What are key fixes Dogs must make for Richt to keep his job?

Stacy Searels' underperforming offensive lines have been a big problem for the Dogs. (Georgiadogs.com)

Stacy Searels' underperforming offensive lines have been a big problem for the Dogs. (Georgiadogs.com)

The list of things Mark Richt and his staff have to fix for the coming season in order to keep their jobs at UGA is pretty long. Chances are they won’t be able to get it all done, even under the best of circumstances.

But while the Dogs might not be quite as “close” as Richt touts them to be, they do have Aaron Murray and some other talented players, and if a few things break Georgia’s way a turnaround to challenge for the SEC East is certainly within Richt’s reach.

But in order for that to have a chance of happening the head coach and his staff absolutely have to get a few key things done. And those keys are:

Line play has to improve on both sides of the ball. On defense, if Georgia can land JUCO beast John Jenkins, who recently pulled out of his commitment to Okie State, it will be a big step toward fixing one of the major weaknesses of Todd Grantham’s defense: the lack of an effective nose guard. On offense, Stacy Searels has seen his troops badly underperform for most of the past two seasons. It’s time for him to prove he’s the coach UGA thought it was getting when he was hired away from LSU.

The Dogs have to develop an effective running game. The offensive line play has been a big negative factor here, but Georgia’s backs also just haven’t gotten it done. Caleb King can’t seem to stay in the lineup and Washaun Ealey seems more concerned with running his mouth than developing consistency running the ball. (It doesn’t help that Mike Bobo favors that running-back-by-committee thing and tends to insert little Carlton Thomas at the worst times.) Signing Isaiah Crowell definitely would be a game-changer for the Dogs.

Get the defense off the field on third down. Georgia ranked dead last in the SEC this past season in third-down defense efficiency. Plugging the middle with a big man like Jenkins no doubt will help in that regard, but the Dogs need more pressure from the linebackers and smarter play in the secondary. Time for Grantham to earn that big salary.

Georgia has to be stronger and better conditioned. Getting pushed around on the line and fading in the fourth quarter will pretty much guarantee you don’t win the close games. Richt is betting that “old school” Joe Tereshinski can whip the Dogs into shape by putting the focus more on hard work than mentoring. It’s a good sign that Christian Robinson was tweeting yesterday about having just been through the “hardest workout ever at Georgia!” Let’s hope there’s more than just talk there.

Any other “must” fixes you see in order for Richt and company to still be around in Athens in 2012?

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543 comments Add your comment

Cuz

January 13th, 2011
11:11 am

Call the plays.

NC Dawg

January 13th, 2011
11:14 am

Not first…but second!

Cuz

January 13th, 2011
11:16 am

Less Ford truck commercials, more coaching.

HiramBulldog

January 13th, 2011
11:19 am

It appears they have been lacking discipline as a team and respect for their school, fan base and coaches. If those things are addressed, then we might have a shot.

JaxDawg

January 13th, 2011
11:20 am

Um, no more off the field issues before the season starts would be a huge plus. But yes I agree line play has got to improve, no doubt.

Bryan G.

January 13th, 2011
11:24 am

More uniform combinations and dances?

Ralph

January 13th, 2011
11:25 am

Stop recruiting illiterate thugs, and get rid of the ones already here.

Dawg Tired

January 13th, 2011
11:27 am

Now that CMR is studying football, I hope we have hired a good tutor to help with his studies. He should be in a required study hall at least three hours a day.

Also might be helpful to hire someone with a computer to keep track of court dates, academic appointments, driver license srevocations, etc.

Gainesville Dawg

January 13th, 2011
11:28 am

Stop recruiting the worst character players imaginable, see former Linebacker Robinson arrested again.
Stop trying a stupid offensive tactic that obviously doesn’t work, play action fools no one when you can’t run the ball.
Find a running back that can actually carry the ball for more than 3 plays without calling for a breather. See Maricic that plays both ways for Stanford.
Stop letting Bacarri Rambo play on Defense, he is the worst tackler in the history of organized football.
Stop going brain dead in obvious situations. See TD Run vs. Ga Tech, Long pass receptions against Arkansas, if you are going to recruit stupid players, you have to tell them what to do/ expect in every situation.
Stop letting your players run the program. See Aaron Murray wearing gloves in the bowl game when he hadn’t worn them all year. I still don’t get that one.
Oh and one last thing. Stop letting your players celebrate on the field and pose for ESPN when they make a big hit AFTER the opposing offense had just gained 30 yards.

