Hitman’s confession doesn’t inspire great confidence

Bacarri Rambo's injury aside, safety remains a big concern. (Associated Press)

Bacarri Rambo's injury aside, safety remains a big concern. (Associated Press)

There are two ways to look at Bacarri Rambo being out for the rest of spring practice with a sprained MCL.

On the one hand, Rambo has been a solid if inconsistent presence in the secondary and missing all those drills and the G-Day game certainly won’t help him, but it probably won’t hamper him much in the long term. And it does mean the three players battling for the other safety position will get more badly needed reps, which is a good thing.

Overall, safety is the position that concerns me the most, since Alec Ogletree moving to linebacker means the top choices to play opposite Rambo are Jakar Hamilton and Shawn Williams, both of whom were eventually beaten out for the starting spot last year by a true freshman.

Hamilton, a JUCO transfer, looked awfully shaky in his five starts last year and after seeing what he had to say in the Athens Banner-Herald, it’s no wonder.

“Last year, I came out here and I didn’t really know what I was doing,” the player formerly known as the “Hitman” said. “This year, I’m into the film more. I’m studying the playbook even more. Now I know what I’m doing. I know the concept of the defense. I get to play faster. I don’t have to think as much and I get to make plays. … Last year around this time, I would say I couldn’t even tell you a cover 4 from a blitz. Now I’m on it.”

Wow. The fact that he was initially considered our best alternative at safety under those circumstances tells you a lot about Georgia’s defensive personnel problems last season.

The worry is that at safety we’re still talking about the same players this season.

SPEAKING OF BULLDOG TALK …

Buck Belue wants to talk more Dogs. (File)

Buck Belue wants to talk more Dogs. (File)

Those who like talking Dogs should be pleased with Friday’s announcement that Atlanta’s WCNN-AM 680 the Fan signed a five-year deal to be “the official sports talk radio station of the Georgia Bulldogs,” supplementing the coverage UGA already receives through the Bulldogs radio network headed up by WSB-AM.

Not only will Mark Richt’s weekly press conferences now be broadcast in Atlanta, the station (which is also heard on the FM dial at 93.7) will air a 30-minute UGA roundtable-type show three times a week and its sister station, 1230 AM the Fan 2 (WFOM-AM in Marietta), will broadcast the Diamond Dogs games starting in May.

UGA legend Buck Belue, who is half of the Buck and Kincade team on 680 the Fan weekdays from 3 to 7 p.m., notes that the deal between UGA and the station is all about access — for the school, which gets another outlet in the state’s major media market, and for the fans, who get more Bulldog-oriented programming.

As Belue said, it “looks like a good fit. Both partners benefit. The Georgia fans should love the coverage. Sure hope they saved me a spot on a Roundtable Show, or let me anchor some of the coverage from Athens. Put in a good word for me, if you can.”

OK, Buck, consider this a good word on your behalf. I know some readers of this blog have made it clear they are not particularly enamored of Buck as a radio-TV personality, but most Georgia fans I’ve heard from over the years still have a great deal of fondness for Belue and his place in UGA sports history. And I’ve always appreciated both his in-depth knowledge of and his devotion to the UGA athletic programs.

Keep barking, Buck!

GOING BACK TO ATHENS TOWN

I’ll be on spring break and away from the Blawg next week, spending at least a couple of days in my favorite place in the world. There’s nothing finer than Athens in springtime!

Go Dogs!

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— Bill King, Junkyard Blawg

152 comments Add your comment

GOB BLEUTH

April 3rd, 2011
10:24 am

What time does the G Day game start?

Go Dawgs

GOB BLEUTH

April 3rd, 2011
10:27 am

I have said this time and again. The D is still suffering from the recruiting of Willie “Nillie” Martinez. It is shocking how he is still hurting the program two years after his departure.

1eyedJack

April 3rd, 2011
10:49 am

Western Carolina 67 GT 10.

