Collage 3
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Saturday, April 26, 2008
With the 3rd pick in the NFL Draft, the Falcons selected Matt Ryan.  Since I'm still without cable TV, I haven't seen anyone on ESPN explain what this means for Atlanta, but I have listened to 790 The Zone on the radio to get their take on everything.

As it stands right now, it looks as if everyone agrees that D.J. Shockley is gone from Atlanta.  What bothers me the most about this is how D.J. is so easily dismissed from a team full of proven losers and low-character guys.  

You would think that if Atlanta was smart, they'd keep D.J. on the roster at least for one more year.  If I work in the PR department of the Falcons, I'm saying "D.J. Shockley is an Atlanta kid who isn't a legal liability and who sells seats and merchandise.   There's no reason to cut a guy in favor of Joey Harrington and Chris Redman, who this entire city doesn't believe can win.  Besides, if we keep D.J. and he loses...will anyone be that upset about it?  I mean don't we still suck?"

Personally, I think the potential of cutting Shock would be the second biggest screw up next to hiring Bobby Petrino.  Michael Vick screwed up way after he was in Atlanta, so the drafting of him wasn't as big a problem as what happened after he was here for a few years, so Atlanta gets a pass on that one.

But cutting Shock is dangerous and stupid for a number of reasons:

1)  Are you sure he isn't good enough?  Let's take a look at his NFL career.  His rookie year he was third on the depth chart behind Michael Vick and Matt Schaub.  Was he ever going to be given a chance to play?  Hell no, and he shouldn't have been given the opportunity given that much depth.  His second season, he was IMMEDIATELY bumped down the depth chart be Petrino in a move that I still don't understand.  I mean Petrino wanted to build an offense for Michael Vick, so why would you go out and get Joey Harrington and Chris Redman, when you already have a QB who can run and throw like Vick?  Then during the preseason when Shock was making some strides, he ends up getting his knee blown out.  The kid has hardly had a shot to show what he can do.

2)  Are you sure you want to sell tickets?  I can tell you one damn thing, the fans of the Atlanta Falcons are not going to be swarming to watch Ryan play.  No f*cking way.  They DAMN sure aren't going to be filling up the Dome to watch Joey Harrington or Chris Redman LOSE.  Are you f*cking kidding me?  Why not take Shock, let him start on opening day, put some asses in seats (hello, a hometown black kid is going to appeal to a hometown black crowd), and if you lose, then you haven't done anything worse than you were already going to do.

I swear I could rant about this for days and I hope, honestly, that I'm just wasting my breath.  But if the Atlanta Falcons are so f*cking stupid to release D.J. Shockley before the season, then they deserve to have the franchise fall apart.  Whether or not D.J. is good enough for the NFL is irrelevant.  NO ONE THEY HAVE TAKING SNAPS RIGHT NOW IS GOOD ENOUGH FOR THE NFL.  You might as well give the hometown kid, who's kept his nose clean and tried to be a leader for a team full of thugs, the shot to make a statement before Ryan eventually takes over the reins.  

And, Atlanta Falcons, if you do cut D.J. Shockley in favor of two losers and a rookie, then I PERSONALLY vow to NEVER spend another dime at an Atlanta Falcons game for the rest of my life.  

Now, I'll spend money to watch the Dawgs win the SECC though.  Just wanted to make that clear.  

Man I'm pissed.  I'd love to go punch Mike Smith in the mouth right now for resigning those two no-talent ass-clowns before the draft.  What a f*cking idiot.  

If you ever want to see what it's like to work in the Falcons front office, let me compare it to Mack Williams' work while I was at UGA whenever he referred to the employees in Parking Services:

F*ck it.  Go Packers.

Until next time kids.

Be safe.

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Thursday, April 24, 2008
For those that have read the blog at any point in time know that my M.O. is not to break news.  It's not what I do.  I analyze, opine at my leisure and move on to the next subject when something else prompts me to write.

If you want news, there are a host of other bloggers out there than can provide it.  What I always aim to do is have my readers strike a chord with what I write.  If I write something and you FEEL like you're back in Athens, then my job is complete.  

Well, today is one of those days where I'm really missing the Classic City.

As all of you obviously know by now, Aaron Murray announced his commitment to the University of Georgia in what was probably one of the most emotional and genuine press conferences I've ever seen.  I'm VERY proud as a UGA fan to have this kid become a Dawg.  Whether or not he ever plays a snap of football is irrelevant; this kid has got "it."

Now this is not a love letter to Aaron Murray.  In fact, I'm going to flip the script and jump over to a video I saw via the Georgia Sports Blog.  It's the UGA Tip-Off Club's video tribute to the SEC Champion Men's Basketball team.  As soon as I watched that video, I became instantly jealous that I wasn't there, incredibly sad over the loss of the two seniors in Bliss and Gaines and overjoyed at the fact that I at least got to follow their journey from start to finish.  In the mood of that, I present to you the video that totally flipped my sh*t earlier today.  

You see, as I sit from my favorite watering hole in Atlanta, I can't help but almost shed a tear over still being more than a hop, skip and jump away from Athens.  Years ago when I lived in Savannah, it killed me every day to make phone calls to my ex-roommates who were going to 283 or some other bar at 7:00 PM on a Tuesday just to unwind for $10.  

But it wasn't about the drinking.  It wasn't about getting hammered on a budget or seeing some of the most beautiful talent God has graced this earth with.  Those were nice bonuses, but it was bigger.  Bigger than I could ever imagine, and unfortunately, I didn't figure it out until I was gone (which seems to happen to everyone).

