Shawn Williams’ comments on Georgia’s ‘too soft’ defense poorly stated but on target

Shawn Williams gets there too late to stop a Tennessee receiver from scoring. (Brant Sanderlin / AJC)

Shawn Williams gets there too late to stop a Tennessee receiver from scoring. (Brant Sanderlin / AJC)

Anyone who’s watched the Dogs this season knows safety Shawn Williams was on point Monday night when he called out the Georgia defense for playing “too soft” and without “the same attitude we played with last year.”

It’s understandable that the senior is frustrated with the way the D has been playing this season, especially after getting shelled in the South Carolina game and then coming out of a bye week looking meek against the lowly Kentucky Wildcats.

The Bulldogs’ defense deserves to be called out and maybe Williams’ rant will have the same sort of galvanizing effect as Mizzou’s “old man football” insult did on the team overall earlier in the season in what was, probably not coincidentally, the best game the Georgia defense has played to date.

But as is frequently the case with the overly aggressive Williams, who’s been flagged for a few unnecessary penalties in his career, No. 36 went too far when he started suggesting which of his fellow defenders should get more playing time, indirectly pointing a finger at others.

Williams noted, “I’m sitting here and I’m giving all I got, and I feel like I’ve got some guys that’s not,” but that comment would look a lot better if his own play had been exemplary, which it hasn’t. Too often this season he’s bitten on play-action fakes or been out of position in coverage and wound up getting burned by opposing receivers.

It won’t be helpful if there’s dissension on the team caused by his comments.

And Williams definitely crossed the line when he invoked the New Orleans Saints’ bounty system. More personal foul calls is definitely not what the Georgia defense needs against Florida, but you can bet the SEC officiating crew will be quick with the flags if there’s even the hint of a late hit by anyone in a red jersey Saturday.

Still, despite the ham-fisted way he went about it, I’m hopeful Williams going public with what he was already saying to his teammates on the sideline will produce a positive result.

It’s now or never, basically.

As Mark Richt said to his team, with the cameras rolling, after the Kentucky game, “It’s going to be a war in Jacksonville. … You leaders, I want you to think about what this game means. You’ve been talking about it all offseason since January. ‘Our team, our time, no regrets.’ Well, here we are. We’re at the moment of truth.”

In other words, put up or shut up.

Got something you want to discuss concerning UGA athletics? Or maybe a question you want the Junkyard Blawg to tackle? Send it to junkyardblawg@gmail.com.

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— Bill King, Junkyard Blawg

126 comments Add your comment

Hiram Dawg

October 23rd, 2012
11:02 am

So glad to see that one of the team leaders is recognizing and addressing the problem. We’ve all known something was wrong, but only those on the inside can really name the problem. Hope this lights a fire in their bellies and gets on on track for Florida.

coondawg69

October 23rd, 2012
11:03 am

Our team, our time, no regrets.’ Well, here we are. We’re at the moment of truth.”

Is that Bill Murray in Stripes?? Because it is kind of funny

Time for a change.

October 23rd, 2012
11:07 am

I wish our QB would have taken a stand and spoke out to HIS team!

PrimeTime

October 23rd, 2012
11:07 am

Enter your comments here

Tony BarnFart

October 23rd, 2012
11:11 am

Im afraid UGA is on the brink of implosion…

NC Dawg

October 23rd, 2012
11:13 am

Defense wins or loses this game. Go DAWGS!!

t.trippe

October 23rd, 2012
11:14 am

What is this going to do for recruiting. Seems like some of the players UGA has been trying to
recruit has already heard of the problem. Maybe that is why all the decommiting.

Bremen Dawg

October 23rd, 2012
11:19 am

Someboady had to say it, #45 is a terrible linebacker. Not sure why he gets to play so much. Yes Shawn has had missed some assignments but he is always hitting hard and flying to ball. Need more players like him.

Flat Tire On I-95 in Jacksonville

October 23rd, 2012
11:20 am

Hey coach Our Team, our time, No Regrets; what happened to that during the SC game

The SC game was regretful

And our time has passed since we got completely embarrassed by SC no one will let us play for the national title after an embarrassing loss

Bremen Dawg

October 23rd, 2012
11:20 am

I’m just afraid he will be pulled aside and made to be more soft.

