Bulldog Bites: Talent drop-off, JUCO players, Dogs winning SEC East in 2011, Blackout and more

Justin Houston is drawing NFL draft attention, but generally Georgia's talent level on defense is down. (Brant Sanderlin / AJC)

Justin Houston is drawing NFL draft attention, but generally Georgia's talent level on defense is down. (Brant Sanderlin / AJC)

Some bye-week discussion points. …

The drop-off in talent for the Bulldogs, particularly on defense, has been the subject of several discussions of late on Sunday’s “Bulldog Brunch,” and The Macon Telegraph provides some context by noting that during Mark Richt’s first five years, when the Dogs were 52-13 and won two SEC titles, Georgia had 32 players drafted by the NFL, 15 in the top three rounds, while in the past five years, with a 42-20 record, only 15 players have been drafted, five in the top three rounds. On the current team, only juniors A.J. Green and Justin Houston are considered first- or second-round picks, if they enter the draft. Senior offensive lineman Clint Boling is seen as the next most draftable player, but as a late fourth- or early fifth-round pick. The drop-off has been especially hurtful on defense. Do you agree that Georgia’s talent level right now is pretty mediocre?

Speaking of which, I’m inclined to agree with Buck Belue, who thinks Todd Grantham and Rodney Garner should be putting a big push on landing some JUCO talent, especially for Georgia’s woefully undersized defensive line. Immediate help is needed next year, and junior college players seem the best way to get it. …

Along those lines, I’ve heard more than one fan make the case (which I don’t buy) for dumping Richt now by noting that with the possible loss of Green and Houston the Dogs’ prospects for next season don’t look too promising. But a piece on Saturday Down South actually tries to make the case that Georgia will win the SEC East in 2011. Among the reasons cited are the schedule, which will include seven home games and a weak-sister SEC West lineup of the Mississippi schools, an open date before the Florida game, most of the talent back on the offensive team (haven’t we heard that one before?), the maturation of Aaron Murray, Grantham’s defensive troops having a year under their belts in his system, the kicking game, and Richt’s obvious need to turn things around. I think the writer downplays the likely loss of Green a bit too much, but it’s nice to hear an optimistic forecast for a change. …

Talk of a possible “Blackout” for the upcoming Tech game is beginning to circulate on fan sites. I’m inclined to think it’s too soon to pull out the black jerseys again, no matter how sharp-looking they are, but I can understand the rationale behind wanting to get the crowd more involved in this make-or-break final home game. What do you think?

Lastly, if you look up “mealy-mouthed” in the dictionary, you’ll find something like this: “avoiding the use of direct and plain language, as from timidity, excessive delicacy, or hypocrisy; inclined to mince words; insincere, devious, or compromising.” Which pretty much sums up Auburn coach Gene Chizik’s response when asked on this week’s SEC coaches teleconference about criticisms that Nick Fairley is a dirty player.

“I don’t know how people refer to him,” Chizik said. “I’m not really sure exactly what you’re talking about, but certainly no one teaches that. He’s a very try-hard guy. He plays with great effort, great passion for the game. And certainly nobody would have any intent to do anything other than the right things in any game.”

Someone get a shovel, it’s starting to pile up …

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235 comments Add your comment

elvisaintdead

November 18th, 2010
10:52 am

Blackout? Really?
ANOTHER gimmick?

What happened to gold old fashioned GATA?

elvisaintdead

November 18th, 2010
10:52 am

Dawg Fan

November 18th, 2010
10:52 am

I think the blackout idea is horrible. I’m sick to death of Richt and his gimmicks. What I want is for the team to play hard-nosed football for four quarters.

Matt in Athens

November 18th, 2010
10:53 am

This team needs to earn the black jerseys, and they haven’t done and cannot do anything this year to earn them, IMO. Maybe next year if they win the East or beat Florida they can pull them out, but until then, please, no. Just ask Georgia Tech and Florida how well playing around with uniforms worked for them this year.

DawginLex

November 18th, 2010
10:53 am

Been saying for weeks we need to go sign at least 2 if not 3 JUCO defensive linemen.

