Monday, July 28, 2014

"A lot of people care more."

If spring practice was any indication, what commences Friday will not be for the feint of heart.
“A lot of people care more,” Wilson said. “A lot of people give more effort and a lot of people want to be great, want to go down in history. Coach Pruitt pushes us. He’s not going to take nothing. He’s not going to take less from you. He wants the best out of you. If you can’t give your best, you’re not going to play. He made that clear.”
The weeding out of the talkers, the smokers, the jokers, the loafers...is done. What's left is to find a depth chart that is ready for the same two game test to start the season as 2013. Glad we get that bye week in between this year. Something tells me we're going to need it.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Five more weeks! (but eight for Bellamy)

Davin Bellamy decided early this morning to sit the first couple out.

But Rennie Curran says "Don't let that spoil your Saturday morning coffee Dawg!"




Happy BDay Mrs. BD!


As I get older, she only gets younger. And if you see her today, please wish her a very happy birthday as well as thank her for her support for the blog here. Because no matter how long you've been reading, she's got ya beat!

And her favorite all time player is Hines Ward. He was her favorite before he even put on his dancing shoes. In fact, I tribute her with his ability to do it all. She obviously taught him a thing or two about having more than one iron in the fire.

So, here ya go Honey! We lost the game, but like Hines, we gave it our all and cheered louder than all of my future in-laws combined. 

Love ya!


Coach Richt has lost control of "naked white males"

I can't tell you how many times this very same thing happened to me back in the early '90s. Except it was usually Chelsea's...
Police received a call around 7:45 p.m. from a Toppers employee about a "naked white male" — Moore — dancing in front of the bar.Arriving on the scene, two officers observed a "large white male between 350 to 400 pounds," whom Toppers security guards were blocking from reentering the establishment, according to the police report.When one officer attempted to engage Moore in conversation and "confirm his state of mind," Moore repeatedly told the officer he wanted to try out as a dancer and that "they were discriminating against him by not letting him try out."Police explained to Moore that employees did not want to grant him reentry and that he "needed to put his clothing on." He refused.Moore kept dancing, despite officers' repeated requests for him to stop dancing and to put his clothing back on. Moore again declined and began to walk away from the scene, where patrons and their children had begun to observe his behavior, according to the report.
Wait. "Patrons and their children"?? My, things have really changed at Toppers. Although I was never there before midnight. So, who really knows what kind of specials they run for the early crowds.

At least Josh Murray wasn't harmed during the filming. Am I right ladies?

Friday, July 25, 2014

Defensive tackle - optimism and concern

The dismissal of Johnathan Taylor hurts the depth, no doubt. But the thought I keep coming back to is that the defensive front was a much deeper and well balanced unit last season under Chris Wilson. He substituted a lot more and it helped tremendously as the season wore on.

So losing a tackle with a lot of upside can hurt, but we're much better off to absorb that loss now than a year ago. Sure, Wilson is gone. But I didn't get the idea this spring from new d-line coach Tracy Rocker that he was go one deep along his line.

I'll let Gentry Estes pick it up from there.
Reasons for optimism: Even without Taylor, the depth is good. So is the experience. Georgia doesn't really have holes to fill on the defensive front as much as it will be choosing from a menu of entrees with the ability to sample each one or favor different ones on a weekly basis. While that creates a question mark at the moment, depth and variety is not a bad thing for a coach to have. Rocker has several different paths he can cross, and it's likely that Georgia will have an effective D-Line because of it.
 And then down to the nitty gritty truth:
The guess: So much of what you see from this D-Line will be based on scheme. Georgia may only technically have two defensive linemen in nickel packages, for instance. Then perhaps other times, the Bulldogs really will go with four across the front (with OLB Jordan Jenkins likely playing with his hand down as a DE). Anyway, Georgia's D-Line is deep enough to where the Bulldogs have the luxury of playing by situation if they want. In other words, maybe one type of down-and-distance is better for Toby Johnson, and another favors what Chris Mayes can do, etc ... Having said that, though, the fact that we honestly have no clue who Rocker is going to tap to start is why this topic was included in the series. This is going to have to be sorted out in the preseason better than it was in the spring.
I'd feel much worse about losing Taylor if Mayes hadn't played so well down the stretch. He really has the size and athleticism I think we'd like to see at tackle. Hopefully between him, Johnson and Thornton give Coach Rocker what he needs for a good rotation.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Hutson Mason rewound - Georgia Tech

Okay. So here we are. I'll have a few general observations at the end, but the bulk of this is designed to relay how Hutson Mason performed in his two starts. Unfortunately, I was a little more than halfway through the rewatch when I realized I should have done this much differently. For instance, what you'll see is a conglomeration of his completions, incompletions, sacks, and the interception with a brief description of the situation. It's all broken down by quarter.

