Heat Check: Was cutting Ray Edwards a message sent?

"So, Brian, how's this Auburn gig working out?" (AJC photo by Brant Sanderlin)

"So, former colleague Brian VanGorder, how's this Auburn gig working out?" (AJC photo by Brant Sanderlin)

Our weekly Heat Check appears a day late but, one hopes, not quite a dollar short.

FALCONS: Lost for the first time this season against the rival that has become an abject nemesis and, in losing, saw their biggest weaknesses – can’t run the ball, can’t stop the run — exposed. And what were the two things Mike Smith, after taking this job in January 2008, said a good team had to do? Run the ball and stop the run. Barometric reading: Barely 24 hours later, the Falcons cut defensive end Ray Edwards, who had little to do with Sunday’s loss but who did little after signing as a big-ticket free agent. Students of Falcons history will note that, after the first loss of the 1998 season, Dan Reeves cut cornerback Juran Bolden for messing up a coverage in San Francisco. Those Falcons would go 14-2 and make the Super Bowl.

(Please see my video chat with Brian Clark of CineSport, included below, for more on Edwards.)

GEORGIA: Beat Auburn the way a good team should beat Auburn. Will play Alabama — presuming Alabama beats Auburn — for the SEC title. Barometric reading: A week ago, almost nobody thought Georgia would have a chance against the Tide. That tide, so to speak, is turning. Brad Edwards of ESPN now projects Georgia over Alabama, and Mr. Edwards isn’t known for flights of fancy. And there’s still a real chance the SEC champ will play for the BCS title.

GEORGIA TECH: Played in Chapel Hill. Gave up 50 points. Won by 18. That’s Georgia Tech football. Barometric reading: The Jackets could well play for the ACC championship. When was the last time Georgia and Tech won divisions in the same year? Why, never.

HAWKS: They’re 3-3. Given that they’re in major flux and that they’ve had a frightful early schedule, that’s quite good. Barometric reading: Because this team was so structurally different from its predecessors, it was hard to know if it would fall into the lottery or make the playoffs. We’ve seen enough already to know that this is a playoff-caliber team.

GEORGIA STATE: Lost Bill Curry’s final game by 44 points to finish 1-10. Barometric reading: The next coach, whoever he is, won’t exactly have a tough act to follow.

GEORGIA TECH HOOPS: Opened the new McCamish Pavilion and won big. Barometric reading: The Jackets seem to have twice as many real players as they did last season, and they’re set to get one more when Stacey Poole, a Kentucky transfer, becomes eligible next month.

GEORGIA HOOPS: Scored three first-half baskets in losing to Youngstown State, which is known mostly for its nickname (Penguins) and being the place Jim Tressel coached before he landed at Ohio State. Kentavious Caldwell-Pope scored 27 of the Bulldogs’ 56 points, which means his teammates managed 29. Barometric pressure: A program working in its fourth year under a demonstrably skilled coach shouldn’t be losing anywhere to Youngstown State, let alone at home.

GEORGIA STATE HOOPS: Lost its opener at Duke. Big upset there, huh? Barometric reading: In his first collegiate game, freshman R.J. Hunter scored 14 points and took 10 rebounds. Ron Hunter, who coaches the Panthers, has always said his son could really play.

KENNESAW STATE HOOPS: Markeith Cummings hit with 0.8 seconds left in overtime to lift the Owls past South Carolina State last night. This marked KSU’s first victory of calendar 2012. The Owls had last won by beating Texas A&M-Corpus Christi on Dec. 23, 2011. They’d since lost 20 in row. Barometric reading: KSU isn’t apt to go 3-28 again. Its competitive opening loss at Tennessee was a good sign, and winning three nights later on the road is an even better one.

BRAVES: Lost backup catcher David Ross to the Boston Red Sox, who can, as we know, outspend anyone save the Yankees. Barometric reading: Given that he’s the best No. 2 catcher in the game, and given that the Braves aren’t sure when the surgically repaired Brian McCann will be ready, Ross is a major loss.




By Mark Bradley

210 comments Add your comment

Destin Dawg

November 13th, 2012
11:43 am

Destin Dawg

November 13th, 2012
11:47 am

next season will be challenging.. that’s good and we’ll be up for it.. and our 2 toughest games are at home… S.C… LSU… and we;re off the weekend before the Gators… Go all the way Dawgs… SEC Champs !!!

