A clue to what’s been missing in Dogs’ running game

Nobody at UGA worked harder than Thomas Brown. (Associated Press)

Nobody at UGA worked harder than Thomas Brown. (Associated Press)

While a lot of fingers have pointed at departed Georgia assistant coach Stacy Searels’ underperforming offensive line as a big reason for the Dogs’ running game being only the 10th best in the SEC this past season, there obviously was more to it than that.

The fact that thanks to injuries and disciplinary problems Georgia rarely had both its top two running backs, Washaun Ealey and Caleb King, playing in the same game was a factor. As was Mike Bobo’s tendency to abandon the ground attack for long stretches and his insistence on trying to run Carlton Thomas up the middle at inopportune moments in close games.

But at times there also seemed to be something lacking in the effort of the backs themselves. Rarely did you see Ealey or King break tackles.

And I think maybe you can get an inkling into why that was the case from comments made Friday by former Georgia tailback Thomas Brown, who’s joined the new strenth and conditioning staff under Joe Tereshinski.

The diminutive Brown, who battled for playing time with Danny Ware, Kregg Lumpkin and Knowshon Moreno, played like he was much bigger than he was thanks to his phenomenal strength and competitiveness. In talking with the media about the decline in the Bulldogs’ strength and conditioning in the three seasons since he departed, he said: “I think you can solve most problems with more competition. I think that’s one of the biggest things that’s different from when I was here as a player and here now.

“When I came in, I was highly recruited, the No. 1-rated running back in the state of Georgia, No. 3 or 4 in the nation. I came in, I was No. 7 on a depth chart of eight running backs. I had to compete, and I think that kind of makes guys raise their level of expectations. I think it’s harder for guys to be motivated when they know they’re kind of guaranteed to play. So I think … bringing in guys to compete with those guys will make everybody a lot better.”

That fits in with what Blair Walsh said after the Liberty Bowl disaster about some of the players on the team having a sense of entitlement. Ealey runs his mouth a lot and King thinks he’s too cool for school, but rarely has either looked like the hardest-working back in the game.

Whether or not Georgia signs Isaiah Crowell, that’s got to change if the Dogs are going to consistently run the ball in the SEC.

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— Bill King, Junkyard Blawg

480 comments Add your comment

1eyedJack

January 22nd, 2011
11:00 am

athdog

January 22nd, 2011
11:02 am

TB can only help us, in several aspects. Let’s get going!

Big L

January 22nd, 2011
11:02 am

That’s alright. Boo Malcolm gonna earn it , then beat up the SEC East.

82Dawg

January 22nd, 2011
11:04 am

Glad your back Thomas, please show them how a true running back works…

joey

January 22nd, 2011
11:07 am

Man what a great hire! I loved him as a player, and will aslo as a coach. Welcome home T! DGD

virginia dog

January 22nd, 2011
11:09 am

dude … our coaches can’t spot talent. Richt has Knowsean, Lumpkin, Ware and Brown at the same time. And we played Brown. Ran off Ware and red shirted knowsean.
knowsean is still in NFL.(1st rd pick) Lumpkin is still in NFL. ware is still in NFL. The guy richt chose to play is a new coach at UGA.
we get talent. we just don’t have a clue what to do with it.

DCDawg

January 22nd, 2011
11:11 am

This is why we have to get rid of Bobo. His game calling stinks and is predictable. It’s time for Richt to either go back to calling plays himself or find a real play caller with experience. Bobo has proven he is not up to the job.

LAKE OCONEE DAWG

January 22nd, 2011
11:12 am

KNOWSHON MARENO WOULD HAVE MADE THIS YEAR’S OFFENSIVE LINE LOOK GREAT…ITS ALL ABOUT A RUNNINGBACK, WE GOT TO FIND SOME, NOT ONE, BUT SOME SO THERE IS SOME COMPETITION…AN OLD COACH I KNOW AT GRIFFIN HIGH SCHOOL TOLD HIS 3 TAILBACKS THAT ONCE THEY WERE IN THE GAME THEY STAYED IN THE GAME UNTIL THEY FAILED TO GAIN 4 YARDS ON A PLAY…FAILURE TO GAIN 4 YARDS ON A PLAY BROUGHT THEM OUT OF THE GAME TO BE REPLACED BY A NEW TAILBACK, THEN HE WAS ON THE CLOCK FOR A 4 YARD GAME….A SCREWUP IN PASS PROTECTION FOR THE BACK ALSO BROUGHT HIM OUT OF THE GAME….

TROJAN

January 22nd, 2011
11:13 am

I love the attitude that Thomas Brown demonstrates. He will be the best hire in years.

