Attitude and defense are better, Dogs say

ATHENS – Thursday night’s post-practice interviews brought upbeat assessments of two key components of the Georgia football team: its attitude and its defense.

  • Without naming any past offenders, inside linebacker Christian Robinson made it clear he likes the attitude of this team better than last year’s.
Christian Robinson is a projected starter at inside linebacker. (AJC photo/Curtis Compton)

Christian Robinson is a projected starter at inside linebacker. (AJC photo/Curtis Compton)

“I think the guys that are here and that are playing right now and that coach [Todd] Grantham has trust in are those guys that stayed positive and kept working,” Robinson said. “Our whole thing is just being intense and doing what you’re supposed to, and I think the guys we have out there at this point are those guys who will make those plays and do what they’re told.

“I mean [if you have] a cancerous attitude, if you don’t have the right attitude, if you’re a ‘me’ guy –- we can’t have that. . . . I think the guys we have right now are the guys that are going to do it right, and you don’t have to worry about having off-the-field issues, things like that. The guys that are here, that are going to stay here, that are doing the right thing — we don’t have to worry about. And if they do [wrong], they know the consequences.”

Robinson suggested an issue with “people talking down” in the locker room last year.

“It’s a general attitude,” he said. “I think that at this point the guys we have are going to talk positive. There are going to be days you’re tired, you don’t want to be out there, it’s hot and the coaches are on you, and I think everybody is mature enough in this group that when you go out there it’s time to work and [coaches] are going to push you and you just got to deal with it.

“I think the guys we have here . . . know how to contribute to the team where it’s not all about themselves. I think we have guys that care about each other.”

  • Meanwhile, coach Mark Richt made it clear he is encouraged by what he has seen from the defense in the first three sessions of spring practice. The unit spent last year adjusting to Grantham’s 3-4 scheme.

“You can already see the kids are getting better at … the technique of their job, of their position,” Richt said. “You’ve always got to learn what to do first, and then you’ve got to learn how to do it well. Last year there was a whole lot of time spent on just knowing what to do, and now that they have a better idea of what to do, they’re learning how to do it better. So techniques are improving. I think that’s the biggest thing I see defensively.

“And they are playing faster. They are playing with a little more certainty as to what they’re doing, so they’re able to turn it loose a little bit better.”

Reflecting on last season, “I don’t know if we ever turned it loose as a [defensive] group,” Richt said. “There were probably certain moments in time when it looked like we were getting it, but as an entire group, I don’t know if we ever played as fast as we hope we will this year. I think we’ll do better this year in that regard.”

– Tim Tucker, AJC

375 comments Add your comment

Guytondawg

March 25th, 2011
5:26 am

The same can be said for the media coverage. The negative seems to be the most fun to write. Good positive article. I get tired of the constant negative spin.

Ken

March 25th, 2011
5:51 am

Graduated from UGA in 78. Coach Dooley’s teams all seemed together. Good chemistry. I hope the chemistry is better this year and everyone is on the same page. Great schedule this year. Maybe the ball will bounce our way this year. Go Dawgs!

FanSince59

March 25th, 2011
6:03 am

Richt is “encouraged” by what he sees? I’ve heard this BS before. We will see if he is still “encouraged” at season’s end. A bigger question: Will the AD & fans be “encouraged” by what they have seen?

[...] News Sources wrote an interesting post today onHere’s a quick excerpt [...]

JB

March 25th, 2011
6:37 am

It’s time to ” burn the boats” for Richt. This team needs to play with hair on fire this year, every game, every quarter. Lot’s of jobs on the line.

JB

March 25th, 2011
6:38 am

Sounds to me like some who left needed to leave.

Atticus

March 25th, 2011
6:45 am

We’ve heard this before. I am gald they are positive but asking a kid if he thinks they are better and have a better attitude is irrelevant. If we don’t have the off-the-field incidents and we back it up on the field then that would be great. Ask Grantham if he thinks the defense is much improved and WHY and that might mean a little more.

Kramer

March 25th, 2011
6:53 am

Don’t think for a minute that the coaches and players aren’t optimistic. They are every year during this time. The true test will be on the field, for a full 60 minutes. Until then, I’ll take it all with a grain of salt. Was it over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor? Hell no!

AltamahaDawg

March 25th, 2011
6:55 am

Not too difficult to figure out who is not in the locker room any more.

Virginia DAWG

March 25th, 2011
6:57 am

With a name like Kramer maybe you are German, but still you should know that it was the Japanese that bombed Pearl Harbor.

