Fan talk: Offseason concerns and looking forward to G-Day

Jarvis Jones could lose playing time if his helmet comes off as frequently this season as it did last year. (Associated Press)

Jarvis Jones could lose playing time if his helmet comes off as frequently this season as it did last year. (Associated Press)

Saturday morning musings: With an NCAA rule change mandating that players who lose their helmets in a game must sit out for at least one play, I’m wondering if Georgia’s equipment managers will be trying hard to come up with a new strategy for keeping the lids on Jarvis Jones and Isaiah Crowell, who ended quite a few plays topless last season. … Another rule change has teams kicking off from the 35-yard line but touchbacks being brought out to the 25, which is likely to make high, shorter, directional kicks the vogue with some coaches. Somewhere Jon Fabris must be smiling. … And in the case of an arrested UGA soccer player, I’m left wondering: Where exactly does one hide stolen hash browns in one’s pants?

With that image stuck in your brain, let’s dip into some of this week’s Junkyard Mail ….

First, a little social media feedback. This week, I asked on Facebook and Twitter what Georgia fans’ biggest offseason concerns are and what they’re most looking forward to seeing at G-Day.

The most common concern mentioned (besides Mike Bobo still being offensive coordinator) was, naturally, the offensive line. As Lee Bowen noted, “Even [the] best running backs need hawgs opening holes.”

Arrests and “off-field incidents” was another frequently expressed concern.

As for G-Day, Robert L. Kushner III is excited about seeing Keith Marshall and Christian LeMay. Darren Micheal Self wants to see some “toughness” out of Crowell. Wally Logan is hoping for “a Junkyard Dawg aggressive defense and some excitement from our running backs!”

And, returning to the concerns, Jesse Murrah is looking forward to seeing “what we have on the offensive line. The rest of our talent will do just fine as long as we can protect, block, and open holes.”

From the regular Junkyard Mail, DawginLex writes that, among other things, on G-Day “I want open QB competition between Murray and Lemay. I would love to hear of a plan to semi-platoon the 2 of them to take some of the heat off of Aaron.”

Frankly, I wouldn’t get your hopes up, Dawg. The David Greene-D.J. Shockley rotation appears to have been a one-time aberration for Mark Richt and Bobo. I’m also a proponent of getting your No. 2 quarterback some meaningful game time, even if you don’t go as far as platooning or scripting offensive series for the backup. But, barring an injury to Aaron Murray, I’ll be surprised if we see the backup QB any more this season than we did last season.

There will be a lot of interest in Isaiah Crowell this spring. (Brant Sanderlin / AJC)

There will be a lot of interest in Isaiah Crowell this spring. (Brant Sanderlin / AJC)

Also on the subject of G-Day, Eddie Whitaker writes: I’m quite simply looking forward to being in Athens (Sanford Stadium to be more specific) on a glorious spring Saturday. G-Day games are usually less than exciting, but just the chance to be in the stadium, see the green field, the hedges, and the Red and Black, gives me something to look forward to during this “black hole” time of the sports year. You never know how many opportunities you’ll have in life to experience this. Thanks, Bill!

I agree with you complete, Eddie. We only get a handful of opportunities to watch football Between the Hedges each year, and G-Day’s the only time where you can choose your own seat. I’ve hunkered down through several cold, rainy April Saturdays just for the chance of seeing the Red and Black teams scrimmage. And also quite a few gorgeous spring days when just being in Athens was a pleasure, no matter whether the action on the field was compelling or not. Attendance is always pretty good for G-Day, but I’m betting with the Keith Marshall-Isaiah Crowell story line this spring, there might be a few more folks than usual showing up.

On offseason concerns, Jason Meucci writes: No surprises here … O-line and now with suspensions and dismissals, very concerned about our secondary. Also seems odd to say I’m comforted by having a true freshman as a kicker, but even that is an upgrade over what had become of Blair Walsh. If there’s a “darkhorse” concern, its Aaron Murray’s tendency to commit multiple turnovers against good teams. Oh, and Mike Bobo is still never to be trusted to come up with a creative or aggressive game plan or adjust when things aren’t working. 9-3 with losses to Mizzou, Florida and Auburn.

