Georgia players need to learn lesson from underachieving 2008 Dawgs

Christian Robinson believes this year's team is more mature than the Dawgs of 2008. (University of Georgia)

Christian Robinson believes this year's team is more mature than the Dawgs of 2008. (University of Georgia)

Last season, particularly after the 0-2 start, the biggest challenge for Mark Richt’s Bulldogs was blocking out all the fan and media talk about whether their head coach would keep his job.

This year, it’s a matter of the players trying to focus amid all the preseason hype about Georgia returning a lot of starters, probably starting the season in the Top 10, being favored to win the SEC East again and even figuring in some early BCS chatter.

Georgia’s been there before and it didn’t turn out so well. The 2008 Dawgs had lots of star power and even loftier preseason expectations, but proved to be a big disappointment.

Christian Robinson, who’s emerged as one of the more vocal leaders of the 2012 Bulldogs and who redshirted in 2008, told Edward Aschoff of ESPN.com that selfishness and immaturity were a problem for that team. Robinson maintained this year’s team is smarter and more mature. “This is a totally different team,” Robinson said. “You don’t read your press clippings and start believing.”

But then you’d kind of expect him to say that.

Judging by the increased number of off-field problems that have cropped up so far, some involving seniors who ought to know better, you might begin to wonder whether some on this year’s team have looked at Georgia’s favorable schedule, heard the hype and are taking success for granted.

“We have to understand that we have to earn it and nothing’s going to be given to us,” Richt told Aschoff. “I hope they’re not believing the hype. I have to make sure they understand that they gotta earn everything they get and I can reference 2008.”

Here’s hoping Richt cites the lessons of that year frequently, and that the players listen more closely than some of them appear to have done so far during this offseason.

Ironically, Robinson believes that the adversity caused by having several starters possibly suspended early in the season will end up being a plus, banding the team together more tightly and forcing them to work harder early on. I hope he’s right.

Quarterback Aaron Murray, who Aschoff said has taken it on himself to become more outspoken on team issues, thinks the lesson has been learned.

“Our guys understand that you can’t be doing anything too crazy right now,” Murray said. “This could be a very special season. This could be a season you remember for the rest of your life. If we work hard, the sky’s the limit for us.”

If not, it could be 2008 all over again.

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

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— Bill King, Junkyard Blawg

153 comments Add your comment

beanster

April 11th, 2012
10:33 am

Make sure you take care of the football, Aaron Murray!!!

beanster

April 11th, 2012
10:41 am

Christian Robinson is a DGD, but he reminds me too much of Aron White with all of his talk. He shut off his Twitter account for a week? Big deal. Get it done on the field, CR!

dawgindestin

April 11th, 2012
10:45 am

cant wait till fall

UGA Insider

April 11th, 2012
10:45 am

Stay way from Downtown Athens and all will be well. However I don’t expect it.

Bigdsel5556

April 11th, 2012
10:46 am

Take care of business first

Still@theKool-aidBAR

April 11th, 2012
10:55 am

Well Arkansas is out of the mix. LSU has some issues with the team being split over the Coaches choices during the BCS CG game. UGa could easily win.

Kids are saying All the Right Things but They have rarely shown the Ability to DO the Right Things.

GeoffDawg

April 11th, 2012
10:57 am

What’s your issue with Aron White? While not blessed with outstanding physcial gifts, he made the most of what he had and developed into a strong and dependable player. I wish we had more players with that type of attitude.

beanster

April 11th, 2012
11:02 am

I liked White and he had a good senior season but, like C Robinson, he was king of the sound bite which ultimately rang hollow. I want those guys to believe in themselves and believe they can win the SEC, but until they do it, I wish they would ease off on the public comments. Murray is guilty of it as well. No more talk guys. Just win.

duronimo

April 11th, 2012
11:03 am

2008 is but one of a number of recent underachieving years. The 2008 roster won’t be suiting up for Georgia this year so it doesn’t matter. If this year’s team doesn’t get it done, the coach will still love them anyway. Underachieve in life and see how much love you get.

Logan Walker

April 11th, 2012
11:05 am

Just remember that winning takes more than just showing up on gameday. It starts with focus and a winning mentality.

Dawg Haus

April 11th, 2012
11:11 am

If the 2012 Dawgs take care of the football, this could be a very special year.

Top Row Dawg

April 11th, 2012
11:17 am

I like this year’s team. Day’s like today make us proud to have CMR in charge. Glad we don’t have to worry about ethics of our head man.