Being a Dawg is not about history.  History goes to Michigan, Ohio State, Penn State, USC, etc.  Those schools which were dominant on the field year in and year out have history.  They have it in spades.  

Being a Dawg is about TRADITION.

Like Erk said, it's about being a Bulldog on a Saturday night after whipping Tennessee's ass.  It's about 3:00 AM Krystal runs.  It's about buying a beer for your favorite (and hopefully over-age) Dawg who just poured his heart out on the field or court.  It's about seeing friends, hugging strangers and loving life because in Athens, time is irrelevant.

Tradition is about D.J. Shockely waiting for a season to shine.  It's about 2 boys named David becoming grown men on and off the field.  It's about a coach who understands what it takes to turn boys into young men.  It's about Friday night Redcoat practice and Saturday morning tailgating.  It's about hating your rivals (all 234,532 of them it seems), but still understanding at the end of the day that while they might be severely misguided, they deserve a beer...especially after that ass-kicking we just handed them.  It's about retiring #34 and wearing #24.  It's about Larry Munson as, ironically, the voice of God.  It's about still being scared, even as a UGA alum removed from college for nearly 5 years, of walking under the Arches.

Tradition keeps me going back.  Tradition makes me type at a table by myself with a beer in my hand hoping that a smell a stale beer crosses my nose, just to take me back for a second.  

Tradition is what made Rennie Curran swim all the way from Liberia to kick your ass (according to Orson) and what makes Knowshon pop up after having his teeth knocked down his throat on a brutal hit.  Tradition is the end-all-be-all of UGA and I, for one, couldn't be happier to know that I understand that.

One day I'll make enough money to never work again.  Whether it be at 35 or 75, I guarantee you that the day I hang it up is the day I start looking at property in Clarke County.  

So, if you live anywhere in the city limits of Athens, Georgia, then tonight I implore you to go outside, take a breath of air, and soak it up for everything it's worth.  

And don't be surprised if someone sees you and completely understands.  After all, you can't have tradition if you don't have believers.

Until next time kids.

Be safe.

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Wednesday, April 23, 2008
Real quick, I wanted to throw a couple of site updates out there before I talk about Aaron Murray:

1)  Recently I was contacted by Chris F. at Bleacher Report to syndicate the blog out to their site.  After a quick import of some code into this blog's template, the syndication was done and I have been nothing but pleased.  Right now Bleacher Report is not heavy on the College Football section, but it's growing and I'm very pleased to be a part of that.  If you get the chance, head on over and check it out.  It's a sports blogger's wet dream.  

2)  Also, for those reading this at Bleacher Report, I'm trying to find a way to make the site import a little more seamlessly where it doesn't look like one paragraph.  I'll probably have to post and then go in and manually edit, but nevertheless, it will get fixed.

3)  Finally, sorry for the lack of updates.  I know I'm usually better about writing, but work's been crazy lately.  However should calm down soon.  Expect more from me after this week.  

Now, on to Aaron Murray.

As most of you know, Aaron Murray, the blue chip QB from Plant HS in Tampa, FL is set to announce his college decision tomorrow at 11 AM.  Seriously, I haven't seen this much hype/coverage over a decision in quite a long time.  Stafford was of course a heralded recruit, but I'm not sure the hype around his decision was as big.  Not because he didn't deserve it, but I think the recruiting landscape has changed so much in just the three years since he announced that it's just a different (and much larger) animal now.

Most of the recruiting gurus list Murray as somewhere between 50 - 75% UGA over Florida and UCLA.  I don't know if it's as high as 75%, but I know we have a great chance based on recent comments from Murray.

Now, he's set to announce tomorrow at 11:00, so this may be a worthless post in less than 24 hours, but here's my question to everyone about this specific recruit and where UGA football is heading:

Since Aaron Murray is a mobile QB (not Logan Gray mobile, but mobile nonetheless), are we seeing a change in UGA's offensive philosophy?

Now, before you think I'm totally off my rocker here, here's the facts:

1)  Right now, the QB of the future appears to be Logan Gray, who has wheels for days.  The kid can throw the ball and can run like his life depends on it.

2)  Aside from Zach Mettenberger, who more resembles Stafford, Aaron Murray is right now being touted as the "QB of the future's future" within the UGA offense if he commits to us.  He's quite the mobile kid, and throws VERY well on the run.  On top of that, he's got Stafford-type smarts of understanding an offense and checking into the right play.

So, is the Mark Richt/Mike Bobo regime trying to speed up the pace of UGA's offense?  I think they are.  Bobo seems to be much more aggressive than Richt was when he was calling plays.  That's not to say Richt was never aggressive, but it's always been my opinion that Richt was holding back a little bit because he had so many duties to watch over while being the HC and OC.  Now that Bobo has taken that strain off of him, has Richt decided to go ahead and run with Bobo's assertion that speed kills?  

Nevertheless, tomorrow's announcement may be an indication of the changing of the guard at UGA.  We used to rely VERY heavily on the play action, and we will still do that, but I think things are going to change and change sooner than we thought.  If Murray doesn't choose us tomorrow, the focus will then shift to Eugene Smith, who is sickeningly mobile.  If you think Logan Gray is fast, this kid is NUTS.  My initial comparison would be that he's Pat White, but actually can pass.

So, no matter what happens tomorrow, I think you're going to see our coaches' vision of the future of the program based on the next QB that signs with us.  We seemingly want to go with a guy who's more mobile, while still being smart enough to run the offense from the field.  

I'd really like to know y'all's thoughts on this.  I think I'm on to something here, but I might be way off base.  What do you think?

Until next time kids. 

Be safe.

