Cox brings vocal leadership to Bulldogs

Still a little bleary-eyed from a long day yesterday updating the blog, interviewing football players, watching an inning or so of baseball through the fence on Rutherford Street (thanks, Diamond Dave) and covering the Georgia-Vanderbilt basketball game.

But we press on. And fresh off of soliciting your opinions on what you want from this blog, I’m here to give you what you want. First a little football.

I spent just a couple of minutes talking to quarterback Joe Cox, who is going to be real tired of the press by the time preseason camp opens in just over five months. But Joe is one of those guys you just have to get a few words with no matter what the scenario because he’s just so accommodating and really energized about the team and his role on it.

In what has become a constant (and perhaps a little overplayed) theme for this offseason, Cox talked about trying to create more energy in the 2009 team through vocal leadership. “Everything was just kind of flat last season,” he said. “I mean, not the whole season, just at times. We’re trying to change that this year. We’re trying to have everybody step up and have more vocal guys on the field.”

One telling story Cox shared was from the first day of off-season conditioning. “The first time we did mat drills I remember the linemen came down from their station and the skill guys and everybody came together in the middle of the mats and started jumping up and down and yelling and going crazy for about five minutes. I’ve never seen anything like that before.”

On another subject, Cox was asked if he thought they’d put in some packages for his fleet-footed backup Logan Gray. “Absolutely. Anytime you have somebody who is a punt returner and a quarterback obviously he has some athletic skills that I don’t have,” Cox said with a laugh. “I could definitely see them doing that. We had put something in last year, we just never got a chance to run it. He’s definitely excited about it and has the ability to be that change-of-pace guy for us.”

Another player had had a brief conversation with was linebacker Marcus Dowtin. The rising sophomore talked about being in the greatest shape of his life and ready to show off for the coaches during spring practice, which starts in 19 days.

“I couldn’t wait for spring time to get here,” said Dowtin, who played in all 13 games and had 17 tackles and a forced fumble as a true freshman. “It’s time for me to work out a little harder and basically get ready to show what I got. I mean, I played a little last year but since the end of the season I’ve been waiting to show what I’ve really got and perform on the field.”

Dowtin doesn’t know where he’ll fit in with the linebacking corps — “we have a pretty strong group,” he said — but he hopes to play middle linebacker.

OK, with that football fix, here’s some links:

Here’s UGA’s report on last night’s Georgia baseball game against Presbyterian in which Bryce Massanari clubbed a grand slam. I missed that inning. . . .

And the carving begins. Coach Houston Nutt announced the dismissal of two Ole Miss players Wednesday for unspecified team rules violations. Neither Justin Sanders nor James Scott saw action last year for the Rebels, who you may recall signed 38 recruits to scholarships earlier this month. While checking out that story I stumbled across another. Did anybody else notice that one of those Ole Miss signees was Jamar Hornsby? He’s the safety that was kicked off of Florida’s team two years ago for running up more than $3,000 on a dead girl’s credit card. . . .

I keep meaning to add this link to a useful package we put together on traveling to Georgia football games this fall. If you plan on going to any you really should check it out. Even if you’re not, for that matter.

73 comments Add your comment

Atlanta Gator

February 26th, 2009
7:03 am

Frankly, I find the whole Jamar Hornsby saga disturbing on multiple levels. As for Hornsby himself, I hope he learned something from his felony theft charges that resulted from him stealing the credit card of a teammate’s dead girlfriend, and he turns his personal life around. It’s a shame that so many of these kids who are blessed with great athletic talent and a chance to make something of themselves also come from such shaky and ungrounded family situations that they are prone to making these sorts of amoral choices. For more on Ole Miss and Alabama recruiting Hornsby less than a year after Urban Meyer yanked his scholarship, here’s a link:

http://www.faniq.com/blog/Jamar-Hornsby-Being-Recruited-By-Ole-Miss-And-Alabama-Blog-14503

Diamond Dave

February 26th, 2009
8:12 am

Your eyes must have indeed been blurry. Sanford Drive runs by the football stadium. Rutherford Street runs by the baseball field.