DawgGirl32

January 22nd, 2011
11:13 am

I think bringing in Thomas Brown was possibly the best offseason move our coaches have made so far. Kid is a beast a really knows the meaning of hard work. King and Ealey have been at best disappointing. Here’s hoping a little competition from Ken Malcome and possibly Isaiah Crowell can whip them into shape. Ealey could start by not running his mouth so much

LAKE OCONEE DAWG

January 22nd, 2011
11:16 am

DCDawg:
JUST SHOWING YOUR IGNORANCE ABOUT FOOTBALL…YOU DON’T AVERAGE OVER 30 POINTS PER GAME AND NOT DO A GREAT JOB OF CALLING PLAYS…DO ALL OF THEM WORK, HELL NO, BUT WHEN YOU HAVE A REAL RUNNINGBACK TO CALL ON, THEN YOU DON’T HAVE TO PASS SO MUCH….GEORGIA’S RUNNINGBACKS ARE NO BETTER THAN THOSE FOUND IN MOST HIGH SCHOOL PROGRAMS…YOU NEED A BIG, FAST, STRONG DAWG TO RUN IN THE SEC….

Tony

January 22nd, 2011
11:16 am

Ealey’s an amazing back. Let’s remember, Ealey uncorked 8000 yards in high school, and over 130 touchdowns, that’s unreal. Ealey had 11 td’s to King’s 2, so I couldn’t figure out why Bobo kept rotating the guys so much.

Compared ot Herschel Walker, Ealey has both a better career yard per carry average (5.4 for Ealey, 5.3 for Walker), and both Herschel Walker and Washaun Ealey have the same touchdown per carry ratio of 1 touchdown per 20 touches.

I agree King’s not anything special except a passblocker, but Ealey truly is amazing.

Ealey averaged more yards per carry, and got a better td per carry average than Marcus Lattimore.

bitter "rouge' sec fan

January 22nd, 2011
11:17 am

my sources confir that the FBI are now going through daddy newton finance books!! stay tuned, breaking news, dont want to be a war sea gull tommorow

LAKE OCONEE DAWG

January 22nd, 2011
11:19 am

virginia dog:
SEEMS TO ME THAT KNOWSHON PLAYED A LITTLE BALL WHILE HE WAS AT GEORGIA..HE DIDN’T GET TO THE BRONCOS SITTING ON THE BENCH…THAT IS THE TYPE TALENT YOU NEED AT TAILBACK, WHERE 3 OF THE 4 PLAY IN THE NFL…WONDER WHO IN THE NFL WILL DRAFT THE 3 WHO ARE AT GEORGIA NOW…NOW YOU UNDERSTAND THE PROBLEM….

SOS Dawg

January 22nd, 2011
11:20 am

Thanks to former players like TB and Fran Tarkenton that knows UGA is in Deep Deep poo poo. Its still gonna take a couple of years to get UGA back on top. UGA still lags in recruiting behind Auburn, Bama,LSU and now with South Carolina having a good week and on the verge of landing the Clowney kid. UGA needs some big bad hog mollies up front. Clemson is even cleaning our clocks in recruiting but we did get Rome even though his dad played for the Tigers.

Tony

January 22nd, 2011
11:24 am

Ealey really improved his conditioning this off-season.

Ealey beat Lattimre in the 4th quarter in both yards per carry average (Ealey 6.6, Lattimore 5.7), and td’s (Ealey 4, Lattimore 2).

Lattimore got a lot more carries than Ealey, but Ealey, in almost every way, outperformed Marcus Lattimore (yards per carry, td per carry, 4th quarter production, etc.)

LAKE OCONEE DAWG

January 22nd, 2011
11:25 am

Tony:
EALEY AND HERSHELL WALKER IN THE SAME BREATH…WOW, AND YOU SAY EALEY IS AMAZING. AND THE 8000 YARDS WERE AGAINST CLASS A COMPETITION, THE SMALLEST CLASSIFICATION IN GEORGIA…DON’T KNOW ANY SEC DEFENSIVE COORDINATORS THAT THINK HE IS AMAZING, NOR ANY OF THE OTHER RB’S AT GEORGIA…ALSO REMEMBER HIM DROPPING THE ROCK INSIDE THE 5 VS. SOUTH CAROLINA…GOOD AS A BACKUP, BUT AN “I” TAILBACK IN THE SEC HAS GOT TO BE A FREAK….

[...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Tim Tucker, AJC Junkyard Blawg. AJC Junkyard Blawg said: A clue to what’s been missing in Dogs’ running game http://bit.ly/g2hG45 [...]

Tony

January 22nd, 2011
11:27 am

As I go back and watch the games, one thing that stands out is hw many times Ealey sparked the team when they needed a big play.

Tony

January 22nd, 2011
11:28 am

Ealry’s stats per carry, and td per carry are better than Lattimore’s, so to say Ealey isn’t a good back, means Lattimore is a terrible back.