I want AJ and Houston to come back and let’s win some games.

JaxDawg05

November 18th, 2010
10:54 am

I’m with you Bill, next year will be MUCH better to be a Dawg.

elvisaintdead

November 18th, 2010
10:54 am

Erk Russell is doing about 125k/RPM right now.

Go Dawgs!

November 18th, 2010
10:54 am

Bill, I think Buck is right, we need to go out and get some JUCO players to bridge the gap of the transition between a 4-3 to a 3-4 defense. We have some players in place right now that are good fits but what we truly lack is the big physical road-grating nose. Tyson and Tripp have done admirable jobs but if we could go out and bring in a juco player in the mold of a Terrance Cody or an unblockable type like Fairley (without the dirty play of course) then Tripp and Tyson could move to end where they should be in a 3-4, and Dobbs could be moved to LB where he’s better suited in this scheme.
Otherwise it will be at least 2 yrs before Granthum can get what he needs in house and developed. Don’t really see any choice BUT to get some JUCOs

gadawgs7

November 18th, 2010
10:55 am

I like the black jerseys and would like to see them a couple of times a year as a change of pace look…but NOT as a gimmick. Don’t make it a blackout…just wear them! I don’t even think you have to announce it. Against Alabama, it became way too big of a distraction once it was announced. The black jerseys did NOT lose that game for us, however. Let’s downplay the significance but keep them around because they really do look good!

Ryno

November 18th, 2010
10:57 am

Forget the JUCO players – UGA coaches need to be on the phone to EVERY, SINGLE, Auburn commit and let them know the axe is about to drop on their program.

“Son, do you want to spend your time at college never, ever getting the chance to play for in a bowl game?”

Auburn’s inevitable probation is a good thing for UGA.

mattdawg

November 18th, 2010
10:59 am

i dont see why it is viewed as such a gimmick…other schools do these all the time…its not gonna win or lose us the game but its fun for the fans….why is it such a big deal when georgia does it?

Old Dawg

November 18th, 2010
11:00 am

I really like the look of the black jerseys, but it’s a gimmick. Just win, baby!

KeepDreaming

November 18th, 2010
11:01 am

LOL, I think Chizik should be a politician, not a head football coach with those comments.

And please folks, no Blackout against the bugs. We really dont need anything other than good ole fashioned GATA Ga Football to beat their downtrodden team.

Matthews Dawg

November 18th, 2010
11:04 am

The jersey’s worn have NOTHING to do with the way the team plays! I agree “hard nose football” is what is needed, but some of you all get overly excited over jersey’s. Oregon has about 10 different uni’s. I can promise you that they can play in whatever color they feel like wearing. I like the Red jersey/silver britches, but the black jersey’s look great! Maybe the players are the one’s who want to wear them. CMR has often allowed the seniors to pick something different each year. That is fine, because he is showing his appreciation towards those young men choosing UGA. It’s really not a big deal. I know my son loves the black jersey’s! They are very sharp! CMR realizes that a jersey color doesn’t make a team play better or worse. Also,when has CMR ever said that “we want to try a gimmick and wear a different color jersey”. We have many other things to worry about on this team. Again, the jersey does not make a team win or lose! They will look great at night! Go Dawgs!

Flat Tire on I-95 in Jacksonville

November 18th, 2010
11:05 am

Blackout heck yea

Im all for giving the other team motivation to play better and beat our butts just like Alabama

Yea black out with red shoes, purple helmet, and green pants

No Way

November 18th, 2010
11:06 am

There is no way the DAWG’s would do a black-out. I think they learned there lesson with the Alabama game. As mentioned before, a team needs to earn things like that and this team and coach would admit they have earned nothing this year. I will give them credit for sticking together through all the turmoil when most teams would crumble. But nothing makes up for the miserable talent on Defense and the lack of a quality O-line. Maybe Aaron Murray will come out in the Black jersey, as he has been the most impressive.

Sanford Drive

November 18th, 2010
11:07 am

DO THE BLACKOUT!!!

