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

LagDawg

January 13th, 2011
1:26 pm

Seems like you covered everything in the article Bill. CMR does need to assume the OC duties and run a more aggressive style of offense. The speed of the offense is too slow and gives the other teams defense time to adjust. A no huddle offense would be better. Getting the right recruits for the DL will be a big help and we need to start recruiting a big NT for next year also. He must offer more recruits earlier to have a chance at getting better players and the bottom line is CMR needs to become a better and more demanding coach. He must demand more from the coaches and the players. The ho-hum attitude and the excuses need to go. We have now until Sept. to get ready for Boise State and there should be no excuses about preparation. Put the best players in the game and not just because that player may be a senior. I know everybody is tired of hearing this, but Bobo needs to go. This is not the Training Academy for OCs. This team needs someone that can do the entire job as the OC. That includes recruiting, and not just QBs, but for the entire offense, RB, WR, TE and OL. Bobo does not know how to make adjustments or how to devise an offensive scheme to break down the opposing teams defense. CMR can settle for nothing less than winning.

JB

January 13th, 2011
1:27 pm

They write this stuff because it gets hits. Even on the eve of the Falcons in the playoffs, they’ll get 60-80 hits. Doesn’t sell ads. Lathering up Richt and this program gets hits. Expect more.
Did you notice when Cam was hot in the news. 4 or 5 blogs a day. Same ole stuff. A horrible Georgia team with a Coach past due to leave ( See Auburn and Tubbs) SELLS ! ( hits)

Gman

January 13th, 2011
1:28 pm

Georgia football and its fanbase are a national joke. Vince Dooley was mediocre for most of his time as coach and so is CMR. Florida, LSU, Alabama, and now Auburn win championships. Georgia only cares about beating Tech. It’s not the players. It’s the coaches and the fansbase that suck eggs.

59bulldawg

January 13th, 2011
1:31 pm

Dang! Walter @11:37! LOL! Just come on out and say it brother! LOL!

JB

January 13th, 2011
1:31 pm

Lag Dawg………………you are correct about Bobo…..But I will say this about Paul Johnson, he is a master at adjusting his play calling to what alignment the defense is getting in. We are scripted by down and distance and field position. That’s why you see us run Carlton Thomas up the middle on 2nd and 15 for a 3 yard gain. It’s on the print out !

JB

January 13th, 2011
1:32 pm

Screw you Gman

Greg

January 13th, 2011
1:32 pm

Wow…really? You are going to leave it to your readers to bring up the whole “stop freaking committing crimes” issue???? DUDE!!

Flat Tire on I-95 in Jacksonville

January 13th, 2011
1:32 pm

Beat FL

Beat FL

Beat FL

Is the 1st fix

todd

January 13th, 2011
1:33 pm

Keeping CMR another year is kind of like letting your ex-wife keep living with you after the divorce. If you are stupid enough to think it will get better, dream on. Most of the times it gets worse, a lot worse.

Dawgs73

January 13th, 2011
1:33 pm

Here’s what UGA has to do in order to be relevant in the SEC next year…NOTHING! Isn’t that exactly what Richt is doing? He has chosen to spend more time to “be on the cutting edge” and “get UGA back to prominence”, by changing absolutely, positively, NOTHING!

Furthermore, his AD is enabling him to spend more time with football related issues and less time with “administrative” challenges that has hampered Mark from being all that he can be (and by the way, what he’s being PAID to do @ $2mill a year). We will be back to playing “UGA football” and back to National Prominence by doing what CHAMPIONS do…NOTHING!

Mtn Dawg

January 13th, 2011
1:33 pm

Aaron Murray should be encouraged to check-off at the line when needed. He is a savy young qb and taking the handcuffs off would relieve of a lot of grief. Better yet, take the reins away from Bobo all together.

John, the real UGA fan

January 13th, 2011
1:34 pm

Come on, Bill. What is this daily attack on UGA’s head coach?????????? I am sick and tired of it!!!!!!!! I thought you were a true blue UGA fan, but I am seeing you as typical of the drove of fans who want instant gratification. Let it rest!!!!!!!!! How attempting to give some positive spins for a change. I have not seen this antagonism against Paul Johnson, who did not have a wonderful season at Tech!!!!!!!!
If you cannot stop making it personal,then you should cease from writing for AJC.

Destin Dawg

January 13th, 2011
1:34 pm

2 HUGE games to start season.. should be big motivator for off season strength and conditioning…. Richt needs get get more involved.. Bear Bryant had a couple bad years when he delegated to asst’s.. regained control and had success…. Richt.. Wake up please or else resign !!!! win those 1st 2 games and it could be a great season…. Go Dawgs !!

