Talent not enough to win championships, Saints’ Stinchcomb says

Jon Stinchcomb was named to the Pro Bowl this past season. (New Orleans Saints)

Jon Stinchcomb was named to the Pro Bowl this past season. (New Orleans Saints)

UGA football fans’ favorite brothers, the Stinchcombs, were at the Touchdown Club of Athens meeting this week, Matt on hand to introduce featured speaker Jon of the Super Bowl-winning New Orleans Saints.

As you’d expect with brothers, there was some good-natured sibling rivalry. Matt told the assembled fans that he’d been excited to be asked to speak to the club … until he discovered it was just to talk about his little brother.

Jon, a Pro Bowl selection who looks to be about twice the size of Matt these days, was there to talk about what makes a championship team. He recalled his sophomore year at UGA when the 2000 roster was loaded with NFL-caliber talent, with the likes of Quincy Carter, Marcus Stroud, Richard Seymour, Charles Grant, Jonas Jennings, Boss Bailey, Kendrell Bell and so on.
Coach Jim Donnan told the team that “if you can’t win a national championship with talent like that, you should get out of coaching,” Stinchbomb said, pausing for a moment before adding: “That was Coach Donnan’s last year as coach.”

The problem, Stinchcomb said, was that despite all that talent, the Dogs “didn’t win because we didn’t play as a team.”

The key to a great team, Stinchcomb said, is accountability. That came into play in 2002 when Georgia was playing at Auburn for a trip to Atlanta and the SEC championship game. After a pretty poor first half, Mark Richt remembers he was trying to figure out what he was going to say to get the team fired up when he heard the loud voice of Stinchcomb doing it for him. Among other things — most of which Stincomb laughingly admitted he didn’t want to repeat — the player asked his teammates to look the guy next to them in the eyes and vow to win it for him.

Another factor in the turnaround after Richt became Georgia’s coach, Stinchcomb said, was that the players worked harder. He still smarts at the memory of the first day of mat drills, in which the players are graded on their efforts. Stinchcomb’s grade was a “D.” That was a new experience for the noted scholar-athlete. “I’d never made a ‘D’ in anything in my life!” In fact, he joked, looking over at Richt, “I’m still a little bit contentious about it.”

Jon Stinchcomb likes to remind his brother Matt that he scored against Auburn. (University of Georgia)

Jon Stinchcomb likes to remind his brother Matt that he scored against Auburn. (University of Georgia)

The same lessons have applied in New Orleans, he said, where the team and the community have bonded tightly in a way similar to college football programs in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. But while he said he’s proud of being on the Super Bowl champion, Stinchcomb drew a big cheer from the Athens fan gathering when he noted, “I’m a Saint for this period of my life, but I’ll always be a Bulldog.”

Asked his favorite moment from his UGA playing career, Stinchcomb cited two. The first was the 2001 come-from-behind win at Knoxville. He said it was “the loudest stadium I’ve ever heard” until after the Dogs scored the winning touchdown, at which point “it was the quietest stadium I’ve ever heard.”

The other UGA highlight was that Auburn game in 2002. Stinchcomb turned to brother Matt sitting beside the podium and drew a laugh when he said, “I scored a touchdown in that game, Matt. I don’t know if I told you.”

As Richt noted in thanking the Stinchcombs’ parents, who were on hand, Jon and Matt are two of the best UGA football has produced, both on and off the field. In the latter regard, the Stinchcombs, along with pal David Greene, are again putting on the Countdown to Kickoff event to raise funds for children’s healthcare charities, with this year’s fan day featuring Dogs present and past set for July 17 at the practice fields in Athens.

Another example of accountability.

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135 comments Add your comment

My Boston accent is so ugly

April 14th, 2010
10:23 am


My Boston accent is so ugly

April 14th, 2010
10:23 am

yeah whatever!

April 14th, 2010
10:38 am


April 14th, 2010
10:39 am

Congratulations Jon on winning the Super Bowl!! What a great guy and a great Bulldog!!!

yeah whatever!