Buh Bye

January 13th, 2011
11:28 am

A few salient comments:

1. Four different SEC teams have won the last five BCS championships.

2. UGA was not one of those teams.

3. During that period, UGA did not win the SEC championship.

4. During that period, UGA did not even win its SEC division.

In other words, UGA has sunk into total irrelevancy both regionally and nationally.

So why is UGA paying Mark Richt millions of dollars a year?

NC Dawg

January 13th, 2011
11:28 am

Install an “Offensive Override” system…QB overrides Bobo when he calls for a run up the middle on 2nd and 23 or anything else dumb.

Ron

January 13th, 2011
11:30 am

What a laugh. Of course these things have to happen to be a national contender. But to make the statement that CMR has to do all these things to save his job is crazy, or the AJC has taken control of personnel at UGA. Why couldn’t you just say to do these things would improve the team and make them contenders again. AJC writers are not going to dictate if and when CMR loses his job, if he ever does.

Gene B.

January 13th, 2011
11:31 am

“Stop recruiting illiterate thugs, and get rid of the ones already here.”

Amen. That’s a start.

Bulldog Ben

January 13th, 2011
11:32 am

I can’t believe you didn’t even mention all the discipline problems. I’ll just be happy if we don’t repeat as Fulmer Cup champions.

Carlton

January 13th, 2011
11:36 am

Next year will be UGA’s best shot at getting back to where they were earlier in Richt’s career. They will finally have a TEAM unit rather than relying solely on one player (like we have the past few years with Moreno, Stafford, and Green). Everyone in the Coference now know Murray is a good player, so you’ll have more attention on getting to him next season, but if the O-Line (which is bringing back 3 of 5 starters..including Sturdivent) can get it going, Murray should be fine and be able to use both his arm and legs in the games.

Also, get King and Ealey off the field. I really liked your comment about how Ealey runs his mouth more than the ball on the field and I couldn’t agree more Bill. Also, Ealey has major problems with fumbling the ball. If we get Crowell, we should put Ken Malcome and Crowell as our one and two and King and Ealey as three and four. Malcome was redshirted last year, but from what I’ve heard he’s a very physical and tough runner up the middle who has great burst. Crowell, well, we know about his abilities. Carlton Thomas should never be used to run the ball-he should be used for swing passes and screens (hell, I’m still waiting for Bobo and Richt to have the novel idea of using TWO backs in the backfield at the same time. It would definitely open up the offense)..

Receivers will be fine without AJ. I think it’s a better thing he left so the offense doesn’t solely revolve around him but now can revolve around ALL the talented receivers we possess. I know we haven’t seen much from the other receivers over the past few years, but that’s because we relied too heavily on #8. If you throw it, they will come! As well, Orson Charles should be utilized WAY more than he has been the past few years (whatever happened to lining him up in the slot like Bobo and RIcht said they would? I think he’d a be a very imposing target for an opposing corner to cover)..

Our defense will grow in the second year under Grantham (did anyone else notice the complete flip in turnover margin from two years ago to this year’s defense?) Boykin coming back will help the secondary, Alec Ogletree can only get better, Branden Smith gets better every year at the other corner (and if Damian Swann comes in and immediately starts at corner, I think he could be a huge help as a freshman..by just watching some of his high school film, he’s a great cover corner). Our linebackers will be bolstered by the addition of Jarvis Jones and the speedy Richard Samuel (who is also not afraid of hitting hard). If Houston returns, we could have some of the best linebackers in the country.

The big question next year will be that nose guard position. The ends are fine, the outside linebackers we have are fine, but the nose guard is the main problem we’ll have next year if we can’t get John Jenkins.

We will FINALLY have a TEAM next year and not just one special player. Plus, our schedule is favorable for making a run (Auburn, South Carolina, and Kentucky at home), the Boise game will basically be a home game with the fan ratio that will be in the Dome, and UF will be down next year due to new coaches and transition (plus, we won’t have to play that gimmicky offense anymore..)