LAKE OCONEE DAWG

January 22nd, 2011
11:28 am

Tony:
THE STATS YOU GIVE SUPPORT WHAT NOBODY BELIEVES…THAT THE OFFENSIVE LINE WAS REALLY NOT THAT BAD…BUT EALEY CAN’T HOLD UP TO RUN IT EVERY PLAY, AND HE REALLY HAD NOBODY ELSE TO HELP….

Old Coach

January 22nd, 2011
11:29 am

@ LAKE OCONEE DAWG
My friend you are right on the money! These experts that are calling for Bobo’s head have absolutely no clue. It is so easy to want to fire the coach or coaches especially when you have no clue about the game at all. Bobo is a super coach and time will prove this to these knee jerk jerks! Bobo just brought these 2 Valdosta players to UGA. By the way I guess Texas just thought they might try this Searles guy because the Longhornes can’t hire coaches. Please you know nothings, have a clue!!

jWall

January 22nd, 2011
11:29 am

virginia dog
lumpkin did start and knowshon took the starting position

St. Bernard

January 22nd, 2011
11:31 am

If Ealey doesn’t fumble going in for a td @ SC and King doesn’t fumble before a FG @ Colorado, we probably wouldn’t be down on the rbs as much as we are. Ealey shows some potential, but he gets fumblitis and can’t pass block. King has never made it back from breaking his leg his senior year of High School.

Carlton Thomas is probably a great kid, but now seems like a great time to let him transition to WR and Special teams. He’s not an SEC RB.

Maybe we’ll sign Crowell and Boo will surprise us. I wouldn’t mind a fresh start @ RB. Those two might make Ealey start working a little harder too.

Tony

January 22nd, 2011
11:32 am

I’d love to get Crowell, if he’s as good as he thinks, he won’t fear competition. I hope he signs on too, but to make Washaun Ealey out to be some kind of average back, when he’s right there with Lattimore’s & Herschel Walker’s per carry average, and td per touch average, is absurd.

To be the best, you gotta beat the best. Ealey & Crowell should know that if they’ve got what it takes.

But yes, Richt going after Crowell so hard says something about his faith in Ealey & King. Or maybe he’s afraid he’ll lose Ealey & possibly King, after this season to the NFL.

Brucerugby79

January 22nd, 2011
11:34 am

Thank you Lake Oconee DAWG for bring some brains to the debate I have heard great things about Robbie Caldwell as an OL coach -or Hugh Nall-what do ya’ll think

Old Coach

January 22nd, 2011
11:34 am

@ Tony
Are you trying to say that you would rather have Ealey as the tailback as opposed to Lattimore? Do you have a clue? These two backs are not in the same world!

St. Bernard

January 22nd, 2011
11:34 am

HAHAHAHA no way do we lose Ealey and King to the NFL. Come on man!

What??

January 22nd, 2011
11:35 am

Tony – What game films are you watching? I don’t remember our backs sparking anything this year. The only time I can really remember some good running was King against Colorado (or Miss State can’t remember) where he made some nice spin moves. He also then fumbled the handoff that cost us the game.

St. Bernard

January 22nd, 2011
11:35 am

King may have already checked out on his own.

Tony

January 22nd, 2011
11:37 am

I’d say Ealey is an every down back. Any time Bobo actually trsuted Ealey enough to give him the ball 25 times a game, Lattimore gets it 40, Georgia wins the game. Any time Ealey ever got those kind of carries, every time, Georgia won.

Also, Ealey’s 4th quarter numbers, which speak to his conditioning, are better than Marcus Lattimore’s in per carry average and td’s. Ealey has 4 td’s, Lattimore has 2 td’s in the 4th quarter.

Old Coach

January 22nd, 2011
11:37 am

Tony, The only way King and Ealey see the NFL is to buy a ticket! Get real.

Tony

January 22nd, 2011
11:40 am

Georgia needs to recruit a big time RB because this is Caleb’s last season (Caleb improved his per carry average this season, and is an excellent pass blocker, but didn’t score enough td’s).

Also, if Ealey has a great season, he’ll go pro in 2012 and Crowell could red-shirt, if Ealey doesn’t have a great season, Crowell will get to start in 2011. Or Crowell & Ealey could rotate in until someone establishes themself as the best.

GaTruth

January 22nd, 2011
11:41 am

TBrown couldn’t have been more on target. Hershel, Rodney Hampton, TBRown, Garrison Hearst, Knowshon ALL put helmets on LBs and DBs and made people pay for the tackle. Jasper Sanks, Washaun, and King NEVER put the pads down. The traditional tailback at UGA runs like through, over, and past people. The guys we’ve got now deserve tutus more that silver britches.

