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!

Find me on Facebook.

Follow me on Twitter.

— Bill King, Junkyard Blawg

152 comments Add your comment

RED DOG 77

April 5th, 2011
12:32 am

DawginLex……..Thanks for the comment regarding Sir Francis…….Personally, I don’t give a rats ass if the dude did play for Georgia…….I know the jackass, have done business with him, and wouldn’t pee on him if he was on fire. DawginLex……..you sir, are my kind of BULLDOG. Keep telling it like it is. Regards, RED

It Ain't Rocket Science

April 5th, 2011
9:57 am

With a new defense, I would bet there were a lot of folks confused last year. It is easy to go negative if you do not have the heart to be a loyal fan. CMR and the coaching staff, I am sure are working hard to cure the problems they had last year and I think UGA will be a vastly improved team this year. It amazes me how many fair weather fans there are for UGA. What is even more amazing is how some people think that playing the game is so easy, like a kid learns a new defensive scheme overnight, and since he was in a learning curve last year, he will never, can’t possibly be any good. Come on folks, give them a chance and quit being so negative. As for the sorry fans of other teams that come on here just to incite true fans of UGA; Go back to your own teams blogs. Tech. fans for sure need to stay away from UGA blogs. Lord, your schools major sports teams are in full disaray right now. When you can consistently beat UGA in football and lately even basketball, then you can come on here with something of importance to say. Until then, anybody with half a brain knows you are just trying to show your lower posterior area and you seem to do a good job of it.

DaWG

April 5th, 2011
11:31 am

Not that big of a deal. We will see over the next couple of years that Grantham’s scheme relies less on the safety position than on fast, quick OLB’s.

It Ain't Rocket Science

April 5th, 2011
11:33 am

I kind of wonder why Bill King is wasting his time in Athens, next week, if he can’t find a lot good to write about the DAWGS. He seems to be more critical of the DAWGS, than the regular beat writers of the AJC are. The blog say’s “Junkyard DAWGS”, but the writing says, “Critical of everything associated with the DAWGS”. Come on Bill, write something positive about your Alma Mater every once in a while.

Charlie Hayes

April 5th, 2011
11:40 am

I read this as a very good thing. Why is everyone being so negative about a player admitting he was lost in a new system and informing the media that he has got it now? This kid has never played in a 3-4 defense with the pass coverage schemes that Grantham brought in last year. I also don’t think this is any reflection on Richt recruiting a kid that doesn’t have the knowledge to play the game. Most of you started your first job as a greenhorn at your company. I am sure you were inefficient the first six months or so at your job. Why? Most likely, you didn’t understand the ins-and-outs of the job, Meaning, you didn’t understand the job duties and were just trying to stay above water. The same is the case with Jakar Hamilton. He was trying to learn the new system and keeping his head above the water.

Now, Jakar Hamilton is confident and has the system down. This means he can fly around the field and play instinct football instead of guessing and playing reaction football. He will show you this year why he was coined the name “Hitman” and all of you bandwagon fans should write him an apology letter for your negativity.

The Defense will be solid this year compared to the past three seasons. With Jarvis Jones in the fold we will not miss Justin Houston. Since Jenkins and Gathers will play nose this allows the Dawgs to move Jones and Tyson out to the tackle spots. The LB corps is going to trick you this year. Richard Samuels was a 5-star LB or RB from Cass. Since he played scout team all year while being RSed he will step in and be a very big impact player. The fact that Ogletree moved into ILB is a huge boost to even further solidify the LB Corps. We have two star corners that have speed and experience. The Defense returns more starters and players with experience this year than we have had in five seasons when things started to slide. You will also see Malcom and Drew playing this year as Frosh just like Ogletree played last year.

If you guys want something to worry about then you better worry about a receiver stepping up and the O-Line gelling so the running game is useful. My prediction is that UGA beats South Carolina, Florida and Auburn to win the SEC East. Watch for UGA to play Alabama in the SEC Championship game in the dome. GO DAWGS!

SOUTHGADAWG88

April 5th, 2011
12:57 pm

The comment about not knowing the packages is not all that bad considering he was speaking in reference to his first spring practice.Hamilton had more of problem making tackles than blown assignments IMO.Film study should be mandatory for all the kids..just like participating in S&C training.

You gotta be kidding

April 5th, 2011
2:47 pm

Dawgs have a defensive player called the “hitman”? Serious? I don’t think the Georgia D inspires fear in anybody. The Alabama or LSU defenses? That’s a different story.