Poopdawg

March 25th, 2011
6:57 am

It’s spring football. Are the pads on yet? Defense is about play recognition, fighting through blockers then making the tackle. Last year our D was hoping someone else would make the tackle. Cancerous attitudes if not seen by the coaches should have been exterminated by the players swiftly. I hope we are improved on D but I don’t buy new scheme as being our problem last year. It starts with the players wanting to stop somebody with a nasty demeanor.

Dawg '94

March 25th, 2011
7:01 am

Glad to hear that the locker room is clean from poor attitudes. Attitude is EVERYTHING & I just have a feeling the Dawgs are in for a GREAT season. Ready to see a little April 16th. GO DAWGS!!

Dawg Consultant

March 25th, 2011
7:05 am

JB, I think that honestly is one of the biggest chances to the program that did not recieve any press. For the first time I can remember we seemed to encourage kids to find other places to play based purely on attitude. I don’t like to see people put out, but with the results on the field last year, we obviously had little room for negative attitudes moving forward.

I hope we see the results on the field. I support Coach Richt and think this will be a turn around year.

JB

March 25th, 2011
7:06 am

Our program is at a point where they are going to have to prove it. Used to be when the team with the red helmets with a G on them showed up, people took notice. We have lost that. Like the State of Missouri, you’ll have to show me. I’m hoping for a rebound and the best, but we’ve got to get back to taking the fight to the other team.

AltamahaDawg

March 25th, 2011
7:11 am

I actually don’t recall having heard all this before. I don’t recall any player calling out previous players and not having the best attitudes in the locker room. I certainly don’t think it’s accurate to say we have heard the staff talking about the difference between being able to go full speed and simply learning what to do in the first year of a new (D)system.

Goovietowndawg

March 25th, 2011
7:22 am

Kramer, I see Virginia Dawg has never seen Animal House

JB

March 25th, 2011
7:31 am

At 6-7 with a roster full of 4 and 5 star players, it’s obvious that there were “chemistry” problems last year. If the coach’s and team leadership has corrected it, this year could be a lot better.

JB

March 25th, 2011
7:33 am

Animal house and Caddy Shack…………Maybe the best two movies ever!.. LOL

Tman

March 25th, 2011
7:41 am

Pollen is in the air. Spring football is here Let the UGA players’ arrests begin!

TR

March 25th, 2011
7:43 am

It’s not defense I’m worried about, they were top 25 last year in several areas.

Offense couldn’t score against any real teams, averaged 18 points a game against winning teams.

TR

March 25th, 2011
7:46 am

16th is pass defense, top 25 in total defense, I guess you want to improve scoring and rush defense, that’s about it for defense, both were good in SEC.

Bubba J. Dawgman

March 25th, 2011
7:49 am

WOOOOO! Good news ladies. That’s encouraging to hear. I told Y’all 10+ wins, in the dome playing for the SEC title… It’s coming.

Bubba J. Dawgman

March 25th, 2011
7:50 am

Tman, go away loser. Nothing can stop the optimism of the UGA fans before the season starts.

What war did he learn about?

March 25th, 2011
7:52 am

Kramer,

Unless my history is all wrong, I do not believe the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor.

Buckeye

March 25th, 2011
7:55 am

Attitude better? OK, I’ll gve you that. Rah Rah, Spring Ball, Blah Blah Blah.

Defense better? Than what? 6-7? Make that claim at the end of Week 2, Boise and USC.

Absurd you claim the defense is “better” after what, 2-3 spring practices vs. QB’s with “don’t hit me” jerseys on.

Come on, man.

CaliDawg

March 25th, 2011
7:56 am

The attitude of the team/on field/locker room leaders are infectious – in a positive or negative way. There was obviously something “off” last year.
Virginia DAWG – Time to rent Animal House…

Scooter McDoogle

March 25th, 2011
7:56 am

“I make my practices real hard because if a player is a quitter, I want him to quit in practice, not in a game.” Bear Bryant / Alabama

“Motivation is simple. You eliminate those who are not motivated.” Lou Holtz / Arkansas

“It isn’t necessary to see a good tackle. You can hear it.” Knute Rockne / Notre Dame

POW! Right in the kisser!

JB

March 25th, 2011
7:57 am

Stop with the Germans and pearl harbor…please….Have you been living under a rock….Netflix
“Animal House”, the movie, and listen for the great line by John Belusi.

TR

March 25th, 2011
7:58 am

Richt said last year defense was with offense after 7th practice, so not playing fast wasn’t the problem last year, according to Richt, last season the defense played fast after the 7th practice. No news there.

Mo Ball

March 25th, 2011
7:59 am

If attitude was all you needed, Army would be champs each year.

CaliDawg

March 25th, 2011
7:59 am

Ever notice how fast the haters post on the Dawgs’ blog?