Saban – oversigning.
Petrino – adultry.
Chizkv – paying recruits.
Meyer – never supends star drug users
Spuurier – left 5 time criminal stay as QB starter. Hotelgate.
Richt – only finished 2nd and 3rd never won MNC.

evillurks

April 11th, 2012
11:19 am

After you mutts start out 1-1 and 0-1 in SEC play….all the normal, usual offseason chest thumping and goodwill will immediately turn back into fire the richter.

Can’t wait!!!!

Grantham's the Man

April 11th, 2012
11:21 am

Seems like Ga started that 2008 season with a stacked offense that was also breaking in a few new O-line players, due to graduation and injuries.

The media over rated that 2008 team to prove that they didn’t screw Ga in the post season of 2007, when LSU leap froged Ga because ”if you don’t even win your conference you cant play for the MNCG”. Dawg fans can thank ESPN for that!

Ga didn’t have the O-line or the defense in 2008. Defense won’t be a problem this time, we’ll see about the O-line.

Still@theKool-aidBAR

April 11th, 2012
11:24 am

Grantham is already packing his bags and looking for houses in Fayetteville AR

Macclenny_dawg

April 11th, 2012
11:30 am

Until this team learns how 2 win the big games and not beat themselves I have my doubts. I think our team is satisfied being good not great. If I am Richt I would be preaching last year we were 0-4 in the big games. I sure hope the coaches give extra drills for the whole team when anyone brings negative publicity to the team. I think the suspensions only holds that person accountable and the team just welcomes them back. When their held accountable 4 making their team do something they don’t want to do and put the burden on the team instead of just the player. Then and only then will that person have 2 answer 4 the team. Go Dawgs!!!

ElvinBishopBand

April 11th, 2012
11:31 am

Sounds like another blackout is in store for the super hype team from Georgiee. This time Nick will not play nice with Marky! Expect to have your azz handed to you with no mercy. The again no way you guys will ever get to the SECCG unless you buy a ticket.

tide roll

April 11th, 2012
11:41 am

Isn’t Robinson the wierdo that took the pictures of the other wierdo, Murray, with the girl in the room at Panama City and then posted them on facebook? Oh. that’s ok with the Preacherman, Just don’t get caught smoking dope.

tide roll

April 11th, 2012
11:42 am

What’s Robinson doing in the room anyway? Y’all got one sick program up there. Literally.

Columbus Dawg

April 11th, 2012
11:50 am

I believe that Richt has enough sense to evaluate the players in question after serving their suspensions, and factoring in how each suspended player handles the rest of the off season before handing them back their starter status. For that matter, here’s hoping that Branden and Rambo have enough sense to know that their draft status will also be affected by their decisions going forward. Ogletree may or may not go pro after this season, but I’m sure that he does not want to lose his starting role because of a case of D.A. Georgia has plenty of players capable of winning the first four, and who knows, by the time Rambo’s time is served, his safety spot may be well manned. Robinson may be correct in his analogy concerning the tightening up on the players part due to what has already happened. It was mentioned in the article that Bill read and got his idea for this blog from that there are more upperclassmen, and leaders on this team than the 2008 team, and Murray needs to lead by example and quit his B.S. shenanigans as well. I was guilty of some under aged drinking back in the seventies too, but I was not the starting QB of the Georgia Bulldogs, either. I agree with Bill that there is a tremendous amount of pressure on Coach Richt to produce a championship this year, mostly because most know what the defense will lose after this season. From Grantham’s comments thus far, it does not sound like he’s worried about having to play without the suspended players. I believe that in their minds, that the first four are very winnable, and the fact that the game with the Chickens has been moved down the road is a big plus. The game that worries me is the Tennessee game, and a lack of focus here will get them beat. Richt wants to talk about referencing the 2008 season, he had better reference the 2007 season as well, because a win over the Vols that year would have given the Dawgs a shot at the BCS that year. Before any of you loud mouth LSU folks start yapping, go ask your beloved pos coach Lester Miles about being grateful that he did not have to face Georgia in the dome that year instead of the Vols. He even stated this on national television.

All of this being said, I really do believe that the Dawgs OL will be better this year, and special teams can be fixed. I also believe that Richt is saving the priority of special teams to fall camp so that the players will have special teams fresh in their minds when the season begins.

I have a copy of the letter that Erk Russell sent to the entire team before the start of the 1980 season, it is a bit humorous, but very motivational. Maybe Grantham needs to do something like this before the season kicks off!!!

funny...

April 11th, 2012
11:50 am

They’re just going to rename Fall in Athens to Fail.

