Fan talk: Lesson for Mark Richt is beware of live microphones

Mark Richt obviously didn't know his comments to James Franklin were being overheard. (Associated Press)

Mark Richt obviously didn't know his comments to James Franklin were being overheard. (Associated Press)

Time to check some Junkyard Mail. …

Reagan Mabry writes: I have read the various comments/articles and watched all of the videos of the blow-up at the end of the game. I am very disturbed by what Mark Richt said to [Vanderbilt Coach James] Franklin. Do you think this will only continue to hurt the morale down the road by Richt calling one of his players a dumba–? I don’t agree with what Shawn Williams did after the game to another coach and that should not tolerated, but Vandy was throwing cheap shots and we could only guess what was being said on the field. I agree that Grantham went overboard but, come on Richt, vanilla coat that like everything else you do.

Because of the bleeping, it’s difficult to tell exactly what Richt says on the videotape, but assuming the Nashville TV station’s transcript is accurate, it was surprisingly frank talk on the part of the coach, though obviously not intended for public consumption. A couple of thoughts on that: First, Richt learned a lesson, that as a public figure you should always assume you’re in the vicinity of a live mic. Would Richt have made those comments if he’d known anyone other than Franklin was going to hear them? Probably not. But Richt was angered over the melee at the end of the game, and what he said was correct. No matter how many cheap shot chop blocks the Vandy players committed (and there were many), Shawn Williams mouthing off to the opposing coach after the game was dumb. And Richt’s description of Grantham’s post-game shenanigans (assuming that’s what he was talking about) is just an earthier way of saying what he said elsewhere: That’s not the Georgia way. As for the impact of Richt’s post-game comments, I doubt there’ll be much. The players and coaches involved already knew he was highly displeased. It’s simplistic to view all this and say Todd Grantham has his players’ backs and Richt doesn’t. Not only did Grantham’s tirade set a bad example for his players and embarrass UGA, it probably cost him the use of Williams in the first half of the Florida game. It’s very doubtful conference officials would have reviewed the tape and decided to suspend Williams for a play on which he wasn’t flagged during the game if the Franklin-Grantham showdown hadn’t occurred.

Jeremy Floyd writes: Very concerned that UGA hasn’t beaten a good team since Tech in ’09. Before that have to go back to 2008. Do you think this team really has what it takes? I just don’t see them beating both Florida and Auburn, but hopefully I’m wrong.

This team is fully capable of beating both Florida and Auburn, but it has yet to put together a complete game against lesser opponents and if that continues I’d say it’s bucking the odds to expect the Dogs to win both of those games. I’m hopeful they’ll rise to the occasion.

Craig Plank writes: Hey Bill, First of all I love reading your posts throughout the week and I love how honest you are with your feelings about the Dawgs. I live in Tennessee in the Nashville area and I am starting to get the feeling that most SEC fans are thinking the Dawgs are just gonna fall into the SEC championship and truly not deserve their chance. What’s your feelings about that?

I think if the Dogs make it to the SEC Championship game, they’ll certainly deserve to be there because they will probably have beaten Florida and Auburn and they should have beaten South Carolina. Now, how they’d match up against Alabama or LSU is not something I want to think about too much at this point.

Rontavius Smith writes: Hey Junkyard, I want to know why does [Mike] Bobo call run plays that send Carlton Thomas up the middle when he is a scat back? Wouldn’t it be reasonable to send him to space being that he has speed? The next question is do they believe they can get the offense to run on all cylinders when they play UF, because in my opinion I believe they have to score touchdowns instead of FGs to beat UF.

I’ve never understood trying to run the diminutive Thomas up the middle, considering Georgia’s offensive line, but fortunately there’s been much less of that this season. You’re right that Thomas can be very effective when he gets some space to work in. And I agree with you that attempting field goals (which are no longer a lock with a yippy Blair Walsh) is not going to get it done against the Gators. The two keys there are going to be whether Aaron Murray continues to improve at ball security and how healthy and effective Isaiah Crowell is.

Allen Kennedy writes: Bill, I heard that caller [on "Bulldog Hotline" about Georgia's red zone woes]. I have the same questions. Also, on our opening drive, we are 3rd & 5. We only need 6 yards and we throw a 30 yard pass!? A low percentage play! We have to settle for what used to be an automatic field goal attempt. And for some reason we keep calling low percentage plays on 3rd down. And another thing, why do we keep sending our 3’s & 4’s on special teams when other teams have their 1’s & 2’s out there? The reward for our 3rd stringers should be the privlege of wearing the “G,” not playing on special teams. And one last comment: I was glad to see Grantham take up for the boys after the game. At least somebody has their backs! Thanks Bill, I enjoy the blogs.