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Sunday, April 20, 2008
For the next week, the UGA recruiting pundits will be busy as bees trying to figure out whether or not uber recruit Aaron Murray will pick UGA or Florida.  

Hours before Tom Savage made the announcement that he was picking Rutgers over UGA, the message boards came alive with rumblings that Aaron Murray was a silent commitment to UGA and that he was already helping the Dawgs recruit for the future.

Here's why this is no big deal, no matter what happens:

The Dawgs have already landed one QB in this class and another one is wanted to depth purposes, but certainly not needed.  Assuming Stafford leaves this year (which he won't, regardless of the type of year he has), then you have Joe Cox with eligibility through '09, Logan Gray with eligibility through '11, and Zach Mettenberger with eligibility through '12.  So, no matter what, we'll be three-deep for at least another year, so we can really push for an elite QB next year (in which case that WILL be necessary).

Besides, Aaron Murray is one helluva talent, but he's not the end-all-be-all like some of those on the message boards are suggesting.  He, much like Tom Savage, is a great QB and any team will be lucky to get him, but this isn't basketball.  One player cannot win or lose games by themselves and the signing of said player does not guarantee a National Championship.

Don't get me wrong.  I like Aaron Murray a lot.  He's very mobile, he's extremely accurate on the run and he has great pocket awareness.  In the SEC, where someone is breathing down your neck every second, having a QB that can move around and create some space is a very beneficial weapon of choice.  

At the end of the day, I hope Murray's a Dawg and everything seems to be pointing in that direction.  He's visited UGA three times this year, has spent tons of one-on-one time with Mike Bobo and I think even though he tends to be a more spread offense type player, I think he likes our system better than he does Florida's.  But that's just my opinion, I could be wrong.

So no matter what happens on Thursday, the Dawgs will be fine.  Oh and did I mention that Mettenberger doesn't suck, either?  

In other news, the Dawgs landed the commitment of Dallas Lee, on Offensive Lineman from Buford, GA.  Right now, he projects to be an offensive guard or center in college, which perplexes me some given the depth we have at guard and the needs we have at tackle.  Either way, I'm not one to question Stacy Searels, who I think has earned our benefit of the doubt after last year's job.  So I'll just say "OK" and move on.

So, welcome to Dallas Lee, come on down to Aaron Murray and don't forget about us, Jarvis Jones.  

Until next time kids.

Be safe.

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Sunday, April 13, 2008
Aside from a myriad of things going on in my personal life that are just better kept under wraps, there's really not much to talk about in regards to the Dawgs.  So, with that in mind, let's just take a quick trip around The Blogosphere and see who has better ideas than me.

The Good Senator has a few nice posts up.  One that you absolutely must check out is this one regarding Emmanuel Moody.  It seems like every day, we're finding out something new about Urban Meyer's recruiting tactics that put him in a very shady light.  

The guys over at the Georgia Sports Blog have been doing their part as well.  This post focuses around the potential networks and times this season's games will be featured on.  This post here focuses more on the UGA Baseball team.  On the latter, I'd also like to offer my condolences to the Tech student who passed away.  Lord knows I hate all things Georgia Tech, but what happened is a tragedy, and should be treated as such.  

Groo over at Dawgs Online has a really good read about the NBA possibly changing its eligibility rules again and forcing players to stay in college a little longer.  It's a great post, but I did take issue with his comparison to Major League Baseball.  To me, baseball is a different kind of animal due to its minor league, which is essentially the function of the college level in basketball and football.  IMO, it's like comparing apples and oranges, but like I said, it's a really good post.

Other than that, you're pretty much on your own.  I'm kind of burnt out after a long weekend of sitting around without cable.  Also, in case you're wondering,  I would highly recommend seeing "21" while it's still in theaters.  It's not the best movie I've ever seen, but if you're a Vegas junkie like me, then you'll like it no matter what.

And there's no need to rent Clive Owen's "Shoot 'Em Up."  I mean, it's OK, but I could've never seen it and wouldn't have missed a thing.

Until next time kids.

Be safe.

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Tuesday, April 08, 2008
For someone that makes as many mistakes as I tend to make (see: foot in mouth, training at new job, half-ass trying to lose weight, etc) I'm a bit of a perfectionist.  It's a combination of ego and drive that keeps me always wanting to be the best and makes me get really down on myself when I'm not.  Of course, no one is perfect (at least since 33 A.D.) and I'm damn sure not going to be the first to break that mold.  When that reality sinks in, it always takes me by surprise for some reason and it always gets me down in the mouth.

I write this blog much akin to a male/sports version of Sex and the City.  Something happens in my personal life that I feel the need to blog about and I try and relate it to UGA and sports.  That doesn't happen all the time as basic news and opinions don't really lend itself any relation to what I'm doing, but sometimes when I write posts about things like heart (I can hear you guys laughing already), The Blackout, etc. those tend to touch a more personal chord with me.

So, after a day (and a weekend, really) where I was reminded yet again that I am not perfect, I thought I'd tie that in with UGA's own battle with perfection and the subsequent fallout should that not be achieved.  

As you all very well know, we have a pretty damn good football team on our hands for 2008.  As The Good Senator pointed out, we are finally starting to get some of that elusive national media attention that we as Dawg fans have yearned and needed for a very long time.  However, as PWD has reminded us, our schedule is brutal even though no team we play for 2008 will have a bye week before we play them.

I've seen plenty of discussion on the message boards especially after G-day about how good we look and how 2008 looks to be our year.  Some of this loyalty I believe is a bit blind as I even caught a little bit of flack on this blog regarding my criticisms of the O-line, that I still feel is one of the most athletic in the nation, but lacks unity.  Something Groo and I discussed on his blog and he (to an extent) as well as most of those in the blogosphere and media agree with me.