Kiffin is a baffoon

February 26th, 2009
9:25 am

If Cox hopes to energize the dogs maybe he should accuse Tim Tebow of Cheating, Call out Julio Jones as a Mama’s boy, tell Brandon Spikes he’s a wuss and talk about singing Glory Glory after they beat UF this year…

I think Lane Kiffin can give him some pointers in “energizing” the dogs…

POS Mutts

February 26th, 2009
9:27 am

One off season story after another to feed mutt nation. The Orson Charles story has been on the front page on and off all week. The guy is a TE prospect. Wow. Is he going to keep UF from beating you by 39 points? How about keeping GT from laying 400+ yards rushing?

Wow, Green bigger and stronger, Cox the leader, on and on. This is why you losers get so jacked up about mutt FB only to be let down time and time again.

PTC DAWG

February 26th, 2009
9:30 am

To POS Mutts, you realize your beloved Tebow could possibly leave FU with a 1-2 record vs UGA as a Starter. That would be priceless. Can’t you find a Gator forum to blab on?

That said, good to hear about the TEAM in Athens. I hope the Defense in Athens is reading this, because if they had showed up at all last year, this UGA team would be coming off a 12-1 season and a Sugar Bowl win.

gdawginkalamazoo

February 26th, 2009
9:31 am

Great to see Joe’s attitude. Looks to be a great leader and team player who knows his limits and is willing to do what is needed to win. Hope he does well this year. Congrats to the BB Dawgs last night. Hopefully they can at least spoil someone else’s season.

Atl Gator, indeed it is sad to see. How many chances do these kids get in life? Not many so they need to take advantage of it. Not only do I hate it for these kids I hate it even more for the kid who loses his scholarship because Nutt or Saban recruits a convicted felon to take his place. For every PacMan Jones out there is a Derek Jeter out there that uses his talents to do good in the world.

Kiffin is a baffoon

February 26th, 2009
9:37 am

PTC Dawg Tebow could also leave with a 3-1 record vs. UGA and no matter what he will leave with more National titles than any UGA player has ever won in their whole history…that IS priceless.

knoxdawg

February 26th, 2009
9:39 am

The Dawgs definetly lacked vocal leadership in 08 so I hope that Cox or whomever it needs to be steps up and fills that role. He is right that we were flat at times last year and it really showed in the 3 losses we had. Tebow knows how to lead his team and energize them and we all know how the UF football team did in 08. Good luck to Joe and Co for 09.

Chip: what time do the dawgs start conditioning? I live in Knoxville and hear about what UT is doing during the off season. Kiffin has them hitting the drills at 5:30 AM so I was curious as to when Richt has them working out. Everyone up here thinks that Kiffin is the only coach with those ideas and that is what will make them winners in 09. It may do it but I believe every team is working hard during the off season to get better.

MGMT died

February 26th, 2009
9:41 am

I SAID MORE PICTURES OF THE GYM DAWGS TOO!

DawgGirl32

February 26th, 2009
9:48 am

Knoxdawg- The UGA players do mat drills at 5:30 am as well.

gdawginkalamazoo

February 26th, 2009
9:55 am

Great the haters are hitting it early this morning. Love to see that. Keep it up guys, it lets us know that the dawgs are still on your minds so much that you have to come on here and post the c r a p that you do. Be proud of your own program.

j_dubya

February 26th, 2009
10:06 am

yea where are the gym dawg pics ????

Fletch

February 26th, 2009
10:15 am

POS Mutts, why so much animosity. You might need some therapy..you seem like you’re going to snap at any minute. If you don’t like us, why don’t you just not come to our blog?

Around The SEC East - 2/26/09 | MrSEC.com

February 26th, 2009
10:31 am

[...] wore on.UGA:  New quarterback Joe Cox wants the Bulldogs to change their attitude in 2009.  “Everything was just kind of flat last season.  I mean, not the whole season, just at times.  We’re trying to change that this year.  [...]