UGA will be either really, really good in 2011, or completely implode on itself causing Richt to get fired after. I’m thinking the former…

Walter Sobchak

January 13th, 2011
11:37 am

Maybe they could quit being huge p*ssies who quit whenever they get hit in the mouth?

How is that going to get fixed when the head coach stands there a takes it like a Tijuana mama?

It’s a mental thing.

bill

January 13th, 2011
11:37 am

I think Gainesville Dawg’s comprehensive list pretty much covered most of the fixes needed for UGA to be considered a top SEC football program again…his opinion of Rambo (great football name, not-great football player) and our knucklehead players who celebrate after the hard hit that stops the 30 yard gain are right on target!

DawginLex

January 13th, 2011
11:38 am

1.)Richt must go back to calling the plays

2.)Richt must take charge of the football team(ties in with #1)

3.)Must change the mentality of the team. Become a team that dares the other team to stop the run.

4.)Make Aaron Murray team captain. Give him free reign to blast people who won’t work hard, don’t study or goof off.

5.)Zero tolerance policy for stuff involving cops. No discussion. You are done.

nevils

January 13th, 2011
11:39 am

Practice in pads everyday blocking and tackling and quit protecting them from injury. There is only one way to condition and that is to practice hitting.

Barack Dawg

January 13th, 2011
11:39 am

Buh Bye – you are a real genius…you stated that in the period when 5 NC championships were won by the SEC then you put “During that period, UGA did not win the SEC championship”. That would be a given considering the winner of the SEC was the one in the NC game.

Judge Dawg

January 13th, 2011
11:40 am

The best thing that could happen to the UGA program would be getting rid of the trouble makers at the AJC.

LakeDawg

January 13th, 2011
11:40 am

One of the big things UGA has to accomplish is to become more physical. That happens by scrimmaging. Run based scrimmaging. That would kill a lot of birds with one stone. It would toughen up both lines of scrimmage, benefit the play-action pass they so love, give the team a more over-all competetive spirit, and toughen the team up. Please,no more THUD.

Jack

January 13th, 2011
11:41 am

It’s a sad state of affairs. Lack of discipline is the single biggest issue. The players obviously have no fear of Richt. That probably says more about the charachter of the players than it does his policies. I tried to think of a single coach who had great success, lost it, and then got it back at the same school. Can’t come up with one. Anyone? Anyone? Bueller?

Barack Dawg

January 13th, 2011
11:42 am

We could start with the band wagon fans getting off the wagon. Go get on Tech’s wagon, or the Barn wagon or the Bammer wagon. UGA will be fine. The inability to report the real story is the problem with the AJC because you can’t find anything out or investigate to get the real underlying story. You have to wait for it to come out by someone else then write your articles. Do UGA a favor and just report on Ga Tech.

DawginLex

January 13th, 2011
11:42 am

Joe Paterno, Bear Bryant and Vince Dooley all had tough seasons and came back from it.

Other than that, in the modern era, no one.

Hank

January 13th, 2011
11:45 am

Win! Period.

Denver Dog

January 13th, 2011
11:46 am

There’s nothing CMR can or will do that will or should allow him to keep his gig, he’s toast or should be.

SEC East = Big East

January 13th, 2011
11:47 am

Cuz

January 13th, 2011
11:16 am

Less Ford truck commercials, more coaching.

========

I think it already started because Richt is such a loser, they are now playing Gene Chizik Ford commercials on ATL TV. Who wants to drive anything an uninspired loser drives?

UGAX

January 13th, 2011
11:49 am

For starters, the only way to right the ship in Athens is to get rid of Bobo as play caller and Richt as Head Coach. Bring in McGarity’s best friend from his UF days – Bob Stoops. Bring some passion back to the sidelines and kick players off that are troublemakers/can’t seem to stay out of jail.

Q-Tip

January 13th, 2011
11:49 am

You failed to mention coaching as an area of improvement. Even Richt admitted that he was outcoached by Paul Johnson in the Tech game. Obviously, Richt can recruit as evidenced by the top tier recruiting classes but he has no clue during the game. He seems lost and confused during games and even after. Following the UCF bowl game he had to ask a reporter to confirm the score.