DAWGS forever

April 3rd, 2011
11:56 am

Belue loves the DAWGS and what is wrong with that? Glad to have someone with passion and bleeds Red and Black. Go DAWGS! Dream Season!

jaxdawgfan

April 3rd, 2011
12:14 pm

I don’t see why anyone is jumping on Hamilton for stating the obvious. By that, I mean it was painfully obvious last season that several players on defense didn’t know what they were doing or where they were supposed to be. I lost track of how many times an opposing offense threw passes to areas that were wide open holes in our coverage. Frankly, I admire the fact that someone is honest enough to admit the problem. I’d have more respect if the admission had been made last year and that it had come from the coaching staff.

Fixing the problems is and always will be the responsibility of coaches. Even if you have mediocre players who don’t respond to coaching, it was still the coaching staff that recruited them.

AltamahaDawg

April 3rd, 2011
12:57 pm

I’ve wondered the same. Did Hamilton really need to tell anyone they weren’t sure of thier assignments, especially earlier in the season? And was anyone not already expecting that was going to be the case going in? This doesnt really seem like a story here. Not even sure why his stating the obvious deserved a reaction.

AltamahaDawg

April 3rd, 2011
1:00 pm

Not sure why we would have wanted, or expected, the staff to have brought this up in public during the battle of the season though. Fixing it takes another go around, and then another, again obvious to everyone. Don’t need to “admit” anything, they never claimed otherwise.

Ron O

April 3rd, 2011
1:11 pm

The new radio deal sucks. While Buck is a reliable homer his personality is aweful. He is condesending and lacks depth. Let’s just hope that Kinkeade is not involvled in this.

1eyedJack

April 3rd, 2011
2:32 pm

Jakar was obviously never one to pass the time doing homework (JUCO), but he’s got talent, and you can train a cat to do what you want if you give it enough reps.

UGAfan

April 3rd, 2011
4:19 pm

Jakar’s honesty is refreshing. If he didn’t know the defensive scheme, why not? It is the coaches responsibility to educate the players on the coverage schemes. It is also their responsibilty to recognize when a player has not grasped the ideas. This is not as poor a reflection on Jakar as it is on UGA’s coaching staff. With this particular insight, one probably could be pleased that UGA won even 6 of 13 last year. This is a far greater knock on Coach Richt than on Jakar Hamilton. He is ultimately responsible for any lapses in coaching and this obviously is quite a serious one. Coach Richt has never been one for details and this is proof in the pudding. This is a perplexing revelation, one which suggests a failure with coaching, not playing. If this was true with Jakar, it was probably so with other players as well. The game results indicate this must be so. It is very good to hear that this matter seems to be resolved. Congratulations to the UGA coaching staff for correcting the problems! Other coaches scouting UGA would certainly be able to discern this weakness and expolit it with great benefit.

NOBODYYOUKNOW

April 3rd, 2011
5:13 pm

Ole Buckie Baby was a great UGA player, however he bores the hell out of me on radio.

cantondawg

April 3rd, 2011
6:05 pm

Very unfair article about a comment made by a player. What most fans don’t understand is the complexity of some of the coverages. These players have to make split second decision about what they are supposed to do. Of course when they are first exposed it will be confusing to them. With experience the game slows down and they are able to do better.

Can't fix stupid

April 3rd, 2011
6:08 pm

Buck Fan

April 3rd, 2011
6:29 pm

Does this mean that for a change Kincaid will be forced to gain some level of actual sports knowledege at least where the Bulldogs are concerned?

ugaclassof2004

April 3rd, 2011
8:29 pm

Tech Buzz:
I don’t understand how you can even possibly think your school is still a rivalry to us. Your team is 1-9 vs. UGA in the last 10 years. To give you some perspective, that is the same record Vanderbilt has against us . Even if you do beat UGA this year( which isn’t likely considering the talent you currently lack), it still won’t dismiss the fact that Richt even in his worst years has owned you guys.