And he played all year and didn’t have a clue what he was doing? Doesn’t inspire much faith in Todd Grantham now does it? There is a reason why this guy failed so miserably in the pros. He’s not very good at his job. That’s why.

jarvis

April 5th, 2011
3:26 pm

Misleading headline….was hoping for a Thomas Hearns story, or Brett Hart at least.

TTOUGH44

April 5th, 2011
4:18 pm

Buck should be on the game day team, taking Munsons place!

Paddy

April 5th, 2011
6:40 pm

How in the world do you start five games in the SEC and not know where to go on the field at any given moment. Unbelievable!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

AltamahaDawg

April 5th, 2011
8:54 pm

Paddy, a better question is: How does one start 5 SEC games on the first day of practice last year? Very unbelievable!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! that you even read what he said.

Douglas

April 6th, 2011
6:49 am

Buck Belue does his homework? Give me a break. As a UGA alum, I appreciate him as a player and supporter of UGA. But when it comes to broadcasting, he does not add anything to the program other than stating the obvious. I never have found him to do any insightful research…bring up issues..etc. Nor does he deal with the tough issues — he is a homer.

Paddy

April 6th, 2011
6:51 am

AltamahaDawg……after reading your last post, it is clear you don’t read or write very well. WOW

No King

April 6th, 2011
12:05 pm

“I’ll be on spring break and away from the Blawg next week”. Music to my ears. Please take the rest of the century off.

DuluthDawg

April 6th, 2011
12:34 pm

Let’s face it, Belue is a blind homer and everyone that listens to him knows that, including Kincade, who is a blind Philadelphia homer also. Belue is definitely not objective by any means but he doesn’t pretend to be most of the time, so I don’t see any harm in that. Belue is best suited to be doing UGA play-by-play versus the talk show gig.

Timbodog

April 6th, 2011
2:33 pm

Once again, everyone is jumping on the player rather than the coach. If “The Hitman” didn’t know what he was doing on the field last year, he shouldn’t have been playing.

That’s on the coaches.

But very few of my fellow Bulldog fans will say a cross word about Richt, despite the fact that he is running our program into the ground.

There is no reason we shouldn’t be on the same level as Auburn, Alabama, and Florida. We should be head and shoulders above USCe and Tennessee.

As for Buck, I obviously revere his legacy (although I was barely alive when he played); however, he is just BRUTAL to listen to. Almost as bad as Skip Caray. Why do we always have such bad announcers in Atlanta?

benedawg

April 6th, 2011
5:09 pm

The local radio station here in Summerville wanted to carry the games, they were told it was a 10,000 fee, in a small town that might as well be 1,000,000,000…If you want to reach the state lower prices…

Bodda Getta

April 6th, 2011
11:46 pm

Wow,

You Georgia fans turn on your own like no other fan base in the nation.

Brutal.

RED DOG 77

April 7th, 2011
1:17 am

Bill King………Isn’t it about time to take down this negative article…….and replace it with another one of your BULLDOG bummer stories?………Mabe this time you can write something about Aaron Murray……..er….a….is too short……or….a….is not a leader……or……a…….he just can’t get it done without AJ Green?………..whatdayasay………..er…..a……..Bill?………Regards, RED

Mr. Dawg

April 7th, 2011
9:18 am

I am the official fan of the Georgia Bulldogs. What gives me that distinction? I’m having a 30 minute round table discussion in my office at work once a week during lunch and I went to two or three Bulldog Baseball games during my four year stint as a student at UGA. Plus, I occasionally listen to Mark Richt’s press conference on CSS.

AltamahaDawg

April 7th, 2011
12:50 pm

So the kid says he didn’t know what he was going when he first got here, but now he does. He didn’t know the terminology during his first few practices, but after a year in the Georgia program he is more of a student of the game, watches more film.

And Timbo says that we aren’t blaming enough of that on Richt.

clifdog

April 8th, 2011
12:09 am

Buck Belue is an egotistical fruit basket. Tries to give the impression that he cares and is a man of the people. He’s a joke and a hypocryte. He try’s to play the whole “I’m not that smart card” with being frm South Ga. Insulting and geniunely a terrible radio voice. Atlanta would be better if he was working for the trash complay driving a garbage truck rather than what he’s currently doing, which is making me want to listn to PBR as opposed to intelligent radio conversaitons which he cannot deliver one. Moron.. thatd about sum up Buck in one word.