April 14th, 2010
10:40 am


Vs. SEC foes: 43-22
Vs. Top 25 foes: 29-18
Vs. Top 25 foes away from home: 18-12
Vs. Top 10 foes: 8-6
In postseason games (bowls and championships): 9-3
In games decided by a touchdown or less: 34-14
Record at home: 46-9
Record on the road: 42-6 (including bowl games)
Losses to unranked teams: 6
Top 25 finishes: 8
Top 10 finishes: 6
Fact:………UGA was 12-1 in 2002 (prior to bowl selections)
Fact ………Fla was 12-1 in 2006 (prior to bowl selections)
Fact ………Not UGAs fault there were 2 unbeatens that year. “unlucky”
Fact……….Not Flas credit that there was only one unbeaten in 2006. “Lucky”
Fact:………Luck (not merit) had more to do with Fla getting an invite to the BCS not that Fla was more deserving to go to a NC than UGA with identical records.
Fact:………No SEC team has ever lost a BCSNC game and if UGA would have been invited nothing indicates that it would have been different
Fact……….UGA has 2 SEC titles..same as Fla in last 9 years and equal amount of total wins (90) over all.
Fact……….UGA has been ranked more times top ten in last 9 years than any SEC team at 6. Fla has only been ranked top ten 3 times in 9 years (real impressive).
Fact……….In 9 years under Richt the only SEC team with more wins is LSU

Fact………..UGA has won 4 str8 bowls….more than any other SEC team.
Fact……..UGA has won 11 of last 13 bowls…Thats more than any team (tied with LSU and more than FLA)
Fact…… UGA has won 8 or more games in last 13 years…more than any other team in the nation including Fla.

Fact…….UGA is clearly as good or better than any SEC team over last 9 years. Only a fool or a fan of the mythical BCSNC selection process (non playoff) would think otherwise.
Fact…….UGA had same record when they won the SEC title in 2002 as Fla did in 2006/8 when they won the SEC title. But UGA had the misfortune (luck) to have that record in a year that had 2 other teams with undefeated records.
Hardly an indictment on UGA but rather on the NC selection process.
6 times finished in the top 10
2 times finished in the top 3
3 SEC Championship Appearances
2 SEC Titles
3 BCS Bowls
2 Sugar Bowl wins
90-27 record over 8 seasons – 79% winning percentage (one of only 7 in the history of college ball to have ever accomplished this)
4 str8 bowl wins
7-2 in bowls (big games)
Mark Richt coached QB coach for Charlie Ward and Chris Weinke = 2 Heismans; Head Coach for David Greene = all time winningest college QB until Colt McCoy this year); and coached Matthew Stafford = very rich #1 draft pick)
No Probations
He has my respect.


April 14th, 2010
11:05 am

Under CMR:
UGA is 14-11 against SEC east opponents the last 5 years.
UGA is 2-7 against Florida
UGA is 3-8 against Florida and Tenn. the last five years.
UGA is 2-3 against Tenn. the last five years.
UGA has never beaten won all its SEC east games in a season
UGA has never beaten Tenn and Fla in the same season

We can always come up with old statistics to make ourselves feel good, but the cold hard fact is the Dawgs have not been competitive against SEC east teams the last five years. Unless they can start beating Florida and Tenn, there will be no more championships. I love the Dawgs, and I wouldnt trade CMR for any other coach, but lets not kid ourselves, the Dawgs need to improve against SEC east teams to play for championships.


April 14th, 2010
11:13 am

Nice story, great guys, but lets not rank brother tandems. The Bailey’s certainly deserve a mention at the top. No offense, just an observation.

Old Dawg

April 14th, 2010
11:22 am

Yes, the Stinchcomb brothers have been great for UGA, but shouldn’t the Bailey brothers be similarly regarded? They helped the Dawgs win a lot of games as well.


April 14th, 2010
11:29 am

The 2000 team was so loaded… I can’t believe that was 10 years ago! Other than the 2008 team, there has never been a more talented group that came up short.