Now in regards to my team: time for a change! Trying to get excited about the Dawgs is equivalent to how it used to be trying to get excited about the Falcons under June Jones or Jerry Glanville. Those teams were so far from being a championship caliber team, it wasn’t even funny, and the same is true for the current state of UGA football. The last 3 years have proven to me that Richt & Co. are absolutely clueless. Why should year 4 be any different? Newsflash people: when a DC, 2 assistants, and a strength and conditioning coach are fired within a 2 year period, the problem is THE HEAD COACH!

little dog

April 3rd, 2011
11:35 pm

WHO CARES,lets go play some golf!!!!!!!!!!!

RED DOG 77

April 4th, 2011
12:55 am

@Gravy Train…….@UGA”05…….@cantondawg………You three gentlemen have my respect, yes indeed…….you sirs are Damn Good DOGS……….GO DOGS! GATA!…….Regards, RED

AltamahaDawg

April 4th, 2011
7:37 am

2004, we still have you down for the “will lose 6 games at least” this season sounds like.

Hummon

April 4th, 2011
8:22 am

The next insightful thing Buck Belue says will be the first one.

DawginLex

April 4th, 2011
8:44 am

Jakar at least is honest. Probably should have kept his mouth shut but he was being honest.

Don’t be surprised to see 2 true freshmen starting on defense. One at linebacker and one in the defensive backfield.

The UGA unifoms

April 4th, 2011
8:49 am

Even the UGA uniforms with those fabulous red jerses and helmets bring out the haters.

UGA grads know that it is great to be a UGA Bulldog and to read and hear the jelousy directed toward our school simply amuses us. We love them Dogs ……….. 6-7 or 10-2.

We love Buck too as a SEC legend AND a broadcaster.

Gooooooooooooooo Dogs.

DawginLex

April 4th, 2011
9:16 am

Think Francis Tarkenton would agree to be on the show and accept a phone call from me?

It wouldn’t be pretty

PMC

April 4th, 2011
9:24 am

A solid presence? As in….he was occupying space on the field? Ever since he knocked himself out against Auburn he hasn’t been the same player in coverage.

ALL Georgia safeties in the past 5+ years have been preoccupied with hitting someone and completely lax in their coverage responsibilities if they were even in the right place. They are desperate for even a Tre Battle at this point.

PMC

April 4th, 2011
9:26 am

Personally I think Buck does a great job because he maintains perspective. He tries to keep optimistic and look at the big picture.

RxDawg

April 4th, 2011
9:33 am

I’ve always felt Buck did a fine job in the booth and on the radio. He even dose well giving the impresion that he’s unbiased… even though we all know he’s rooting for them Dawgs!

I completely gave up on Hamilton last year. I got angry when I saw him take the field because of how poorly he was performing. I do not have any confidence in him at all. That said, I hope I’m eating crow on this. Hamilton go out there and convince me that you are for real.

dawgfan

April 4th, 2011
9:37 am

Remember how Richt was hyping Hamilton as the next Thomas Davis? As it turns out, the guy didn’t even know his arse from a hole in the ground when it came to the playbook. I’m already thinking about who our next head coach will be.

Thanks.

The Orginal WDE

April 4th, 2011
10:17 am

“There’s nothing finer than Athens in springtime”

Couldn’t be more true. We know the falls aren’t any better.

RxDawg

April 4th, 2011
10:20 am

“Remember how Richt was hyping Hamilton as the next Thomas Davis?”

Nope. I sure don’t remember that in the slightest. Try again.