Macclenny_dawg

October 23rd, 2012
11:21 am

Bill,
The defense,special teams,and Bobo play calling is going to play lights out. Gonna have to have a gameplan out of the ordinary. Bobo is going to have to run out of I formation to protect Murray and roll him out when we are out of the I. Special teams need to get creative and try to block punts because we want return any with the hang time their punter gets. Oh wow who am I fooling we don’t even no who calls the plays for special teams. I know at some point the gators staff will try a fake punt!!! This coaching staff better not get out coached or it will be a long sad night!!! SICK OF RICHT!!!

Bremen Dawg

October 23rd, 2012
11:25 am

Folks if you don’t agree with what Shawn said, then go to a game and sit in the end zone where you can see the linebackers. Watch who fills the gaps and flies to the ball.

gofortwo

October 23rd, 2012
11:26 am

We need to play Old Man Defense!

bill arp

October 23rd, 2012
11:29 am

going public is always questionable with this kind of stuff. we’ll see if it works, won’t we?

JRW7

October 23rd, 2012
11:30 am

DAWGS are soft and I blame the coaching staff, they play not to win, but not to lose. DAWGS have 6 wins over below average teams, teams with a 12-31 record. Maybe SW is right?

Mike

October 23rd, 2012
11:31 am

Agree with your comments Bill. I like that Shawn has challenged his teammates, but didn’t like him bringing up his thoughts on pesonnel. That stuff can tear down a locker room. Bottom line is, he shouldn’t be the one pointing out the teams play is unacceptable. It should be the coaches.

We might win this weekend, but I feel like Bill Murray in ‘Groundhog Day’ waking up to Sonny & Cher’s “I Got You Babe”. Every year its the same story, we don’t play up to the level of good competition, play down to lesser competition, and consistently come out flat, unprepared, and out coached.

UGA Insider

October 23rd, 2012
11:32 am

This team just doesn’t seem to play that hard. UK manhandled us up front. They average 107 yards rushing a game and we make their tailback look like Reggie Bush. I think we have several who are looking to April’s draft. I hate to say this but all the ingredients are there for a UF blow-out this weekend.

Fridawg

October 23rd, 2012
11:32 am

I’d rather have heard that kind of tough talk from our head coach earlier in the season. When nothing is said publicly, eventually a player will say something like this. If Richt had spoken up earlier, he could not only motivate the team, but control the way it comes across to the team.
I’d like to think that Williams’ comments are going to fire everyone up, but it smells of a rotten locker room to me. Let’s hope they can work together this week in Jacksonville.

Go Dawgs!

DAWG with two bags over head

October 23rd, 2012
11:34 am

Looking at the big picture, Williams was right on point and it’s embarassing, disgusting, and nauseating that our coaching staff is apparently incapable or unwilling to acknowledge the same. It took some guts to call them all out. I agree though that Williams’ play has been less than stellar and he probably shouldn’t have named players, but I’m willing to give him a pass for having the courage to say something. Somebody needed to step up. Afraid it’s probably too late. As many others have posted, you can’t just turn emotion on and off when it wasn’t there to start with.

Coach Muschemp

October 23rd, 2012
11:34 am

Trick plays are not necessary against the UGA punt team! All you have to do is kick it and no one will catch it, it just rolls and rolls. My kicker averages 50 against teams who field punts too.

UGA24-7

October 23rd, 2012
11:39 am

JUST GLAD TO SEE SOME FREAKING EMOTION.

beanster

October 23rd, 2012
11:41 am

As much as I have complained about #36, I have a lot more respect for him now. The middle of the field has been soft all season. It’s about time somebody stand up and say something.

No more favorites. I don’t care if they are a good guy or not. I don’t care if they represent the team well off the field. I don’t care if they’re the team spokesperson. If they’re getting whipped on the field then no playing time.

