Yesterday Marc Weiszer posted a blog at Onlineathens.com detailing the players’ reasoning behind the outcome in Columbia last Saturday and I was stunned to see the responses. Team leaders on both sides of the ball readily cited effort as one of the main problems.
LB Darryl Gamble:
“I’d say it was maybe a little effort and a little shell-shocked at being there. First SEC game, and a lot of guys, I guess, weren’t ready for it.”
OL Clint Boling:
“We’ve just got to regroup, go back and just be more physical. We’ve got to play harder. ... We've just got to have that mindset that we want to just dominate our guy every play, and I don't know if we have that right now."
Really? How can this possibly be? How can you not give maximum effort in only the second game of a season that only allows you to tee it up 12 times, not to mention the fact that it is the SEC opener? To me that response is stunning if true, but more likely it was just easier to lay the blame on effort than to readily admit that players were intimidated or that they just flat out failed to do as they were coached.
From the outside, it looks as though Coach Grantham and Coach Richt are not going to allow this type of on-field performance to continue. Word has it, Coach Grantham told “all the younger guys in the two-deep that there’s still spots open (to replace) guys who are messing up.” Richt said there indeed will be competition for positions this week and there will likely be more physical practices with the scout team, adding “There’s going to be no diving on the ground at a guy, no going low on a guy. When I mean low, I’m talking about just diving at the knees and ankles and that kind of thing.”
I certainly hope the coaching staff will address the mess that we saw on the field in Columbia on Saturday. If that means previous starters or fan favorites have to take a seat and let another young player have a shot, then so be it. Production is what matters…no one player’s feelings are more important than the success of the unit and the team.
Georgia has not defeated a top 12 ranked opponent in Athens since beating Clemson in 1991. With Ryan Mallett leading the #12 Arkansas Razorbacks in on Saturday, the DAWGS can derail a Heisman campaign and snap that streak all in one fell swoop, not to mention re-focusing the nation’s attention on Georgia as a team that can contend in the SEC East in 2010.