As I sit, I don't feel UGA is a perfect team at the end of this upcoming season.  The schedule is extremely tough and we play in the SEC.  That's good for at least one extra game (SECC) and some of the toughest competition in the nation.  The pursuit of perfection, to me, is going to be one long and bumpy road.

From the reports I've read, I believe the team has a new motto and that is "stay in the moment" or something of that nature.  If I'm completely wrong on that, please correct me.  While the wording may be off, the idea is correct.  This team needs to stay focused on the task at hand, take it one day and one practice at a time, and prepare like the upcoming game is their last one.  One loss to GSU all the way to one loss to Florida could put this team on its back and shelve any kind of hopes until 2009.

So, we as fans need to do the same.  Of course it's fun to look and say "this team is the most talented I've seen in 28 years."  Hell, I guarantee you that it's right up there on par with them, but that really doesn't mean much if we don't win.  And sometimes we won't.  We will not always get the great call.  We will not always have the ball bounce to us on a critical 4th quarter fumble.  We will not always hook up with Verron Haynes, Mikey Henderson, or Mo Mass on a game-ending drive.  Sometimes sh*t happens in football.  We, as fans, need to be aware of that.  

Why do I say this?  Why am I not blogging about how UGA could run the table in '08?  Because right now it's not appropriate.  We need to make sure that the only bar set is the one set by our team.  I can see it now.  The same fans that were praising Willie Martinez for his Defense's performance against Hawaii will be the same fans that are buying rope at Ace Hardware and looking for trees when his soft zone fails us at a critical time.  The same people that want to exalt Matt Stafford and Knowshon Moreno may be the same ones that scream "PUT IN GRAY AND CALEB!" when our two All-American candidates have off days.  

All we can do is hope for the best and expect the worst.  It's called support.  It's going to be really tough as a true fan to deal with so much less room on the bandwagon now that we're good again, but it's going to be nothing compared to still being a fan when the bandwagon gets light after a possible unexpected loss.

So as we proceed with our season expectations and previews (speaking of which, let's hope Doug unleashes his early predictions again because last year's were GREAT), let's remember that the Pursuit of Perfection is one tough row to hoe.  Not many teams have done it and not many will do it again.  If the Dawgs are staring down the barrel of playing Florida after a tough loss to LSU, then all we can do is keep on trucking right along with them.

And as a notice to all you fairweathers out there (you know who you are), if you're not prepared to go down with the ship, then go ahead and get off now.  We've got a 12 game season against some mighty tough competition.  We don't have time to worry with you if you're not in it for the long haul.  I don't care if we're 0-12 or 12-0 when the dust settles.  I bleed Red and Black and I could give less of a damn if you have a problem supporting my Dawgs.  We still had a team in the 90s without you and I guarantee we'll still have one after you decide to go off to the next big thing.

Until next time kids.

Be safe.

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Saturday, April 05, 2008
Well, another G-day in the books and here's what we have:

  • First, how big is that Abry Jones commitment?  In my eyes, he was one, if not the, top target for us in '09.  To lock him up and have him be 100% committed is huge.  Coach G is out of sight.  
  • We need a little more work on the O-line.  Those guys are fighting hard, but they're just not gelling quite yet.  Athletically, they're beasts, but technique wise, they're just not there yet.  I think the right side is a little better than the left, but I could be wrong on that.  
  • The D-line, conversely is MUCH improved.  They are fast, big, and mean.  I'm really excited about our front 7 and I think you should be as well.
  • Stafford's technique has definitely improved.  That goes for the other QBs as well, but Stafford showed some really nice things out there both fundamentally as well as his touch on the ball.  He's really starting to be the QB we expect him to be.
  • Logan Gray really impressed me.  His speed is undeniable, but his ability to throw the ball is impressive as well.  He's a LOT like DJ Shockley.  
  • All the RBs look good.  I'm surprised I didn't see more of Dontavious Jackson, who I'm sure that right now is a redshirt waiting to happen.  Samuel looks great physically and once his technique catches up, he'll be a monster.  I can't say enough about Kalvin Daniels as a running back.  The kid is playing football for free and playing the hell out of it.  
  • Caleb King deserves his own bullet.  That kid is going to be a nice change-of-pace back for us, even though I never thought he'd be that different from Knowshon.  King is not quite as smooth or fast, but he's got great patience and moves and a lot of power.  He's a very strong runner.
  • The WRs look good, even though their hands are quite as sure as I thought they'd be.  Michael Moore looks good and Kenneth Harris does as well, even though Harris was not as healthy or played as much as Moore.  Once Mo Mass gets back on the field, we're going to be dangerous deep.  
  • I think our Secondary is good, but could probably use a little more work.  Asher Allen looks to be this year's Kelin Johnson, even though I'd prefer the leadership to come from the Safeties because that's what has worked over the past few years.  
All in all, I think we're a good looking team trying to find this year's rallying force.  Once we get that down, we'll be bad ass.  Are we a Nat'l Championship team yet?  Not quite, but the talent is definitely there.  We just gotta get focused.

Hope you guys enjoyed all this.  Thoughts?  Disagreements?  What did you get out of this year's G-day?


Until next time kids.

Be safe.

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Battson for the Red team throws it DEEP to Vernon Spellman.  Battson threw the hell out of that ball and Spellman didn't come up with the catch.  Damn that was a nice throw.

Mimbs kicks again and lets another good one go.  

I wonder what one-legged walk-on will get to throw for the Black team.  Seems like they're just tossing guys in there now.  Actually, Cox comes back in at QB.  Looks like the Black team is getting ready to try and make a run at the score.

