Mailbag: Big John Jenkins, Diamond Dogs, O-line and what about ‘Boo?’

mailbag(1)THE MAILBAG:

CBB1 asks: I read your story about the Georgia baseball team and its chances of making the NCAA tournament. My question is, has an at-large team has ever gotten in with a losing record?

Chip: I turned to my old friend Jim Callis of Baseball America for this (Jim and I went to college together and worked alongside each other at the school newspaper). As luck would have it Jim had recently answered a question on this specific subject for the “Ask BA” feature he does for his publication. Interestingly, the question came to him from Stephen Hartzell of 960 The Ref’s “Morning Show” fame, so clearly it’s on a lot of folks’ minds.

Anyway, Callis said the NCAA informed him that an over-.500 record is a requirement for making the NCAA tournament field of 64. Since the field expanded from 48 to 64 teams in 1999, only two teams have made the NCAA playoffs with a record of just one game over .500: UCLA (30-29) in 1999 and Houston (29-28) in 2001. Both teams received No. 3 seeds, with the Bruins winning one regional game and the Cougars going two and out.

Callis said if the Diamond Dogs can finish the regular-season where it is now — three games over .500 — not only are they “a lock to get in,” he projects them as a No. 2 seed. But, he said, finishing a few games above .500 is important to protect against going two-and-out in the SEC Tournament.

Georgia, Callis points out, is among 12 teams that finished within five games of .500 earned berths in NCAA regionals. The Bulldogs lost seven games in a row to finish 30-27 but managed to reach the finals of the Atlanta Regional in 2002.

RHall55 asks: Can you provide an update on any junior college players UGA may be looking at?

Chip: Defensive end Jalen Fields and wide receiver Lonnie Outlaw are 2010 signees who are currently attending Georgia Military College in Milledgeville. They both have told me they plan to re-sign with the Bulldogs, hopefully in December. Other than that, I don’t know of any specific JUCO prospects Georgia is presently considering. I could see the Dogs possibly trying to find another defensive lineman, however.

TV’s Devon Wade from Stone Mountain asks: Every time I watch my beloved Bulldogs play I find that my heart beats a little faster each time the Dawgs kickoff coverage team heads on the field. I know in theory this team is supposed to be made up of talented freshmen, who have not found their way on to the two-deep yet.  My question is when is Mark Richt going to seriously address the lack of tenacity the kickoff coverage unit has had in the last couple years?  Do they not practice special teams coverage a lot?

Chip: Well, Mr. Wade, I believe your fears are largely unfounded. At least they were last year. Georgia actually led the SEC in kickoff coverage in 2010. The previous season Georgia finished eighth in the league, but assistant coach Warren Belin took over last season and obviously got that fixed. The question now is how they will be now that Belin left to join the Carolina Panthers’ staff. But overall I expect the Bulldogs’ special teams to be a team strength this season. Punter Drew Butler and place-kicker are both All-America candidates and Brandon Boykin is a record-setting kick returner. If you’re looking for something to fret about, I’d be more concerned about the O-line and pass defense if I were you.

Keith McCants asks: LT- Cordy Glenn, LG- Kenarious Gates, C- Ben Jones, RG – Justin Anderson RT- A.J. Harmon. Is it safe to say that this will be the starting offensive line when Georgia opens with Boise State? Will Chris Burnette be a factor this
year?

Chip: I don’t think it’s safe to assume anything about the offensive line this year. I think your left side and center positions are pretty solid. As for the right side, I’m hearing some very good things about Burnette and he may end up as your starter at right guard.  Anderson will likely alternate with Harmon and Glenn at both tackle positions and the starter at right tackle will probably change often. If we learned nothing else about new offensive line coach Will Friend, it’s that he juggles the depth chart constantly based on practice performances. I’m sure he’ll do the same on a week-to-week basis in the fall.

John Vaughn of Newnan asks: Chip, with Richt’s admission that he will have more time for “coaching duties,” can we expect to see any major changes in offensive or defensive strategy?