So you’re pegging Missouri as a loss, huh? Well, I know quite a few fans are pointing to that as a “trap” game for the Dogs. But I watched Missouri in its bowl game, and while they can move the ball, I can’t quite see their defense shutting down even Bobo. As for Florida and Auburn, those are always tough games, but I’m more worried about South Carolina.

DawgDayBlog writes: I am a longtime reader and huge fan of your undying love for all things UGA and Athens. If I had to pinpoint one concern for the (every) offseason, it would be spring break and the raucous outings and getaways our players will have. Unfortunately, we live in a world today where every move is made under a microscope, and an individual, especially of high profile, cannot get away with indulgences once considered mundane and insignificant. Many forget our players are kids, and are going to go out and have the times of their lives, much like we did at their age. Many on these blogs will moan and groan about Coach Richt not having control, though it is asinine to expect Coach to a) monitor every move by every player at every hour of the day, and b) expect Coach to lock them in a box and not allow them be kids (and we saw how locking kids in a box worked out for Mike Leach). Many other people on these blogs (mostly Tech fans who have nothing better to do than come on and spew their drivel about their football stadium property owners) will point fingers at these kids for having a party bone. Reality is, everybody, even the Techies, enjoyed life to its fullest when we were in college and would just about give up everything for one more day of carefree youth. Anyway, with spring break on the horizon, I, along with many other Dawg fans will hold our breath every morning when we open up the AJC or Twitter. Hope the boys have a GREAT time, but manage to keep a level head on their shoulders in the process. GO DAWGS!!!!!

Yeah, I’m always thankful when spring break is over and we don’t see the beat reporters having a feeding frenzy over an arrest report. And you make a good point: Yes, the head coach sets the tone for his team in terms of discipline, but he can’t control what 120 college kids do, especially when they’re not under his supervision. What he can do, though, is make it clear up front what will be tolerated and what won’t and also make it clear that transgressions will be punished. I think Richt has done a good job of especially the latter in recent years.

Got something on your mind concerning UGA athletics or a question for the Junkyard Blawg? Send it to junkyardblawg@gmail.com.

Find me on Facebook.

Follow me on Twitter.

— Bill King, Junkyard Blawg

185 comments Add your comment

The Tide is Rolling and Nothing can Stop it

February 25th, 2012
11:03 am

To name a few…
Getting embarrassed when you play real teams.
Disgracing the SEC (Boise, MSU)
Nick Saban oversigning.
Saban taking recruits from GA.
Giving up 37 pts to ranked teams.
Expectations…
Vanderbilt

The Tide is Rolling and Nothing can Stop it

February 25th, 2012
11:05 am

Oh and First (in the nation)

Raleigh

February 25th, 2012
11:16 am

Macclenny_dawg

February 25th, 2012
11:22 am

Can we call another pass play on 2nd and 10 if 1st down was incomplete. That would keep us out of 3rd and long. Also call some punt blocks instead of setting up a punt return everytime!!!

Daddio

February 25th, 2012
11:27 am

“playing not to lose” is a great description of Bobo’s 4 th quarter philosophy.
And to Tide is rolling: maybe I am too busy because I have never read, much less posted on, a Bama blog. Is UGA football so compelling you come this blog to slam our team? Sad.

bad brad

February 25th, 2012
11:40 am

Well said Daddio,
Always amazed at the Bama trolls on UGA blog. I too have to admit I have never read nor do I care to read a Bama blog.

Hollywood Hogan

February 25th, 2012
11:41 am

Mean Gene the first thing you gotta do is to tell these people to shut up if they want to hear what I’ve gotta say.

Hollywood Hogan

February 25th, 2012
11:43 am

What you gonna do Andre The Giant when the real truth, the 24 inch pythons and Hulkamania runs wild on you?

Bob

February 25th, 2012
11:52 am

Sadly, the G Day Game this year is likely to be our most competitive home game.

Spanky

February 25th, 2012
11:52 am

Daddio just posted what I was thinking! Seriously, Tide fans…why do you shive a git?! Go poison some more trees!!

