Bobo on fallout from Dogs’ five-loss season: ‘I think it’s lit a fire in everybody’

ATHENS — Georgia’s offensive coaches, unlike three of their defensive counterparts, kept their jobs after last year’s five-loss season. But the offensive staff feels the heat, too.

Listen to offensive coordinator Mike Bobo, talking to reporters in a conference room at the Butts-Mehre building Thursday:

“Anytime you struggle as a football team and lose five games — which is not acceptable, we know it’s not acceptable — you’re going to soul-search for what we can do better. The first thing we can do better is block better, take care of the ball better and not turn it over, and [by doing those things] we’re going to be better immensely as an offense. Those [things] sound simple, but basically [it's] getting back to basics of what this program and this offense was built  on when we first got here — a good run game, good play-action game and those fundamental basics of playing good football and taking care of the football.

“You’re always searching for answers, and anytime you lose it’s, you know, the-sky-is-falling. But you just got to go back to taking care of the little things and getting better at each aspect and coaching your position better. . . .

“We’ve had change. We’ve had turnover. We struggled last year. Eight and five. But sometimes that’s good: You need to be on the fire. And I think it’s lit a fire in everybody.”

In a half-hour meeting with beat reporters one week before the start of spring practice, Bobo stressed that the starting quarterback job will be a “wide open” competition among Logan Gray, Aaron Murray and Zach Mettenberger.  Bobo vowed that the winner of the job must demonstrate that he’ll protect the football. There’s no stomach for another 17-interception season, as Georgia had last fall.

“We got to play better at the quarterback position,” Bobo said.  “I think the No. 1 way we can play better is take care of the football, and that is going to be our main emphasis at the position this year.”

Bobo acknowledged that inexperienced quarterbacks –- all three candidates are inexperienced –- tend to be susceptible to mistakes. But “we just have to do a better job of managing that position and managing those mistakes this year where [last] year we probably didn’t,” he said.

On a couple of other points:

– Bobo said that although the Dogs hope to have Trinton Sturdivant back at left tackle after two consecutive seasons lost to knee surgeries, they must not presume his return in building the offensive line.  ”When we’re talking about our objectives as an offense and what we want to accomplish this spring, we want to establish depth on the offensive line without counting on No. 77, Trinton Sturdivant,” Bobo said. He agreed with a reporter’s characterization of a Sturdivant return as a “luxury.” Said Bobo: “We think he’s going to be back. He’s ahead of schedule. He’s doing great. But we got to establish depth besides him.” Sturdivant won’t be available for spring practice but if all continues to go well will participate in preseason camp in August.

– Logan Gray might not win the QB job, but he definitely has won Bobo’s respect. “The thing about this kid is, all he’s ever wanted to do is help Georgia and play and compete,” Bobo said. “And that’s what he wants to do this spring at quarterback. If he finds himself not in the mix, where he’s not going to be the guy [at] quarterback, he wants the opportunity to play another position. And that’s it. It’s been a great attitude. It hasn’t been, ‘Hey, I want to play this, Coach, and if not I’m transferring.’ He’s, like, ‘Coach, I want to play and get on the field and help this team, I love it here, I love the teammates, I love Georgia.’ You got to love kids like that.”

Also: Dogs’ Bacarri Rambo calls for truce in feud with Da’Rick Rogers.

Please follow me on Twitter for the latest UGA news and notes.

316 comments Add your comment

Tater Tot

February 26th, 2010
2:06 am

FIRST !!!!………HEHE

Iraq Dawg.... HOOAH!

February 26th, 2010
2:37 am

Iraq Dawg.... HOOAH!

February 26th, 2010
2:54 am

Come on Dawg fans, who are we fooling? Mike Bobo is definetely on the hot seat. His play calling has indeed been inconsistent lately. If Bobo doesnt find a way to correct the mistakes on the offensive side of the ball then we are headed for trouble come late September early October. Our offensive line needs to sustain blocks, RB’s need to find the hole and hit it, WR’s need to block,catch and hold on to the ball and finally our QB which indeed I think will be Aaron Murray need to make good decisions and go through his progressions back there in the pocket. In other words the offense needs to operate as one unit and jell together. I just hope Bobo is the guy that will put us in the postion to win every game.

GATA Dawgs…. HOOAH

Watcha got Loran

February 26th, 2010
2:54 am

Watcha got Loran

February 26th, 2010
2:59 am

Iraq Dawg, thanks for your service!!!! Go Dawgs!

Iraq Dawg.... HOOAH!

February 26th, 2010
3:06 am

Watcha got Loran, thanks my friend. I’m just glad I will be returning at the start of the season. Once a Dawg, always a Dawg….. How sweet it is.

