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.
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— Bill King, Junkyard Blawg