Damon Evans on UGA football: ‘I do have some concerns’

Damon Evans in a lighter moment. (AJC photo by Curtis Compton)

Damon Evans in a lighter moment at the Cobb Galleria. (AJC photo by Curtis Compton)

Georgia athletics director Damon Evans said today via e-mail that he does “have some concerns” about the state of his football program. Responding to an e-mail asking for his feelings regarding the Bulldogs’ season — they’re 3-3 for the first time since 1996 — Evans offered this:

“I do have some concerns about where we are at this point of the season. I know Coach [Mark] Richt, the assistant coaches, the players and our fans have the same concerns with our current record and the way we’ve been playing.

“Coach Richt and I have talked just as we do periodically throughout the season. I think his focus right now is on the immediate future, which is the Vanderbilt game and doing everything possible to prepare our team. That’s where it needs to be.

“Beyond that, I have total confidence that Coach Richt will properly evaluate our team, address concerns and prepare the right path that will direct us back into the position we all want to be in — competing for championships.”

As statements go, Evans’ would seem both pointed and nuanced. He didn’t pretend to happy with current events, but he didn’t issue a directive for immediate “significant improvement.”  (Vince Dooley, Evans’ predecessor, did that with Ray Goff back in 1995, which turned out to be Goff’s last season as coach.)

If you’re Mark Richt, Evans just said what you want to hear: That his boss has “total confidence” in him. But if you’re a Georgia fan, Evans just said what you want to hear as well: That certain “concerns” might need to be addressed and, put simply, that the University of Georgia expects more from its football team.


593 comments Add your comment

Brandon from Warner Robins

October 12th, 2009
5:58 pm

Hello Mark,

Richt will do what is necessary.

Bryan G.

October 12th, 2009
5:59 pm

mmgtfan

October 12th, 2009
5:59 pm

squigg dawg

October 12th, 2009
6:00 pm

Fire Slick Willie Now! PLEASE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

mmgtfan

October 12th, 2009
6:00 pm

dagnabit

October 12th, 2009
6:01 pm

Looks like Damon is thinking about switching horses.

Mark Bradley

October 12th, 2009
6:01 pm

I don’t think Damon Evans is even slightly considering changing horses. Or head coaches, either.

Jeff

October 12th, 2009
6:02 pm

Logan Gray, Logan Gray, it starts at QB. If the QB can’t keep a drive going the defense wears out. Our QB is no threat as a passer and he definitely is not a scrambler..Logan Gray outperformed Cox in Spring..so……………duhhh…

Brandon from Warner Robins

October 12th, 2009
6:03 pm

hey would ya look at that. I was first.

Mike T.

October 12th, 2009
6:03 pm

You just get the same feeling from him, that you do from the team during a game in which were behind,
No sense of urgency.

Mark Bradley

October 12th, 2009
6:03 pm

MMGTFAN is so close. Even Sham never finished second so many times. (Horse racing reference.)

Whopper Dawg

October 12th, 2009
6:04 pm

I was hoping for the dreaded vote of confidence. I am afraid that does not qualify.

Mark Bradley

October 12th, 2009
6:05 pm

I don’t get a feeling of complacency from Damon Evans’ statement at all. I think he said what needed to be said and said it well.

georgiavol

October 12th, 2009
6:05 pm

Just one tough season and you people want to hang the guy. We put up with bad for four years before we made a change. You folks really need to get a grip. Mark is an excellent coach and even better human being.

But I gotta say I think this “crisis” is highly entertaining.

Go Vols!

squigg dawg

October 12th, 2009
6:05 pm

Not CMR, Mark, but SOMEBODY has to go or he will follow them next year…Millionaires have no reason to gripe when they don’t perform. Period. If these coaches can’t get their players to play….They all want the glory, fame and money but can’t understand the critsism….

max

October 12th, 2009
6:06 pm

the popular opinion among UGA students is that we have to get bobo out of a playcalling position. if they dont have the heart to fire him then i say put him in charge of QB development

mmgtfan

October 12th, 2009
6:06 pm

Maybe I should type first THEN read the article

Mark Bradley

October 12th, 2009
6:07 pm

I wouldn’t bother with reading the article at any point. Maybe I shouldn’t say that.