UGA24-7

October 23rd, 2012
11:41 am

ANGRY EMOTIONS. HIT THEM DIRTY GATORS EARLY AND OFTEN

beanster

October 23rd, 2012
11:52 am

How long will it be before one of the called out players puts his feelings out on Twitter for the whole world to see? “Poor old me. Will somebody rub my back and tell it me it’ll be okay? I need a hug.”

Zoomie

October 23rd, 2012
11:57 am

Well, it’s either gonna be the spark that ignites them, or it’s the harbinger of the total locker room breakdown that’s ocurring.

We’ll see . . .

(FWIW: my bet’s on the latter . . .)

LHarding Dawg

October 23rd, 2012
11:59 am

It’s time for some “Grown Men Football”.

Desert Fox

October 23rd, 2012
11:59 am

If williams calling out certain players angers them hopefully they’ll direct that anger at the FL offense, and indirectly our OL as well. FL is brimming w/confidence, #2 in the country, a lot riding on this game for them. A controlled angry GA team is just what the Dr ordered. They have to demoralize FL and make their players doubt themselves. Its a tall order, and the FL players and coaches are counting on GA to continue their mediocre play. You have to pound that ball down their throat and allow Murray the time to find the open man. Break FL’s confidence and the dawgs can win this game, a huge victory that hopefully puts this team back on track on and off the field.

Scott

October 23rd, 2012
12:00 pm

#36 may have missed a few assignments, but he has NEVER been accused of playing “soft”. In my opinion, the toughest player on our team.

jaglaw

October 23rd, 2012
12:14 pm

IF the players that are slacking are easily identifiable, why does Grantham keep putting them in the game? Willliams is correct, despite having made mistakes, he does play with intensity. #9., #6, #99 and the rest of the DL need to step it up.

Mobile Dawg

October 23rd, 2012
12:16 pm

Not sure I can get a post past Bill’s filters anymore. Last few times the beast has eaten my comments.

jaglaw

October 23rd, 2012
12:16 pm

Look again at the picture above, #9 is on his back. nuff said.

ncdawg

October 23rd, 2012
12:39 pm

Screens and dump passes will be key to beating Florida, Bobo does not call it or Murray doesnt look to dump it off. Either way, unless we learned to run those plays successfully this week UGA loses.

hornblowermg

October 23rd, 2012
12:56 pm

i see what you mean, Mobile Dawg. if Bill doesn’t think that your comment fits in with the flow of whiney blogger wishful thinking garbage mucking up this place, then he doesn’t let it appear. this ain’t the first or thirtieth time either. Bill, you deserve the coaching staff and attitude prevailing at Sanford Stadium these days.

Flat Tire On I-95 in Jacksonville

October 23rd, 2012
1:02 pm

Hopefully Shawn Williams woke up the coaching staff they have been asleep for years

slobodan

October 23rd, 2012
1:03 pm

I have a feeling; Media and probably Todd Grantham saying Florida offense is one dimesional; Jeff Driskell can’t pass; Florida has no receivers, blah, blah..Stop the run and beat Florida; load up to stop the run, blah, blah..Georgia is balanced; Murray has more authority to change plays; Murray is experienced, blah, blah..
My prediction: Florida has at least 2 touchdowns from passes of 30 yards or more..Florida tight end has about 11 or 12 catches. Jeff Driskel will look like the second coming of Joe Montana..And after the bulldogs “adjust” they give up 300 yards rushing to the gators..Even if dogs get to Driskel a few times, he will turn it into huge running gain. They might hit him, but he ain’t going down easy.The dogs are perfectly set up to think that Jeff Driskel can’t beat them; trust me, he’s no immobile John Reaves.
I hope I’m wrong, but what in recent history should make this long time dog fan believe otherwise?

Mobile Dawg

October 23rd, 2012
1:03 pm

hornblowermg, don’t think I’m being censored, but not sure. I tried to post a couple of times on his previous blog but was locked out. I scrolled over what I had typed, changed a few words and still no go. It’s gotten so bad on Bill’s blog I usually the post before submitting it.

Mobile Dawg

October 23rd, 2012
1:04 pm

Like Richt Van Winkle?