St. Bernard

January 22nd, 2011
11:41 am

The only reason Ealey ever got those carries was when the game was already out of control (ie Kentucky). If he could have broken a tackle and eliminated fumbles, he might have gotten more carries. Listen, I think Ealey has potential, but Lattimore fell forward for two yards every carry. Go back and watch the SC game. Lattimore is special.

St. Bernard

January 22nd, 2011
11:43 am

Tony are you Ealey or related to Ealey?

What??

January 22nd, 2011
11:45 am

Ealey also had no balance. He always falls down at the first contact.

DawginOH

January 22nd, 2011
11:46 am

Thomas Brown was hands down one of my favorite Dawgs of the past decade. It will only benefit the S&C program to have a proven hard worker like him on the staff. His heart and determination should pay instant dividends in an area where Georgia is in desperate need of some help. Welcome home, TB!

LAKE OCONEE DAWG

January 22nd, 2011
11:47 am

TONY:
YOU CAN’T BE SERIOUS ABOUT THE NFL FOR EALEY AND KING…WITH THE PICTURE THAT KING HAS PAINTED OF HIS RELIABILITY AND EVEN HIS ABILITY TO MAKE IT TO THE GAME, WOULD YOU AS COACH HANG YOUR HAT ON THIS GUY…HOPEFULLY HE WILL REBOUND, OR JOE T. WILL GET HIM GOING OR SEND HIM PACKING WITH THE APPROVAL OF COACH RICHT…THINK COACH RICHT HAS REALIZED THAT KIDS/ATHLETES NOWADAYS DON’T TAKE WELL TO BEING TREATED NICELY..THAT’S ONE THING THAT COACH SABAN HAS GOING, HE TREATS THEM ALL THE SAME, LIKE CRAP..YOU GOTTA SHOW COACH SABAN A LOT TO GET HIS RESPECT AND APPROVAL..SEEMS IF YOU ARE NICE TO THEM, THEY TRY TO TAKE ADVANTAGE OF YOU…LIKE CMR’S NEW POLICY OF KICKING THOSE OUT THE DOOR WHO REFUSE TO LISTEN…EVEN COACH RICHT, AS NICE A GUY AS HE IS, HAS GROWN TIRED OF TREATING STUDENT/ATHLETES WITH RESPECT AS YOUNG MEN, JUST TO FIND OUT THAT THEY ARE MENTALLY STILL YOUNG KIDS JUST DOING STUPID THINGS AND EMBARRASSING HIM AND THE UNIVERSITY…LIKE WHAT I SEE GOING ON IN ATHENS IF WE CAN GET SOME DL, LB, AND RUNNING BACKS…

Old Coach

January 22nd, 2011
11:48 am

St. Bernard,
I think you just broke the code on old Tony! I do not think he is in the real world!!!!

82Dawg

January 22nd, 2011
11:48 am

@Tony …Don’t be surprise if you do not see Caleb King on the side line this year. He may very well have already played his last game for UGA…

Tony

January 22nd, 2011
11:49 am

Ealey’s pass blocking this year was excellent, Ealey lost 2 fumbles, I think Murray lost 8.

John "90

January 22nd, 2011
11:49 am

Tony, it’s admirable you support Ealey. But, can you recall as few as five tackles he broke in 2010, ones that stand out? I can’t. As King noted in his piece, that’s what we need. Game breakers. That’s what Lattimore does, did it to us painfully well. Ealey is a good back, but objectively speaking, he’s not in the same category as Lattimore, Ingram or Stephan Ridley at LSU. That guy breaks tackles. If Boo’s the guy, great. If Crowell’s the guy, great. Bringing TB back is a great move. It’s all about attitude, the right one and TB should help instill that in these backs. Hey, it’s tough in the SEC and we need to return to the real Junkyard Dawg mentality. Go Dawgs!!!!

82Dawg

January 22nd, 2011
11:51 am

Tony the two fumbles he lost cost us points and the game…

St. Bernard

January 22nd, 2011
11:52 am

I really hope Ealey gets ticked and turns into a real RB (especially if Crowell goes elsewhere). I think he can. I’m not sold on Boo. If he was drastically better than the others, Richt would have pulled his red-shirt.

Old Coach

January 22nd, 2011
11:53 am

John “90 You could not be more correct. Great insight!!

Tony

January 22nd, 2011
11:54 am

I agree on King, he only scored 2 td’s to Ealey’s 11 td’s, I think King’s career at Georgia is done. King is a Senior so he’ll be gone after 2011. Ealey has 2 years left, unless he’s goes Pro in 2012, which he’d need a great season to do that, where he got most of the carries, like Moreno did.

St. Bernard

January 22nd, 2011
11:55 am

What game did Ealey win for us?

St. Bernard

January 22nd, 2011
11:55 am

How many did Lattimore win for SC?

St. Bernard

January 22nd, 2011
11:56 am

Carlton Thomas could have ran on Kentucky.