Gen Neyland

February 26th, 2009
10:34 am

Hornsby is fortunate to be given a second chance. As we all know, not many in this game are. Does Hornsbys’ talent so dictates this opportunity..?

zoo : Are they really haters or just people wanting to raise the hackles on a Dawg..?

waynester

February 26th, 2009
10:53 am

Anybody that teases a dawg deserves the bite!

uga_b

February 26th, 2009
11:08 am

Chip, do we have any ideas on who will mirror Joe’s initiative on the defensive side? I am sure Owens and even Rennie–who is more quiet and lead by example guy.

It’s good to see a renewed passion for the game that makes college football so great. Even if it makes Florida fans all that more insufferable. But I can say I have not worn hightops since the 80’s in elementary school. I have never worn an A-shirt in public and definitely have never paired that with jean shorts, a gold chain, and a mullet.

I like what I am hearing about the diamond dogs so far. Maybe we can get back to Omaha.

GaTech23

February 26th, 2009
11:08 am

Yeah, lets see where Cox is gonna energize the dawgs. Im sorry, but i dont care how long you been there and how mature you are, that doesn’t win games. Joe Cox will not be the starting QB come late October, early November. UGA is gonna come up short just like they do every year, because Richt has no disipline! They are at the top of the nation every year in penalties so I really don’t care if you had Stafford and Moreno back this year, UGA would finish around #6-10 like they do every year. To hell with Georgia, Go Tech!

Tebowblowscox

February 26th, 2009
11:11 am

As usual, another half-assed story by AJC followed up with a useless discussion forum afterward. There is no use whatsoever for the “comment” section after every other story on the sports pages. It is just the same sad losers who have NO LIFE whatsoever who troll these boards with NO VALUE at all to the story or the reading, etc. The saddest part of all is that most of them are not even UGA fans, rather just a bunch of misplaced rednecks or those with eyes too close together and teeth too far apart who made a wrong turn on the misinformation superhighway.

Stack1009

February 26th, 2009
11:23 am

Tebowblowscox, I expect that to be the last we here of you then. If the site is really that bad, why would you waste your time here? I’m positive you aren’t a “loser with NO LIFE” that just trolls valueless boards/blogs. I’m sure there are other places out there on the web that you can go surf.

But if indeed someone is holding a gun to your head and forcing you to read this site, send us a message and we’ll get the police right on it…

reservoirDAWG

February 26th, 2009
11:24 am

Tech sucks loser.

Stack1009

February 26th, 2009
11:24 am

“here” in that first sentence should have been “hear”. My bad.

vandy

February 26th, 2009
11:36 am

I hope all you Tech, UT, and Gator fans know that when you criticize Dawgs fans for blogging about their own team and getting excited for the upcoming season, on a UGA blog no less, it only make you look pathetic. Think about it….you are here too…. blogging on the same website…. about a team you supposedly dont even care about. What losers.

Tech fans want to be relevant so bad they can taste it. Dawg fans have moved on from “45-42″. It was actually not that hard becasue we remember that its been a long time since GT was any good. And I do think that CPJ will help to renew the rivalry but if you think that means that all the sudden GT’s program is anywhere near UGA’s, or that by winning by 3 points for the first time in 8 years places your accomplishments up their wish UGA’s you’re dreaming. The FACT is for the last decade GT has meant nothing in the CFB world…not even to UGA fans we’ve laughed at you for years now. We’re not laughing so much anymore after the “45-42″ but all that did was serve to humble (much needed in reality) a fan base. That still doesnt change the fact that GT still has a ways to go to be considered a top football program…UGA is already at that level and has been for years. Not USC, Texas, OK, UF level….but still a top10 football program.