Cox gets a screen pass to King who gets tripped up.  King wanted to score on that one, you can tell, but it was a nice trip up by Vance Cuff.  If I'm the Black team coach, I'm getting King the ball again.

They tried to again and Justin Houston gets the QB sack.  Butler kicks again and actually gets a decent one off.  I'm sure Fabris will still tear into his ass when he gets the chance.

The Red is going to take over the ball again who is going to try and run the ball out for some steak.  With a 17-3 lead, I got a feeling this one is pretty wrapped up, so hopefully we can see some O-line and RB action.  

Interview with Brannan Southerland went well.  He'll be back by fall.  

Handoff to Richard Samuel gets about 5 yards.  Pretty good blocking out front.  Another run by Samuel and another chance to see a nice hole made by the O-line.  Not sure how many starters for the defense are still playing, but the O-line is getting the best of them right now. 

Samuel gets another carry.  It's kind of funny how much harder the defense tries to hit the freshmen when they touch the ball.  If you're a senior, it's your job to break these guys in.  Corvey Irvin gets pulled offside and I think Bobo's going to take a shot here.  He has that look on his face.  

3 WR set.  Gray is back and tosses it deep to Kenneth Harris, who couldn't make the catch.  Told ya so.  If the opposing team kept an eye on Bobo, they'd know what he was calling every time.

Kalvin Daniels gets the toss and gets about 15 yards.  It was a very nice run by Daniels who didn't quit at all and showed great patience.  After the run, Chad Gloer gets another chance and sacks Gray after the pocket collapses on the blitz.  

Gray on the keeper and he gets tagged and then gets TAGGED by a defender.  Whoever #43 is really nailed him and will probably catch an earful when the time comes.  Gray goes deep again to Michael Moore and it gets broken up in the endzone.  Another nice pass, though.

Frank Ros gets in front of the microphone and does a little bit of talking about Bryce Ros, who I'm very excited about.  He's got a frame on him and could do a lot for us.  

Scary moment for big Vince Vance who is down right now with a knee problem.  He doesn't look to be too hurt.  Richt is out there with the trainers checking on big VV.  VV isn't putting any weight on it, so I'm not sure how hurt he is, but he wasn't on the ground too long.  Just from seeing guys pull an ACL/MCL, they're usually down for a little longer, so hopefully it's not too bad.

Stache is back in for the Black team and throws the the Red team.  John Knox gets the pick and seals it up for the Red team.  

Knowing Bobo, they're going to try and score on this possession.  Well, Bobo actually just runs it out with Samuel and Daniels.  The Red team chalks up another victory against the Black team.  

Final thoughts coming up.

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Walk-on Nick Franks leads the QBs out for the Black team.  Richt is in the booth with the guys.

Dontavious Jackson gets two handoffs.  The first, goes no where, but the second gets a nice 6 yard gain.  He's quick, but not very big.  He needs some S&C.  Josh Bagby, a FB, gets the handoff and goes no where.

Drew Butler is going to come out and kick.  Drew gets off a kick after a high snap (he's dead on a rush) and the kick is ugly again.  Fabris looks pissed about it too.  

Gray comes back out for the Red team.  Samuel gets the carry, but it looks like a hold on the O-line will bring the run back.  Richt gives Samuel some props for his weight room warrior attitude.  Jarius Wynn drags down Samuel on the handoff.  Wynn is looking great today.

Logan on the keeper and gets about 20 yards.  He's a quick kid.  It was the first time today to really see him run and he made the most of it.  

Jamie Lewis gets the carry, but gets licked by Chad Gloer.  I'm really surprised by Richt's knowledge of the walk-ons.  Most coaches (and I'm talking about you Bobby Bowden) wouldn't even bother with getting to know these kids, but Richt is all over it.

Some Center talk and it sounds like they want Ben Jones to step up and become the Center so that C. Davis can go back to his natural position.  Mimbs comes out and kicks and nails it.  He's looking good.

Stache!!!!  Jonathan De'Laruel (sp?) comes out mustache and all.  He neglects to pull the trigger and gets sacked.  The good news is he had some decent time back there to throw.  Again, Stache has tons of time to throw the ball and forgets again.  

Jamie Battson (??) takes over the Red team offense and hands off to Samuel.  

That's the end of the 3rd quarter.  Here's some thoughts:

  • Butler has got to get it together in the kicking game.  Mimbs is solid as a rock though and whoever is snapping the ball to him has been right on the money.
  • Stache is hesitant to pull the trigger because this is the first time he's ever had the chance to.  It'd be nice to see him get a chance to throw, but it's all on him to do it.
  • The O-line looked a little better on both sides of the ball.  They protected much better.
4th Quarter Highlights next.

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First, a quick interview with DJ (who is probably my favorite Dawg of all time).  He's the honorary coach for the red team.  No questions to DJ about his NFL career.  That kind of pisses me off.  I'm really interested to see what's going on with him.

Then they interview Kevin Butler, coach of the Black team.  Butler tells us what we all figured anyway; that we need some help in the kicking game.  

I'm pissed about not getting an update about Shockley.  Damn it.

Anyway, some first half observations.