Lowcountry Bulldawg

April 14th, 2010
11:30 am

Old Dawg,

I believe they are. The article is directly related to Jon having won a Super Bowl and coming back to Athens to speak of teambuilding and its importance. Good grief!

Bill King

April 14th, 2010
11:32 am

I hold the Baileys in the highest regard for their playing days at UGA. But in their post-UGA days you don’t see nearly as much of them, while Matt and Jon have become among the most visible former players in promoting the school and doing charitable work. No knock on the Baileys intended; just praise for the Stinchcombs.


April 14th, 2010
11:37 am

yeah whatever:

you left out one stat in your selected list:
3-17 ””’


April 14th, 2010
11:44 am

Waiting for some Tech Fan to raise his ugly head to say something hateful about John and Matt, two good citizens, who would of made all A’s at Tech, but will be labeled as ‘ burger flippers”


April 14th, 2010
11:49 am

I agree Bill…the Stinchcombs were and still are class acts. Good article.

U R Right

April 14th, 2010
11:53 am

Talent goes to the Bailey Brothers. But Love for UGA (shown through actions not words) the S’s have that all the way…..


April 14th, 2010
12:15 pm

Maybe the Stinchcombs can leave better tips in the Downtown Athens Area. $5 on 100 is unexceptable.

Fred Mertz

April 14th, 2010
12:23 pm

W…maybe you should get a better education and a better job and you wouldn’t have to rely on tips to pay the bills.

Denver Dawg

April 14th, 2010
12:26 pm

“unexceptable” is unacceptable…


April 14th, 2010
12:28 pm

talent is nice but requires coaching to display it. 2008 team was very talented but Martinez screw it up! couldn’t stop Bama or Tech.


April 14th, 2010
12:31 pm

Burger flippers…


April 14th, 2010
12:40 pm

…and governors.

college student working for tips

April 14th, 2010
1:04 pm

Fred Mertz you sir are unaware that many of those students who are getting and education in Athens, work in the service industry to pay their way through school. If you have a problem with tipping, do not go out to eat. The servers and cooks are working a job they hate so that they can “get a better education and a better job”


April 14th, 2010
1:20 pm

Fred Mertz,

Maybe you should be grateful for the job you have and not poke fun at folks less fortunate than yourself–you sound like an arrogant jerk.


April 14th, 2010
1:26 pm

Everything Jon said is absolutely correct! Everyone talks about the coaches setting the tone, but it’s up to the players to take ownership. That’s why UGA underachieved in 2008, because there was zero accountability. Stafford and Moreno should have been like Tim Tebow, who set the tone for their championship season by accepting responsibility for their loss and vowing to never let it happen again. Call the “Promise” cornball if you want, but you can’t argue with the results. Players can’t just wait around for coaches to inspire them. There has to be a sense of pride and purpose as a team, and that has to come from the players as well.

Accountability can not be underestimated. Neither can talent. That 2002 team had more talent then Jon will have us all believe. Don’t let anyone tell you that talent doesn’t matter because it does! But it’s definately not the only determining factor in winning a championship. Accountability + Hard Work +Talent+ Coaching = championships.

Johnny DangerDawg

April 14th, 2010
1:30 pm

Great article, Bill. I love the Stinchcomb brothers and enjoy hearing Jon talk about the past and the present. I love the Bailey brothers too, and I hope they will speak at Touchdown Club events in the future.

Dorsey Hill

April 14th, 2010
1:41 pm

The talent debate is a difficut one because you can’t win without it, but you can lose even though you have it. To me greatest comes from a system, for example in the cases of the Pittsburgh Steelers or the Patriots or any other great team that you can think of, where the coach sets the structure, the identity and the goals and then uses the talent at his disposal to achieve success rather than the other way around. For example, you can take the system that FSU used during its great run and give it to say, Vandy, and they will fall flat because FSU depended on talent first and last. The thing that makes a Coach like Saban so good is that he sees that difference. Its his way or no way but let’s get the best players we can to run it. That’s how you win chamionships. Or you join the ACC and outclass every team on your schedule. That doesn’t work in the NFL and it won’t work in the SEC. I thought CMR had brought that sort of structure to Athens from 2001 to 2005, then we got Stafford and Moreno, and not that its those guys fault at all, but the “team” identity kind of started to fade. I think CMR’s bringing in new blood is about getting back to the concept of playing “Georgia Football” rather than riding on the identities or talents of any one or more players. I for one think that 2010-2014 will look more like 2001-2005 than 2006-2009.