UF fans have an inferiority complex so severe that if anyone says anything positive about any team other then the Gators, they feel compelled to lash out at our fans (anyone’s fans)…..we dont care what you think! It wouldnt matter if UGA had never beat UF in history, we would still root for the Dawgs and dont give two craps about your stinking swamp land school. It really is sad that you feel so threatened by people who enjoy something you dont. Get over it already we’re allowed to talk about our team in a posiitve light. We’re not going to include UF in every conversation about football. It shows what kind of a$$clowns you Gators fans can be.

DawginLex

February 26th, 2009
11:39 am

I’m excited about being an underdog and no one thinking Cox is any good. Hope he proves everyone wrong.

I do wish he was 4 inches taller and had a better arm……………..

POS Mutts

February 26th, 2009
11:39 am

Fletch, I really appreciate your concern but I’m fine, really. Laughing at you clowns trying to figure out what went wrong in ‘08 and where your team is or how you get your motivation back is just priceless.

Lets get this straight losers, you will NEVER, EVER see another long winning streak against Paul Johnson. You may pull out 2 or 3 in a row at some point but I doubt that. The sooner you realize this isn’t Chan Gailey’s team anymore the easier it will be to accept the pain.

Roddy Jones set a GT record for yards per carry against the pre-season #1 team with 16.5 yards per carry and 214 total. He’s our 3rd best RB. Now, we have another Dwyer clone with Anthony Allen suiting up in ‘09.

We’re no longer an automatic ‘W’ on your schedule. Don’t you ever forget that.

Music City Dawg

February 26th, 2009
11:47 am

I didn’t realize Logan Gray was a 4 star recruit coming out of high school. I wonder why Cox is getting the nod over Gray at this point?

Music City Dawg

February 26th, 2009
11:48 am

Man, Tech people sure are pissy today.

DawgGirl32

February 26th, 2009
11:52 am

Yeah Tech really deserves better fans than the ones on this blog. No wonder they can’t fill up their stadium. Their fans are too busy being obsessed with UGA.

Music City Dawg

February 26th, 2009
11:55 am

I think Tech people hate UGA more than they like Tech. Just an observation based on the countless posts I see here every day.

Huh?

February 26th, 2009
11:56 am

LOL @ the Techie tough talk. For your information POS Mutts, what went wrong with Georgia in 2008 is that our defense was horrible. That’s what went wrong. UGA fans are man enough to admit what went wrong. We don’t cry like little girls and make excuses like Tech fans. What went wrong with the Joke by Coke when it lost 3 of its final 6 games? What went wrong with the Joke by Coke when it got lit up for 400 yards passing by Stafford, who every Techie on earth claimed was “overrated” before the season started? What went wrong when the Joke by Coke got absolutely humiliated in its bowl game? What went wrong when your absolutely laughable defense gave up 80 points in its final two games? Are you man enough to answer these questions Techie? I don’t think you are. I think you only want to talk about “45-42″, beating FSU, and winning 9 games. I don’t think Tech fans have the cajones to embrace their team’s obvious weaknesses. They just want everyone to tell them how great they are and how they’ve arrived. If not, its go cry to mommy time. Tech fans are an absolute pathetic joke. You are dismissed.

uga_b

February 26th, 2009
11:56 am

Music City, he was another one of our top 11 QBs in the country. We have consistently recruited top-level QB talent. Someone correct me if I am wrong, but I think every QB Richt has recruited was a top 11 (from the camp.

In the SEC, we repeatedly see that upperclassmen at the QB position do well. The real fun will be next year with Logan and Aaron both bringing a similar running dimension versus the big arm of Mettenberger.

Tech Guy

February 26th, 2009
11:58 am

After reading the report on the average SAT score for Gator football players, i don’t think I could even be excited about their recent national titles if I was a fan. I know athletes get preferencial treament of acceptance, but being below Mississippi State on SATs is a joke.
I hear the school itself is pretty good for non-athletes though.