I don’t question Grantham supporting his players; I just question the manner in which he did it. As for the playcalling on third down, I agree with you completely. The Dogs seem to make it harder on themselves than it needs to be. And special teams are pretty much a disaster at UGA. Richt’s whole approach to that aspect of the game needs to be rethought.

Josh Cuevas writes: Bill, Once again, strong, even-handed analysis on your part. Two questions: Is there any team in college football right now, or that you can remember in the recent past, with a superior defensive backfield to the current Dogs? Between Boykin, Smith, Rambo, Williams, and Commings, we have not just five solid performers, but five star-quality All-SEC type players back there. I don’t recall a team having that much high quality depth in the defensive backfield. The Dogs defense is finally looking like the “D” of old, stopping the run up front (for the most part), wreaking some havoc on the opposing quarterbacks, and creating turnovers in the secondary. On offense, we’ve got a good quarterback, some receivers have emerged, Crowell has lived up to expectations when he can stay on the field, and the massive O-line has probably performed a little better than initially expected. But it all seems to come apart on offense in the second half. Is this a conditioning issue or is it a result of the opposing coaches making better halftime adjustments and essentially out-coaching our staff? If not for the second half meltdowns and horrific breakdowns on special teams, we could be a Top 10 caliber team right now. What’s causing this second half ineptitude and how should it be addressed?

Georgia’s defensive secondary is extremely talented, and certainly looks like it could be the best the Dogs have had since early in the Richt regime. The next few games will tell the tale. As for the offense in the second half, some games have been better than others, but generally I think it’s been skewed by Mike Bobo calling the games conservatively with a lead.

Harold A. Black ‘66 writes: [The Vanderbilt] game had the dumbest call I have seen in my 50 years of going to the Dawgs. We were at the game and I was stunned that the Dogs just didn’t snap the ball and either take a knee or run around. It was 4th down with 15 seconds on the clock and Vandy did not have a timeout. Snap the ball and the game is over. Instead they were going to kick and give Vandy and chance to run it back and win? Worse, give them an opportunity to block the punt? No way. Richt is too smart for that — right? Wrong. We were lucky that Vandy could not get a handle on the blocked punt or else they would have won. Also that first pass hit the receiver in the hands and we could have lost it there. How could Richt have been so out of it is beyond me.

I don’t know that taking a knee would have been the answer, since it would have given Vandy pretty good field position (though not as good as the blocked punt). But certainly the decision to switch punt formations during the time out was a poor one and the punt team did a horrendous job of executing (other than Drew Butler’s game-saving tackle). But there’s no rhyme or reason to Georgia’s approach to special teams play.

SSgt David Forston writes: Greetings Junkyard, I am currently deployed to Afghanistan and did not get to watch the Bulldogs play [against Vandy], but from what I am reading don’t sound like I missed too much. Like you, I hate when the Dawgs play like pure trash but I have to say I’ll take an ugly win (Vandy) over a pretty loss (S.C.) any day and at the end of the day a W is a W. I have a few questions for you going into the bye week and as the Dawgs get geared up for the greatest outdoor cocktail party. 1) What is happening with our special teams play? B. Walsh clearly has something wrong with him. Have you heard any word going around of maybe replacing him and during all of this is our special teams coach taking any heat? 2) Any news on Crowell and why he was set out for the first quarter? I think the kid has a ton of talent and I am looking foward to seeing him run the rock for a few more years. If he was out for trouble issues I hope CMR can get his head right and maybe this will be a wake up call for him. 3) Last but not least, do you think our D was finally out of gas or do you think Vandy opened up some weaknesses and holes in our D? I know that for the last few weeks the D has carried this team and I hope they were just worn down. As much as I dislike not having a UGA game on a Saturday I think this coming up week is much needed. Can’t wait for that Saturday in Jax to see them Dawgs keep this winning steak going. Take care Junkyard and GO DAWGS!

Georgia’s special teams play, which doesn’t have one overall coach, is a mess right now, but I don’t think there’s been any serious consideration to benching Walsh. The coaches apparently think he’s still the best option. They’ve never said exactly why Crowell was benched in the first quarter but there’ve been rumors involving him getting a bit mouthy with some staffer. Obviously Richt was trying to teach him a lesson. As for the defense, I think a combination of Vandy’s cut blocking and some sloppy play on the part of the Dogs resulted in the Commodores being able to run on Georgia better than expected. I’m hoping the run defense can get back on track after the off week. Thanks for reading and for your service, and stay safe!

