Wednesday, August 31, 2011


If there is one thing we all know about Georgia’s freshman class is that they are talented and very athletic. We have reports from witnesses to practice, veteran players and coaches to speak to the fact. We also know that several of the members of the “Dream Team” are listed on the DAWGS two-deep and will play Saturday against Boise State. Backed by this knowledge, we reached out to the DAWG Nation with a tweet because we wanted to know who y’all expect to show out in the Dome:

Anybody out there think any one of #UGA's "Dream Team" members are gonna ball out vs #BoiseSt Saturday? Who? Let us know! @genxdawg #DAWGS

We got several great responses, proving once again that the Nation is both informed and locked in when it comes to their DAWGS.

Staying on that track, we wanted to take a look at one key way the pups can have an immediate impact on the field for Georgia…special teams.


There is not one football coach in the country that handles a special teams unit that does not want the fastest and most athletic players on his squad and there is no group of football players on the planet that are more willing to prove what they’re all about than young and unproven players. When it comes to the DAWGS and the “Dream Team”, this sounds like a perfect match. Not to mention the fact that experience doesn’t really matter when it comes to this phase of the game. What does matter is DESIRE…PASSION…EFFORT…and juuust enough crazy to make you WANT to run into a wall at full speed…and that’s what makes it great. If you are fighting for the right to start on a special teams unit, you have got to want it. You have got to crave speed, collisions and chaos…‘cause that’s all special teams are. Simply stated, you have got to love the game.

Players, especially young players, often get caught up in a numbers game in position battles, but special teams are the one place that a young player can break out and change the game. Several Georgia players in recent years have made their name on the special teams units before having the opportunity to be an every down player. Kelin Johnson, Chad Gloer, Sean Jones just to name a few.

Isaiah Crowell, Malcolm Mitchell, Ray Drew and Damian Swann are all names that DAWGS fans recognize and each will have a chance to show their stuff on scrimmage downs against the Broncos, but there will be others that will have a shot to jump up and change the game on a single play thanks to special teams. It could be a freshman, or it may be a walk-on that has earned the right to wear the G and hook it up on the big stage. Maybe it’s a blocked punt, or a key block on a kick return, or downing a punt deep in opponent’s territory to flip the field that changes the game and sets the stage for a DAWGS victory.

So, don’t be so quick to head to the concession stand or to the fridge when those special teams units take the field. You just never know when your next favorite player is going to step up, break out and change the game right in front of you.

DESIRE…PASSION…EFFORT. THAT is what BEASTS are made of. THAT is what makes a great special teams player.

Glory, Glory.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011


A couple of things jumped out to me while listening to some sound from Coach Richt on this weeks game with Boise State, but nothing more than the a coach and a football guy...that he has for Chris Petersen and his Broncos. This is a respect that is hard earned, well deserved and that everyone in the DAWG Nation should share for our opponent this Saturday.

Coach Richt on Boise State and the DAWGS:

“It’s important to play well. It’s important to get after it. It’s important to prove, even to ourselves, that we still know how to play football the way it should be played. Boise State is a great opponent to try to prove that (against) because I think they play the game the way it should be played. They coach it and they play it the way it should be played.”

Viewing the game from the defensive huddle as I do, these little tidbits shared by Coach Richt certainly got my attention:

Coach Richt mentioned the sparkling notes that Boise State led the nation in sacks, led the nation in tackles for loss and finished second in the country in total defense.

“Now we’ve just got to go do it, go play it, go fight the battle and just see what we’re all about.”

Glory, Glory.

Friday, August 26, 2011


One of our favorite parts of college football season coming back around is just the attitude and the scene that comes with it. I really started feeling those old feelings today and it set my mind drifting back to good times spent in the crisp evening air as summer starts to give way to the fall. My soundtrack for this trip down memory lane was provided by a Damn Good DAWG and Georgia native, Jason Aldean.

Aldean's "Dirt Road Anthem" carried me out today, the version spiced up by Ludacris 'cause that's how I get down, and has now earned a permanent spot on my gameday playlist. Like I said, Aldean is DGD from Macon and wears his colors with pride. If I thought anybody was paying attention and I had the platform, I would do exactly the same thing. I have mad respect for Aldean. Not only because of his talents as an artist, but because this DAWG has his priorities in order.

Like I said, I'm a fan and Jason Aldean is one DAWG fan that has earned BEAST status on this blog. Jason, consider this your invitation. Any time you wanna grab your six string, pull up a chair and tilt one with us you're certainly welcome.