Dawg Gone

April 4th, 2011
10:28 am

The Orginal WDE…anybody else come forth admitting to being payed to play at the Barn this weekend? And Buck is a DGD..and folks watching the Dogs D last year face it..the “Hitman” wasn’t the only player confused and out of position..that’s what happens when you change D’s.

dawgfan

April 4th, 2011
11:11 am

RxDawg, go back and look at Richt’s comments before the Mississippi State game last year. According to Richt, “Hitman” was lighting it up in PRACTICE that week only to go MIA in that game and the rest. As it turns out, he had no idea what the hell he was doing. Didn’t stop Richt from flapping those jaws though.

I was criticized yesterday for not getting all giddy over Richt’s glowing review of Saturday’s scrimmage. Richt is now better at public relations than he is at running an SEC football program. He says all the right things and you people are still falling for it. I choose to do otherwise and this makes me a bad fan. I’ll see you in December when we’re talking about who our next head coach will be.

Thanks.

AltamahaDawg

April 4th, 2011
11:52 am

WEll no dawgfan. That is exactly opposite of what happened. NOBODY critisized you for not falling for Richt’s sounbites. NOBODY called you less of a fan for being a bad fan. YOU Keep bringing that up in defense of what we can only guess is your own guilt. Those are YOUR words. If your not a bad fan, great, Why do oyu feel the need to defend it so much?

What folks DID correct you on yesterday was you claiming that when somebody chooses to discuss the upcoong football season in terms other than purely negative, they somehow are hurting the team. YOU said others were the “bad fan”. That’s a stupid point, you got called on it, now you are trying to make it seem like it was something different.

BTW, all Richt has to do is improve the team noticeably, and be in the middle of another good recruiting class and he WILL be the coach next year too. You may as well get used to it.

DawginLex

April 4th, 2011
12:09 pm

We will start at least 3 true freshmen next year, 2 on defense and one or maybe two on offense.

Temper the enthusiasm.

The old adage is “for every true freshman you start, each one equals a loss”. If one is the QB, could be even more than one. See why we lost 7 last year?

9-3 will be GREAT improvement for this program in 2011
10-2 would be amazing

Anything more is miracle land.

DawginLex

April 4th, 2011
12:29 pm

Anybody else notice the depth chart at QB for LSU?

1.)Jefferson
2.)Lee
3.)Mettenberger

So much for that. LOL

AltamahaDawg

April 4th, 2011
1:35 pm

LSU powers must not have watched that controlled scrimmage 2 years ago from their couch.

AltamahaDawg

April 4th, 2011
1:37 pm

or I guess that was just last year. Maybe they DID see the one 2 years ago.

dawgfan

April 4th, 2011
1:43 pm

That’s not what I said either Altamaha. Some guy was trashing Boise and I simply pointed out that we just lost to Central Florida and were in no position to trash anyone. I went on to state that his kind of arrogance and delusion does the team no good. I think the team is in tune with the mood of the fans. They have the internet and television. They go to class and ride the bus with the rest of the students. They don’t live in a bubble. They know what people are saying in the world around them. If people are blowing smoke up their butts about how wonderful they are it has an effect on them. In my opinion, that’s been a problem for this program in the past few years. In my opinion, I’m seeing alot of optimism about the 2011 season but I have no idea on what it is based. You would never know we just went 6-7 the way some people are talking.

Thanks.

Dawg Gone

April 4th, 2011
2:04 pm

dawgfan by all means lets just doom and gloom them to death…really your think anyone who was a part of last years team will NOT remember what happened? I think we have a lot to look forward to as far as progressing as a program, 8-4 , 9-3 however is about as good as we should realistically think that will convert to wins.Injuries will be key here we just don’t have enough seasoned depth to take a lot of injuries at a lot of positions..and as for Boise..remember the hype we had prior to our last meeting? The Dogs didn’t have a chance if you listened to the talking heads..we won’t this year either they will again be media darlings…so yeah some folks will be upset about the whole sale love fest with Boise going in..that’s not delusional that’s human nature.

AltamahaDawg

April 4th, 2011
2:51 pm

Optimism? I can answer that. It’s because most football fans do this for fun.