Alan Powell writes: Why, why, why won’t Richt play Hutson Mason any? If something happens to Aaron Murray, playing experience will be most beneficial for both the team and Mason.

I agree it would be beneficial for Mason to get more real-game experience. The problem is that Georgia hasn’t been able to get far enough ahead of anyone to put in the backup quarterback. With a mere 5 point lead over Vandy, you didn’t really expect to see Mason coming in during the fourth quarter, did you?

I’ve gotten a lot of letters this week and since there’s no game Saturday, I’ll answer more of them then. So if you’ve got a question or issue you’d like to raise, send it to junkyardblawg@gmail.com.

Find me on Facebook.

Follow me on Twitter.

516 comments Add your comment

me

October 20th, 2011
11:07 am

Michael Carvell is a loser and should be fired from the AJC.

david

October 20th, 2011
11:15 am

nice time for the bye, unfortunately, Fl has one as well. Man this is a big game coming up.

DIT

October 20th, 2011
11:16 am

Can’t be thinking of any other game right now, but the next. Bobo needs to pull his head out of his tail and be unpredictable with his play calling. Wow, what a diffrence a good OC would make on this team.

iago's yoda

October 20th, 2011
11:17 am

For the past 3-4 years, the entire program has had more drama than a busload
of teenage girls on Peyton Place.
Sheesh. Enough is enough.

How about some real strength and leadership?
This isn’t a team, it’s the modern NBA.

SSG Desert Dawg

October 20th, 2011
11:20 am

Harold A. Black ‘66,

The clock stops on a change of possession…which would have happened if they would have taken a knee, and it would be difficult for Drew Butler to run out 15 seconds.

Mad Dog 1

October 20th, 2011
11:23 am

Bill think CMR should watch how he talks about his players & coaches it can do nothing but hurt. If I had a boss who would throw me under the buss without talking to me first it would bring into question his loyalty to me and others. As always GO DOGS & GATA

dap01

October 20th, 2011
11:23 am

CMR disappoints me in his not taking up for HIS players. CMR disappoints me in his continued poor ORGANIZATION and coaching for special teams. CMR disappoints me in letting Bobo continue to mismanage our offense.

Buckhead Dawg

October 20th, 2011
11:24 am

I said it after the SC game and I’ll say it again: Dogs needed to go 9 – 1 rest of season and that one loss can’t be to Florida. …or Richt is, and should be, toast.

weezie

October 20th, 2011
11:24 am

Crowell is already a problem w/ his jawing at opponents during games. He is being handled very carefully already by coaching staff. I also get the feeling own players are already putting up w/ him. How many times have you seen anybody help him get up after play?

Kissinger

October 20th, 2011
11:24 am

I think Richt handled the whole thing poorly. Even if he was accurate about Grantham and Williams’ behavior, you don’t throw your own people under the bus. You say, “I’m sorry coach. Thanks for letting me know. I’ll take care of it. Good game.” Grantham and Williams’s lack of class was followed by CMR’s. I know it was a heated moment, but he’s paid millions to handle heated moments. Otherwise, anybody could do his job.

bill

October 20th, 2011
11:25 am

My mantra until 10/29 is “Beat Florida this year, CMR, or be gone…”

Still@theBAR

October 20th, 2011
11:27 am

Fans you can’t without out then but you can call the same thing Richt called his player and coach. Fans if only the game could be played with no fans full of morons. What would SEC fans do all day if they couldn’t get drunk at the games and cuss at ladies and children.

Jeffro Bodeen

October 20th, 2011
11:28 am

CMR = WIMP
Bobo gotta go-go!

macrotech

October 20th, 2011
11:28 am

CMR, more than likely regrets the way he responded to the coach at vandy….that said, WHO hasn’t misspoken when caught off guard by a situation that, at the time was lacking details? I’d be willing to bet that CMR has spoken to Shawn Williams and apologized for his words while pointing out that he doesn’t need to be running his mouth after the game…regardless the outcome of the game or the way it was played. Sadly, all this happened at the front end of a by-week and there will much written about this latest incident. The whole thing was played out poorly…by both sides. UGA needs to get focused on those Gators….otherwise, they’ll be donating another win down in Jacksonville!