For the bowl game I'll do it differently. I think it will be more helpful to just chart it all chronologically as you'll be able to see trends and have a better feel for the situation in the game. Like I said, I realized this about halfway through the Tech viewing. I didn't want to scrap two hours of work and do it all over. Sorry.

One more thing, I didn't track his rushes. I may change that when I rewatch the Nebraska game, even though he wasn't nearly as effective on the ground against the Cornhuskers as he was against Tech. I just saw enough to know that it could be a significant factor against man coverage and it could be an interesting development this season.

Anyway, I think you'll still get something from this. So here we go.

started - 4/8 43 0/1
just after that - 8/12 122 1/0
at the start of 4th - 17/26  240  2/1
final stats - 22/36 299 2/1
adjusted stats* - 27/36 356 2/1

*adjusted for drops and referee incompetence, see below

First Quarter
Completions - (1st down/10 yards) swing pass to Bennett for 9 yards; (2/13) tunnel screen to Bennett for a couple yards; (3/5) finally hits Conley sitting in a zone for a first down

Incompletions - (3/12) thrown a little high to Conley after being flushed from pocket

Interceptions - (3/10) off back foot under pressure trying to hit Conley on a sideline route

Sacks - one by Attachou through a double team on a play action to Gurley; another one as he slid to his right out of the pocket to force a third and long

Second Quarter
Completions - (2/14) nice out route to Conley for a first down; (1/10) screen to Gurley for 13 yards; (1/10) quick snap after screen pass and eventually rolls out to left and finds Conley on the sideline for another first down; (1/10) timing sideline out pattern to Conley for third consecutive first down pass in hurry up; (1/10) dump in the middle to JJ Green for 10 yards and another first down; (2/goal) rolls right and drops it to Gurley who goes airborne for TD!

Incompletions - (3/12) rolled right to find Gurley underneath but it was bobbled out of bounds; (3/9) pretty nice pass to McGowan that dropped for an incompletion, probably should've been caught

Third Quarter
Completions - (1/10) play action and a quick pass in the seam to Bennett, ruled an incompletion for some reason then for some bullshit reason the booth confirms the bullshit call on the field. Anyway, I'm counting it as a completion here because this is my blog and I could clearly see live (both in the stadium and just now on the television) that Bennett took three steps before fumbling. Replay only confirmed what I saw and the referees ignored; (2/10) all for naught basically as Mason hits Wooten on an out route for a first down, proving he's unflappable in the midst of incompetent rulings on the field; (3/5) nice slant route by Wooten for five yards and a first down; (3/10) play right after a Lynch drop, Mason steps into a nice pocket and hits Lynch down the sideline for about thirty yards and an outstanding catch; (1/10) drops a screen to Gurley for a touchdown that is called back for an illegal block; (3/23) another screen to Gurley that falls short of the first down marker, safe play call for the down and distance that allowed Dawgs to get a field goal and keep momentum; deep pass to Conley on a slowly developing route for about 30 yards, great protection; (2/16) another out route to Conley for 14 yards; (1/10) screen pass to JJ Green for 10 yards; (1/goal) next play a nice seam pass to Bennett for the touchdown!

Incompletions - (1/10) poorly thrown ball to Wooten that was well behind him; (2/10) next play, dropped pass by Lynch; (1/25) after the Theus illegal block nullified a touchdown Mason sails one over McGowan's head in the endzone; (1/10) to start the drive after the missed Tech field goal attempt, incomplete screen pass to Gurley that was pretty well defended

Fourth Quarter
Completions - (1/10) after Tech takes 27-17 lead, another out route to Conley for a first down; (4/6) with game in balance Richt and Bobo put ball in Mason's hands and he goes back to Bennett for a first down; (2/10) check down to Gurley for a few yards; (3/4) Mason takes a clean, hard shot from a blitzing Brandon Watts but makes a strong throw to McGowan on sideline for the first down; (2/12) easy pass to a wide open Bennett on a crossing pattern for about 20 yards;

Incompletions - (2/6) pass over middle to McGowan is dropped; (3/6) ball thrown behind Bennett; (1/10) screen pass broken up by Attachou; (1/10) misses a throw to Gurley underneath; (3/12) facing a little pressure up the middle, Mason sails one over Bennett's head at the goal line

Sacks - after the JHC interception and two subsequent handoffs to Gurley, Mason is sacked on a play action by Attachou

Overtime
All. Todd. Gurley. Four rushes. Fifty yards. Two touchdowns. Suck it engiNerds!

