Thursday, January 14, 2016
Sam Pittman is considered by many to be the best offensive line coach in America. Those same people also consider him to be just as good on the recruiting trail. Georgia was able to steal Pittman from Arkansas due in large part to his desire to reunite with his longtime friend Jim Chaney, who Kirby Smart hired as his offensive coordinator. It was almost like a package deal to get those two offensive gurus at the same time. Pittman was an integral part of the Arkansas rebuilding process. He had recruited the biggest offensive line in the country to play for the Razorbacks, and he was a hire that Head Coach Bret Bielema did not want to lose. So much so that Bielema personally took several offensive linemen to Pittman's house to make Pittman explain to them why he was leaving, and perhaps to persuade him to reconsider his decision. I think it was more the fact that Bielema usually puts no compete clauses in his assistant's contracts so that they cannot go to another SEC school. He failed to do that with Pittman, and he was ticked at Pittman for going to Georgia. Smart has said that he wants to build Georgia starting with both the offensive and defensive lines. This being the case, Pittman's value with recruits will be seen the first week in February. His value on the practice field will have to wait until April's spring practice, and maybe even until the first week in September. However the Bulldawg Nation should not waste time fretting about Pittman. His reputation is solid and speaks for itself. He's a tremendous hire for UGA.
Tuesday, January 12, 2016
For all the talk about Alabama's physicality, size advantage along both fronts, and roster depth in the National Title Game, it was special teams play that eventually turned out to be the deciding factor for the Tide. An on-sides kick and a kick return pretty much did a very good Clemson team in. I'll bet you didn't hear very much about special teams going in to Monday night's game, but look who showed up at the party! Now, Kirby Smart's hire of Virginia Tech's Shane Beamer as Georgia's 'Special Teams Coordinator' stands out as very significant. Last night's proof of special teams importance, along with Georgia's past special teams problems, makes Beamer a very important man on campus. UGA certainly has a lot of room for improvement in that area, and it's good to finally have a specific position coach assigned to Special Teams in Athens.
Friday, January 8, 2016
Tomorrow's Army All-American Bowl has huge implications for the University of Georgia. The Dawgs have four current commits playing in the game: Ben Cleveland, Jacob Eason, Jaleel Laguins, and Julian Robertson. There are also four more 5-Star Bulldawg targets that Georgia is very much in the running for: Isaac Nauta, Derrick Brown, Mecole Hardman, and Demetris Robertson. Two additional names to keep an eye on are Brian Burns and Nigel Warrior. These two elite players are believed to have the Dawgs on their radar, but probably don't have them at number 1. The key name in this entire Bowl scenario is Nauta. He has said he will announce his college choice during the fourth quarter of Saturday's game. His top three schools are Alabama, Georgia, and Michigan. Should UGA secure this 5-Star tight end, it could have a huge impact on these other recruits. It very well could set the table for the dominoes to start falling for Georgia when signing day rolls around on February 3rd.
When the next 3 days are in the books, Kirby Smart will no longer be dividing his time between two schools. He will be in Athens, Georgia with his full attention on the Georgia Bulldogs. It's about time. And not a moment too soon. The new coaching staff is presumably in place and the "dead period" for recruiting ends Thursday. The returning players will learn what's going on, the recruits will feel better about everything, and the coaches can begin their work under a new boss. National Signing day is less than a month away. UGA needs the complete and full attention of their new head coach. Tuesday can't get here soon enough for the Bulldog Nation.
Wednesday, January 6, 2016
Four Alabama engineering students have developed a quick erecting medical tent for sideline privacy in diagnosing and treating injured players. No other team has anything like this, but it is projected to be on the sidelines of football teams from high school to the NFL in the near future. It seems that Alabama is always on the cutting edge of anything related to success in college football.
Tuesday, January 5, 2016
The latest rumor out of Athens has Georgia wide receiver Isaiah McKenzie transferring to Miami. The sophomore multi-purpose speedster has been a big play-maker for the Dawgs during his two seasons at UGA. He's been a spark plug as a punt returner, providing Georgia with crucial returns to swing momentum Georgia's way. The Bulldawgs do not need to lose McKenzie. His skill set offers too much to the offensive aspect of a game. Isaiah McKenzie needs to remain a Georgia Bulldawg.