Chip: I would not expect any major strategic changes in 2011. Richt is a staunch believer in a balanced, pro-style offense and I don’t see that changing. As for the defense, Richt has given total control of that to defensive coordinator Todd Grantham. Based on the new and improved personnel on that side of the ball, I’d expect a very aggressive philosophy with the front seven.

Patrick Green asks: I didn’t get to see the spring game (only drawback to DirecTV is no CSS) but how did Ken Malcome look and is he a viable candidate to push for major PT this year?  Also, who is the best option for us as a between-the-tackles pounder at RB?

Chip: Mr. Green, I believe Malcome is your answer to your second question. As for your first, I thought Malcome looked very good in the spring game and he’s looked good in every single practice in which he’s been healthy and full go, according to UGA coaches. Therein lies his problem. He has had a little bit of trouble staying healthy during his short tenure in Athens and that probably has something to do with his physical style of play. But as he gets bigger and stronger through training, I believe he’ll become more effective on the football field. Eventually I think him and Isaiah Crowell could make a good inside-outside tandem. And don’t take Washaun Ealey for granted. If he can get his act together off the field, he’s a pretty darn good, between-the-tackles runner.

One more thing about Malcome. His friends and family call him “Boo” and he’s told me that’s what he hopes to be known as by Georgia’s fans.

Daniel of Gulf Shores, Ala., asks: Do we know for sure that the JUCO transfer Jonathan Jenkins has even qualified to enroll yet?

Chip: I tried to reach Big John to get some drop-dead confirmation on this but haven’t heard back. But I did see on his Facebook page that he has finished exams at Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College and gone home to Meriden, Conn. He also said there he’s “ready to be in Georgia on June 3.” I know this: The Bulldogs are ready for him to get there.

Remember, to have your question answered in The Mailbag, send it to me at UGAmailbag@yahoo.com.

126 comments Add your comment

just a fan

May 6th, 2011
12:31 pm

Thanks for the updates and love the mail bag

just a fan

May 6th, 2011
12:31 pm

Lowcountry Bulldawg

May 6th, 2011
12:32 pm

Lowcountry Bulldawg

May 6th, 2011
12:32 pm

Dang, read the blog!

Dr. Kenneth Noisewater

May 6th, 2011
12:37 pm

i like the options we have at RB w/ Crowell, Boo, Ealey & King..although i don’t see King much of a factor this year. I feel about 70% comfortable with the O-line this year & 50% comfy with the secondary.

Eassyy

May 6th, 2011
12:39 pm

Insert tide roll’s racist offensive line propaganda below:

DawginLex

May 6th, 2011
12:44 pm

I believe Lemay should start at QB vs Boise Satte since Aaron Murray had a losing record last year.

I’m overlooking his preseason 1st team All SEC selection, his 24 TD’s and only 8 interceptions.

:) :) :)

It Ain't Rocket Science

May 6th, 2011
12:46 pm

This is a great blog. You answer the questions honestly with good and truthful answers. It is nice to have a knowledgable person such as yourself. I sure agree that if UGA can get some secondary play out of the defense and the OL jells for UGA, they could be pretty good. I like the direction the defense is going in. Just need a few folks at corner and safety to step up thier play and they could be the strength of the team.

DawginLex

May 6th, 2011
12:51 pm

Now seriously, if our baseball team doesn’t make the NCAA’s there should be an investigation. It sure would be nice to sweep the series coming up and get a little breathing room. Don’t we close with Vandy?

I’m really hoping Boo can stay healthy. He appears to be a good kid, hard worker and has the size to do some damage. Maybe he can’t play every down but with Ealey, King, Crowell and Boo, they can rotate and still have an SEC caliber back in the game. Sorry Carlton.

You guys do know that if Will Friend improves our offensive line, this team has achance to be really good? Our defense is going to be better. Grantham is going to make a lot of folks think the $750,000 is a bargain. He knows what he is doing.