Overall Thoughts
>Tech mixed up their coverages early. They didn't blitz much as they were able to pressure Mason with their ends for the most part. And when he had time, Tech often had dropped both nickel linebackers into coverage that forced the pass underneath or an incompletion.
>But the last drive of the first half was spectacular for Mason. His accuracy helped Bobo match his preference for speed and no huddle. Mason responded by going 6/6 for 60+ yards and he had another run for about 10 yards. I just can't emphasize enough how big that drive was. Hopefully you remember. If not, find a way to go back and watch it. Just brilliant. And definitely changed the outlook of the game.
>The pace is important to Mason. There's no getting around that. He settled into a rhythm better when he felt in control of the snap and therefore the pace at which the play clock was running. But there's most certainly a balance there to be reached and it's something that he and Bobo will work out given enough time.
>Another consideration (and one that is getting a lot of traction of late) is how much Gurley can help Mason, especially early on against Clemson and the road trip to ColaEast. There's not much question that Gurley was a key factor in the comeback on the Flats as well as the eventual win. But Mason deserves some credit for making Tech pay for selling out on the run. He found the seams when it was needed and worked really well through his progressions.
>And to be perfectly honest, the offensive line deserves plenty of credit too. They had some lapses early. But even when Tech was stacking the box and daring Bobo to use Mason's arm, they continually made them pay by getting Gurley into situations where he was one on one against a linebacker or a defensive back instead of a tackle.
>That last bullet makes me nervous. Like, Vic Beasley and then an early trip to Chickumbia nervous.
>One last point. Not enough can be made of Richt and Bobo's trust in Mason. Early in the fourth quarter, down 10 points and facing a fourth and six at midfield, they didn't hesitate to put the ball in their new quarterback's hands. The conservative play was to punt and hope. But Mason rewarded their faith with a clean throw. Of course, it helps to have Michael Bennett on the other end with the game on the line.

So there ya go. Have at it in the comments. I'll cue up the Taxslayer Gator Bowl in the next few days and have our new quarterback rewound again. Go Dawgs!

Athens will always be home.

Last weekend we read all the quotes from the kids coming into town for Dawg Night. They talked and tweeted about how awesome Athens was. It was cool.

But truly, they have no idea. Growing up in Athens was great. Going through my college years there was spectacular. Going back to visit as an older man, husband, father, alum...it's just priceless.

And this video by Russell Oliver captures so much of why Athens is all of that and more.



h/t Mac

Charles Johnson spends off season giving back to community


HAWKINSVILLE, Ga.,
 July 23, 2014 – As training camp approaches, Charles Johnson of the Carolina Panthers knows he has stayed busy in the off season. He clocked in endless hours of workouts and strived to improve every aspect of his game. But Johnson’s time was not spent just focusing on improving himself as a player. He also worked endlessly to hold a Sports Academy and Community Weekend in his hometown, which included awarding two $20,000 scholarships, hosting an area college fair and donating equipment to his former high school.

Johnson is confident in the success of every workout he completed and every life that he touched and child he inspired. He continually emphasizes the importance of remembering where he came from, but also the potential that each individual has if they work hard and strive to succeed in school.

The Charles Johnson Foundation held its third annual Sports Academy and Community Weekend in Hawkinsville, Ga. on June 20 and 21. The event brought more than 1,000 participants to football, basketball, tennis, cheerleading and dance clinics.

Participants in the various Sports Academy clinics were guided by volunteers, current and former members of the NFL and NBA, as well as Charles Johnson and his defensive line coach for the Carolina Panthers, Eric Washington.