Goldenrod

November 13th, 2012
11:48 am

Mark, glad to see you giving Georgia Tech the credit we deserve.

We WILL beat UGag and we WILL win the ACC. Vad Lee is the greatest quarterback we’ve had since Joey Hamilton.

Upset alert: the Mutts struffle with the perfect option and since the leghumpers are already focused on their blowout loss to Bama, I will call it now – Goergia Southern Eagles shock the Dawgs, 42-31 in the Cesspool Up North.

Meanwhile my jackets slaughter a suddenly powerful Duke team to wrap up the ACC Coastal. I will book my Orange Bowl tickets on Sunday, GT is BCS bound baby!

macrotech

November 13th, 2012
11:49 am

LawDawg

November 13th, 2012
11:53 am

Mark, I know that Georgia Southern is not in Metro Atlanta, but it really is insulting that a school with the third best football team in this state cannot get any love from a newspaper that serves a great number of its alumni. The Eagles are 8-2 going into their end of season game with UGA, which they will not win (but might keep it closer than Auburn). They are certainly going to make the FCS playoffs, just put up 69 points on their opponent this week, and have lost both of their games on missed kicks. This team deserves to be mentioned in your column much more than Georgia State football. The real GSU demands respect.

macrotech

November 13th, 2012
11:53 am

Goldenrod….I appreciate your enthusiasm….I don’t share it, but I DO appreciate it! Our defense is SO bad. I hope that the next few weeks will prove YOU to be a prophet!!!

Doc Hollidawg

November 13th, 2012
11:55 am

I love my Dawgs, but that was perhaps the worst loss in Georgia basketball history. It was painful to watch. For the love of all that is holy, would someone please drive the lane? Just once.

Not a good day for Georgia basketball. May have set it back quite a ways. Can’t wait to see what what happens against the Hoosiers. Yikes.

GO DAWGS.

wes

November 13th, 2012
11:59 am

UGA can’t even fill up a 7,000 seat arena! LOL!!!

swimdawg68

November 13th, 2012
11:59 am

Stopped watching the game at the 5 minute mark of the 1st half and GA had only scored 8 points. They are a poor shooting, sloppy ball handling, poorly coached team. I see no improvement in this team over last year if antthing, they have regressed. CMF now is playing off his players players he recruited the only one that has SEC talent is Pope.

They would need to pay me to come and watch them. Did you notice the small crowd? Hopefully, McGarity will go out after this year and bring in a top quality coach, what we have now isn’t cutting it.

The Central Scrutinizer

November 13th, 2012
11:59 am

Hey Golden Shower Rod! Man, that was funny! Yeah, that was a real impressive showing against N.C. Dawgs may well get stomped by Bama…but we ain’t losing to Tech!

The Central Scrutinizer

November 13th, 2012
12:07 pm

What a great picture, huh? I can just hear the conversation:

Van Gorder: So, you looking for a linbacker coach next year?

Richt: Are you serious?

The Central Scrutinizer

November 13th, 2012
12:08 pm

Should be “linebacker”

BOY THAT DAWG IS UGLY

November 13th, 2012
12:08 pm

Georgia Hot? Let’s see…wins over Auburn (yawn), Kentucky (barely), Gators (Gator beat themselves and barely beat ULL by 7), Ole Miss (yawn), Vandy and Mizzou (combined 11-9 record), Vols (yawn), Buffalo, Florida Atlantic and Georgia Southern (yawn, yawn, yawn). All that heat is making me sleepy. Oh….you were crushed on national t.v. by Spurrier for the 3rd time in 3 years. It’s cold in Atlanta today, I think that I’ll go back to sleep and dream some more.

Patched Tire On I-95 in Jacksonville

November 13th, 2012
12:10 pm

GoldenRod

You must be in Colorado right now

UGA is going to beat Tech by at least 2 TD’s

SimpleDawg

November 13th, 2012
12:12 pm

There’s a lunatic loose, and he’s making outlandish claims and proclamations…….

Someone get the net and the rubber truck to take him to the hospital with the rubber walls.

35- 7

November 13th, 2012
12:16 pm

Huh UGA hot ? Not really wait ill they get the beatdown in the dome just like last year. South Carolina was an embarrassing loss. It was just as bad as Mark Fox losing to Youngstown State in BB last night.