April 14th, 2010
1:52 pm

These guys Had (have) What the Dawgs haven’t had in a while. HEART and a PASSION for the Game

The D

April 14th, 2010
2:14 pm

Rodney O’Neal. O’Neal, (5-11, 170) why have we not offered this kid Bill? He sounds just like Jon and Matt, with his love for the Dawgs. Does anyone know why?


April 14th, 2010
2:31 pm

yeah whatever as talking about the last nine years you moron. If want please tell us what the overall record is. Please go farther past Spurrier first year. what a moron…

Bill King is a ..................

April 14th, 2010
2:38 pm

I”m still waiting on that magical NEXT YEAR. It’s always ‘wait til next year.’ That year doesnt seem to coming to Athens anytime soon.


April 14th, 2010
2:45 pm

OldDawg, it is not about the Bailey brothers because they were not there. This story would not make much sense otherwise. Hope the Bailey’s come to this event next year. I can’t wait to tell all my friends about not seeing the Stinchcombs in the audience. And their names were not even mentioned! What is wrong with CMR? My guess he does not like either family very well.

Delbert D.

April 14th, 2010
2:57 pm

“Fact…….UGA is clearly as good or better than any SEC team over last 9 years. Only a fool or a fan of the mythical BCSNC selection process (non playoff) would think otherwise.”

Not a *fact*, merely an opinion. Check the Wikipedia on what constitutes a “fact.”


April 14th, 2010
3:02 pm

What’s with Fact boy? 50-100 years from now the only fact people are going to know is :

2006 – Florida National Champions
2007 – LSU National Champions
2008 – Florida National Champions
2009 – Alabama National Champions


April 14th, 2010
3:21 pm

Great article Bill. And I agree, some positive mention for the Stenchcomb’s is not a negative for the Baily’s.

yeah whatever!

April 14th, 2010
3:50 pm

BullDawg Rick

April 14th, 2010
4:04 pm

Nice write Bill.. This article is NOT a knock on Ronald, Champ & Boss Bailey.. However as far as ’student/athlete’, the Stinchcomb brothers were AA’s both on the gridiron & classroom..

BOTH famlies are DGD’s!!!

One, two, free, fo, fi, dem der Gator don't take no jive!

April 14th, 2010
4:40 pm

In response to Yeah Whatever!
Fact…..Florida has 3 NC’s in the last 14 years.
Fact…..Georgia has 1 NC in the past 30 years.
All of the rest is pure speculation and useless statistics. Those things don’t go in trophy cases!!!!!


April 14th, 2010
5:33 pm

Well Fred Mertz, things have changed since the ‘I love Lucy show’. Not only do some very fine students work while attending college they do it while playing sports and making decent grades. I now live in Madrid and in Europe you start off by waiting tables proceed to kitchen help then cook or Manager. It is considered a respectable trade and takes about 4 years to complete. Newt time you go out remember that 20 per cent is base line tip; more if in a good restaurant or if the waiter is friendly and professional. My mother worked hard in a small restaurant to feed 7 children and get them though school. Fred next time just go to a drive-though: you do not have to leave tips and you get what a person like you deserves.
Sorry Bill and other Dogs but some time I have to vent on ignorance.


April 14th, 2010
5:46 pm

Siblings on the roster are nothing new to the Dawgs, now it will be the Ogletree brothers. Hale thinks Zander should be redshirted, but I disagree. I have never seen the kid play, but I understand Zander is one hard nosed player. He should play on the special teams if nowhere else. All those that saw plenty of toughness and hard tackles on the kick coverage team last year are free to disagree!


April 14th, 2010
6:12 pm

So that’s why UGA is 3-19 vs u no who.

