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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