69 Dawg

October 12th, 2009
6:07 pm

I love Mark Richt and want him to stay. He has allowed the Georgia team to fall to a low level. It’s not the fact that we’re losing but how we’re losing. We’re the most “ourcoached” team in the BCS. All it takes is a look at the stats and team standings. Can you say problem, problem, problem. The problems are too big to solve this year. It’s going to take a major overhaul to get us back on track. Most teams have moved up the bar on quality coaches … we haven’t had the strength or guts to make any changes. We’ve been left behind. We can’t run with the big dogs so I guess we’ll just sit on the porch til someone decides to make some major changes. Come on Coach, bit the bullett, call it like it is, be truthful and tell us what you’re going to do. Is that too much to ask. And by the way, your arena comments really bothered me a lot. Don’t guess you care for us like we care for you and the team. I think an apology would be in order or at least a clarification on what you meant. We’ve gone to the dogs.

Jim

October 12th, 2009
6:08 pm

Damon Evans’ statement reads like damning faint praise. Me thinks Richt may be in more trouble than first thought. After slipping last year, this year compounds things. We are now 100th in defense out of 120 teams. Not exactly the place Ga. needs to be.

Coach Richt.....

October 12th, 2009
6:09 pm

I understand your frustration. I have probably let some things get a little sideways in the program but I do care. I love UGA and everything about it and I am very disappointed right now also. Somewhere along the line I have let the program decline….fell asleep at the wheel some would say. I am not one to talk in public about these issues even though most of you fans wished I would. Its to much out in the open now though for me not to acknowledge the obvious issues. This past week was an embarrassment to the program and everything we have spent the last 9 years building. I believed that I made the right decisions in the best interest of the program over the years but now must admit that some judgements were ill-considered. I ask that you give me the benefit of the doubt knowing that many changes are on the horizon. I can’t discuss publicly what they will be….just that they will happen. I take full responsibility for this decline. I have ignored some obvious issues to long in the hopes that they would work themselves out. But I can assure you that you will see a much tougher, more disciplined, and better coached team in the future. It might not happen overnight but it will happen by the time the Dawgs take the field to open the 2010 season. Stay with me and this team. Great things are on the horizon.

Sincerely, Coach Richt

LBS

October 12th, 2009
6:09 pm

Mark,
What concerns do you think need to be addressed? Do Martinez and Bobo need to go?

Praying for change

October 12th, 2009
6:10 pm

Agree with 69Dawg … not complaining that we’re losing as much as we’re not competitive. I’ve never seen a Georgia team without heart and spirit until this one. It starts with the head and flows down.
CMR needs to do some soul searching and see if his heart is in coaching the Georgia Bulldogs. I miss the passion, the fight, the spirit, the
never say die that Georgia teams have had. No, it’s not losing … it’s the way we’re losing.

Mark Bradley

October 12th, 2009
6:10 pm

Yes, LBS. I think a new defensive coordinator is warranted.

Paul H

October 12th, 2009
6:11 pm

LSU 2008: 7-5
Auburn 2008: 5-7
UT 2008: 5-7
GT during Gailey years:…
Florida during Zook years:…
Bama before Saban:…

Get the point?

EVERYONE has down years people. UGA just has been so consistent that it’s a shock we’re only 3-3 right now. These years happen to the best programs. I’m just glad it’s a shock when our program has a down year. That means we’ve been doing something right this decade.

Praying for change

October 12th, 2009
6:11 pm

Mark, do you think we’ll see any changes if we lose three or four in a row or will CMR decided just to ride it out?

Mark Bradley

October 12th, 2009
6:13 pm

I don’t think you’ll see Mark Richt pull a Tuberville and dump coordinators in midseason. But I do think something will happen after the season. (That’s just me guessing, though.)