Still@theKool-aidBAR

February 25th, 2012
11:54 am

Well most of the helmets coming off is more from looking COOL than ill-fitting helmets. There are 4 points to snap the chin strap but most players leave 1 of the straps unsnapped flapping in the breeze.

Daddio

February 25th, 2012
12:14 pm

The players don’t seem to tighten their chin straps – apparently its iratating. It seems to happen more with dreads than short hair. Just sayin.

Savannah Dawg

February 25th, 2012
12:20 pm

So Tide is Rolling, UGA is disgracing the SEC by losing to #5 Boise State huh? You know 2007 wasn’t that long ago but Bama fans being SO arrogant tend to forget who you guys lost to that year. Louisiana Monroe!?! Really? You want to talk about disgracing the SEC?

Spanky

February 25th, 2012
12:23 pm

Do ya’ll remember Connor Norman’s G-Day performance last year? I thought he looked impressive, Anyway, I think a few folks will want to see Malcom Mitchell line up on defense. I have mixed feelings about it, but it kinda worked out well for Boykin! Go Dawgs!

bucket

February 25th, 2012
12:32 pm

I think DawginLex is right on the money. I am not a Murray basher, but he did help contribute to 2 of the losses last year because of ball security (SCU and MSU). I also didn’t like his attitude about whether his pick six against MSU contributed to the loss. I don’t want him looking over his shoulder and scared to make a mistake, but I also don’t want him thinking there is nothing he can do that will cost him snaps. I understand the position of qb is a little different than the other positions, but the fact of the matter is if you had players at other positions that were making mistakes that cost you games – you would let someone else take a shot. LeMay and/or Mason need to be prepared to play and the only way that happens is if they actually get a chance to compete for the position in the Spring. I trust the coaches because I don’t think they just want to lose, but how do we know that the best player is playing if some don’t even get a chance to compete for the position or play in the game when it matters?

bucket

February 25th, 2012
12:35 pm

Also, I am a big fan of kids being able to express themselves and wear the hair style and clothes that they choose. However, if you can’t keep your head gear on, then you need to change something! Either fix your hair differently or buckle more straps or something.

David

February 25th, 2012
12:35 pm

Roll your arse to tuscalusa, i hear houses are real cheap there right now!

Daddio

February 25th, 2012
12:38 pm

David –Ouch!

Still@theKool-aidBAR

February 25th, 2012
12:42 pm

David you missed where Georgia has the highest Foreclosure Rate I guess. You can get a house here cheaper than almost any state in the US. Try again!

Spanky

February 25th, 2012
12:46 pm

Still@theKool-aidBAR – Double-wides are much cheaper, so David is correct…How’s that for trying again?!

Dawg 39

February 25th, 2012
1:01 pm

Interesting ,as usual ,on this site.
Also, as usual, I disagree with many of the comments & what others see as the “Problem”‘
I fully support & have had no major problems in the past with Richt, with Bobo, with Murray, or the Offense. I do not expect to be anything but satisfied with their performance in the future. Time will tell.

WELL what now?

February 25th, 2012
1:16 pm

So when is Lsu going to play Alabama again? i mean it is only fair since ESPN gave them two chances to win one game right?

Roll tide, right off a cliff.

bubba4dawgs

February 25th, 2012
1:16 pm

Well, frankly, it will be great if all the DAWGS make it back safe from the layoff without any mishaps. I am concerned about Crowell engaging with his funny cigarettes during the break. He’ll have plenty of competition when the season starts. It’s hard to believe that it’s only 6 months until kickoff time. This should be a very interesting season. I look forward to a successful season but see Alabama still in the driver’s seat. It isn’t very comforting seeing Sabin walk off with the top recruits from the state of Georgia. The longer that goes on, the further the DAWGS drop back into the realm of mediocrity! GO DAWGS!!

Paul J

February 25th, 2012
1:17 pm

I’m worried about Georgia Tech to be honest. Paul Johnson and his triple floption offense……..okay okay i am sorry i couldn’t keep a straight face.