Tater Tot

February 26th, 2010
5:10 am

Well Georgia had a good running back tandem now, All they need to do this year is to block well on the O-line and let the guys have the ball and run away with it and give the new QB whoever that may be time to get more adjusted. As far as the defense i believe they are gonna be just fine with putting players where they need to and by a couple of games into the season it will have been enough i think for them to come together and know what their jobs are and how to approach each situation that may arise on defense. It is obvious with them haviing a new defensive format that they are not gonna not study it during the off season and just wait till f-ball season to study then. It will all come together so need to worry, The players are smart and have a good coaching staff so all is well.

tony

February 26th, 2010
5:17 am

Bobo is searching in the wrong place for answers because he was one of the dawgs biggest problem for them losing those 5 games. He is one of the worse play callers in the sec. Now he’s talking about the qb position is wide open. That’s a bunch of bolony! Aaron Murray is by far the best qb on that football team and if Bobo can’t see that then he needs to be replaced immediately. Injuries would be the only thing that will keep Murray off the football field in 2010. Maybe our new dc needs to make decision for the offense as well because he believe in putting the best football player on the football field, something Mr Richt hasn’t done since VanGorder left the program. QB DEPTH CHART:
#1 Aaron Murray
#2 Logan Grey
#3 Hudson Mason (This kid is going to surprise but will redshirt in 2010)
#4 Z.Mettenberger (He’s 10 times better huh? We will see.)

AM Dawg

February 26th, 2010
5:25 am

Bobo is the new Martinez.

AM Dawg

February 26th, 2010
5:32 am

Didn’t Richt coach a Heisman winning QB or two at FSU? Is he working with these new QBs at all. That makes sense to me. I don’t recall Bobo even being close to a Heisman quality QB and I don’t think he made it to the NFL. What does he have to offer our QBs?

With Richt as the self-proclaimed ‘CEO’ of the team, I’m hoping we don’t end up like Toyota and recalling some coaches only after things get too ugly.

BIRDDAWGONE

February 26th, 2010
5:37 am

AM Dawg is the new “same ole poor mouthing half hearted Georgia fan”

GO DAWGS!!!! and HOLD ON TO THE BALL!!!

AM Dawg

February 26th, 2010
5:40 am

And that would make you the new Blind Homer. So we’re even.

The question still stands.

BIRDDAWGONE

February 26th, 2010
5:41 am

As a coach at Georgia, Bobo has tutored three future NFL quarterbacks in David Greene, D. J. Shockley, Matthew Stafford,[citation needed]

BIRDDAWGONE

February 26th, 2010
5:44 am

A four-year letterman for the Bulldogs from 1994-97, Bobo is coaching on the same field where he became a record-setting quarterback. A native of Thomasville, Ga., Bobo finished his Bulldog career leading the team in passing in both 1996 and ‘97. He currently ranks high in the Georgia passing record books in several categories including: season completion percentage (first, 65.0%, 1997), season passing efficiency rating (first, 155.80, 1997), career pass attempts, third, 755), career pass completions (third, 445), season passing yards (third, 2,751, 1997), career passing yards (third, 6,334), season TD passes (third, 19), career TD passes (second, 38), most passing yards by a junior (second, 2,440), most passing yards by a senior (second, 3,396), and career total offense (third, 6,054).

Bobo also set a Georgia record completing 19 consecutive passes leading Georgia to a 33-6 victory over Wisconsin in the 1998 Outback Bowl. He completed 26 of 28 passes for 267 yards and one touchdown and was named the game’s Most Valuable Player.

Elected team captain (1996-97) and permanent team captain of the 1997 Bulldogs, Bobo was named the SEC’s Offensive Player of the Week twice following performances against South Carolina (19×33, 285 yards, two TD’s) and Georgia Tech (30×39, 415 yards, 4 TD’s).

As a star quarterback at Thomasville High School, Bobo was named the 1993 Georgia Player of the Year by both USA Today and the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. As a senior, he completed 143×245 passes for 2,477 yards and 23 TD’s. In his career, he completed 329×590 passes for 5,167 yards and 42 TD’s. He also rushed for 15 TD’s.

BIRDDAWGONE

February 26th, 2010
5:45 am

I am always a HOMER.

GO DAWG!!!!!!!

AM Dawg

February 26th, 2010
5:46 am

Thanks for the answer. Although what happened to Joe Cox?

Now, what about his play calling? At times, and more often than I’d like, it is a bit questionable.

BIRDDAWGONE

February 26th, 2010
5:51 am

Most positions are usually wide open during spring practice at every University in America.