UGA – always on their mind 24/7/365…that’s exactly why we matter, even after a bad year, and we love you for it!

Bubba J. Dawgman

March 25th, 2011
8:03 am

Nobody said it was ALL you need Mo, but Erk Russell said “Attitude might be worth 80 percent of any athlete’s makeup.” That seems about right to me.

CaliDawg

March 25th, 2011
8:03 am

By the way…waiting on the long winded, very tired, cesspool of the South post…

J

March 25th, 2011
8:04 am

Uh oh, Robinson BLAMING last year’s ILLS on “bad apples”.

No buddy, as a leader, take responsibility for the 6-7 season, it was partially YOUR FAULT.

Quit BLAMING others, start working on YOU.

Team would have gone 12-1 with Mettenberger, he led his team to a National Championship. He wasn’t the “cancer”.

Mo Ball

March 25th, 2011
8:05 am

If attitude was 80% of all you needed, Air Force would be Champs every season.

J

March 25th, 2011
8:07 am

Wish Robinson would have had more tackles, sacks, and interceptions last season.

Same ole Same ole

March 25th, 2011
8:07 am

Yes I just wished these players would be more specific in what they are doing to get better and what real improvements they have made. This is the same thing we’ve heard before is that “we have a different attitude and working harder”. This is getting old because it hasn’t shown up on the field of play the last three years. What players busted thier rear ends all year long for a 10 – 6 bowl loss to Mickey Mouse U?

Timbodog

March 25th, 2011
8:07 am

I sure hope so. I expect the defense to be better.

It is the offense I am much more worried about right now. Murray should be good, but the O-line has been a huge disappointment the past few years and the playcalling has been highly questionable.

JB

March 25th, 2011
8:08 am

Gt1977…………… There is a great story about Techs basketball opening this morning still on line trying to get some hits……..Go help them out

Bubba J. Dawgman

March 25th, 2011
8:09 am

Attitude is a little thing that makes a big difference. ~Winston Churchill

JB

March 25th, 2011
8:10 am

This is the time of the year it’s all about Marketing and advertising. Show time will tell the tale.

Big Bad Bruce

March 25th, 2011
8:10 am

If we can just avoid giving up the big play this year, we should have a d@#n good turnaround. The offense, as much as i hate Bobo’s playcalling sometimes, scored enough points to win games last year. And with one year under his belt and more confidence, Murray will be even better. We just gotta be ready for the man to man coverage in the secondary and quit getting burned

Bubba J. Dawgman

March 25th, 2011
8:10 am

If you aren’t fired with enthusiasm, you will be fired with enthusiasm. ~Vince Lombardi

J

March 25th, 2011
8:11 am

As long as the team leaders think the problem is “out there”, blaming other players like Robinson does, Georgia will continue to lose.

Blaming teammates for the 6-7 season is a loser’s attitude.

JB

March 25th, 2011
8:11 am

Tech opening practice getting lathered up for Western Carolina………….LOL………. Any tickets left?

J

March 25th, 2011
8:13 am

What if you have a great attitude, but go 6-7 again because you don’t get rid of the main issues from last season? Forget that attitude speak. Get to work on what led to 6-7.

@J what are you smoking?

March 25th, 2011
8:13 am

12-1 if we had Mettenberger last year? . Are you nuts? Talk about an ignorant, baseless , uninformed, waste of space statement..you are a dolt.. We are all dumber having read your display of ignorance. this blog has a cancer and its idiots like you.

Timbodog

March 25th, 2011
8:14 am

Here’s my problem with the whole defensive issue though…and I’ll admit I didn’t even think of this until my 12 year old cousin brought it up to me.

The 3-4 WILL work better this year, I am convinced, because we have better personnel (notably a TRUE nose tackle) and more experience; however, why are we convinced that a 3-4 is inherently any better than a 4-3? It’s not as if we didn’t have PLENTY of experience and suitable talent for our 4-3 before, right? The problem was Martinez was not a good coach. Is Grantham any better? Who knows? He got fired from his only previous job as a defensive coordinator (albeit in the NFL).

I just hope Richt wasn’t pulling another fast one on all of us with the 3-4 bait and switch, essentially buying himself a couple of years while the players “learned the system.”

Mo Ball

March 25th, 2011
8:15 am

If attitude and discipline won Championships, Naval Academy would have a stockpile and win it every year.

JB

March 25th, 2011
8:15 am

J……………I think you’re wrong……4 or 5 key players who bad mouth the coach’s, schemes, etc andother players can make it bad in the locker room. IF AJ and Houston were bad apples, and they could of been, that could effect the team, especially younger players.