-5), Florida (13-10) and Auburn (10-10) and Alabama (7-7).

Finally, he notes that Florida, Georgia and LSU were the only SEC teams that went to bowls after every season of the decade.

A pretty impressive record.

148 comments Add your comment

Dem4Dawgs

March 4th, 2010
1:08 pm

Would love to see Mett and Murray share some time in the first few games. Sorry Logan – just not feeling it.

answer

March 4th, 2010
1:09 pm

i think i would rather have a great season in and out every year but what do i know i wasnt even born last time uga won it all :(

Whopper Dawg

March 4th, 2010
1:10 pm

I hope to goodness they settle on one QB. For a lot of reasons, but also the effect it has on Bobo. When Mett goes in, here come the pass, when Murray goes in, here comes the roll out option, I can see it now. If I can figure it out, do you think opposing DCs can’t?

Fair and Balanced

March 4th, 2010
1:11 pm

I say let ‘em hit the QB some! It is time to separate the men from the boys. Why practice if you are not going to …..well practice? Is Spring practice about trying to find out who can play or not? Other schools have abandoned this sissy thing about QB’s so they can find out what they have. If he can’t take it in practice he can’t take it in a game. Find out now!

Gator here

March 4th, 2010
1:11 pm

Ealey is special and reminds me of UGA backs when I was younger. Not a slasher like Mareno, but a pounder who gets stronger as game goes on. Dont understand why they dont run him 22-25 times a game.

Washaun Ealey Rocks The House!

March 4th, 2010
1:14 pm

2.32 40 speed, Ealey can FLY!

atl-xmen

March 4th, 2010
1:15 pm

you arm chair qb/coaches make me laugh..cox was the best qb uga had last year and uga just didnt stop running the ball, they couldnt run the ball with the two young backs and playing a different line until the last 4 games of the year. uga will be fine..now worries with the new qb or new def..richt knows what he is doing.

UGA Dog TD Tom

March 4th, 2010
1:18 pm

We could either:
1) Give Murray a shot in the 1st 2 games, if he flops, give it to #2 guy
2) Narrow to to #1/#2, give #1 most reps in practice, let both have real-time competition in first few games of season against “real bullets”.

I don’t think Murray needs any more bullets, 2 state championships in highest Div, 5000 yards, 63 td’s?????

Dog in Bama

March 4th, 2010
1:22 pm

Did David Greene have any experience before he became tie winnist QB in colledge footbal? no, i don’t think so.

Dog in Bama

March 4th, 2010
1:23 pm

Wish i could spell.

Gator here

March 4th, 2010
1:29 pm

UGA Dog TD Tom, everything you say about Murray is correct except he won 1 title and it was 5A, not 6A. Coaches there say he had Tebow like leadership and is a great kid.

Midland Dog

March 4th, 2010
1:30 pm

I still have faith in Mark Richt. Would you rather have your son playing for a coach like Saban that is seen weekly on the sidelines dropping f-bombs every time a play blows up? I know I wouldn”t.

WonderDawg

March 4th, 2010
1:32 pm

Wow. 2.32 speed in 40. He CAN fly. Haha.

Gator here

March 4th, 2010
1:32 pm

Corrected, it was 4A not 5A

Read Lips

March 4th, 2010
1:34 pm

Midland Dog, even the saintly Bowden threw Fbombs on occasion. Read the book St. Bobby and the Barbarians written by a former player. No one ever Richt is perfect.

WonderDawg

March 4th, 2010
1:35 pm

No, but Greene only won 8 of those games his first year. My point was about their first year …

TXDawg

March 4th, 2010
1:36 pm

No Les Miles Fan here

March 4th, 2010
1:02 pm
Once again BigDawg shows his ignorance. No matter if Miles cried and begged or not. In 2007 IF UGA would have won the SEC EAST they would have played for the SEC title. How can you have a team that came in 3rd in the SEC(behind UT and LSU) play for the title. If UGA had not of choked agains UT and taken care of business they would have had a chance.