You people need to get over yourselves and your selfish views of UGA football. You can sit here and act like we lost the Bama game in 08′ because we “wore black”. You fail to realize we were the first team who really got a taste of how good Bama was that year. Last year against Florida, while the uni choice itself was rather odd, who cares. We were NEVER even suppose to score on that Florida team last year.

We fail to remember sometimes that UGA football is about the PLAYERS first. These are 18-21 year old kids who are having their glory days. If they want to switch it up, and wear a special jersey, they have the right do so WAY before Bubba from the hills (aka the typical UGA blogger) says it’s a “gimmick”.

Tell me this….had we squeaked out wins against Bama in 08′ and Florida last year, would you same selfish people even use the word “gimmick”, or would you be more inclined to say Richt is a “mentality genious”……..

If the KIDS want to wear black….. WEAR THE BLACK!!!! I look forward to it!!!

Flat Tire on I-95 in Jacksonville

November 18th, 2010
11:09 am

With the players we are losing

Next year we will be lucky to have no less than 4 losses

I dont believe in our coaching staff anymore sorry

When you have 55 seconds with a timeout before the half and you choose to let the clock run out you tell your team we are here to hopefully win if they give it to us and not we are going to win this game

gadawgs7

November 18th, 2010
11:09 am

What makes it a gimmick is we announce ahead of time its a “blackout”. All the fans are encouraged to wear black…the players start making comments about it…the other team makes comments about it…the coaches make comments about it….and our players AND coaches become distracted from the football game we need to focus on. Much like the Falcons wore their throwback black jerseys last week, just do it. Don’t announce it or make it more than it is. I love the look, but its just a jersey…no more, no less.

Helmand Dawg

November 18th, 2010
11:09 am

Recruit athletes who are big and fast and grow them into space eaters. Don’t get sucked into ht/wt of a high school senior. Recruit the speed and the frame and build the player into the position. Otherwise you have space eaters who are too slow to get into the backfield and are easily checked at the line.

old timer

November 18th, 2010
11:11 am

Start the season off next year with the black jerseys, and you could use them anytime.

Sanford Drive

November 18th, 2010
11:13 am

Florida had an “Orange Out” this year against Mississippi State….. they lost. I do not hear Florida fans screaming about that being a “gimmick”.

review is in order

November 18th, 2010
11:13 am

Retired UGA alum here. Spent 33+ years in marketing and sales and ran international sales organization at retirement. I know what it takes to run a successful organization. Football or business. It starts at the very top. The 2010 Summer of Fun was not it. The AJG clothing sale was not it. The helmet thing was not it. The driving school taught by W Ealey was not it. The drunk driving classes taught by T King and others was not it.

Now …………..we all have numbers that we are responsible for. Richt has been responsible for making UGA a competitive squad with his reruiting numbers. Did that well in his first five years. Lately?? Look at the above numbers. No, he is not responsible for finding NFL caliber kids. No. I cannot stand the NFL with thugs like Ray Lewis and Vick and all the others.

Richt IS responsible for his won/loss record and if that is due to not recruiting top notch kids ……….. then he needs to walk. 5 years for this? 5-6??? Come on gang.

Folks ……………come this same time next year …………….we will be screaming for his head because his classes the last 3 or 4 years are lousy. Marlon Brown is on example. Highly thought of in HS but then he has done NOTHING and so it goes. Look at now departed Montrez Robinson of Indiana. Bye Bye he is.

Richt has not managed his numbers. He needs to leave or be fired.

Go Dogs.

Flat Tire on I-95 in Jacksonville

November 18th, 2010
11:14 am

Sandford Drive

Here is a suggestion go pull for Oregon since you have “Uniform Rabies” and are foaming at the mouth

UGA is about tradition

If these kids dont like wearing the red uniforms and just cant get motivated go play somewhere else

Thats one of the problems with this staff and team, we have to bribe them to motivate them to play

And we wonder why we lead in player arrests and beat downs to teams we shouldnt lose to

Dirty Dawg

November 18th, 2010
11:14 am

Tried to post something here earlier that I’m not sure it took. Basically, check out the posting on ‘as the plains burn’ on tigerdroppings.com. You’ll never again doubt how sorry the Auburn program has allowed itself to become.