UGA Insider

January 13th, 2011
11:50 am

UGA has major depth problems on both sides of the ball. Richt has done a poor job of recruiting the past two seasons and it’s about to show. I see it getting ugly by week 2.

mdawg

January 13th, 2011
11:51 am

Obviously we don’t want our players arrested, but can we give it a rest? Every player who was arrested was given an appropriate amount of discipline – there’s not much more that can be done to discipline 20 year-olds. It is going to be interesting to hear the same folks who complain non-stop about our discipline “problem” – which is no worse than any other major program – argue that Richt screwed up by getting rid of Mettenberger when he becomes LSU’s starting QB.

CMR is the best coach we’ve had since CVD (arguably, and statistically, better) – all programs in all level of sports go through downtimes and have years that are less than satisfying, especially when a fan base has high expectations, as we rightfully do (of course, they are so high because of the Dawgs’ success under CMR, a fact that seems to go unrecognized). We lost 7 games last year by an average of 8 points per loss (take out the AU loss and you’re talking about 6.5/loss). We were too close in those games for the sky is falling mentality that I read about day-in and day-out on these blogs (the undwerwhelming effort shown in the bowl game was the only time all year that I was truly embarassed). The level of pessimism is astounding.

Things will get turned around.

Hank

January 13th, 2011
11:51 am

Ask one question to potential recruits.
Where do you see yourself in three years?
If the answer is anything but the NFL leave immediately.
The only way I would have dismissed Dowtin from the team is if he lost the fight in the bar. Otherwise, he is back. Also, I don’t want high character choir boys, I want jokers you would walk down a dark alley with. Or the guys waiting in the dark alley. I want poor, hungry, tough guys from bad neighborhoods who have no other way out. Oh, and a coach who feels his job is in jeopardy.

Gainesville Dawg

January 13th, 2011
11:51 am

Thanks, Bill.

Dixie Redcoat Band

January 13th, 2011
11:53 am

Sure would be great to recruit a big stud qb and a few big stud rb’s.
What ever happened to “tail back u” in Athens! Sad…

UGA graduate 1977

January 13th, 2011
11:54 am

Number one for UGA officials is to stop giving home field advantage to Florida each year by only playing in Jacksonville. Either alternate with Atlanta’s Georgia Dome or Athens/Gainesville, Florida. Would Florida agree to play in the Georgia Dome each year? I think not. The close games always seem to go to Florida playing in their own backyard.

Derek Dooley, son of the great Vince Dooley, seemed to be able to turn around the Vols near the end of the season. Georgia seemed to choke in close games. If Richt hadn’t beaten Georgia Tech in 2010, I think he would have been looking for a new job now.

Stop recruiting guys with juvenile records and restore some discipline to the team. Georgia seems destined for a 7-4 mediocre 2011 season.

Loran, Whatayagot?

January 13th, 2011
11:54 am

Attitude! Attitude! Attitude! I know these guys are college students and like to have a good time, but they need to take personal responsibility. When somebody wants to fight, think of your buddies on the football team. When you hit a car, you don’t run and try to hide. If you have a court date, you show up. We are recruiting guys who don’t have good character. I know these guys aren’t saints but their overwhelming desire to suceed in football has got to override their temptation. For some reason, Richt and company are failing at this. I know it happens at other schools, but we need to try something new, and I don’t know what it is.

Dean Tate

January 13th, 2011
11:54 am

Somebody has to step up at wide receiver. Are you listening, Marlon Brown?

ARdawg

January 13th, 2011
11:55 am

I just don’t see a fix. Hopefully Richt will get it together but, I don’t see it happening. Strength and conditioning is no doubt a problem. We haven’t had any gas in the 2nd half all year especially the 4th quarter but I think it’s deeper than that. Bring back running gassers and forget injury prone players. Practice hard and physical. TEACH the fundamentals of run, block and tackle. (teach Bobo play calling and aggressive offense, Richt too).

ZERO tolerance on any off the field shananigans.

Hire a consultant to teach cutting edge football. I guess he needs it

saban

January 13th, 2011
11:56 am

Richt is gone.

I will give you Kirby Smart next year and a lot of recruits I am hiding.

Hopefully then you can beat Central Florida.

Richt is a bartender, who has run out of sad stories.

Lucky Dawg

January 13th, 2011
11:57 am

I would be pleasantly surprised if somehow this coaching staff all starts doing the job they are paid to do. They have not been doing their job for the past three seasons so I am not sure why all of a sudden Mike Bobo’s play calling will become inspired or Mark Richt will become “cutting edge” or how Searels will learn how to coach the offensive line. This program is a reflection of the man who runs it: uninspired, unfocused, and unlikely to ever win an SEC title again.