Simpson Road Scholar

October 12th, 2009
6:13 pm

It’s sad, but the best Richt can say is, “We got to get better…” Duh!!!!! If you get the snot knocked out of you every play and all you can say is we got to get better, then he’s a little delusional. You need to dump Martinez, Cox, Bobo, and possible yourself. Richt obviously is protecting himself. The coaching staff is garbage. These kids play with no emotion or heart. I’ve never seen a college team play with such a lack of pride. They’ve lost their confidence, just like we’ve lost our confidence in the coaching. Cox is an awful QB, and it appears the coaching staff’s philosophy doesn’t apply to winning games.

Dawgaholic

October 12th, 2009
6:15 pm

CMR will do what is right for the team….Go Dawgs and here is to the dawgs spoiling someone’s season along the way..

Simpson Road Scholar

October 12th, 2009
6:16 pm

Everyone has down years, then they also have a coaching change.

ugadawgsfan

October 12th, 2009
6:16 pm

what is going on with all this CMR negative talk… he will straighten this mess out.. UGA fans need to take a deep breath and just chill alittle bit.. Be careful what some of you wish for… cause CMR could be at Florida State and then we will all be crying!! He is an awesome man and an awesome coach!! We all know that this is true!!

BJohnDawg

October 12th, 2009
6:16 pm

No reason at this stage for Richt to go. Unless he wants to( think FSU).And if that is the case, then so be it. But there has to be changes at the AC level. you have a defensive cordinator who is a member of the apple dumpling gang. Worse every year and every game.

No team wins every game. But they should be competitive. Dooley’s teams lost games, but in almost every game his team was ready to play and would compete.

This years Bulldawgs do not. Same problems game after game for two years now. Penalties, poor tackling, fire hydrant pass defense, litte to no pass rush, poor play calling.And that is the problem. And that is caused by a lack of coaching.

In the real world, you either produce or you are gone. I cannot say the same in Richt’s world. No matter how nice he is, it comes down to getting the job done. And if you dont, then you must make the necessary changes.

Dawgman566

October 12th, 2009
6:16 pm

Saturday’s loss was very disappointing for UGA supporters everywhere. How the coaches and players respond to this setback will tell the tale. If the teams packs it in for the rest of the year, it’s time for big changes. If they use this for motivation to focus and improve, maybe wholesale changes won’t be necessary. However CMR has to take a long look at the performance of his staff and what can be done to improve the program.

Dead Mike

October 12th, 2009
6:18 pm

Bring back Donnan!

Al Smith

October 12th, 2009
6:18 pm

lol read article

blazerdawg

October 12th, 2009
6:20 pm

Georgiavol, I wonder if Majors & Fulmer would find your comment as hilarious as I do.

Dawgsig

October 12th, 2009
6:20 pm

I hate political correctness. Nobody around the program with say anything …

King Donko of Punchstania

October 12th, 2009
6:20 pm

Hey Mark,

Any truth to the rumor that Richt will return permanently to play-calling duties and that Tubberville is headed to Athens in 2010 as the new defensive coordinator?

Mike T.

October 12th, 2009
6:21 pm

I’m sorry but it sounded to me, like usual drevel,”he has concerns” “he’s confident” what’s next unveiling
the five year plan? I’m glad he has confidence in Richt,but man the football team is in the tank,we have
how many years of top ten recruiting classes,and we are in the cellar offensively and defensively.we got
Florida coming up and I don’t know if we could defeat Lowndes, at this stage of the game.Like I said
I don’t see the urgency.

Some Sense

October 12th, 2009
6:21 pm

God bless Dawgaholic…one of the few posts here that rings true and sensible.

max

October 12th, 2009
6:21 pm

coach richt we believe in you and support you. we know you and the dawgs are held to a high standard and your margin for error is small. you have been doing many things right so dont lose confidence, but also dont be afraid to look to the future and make major changes if they are needed. we know you are a great guy but if you need to cut people off the staff then you might just have to be a jerk about it even though that is out of character for you

45ACP

October 12th, 2009
6:22 pm

The talent of the juniors and seniors is just not there.
Past recruiting or lack thereof at the offensive line and defensive backfield is killing the Dawgs.
There is a lot of young talent but they are, alas, just too young to make a difference this year.
Just my opinion, we welcome yours.