Dawg Tell

November 18th, 2010
11:15 am

No black-out;just win baby! Also,please stop this forecasting for next season.It makes us look down right silly to everyone else. Wait till next year;I have heard this quote a thousand times for the last three years,and you see where it got us.

Sanford Drive

November 18th, 2010
11:16 am

Agree with a lot of youon here…….

Wear the black jerseys, but leave it up to the fan pages to coordinate any kind of fan participation. Coaches should stay out of that.

Ed (The Original)

November 18th, 2010
11:17 am

If we must do a uniform gimmick, let’s stick to a real UGA uniform with some history behind it. How about throwback unis with the silver helmets? That must have looked sharp back in the day.

No Way

November 18th, 2010
11:19 am

Sanford Drive,

It is a gimmick, Disagree on whether it was successful or not but it is a gimmick. Florida used the celebration as motivation against us, the next year, as did Alabama about the press leading up to the blackout.

By the way, did I mention that it is a gimmick.

Never going to Outback resturant again...

November 18th, 2010
11:20 am

Love the black jerseys.

Coach Uraban Meyer

November 18th, 2010
11:21 am

The “blue out” was a rousing success this past weekend. Now, if I could just get the team to execute that well…

schmeckdawg

November 18th, 2010
11:21 am

@ Go DAWGS

If Grantham, Garner and Lactose Intolerant don’t get their a$$es out there and starting getting some of the in state studs that are still available, I don’t care if you run a 3-4, 4-3 10-1 or 11-0 defense. Without the players, we’re doomed!

Sanford Drive

November 18th, 2010
11:22 am

MOST of you need to realize UGA football is NOTHING AT ALL to do with YOU.

Chose to be a fan, or chose to leave.

Ed (The Original)

November 18th, 2010
11:22 am

I would be amazed if Georgia wins the SEC East in 2011. First, Florida is bound to be better than they were this year, and Richt can’t beat Florida. Second, there’s very little to indicate that Georgia will be a better-coached, better-conditioned team or that the talent will be upgraded. Finally, South Carolina will probably be about the same and Tennessee almost certainly will be a better team. We’ve folded like wet blankets the last two times we’ve gone to Knoxville, not sure why ‘11 will be any different.

Check the definition of insanity.

dawgster

November 18th, 2010
11:24 am

@MatthewsDawg…i agree the black-out jerseys has absolutely nothing to do with what happens on the field..what i think it does is it honors the Seniors for there years of hard work, doesn’t matter what the record is, these guys work their rear ends off and if they want and vote as a team to wear them then i see no harm…Once the game kicks off it doesn’t matter what jersey you have on, and the players know that. It does add some excitement to the pre-game atmosphere and my son and his friends like yours loves the black jerseys. Personally, i’m from the old school and prefer the Red home jerseys…I think way too much has been made of the jerseys, they certainly have not had any impact on the games we have won or lost with them..What it does, though, if we wear them and lose, then the media and all the dawg bashers will have a field day at our expense. Still, it should be left up to the team and our coaches, and if we do, i’ll be there in black, if not i’ll wear my red colors…What will matter is our defense shutting down Tech’s offense and our offense play as they have lately…go dawgs

Sanford Drive

November 18th, 2010
11:26 am

A lot of you act like (and this is only if, and a BIG if, you are indeed a ticket holder) when you sit i Sanford next Saturday, and the team runs out in black jerseys,you will boo, throw your popcorn at the field and leave. Truth is, the same people on here acting like it’s the worst thing we can ever do, will cheer louder than they have all season when they come busting through the G flag.

All of you are a loudmouth know it all on the blogs, but then when you get to Athens on a Saturday you realize just how much you love the program, and all your blog wisdom is put on hold because you realize “this is fun”.

Sanford Drive

November 18th, 2010
11:31 am

If we wear the black and lose, MArk Bradley and Jeff Schultz will have a field day with their articles(sic)

But look at who they are…. Do any of us give them an ounce of credibility when they write(sic) about Georgia sports?? Ignore them. If the only thing they can write(sic) about after a UGA loss is the color of the uniforms, then that says a lot about their knowledge of the sports they write about.