  • We are just not there on the O-line.  I really believe Richt when he's said he doesn't feel that we're where we need to be.  Thankfully, this is spring and we have plenty of time to get it together, but we've got to get after it better in the trenches.  The talent gap between the first and second team is HUGE and we've got to get after it during the summer.
  • Stafford and Moreno both look good and our WRs on the first team have some sure hands.  Moreno is not as jaw-dropping as you would think, but he's still got that electricity about him where you hold your breath every time he touches the ball.
  • We look solid in the front 7 on defense.  Especially in the trenches, we're quick and create a lot of havoc.  Damn we're deep on defense.  The 2nd team looks good too and I can't say enough about our LBs.  I think we're a little thin in the secondary as far as playmakers go since we've been burned a couple of times, but I'd say our defense could keep up with at least 80% of the teams in the nation RIGHT NOW.  Who knows how much better we could be by the fall.
  • Kicking wise, we don't look bad at all.  Our punting isn't as solid as we'd like, but on FGs, we've got some legs out there.  
3rd Quarter coming up.

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Did I ever mention that I hate listening to Buck?  Thank God he didn't get the announcing job in place of Larry.

Brian Mimbs kicks it away and Reshad Jones catches at the 30.  Mark Richt is joining the guys in the booth in the 3rd Quarter today as opposed to the 2nd.  Can't wait to hear what he has to say.

Joe Cox throws in the flat to Caleb King where he gets about 9 yards.  Our WR blocking wasn't that great on the play as some guys really neglected to get in front of the CBs and drive them back.  

Kalvin Daniels gets in the game wearing Ellerbe's #33.  I really like Daniels and hope he gets to see some playing time this fall.  He reminds me of Jason Johnson for some reason and I was VERY high on what JJ did for the Dawgs as far as lockerroom leadership goes.  

Cox goes again into the flat and Fred Munzenmier (sorry Abby if I spelled that wrong...she's his sister and former Redcoat) can't hang on.  Joe Cox is really going with some safe throws after trying to force the ball in to Figgins earlier.  For some reason the Black team has called a couple of timeouts on this possession after looking like they're completely lost in formation.  

Just a random observation, but the difference between our 1st and 2nd team offense is VERY noticeable, whereas our 1st and 2nd team defense seems to be not such a huge dropoff.  I honestly think that's a good thing.

After getting everyone on the same page, the toss goes to Caleb King, who again looks good.  That kid is a lot bigger than I originally thought.  He's got a Jarius Norwood type build to him.  King gets the handoff again and spins someone completely out of their shoes to get about 6 yards.  King is looking really good today and people are reacting to watching him run.  

Akeem Hebron gets the fumble after the QB/Center exchange goes awry (uh oh...) and takes it down the field until Joe Cox takes him to the ground.  Cox got a nice ovation for getting in there and not giving up.

Logan Gray comes in the game and tosses to Knowshon who tries to show off.  He only gets about 2 yards though.  Gray goes deep and Asher Allen gets an interference call on him after some bumping in the endzone.  Honestly, I think it was a little overthrown, but Asher did do a little too much bumping downfield.  Asher's pissed about the call, but not as pissed as he's going to be when Willie gets into him about it.

Richard Samuel comes into the game and Asher sticks him good on an open field tackle.  It amazes me how big Samuel is for only 17 years old.  Timeout called.  

Going on about Samuel, he is a specimen.  That kid is big and quick.  No wonder he is talked about so much.  

After the timeout, Gray throws in the flat to the fullback and Rennie Curran sticks him pretty good.  Our defense is SICK with speed.  It's insane.  Gray goes on the keeper and would've had the TD, but the play is blown dead.  

Gray throws a BULLET to Michael Moore who catches his second TD of the day.  Gray made an excellent throw.  I have a feeling that Gray may see a lot more playing time this year than people think.  Michael Moore is good, but he's really just doing what he's supposed to do.  The QBs are making it very easy for him.  Not taking anything away from Moore though.

Cox brings the Black back out and dumps it to the FB who gets about 5 yards.  Still seeing really safe throws from Cox.  I'd like to see him air it out some if possible.  Another pass and it's an out route to Israel Troupe.  Cox is looking fundamentally sound and definitely knows the offense.

Cox throws to Walter Hill who is tall as sh*t.  Hill looks up late and can't make the grab.  Handoff goes to Kalvin Daniels and the O-line disintegrates again and the defense makes the stop. 

Honestly, I'm worried about this O-line.  

Cox throws back to Kalvin Daniels on third down who gets LEVELED by John Knox.  That was a GREAT hit by Knox, who I've heard is a good hitter as it is.  Drew Butler comes out to kick and the punt was an ugly one.  I think it just went off the side of his foot, but it had no hang time at all.

Joe Cox comes out and throws to Kenneth Harris, who was supposed to not play today, but oh well.  Harris is getting talked to on the sideline, like "you're not supposed to do that."

Stafford's back in at QB and hands to Moreno, but the play is a false start.  Moreno jabs at Curran who lets him know that if Moreno had caught it, his ass would be on the ground.  Stafford then throws incomplete to Durham, who I'm not sure if he fell down or if Stafford was off, but they just didn't hook up.  

Screen pass caught with one hand by Moreno.  He then makes Asher miss and then picks p the first down.  Michael Moore then catches a nice pass from Stafford.  We're putting together a nice drive here.  I just watched the next play from Stafford (incomplete to Moore) and he's getting a little bit better blocking up front. 

Stafford throws it up the middle to Aaron White, who gets it and comes down with it.  It was a nice throw by Stafford and we've got 5 seconds left in the half.  Looks like we're going to go for a Hail Mary since it's too far for a FG.

They went for an out route instead of the Hail Mary, but it was incomplete.  Brian Behr is coming out to attempt a 52 yarder.  

Behr nails it from 52 yards.  Again, no rush, but a helluva kick.  Probably would've been good from 55.  

First half thoughts coming up next.

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Stafford starts out with a playfake and throws in the flat to Kris Durham who gets a VERY nice gain of about 20 yards.  His speed really seems to has picked up.

