Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Lifting harder and conditioning smarter

The strength and conditioning program for the Georgia football team may not be message bored approved (and really, how could it?) but it's come a long way since the honor system of yester year.
Here’s how Richt described the difference in the weight room.
“Instead of just doing 10 bench presses and then I’m chilling and getting a drink of water and I’m coming back and get me 10 more and build strength, you want to build strength, endurance and even get your heart rate pumping,” Richt said. “Lift, lift, lift, boom, get a little quick blow. Boom, boom, boom. You’re building strength and endurance at the same time.
That seemingly small, but actually huge difference coupled with the fact that coaches will now be able to spend time with their leaner, meaner fighting machines this summer should produce results; ones that should be noticeable in those pictures leaked from practices and scrimmages during fall camp.

So we shouldn't hear talk of dieting in August. If we do, someone dropped the ball.

Because if there's one major difference between the S&C program now as opposed to just a few years ago, it's that there are much more than one set of eyes on it. And they ain't just giving it a passing glance. Not when the star tailback is included in the group as being "overweight".

Humpday Hilarity - gender poetry

h/t Mac

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

All is calm on the defensive front

Spring practice is done and the off season now bears its full weight upon us. Contrarily, the defensive coaches, just a week removed from wanting to dismiss any awards bestowed upon his defense are feeling something closer to satisfied.
"No, I just think he's a little beat up," Rocker said. "I think Ray's gonan be fine. Ray is gonna peak at the right time for us. So I don't worry. Ray has played in a lot of games for us, so I'm expecting him ... He will be a factor for us in the fall."
"Tramel was a highly-ranked player coming out of high school," Pruitt went on. "He went to play offense, he tore his knee up, he's playing defense. You know, Tramel is learning a new position, and he's worked hard doing it. And as long as he continues to do that (he'll be fine). I've talked to him daily about don't create unrealistic expectations. Just go out there and try to improve yourself every day."
 Enjoy it while you can boys. I get the feeling it'll be back to basics come summer.

Monday, April 21, 2014

"You can't sit in your room and eat ice cream. So I went to work."

Garrison Smith on being shut out of the NFL Combine.
Smith, who played in both the 4-3 and 3-4 defenses at Georgia, recorded 63 tackles, 10 for loss and six sacks in 2013. He started in all 13 games for the Bulldogs and moved to nose tackle.
The Atlanta native said he felt like he and some of his fellow Bulldogs were stiffed by the NFL combine.
“That’s the biggest injustice I’ve ever seen. I’ve never seen anything like that happen before. Me personally, I feel like I had one of the best seasons as a D-tackle in the country,” he said. “… You put up them type of numbers as a D-tackle in a 3-4 defense and you don’t get invited to the combine? Wow, that’s amazing.”
Which is why last week's Pro Day was so important for Smith. He got to perform in front of NFL reps and spent time talking to several team's representatives. He might be bitter about the combine snub, but he's not sulking over it. It's evidently fueling him to make the next step in his playing career.
Smith said he values his game tape more than his ability to perform drills in shorts and a T-shirt with a stopwatch in the hand of a nearby coach or scout.
“I feel like anybody can look good in shorts and T-shirts,” he said. “It’s a lot of T-shirt all-americans out here. It’s a lot of guys that can look good running the 40, look good doing drills, but when you put them pads on, they don’t look that good. … I’m not a T-shirt all-american. I’m backing it up with them pads on. That’s what it’s all about at the end of the day.”
Smith, who suffered an ankle injury during Georgia’s game against Georgia Tech in late November that caused him to gain some weight while he recovered, said he has trimmed down to 294 pounds, down five pounds from his weight at the start of the 2013 season. He said he’s been working on his quickness and agility as he trains with Georgia’s strength and conditioning staff in preparation for the NFL draft, which is May 810.
“I can look good in T-shirts,” Smith quipped after Pro Day. “I can look good in a birthday suit, it don’t matter. But when them pads get on, it gets real serious. In them trenches, ask about me down there. I got a lot of respect down there.”
No question. It's so easy to pull for this guy isn't it? Good on ya Garrison!

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Rainy evening engiNerd meme

h/t Mac

Dancing with Improper Benefits

By now I would assume you all have read Steven Godfrey's "Meet the Bag Man". It was posted while I was on vacation, I finally got around to reading it earlier this week, and I've purposely let it simmer a couple days. I've really come to respect the work Godfrey puts out.

And that piece is some of his finest for sure. Because it's not easy to expose the underbelly of the institution that is college football and do so without it reading like a TMZ tabloid exposé. It's not easy to get someone who gives thousands of dollars to amateur athletes to come forward and talk about the hows and the whys. And consequently, it's not easy to fact check everything these anonymous sources are feeding you.

Someone once told me that every major college football program cheats, it's just that some are more adept and invested in it. At the time I wasn't so näive as to believe my program was above such reproach and dismiss it while holding fingers in my ears. But as I've come back to that thought over the years, and especially while blogging on such topics that reside in the SEC landscape and specifically its culture of recruiting, I've always wanted a glimpse of how it works.