Joey

January 13th, 2011
1:34 pm

2nd and 23 also, JB.

Flat Tire on I-95 in Jacksonville

January 13th, 2011
1:35 pm

Stop the arrests and get a hold of your team

Gman

January 13th, 2011
1:35 pm

JB, your mother already has! The Georgia program will continue to suck because its fanbase doesn’t DEMAND excellence and never has (unlike your mother)!

Mark Richt

January 13th, 2011
1:35 pm

Shhhhh!

I’m studying some cutting edge football . . .

Ceasar

January 13th, 2011
1:36 pm

If we lose to UF, then it’s over!!!!!!

Joey

January 13th, 2011
1:37 pm

Um …..John, you don’t have to read Bill, do you?

JB

January 13th, 2011
1:37 pm

real mature Gman…..When does school start again…..

59bulldawg

January 13th, 2011
1:37 pm

It’s getting rough in here!

Gman

January 13th, 2011
1:39 pm

JB, already has and you have been schooled! The Georgia fanbase still sucks because it tolerates the Dooleys and Goffs and Richts.

Destin Dawg

January 13th, 2011
1:40 pm

AJC staff needs to remember what State Atlanta is in and be more POSITIVE !!! helps recruiting !!! P.M.A. please

Buck Strickland

January 13th, 2011
1:40 pm

@Buh bye
In the span of SEC national championships, you failed to list that UGA finished #2 in the final AP poll that year. In 2002, the dawgs lost one game and got no help from anyone like LSU, like UF, did when they made it to the BCS title game. Only one team gets in and unfotunately this unrealistic fan base expects “if they can do it, why can’t we?” Not as easy as it looks. Coach Richt has had teams on the doorstep in the past, just couldn’t either put it all together for a magical season ala Auburn and Bama, or get some help along the way, ala LSU and Florida. Sure there are things to fix on and off the field at UGA. Coach Richt knows that and if he doesn’t fix them, this season will probably be his last. But as a UGA grad it would be nice to see a little support from the fan base while they’re trying to right the ship. A lot of mouth breathers on these boards I believe just want to see Richt fail so they can bring in a “better” coach. Who’s to say that whatever coach you bring in will be better. Idiots on these boards always assume getting that 5 star recruit is better than what we have and will instantly make us better. Grass isn’t always greener people.

JB

January 13th, 2011
1:40 pm

59bulldawg…..let us open 0-2 and you’ll need to keep the women and Children off this blog….LOL

JB

January 13th, 2011
1:42 pm

Who’s your team Gman man? I assume G stands for goober.

Lake Fairview Dawg

January 13th, 2011
1:42 pm

Richt is the same guy he was when he was compiling a great record a few years ago. What changed was the arrival of elite recruiters in the persons of Spurrier at South Carolina, Saban at Alabama, and at the time, Kiffin at Tennessee. And now FSU is back on fire in recruiting with Jimbo Fisher.

Richt’s low-key personality probably isn’t the most effective for recruiting in the heightened competitive environment, which now requires some real salesmanship. And it can’t be good that Weiss and Quinn will be Muschamp’s coordinators at Florida… Four- and five-star kids will salivate at the chance of getting a head-start on learning the pro game with the Gators.

Doesn’t look good for the Dawgs moving forward.

AltamahaDawg

January 13th, 2011
1:44 pm

You could have stopped it “line play has to improve”. Everything else is just symptoms.

Flat Tire on I-95 in Jacksonville

January 13th, 2011
1:44 pm

John, the real UGA fan

Bill King like me are Dawg fans that are sick and tired of the crap

2-8 vs FL
12 arrests last yr
30 arrests in the last 5 yrs
13-12 in the SEC East in the last 5 yrs
Cannot appear in a SEC championship game without FL losing out and not beating them on the field
Having to change uniforms to motivate players
Trash talking during a ball game and dancing on the field when your losing or close to losing
Refusing to fire inept coaches
Losing to teams you shouldnt lose to like KY twice in 5 yrs and once to Vanderbilt
Getting blown away twice by Tenn who was not even good those yrs
Losing to a Conference USA team and not being able to score on them

All while fans are asked to donate extra to watch such crap while Richt will end up being worth over $40 Million when his contract runs out

Bill is a dawg fan not a Tech fan so he doesnt care about Paul Turkey Neck Johnson

Snoop Dawg

January 13th, 2011
1:45 pm

Sounds like all aspects of UGA football stink. That is correct.