SSG Desert Dawg

October 20th, 2011
11:30 am

I have a question for you, Bill. Why does Chip Towers keep making the events after the Vany game seem much worse than what they were? I saw the video, and it was hardly a melee, Geathers reactions was hardly a “punch”, and James Franklin was just as much to blame as Grantham or Williams (not condoning either of their actions). I usually like Mr. Towers articles, but he seemed to be in attack mode this week. I’m just sayin.

Big Albany Dawg

October 20th, 2011
11:30 am

@Josh Cuevas. (”superior defensive backfield”) What are you smoking?

Still@theBAR

October 20th, 2011
11:30 am

Butler could run around for a few seconds and take the Safety. He would have a better option on kicking to Vandy to end the game.

SSG Desert Dawg

October 20th, 2011
11:34 am

Still@theBAR,

I wouldn’t trust Butler to make it to the endzone before a Vandy player caught him. They were around the 20 or 30 yardline. I would have been even worse if he was tackled before making it to the endzone.

Jeffro Bodeen

October 20th, 2011
11:36 am

I bet Coach Franklin went into his locker room and told everyone “Settle down…I’ve spoken to Coach Richt and he will take care of evrything”!

Valdosta DAWG

October 20th, 2011
11:36 am

Dawg Boston

October 20th, 2011
11:38 am

Walsh gets tired towards the end of the game and his kick off tend to be terrible in late 3rd and 4th quarter. Why don’t we let Walsh kick field goal and let Bogotay do the kick off. It may help Walsh in the consistency in his filed goal kicking style

Marie

October 20th, 2011
11:39 am

KEEP THE STINKING MICROPHONES OUT OF THE FACES OF COACHES!!!!!!
This isn’t church – it’s a football game and these are coaches! If you are so disturbed by
what you hear, go play checkers. Wussification!!!!!

Afan

October 20th, 2011
11:41 am

they could have set up in punt formation and had any player back there run around for a few seconds and run to the end zone and take a safety. game over.

hornblowermg

October 20th, 2011
11:45 am

mcr’s backstabbing of his coaches and players is just about as bad as franklin’s lying and being a liar. i would like to see Kenny Malcolm run the ball between the tackles like he is capable.

george

October 20th, 2011
11:45 am

the uga program is such a damn joke. Thank god someone FINALLY got suspended after 3 fights/skirmishes in 9 games. The fact that the ass clown grantham is still a coach is absurd.

Athens= God's Country

October 20th, 2011
11:45 am

Should have kicked it Rugby style.

sogadog

October 20th, 2011
11:46 am

To S. Sgt. David Fortson: THANK YOU FOR YOUR SERVICE TO OUR NATION!!!

Rob in Chapel Hill

October 20th, 2011
11:46 am

Hi Bill, is the Nashville TV transcript that you mentioned available on-line anywhere?

Let's talk about UGA!

October 20th, 2011
11:48 am

Checked out the BCS rankings today.
We’re still not listed.
What’s wrong with those people?

Let's talk about UGA!

October 20th, 2011
11:50 am

A few more Costal Carolinas and we can climb our way back to the top.

DTC

October 20th, 2011
11:50 am

Why not put Mason in anyway. Maybe he can get enough of a lead to put Murray back in. Murray will only carry this team so far, and I am very concerned that we are already there.

Bob Z

October 20th, 2011
11:50 am

On the punt, I think that a rugby put at that point would have been perfect. They overloaded the right so run left, chew off some seconds, then kick it out of bounds. Just my .02. That about all it’s worth.

Let's talk about UGA!

October 20th, 2011
11:50 am

Maybe we’ll get some respect after the UK game.

Bucksnort Bulldog

October 20th, 2011
11:51 am

Posting your complaints here isn’t doing any good, except possibly releiving some frustration. If you didn’t like what happened, voice your opinion to Greg McGarity.

Bill King

October 20th, 2011
11:51 am

harold

October 20th, 2011
11:51 am

Enter your comments here

Spanky

October 20th, 2011
11:52 am

Bill, some of these comments have to make your head spin!! Hats off to ya, buddy! I, for one, am really excited to play Florida now!…tell ya why..1) we looked weak in the second half against Vandy, problem exposed and 2 weeks is enough time to fix it. 2) Ogletree and Washington coming back are HUGE! I think people forgot about ‘Tree during his healing process, not to mention Corny having his best game the last time he played. Both wanna remind the Dawgnation of what they bring! 3) Now that ‘Tree is back, Williams can rotate to his old spot..our depth now is pretty freaking good, is what I’m sayin’! Damien Swann is also getting better, as well as Sanders Commings. Things are coming together, and I think we’re gonna be pleasantly surprised after the game’s over! Go Dawgs, and have a good day!