BCS Standings determine the NC game participants, not where you finish in a conference. The Big12 had a non-conference championship game participant play a couple of years ago, when OU went ahead of Texas. The real gripe is that the media and presumably coaches (whoever altered the polls) dropped UGA down to keep them from posting a BCS score in that would keep them in the top 2, thus bumping LSU into one of those slots. I could go on and talk about how the BCS is crock because UGA should have played USC, as opposed to Hawaii, but that’s another can of worms to open later (or not).

Fl Dawg

March 4th, 2010
1:37 pm

Before we get too excited about Murray, his former team won again this year with a junior QB who filled in for him as a soph while Murray was injured for 4 games. It might be he had a lot of talent around him. Just sayin….. Give ol Mett a chance, he might just be what we need.

Gratefuldawghead

March 4th, 2010
1:38 pm

Great point RxDawg on the Jersey numbers! Ready for the Spring Game!
GO DAWGS!

tired of whining

March 4th, 2010
1:39 pm

TXDawg, I know everyone hates on UGA, the refs, BCS, ESPN, everyone.

No Les Miles Fan here

March 4th, 2010
1:43 pm

TXDawg, you are right, but the coaches make up a significant part of the BCS model and they would not vote a team who was 3rd in their conference into the title game. Quit whining and have your team take care of business; like beating UT and UF in the same year.

JB

March 4th, 2010
1:51 pm

If Grantham is successful, you’re looking at 10-11 wins…..If we struggle on D, it’s 8 again. I think we shine. I think our jaw will drop this year in the difference in the defense. Just being prepared and making adjustments. Anybody remember the Carolina game over there 2-3 years ago when the tight end caught like 12 balls in the first half and kept their drives alive ? Remember what Willie did in the second half? Left him uncovered for about 10 more catch’s. Hopefully that type play is gone.

Wait an see on Grantham

March 4th, 2010
1:53 pm

Grantham still has to prove himself as a coordinator since he was fired in his only assignment. Lakatos will be the better of the 2 coaches.

Debose

March 4th, 2010
2:06 pm

“For nonconference record, the Dogs (43-6) were second behind LSU (44-6) and ahead of the mighty Gators (39-11).”

Hold on tight to that one, we will keep our 2 National Titles and you can have that record…………..no trophies for that one………….no national attention

Johnny DangerDawg

March 4th, 2010
2:08 pm

Every year that UGA has a new starting QB, all the “experts” say, “Well, Georgia’s going to let the running backs do all the work and just pound the ball until the QB gets comfortable.” But that never actually happens. The only time we leaned on the running game for a significant chunk of a season was when we had a freshman RB (Moreno) playing with a second-year 5-star QB (Stafford).
Even in the 2007 Florida game, in which Moreno was the offensive centerpiece and gave one of the greatest individual performances of the Mark Richt era, the Dawgs still had as many passing TDs as rushing TDs.

dawgfan

March 4th, 2010
2:12 pm

Ealey is special, but remember before you bash King and exhalt Ealey, they worked best TOGETHER. King got into the endzone many times when Ealey couldn’t. The LSU game stifled everyone’s run – Ealey didn’t put up greast stats from that game either and King had a BROKEN jaw.

I really, really don’t get the fans who can look at the work the two did together and say that Ealey should get it more. There were several games when King had a higher ypc and King scored more, period. The run game took off when both of them were working. If it found its groove, why do you think it should always be one back?

And before you cite the logic that “everytime one back gets 100 yds or more Richt wins blah blah”, the real logic is that a team that allows a back to get that many yards is probably allowing a lot of other stuff from the offense. That’s like saying “when we get 5 or more TD’s we win ___ % of the time, so we should try to score 5 or more TD’s.” … You think???

If you have to go back to LSU to find a game to criticize King, you really are reaching for something and not just good football.