Want a respectable football team? Then a respectable coaching staff is required.

As long as Richt and Company hang around, the death spiral will continue to dive in tighter and tighter concentric circles.

59bulldawg

January 13th, 2011
1:45 pm

@JB . . . no doubt brother! LOL!

JB

January 13th, 2011
1:46 pm

Don’t forget Urban and Tebow at UF Fairview. although 2007 was fun. We hit back and it startled them

dawgdip

January 13th, 2011
1:47 pm

Have every position coach in the workout room when his players are working out. Look at the arms on the OL and DL. No muscle mass, no difinition they are not working out!!!!!!!!!

Snoop Dawg

January 13th, 2011
1:47 pm

Speaking of grass, Buck Strictland, sounds like you are smoking some strong stuff…

Gman

January 13th, 2011
1:48 pm

JR, I’m a Georgia grad (77) but cannot stand mediocre football and that’s what Geogia football is. CMR should have been shown the door after the Liberty Bowl. This one more year crap doesn’t cut it. And the G stands for…

McDawg

January 13th, 2011
1:49 pm

have to win the close games:

1) Murray will be more of leader so on offense i think the problem will be solved

2) Defensively we need more depth on the DL-could not stop drives when we had to

JB

January 13th, 2011
1:49 pm

Gman……………..Then we agree

this is very simple

January 13th, 2011
1:50 pm

He needs to win the East and/or go at least 10-2. Anything short of that and he’s gone.

Lake Fairvew Dawg

January 13th, 2011
1:50 pm

@JB, Agreed about Ur-Bow and 2007. But we are in fact truly surrounded by elite recruiters and programs now and if we don’t get a much more aggressive coaching staff we’re in even bigger trouble, because just getting our share of Georgia’s in-state recruits isn’t enough to support recruiting needs.

Cobb Dog

January 13th, 2011
1:52 pm

It’s all about thuggery, folks. Want to win in football in the SEC? Get some thugs. I’m talking eye-gouging, late hit (and from behind), knee-to-the-head thuggery. Stop all the trash talking and stun your opponent with mean, dirty, slobber-knocking violence. It worked for UF and AU, didn’t it? This is the SEC, and if you want to “love on ‘em,” then be prepared to see your players emasculated by the teams who have unlocked the secret to winning in this league. Or become a basketball school.

Alabama | MrSEC.com

January 13th, 2011
1:52 pm

[...] a tough non-conference schedule for helping his team get off to a 2-0 conference record.3.  What key fixes must Mark Richt make to keep his job?4.  Vanderbilt ended Georgia’s nine-game win streak 73-66 last night.5.  [...]

Gman

January 13th, 2011
1:53 pm

Georgia fans need to DEMAND a great football team. Anything less is totally unacceptable. NO EXCUSES!

JB

January 13th, 2011
1:53 pm

this is very simple……………..I hope you’re right, but 10 wins and losing to Florida is not acceptable. Waiting for Florida to lose 2-3 times so we can slip in the back door is not what I’m looking for.

Falcon 34

January 13th, 2011
1:56 pm

Flat Tire — Pretty d@mn well put. I’ll throw a few more in……….
*1-8 vs teams finishing in top 5
*3-9 vs teams finishing in top 10
*Total record against teams finishing in top 25
*22 wins vs 37 losses

One team can win two BCS with 2 different coaches (LSU – Saban, Miles), one team can win 2 with same coach (Florida) and was 1 game away from 3, one coach can win BCS with two different teams (Saban – LSU, Bama), and one team can win a BCS after firing a coach who had been successful back in the day in a highly controversial decision (Auburn).

Pardon my skepticism on “turning things around” while doing nothing different.

Lake Fairvew Dawg

January 13th, 2011
1:56 pm

Waiting for Florida to lose 2-3 times? South Carolina isn’t exactly South Carolina anymore.

Falcon 34

January 13th, 2011
1:57 pm

Cobb — Remember Vance Cuff? Do arrests not count into this matter?

[...] webmaster@technorati.com wrote an interesting post today onHere’s a quick excerpt [...]

andy

January 13th, 2011
1:59 pm

Best “fix”? Richt gone. Too bad it will take another year for that to happen.

Gman

January 13th, 2011
2:00 pm

Anything less than SEC East Champions is UNACCEPTABLE!

joey

January 13th, 2011
2:00 pm

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.

Thats what im talkin’ bout!