Gotta run the ball though.

truedawg

May 6th, 2011
12:57 pm

I’m really excited to see the D in action. Just the thought of seein KG and JJ clogging up the middle makes me smile. I think every team will find it a “tough row to hoe” if they plan on running the ball this year against the DAWGS. Passing..well we’ll see. I’ll have to be shown its better. The O line will have to be seen as well.
“Boo” Great kid, like all I’ve seen so far, his attitude and if healthy i think can really make some huge gains late in the game when the opposing D line is tired especially, with his toughness.
GO DAWGS!!

THE Dixie Redcoat Band

May 6th, 2011
12:58 pm

So can we assume UGA has hired a “special teams” coach?

truedawg

May 6th, 2011
12:59 pm

Soes anyone here have a “warm fuzzy feeling” about our Oline after spring is over? will it be better? same?

red&silver

May 6th, 2011
1:01 pm

The offense will be fine. If UGA improves on 3rd down defense and in the 4th quarter this team has a chance to be special!

JAWJeRDAWG

May 6th, 2011
1:02 pm

Good mailbag; both questions and answers.

And I agree with ‘It Ain’t Rocket Science’/ If we can get some continuity out of both the OL and seconday, UGA could have a very special year in 2011. .. Go Dawgs!

mcdawg

May 6th, 2011
1:02 pm

Sailors is a stud on kickoff coverage

“Lonnie Outlaw” should be a defensive player on the name alone

Chip Towers

May 6th, 2011
1:17 pm

THE Dixie Redcoat Band: No, Georgia does not have a dedicated special teams coach. Responsibilities are divided among assistants.

TidePride

May 6th, 2011
1:17 pm

A lot of questions about UGA this year.

Will defense improve? I think so – but I do not know what kind of game day coach Grantham is.

Will the O-Line improve? Who the heck knows – time for somebody to coach up those big bodies and take some names.

Running Back? UGA really needs Ealey/King and Malcome to step up. Boise and USCe are HUGE for UGA – and to depend on a freshman with only 29 practices is asking a lot.

UGA has lost so much luster the last few years – however, I have always thought something is just not clicking in Athens – even during Richt’s best years – thought your team lost to Florida a few times when better, etc.

I think Richt is a capable coach – has had some success – but this program NEVER should have fallen like it did under his watch.

Kind of like this analogy – if you have recruited a 5 star QB, and he finally starts a game – then throws an interception, then another, then another – well after a bunch of interceptions – it’s no longer the QB’s fault – it’s the coach that is leaving him out. The rest of the team will be looking at the coach – “DO SOMETHING!”

Well, Richt has changed up his coaching staff – they have recruited hard – but only doing so after throwing way too many interceptions. This makes him a bad manager.

Look how Les Myles has changed up his staff to get results he has needed. New OC this year – hired TN’s DC under Fulmer – Chavis – agreat DC. Myles is in charge.

Saban the same – very results driven – meaning recruiting the right people to COACH, TEACH, DEVELOP and game day COACH a game. AS well as finding the best and the right players for the system.

Yep – something has been wrong in Athens for a while – maybe Grantham will be good – way too early to tell.

If I had to guess right now -UGA will finsh 3rd in the SEC East – behind USCe and FLORIDA.
USCe has totally outplayed UGA the last two years – but only won last year. If Garcia plays – USC will win that game – just much more hard nosed and tougher than UGA.

Florida is loaded with talent – Weiss is a very very good offensive coach and will develop the QB. Muschamp is a great D-Coach. They will put that incredible talent to good use by mid season – wait and see.

Other losses will be Mississippi State.

Potential losses will be Boise, Tennessee, Auburn and Tech.
I think UGA should win at least 2 of those games.

If UGA goes 7-5 – what will you do with Richt???

Rod D.

May 6th, 2011
1:22 pm

What about Cordarelle Patterson as a JUCO recruit. Saw his highlight film from Juco his past freshman season, he is a AJ Green type of receiver. Tall, fast, and has excellent hands and body control. Do u think that we can maybe nab him from Tennessee. That’s where his high school QB will enroll this fall and I hear they’re his favorite so far, but with AJ going 4th in the draft, do u think that will entice some big time receivers to consider UGA.