Flo-Ri-Duh

October 23rd, 2012
1:16 pm

What UGA needs this week is a lot of REPTILE DISFUNCTION! You know – for the Lizards to fumble, throw interceptions, create blunders that result in penalties at opportune times, shanked punts and kickoffs out of bounds, missed blocking assignments and confusion in the secondary, poor tackling and maybe even a few key injuries (nothing permanent – a sprained ankle would be good).. Is that asking for to much? Throw in an inept game plan by the coaching staff for good measure. That should do it!

Disgusted Dawgs

October 23rd, 2012
1:17 pm

Poorly stated?? He’s a kid and he spoke up just fine. Kudos to Williams for saying what our “Leadead” and Coach refuses to admit. King, some of your blogs are poorly stated and you’re old man.

Dawg'88

October 23rd, 2012
1:17 pm

“….Williams definitely crossed the line when he invoked the New Orleans Saints’ bounty system.”

Where did that come from…he never did such a thing. I have read his comments….nowhere does he say or do this in any way.

JAXDAWG

October 23rd, 2012
1:19 pm

Look the Dawgs need to establish the run against the gators. LSU did a decent job in the first half, however when they found themselves in 3rd and long situations their QB could not deliever. If the Dawgs get in 3rd and long we have a QB that can convert. Run the ball and go play action. I have not seen anything great from the gators secondary. THE DAWGS CAN BEAT THE GATORS!!!!! GO DAWGS!!!!!!

Flo-Ri-Duh

October 23rd, 2012
1:23 pm

Williams naming players publicly is wrong. He was right on the rest. Poor coaching and poor execution on defense over all. The special teams is hit and miss but better than last year – not saying much. Punting and kickoffs need to improve….. not mention extra points. Coverage of kicks is much better with a couple of exceptions. The OL is still a work in progress and is very young. The defense must account for Florida’s QB who will run if given an opening.

441North

October 23rd, 2012
1:28 pm

Has Chase Vasser made a single tackle this year ? Clay Matthews he ain’t.

Strat Cat Dawg

October 23rd, 2012
1:29 pm

I hope the coaches gave Williams a green light to rant and won’t second guess his criticisms. If the players he called out don’t like it, let them show he’s wrong by stepping up against UF and not allowing a so-so offense to drive on us.

beanster

October 23rd, 2012
1:29 pm

Please Coach Bobo — UGA fans do not want to see ANY shotgun draws, especially on 3rd down. UGA fans beg you to not run that “see it from a mile away” reverse that you ALWAYS run within the first 5 offensive plays (that gets stuffed every time you run it, even with the ball in Mitchell’s hands).

Coach Bobo, you have never “fooled” anyone ever, so please don’t try it this game. We need to call plays to keep their D off balance. And for pete’s sake, if it is working, DON’T ABANDON IT!!!!!

beanster

October 23rd, 2012
1:33 pm

Vasser made a great play against KY. Straight up hustle and grit and determination and he shut down the play, unlike the rest of the line who couldn’t handle their blocks.

AirForce1

October 23rd, 2012
1:43 pm

“In the absence of leadership, people will listen to anyone who stands up and actually does some talking.” If coaches do not stand up and take accountablity and “call out thier team” then a player will.

Paul Midler

October 23rd, 2012
1:45 pm

I just want to see basic football. Wrap your arms around the ball carrier and tackle. Stop trying to pull the ball out of their hands or hitting with a shoulder and hope they go down. I would not have called out names though. I would have said that in the locker room. I am glad someone stepped up and said something though.

BMOC

October 23rd, 2012
1:55 pm

Bill, I disagree with you on this. You said it best at the end: ‘It’s now or never, basically.’

I believe this is EXACTLY what Williams is thinking. Face it Bill; Nothing else has gotton them motivated, so can it get much worse than SCar looking like world beaters (which we all know now that they’re far from it) & Kentucky’s running game looking like the best in the country? If it can get worse, then let it. Perhaps that wil spark a needed change of events.

Flat Tire On I-95 in Jacksonville

October 23rd, 2012
1:55 pm

This coaching staff blames the players everytime a loss occurs; whats new