Monday, January 4, 2016
Brice Ramsey got a token appearance at quarterback for a couple of series in Georgia's TaxSlayer Bowl Saturday. He didn't get the opportunity to stay in the game and adjust to the flow of the game. He hasn't had that chance all season. We really didn't, and he didn't, get to see if Ramsey could play quarterback for Georgia or not. Faton Bauta got that opportunity for an entire game against Florida, but Ramsey never got even a complete half to prove himself. The Bulldawgs have struggled with a very inconsistent Greyson Lambert all year. Finding a game for Ramsey that he could call his should not have been a difficult task. Everyone knows UGA has the top high school quarterback in the country arriving in Athens next week in one Jacob Eason. Nevertheless, more than one capable signal caller will be needed. The totally new offensive coaching staff will probably give all the potential starters a clean slate to prove themselves. But what would be even better is to see the new staff develop the skills of these guys. This development was clearly lacking considerably this season.
Thursday, December 31, 2015
Sports Illustrated once voted Georgia's uniform as the best in college football. Bright Red helmets and jerseys with "silver britches". The lure, especially from Nike, for teams to wear trendy uniforms has led to many different uniform combinations and schemes. It goes without saying that the Oregon Ducks have been the trend setters in this department. It seems as though their Saturday attire has no limitations as to variations. In the last fifteen years, Georgia has altered their traditional Saturday best four times. The Dawgs wore a different Nike creation for a season opener in the Georgia Dome several years ago, and showed up in Jacksonville with atrocious black helmets and pants one game day in October as well. The black jerseys have made it "Between the Hedges" on two different occasions, once for Auburn and once against Alabama. Even when Kirby Smart wore number 16 as a Dawg, Jim Donnan added black striping to the helmets, but thankfully Mark Richt brought back the single white stripe to the bright and distinctive red headgear. Vince Dooley even put Herschel Walker in red pants on occasion. But, Georgia's traditional home and road uniforms are the standard. When anyone sees those uniforms on the TV, they know it's Georgia. They are classic and sharp looking. The temptation is out there to change-up the uniform look, but why mess up a good thing? After all, if it ain't broke, don't fix it.
Wednesday, December 30, 2015
Georgia is extremely thin at the tailback position as they prepare for the TaxSlayer Bowl against Penn State. UGA has only two tailbacks on their roster who have logged carries this season, Sony Michel and Keith Marshall. Missing are Brendon Douglas, Quayvon Hicks, and of course, Nick Chubb, all sidelined with injuries. That leaves third team Tae Crowder and fourth string A.J. Turman. The only concern with this rotation is that Crowder is a true freshman who has not seen the field all season, and Turman is a mystery man who the Bulldog staff has had very little to say about all year. If Crowder does play Saturday, he will forfeit a full year of eligibility for his appearance in this single game. The interim coaching staff remains noncommittal on the issue, only indicating that the actual game situation will dictate their response. It seems unreasonable to me that Crowder would enter the game before Turman, regardless of the depth chart. Georgia should protect Tae Crowder's redshirt under all costs. He shouldn't play Saturday. Period.
The Georgia football team is in Jacksonville for final preparations for Saturday's TaxSlayer Bowl. Former head coach Mark Richt is in Miami. Future head coach Kirby Smart is in Texas with Alabama's Cotton Bowl team. Interim head coach Brian McClendon is actually in Jacksonville with the Dawgs, but he'll soon be in Columbia, South Carolina. We fondly refer to the Dawgs as playing "Between the Hedges", but for a while now they have been, and will be, playing "Between the Coaches".
Monday, December 28, 2015
In most cases when an SEC team plays out of conference, I tend to go with the conference when selecting my preferred winner. But I always make that decision weighed upon the impact the winner might have on Georgia's season. With that being said, I am hoping for an upset Michigan State win in this year's Cotton Bowl over favored Alabama. Yea I know. a Spartan win eliminates any chance of the SEC winning the National Championship. I get all of that. My reason for not wanting the Crimson Tide to win is totally selfish: I want Kirby Smart back in Athens as soon as possible working for Georgia, not Alabama. A Tide loss puts Smart with UGA, where he belongs by the way, at least 11 days sooner than does a Tide victory. As far as I'm concerned, the 2016 campaign has already begun and the Head Coach needs to be on campus steering the ship. It's just that simple...
Tuesday, December 22, 2015
It is being reported that Georgia running backs coach Thomas Brown will be joining Mark Richt's staff at Miami after the Dawgs January 2nd bowl game. Earlier, it was speculated that Brown would remain at Georgia with new head coach Kirby Smart, although Smart never confirmed this himself. However, Coach Brown did accompany Smart on several recruiting trips just after Smart was announced as Georgia's new coach. So, what's the deal: Did Smart ask Brown to stay on at UGA and now Brown has had a change of heart, or was he never offered the option of remaining with the Bulldogs to begin with? This coaching wheel just keeps spinning...