So DAWG Nation, embrace one of your own and crank up "Dirt Road Anthem" as you enjoy good times with your family and friends and enjoy the ride as our DAWGS G.A.T.A this season, because you can rest assured that Jason Aldean is one damn good DAWG that's gonna be barking right along with ya.

Glory, Glory.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011


During Coach Mark Richt’s press availability after Wednesday’s practice game, it was hard for me to focus after something Coach said right off the top got my attention. The practice game was set up to start with the second half of play with Boise State leading 31-0. Other than the fact that there were no injuries on the day, I can’t really pick out anything else that stood out to me after that opening statement. I just kept thinking…31-0. Second half. What is it that…? Then I had it. Thirty-one to nothing was the score at the half of the Alabama game back in 2008. A game in which the DAWGS were thoroughly whipped…in their own back yard…with a prime time national television audience watching. A game that had blistered the media in the week leading up to it with a dizzying display of hype complete with back and forth jabs between players and even coaches. This was the game that abruptly silenced all of the positive noise that had surrounded a Georgia team that came into the 2008 season ranked number one in the land. A game that, when it was over, had showed the college football universe that Georgia was no longer a prime time player, even with the likes of Matt Stafford, Knowshon Moreno and AJ Green on the roster, and was in fact…soft. A game from which Georgia, both the team and the DAWG Nation, have never fully recovered. That is why it sounded so familiar. That is why I could not forget.

In the unlikely event you need a reminder, this is how it happened.

Thirty-one to zero. Why would Coach Richt have chosen THAT score as a set up to be used in a practice game in preparation for THIS game with Boise State? Maybe it was just a coincidence. Maybe he just wanted to not make it too easy for the first unit Georgia squad to overcome the deficit. Coach Richt nearly said as much saying that he wanted to create a little urgency late in the half to make every rep valuable. I can see that. So, maybe there is nothing to it above and beyond what Coach said at all. Then again maybe there was, even if just on a subconscious level. Or, maybe there was even more to it than that.

Because I have the freedom to do such things, I decided to look back just a bit to see if Richt’s chosen scenario was just a random set-up or if it was actually a cunning maneuver by a coach that is both burdened and driven by all that game back in 2008 meant at the time and in the days since in an effort to insure a different result for his squad this time around.

A quick review of the schedule following that awful night in Athens in 2008 reveals that in every really big game the DAWGS have played since, a game that has attracted the attention of the college football world, they have lost. Later that season, Georgia teased us in a late October game on the bayou with a win at LSU only to lose a week later in Jacksonville. In the end, that was a win over a LSU team that finished the season 8-5, and just when they were back on the radar the DAWGS got ripped by Tim Tebow and the Gators. The DAWGS would go on to win a New Year’s Day bowl game, but by that time it just wasn’t enough to keep anyone not in red and black all that interested. In 2009 Georgia kicked off the season on the road with another big time match-up against Oklahoma State. There was a lot of reason for the nation to pay attention, but the DAWGS went down to defeat once again. Georgia would go on to lose another marquis match-up with LSU at home, followed by a stinker of a flop on rocky top. The DAWGS were standing well outside the spotlight the rest of the season and would wind up with an 8-5 record. Last season started awfully as Marcus Lattimore and the Gamecocks punched the DAWGS in the mouth in the second game of the year in a game that seemed to pretty much set the tone for how things would go the rest of the way in 2010. Colorado was interesting to non-DAWG types because of the inter-sectional match-up, but Georgia would lose despite the return of AJ Green to the line-up. Everybody was down on the DAWGS, but the team was at .500 heading into the annual grudge match with the Gators in Jacksonville. The boys fought hard, but in the end it was just another loss. Georgia salvaged a bowl game, but didn’t show up to play in it and the 2010 season came to a merciful close.

Ugh. That was awful to write and even worse to read back to myself. Now there were good moments during that span, and I am a DAWG through and through, but those are NOT the things that championship teams and programs are made of and everybody knows it. Coach Richt certainly knows it. He knows that the old “At least we tried. At least we played hard.” mantra is not good enough at Georgia and he believes that it is not good enough for his players or for himself. That is why I think Coach Richt’s selection of THAT score…31-0…set up to be used in a practice game in preparation for THIS game with Boise State…has a little deeper meaning whether the dean of SEC coaches would ever admit it or not. Coach Richt sees it as a reminder of where the train came off the tracks. I believe that it, even if only for him and only for a moment, added a little fire to the spirit and a little edge to the personality. It’s a little extra motivation in the odd span of time that is the in-between days that follow the end of camp, but precede excitement of game week installation. Or, maybe I’m just making too much of it all…adding a back story to a random and singular fact. Maybe I am completely off base and it was just a random number assigned to just another scrimmage.