I feel like the bullies of the ajc have gotten into our heads more than we will admit.

Flat Tire on I-95 in Jacksonville

November 18th, 2010
11:32 am

Sandford Drive

Who does UGA have to do with?

I guess none of us fans who have to fork out 1000’s of dollars each year to see a team slowly erode with no improvement in 3 years but oh Yea

lets change the uniforms,
lets allow the arrests total to continue to pile up
lets continue to lose to FL
lets continue to lose to teams we shouldnt
lets continue to find ways to motivate our team “LIKE GROWING BEARDS’ instead of play calling to win ball games

right

robodawg

November 18th, 2010
11:34 am

Blackout? Sure. Personally, I like the occasional black jersey. Either way, let’s pound Tech so we can feel good about ourselves again.

Kevin

November 18th, 2010
11:37 am

Think Jim Donnan would be willing to join UGA staff as Recruiting Coordinator? He’s a recruiting superman.

Supes

November 18th, 2010
11:38 am

Are these black jerseys magical somehow??? If so I say use them…but lets face it….other than the different look…what is the difference?

robodawg

November 18th, 2010
11:41 am

I definitely think our talent level is down on defense. That’s what’s going to handicap Grantham’s bid to build one of the nation’s top defenses, which is what Richt needs to get back to the top. If they don’t get immediate help somewhere, Grantham will have to prove he can do more with less. Or else the grumbling at the end of next season will be intense. Even if they pull in a great defensive class this signing year, without JUCO talent the reality is we won’t see the benefits until 2012.

Do we have some guys in reserve right now who’re likely to be impact players for Grantham next year?

i still love the dawgs

November 18th, 2010
11:43 am

juco help would be great on the d line. The blackout i think would be really cool, i say do it . Say what you want the fans that go to the game love it and it gets the players fierd up. BEAT THE NEARDS!

Okefenokee Joe

November 18th, 2010
11:43 am

Good coaching wins ball games, changing jerseys on an old dog to learn new tricks isnt Swampwise

Boulder Bulldog

November 18th, 2010
11:46 am

I do not care where you get the talent, but just get the great talent and kids who are not troubled, with academic and punk ways, to Athens GA, now.

Good Luck with that huh.

DawgFan 55

November 18th, 2010
11:47 am

I sincerely hope that the “Blackout” talk is a false rumor. If its true, I will seriously consider backing a school that is serious about football.

SouthGaBrave

November 18th, 2010
11:50 am

Flat Tire – Spare us all the “arrests piling up” garbage. Parking violations and underage drinking is swept under the rug at most colleges out there, and you can take that to the bank. Cam’s 13 traffic violations, and even (GASP!) Tim Tebow’s multiple traffic violations were wiped off the books in Gainesville and never made it to the media.
Athens-Clarke Co PD are truly one of the only local PD’s, when it comes to college towns, that aren’t in the pocket of the school. 18-22 year-olds get into crap no matter where they are, it just only seems to get blown up in the media here. If I hear ESPN mention that Miami hasn’t had an arrest in 4 years one more time, I might scream. If any of you really think that Hankerson, Harris, and company are choir boys, then you’ve got another thing coming.

Flat Tire on I-95 in Jacksonville

November 18th, 2010
11:50 am

Richt isnt going to do a black out anyway

He knows if he loses to Tech and we did another blackout he will be fired

doug dawg

November 18th, 2010
11:50 am

Enter your comments here. jerseys and helmets and pants and shoes NEVER won a championship; it is what is INSIDE those things that count — hearts, brains, and conditioning, and the ability to run. that’s what wins. red jerseys, red and silver helmits, silver britches, and good old black shoes won in the past, and they will win again. ref: joe paterno and penn state.

ole island dawg

November 18th, 2010
11:51 am

Mediocre defensive line + mediocre recruiting = mediocre Rodney = 6/5 (maybe). Rodney is a big problem that has been ignored too long.