BIRDDAWGONE

February 26th, 2010
5:54 am

When you turn the ball over as much as we did, maybe Bobo needs to practice calling play holding an 8 ball out in front of him.

BIRDDAWGONE

February 26th, 2010
5:56 am

As for what happened to Joe Cox-RUST just too much RUST and he did not have the talent of D.J.

AM Dawg

February 26th, 2010
6:10 am

Not that it all rests on Bobo, but ‘94-’97 weren’t exactly the glory days of UGA football.

We’ll see. The O has tons of potential, I just hope Bobo makes the best use of it and I wish him the best.

Looking for exciting things to come out on the D side of the ball. It’ll be an interesting year for sure!

Iraq Dawg.... HOOAH!

February 26th, 2010
6:29 am

BIRDDAWGONE, When plays broke down D.J. could run for a 1st down. Joe Cox didnt have that luxury. I think things would have been a little different if Cox could escape pressure and roll out a bit more. I really didnt see much of that last year with Bobo’s play calling. But I do think this Aaron Murray young man will be a dual treat for the Dawgs with his accuracy and his ability to use hisfeet to extend plays and move the chains. He is gonna have to make wise desicions and Bobo needs to mix up the play calling so Murray wont get stuck in 3rd and long situations. That’s just my take on it though…

Rocky Top

February 26th, 2010
6:32 am

We’re glad you kept the coaches you did. It will make it easier to lay another beat-down on y’alls butts this upcoming season. You dawg fans hang in there now!

Iraq Dawg.... HOOAH!

February 26th, 2010
6:35 am

Rocky Top, stop losing to Wyoming and UCLA in your backyard and then come back and make an intelligent post.

AM Dawg

February 26th, 2010
6:39 am

Sounds about right, Iraq Dawg…HOOAH!

Get back safely, my friend. We very much appreciate your service!

AM Dawg

February 26th, 2010
6:42 am

Hey, Rocky Top…at least we can keep our coaches!

Spike

February 26th, 2010
6:43 am

Rocky Top, you guys hired the LA. Tech coach with a losing record after the DUKE coach, your old OC turned you down. You are the one that better hang in there.

AM Dawg

February 26th, 2010
6:51 am

Yes, hang in there. Exactly what Lane Kiffin DIDN’T do.

Top Dawg

February 26th, 2010
6:53 am

I hope it’s a big fire, and no, eight and five, is not sometimes good.

AM Dawg

February 26th, 2010
7:00 am

Not to beat a dead Vol, but you guys are shelling out $1.8M a year for a coach with a losing record (I’m detecting a pattern here).

Although the lineage you’re paying for THIS time is actually WORTH it!

Tailback U

February 26th, 2010
7:08 am

Look I have been critical of both CMR and Bobo to some degree

but considering what was stated by Bobo here why the over the

top criticism. There is nothing that was said by Bobo that

was in any way wrong. And if you failed to see it he said the

coaching had to be better. Sometimes if you step back and take

a look at a particular complaint you can see a different side of

things so to speak. An example of that for me is my frustration

with running the ball on third and long as he did. But when

you have a QB as mistake prone as Cox you don’t call plays you

might normally call in those type of situations. Bobo didn’t

have a great year , but then nobody including CMR did.

I like the aspect about a team with “fire” and redemption in it’s

mind.

JB

February 26th, 2010
7:09 am

Execution is a far bigger issue than the actual play itself. We went up and down the field, in ‘08. We also had Stafford and Knowshon. Players make a big difference.

HBTD!!!

poopdawg

February 26th, 2010
7:11 am

Ball security is important but so is moving the chains. I like the mention of well timed play action passes by Bobo. All the QB candidates are damn good Dawgs.

Rocky Top

February 26th, 2010
7:12 am

AM, all the while you guys are paying $3 Mil for a coach who can’t get you anywhere except to Atlanta every 4-5 years. Now, who is the big financial loser here? I like Richt though; I hope he stays there at UGA forever! Hang in there now!

Buckhead Bulldog

February 26th, 2010
7:15 am

Let’s call it the way it really is CMB…the fans and GEEF contributors “lit the fire” under Damon Evans arse who in turn lit it under CMR who in turn lit it under your and the other the coaches collective arses. Also, please put some kindling wood beneath CMR before the season begins, so his “fire inside” will return and be throwing out a furnace of heat come August. To hell with Michael Adams…

Go Georgia Bulldogs….Sic”em

silver britches

February 26th, 2010
7:16 am

The o-line will have to improve or it will be a long season again. freshmen qb’s are going to make a lot of mistakes so the running game must step up and keep long drives going. The only thing that the orange vowels will be able to beat down are middle age and elderly fans of the opposing teams. Tennessee fans are good at that.