PrimeTime

October 20th, 2011
11:53 am

I actually agree with Coach Richt calling Williams or Grantham a dumba**. Nothing wrong with speaking the truth. Williams acted like one for most of the game. Grantham needs to be a strong leader, not a strong screamer.

Tater Jones

October 20th, 2011
11:53 am

Are we sure Coach Richt wasn’t merely talking about the AJC reporter he was going to have to talk with after the game?

dawgman

October 20th, 2011
11:53 am

Come on guys! He knew Franklin was out of control! CMR just agreed with him so he could diffuse the situation with the 2 teams ready to go at it in a visitors stadium. Franklin has nothing to lose as a first year coach at Vandy and Richt had the Florida game coming up and didn’t want to loose half his players or coaches if things were to escalate in a heated situation. Cooler heads prevail! We are on a 5 game winning streak and tied for 1st in the east so get off the guy!!

harold

October 20th, 2011
11:54 am

RICHT IS A CLASSY GUY BUT UGA HAS AN IMAGE PROBLEM ( MIAMI OF THE SEC). GRANTHAM AND FRAKLIN NEED TO TEACH YOUNG MEN HOW TO DEAL WITH CONFLICT. VERBAL ASSAULTS DON’T DO THAT.

Spike 80DF

October 20th, 2011
11:55 am

wow, calling your own player names to the other coach? get him outta here and bring in a REAL coach please McGarity!!!

tlsack

October 20th, 2011
11:55 am

If we do make it to the sec championship game we need to thank the schedulers and fate….
We play the bottom 3 teams in the West, Florida has lost its first 2 QBs, Lattimore is out for the year and Shaw is still green (and they still have Arkansas to play), and Auburn lost half its team (and 85% of its talent) from a year ago (At least fairley isnt there to stab anyone this year).
Also, we might be very well capable of beatnig AU and UF, but they are also very capable of beating us.

PrimeTime

October 20th, 2011
11:55 am

Enter your comments here

True Dawg

October 20th, 2011
11:56 am

Richt through his boys under the bus before talking with them-how disapointing! And has not criticized those chop blocks of Vandys-what do we do?

Tater Jones

October 20th, 2011
11:56 am

Why is Mark Richt using so many bad words in this, his FINAL season at UGA?

“Letting It All Hang Out,” I suppose…

DIT

October 20th, 2011
11:57 am

Good grief people IT’S OVER! Please let it go. All you’re doing is beating a dead horse. All of you experts that were right there on the field when CMR & Franklin. None of you have a clue of what transpired on the field and after.
Let it go and stop feeding the fuel for the haters to continue calling us whiners! It’s over, concentrate on Florida
Go Dawgs!

Lindsey

October 20th, 2011
11:58 am

Not many people truly know what CMR said on the tape, but from what it looks like he said, I am sure he regrets it now. But who hasn’t said things they regret in the heat of the moment? I am sure looking back now both players and coaches wish the ending of the game would have gone differently. Now the Dawgs just need to get ready and use their fire to pull together a complete 4 quarter game to beat the Gators. Anyone ever see the things Judas Muschamp yells out on the sidelines??!! I believe the Dawgs can win it. And regarding Auburn, I have no doubt the players who were there last year will forget that game. I think Aaron Murray will play his best against Auburn after what Nick Fairley pulled last year. GO DAWGS!!!

Summit Dawg

October 20th, 2011
11:58 am

Richt said he “Loves Crowell!”…..we are just half way into the season……where was his “love” for
Ealey????….He and BooBoo are playing just conservative enough to come close to losing the game, but just enough jto maintain his high $ job…..I say it’s time for he and BooBoo both to be gone!!!!

K. Reeves

October 20th, 2011
11:58 am

I am a former Vandy player. I will tell you personally and unbiasedly that UGA is well known as a trash talking, obnoxious team. They always get away with late hits and cheap shots that go uncalled and dismissed. I was born in Athens, I have friends that play and have played for UGA but that is how it is. While I did see the cheapshot a Vandy player committed, that is not characteristic so let’s not act like UGA is the victim here. Take this from somebody who has had their leg twisted under a pile vs UGA. I have the upmost respect for Coach Richt and Coach Franklin. But Shawn Williams needed to be addressed. Also lets not forget Williams open hand punched Vandy’s kicker Carey Spears if you check the game film. Anyways I wish the best of luck moving forward to both teams and most of all hope they continue clean football.