The how's. The who's. And the why's.

Godfrey gives us that. He doesn't shine a searchlight onto a specific program and its under the table dealings. He doesn't paint a picture of greedy, power tripping boosters giving thousand dollar handshakes. But he does bring the line that these bag men dance along into a clearer focus. Is it about cars and spending money and nice clothes? Well, sure. But it's also about helping families, groceries and fixing a tractor.

Again, I'm sure you've read it already. If not, I highly recommend it. And I would also recommend listening to this episode of The Solid Verbal where Godfrey provides some more details of his investigation and what it was like to write such an article.

Check them out. It's an awkward dance at first, but I want to it a reality you're comfortable with? Is it a tune you can snap your fingers to?

Friday, April 18, 2014

Support for Adam Callaway

Many of you have probably met Scott Callaway: a fine man, friend of the blog and just a Damn Good Dawg. If you haven't had the privilege then you've certainly sat in the same stadium as him a time of two. I can assure you of that.

His son Adam sustained some significant injuries recently and Krisi has set up a gofundme account as a means of supporting the family through this difficult time. Scott shared that Adam himself was leading and coaching the family through, just as he's done on the basketball court for years. Thoughts, prayers, well wishes as well as any financial support I'm sure are greatly appreciated as Adam transitions into some very difficult physical therapy.

I'm thankful for Adam's spirit and that he's in the care of very good doctors. I wish him a speedy recovery. Thanks to those of you that took a moment to read this. And thanks again to Krisi for taking the time to support this great family.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Humpday Hilarity - Bubba is covered while Gus is scattered

Special lunchtime addition here, courtesy of AHD. By now you've all seen the Bubba Watson WaHo selfie after his latest Masters win....

To compliment that, it turns out after Auburn's thrilling...dramatic...lucky ass win over Georgia back in November, Coach Malzahn couldn't get a booth....

He's probably more of a Huddle House guy anyway.

GATArchives - Tony Milton

While recording episode 7 I casually mentioned something that got stuck in a frontal lobe's craw somewhere. Somehow, and in some kind of way, the name Tony Milton just jumped out of my mouth. Hopefully most of y'all remember him. Not exactly sure what made this player and this play specifically come to mind so quickly, but I decided last night that I would do some research on the former UGA running back.
Milton was a tough carrier of the football. (via Legge)

What I remember
The most vivid memory I have of Tony Milton was in the game against Tennessee in Athens 2002. The year after the Hobnail Boot, sporting a rare two year winning streak, and things still weren't very easy against Fulmer's Vols. But we had a lead very late in the game and came up square against a fourth down decision: punt the ball and gain maybe 20 yards of field position yet still be forced to fight to win the game, or go for it and earn the win in one more play.

Coach Richt chose the latter. And he also relied upon the fresh legs of Musa Smith's backup - Tony Milton. Student Body right and 26 yards later the Dawgs had sealed a third consecutive win over Tennessee for the first time since the late 1980s.

What I reminded myself of
Using google I entered his name and found a lot of his recruiting information. Tony Milton didn't earn a qualifying test score while in high school and eventually settled into a decision to play for Syracuse, who wanted him to enroll as a partial qualifier. But he never played for the Orangemen. Meanwhile Mark Richt had moved from Tallahassee as FSU's offensive coordinator where he had recruited Milton some, to Athens as the head coach of the Georgia Bulldogs. And that's when he found Milton working hard to stay in shape until another football related opportunity presented itself. There were times Milton even slept and lived out of his car after high school, mostly due to a strained and difficult home life.

In many ways it was a match made in Heaven, Coach Richt and Tony Milton. For all intents and purposes, he loved the young man. Years before Greene/Pollack and Tebow ad nauseum, Uncle Verne enjoyed relating the tale of Milton's struggle to earn his way into Richt's backfield. Glory, Glory.

Milton served himself well as Musa's backup in 2002 and was considered the experienced option to replace all those carries once Smith left for the NFL. Still it was a crowded group behind David Greene and JT Wall, one that included Kregg Lumpkin, highly touted freshman Michael Cooper and the 2003 GDay hero Ronnie Powell. Still, injuries eventually took their toll and Milton finished out his career at Georgia mostly recognized for his play as a redshirt freshman behind Musa.

What I found out
Milton pursued a golf career a few years ago. Not sure how it turned out as those amatuer tours can be brutal, but I hope the guy is doing well today, wherever he is.

For a while he was the kid most had forgotten that turned into the man that Richt gave an opportunity. Nothing would really stand out today if you looked back at his statistics while in Athens. But by all accounts he made the most of the chance he was given, on the field and off. And if you fast forward to about the 2:07:00 mark of this video, you will see how Tony Milton was the number called in one of the greatest play calls of the early Richt era.

GATA Tony Milton! Damn Good Dawg!

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

There's coach speak and then there are Pruittisms

Sure, talk is cheap. But this is up there with his best quips since moving to Athens.