SSIgator

April 11th, 2012
11:55 am

“We have to understand that we have to earn it and nothing’s going to be given to us,” Richt said.

Well, unless you are one of Richt’s favorites, like Murray the Midget, then it is just given to you.

bham dawg

April 11th, 2012
12:01 pm

we really don’t need dominating OL play until week 5. Hopefully they will be gelled by then. I have conserved optimism about the OL they just need some experience.

GATA

murfdawg

April 11th, 2012
12:09 pm

No defense in 2008. How many times did we give up over 30 points? Bama and fl were pretty good that year too. But we had no defense at all thanks to Martinez. How do you give up 45 points to a high school offense? Oh yeah. bump tackling. That defense couldn’t knock me down or out of bounds. One more thing about 2008. Wardrobe malfunctions!!!

Still@theKool-aidBAR

April 11th, 2012
12:12 pm

Holy Guacamole

April 11th, 2012
12:15 pm

Not many Dawg fans commenting on this blog today. Think that I will go do something else and just let them rant to themselves.

SSIgator

April 11th, 2012
12:18 pm

“Georgia players need to learn lesson from underachieving 2008 Dawgs”

Yeah, they sure do. Let’s see, hmmm, ok:

1) Never, ever wear all black again for a game. Besides being a terrible fashion statement, all it did was make the team look like they were going to a funeral. Oh, that’s right. They were at a funeral – their own. I think the halftime score was something like 31-0.

2) If you are going to order your players to charge the field after finally scoring a touchdown against UF like in 2007, remember that you still have to play them again the next year and paybacks are he!!. Time out – Florida at 49-10.

3) Make sure that when you are playing your in-state rival at home and have them down at the half, that the defense knows there is still another thirty minutes of football to be played. Oh wait, never mind. They didn’t remember that last year against LSU either.

bham dawg

April 11th, 2012
12:24 pm

@SSIgator… How’s yall’s team looking this year? Think you are better than 3rd in the east? Sucks Powell went down.

bham dawg

April 11th, 2012
12:31 pm

@SSIgator… also if meyer had any moral character half of your players shouldn’t have been playing in 2008 just saying.

SSIgator

April 11th, 2012
12:31 pm

Murray said, “This could be a very special season. This could be a season you remember for the rest of your life.”

Well, he may have a point there. UGA has come out of the gate real strong in the arrest/suspension/kicked-off-the-team department. At this rate, there will be alot of playes having to play positions they are not used to playing to fill in the holes. So I guess it would be a memorable season for them – wondering why they they came to UGA as an offensive player only to wind up playing on the defense.

SSIgator

April 11th, 2012
12:37 pm

bham dawg -

How is that morality thing working out for UGA? Oh, that’s right. The SEC has not started adding won – lost – moral victories to their game stat results yet, but when they do, UGA will have that one more than covered. Also, can you even remember 1980 or do you just watch replays on your Beta machine?

bham dawg

April 11th, 2012
12:40 pm

@SSIgator… It’s pretty funny that you call out uga for disciplining players. Only just recently florida has learned what discipline really means. Do you think percy harvin would have lasted through his freshman year at UGA with all the things that have come out about him when he was at florida. No chance. You are a hypocrite my friend.

Columbus Dawg

April 11th, 2012
12:47 pm

ElvinBishopBand is really Wet Your Pants Willie! (And he is just as stupid)!

bham dawg

April 11th, 2012
12:51 pm

@SSIgator… wasn’t born in 1980 so no don’t remember that year too well. Richt is trying to teach these young men lessons and if that comes with a suspension so be it. Its just laughable that UGA gets this label about beingn undisciplined and a bunch of thugs. When in fact we discipline harder than the majority of college football programs. Well after reading the article about meyer and the state of the florida program yall have just as many if not more off the field incidents the difference is that Meyer didn’t hold his players accountable. He still let them play and when they were suspended he told the media they were hurt. You are an idiot

bubba4dawgs

April 11th, 2012
12:56 pm

Some of the naysayers keep laying the blame on CMR for the perils that plague some of the players! It’s really good that all the idiocy that has occurred happened for the most part during off-season! CMR is dealing with it head on and getting it taken care of before the first kickoff. I believe the team will be much better off in the long run and even the recipients of his punishment will realize what they must do in order to be a part of the good things to come! Look at the mess that Urban Meyer left at Florida not to mention the scenario at Arkansas! I’d say CMR and the DAWGS are faring quite well! GO DAWGS!!