WindyCityDawg

October 12th, 2009
6:23 pm

I love Mark Richt. I think he is a great coach and a great human being. I don’t believe a change is needed at the head coaching position. That said, I’ve often wondered whether Evans would be inclined to let Richt go if someone like Brian Van Gorder was available.

BVG had an incredible run as defensive coordinator at Georgia and has demonstrated his willingness to leave the NFL for a head coaching job (Jaguars as linebackers coach to Georgia Southern as head coach). I can’t help but think the guy is a fantastic coach given the Mike Smith and Thomas DiMitrio’s ability to identify talent at every position (including coaching positions). More importantly, the guy has a few years under his belt with Mike Smith who brings the type of intensity that is necessary to win in the NFL. He’s done a pretty good job in Atlanta with a very young defense this year.

Though I’ve always liked Richt, maybe he isn’t the answer. Whether BVG would ever leave the NFL for a head coaching job at UGA and whether he knows anything about offense, I’ll probably never know.

Mark Bradley

October 12th, 2009
6:23 pm

I know no reason to think Richt will again call plays, and I’ve never put any stock in the Tuberville rumor. I imagine he’d be able to get a head coaching job if he wants one. (No, not at Georgia.)

Here we go again

October 12th, 2009
6:23 pm

MB, I’ve seen a total of 5 blogs on college football between you and JS over the past couple days, but still not anything on the falcons game other than the live blog. What’s up?

Scrap

October 12th, 2009
6:24 pm

Thanks Mark……..another good column……Were you really ready to see Furman retire, making more room for your columns?

MountainDawg

October 12th, 2009
6:24 pm

Richt should fire (or at least) soft Willie & his quasi-prevent, rare blitzing scheme. I’d give Bobo 1 more season. The Dawgs have a chance to get into a bowl, but it might be closer than previously thought.

BJohnDawg

October 12th, 2009
6:25 pm

If Richt does want to leave, they should get that Boise State coach. Seems he can win with little talent. Imagine what he could do with so called 5 star talent and top five recruiting classes.

Love to see a Tuberville or Smart or heck just about any respected defensive coach in 2010 for the Dawgs managing the defense. I want someone that chews nails and has lightning bolts coming out of their you know what. Tired of whimpy. Look at what Monte has done. That is not all talent on that Tenn defense. Lots of coaching. That the kind of coaching that UGA needs. NOW.

Athens Dog for life..a.k.a. Tech Sorry

October 12th, 2009
6:26 pm

Nice Sham reference, MB ! Could Canonero II be far behind? Or do I dare consider dueling horseracing references with a son of the Bluegrass?
To the point…Florida won a MNC and followed with 8-4, I believe. I know we have no MNC’s in most of the posters’ lifetime, but you get my point. Two years ago, we’re #2 in the final poll, this year we’ve forgotten how to coach? I don’t buy it. Saying that, I don’t know how Coach Martinez survives the offseason. During his time at db coach, we had some good production there. Paul Oliver, Tim Jennings, Thomas Davis, to name a few. Perhaps that’s the answer, send him back to db coach. The popular answer, of course, is to fire him. He and Mark are best friends, and have been since their roommate days in college. Think you could fire your best friend? Let the jackal howling begin.

Awwwwshucks

October 12th, 2009
6:27 pm

It’s really simple. Fire CWM and CMB. As a leader, sometimes your subordinates need to be replaced for not doing their job. These 2 idiots have done nothing at all to inspire confidence in what they do. Look at the points put up against the Dogs. By bad teams. Look at UF’s and AL’s D. I don’t think the level of talent is that far off here at UGA. As for Bobo, how could he be good? He learned the college game from a terrible coach and he was not a great QB. Now he’s our OC? Terrible. It’s been bad for 2 years.