TidePride

May 6th, 2011
1:26 pm

Hey – by the way – I am rooting for UGA to win the east – and hoping UGA plays BAMA in the Dome for the Title.

Have been to Athens with friends and to games – always enjoyed the beautiful campus and entire vibe.

NOT a fan of USCe, Tennessee (although I do like Dooley) and would like to see UGA/FLorida turn into AL/AU rivalry instead of a Florida practice scrimmage.

Good luck this coming season – just thought if Richt was all that – UGA would not be going through current embarrassement of being a crappy team and getting beat by UCF and Colorado.

But hey – BAMA got beat by La Monroe Saban’s first year – we know what that feels like. But that was his first year – UGA under Richt should have never looked bad like that 2 years in a row – and last year – yes – UGA was that bad – 8th / 9th in the SEC????

DawginLex

May 6th, 2011
1:30 pm

tidePride,

Georgia will fire richt if we go 7-5. We won’t.

Better question is what will Bama do with Saban after a 2nd consecutive preseason #1 ranking and finish 3rd or 4th in the West???

My prediction is Arkansas wins the West going away. People who think Petrino can’t coach aren’t paying attention. He got Louisvile in the national discussion in year 3. This is year 3 at Arkansas.

Bama vs Arkansas is a tough game for Arkansas but if auburn can overcome a 24 point lead there, I think Petrino can.

Rod D.

May 6th, 2011
1:31 pm

I really hope that Outlaw can be that top notch possesion receiver, and red zone threat that UGA needs so desperately now with the departure of AJ. Hopefully Marlon Brown can step up and make a difference this yr in the passing game until Outlaw and the 2012 recruits get in. The defense looked drastically different in the spring game than it did during the season.

RxDawg

May 6th, 2011
1:34 pm

“Will defense improve? I think so – but I do not know what kind of game day coach Grantham is.”

eh? He coached last season so maybe I’m not quite understanding your question.

phil

May 6th, 2011
1:34 pm

TidePride – Are you an Alabama fan by chance?

SSIgator

May 6th, 2011
1:35 pm

DawginLex -

Have you and Bill King kissed and made up yet?

RxDawg

May 6th, 2011
1:36 pm

“People who think Petrino can’t coach aren’t paying attention. He got Louisvile in the national discussion in year 3. This is year 3 at Arkansas.”

Is this really Petrino’s 3rd year at Arkansas? Wow… it feel so much longer than that for some reason. But yeh, dude can coach and I don’t have the same hate for him that a lot of other Falcons fans do.

DawginLex

May 6th, 2011
1:36 pm

Didn’t ever have a problem with Bill. He banned the troll who kept posting under different names. The guy went and got another computer with a different IP address and he is now posting as “G1″. Bill sent me an e-mail and notified me that it appeared to be a different guy from yesterday. It obviously is not. Just a new computer IP address.

BYRDDAWG

May 6th, 2011
1:42 pm

We’re gonna ROCK!!!!

truedawg

May 6th, 2011
1:42 pm

I’m not worried about the D, except for the pass coverage. I don’t think more than 2 teams will have over a 100 yards on the ground all year against the dawgs. Yes I think they’re that good

Valdosta Cat

May 6th, 2011
1:45 pm

Great posts TidePride…I’m a diehard Dawg fan but your analysis of our football program is on target.

phil

May 6th, 2011
1:45 pm

truedawg – hey, I’m a fan too, but why not wait and see if the D can stop anyone before being so sure it can….every year, we all want to think this and that…..and how often does it happen? Exactly….rarely.