Johnny DangerDawg

March 4th, 2010
2:12 pm

Before last season, everybody said, “Joe Cox isn’t gonna be asked to do much other than hand off to the tailbacks.” WRONG! Richard Samuel was a bust and the O-line couldn’t run block until the coaches shuffled the lineup halfway through the season. The running backs just kept getting stuffed, and Joe Cox was asked to do most of the work until the running game made progress late in the season.

Johnny DangerDawg

March 4th, 2010
2:15 pm

dawgfan,
The O-line was still a work-in-progress during the LSU game. I don’t think any back could have played to his full potential behind that line.

dawgfan

March 4th, 2010
2:17 pm

JDD you’re right! Spring news = fall nots.

I hope for Ealey’s sake they start touting someone else this spring. Remember last spring it was all about Carlton Thomas and Logan Gray. And Spring ‘08 was all about Caleb…

Let’s talk about someone else and keep the jinx off the RBs.

This is what I have been saying for the

March 4th, 2010
2:25 pm

The article from the Register is what I have been trying to say for about two years. IF “UGA is second to a Florida”, then that is not like being second to a Notre Dame or a Stanford or a Texas, or Oklahoma or a Va Tech or a FSU or even Ohio State. For goodness sakes, we are tied with LSU in the SEC in wins and we have pretty much split with them in about 6 or 7 games now. LSU has blown out UGA and UGA has blown them out and we have defeated Florida about twice in 5 or 6 years. Oh well. No one else holds that distinction.

IF UGA is second tier ( yes, I am a UGA grad ) I for one am not ashamed. The point is our major bowls and all in the last 9-10 years, not to mention very decent bowls under Donnan project a winning program. SUPERIOR by the way to a Wisconsin, who is far superior to UT and to Tech. Commpare the UT, Tech and Wisconsin records over the last 10 years.

Don’t compare with Tech, on second thought, as they are pathtic and my granddad was a Tech grad and I feel sorry for them over the last 4 or 5 years, not the last 10-15 or 45 years. Sad that record is.

The Alabamas and the UTs and the sad, wanna be twirps from Tech all claim to be Urange Bowl this and NC that ( BAMA IS THE NC …congrats ) but a p-r-o-g-r-a-m is determined IF and ONLY IF, the school wins over a long time. The Mobile register says it all.

I rest my case. 2010 and 2011 will be a fun ride.

Gooooooooooooooooooo Dawgs !!! Sic em.

Go Dogs.

Scout Dawg

March 4th, 2010
2:30 pm

You know we must be a terrible program because all of the arrests just like the nerds always say. I mean D*mn us all to hell for all of those terrible SCOOTER infractions! Maybe we can get a sterling character like REUBEN HOUSTON to come and mentor our out of control players. It must be a he11 of a fall off of that so called moral high ground for the intellectually and moraly superior nerds.

BigDawg

March 4th, 2010
2:54 pm

mea culpa, bruce mac. To No Wus Piles Fan here, er, No Les Miles Fan here, isn’t the BCS Champ game supposed to be played by the two best teams at the end of the season? Duh… How can you or anyone else argue that beating the crap out of UF and Auburn in November didn’t atone for earlier season letdowns? Good points TXDawg!

Jason

March 4th, 2010
2:57 pm

“Ealey has had a positive off season”?? Didn’t the season just end 10 weeks ago??

bull hog

March 4th, 2010
2:59 pm

Who called the offensive plays last year?
Who will call the offensive plays this year?

Snoop Dawg

March 4th, 2010
3:08 pm

There must be hallucinogens in the Jawja drinking water. Y’all, I’m a UGA expat living in Virginia so I’m thinking with a clear head. HOPE IS NOT A METHOD. The defense should improve, but the offense stinks and neither Richt nor BooBoo have a clue. Until we “finish the drill” and get rid of these imposters, the UGA Bulldogs will continue to disappoint and the highly regarded recruiting talent will underperform.

Dawg 39

March 4th, 2010
3:09 pm

As good as I believe Caleb King will be, I think Ealey will be even better. Not as good as # 34, but right up there with Moreno & Garrison Hearst. The next 3/4 years will be good ones for the Dawgs.