What it takes

April 14th, 2010
6:23 pm

What it takes is focus, discipline on and off the field, drive, and determination. What we seem to have is talent but not the willpower and the on and off the field discipline that other championship teams have. Most noticeable is how undisciplined our team is compared to someone like Bama. Nick Saban may be a jerk but you don’t see his players getting arrested left and right over the past year for all kinds of stupid things. And you don’t see his teams making all the dumb, stupid penalties and turnovers that we make every single game. We got the talent. We just don’t have the focus and discipline. Richt needs to take a clue from the guy that we all love to hate Saban and learn to instill focus and discipline to our team both on and off the field. That’s the bottom line.


April 14th, 2010
6:55 pm

Saban is a great coach, but he has the personality of a slug. If you are not preforming at an acceptable level by your redshirt Fr. year your not going to be around very long. Ever notice why Ala always has 25 + scholarships to offer. Saban never makes a bad choice with recruits, they just, well, transfere.

Gunner Dog

April 14th, 2010
7:49 pm

The dogs just need a light schedule to win it all, and finally, in 2010 they get it. Richt has a great record against Ark (3-0), S Car (7-2), Auburn (4-0), GaTech (8-1), and Kentucky (7-2). And he’s 7-1 against Auburn and Alabama if we get to the SEC Championship.

Then we need Fla to have a down year, and they do in 2010. Tebow, Strong, Harvin, 13 starters gne, and 4 new coaches.

2010 is the year for Richt, will never be a better opportunity..

Gunner Dog

April 14th, 2010
7:52 pm

richt already has 2 national championship rings, and he’s been to 5 national championships, more than any coach in the SEC. he’s finished 2 years at #2 or #3, and didn’t get any help from kirk herbstriet and espn in 2007, and got robbed when we went 13-1 and won the SEC. if he just keeps doing what he’s doing,m he’s had 7 national championship type of seasons so far in his 18 year coaching history.

Small Johnson

April 14th, 2010
7:53 pm

Have said for years UGA has had way to much talent to have the results that we have had.

Must start beating FL, if not changes need to be made

Gunner Dog

April 14th, 2010
7:56 pm

by the way, I am not the first person on these blogs to say it, but it’s true.

If richt wins it all in 2010, saban, meyer and spurrier will all quit, retire, or move on.

meyer and saban always leave their team after 6 years max so they’ll bot. spurrier has said he wants to retire at 65, and this year, he’s 65.

then richt can go on a run the likes of which no ne has ever seen.

Small Johnson

April 14th, 2010
7:59 pm

wanting FL to have a down year so we can get into a championship is crap

I do not want anymore SEC championships or BCS games if we cannot start beating FL

What a cop out have some pride people and learn to hit your opponent in the mouth and knock him out

Not oh please please big bad FL, how about losing for us this year, so we can go to a championship we have been good the last 20

Give me a break go pull for Vanderbilt

Gunner Dog

April 14th, 2010
8:02 pm

or how about this, quit beating yourself against florida by turning the ball over 4 times a game. stop beating yourself richt, stop turining over the ball, and committing penatlties (#117 in both) and 14-0 for many years. meyer has NEVER, NEVER, NEVER beat Georgia.

richt is 15-0 when he commits 0 turnovers.

nobody beats richt, but richt. he’s too good of coach.

One, two, free, fo, fi, dem der Gator don't take no jive!

April 14th, 2010
8:14 pm

Gunner Dog, you’re just delusional. Do you really think that Georgia is better than Florida? If they were, wouldn’t the results show on the field at least 75% of the time? Turnovers are part of the game. It’s called taking talent and making them the best they can be through hard work, hard cecisions, focus and deisre. Richt’s teams no longer show that.
Face it……you can’t compete with Florida on a regular basis until you are prepared to do the work necessary to move up to thier level. Just hoping they back down to you is for losers!!!!!


April 14th, 2010
8:25 pm

Did this Kirk Herbstreit fellow who cost UGA a shot at the 2007 title game play for South Carolina or Tennessee?