Since Vince

November 13th, 2012
12:19 pm

The loss to youngstown state in BB was as embarrassing as the loss to SC in football for the third straight year.

Concerned

November 13th, 2012
12:20 pm

Hey BOY THAT DOG…. Middle Tennessee State?? At least we won our boring games!

GTBob

November 13th, 2012
12:21 pm

Its hard to be mad anymore as a GT fan. The season was a train wreck for a while but the guys fought back and made something out of it. Vad is playing well, we will probably keep our bowl streak alive, and we even have an outside chance of going to the conference championship game. I’m proud of the team for not just laying down and dying.

JM

November 13th, 2012
12:23 pm

Go Jackets. A season of promise fell into a season in flux. Things are looking better, but the defense still needs a ton of work.

dean

November 13th, 2012
12:25 pm

Goldenrod, you’ve been toking the gold from Acapulco?

Don

November 13th, 2012
12:28 pm

Who really thinks bama and saban will lose 2 games in a month??? The worst thing for uga was bama losing. Now they have no shot.

1eyedJack

November 13th, 2012
12:29 pm

LawDawg, a serious arguement could be made that Georgia Southern has the second best football team in the state. Certainly the second best defense.

Patched Tire On I-95 in Jacksonville

November 13th, 2012
12:36 pm

GT Bob

Coach Turkey Neck should consider getting Van Gorder for his D coach

Jaded Dawgs Fan

November 13th, 2012
12:40 pm

It’s going to take a special coach – really special one – to turn UGA into basketball power. Fox has joined Ron Jirsa and Dennis Felton as seemingly promising young coaches who have been swallowed up by the huge challenges that exist within the program. The biggest one I see is that kids in the state don’t grow up as UGA basketball fans. They grow up as UNC, Duke and Kentucky fans. That’s a very difficult thing to overcome. Georgia simply doesn’t have SEC-quality talent outside of Caldwell-Pope.

Unless we get a virtuoso recruiter like Billy Donovan (and probably a new arena), this program will continue to wallow in abject mediocrity, if not ouright badness.

GTBob

November 13th, 2012
12:42 pm

Coach Turkey Neck should consider getting Van Gorder for his D coach

What has Van Gorder done lately that would make us want to bring him in? Personally I think the guy is way past his prime.

Mark Bradley

November 13th, 2012
12:43 pm

Technically, the Georgia-Alabama game would be on Dec. 1. Different month.

Shug

November 13th, 2012
12:45 pm

Re Ga. State’s next coach — How do you replace a legend?

Buzz2011

November 13th, 2012
12:45 pm

@ patched tire on I-20… You really think Dogs will score 50 points.
No, I didn’t think so! You did indicate a Dog win of 14 points.
I think you meant a GT win by at least 14 points.

Beatdowns Galore

November 13th, 2012
12:46 pm

Wont matter if its next month or next year….. Bama and the west will be doing a beatdown for the third straight year against the SEC East.

Old Dog

November 13th, 2012
12:46 pm

Glad Tech fans are hopeful. Glad they are contend with their won/loss record! We hope Tech keeps Paul Johnson forever!

murfdawg

November 13th, 2012
12:46 pm

Mark,
The Dawgs still have a weak offensive line. Yes they have improved from the first game, but sc did expose our weakness. Bama’s front seven is probably better than sc.

Don’t tell Murray the Bama game is big and maybe he will have the best game of his career.

The Dawgs defense is playing great and can hold UGA in the game with Bama.

Bama’s only weakness is they couldn’t catch Johnny Football.

I just hope the Dawgs will make the game respectful and get to a BCS bowl.

Patched Tire On I-95 in Jacksonville

November 13th, 2012
12:47 pm

GTBob

He’s not past his prime; I would take him back asap

GTBob

November 13th, 2012
12:50 pm

He’s not past his prime; I would take him back asap

He was basically pushed out of his job with the Falcons after lackluster results and he now leads one of the worst defenses in college football. Again, what should get us excited about him?

00mpa L00mpa Dawg

November 13th, 2012
12:51 pm

Yeah them Bama Boys are big. Murray will need elevator cleats to throw over them. Im afraid the Dawgs are gonna get embarrasssed again in a big game on national TV.