Saint Simons

February 25th, 2012
1:19 pm

Does GT even recruit instate guys?

Pago Pago Dawg

February 25th, 2012
1:24 pm

Head gear coming off or not, isabella will take himself out anyway after a play or two!

Bruce

February 25th, 2012
1:30 pm

Seems like it is the players with dreads that continue to have the problems. Wear a smaller helmet or cut your hair.

True Dwag Fan

February 25th, 2012
1:43 pm

Still@theKool-aidBAR

February 25th, 2012
1:46 pm

Slow day i guess

JB

February 25th, 2012
2:59 pm

Murray has not beat a ranked team. With all the raves about last year, the games that really counted outside of Fla,AU and Tech who where all awful, we lost. Yes, I saw some improvement last year, but this coach and staff think all is fine, and on the D, we have seen improvement BECAUSE WE HAVE A NEW COACH AND LEADERSHIP. I’m really disappointed McGarity did not force Richt to reassign Bobo to recruiting Cord. and hire a real pro to run the offense. We will never move past say the Outback Bowl with that thinking and OC.

Wet Willie...keep on smiling

February 25th, 2012
3:06 pm

Sport, Saban walks off with top recruits everywhere so Jawjaw is no different. recruiting is major no doubt but coaching is as well as is discipline,character,organization,expectations, and above all hard work!!! Alabama is near or at the top in all of the above but can you say UGA is at that same level. Football is a business at Alabama and the kids and parents that join that business understand from day one the plan and no bullsheet rah rah stuff is apart of that business. The UGA business will have to stepup and play at another level or be left behind like most all the others in the SEC. I am sure some of you have contacts within the UGA football complex and I have that as well at Bama. Let me tell you Nick Saban and his organization are endless. Yes they make some mistakes but they’re pursue perfection not by the year but by the hour. Mal Moore gives them the checkbook and the President is right behind them in the pursuit. Auburn is next to head South as long as UGA can compete and have decent years since they have to get players from GA and lots of them. The NCAA has shutdown the street agent deal for the ghetto twins and that is good for Miami,FSU,UF,UGA,UT and Bama.

Move On

February 25th, 2012
3:07 pm

Get rid of the long , nappy dreads will solve the helment problem.

JB

February 25th, 2012
3:17 pm

Wet Willie….Bama is in a time in history where they are doing well. Congrats. Losing and cheating and lousy coaching is not that far removed from her proud history. Winning has returned….and so will the latter. Enjoy.

Dawg4Life

February 25th, 2012
3:24 pm

Kool- Aid that would be Las Vegas that has the worst housing market not ATL. I agree with you on the helmets. No excuse for that.

mgdawg

February 25th, 2012
3:40 pm

As far as the helmets coming off, I think that is a good change, and it shouldn’t put anymore pressure on the equipment staff. It should put more pressure on the players to wear their helmets correctly. I noticed against boise when jarvis jone’s helmet came off multiple times when he went o put it back on he would just slide it on without having to unsnap the chinstrap. That’s called user error, Your chinstrap should be tight enough that you can’t put your helmet on without unsnapping/resnapping..

Panicattack

February 25th, 2012
3:51 pm

No drama over Spring. Here’s what will happen. It’s all pre-determined.

Richt will say there is competition at every position.

Aaron Murray will get outplayed by whichever QB is competing against him like he always does, remember, Murray lost the 3 public scrimmage compettiions to Mettenberger & Gray 2 years ago, and Mason beat him pretty bad last season over Spring games.

Then Richt will annoint Murray the starting position and allow the other qb’s no more than 40 plays per season.

Panicattack

February 25th, 2012
3:54 pm

3 offseason concerns I guarantee you won’t be fixed before September:

1- QB turnovers and sacks and no wins against ranked teams, same ole 0-9 vs ranekd teams QB
2- defensive red zone scoring and defensive scoring against ranked teams, same ole coaches
3- Special teams punt and kick return defense, and field goal %–still, no Special Teams Coach

Panicattack

February 25th, 2012
3:57 pm

And for those of you delusional about us suddenly becoming a great rushing offense, keep in mind, Richt’s 41-3 when he gets a 100 yard rusher, but likes to platoon running backs instead.