BIRDDAWGONE

February 26th, 2010
7:21 am

Iraq Dawg…. HOOAH! I don’t think this year can be worse than last year. I just knew UGA would win the National Championship since I was moving the China for one year. I don’t follow pro sports and having graduate from UGA- well last was bad. But it is cool to think about the DAWGS being supported from all corners of the world. its 8:17 pm here.

GO DAWGS!!!!

Joe

February 26th, 2010
7:22 am

hmm…let’s see….protect the football…duh!….stop stupid penalties…duh!…block…Duh…….let me add one….PLAY CALLING!!! DUH? Play calling???? really???? Play calling? Our favorite: 3rd and 20….sweep to the left gain of two….send the punt team out….even fans that know nothing about football know that is coming…our second favorite….consistently running the ball…picking up 3-6 yards a shot….now it’s 3rd and 1….QB throws a 45 yard pass that is incomplete- send in the punt team

BIRDDAWGONE

February 26th, 2010
7:26 am

ROCY TOP, WHEN was the last time UT was in Atlanta?

441 North

February 26th, 2010
7:26 am

Not liking the one day of spring practice, two weeks off, and then start again. Seems to me like that first day is a waste of time. Why not wait until after spring break to start? Was that the coaches decision ?

Since Vince

February 26th, 2010
7:28 am

Boo Boo and Searles do need to teach the guys how to block or it will be more losses like this >>>>>> http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1IQShWogLzw

Bobo is NOT...

February 26th, 2010
7:32 am

…the new WMartinez – he is the same as WM, only Richt could not fire both coordinators as that would really make him look even worse than he already looked for keeping Martinez last year.

And, it is HuTson Mason, not HuDson.

Finally, as much as it pains me to say this, you guys need to leave Rocky Top and Volman, etc alone when they make fun of us – I mean, UT has handed us our heads, at home and on the road for the past few years, so it is not like we have anything to back up our bravado with facts, and they do. I mean, we did make Crompton look all world last year, and Lane Kiffin WAS right when he said UGA would never beat UT while HE was coach. So, talk trash about other teams, but not UT and UF until we do something ON THE FIELD against them on a consistent basis!!!!!

takedowndawg

February 26th, 2010
7:36 am

The line seemed to jell just fine the last three games of the season. Clint Boling IS the left tackle as of right now and it is his to lose. Sturdivant, has to earn that position back. Why reinvent the line to start a season. “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it!” Searles shuffled the line entirely too much last season. Stay with what works. Most alumni and I are not interested in theory this year. But, results.

Boo Boo's boo's from Sanford.

February 26th, 2010
7:37 am

BoBo is a clown !

Boo Boo's boo's from Sanford.

February 26th, 2010
7:38 am

Sturdivant is a bust and will never be the same after his injuries.

Georgia Fan

February 26th, 2010
7:38 am

If Murray is clearly the better of the three (like Stafford was as a Freshman) do you think they will waste a season in the name of “complete and utter fairness” by working the other two too long?

Do you think Bobo-Richt will have the balls to award the job early and work on his finer points or just keep all 3 in the mix working on the fundamentals?

I’d rather lose with a guy that’s going to be the future than lose with 3 guys that could be.

Just saying

BIRDDAWGONE

February 26th, 2010
7:40 am

Bobo is NOT… “a coach who can’t get you anywhere except to Atlanta every 4-5 years.” UGA was in Atlant 4 times the last 9 years, that is every other year. That is not making fun of someone, that is ignorance. But, I agree with you about the point you were making.

Mass Exodus

February 26th, 2010
7:41 am

CMR’s offense is so predictable and Boo Boo is a joke who is the Willie Martinez on the offensive side of the ball.

Herschel Walker could whip your ass right now at 47

February 26th, 2010
7:46 am

Sorry, Bird, but DJ and Greenie are not NFL QB’s.
They might have been on the roster for a few years but definitely not NFL QB’s.
Staff was NFL ready 2 years ago…

Georgia Fan

February 26th, 2010
7:47 am

“protecting the ball” is an awful cliche in my opinion. It forces players to try and “not make mistakes” instead of try to “make plays”. Who can reach their potential if they are afraid of making mistakes?

Not saying we should stick with a qb that keeps making bad reads and bad decisions but we should not stymie him with fear of making a mistake either.

Eat and Tweet

February 26th, 2010
7:47 am

Sturdivant needs to just pick up where Jeff Owens left off and give us twitter reports on restaurant visits. I agree Sturdivant will never be the same!!!!! Time to move on without him…..