NCbulldawg86

April 8th, 2011
1:27 am

Who is the dumb ass that keeps talking about Richt losing more games 7 out of 8 years, or whatever BS he keeps spewing? Just ask him(this poster) how many times GT has won double digit victories in a season over their history. I know CMR has won double digit victories in 6 of his 10 seasons, GT, eight in their entire history. Get out of here with that crap.

WeallbleedRed

April 8th, 2011
8:06 am

We all want one important thing. “JUST WIN BABY” and no excuses.

Timbodog

April 8th, 2011
10:44 am

Altamaha,
You really obsess over me…pretty creepy.

And you totally misconstrued what I said. The fact that he knows more now is a good thing, obviously. I would HOPE that after a year he would be a bit more knowledgeable.

My point was that if he didn’t know what he was doing last year, he shouldn’t have been on the field.

That’s on the coach. Am I wrong here? I’m sure you’ll come up with some excuse for your little boy toy who you exalt higher than the very program you claim to support.

AltamahaDawg

April 8th, 2011
10:49 am

Ask one of those guys if they make that point to predict that Georgia will lose more game this year than last and how much they are willing to bet on it.

AltamahaDawg

April 8th, 2011
11:14 am

Except sport, he NEVER said he didn’t or never know what he was doing on the field last year. He said “compared to this time last year”. And clearly he was exagerating a bit to make a positive point. (one lost on you appearantly)

Lets break that down:

“Compared to this time last year”. That was his first days wearing red short with a G on em. Ok?

“now I know what I am doing” he didn’t just suddenly figure that out over Christmas holidays. I suspect he learned a great deal of that during last spring, summer, fall, meaning he had some varying degree of knowing what to do while actually playing the position.

If you are asking me why we have players out there that are not 100% as good as they will every be, I would say, if you knew how that happens ANYWHERE, you would be in very high demand.

BUT thats not what this particular issue was about. This is not even about not recruiting better players (which I have often said was all on Richt) THIS is about a first year player in a brand new system. Taking that a bit further, Richt’s decision to replace his DC with one that had a completely different scheme, meant that even our best players were going to be lost early on.

OK? feel better?

AltamahaDawg

April 8th, 2011
11:17 am

and…..”shouldn’t have been out there” means that you beleive there was somebody that was a better option. If so, obviously he would have been out there instead.

Timbodog

April 8th, 2011
11:26 am

Whether or not he was serious is not the issue…

I observed that everyone was taking his comment at face value and bashing the kid for it

Timbodog

April 8th, 2011
11:27 am

IF we are to believe his statement, then would YOU as the coach put him out there knowing he doesn’t know the very basic fundamentals of defensive playcalling?

And if there are no better options than a guy who doesn’t know the difference between a cover 4 and a blitz, then that is also on the coach.

Again, I am not (and was not) necessarily taking this kid’s statement at face value. I’m just trying to defend the kid from all these idiots saying “Well, he’s got to study the playbook harder.”

Timbodog

April 8th, 2011
11:32 am

And yet again, I want to point out to you…I’m just trying to point out the fallacy of this culture that has been breeding among our fanbase where we blame the kids for everything.

The coaches have the ultimate responsibility.

I’m just sick of reading articles about kids getting arrested, or “locker room cancers,” or guys not knowing the defense…there is a common thread here, guys, and most people won’t call him out on it.

Richt needs to step up. Contrary to popular belief, I don’t hate him. I used to really like and admire him…I want him to succeed, but more importantly, I want UGA to rise back up to the ELITE of the SEC. If he is incapable of doing so, then we need to find someone else. This is his last shot, in my opinion. He’s gotta show us something this year.

No more excuses…no more blaming the kids. Just win!

AltamahaDawg

April 8th, 2011
11:54 am

No, I wouldnt put him a live game without knowing the basics. Nor did they. That’s not even close to what he was saying.

AltamahaDawg

April 8th, 2011
11:58 am

And don’t pretend you were just stepping up to defend this poor kid from “all those idiots” blaming him. Who exactly was even saying that? You agenda was pretty clear.

AltamahaDawg

April 8th, 2011
11:59 am

Culture of blaming the kids for everything, And not the coaches. GAWDALMIGHTY. What planet are you from?