ARdawg

January 13th, 2011
11:58 am

Oh and another thing. Forget all redshirting except medical. If they are any good they won’t be around 4 years anyway and the 5th year senior is only a rumor nowadays

here are some options

January 13th, 2011
11:58 am

Just what Gainesville Dawg @ 11:28 said…..he hit on every thing I believe!! good job……the only thing i might add is recruit a BIG back…..not the 5′7″ 180 pound guys………….

tide roll

January 13th, 2011
11:59 am

Bill, Here’s your answer: STURDIVANT, GLENN, BURNETTE, BEAN ANDERSON, GATES, with FIGGINS to fullback.Pound the rock or Richt goes the Mike Shula route: Quarterback Coach for an NFL team, Bobo to Ga. Southwestern in Americus.

tony

January 13th, 2011
11:59 am

#1 No more favortism. Mr.Richt need to play his best players rather they or freshmen, sophomore, juniors or seniors.

#2 Strength and Conditioning. Our interior line on both sides of the ball are weak. A strong offensive line will open up lanes for Ealey and give Murray time to complete his passes. A strong defensive line will create opportunity for the secondary and they will make qbs life miserable.

#3 Run the ball on 1st and 2nd down 90% of the time.

Billy

January 13th, 2011
12:00 pm

Richt’s record is 40 wins and 3 losses when he gets a 100 yard rusher. I’ve been saying this for years, and it falls on deaf (Mike Bobo) ears. The SEC winners last 3 seasons RUN THE BALL, and Bobo, the ex-QB, loves to THROW THE BALL. Last 3 SEC Winners have averaged anywhere from 215 to 280 yards RUSHING per game. Bobo’s down around 150 a game. Richt’s only 2 wins against Florida were when he got a 100 yard rusher. The problem IS NOT the O-LINE, the RB’s are both averaging over 5 ypc. The problem is BOBO DOESN’T CALL ENOUGH RUNNING PLAYS.

Use These PROVEN SOLUTIONS to turn it around fast:
1- Auburn plan-
Find a QB with 1 year of experience as a winner like Newton who can run and pass
Solution:
Let dual threat Murray run it, have dual threat Logan Gray as the #2

2- Florida plan-
Find a slot guy like Percy who can change games, also use your TE
Solution:
Move Branden Smith to offense and let him have 10 touches a game, let TE have 10 touches a game

3- Alabama Plan:
Get a JUCO NT with experience to stop the run, and have the best strength coach
Solution:
Go get John Jenkins and let’s hope the new S & C coach can bulk these guys up in the off-season and condition them physically and mentally for the 4th quarter

4- South Carolina Plan
Get an RB who can run it 40x a game and average @5 ypc
Solution:
UGA has 2 RB’s who average over 5 ypc, just give the 1 that’s the best the ball 40x a game

saban's wife

January 13th, 2011
12:01 pm

Nick’s got a tiny little d!ck. He gets his rocks off by winning football games and bashing other teams. He hasn’t gotten me off ever.

Ron

January 13th, 2011
12:01 pm

It will be difficult for CMR to make a comeback. Too much has happen, in the past year at UGA. The Red Panty saga, players out of control, poor coaching choices, etc. We’ll lose more recruits before signing day.

Sam Robards, Dawg Fan

January 13th, 2011
12:02 pm

I agree with these, but off-the-field discipline is also a key factor. How many games did key players miss due to off-the-field issues this year? Too many.

As for the running game, Ealey has flashes of greatness but just as many bonehead plays. We need a great, steady and dependable RB to kick start our running game. Like Isiah Crowell (spelling?). I’d kick Caleb King off the team. It’s one thing to forget a speeding ticket. It’s another to forget classes. Also, let’s admit it, he’s just not that good an RB.

As for 3rd down defense, weren’t we better on 3rd and short than we were on 3rd and long? I’d be interested to see the stats on that.

And yeah, we need to be able to finish the drill, which I hope Joe T can get us in shape to do.

Go Dawgs! Can’t wait till we play Boise!

KD

January 13th, 2011
12:02 pm

Get rid of Bozo !!!!