Knowshon for some reason is wearing #26 (update:  he's wearing it to honor Tony Wilson).  No indication as of yet why he has that.  Moreno got the first carry and gets a good 4 yards out of it.  Knowshon gets the next carry and runs a misdirection and gets a good 10 yards and a first down.

Stafford fakes the handoff on the next play and gets a little bit of time up front and throws a BEAUTIFUL pass to Michael Moore who has also had an impressive spring.  The kick is good (we have a kicker?) and the Red is up 7-0.

Just some random thoughts from the first series:

  • Stafford showed really nice fundamentals on the pass to Michael Moore.  
  • Up front we look "OK" on both sides of the ball.  Neither time that Moreno ran the ball did he have a big hole.  It was more of him making things happen.

The next series begins with Joe Cox handing off to Caleb King.  Right now, King isn't looking too great, but I think more of that has to do with very little blocking up front.  We don't seem to be getting after it too much in the trenches on the O-line.  

Joe Cox on 3rd down threw a BEAUTIFUL pass to Israel Troupe, who makes a nice catch.   Troupe looks great in pads.  Big kid.

On the first down after the big gain, Cox is sacked.  I can tell you that Joe Cox has NO protection up front.  Caleb King gets the handoff on the second down and makes a nice run.  He's got a good second gear that allows him to get a nice burst once he makes a good cut.  

King gets the next handoff and gets another first down.  He's running hard and seems to be much more downhill than Knowshon.  They are still both REALLY quick, but King seems to be really into hitting people and driving them back.  Reminds me a lot of Thomas Brown's mentality.  

After a quick throw out in the flat for 5 yards, Cox is sacked again.  In the real world, he makes that throw, but it goes down as a sack.  On the next down, Cox throws kind of an ill-advised pass to Bruce Figgins.  Walk-on Andrew Jenson hits a 47 yard field goal for a 7-3 score.

On the next series, Stafford keeps on the bootleg and gets about 7 yards it looks like.  C.J. Byrd is the one that tags him.  Stafford throws on the next down and Asher Allen nearly picks it off.  To me it looks like Durham didn't curl as soon as he was supposed to and Asher nearly picked it off.

On 3rd & 4, Stafford is sacked by Jarius Wynn.  It'll most likely be a "punt" situation and the Black team will take it.

1st Quarter Thoughts:

  • I'm starting to agree with Richt when he says that he doesn't feel that our O-line is where it was last year.  They're just not that mean up front even though athletically they look fantastic.  They're big, but not moving really well.
  • The running backs are impressing me.  Knowshon looks good of course, but Caleb King showed some determination on his runs.  
  • Our D-line is causing some havoc up front on both sides of the ball.  Some of that has to do with our O-line not being where it should be, but our War Daddies defensively are really getting after it.
2nd Quarter Highlights next.

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I fired this thing up only to log onto and see that Abry Jones has committed to UGA.  This is a HUGE get for the Dawgs as DL was going to be a major focus for us.  In his interview he said he was 100% committed to the Dawgs and chose us over Miami.  

Ok, so just to let you guys know what is going on right now, the stadium looks to have a great crowd on hand even though the weather has kept some people away.  

We're getting ready to kickoff, so I'll have 1st quarter highlights soon.


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Due to some unfortunate circumstances out of my control (see: new apt. makes me broke and can't afford the gas to come to Athens), I will not be attending G-day this year.  

So, for the other 3 unfortunate souls who share my situation, I thought I would live blog the G-day game as I watched it to get knee-jerk reactions "on paper," and then go back and see if any of my assessments were correct at a later date.

If you have no idea how this goes, I'd say go back and check out when I live blogged the Vanderbilt upset in 2006.  It'll be a lot like that.  I'll probably do it quarter by quarter since they will only go 8 minutes long according to Richt, and I won't live blog every play, just the observations I'm making.

Should be fun times and I'm hoping to get some decent stuff out of a subpar weather day.  For those in Athens, have fun for me because I really wish I were there.  For those like me, please let me know in the comments section if you agree, disagree, etc.  I'd love to get your thoughts too on what you're seeing.

See you at about 1:45p.  Go Dawgs.

Until next time kids.

Be safe.

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Thursday, April 03, 2008
Remember the days when a football player could break the law and it was just a minor thing?  Like let's say the seniors got together and made the true freshmen get hammered and then made them streak through the quad.  Remember when that was no big deal?

Well, those days are over my friend and when upperclassmen break the law in certain places, the break the absolute hell out of it.

Take our friend Ryan Perrilloux.  Now, Ryan is not only the kind of kid that doesn't feel the need to show up to practice, but he's also the kind of kid that gets kicked off a team only to reappear when his coach realizes he has no other options at QB.  Then, when he is magically reinstated, he rolls into a restaurant 30 minutes after closing with three strippers in tow.  Once he's told he's not being served, he proceeds to call the server "Osama" and then creates enough of a scene to have the cops called.

Of course, from start to finish, this never happened according to the owners of the restaurant.

Did I mention somewhere in there that Les Miles reportedly made a phone call on Perrilloux's behalf?  And that the restaurant itself has had countless phone calls from boosters, the media, and general football fans?  I didn't?  Oh.  I must've missed that part.

For a full story on the progression of the "incident that happened but didn't happen," click here.

So all of that brings me to a pretty beneficial point for UGA.  We've had our problems in the past and most of the time it involves either beer, scooters, or Mudcat Elmore's car.  The good news is, whenever we have problems, we don't grow a significant man-gina like Les Miles and bend when it's beneficial.

I guarantee that if CMR had the same type of player on our team, he would've been kicked off after the very first instance.  Period.