Preston

February 26th, 2009
12:06 pm

I like the fact that UGA is coming in this year under the radar. People can underestimate Cox all they want but this guy is a very good QB. Don’t you remember when he came in and won that game against Colorado a few years aga? I know Colorado was terrible that year but that was a do or die drive at the end of the game and Cox handled the pressure beautifully. And he wasn’t even playing regularly to get in a groove. I’m very excited to have a guy like that around this year to give Aaron and Zach some time to mature to the next level.

Preston

February 26th, 2009
12:10 pm

And as for the gator fan that dissed on the AJC for reporting often on the Orsen Charles situation…sounds like you’re just pissed because he took uf off his list. The reporters are doing their best to keep the UGA football fans fed with news about their favorite team so if you’re tired of it, find a uf blog (if there is one)!

Bruce Mac

February 26th, 2009
12:10 pm

Techies, try winning one bowl game some day and then get back to us. You once again humiliated yourselves on National TV and no, we couldn’t tell a whole lot of difference between an inept Johnson coached team and the previous inept Gailey coached teams. You win one game in 8 years by three points and you think you make it. Dream on.

hop

February 26th, 2009
12:26 pm

cox brings a breathe of fresh air,as the dawgs finally have some leadership at qb .
this was certainly lacking last year and maybe, we will see a more focus and determined team in 2009.

POS Mutts

February 26th, 2009
12:39 pm

Huh? I’ll answer your questions chump, all summed up by injuries and 16 out of 22 starters freshman or sophomores. That didn’t hurt us against your weak little a$$es, did it. Your defense full of 4 and 5* recruits.

No one beat us by 39 or had us down 31-0 at half. Your three most meaningful games of the year were blown.

Nice.

reservoirDAWG

February 26th, 2009
1:05 pm

POS, you realize this the UGA board, right? Why don’t you crawl back into your cubicle moron. Tech has and always will play second fiddle.

Bohgey

February 26th, 2009
1:13 pm

POS Mutts:

1) It’s the lunch rush, shouldn’t you be at the drive-thru? I would imagine you will be reprimanded or even fired for missing time.
2) Better to let people wonder if you are a fool, rather than speak(or type) and confirm it to all of us.
3) When you use the term “us”, as in “That didn’t hurt us against your weak… and “We’re no longer a W on your schedule.” That implies that you played and/or are currently playing. You may be a player, I don’t know. I don’t care if you are, and I don’t really care if you contribute anything to the school or not. They are not your team, nor will they be. They care about nuclear engineering and computer programming. You are just like me, just a fan. I am a fan of the Dawgs. They have no clue who I am or that I once held season tickets, and that I still enjoy going to the game, they just want the money from tickets, jersey and merch sales and contributions. I happen to be ok with that.

bairet

February 26th, 2009
1:16 pm

POS Mutts- As a Georgia fan I think the core of your argument is right. Georgia Tech is no longer the Georgia Tech of old and I think they are only going to get better. They overachieved with Chan Gailey’s recruits on the roster and Paul Johnson is only going to make that better. Besides being a Georgia fan I am just a fan of football in general and the renewed rivalry makes for better football. I don’t see the point in any Georgia fan denying that.

As for the Cox/Gray debate I think it will be interesting to see where the coaching staff takes this thing. We’d all like to see Cox pull off something similar to the 05 season. The worse case scenario is something similar to 06 where we have a revolving door at QB and CMR can’t figure out who to play. If it becomes clear that Cox isn’t the guy then I think we should go with the youth movement (Gray and Murray) as soon as possible.

I don’t think the Orson Charles thing holds much signifigance right now. Aron White is plenty talented and we saw flashes of that last year. I think he’s our top option at TE ahead of Figgins.

The energy thing is a good sign, I think. It was obvious throughout Stafford’s tenure that he was the most talented QB we’ve had but he lacked the motivational talents of a Tim Tebow. Stafford had some big game theatrics but never had the intangibles that we needed to push us over the top.

Wil Walton

February 26th, 2009
1:23 pm

POS Mutts, you’re exactly right. UGA did lose it’s 3 most significant games of the year. But I think I would be more worried about Tech losing by 35 to a 5 loss team in their bowl game.