Patched Tire On I-95 in Jacksonville

November 13th, 2012
12:52 pm

Buzz2011

I thought Tech grads could read; where in my post did I say we will score 50 points

But you know I do believe we can score 50 on that lousy Defense Tech has

With our practice game against the middle school option veer this week I really feel a blowout is coming to Tech next week ;)

GTBob

November 13th, 2012
12:52 pm

Glad Tech fans are hopeful. Glad they are contend with their won/loss record! We hope Tech keeps Paul Johnson forever!

Why do UGA fans care? You guys are going to beat us 80-90% of the time no matter who the coach is.

Patched Tire On I-95 in Jacksonville

November 13th, 2012
12:54 pm

GTBob

The Falcons Defense is doing no better than when he was there

And he walked into a Train Wreck at Auburn

Discount DoubleDawg

November 13th, 2012
1:01 pm

I think its pretty obvious by his post that he really doesn’t care bob… but if he did care it would probably be for the same reasons you care so much about Georgia people and Georgia football.

GTBob

November 13th, 2012
1:03 pm

And he walked into a Train Wreck at Auburn

What do you think he would be walking into at Tech? He would be in an even worse position with less talent. It would be Al Groh all over again.

Bulldogs for Muschamp Lifetime Contract

November 13th, 2012
1:07 pm

BVG should have a future in porn with that stache

UGA will DEEEEESSSSSTTTRRROOOYYYYY Tech 56-28

Murray will light Tech up like a Christmas tree

Vad Lee can’t play defense. Too bad Mr Obnoxious didn’t do what he should have done from the beginning and play him from day one. Might still be 5-5 but also might be 8-2 now.

Spanky

November 13th, 2012
1:07 pm

VG was a good DC for UGA when he was here, but somewhere along the way, he lost his touch. Now, with UGA currently minus an LB coach(went to NFL?), I could say that he would be a great LB coach,…as that was his original role..not a bad idea!

GTBob

November 13th, 2012
1:08 pm

I think its pretty obvious by his post that he really doesn’t care bob

No, if he took time out of his day to post then it is pretty obvious that he cares somewhat about our coaching situation. He is one of those really weird UGA fans that thinks CPJ is the worst coach who ever lived but they want us to fire him for some reason.

StingerSplash

November 13th, 2012
1:09 pm

1. Thanks LawDawg. Hope the Dogs play well against the Eagles on Saturday. Could be a high-scoring affair. Pulling for the Eagles and Jeff Monken, however. Great dude, great coach.
2. BVG and CPJ? Yeah, go ahead and put those two in the same room. Anyone remember the story, I believe it was Michelle Hiskey who wrote it, a few years back after BVG landed in the Boro and proceeded to belittle everything about the program, causing CPJ to get his considerable hackles raised? Plus, CPJ and Mike Smith are big buddies. You don’t think the Falcons coach has told his friend on The Flats all about BVG’s shortcomings as a coach?

"Mark, I know that Georgia Southern is not in Metro Atlanta"

November 13th, 2012
1:11 pm

Stop right there. We really don’t care about Georgia Southern.

Paul in NH

November 13th, 2012
1:13 pm

Is Richt asking Van Gorder when Boogie Nights II is coming out?

bawbie

November 13th, 2012
1:16 pm

FIRE MARK FOX!

2012alum

November 13th, 2012
1:28 pm

I do not hate GT, and have a bunch of friends that go there. That being said, Tech does not play defense, and we have all seen what Murray does to teams that don’t play defense: 38 points in 3 quarters against AU, 51 points vs UT. Vandy and Ole Miss do play defense and UGA scored 48 and 37 points in those games. I do not think that it is unreasonable to think that UGA COULD (not will) score 50+ against Tech if that is what is needed to win.
That being said, if we look at the scores since PJ has taken over at Tech, GT has scored an average of 30 points on UGA, with a high of 45. So I do not think that 50+ will be necessary to win.

After further review

November 13th, 2012
1:31 pm

With all the SEC teams currently crowded into the BCS top 10, and the two per conference rule in place, then I suspect that if Florida and Texas A&M both win out, the loser of the SEC Championship game will miss out on a BCS Bowl completely, as they will undoubtedly fall past at least one or two other SEC teams in the final BCS standings.

Ghost

November 13th, 2012
1:38 pm

Goldenrod,
I hope for your families sake you’re not a gambler.