That's right, no Perrillouxsers on our squad.  No sir.

So, LSU can keep their Nat'l Championship.  I don't want to win at all costs.  It's cheap and it's the norm nowadays.  Don't get me wrong, Evil Richt rocks the house, but he's not a bitch when it's time to lay down the law.  

Besides, when we're blacking it out in Miami on the way to hoisting a crystal football, at least no one can say "well they did with criminals."  

Unless you're a GT football fan.  Reason and logic escaped them long ago.

Until next time kids.  

Be safe.

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Wednesday, April 02, 2008
So I'm sitting at my favorite local pub (Padriac's) and I was having a beer on a very nice spring day with a buddy of mine who works at my former employer and is looking for a new opportunity.  This particular opportunity is an outside sales job that sells services that EVERY business needs:  bookkeeping/accounting.

We get to talking about selling and how people HATE salesmen, but LOVE conversationalists.  It actually got me to thinking, oddly enough, about this upcoming season and how you can "sell" the Dawgs as a MNC contender for next year.  Then it clicked that maybe a good post could come out of that.  So, here's how I'm going to sell to you that the Dawgs are ready to be the team we all hope they can be.

The Dawgs are entering into the seventh year of the Mark Richt era.  An era that has been defined by an exemplary road record in the SEC, two SEC championships in three appearances, and a plethora of top ten recruiting classes since the era began.  So immediately you know the talent is there, and obviously the coaching is not far behind, if it is at all.

However, after the success of this past year, one would think "the Dawgs are naturally at the top of the heap, but their schedule this year is brutal."  Well, it's no different than the schedule Florida or LSU had to wade through in '06 and '07 respectively.  It's the SEC.  It's going to be tough.

Here's what I do know.  Defense wins championships.  Our defense, in particular, returns nine of 11 starters with no attrition in the LB corps and only one lose in the secondary, followed by one loss on the defensive line.  While these types of players cannot be replaced, especially with their leadership skills, their work ethic can be replicated to every person who has played on the field with them.  All nine, in fact.

We have All-Americans in the waiting in guys like Jeff Owens, Kade Weston, Asher Allen, Dannell Ellerbe, Rennie Curran, etc.  These guys have shown not only flashes of brilliance, but flat out steady beams of brilliance in games where it counted most.

So the defense will take care of itself.  We have a coach in Willie Martinez that has finally come into his own and created a hybrid defense where we play a zone for confusion, but blitz and hurry the opposing quarterback to force him to make mistakes.  We're nasty down in front and we're fast and hard-hitting should he ever get the chance to get the ball out of his hands.  If you don't believe me, ask Hawaii and Florida.

On the offensive side, we have a three year (almost) starter in Matthew Stafford.  The former gunslinger now considers himself a true quarterback and student of the game with one helluva arm.  Should he have an off-day, you have a potential Heisman candidate in Knowshon Moreno ready to carry the rock 25-30 times a game if called upon.  His body is tough and his attitude is infectious.  

"Well, your offensive line lost two seniors that provided great leadership."  

Absolutely they did.  There's no denying that.  However, we lost Max-Jean Gilles years ago and we ended up just fine right now.  We have kids on that line that are eager to prove what they can do.  Take Justin "Bean" Anderson for instance.  His flashes of brilliance are prepared to be steady streams of toughness once he gets the gameday feel into his blood.  Sure you have mainstays along the offensive line such as Trinton Sturdivant and Clint Boling.  Of course you need that bell cow out front that makes this line a unit, but that will come with time on and off the field.  No one calls teachers "leaders."  Leaders lead.  They do.  They prove.  They speak with words AND actions.  Anderson, true freshman Ben Jones, and proven warriors like Sturdivant are those types of guys.  The energy to be the best is undeniable.  That's the attitude that second-year coach Stacy Searels has implemented.  

"Ok, so you can run the ball.  Can you throw it?"

Are you kidding me?  Look at a guy like Mo Mass, who not only runs great routes, but has shown the surest of hands in game situations last year, as well as in practice.  He's a tremendous blocker.  He's a teacher and a leader.  He is our guy.  Then, behind him you have the "Old Faithful" in Kris Durham, who could catch a golf ball covered in baby oil.  This guy is big, willing to put his body on the line, and has hands made of pillows.  If you need a first down, he's your guy.

Let's not even waste your time in talking about the guys like Walter Hill, who is a jump ball master, or Tavarres King, who despite being a little skinny, is as smooth as silk.  These guys are waiting in the wings wanting to contribute.  They're also supported by all-world-tough-guy Tony Wilson, the durable and reliable Kenneth Harris, and the ready to be out of the shadows Michael Moore.  The talent is there, the desire is there, the scheme is there, and the passer can get them the ball. 

What else do you need to know?

You see, my friends, we're entering into a very special time in Dawg history.  We're watching a championship team being built right before our very eyes.  With patience, we'll see the fruits of others' labor.  It may not be this year, and it may not even be next year.  But it will be soon, my friends.  It will be sooner than you think.

So rest easy tonight, Dawg Nation.  Let Florida soak up the sun on ESPN.  Let LSU continue to fall into the headlines of putting their faith in a QB that can't even show up to practice.  We'll continue to build our dynasty out of class, hard work, good values, and faith that the tortoise does indeed beat the hare.  

Great days are ahead.  The question is, are you ready to buy?

Until next time kids.

Be safe.

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Tuesday, April 01, 2008
Best April Fool's joke:

"I'm pregnant."

Worst April Fool's joke:

"I'm pregnant and it's YOURS."

No, this did not happen to me today or anything.  I just thought it'd be funny.

Until next time kids.

Be safe (as in "wear a condom").

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