North Ave. Trade School fan

March 4th, 2010
3:16 pm

Big Dawg, Bad dog, Fire Hydrant Dawg,…! Why don’t you folks get a bleeping life. It’s football for god’s sake. I know all of you likely beat yo women when the dogs have a bad game. Below the nat line in this state, hospitals know when the dogs loose, a lot of females end up in the emergency room. A few six packs and thats all it takes.

SickandTired

March 4th, 2010
3:22 pm

Here’s what is going to happen. Mark Richt will screw around making a decision on QB because he want’s Murray to separate and he probably won’t. He’s made the promise to Murray that he’ll play….just as he did with DJ and Stafford…..there’s a track record here folks……and this third time, it may be what gets him fired….he cost UGA a national championship in 2002 because he kept force feed Shockly…..he screwed the pooch Staffords first year…then he doesn’t play Cox a meaningful snap for three years and last sesason was a direct result of that……Now we’ve got Murray…..first road game in SC…..we’ll see….Hey Mark, might wanna keep a bag packed.

Hutton

March 4th, 2010
3:32 pm

Did you see the reference made to “deer-in-the-headlights” Cox and “I-play-special-teams” Joe T? He knew, as everyone else including their parents, that he had the wrong guy at QB. The problem is, he took the red-shirt off the future star the first time, but screwed up the second time when he had TWO LEGIT QB’s sitting on the bench!

jason

March 4th, 2010
3:34 pm

Quick question here. I have been out of the loop lately. haven’t had comp access. Who did UGA hire as DC?

C from Marietta

March 4th, 2010
3:36 pm

SickandTired

You must be a freakin pleasure to be around. Go root for Flordia. We DON’T want you in the Dawg Nation. Coach Richt is great and I hope he is around for a long time.

Lee

March 4th, 2010
3:38 pm

Bottom line: yet another sub-par year because we will take 5 games to figure out who the QB is. Funny….UF and Bama never seem to have that problem…hence- we are where we are.

Jeff

March 4th, 2010
3:41 pm

Hmmmm…seems like I have heard this before. Guess we never learn. And we wonder why…………………..

big south mike

March 4th, 2010
3:43 pm

I don’t think I’ve heard UGA talking about defense and the running game so muhc in the off-season before.

if you’ve heard that every year, please reference ALL the links for all to see, otherwise, we know you’re a Florida homer.

big south mike

March 4th, 2010
3:45 pm

Good sign we have a lot of Florida AntiUGA folks here saying “same ole same old”.

good sign, would they be here if they wern’t AFRAID of getting their tails kicked?

Don’t think so.

big south mike

March 4th, 2010
3:46 pm

Ain’t gonna rotate King with Ealey, King fumbles too much, he’s like the Florida RB’s.

We just need a guy that’s productive AND doesn’t fumble.

That’s Ealey.

Florida has NO ONE that has done that.

big south mike

March 4th, 2010
3:48 pm

If Florida can find their running game and a tested QB, they might not go 5-3 in the SEC like they do 40% of the time with Meyer.

Don’t think so.

FLORIDA WILL BE A GREAT YEAR IF THEY GO 6-2 IN THE sec AND FINISH 2ND TO rICHT.

big south mike

March 4th, 2010
3:49 pm

Florida’s problem is, the 3-4 that Grantham taught Bama, killed the spread offense.

So what will they do?

North Ave. Trade School fan

March 4th, 2010
3:52 pm

Dawg 39, Caleb King is a punk. I will never forget the way he did his old high school team. He will NEVER be more than just another back at UGA.

dawgfan

March 4th, 2010
4:18 pm

North Avenue Trade School fan,

What you don’t know is how Caleb King was treated by those coaches. Caleb was classy enough to keep the reasons private; he could have easily ruined a few coaching careers but he moved on. It’s amazing to me that he is willing to put up with jacka**es like you and your uneducated opinion for the sake of staying above the mud pit with those coaches.