Timbodog

April 8th, 2011
12:48 pm

“No, I wouldnt put him a live game without knowing the basics. Nor did they. That’s not even close to what he was saying.”

It’s actually what he said, verbatim.

You are choosing to interpret his words, I’m choosing to read them.

AltamahaDawg

April 8th, 2011
1:09 pm

Ok, my bad. I didn’t realize that we actually played live football games in March of 2010.

Bottom line: if you, me. and Hamilton were sitting in a room having this debate, I think I’d feel pretty confident he’d be ok with my interpretation.

Timbodog

April 8th, 2011
1:13 pm

I feel pretty confident that every bit of what you have posted is PURE CONJECTURE, including your most recent smug post.

But that’s par for the course for you.

And yet again, my whole point was that IF his quote was accurate (which was how many on here were perceiving it), you shouldn’t blast the player; you should be angry for the coach for putting him on the field.

AltamahaDawg

April 8th, 2011
1:14 pm

Pretty damn sure he would laugh at your assertion that everything always gets blamed on the player, and nobody ever considers holding the coaching staff responsible for the football program. Yea, I would Love to see you toss that one out there for him.

Timbodog

April 8th, 2011
1:15 pm

And what the hell is the “March of 2010″ comment supposed to mean?

You do nothing but dodge the issue, cuz you’ve got NOTHING but sarcasm and conjecture to back up your points.

Timbodog

April 8th, 2011
1:17 pm

More conjecture…what a surprise!

AltamahaDawg

April 8th, 2011
1:20 pm

Blame him for what, coming over from a Jr. college not know Grantham’s termanology day one? We agree on that.

Nobody blasted the kid for anything. That’s a complete straw man made up by you, so that you had a place for your “he running our program into the dirt” talking point.

Timbodog

April 8th, 2011
1:20 pm

More delusions from Altamaha:
“I’m pretty sure Jakar would not like you, but he would shake my hand and thank me for standing up for his beloved coach. Then he would ask me to take him out to lunch and we would go for a picnic and talk about our mutual admiration for Mark Richt. We would talk so much we’d not even notice that it’s past midnight. During the ride back, he’d fall asleep. I’d be careful not to wake him as I took him back to Mark’s house, and help Mark tuck him in. Then I’d share a cup of coffee with Mark and discuss what a fine young man he’s raised and Mark would ask me to help him coach next year.”

Timbodog

April 8th, 2011
1:21 pm

Read back over the comments, numbnutz…plenty of people calling him stupid for not knowing the defense.

And “cover 4″ and “blitz” are not 3-4-specific terms…

AltamahaDawg

April 8th, 2011
1:22 pm

“Last year around this time, I would say I couldn’t even tell you a cover 4 from a blitz.”

When exactly do you think that was?

Timbodog

April 8th, 2011
1:25 pm

Fair enough. My bad on that.

My point still remains on the guys blasting him for “sucking” in the games that if he didn’t know any better, he shouldn’t have been in.

AltamahaDawg

April 8th, 2011
1:38 pm

Got it, so your point had nothing to do with his actually “words”, as you have been arguing with me about for an hour.

You just don’t like the guys pointing out that they didn’t like his performance in the games.

You know, that’s just going to happen from time to time.

These Dawgs are Back!

April 8th, 2011
2:34 pm

Mark it down–this Ga team is loaded on both sides of the ball and will win the SEC east! UGA upsets usc to win the division. Florida’s way down and will not be good for years—richt will own muschamp.

ca dawg

April 8th, 2011
3:02 pm

if anything, hitman’s confession DOES inspire confidence, at least for people who want to talk about next year rather than dwell on last. it indicates that he’s learning, improving, getting comfortable in a new defense, and figuring out what it takes to succeed at a high level.

can’t wait to hear you grouse about injuries. find something — ANYTHING — positive to say about the program you claim to love.

AltamahaDawg

April 8th, 2011
4:54 pm

I agree. Players learning. Not sure why thats a bad thing.

RMikel58

April 9th, 2011
7:00 am

Maybe Todd Grantham should re-evaluate those defensive players and see where they’re at on knowing how to line up on Defense before he puts them out there on the field.
If these kids arent doing theyre homework then they have no business on the field at all and possibly giving up a big play because they dont know what a Cover 4 is.
Infact other players on the team should step up and help those players that dont quite understand the play calls on defense.
Maybe this would explain why last year it seemed like players were confused or were out of position.