Either way, this much is fact: Coach Richt knows that if his DAWGS can get a win on September 3rd in the Georgia Dome against a top five Boise State team…in front of a national television audience…under the glare of the bright lights of prime time with the entire college football universe watching…then this years Georgia team will have taken the first step on the long road back to SEC relevance, national prominence and will have begun to put a shine back on a program that has certainly been dulled in recent years.

I hope I’m right, even if Coach Richt would never admit it.

Glory, Glory.

Saturday, August 20, 2011


Exclusive to the twittah. Exclusive until now anyway. I decided to bring it here to the blog just to share with all you fine people that may not be following us @ADAMNBEASTBLOG in hopes that a few of y'all might decide to come along for the ride.

7 hours ago...

For what it's worth, we like the UGA Pro Combat Uniforms. Coming up, we'll tell you why. #UGA #DAWGS @Nike #ProCombat

4 hours later...

We like the #DAWGS #ProCombat unis. This guy does too & we agree w/ why ... Another worth a read.

3 hours later...

About the #DAWGS #ProCombat unis...everybody's entitled to their opinion and ours is that they're cool. They rock. They're bad ass.

Then came a run and we hit our stride...

"There's a lot of red going on." Yep. Georgia IS red. "They're busy." Yep. They're sleek and aggressive.

"Red on the facemask?" Hell, yes! I immediately thought of Erk. Apparently, so did this #DAWG.

"A silver helmet?" Absolutely. If it was good enough for Sinkwich, it's good enough for today's #DAWGS.

"There's nothing about a silver helmet that honors the 1980 champs." No, they didn't wear silver helmets in 1980.....

...However, 1980 was the year Vince went back to the famed silver britches. That's why the helmet is a nod to 1980.

"Red pants?" We all know the @HerschelWalker legend was born in red pants. If #34 wore them, they're fine. #DAWGS

So, let's all hear @crob45:

"No matter what we're wearing September 3rd we're gonna need all the fans support!"

and get behind them #DAWGS!

Glory, Glory.

Friday, August 19, 2011


Whenever Coach Richt and his staff put the team though their paces in a scrimmage every member of the DAWG Nation can’t wait to hear how things went. Inevitably many fans will take the first reports of statistics from the scrimmage and attempt to read into the numbers and decipher some nugget of useable information. I know I’ve done it and if you reading this blog, odds are you have too. What’s new here is…I don’t do it anymore. I have just changed how I look at these things.

It is very easy to think scrimmage and equate that to “practice game” but that isn’t always the case. There are many reasons to care about, but not put too much stock in, the reports coming out of any scrimmage. Outside of definitive injury reports, virtually everything else should be taken with a grain of salt. What we read and hear as fans can be twisted virtually any way before it gets to us, either by a coach that wants to relay a specific message through the media to sway public opinion or not divulge some particular information, or by a reporter that writes a recap in a certain way because it might somehow tie to an over-arching storyline that has had legs throughout camp. Now, I do not mean to say that any of this is occurring within our coaching staff or by the fine reporters that do the hard work of following the DAWGS day in and day out. I am merely saying that from the outside, the looking glass that is our window into the world of all things DAWG is heavily frosted.

From being around the game of football in one way or another for the last 28 years and my experience of being on the practice field and sitting in many a coach’s office during that time, I understand that the blanket term “scrimmage” just is not the reality in most cases. More often than not, even within a full 2.5 to 3 hour session, these “scrimmages” are more pointed in their purpose as coaches want to see how their team will react in any number of very specific situations that might come up in a game. Because of this fact and the unavoidable in and out of players that may not be allowed to participate, calling a scrimmage a snap shot of how your team is looking is like taking a photo in the moment only to find out later that your finger blocked most of the lens. In the end, these scrimmage sessions provide us only a partial view and understanding of what’s really happening at best.

If you need further persuasion, just read up on the recent reports that Coach Richt took some advice from Atlanta Falcons head coach Mike Smith about placing even a heavier and more consistent emphasis on situational practices. The thought here being that there are key moments in a game that will almost certainly dictate wins and losses and that those situations should be more heavily drilled. It puts a focus on winning when the money’s on the table, so to speak.

Nation…just like you, I want to hear the latest reports from every practice, scrimmage and if I could get them, meeting. This hunger is what makes Georgia fans and fans of the SEC the greatest in the country. All I’m saying is try not to get yourself too wound up one way or the other at every quick report you see when it comes to the DAWGS progress, especially when it comes to these scrimmages. I think you will agree with me that it is far more important that the DAWGS execute and win “when the lights are on” than when we are collectively standing outside the door and attempting to peer through the key hole.