Richt has only had 2 1000 yard rushers at UGA, he likes to pass the ball, even if you’re 0-9 vs. last 9 ranked teams.

SYRUPMAKER 61

February 25th, 2012
4:06 pm

CUT THIER HAIR AND THE HELMETS STAYING ON WILL IMPROVE 80 % Helmets are not designed for more hair than head

Panicattack

February 25th, 2012
4:12 pm

Will AARON mURRAY GET HIS FIRST WIN AGAINST A TEAM THAT FINISHES IN THE TOP 25?

He is 0-9 in his first 2 seasons.

Still@theKool-aidBAR

February 25th, 2012
4:14 pm

Panicattack yes Murray will probably get that win against a top 25 team when he plays Ga Southern.

Dawg 39

February 25th, 2012
4:25 pm

If the above are comments from Dawg Fans that I am reading, then the Dawg Family is in very bad shape.
I really hope that what I see Is not typical of True Dawg Fans; I.E. Fans that support the UGA Football Program.

@dawg39

February 25th, 2012
4:36 pm

people like panic attack are not Georgia fans, and obviously know very little about the game. Doubt most of these guys ever played a down of college football in their life. Murray was evaluated as a mid round pick if he would have come out early. Will be in the discussion as a #1 pick when he has a good year this year. His height isn’t that big of a concern because of his release point. He was only a sophomore last year as was good enough to be voted by the coaches as 2nd team all sec.

Still@theKool-aidBAR

February 25th, 2012
4:40 pm

@dawg39….You are smoking with Crowell if you really think MURRAY is that good. He is GREAT against crappy teams. The NFL will eat him alive.

@dawg39

February 25th, 2012
5:11 pm

Its easy to sit back and look at stats without seeing the real numbers.
Georgia qbs were sacked 1 every 13 attempts that ranked them 5th in sack to attempt ratio in the Conference. Arkansas the only team that threw more passes than Georgia gave up a sack every 16 attempts, Tennessee was best in the sec only giving up a sack every 22 attempts.Its an area that needs work but can be improved upon. Bama went from giving up a sack every 14 attempts in 2010 to allowing only 1 in every 21 attempts in 2011. Auburn with Cam Newton at QB gave up a sack every 13 attempts. When you look at the number vs the quality of the defenses its not great but its not awful.

Neutral

February 25th, 2012
5:22 pm

Kool-aid,
Dawg39 is right on and you don’t have a clue. It is obvious you want UGa to make changes like dump Murray, Crowell, Bobo, etc. So your team would have a better chance to win. My guess is you are a GT fan, but too stupid to have gone to Tech. Thank goodness those in control don’t listen to lunatics like you.

Still@theKool-aidBAR

February 25th, 2012
5:32 pm

Neutral…keep 35:55minute MURRAY and BOBO it is a Championship winning duo for sure. So what is the Excuse when UGa had Knowshaun and Stafford? You had blocking, running, receiving, and a QB. Not enough D? Now you have a D and not enough O.
Let the 35:55minute MURRAY for Heisman campaign begin. He will do well because of the EZ schedule but when the tough get going he will drop like a rock I am betting.

Neutral

February 25th, 2012
5:40 pm

Like I said…..you don’t have a clue. Murray, Crowell and Bobo will be better this year even though the OL still needs to improve and I think they will. I believe you either never played football or you were cut from your team in middle school…..if you got that far.

Still@theKool-aidBAR

February 25th, 2012
5:42 pm

Glad your beliefs are not what you make money on or you would be broke for sure.

Neutral

February 25th, 2012
5:51 pm

Don’t forget, LSU, SC and MS were all top defenses…….and they made a lot of offenses look bad. UGa was inches from beating SC and MS, but fell short. They also looked good for a half vs. LSU. NOTE: Michigan State Beat the Rose and Sugar Bowl representatives from their conference….so they were not slackers. UGa will do great this year……quit worrying. Oh I forgot, you aren’t worrying because you are the enemy.