Pago Flyer

February 26th, 2009
1:26 pm

Just beat Florida!

tebowblowscox

February 26th, 2009
1:40 pm

Stack, you have a fitting name.

gdawginkalamazoo

February 26th, 2009
1:47 pm

General, see POS Mutts for eample. Now that is hatred even the name exudes hatred unless the POS is what his friends and parents called him growing up and it just stuck.

Too Easy

February 26th, 2009
1:48 pm

POS; I’m glad you recognize that you have been an automatic W on our schedule, but one L doesn’t make it now a semiautomatic W.

Kiffin is a baffoon

February 26th, 2009
2:16 pm

Vandy
Talk about an inferiority complex…I didn’t see one Gator fan lashing out at anyone on this blog before your post. UGA fans SHOULD get excited about their team before the start of a new season no doubt as should any fan of any team. But if you read the shots several take at UF here you will see why in the least a UF fan would stick up for their school. POS Mutts is a TECh fan if you didnt realize that. It sounds like you are threatened that we ACTUALLY enjoy something you don’t winning titles in modern times or being the better athletic program or being a higher rated Academic institution all of which UF is over UGA.

The inferiority complex has gotten so bad all you hear are jokes about fashion and hairstyles all of which apply just as much to the UGA fanbase as it does UF’s. I live in Atlanta and trust me you can throw a stone in any part of this state and hit a redneck UGA fan with Jean Shorts and a Mullet.

and TECH GUY
That report about UF’s SAT scores for players was a report done from 2002. Not one player on UF’s 2008 BCS title team had an SAT score that was apart of that report. Since Urban Meyer has been there only TWO players he recruited have failed to qualify whereas at almost every other SEC school the number is 3 times that in the same timeframe and even sometimes even in one given recruiting class. The Football team Average GPA and graduation rate has gone up at UF considerably since Meyer has gotten there as well.

There are still a few bad apples here and there but no school is immune to that ie. Marcus Houston, Odell Thurman, Maurice Clarett etc…

Hunk Erdown

February 26th, 2009
2:38 pm

Chip- With this new format for the blogs are they fixing it where you can also submit your own headline/lead-in for your articles? Over the last few years that seems to be an issue that pops up from time to time.

Blue

February 26th, 2009
3:04 pm

Huh; really?? “We don’t cry like little girls and make excuses like Tech fans.” I am neither a ‘dawg’ or a tech fan…but I remember, distinctly, reading blogs after all three losses. UGA blogs on this paper, by the way. And these blogs were loaded with “cheating refs”, “bad calls”, “SEC officials have it in for us because of the endzone celebration last year”. Yeah…dawg fans ALWAYS man up and NEVER make excuses.

Blue

February 26th, 2009
3:05 pm

Wil Walton; great comeback! “we couldn’t beat you this year, but another team did”. OUCH…you cut me deep, Shreck.

BAMA STAN

February 26th, 2009
3:54 pm

**31-0 at the Half?!!**

I personally find the Hornsby situation very disturbing.

I believe in offereing academically marginal kids if they can make minimum score standards – and work to get them an education so that they have an opportunity beyond football – as the odds are against them to make it in the NFL.

I also believe in second chances for young people that have made wrong or stupid decisions – depending on the crime or issue.

HOWEVER – the punishment needs to fit the crime. NO second chances for sexual assualt, rape, murder, stealing your deceased teammate’s dead girlfriends’s credit card and running charges on it for months on end.

Hornsby’s second chance should have been in prision rehab and whatever Jr college and local community school that he could get admitted – to hopefully prepare him for a productive life.

As a Alabama fan – I am embarrassed to see Coach Saban’s name associated with this animal – and even more embarrassed that an SEC school would admit him onto their campus.

I also need to point out that Hornsby will probably be an attorney one day – and maybe work for JOHN EDWARDS.