DAWG258

April 11th, 2012
1:06 pm

Dont worry about SSI Gator…. As I mentioned before last season his run was over and now it’s setting in… I watch the O&B game over the weekend and if it wasn’t for the defense not accepting a penalty close to the half (like that happens in the red zone with a minute to go) they wouldnt have scored until all the scrubs were on the field… even that TD before the half was scored over a 5′9 DB with a 50 wing span that should be backing up at FIU!
Your team seems really pitaful at this point (as it can be felt by the disappointment in your rants) and I’ll go on record that you’ll finish 4 or 5th in the East!
Get ready for a thumping this season….. the joke is now on SSI GATOR!

L- UGA
L- Tenn
L- SC
possible L – Vandy (yea I said it, now mark it down)
L- Tx A&M
L- LSU
L- FSU

DAWG258

April 11th, 2012
1:17 pm

I’m down to run on the field again, or even call TO’s on you just to rub it in more this season because you won’t be able to do anything about it for the Foreseeable future…. :)
I think we should be wondering if that worst beatdown in UF history (75-0 to UGA I might add) will be in Jeopardy the game after SC smacks you around this season!!!
Keep talking SSI and then go hide in a sewer grate like all gators do!
( go back in the archives – it was me for the last 3 seasons that wanted someone in the AJC to uncover the drug problem at UF ) check it out Bill!

tide roll

April 11th, 2012
1:18 pm

Hey, did you guys hear? Burnette gets to play guard for one team, and because you have no depth, center for the other! What a joke of a program! It would be hilarious if it weren’t so pitiful. The kid will probably get hurt. What a joke of a football program. How hard is it for Richt, Booboo, and Booboo’s chewtobaccoa buddy, Will Friend, to anticipate this and RECRUIT TO PREVENT IT! Sheesh.

DAWG258

April 11th, 2012
1:21 pm

The Sporting News shouldn’t have stopped there… this goes back to the Marcus Thomas days!
Don’t get me wrong the did plaster the guy on the wall for what ever Dawg fan knew he was the whole time

Holy Guacamole

April 11th, 2012
1:26 pm

SSI Gator – We will see how Muscrat picks up the mess that Urban left. I wouldn’t be bragging just yet if I were you.

Tide Troll – Your day is coming, my friend. Smart to Arky?

bham dawg

April 11th, 2012
1:41 pm

@tide roll… have yall picked up anymore committments or are you still ridin solo.

Newman

April 11th, 2012
2:02 pm

And no more sex tapes Aaron!

harold

April 11th, 2012
2:16 pm

UGA HISTORICALLY IS A TOP 10 TEAM RECRUITING WISE BUT IT NEVER EQUATES TO A TOP 10 FINISH LIKE IT DOES AT ALABAMA AND LSU?

COULD IT BE THE COACHING? HMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM

bham dawg

April 11th, 2012
2:27 pm

@Harold… UGA has finished top 10 i think 6 years under richt.

Game Changer

April 11th, 2012
2:30 pm

Todd Grantham to Arkansas?? jerry jones and AD Long making contact

jWall

April 11th, 2012
2:44 pm

Grantham isn’t going anywhere…quit making stuff up.

tide roll

April 11th, 2012
2:45 pm

Hey guys. with a shortage of running backs for G-day, why not let Richt and Bobo line up at tailback in a single back set behind your offensive line. after they’re both carried off on stretchers, the first person they call is Shamire Devine at Tri-Cities, don’t cha think? What a program.

Still@theKool-aidBAR

April 11th, 2012
2:52 pm

yes Grantham ain’t going No Where because he has a lot of Loyalty to UGa and Richt. His ties to both go back for decades and he wouldn’t want to be a HC in the SEC.

dawgfan

April 11th, 2012
3:02 pm

Blah, blah, blah, blah. I agree with everyone that is tired of all the talk. That is all we’ve been doing for years now is talk. Winning football games is about blocking, tackling and beating the guy in front of you. Please spare me all the lame psychobabble crap about not “reading your press clippings” and believing the “hype.” Remember that Sports Illustrated “curse” crap? Well, Alabama was Sports Illustrated’s preseason #1 team last year, were they not? It didn’t seem to affect them in any way. They just went out there and played football and did their damn jobs. They blocked and tackled better than the teams they were playing. They beat the guy’s lined up in front of them. Curse my azz. There’s not voo doo magic to winning football games. We haven’t won a single solitary game of any significance in YEARS now and our players are out there in the press running their mouths about not believing the “hype.” Are you freaking kidding me? Put a muzzle on these clowns and get their azzes out on the practice field.

Good grief.

Holy Guacamole

April 11th, 2012
3:05 pm

What he (dawgfan@3:02) said.