AltamahaDawg

April 4th, 2011
3:03 pm

And I hate to deflate your theory, but some characters blowing smoke in an internet blog will not remove the prefrontal cortex from the players. They can probably remember a few month back. I’m sure real people can remind them if need be.

AltamahaDawg

April 4th, 2011
3:16 pm

But lets test that theory:

Its helpfull to tell the players that nothing is there fault in the past , and nothing is in thier control in the future? It’s all the stupid coach and he will be fired next year. You are sure that not a single player knows deep down it was him that missed an assigment to blow the play up. Non of them remember fumbling or dropping an int. Its all thier dumb coach, and there is no need for them to even talk opimistically about anything in March? That is inspiring to them to work even harder, in your opinion.

On behalf of the entire Bulldawg nation, let me be the first to say , thank you for all you are doing to help.

dawgfan

April 4th, 2011
3:43 pm

10-4 Altamaha. We’ll see how fun it is after we lose to Florida again and get blown out of the building by an elite SEC team like we’ve been doing the last few years. But hey, if that’s your idea of a good time more power to you.

Dawg Gone, I’m sorry but I don’t get excited about 9-3 seasons. I’m not a Georgia Tech fan. My fear is that it would be enough to keep Richt around another year. 8-4 and he should get canned.

As for Boise, it will be 6 years since we last played them. I could care less about 2005. Let it go. Again, this may be part of our problem.

Thanks.

AltamahaDawg

April 4th, 2011
4:15 pm

Well, if we lose to Florida, I will only live it that day. You get to live it every single day till then, and THEN then. And if we win, you won’t get to be any happier than I am.

Sounds like you are getting the worst end of this deal.

AltamahaDawg

April 4th, 2011
4:19 pm

BTW, I went to the UF game last year, as I have for most every game the past 3 decades. I had fun, a lot of fun, so did everyone around me. Hated the final score.

AltamahaDawg

April 4th, 2011
4:48 pm

I’m guessing nobody around you had any fun last year?

dawgfan

April 4th, 2011
5:05 pm

Plenty of fun to be had BEFORE the game. Optimism abounds. Afterwards? No, I don’t have any fun. Guilty as charged. I’m tired of losing to them. I’m tired of getting blown out in big games. In 2008 Alabama was the #1 team in the land for much of the season. They humiliated us. Florida won the national title that year. They humilated us. In 2009 Florida was the #1 team in the nation for most of the year. They humilated us. Last year Auburn won the national title. They humiliated us. See a pattern here big guy? For three years we haven’t even been able to stay on the same field with the best teams in the SEC. We can’t even compete. THREE YEARS. Have fan AltamahaDawg. Party on bro.

Good grief.

AltamahaDawg

April 4th, 2011
5:33 pm

Yes, I see the pattern. And it has nothing to do with football at its core.

John

April 4th, 2011
5:42 pm

Why are UGA fans blaming Hamilton’s confession on him, and not his coach? Watching Rambo play, I would conclude that he was the same situation as Hamilton, because there was always a receiver running wide open in UGA secondary…I blame the coaches not the kids.

NWGeorgia Dawg

April 4th, 2011
8:14 pm

Disappointed that 680 is now the flagship station. Before, when I was out of the area, I could count on picking up WSB to hear the Dawgs at night. I’ve listened after dark in Memphis and Mississippi. I can barely pick up 680 an hour north of Atlanta in the middle of clear day. I’m not sure the Georgia brand is well-served with having such a weak-signaled station carrying the ball.

athdog

April 4th, 2011
8:42 pm

Over in Athens, we don’t care much what Bill King has to say.
GTBuzz…we whipped your can last year with the worst team we’ve had since Clinton was disgracing the office of President. Do you really think you’re gonna win this year? Seriously? Dude, don’t you know that crack is whack?

Dawg Squeeze

April 4th, 2011
8:59 pm

UGA Football…..31 years and counting.