Glory, Glory.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011


Every year…every game…at the stadium or in front of the widescreen…whether I’ve tilted a few or stone cold sober…every year, every game I try to predict what the first offensive play of the first offensive series will be for the DAWGS in each game. Not only do I test my own advance study of match-ups and tendencies, but I will inevitably (even when I try not to) turn and ask Ali Blue (usually the other best football mind in the room) what her opinion is on the subject and she will usually give some sincere thought to the question and give a well thought out reply. I do this for fun, just to see if I’m right…or if Ali’s right…and of course I want to see if she calls the same play I have called…and if either of us were right, did the play work? She knows I enjoy this and she plays along. Because she knows this means more to me than it ever could to her, she even goes first so I can hear her prediction just to see if her call matches mine. I will then regale her with my play call and will inevitably explain to her why I have chosen that play. She honestly listens to what I have to say. Maybe she really gains some insight from my offering, or it could be because it’s just entertaining. Doesn’t matter. I absolutely relish this tradition between us and it has now become a very enjoyable part of our game day experience.

Hopefully we have the opportunity to do this 14 times in any given season…12 regular season games, the SEC Championship game and a bowl game. I love to attack and I always have to push down the urge to call the post route. To take a chance at landing the haymaker right away. Sometimes I’m just feeling traditional and call the toss sweep. I mean, it is a staple of the DAWGS offense. Old reliable. Other times the advance scouting and film work (Yes, I do that.) figures more heavily and I’ll pick a play that takes advantage of some match-up that gives Georgia a clear advantage. It all depends on my mood.

So, with the season barreling towards us, I got to thinking about how much fun we have with this and I began to wonder if we were the only members of the DAWG Nation that take our shot at offensive coordinator. Surely not. We can’t be. That’s why I want to know about you. Do you or any of your fellow DAWGS give calling the opening play a shot? If so, we want to know about it. Tell us if you do. Do you share your pick with other DAWGS or do you keep it to yourself…even if you’re not alone. How do you choose the play? We want to hear from you and everything about your play calling process. Leave us a comment below or head over to the Facebook page and tell us your story there.

It’s September 3rd and the Georgia Dome is rocking. Aaron Murray leads the DAWGS to the line as the college football nation looks on. You’ve shoved Mike Bobo out of the chair and, for one play, you are directing the Georgia offense. What’s your call? TK to the post? Isaiah Crowell on the zone read? Or, do you like Orson Charles up the seam? Come on DAWG Nation, let us hear ya.

Glory, Glory.

Sunday, August 14, 2011


…but, here are a few things I think I know about the DAWGS in 2011:

Tavarres King will catch 50 balls this season

Orson Charles will catch 40

Georgia finished with 24 quarterback sacks last season; the DAWGS will better that number this year

Alec Ogletree will lead Georgia in total tackles this season

Georgia will block a punt in 2011

The DAWGS will win on Rocky Top for the first time since 2005

Aaron Murray will throw 20+ touchdown passes

Jarvis Jones will finish with at least 5 sacks

The odds are better than even money that Coach Grantham gets a Powerade bath this year

Drew Butler will win the Ray Guy Award

The DAWGS will return a punt for a touchdown

Stephen Garcia will be the key to whether the DAWGS beat South Carolina or not


Glory, Glory.

Sunday, August 7, 2011



Competition is vital. In the game of football, competition between players is an absolute must. It must be whole hearted and fierce, driven by a burning desire that cannot be doused by the self-doubt of benchwarmer reasoning. After the challenge, what is left is only the very best a group has to offer, but there really are no losers. No. The right to play has been won and as a result, the second option has been proven worthy of the right to join the winner in that great, common challenge that lies ahead.

Coach Richt as made it clear that competition and effort among this year’s DAWGS has not been lacking. The latest word from the practice fields only serves to validate that statement. Offensive line coach Will Friend has already issued a battlefield promotion to freshman David Andrews, moving the first year player up to the back-up role at center. If Andrews continues to progress, this should bode very well for the future.

Competition shows you who your “players” are, regardless of class. One thing that has apparently become abundantly clear over the first few days is there is a lot of athleticism on the practice fields, especially in this freshman class. Secondary coach Scott Lakatos raved about the physical talents of the new defensive backs and it seems the staff intends to find a spot for them saying, “We’ll put them out there and let them play.” This leads me to believe that several of these guys will get every chance to play immediately on special teams and possibly more. I say that’s a good thing.