CountryBlumpkin

May 6th, 2011
1:49 pm

I hate when people feel the need to “enlighten” us by making their comment longer than the actual article they are commenting on.

phil

May 6th, 2011
1:53 pm

CountryBlumpkin

May 6th, 2011
1:49 pm
I hate when people feel the need to “enlighten” us by making their comment longer than the actual article they are commenting on.

must be talking about Valdosta cat – lol

RxDawg

May 6th, 2011
1:54 pm

It’s a blog, not twitter. If it’s a decent post I can handle it. In fact, some of the best articles I’ve read come out of some of these comment sections.

truedawg

May 6th, 2011
1:55 pm

I said we were crap last year i got BOOOOED when i predicted 5 losses last year. I might be wrong, but I doubt it. I guess after the USC game we can tell if I am “right on” on just drunk on kool-aide

BOSS GATOR

May 6th, 2011
1:57 pm

YO ……Red panties I think silver helmets….black jerseys….And your traditional red panties would look swell on October 29, 2011 in Jacksonville….Don’t forget to come see us……Leg humpers……We’re waiting……Your BOSS

truedawg

May 6th, 2011
2:00 pm

you know you come from a sucky school traditionaly when you beat a team 80% of the time in 20 years and your still loosing the series…Gotta know ya own ex players hate UF when they cheer louder when USC beats UF!!! Just know that even though you may hire a dwag..you’ll never be a dawg.

WDE

May 6th, 2011
2:01 pm

SSIgator you guys have anyone not stoned at your spring game….looked like Brantley was for sure.

DawginLex

May 6th, 2011
2:01 pm

BOSS,

Better make sure you get in front of Weis in line at the buffet.

He destroys them just like he destroys football programs.

Dawg Gone

May 6th, 2011
2:03 pm

BOSS GATOR your new HC has won how many games as a HC so far? You waiting for us…enjoying a few tokes while you wait it looks like…

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

CountryBlumpkin

May 6th, 2011
2:05 pm

BOSS, what do you wear under your jorts?

DawginLex

May 6th, 2011
2:07 pm

Why don’t we do a realistic comparison of UGA/Fla??

Coach-Richt 96 wins,2 SEC titles Muschamp 0 wins-ADVANTAGE UGA
QB-Murray vs Brantley-ADVANTAGE UGA
RB-PUSH although UGA has more depth
OL-Florida
DL-PUSH
LB-florida now but might swing to UGA by game time
DB-florida although Jenkins is huge loss
Kicking game-huge advantage UGA
Intangibles-florida(8-2 vs richt)

I’d say another OT game. Boss Gator defines this as another “beatdown”.

MD

May 6th, 2011
2:07 pm

TidePride, good to have a logical poster of a fan from another team on the UGA blog. Nice posts, especially the UF Scrimmage part. It’s sad but true

Troll Power Ratings

May 6th, 2011
2:08 pm

DIL: Couple of other facts you left out: Mason or Lemay will not sit behind Murray and at least one will transfer. Gray should have started and wouldn’t have transferred. Richt plays favorites. etc., etc.

NWGA Dawg

May 6th, 2011
2:10 pm

Troll Power Ratings:

Who is your favorite team?

CountryBlumpkin

May 6th, 2011
2:14 pm

Ryan, they are like the Miami Marlins

DawginLex

May 6th, 2011
2:17 pm

TPR,

Mett transferred because of richt’s favoritism

Dr. Kenneth Noisewater

May 6th, 2011
2:18 pm

Troll- Richt plays the best player at that position. I’m sure we’ll have at least 1 walk-on & as Bill King mentioned the other day, Nick Marshall played QB in high school in case we get in that dire situation. According to Scout…UGA has an offer to Gunner Keihl (sp??)…forget out of which state.

My biggest issue with CMR and CTG

May 6th, 2011
2:18 pm

CTG is a fiery sideline coach with his spewing and cursing and I think that is fine. I know last year that CMR quickly reigned that style in and one could view CTG having to hold back on the TV screen. I did not like that at all …………… heck, let him rant if we GATA.

CMR knows that 10-2 or a 9-3 with two out of conference losses to say Boise and possibly G, with only one SEC loss ( Arkansas?? AU?) and for sure a MUST WIN over Florida, will solidify his future. Frankly, I really wonder if CMR wants to win it all within two or three more years. Does he have that desire or is it gone?

Time will tell.

AltamahaDawg

May 6th, 2011
2:18 pm

Why thanks Rx.