I’m really feeling the attitude that I hear coming from the coaches too. When asked about his short numbers on the O-line, Friend said “All you need is five, nobody’s fretting.” That’s right. Man ‘em up, coach. Let’s play.

Defensive Coordinator Todd Grantham has a singular target for his men: WIN. When asked for five goals for this year’s defensive unit, Grantham only offered one. WIN. Every situation. Every one on one battle. Every drill. WIN. I hear ya, coach! Keep it simple. Grantham went on to say, “If you’re on our team and play defense, you have to know how to compete.”

You have to compete to have any chance to win. Once you’ve won enough battles to earn the right to step out and compete again, on Saturdays between the hedges with that G on the side of your helmet, then you will know that you are ready to take on all comers.

It appears that Kwame Geathers is down for the challenge. Big John Jenkins is on campus and competing hard, but Geathers has met every advance so far. Jenkins will have an impact on the field this year for the DAWGS, but at this point Jenkins is “…a very talented big man that’s very inconsistent,” coach Rodney Garner said. “He’s going to have to improve his fundamentals to play at this level.” Two anchors in the center of a defensive line, rotating to assure that they will always have a little bounce in their step. Yes, please.

Running backs coach Bryan McClendon is making me feel better and better every time I hear him talk about Isaiah Crowell.

“It’s easy for him, but the great thing that you see with him is you see a guy that doesn’t necessarily accept that ‘Hey, I’ve been doing this good so far.’ He’s constantly working, constantly trying to get better so that’s very encouraging.” McClendon continued, “He’s doing a good job of studying. He’s doing a good job of learning it. That stuff comes pretty quick to him. And that happens when you have a guy that, one, wants to be as good as he wants to be; and, two, is serious about football. Football is serious to that kid.”

That is exactly the type of focus and dedication it will take for Crowell to meet his own goals and lift his team to meet the expectations and hopes of the DAWG Nation.

Four practices down and the warm ups are over. It’s time to hook it up and get after somebody. I can’t wait to get the reports from the first practice in full pads and then the first scrimmage later this week. Just like Offensive Coordinator Mike Bobo said, “I want to see who will strike somebody, who won’t flinch. That’s the biggest thing.”

Glory, Glory.

Friday, August 5, 2011


T.J. Stripling seems to be coming along fine with his rehab of a torn patella tendon, so maybe I was on to something with the idea that he could be a quiet key for the DAWGS defense this year if he gets back healthy.

Jonathan Jenkins looks great in his single digit practice jersey. Fingers crossed that he spends a lot of time in the backfield this season. The opponent’s backfield, that is.

Pleased to read that for Cordy Glenn, mashing is mashing. Glenn seems to be adjusting very well to bumping out to man the left tackle position this season. I feel really at ease with this change. I’m betting Aaron Murray does too.

Branden Smith has been showing out a bit, collecting five interceptions. Coach Richt mentioned he actually snatched a couple away from the intended receiver. Music to my ears. I want to see any of our DBs drive on the football in the air more often, especially Smith and Brandon Boykin given their tremendous skills once they have the ball in their hands.

Looks like Isaiah Crowell might get it. Word has it that he takes coaching and seems to genuinely love the game. Malcolm Mitchell could be in the boat with him. Both are flashing raw skills early on and are working hard, but until they prove it “while the band’s playing” I’m afraid we should all temper our expectations a bit. Running backs have to block and WRs have to sharpen routes and beat press coverage. The future looks bright, but until they get it done with the DAWG Nation watching, we don’t know a thing.

Aaron Murray looks all swole’ up. We know he’s a leader and a film junkie (love it), and maybe it’s just me, but Murray looks like he’s added 10-15 pounds of pure muscle. If I’m right, that’s great news. Let’s face it, there’s no way his jersey stays clean all year and a little more bulk can only help the DAWGS leader hold up.

Jay Rome appears to be a big man with soft hands that can move. This is exciting. Though Aron White and Orson Charles give every effort in the blocking game, I really slide to the edge of my seat when I think about the possibilities of a massive Arthur Lynch and an aggressive Rome just crushing down one side of the defensive line to clear some space for our backs.

Grass is finer. Coach Richt pointed out that having grass on the practice fields instead of turf grass, especially during recent days when triple digit temperatures are the norm, is really making a difference for the players. Hey, whatever helps the guys stay healthy and get ready to get after the Broncos is alright by me. Besides, grass stains are cool.

Glory, Glory.