In addition to Johnson and Coach Washington, NFL and NBA participants included: Devean George (Former NBA player), Thomas Davis (Carolina Panthers), Anthony Dixon (Buffalo Bills), Fernando Velasco (Free Agent), Captain Munnerlyn (Minnesota Vikings), Leonard Pope (Free Agent), Stephen Tulloch (Detroit Lions), Corvey Irvin (Free Agent) and Justin Houston (Kansas City Chiefs). Johnson’s agent, Drew Rosenhaus, attended the event as well.

The foundation hosted a Community Night, which brought nearly 400 people out to celebrate Hawkinsville. With extra food from the Community Night, the foundation was able to serve 110 warm meals to those in need through its partnership with Deacons & Stewards, Inc. The foundation also donated water bottles and tennis rackets to Hawkinsville High School.

In addition to holding this event free-of-charge, Johnson and his foundation awarded two $20,000 scholarships to Hawkinsville High School senior student-athletes for the third consecutive year.

The foundation also hosted a college fair to educate students on higher education opportunities. Colleges in attendance included Albany State University, Central Georgia Technical College, Georgia Southwestern State University, Middle Georgia State College and South Georgia State College. Additionally, U.S. Marine Corps Recruiting Officers from the Warner Robbins Recruiting Office were in attendance.

“Hawkinsville is a very special place to me and it means a lot to be able to give back to my hometown,” Johnson said. “I really value the opportunity to help these kids make it to college through awarding scholarships, and through simply getting them thinking about pursuing higher education through the college fair.”

Many sponsors and volunteers donated their time and efforts and helped the foundation continue to hold the Sports Academy and Community Weekend free-of-charge for all participants. Sponsors for the event included Nike, Rosenhaus Sports Representation, Qixie 103.9, Dairy Queen Grill & Chill, Harveys Supermarket, Preston and Traci Moss, Papas' Pizza To-Go, Walgreens, Joseph Sapp and Innovative Therapy Concepts, Ace Hardware, popchips, Vita Coco, Pasta Chips, Quest Bars and Dick's Sporting Goods.

ABOUT CHARLES JOHNSON & THE CHARLES JOHNSON FOUNDATION
Charles Johnson is a native of Hawkinsville, Ga., and a proud alumnus of Hawkinsville High School. After attending the University of Georgia where he starred at defensive end, Charles was drafted by the Carolina Panthers of the NFL in 2007.

Through seven professional seasons, Charles has received All-Pro recognition on the strength of 54 career sacks, placing him among the premier pass-rushers in the league.

In 2012, Charles’ passion for philanthropy and loyalty to Middle Georgia led him to launch the Charles Johnson Foundation. A non-profit organization, the Charles Johnson Foundation is dedicated to fulfilling a two-fold mission:

•             Providing opportunities for under-served youth to reach their full potential through athletic, recreational, and educational programs and initiatives; and
•             Providing support for single African American mothers through proven programs and initiatives.

The Charles Johnson Foundation Sports Academy and Community Weekend is the flagship annual event for the Charles Johnson Foundation, combining his efforts to advance education with free sports clinics in basketball, dance, tennis, football and cheer.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Humpday Hilarity - gators gett'n trucked

It's become a theme for Douglas. AHD sent this one in saying he "could watch this all day". Happy to oblige. Go Dawgs!



Rewinding Mason

So I fell into an HBO On Demand hole this weekend and the project I had planned here for the blog (as well as others around the house) took a backseat. Also, I originally said I was going to start with the Kentucky game. Turns out I don't actually have that one on the DVR after all and I can't seem to find the whole game on the YouTubes.

So...we're starting with the Tech game. The Kentucky game probably wouldn't have been a good measure anyway as it was out of hand pretty much when the ball was put in Mason's hands. I rewatched the Tech game last night and have the post pretty much ready. But I'd like to clean up some of the broader strokes before posting. Look for it later today or tomorrow morning.

In the mean time, I want to throw one thing out here. Back in June I had a chance to observe some workouts. I didn't see much of the weight session, but saw most of Mason's group as they ran the length of the practice field, over and over and over again. I lost count. But the gist was they run the length and get about 20 seconds to recover before running back. The whole time Coach T and Bobo and Friend were out there yelling at the group.

My two observations are that Leonard Floyd is a freak (which you knew) and Hutson Mason leads well by example. He stood out there in between each run as if he was ready for the whistle blow again. Meanwhile, his fellow teammates gasped for air with their hands on their hips and looked to be doing everything they could not to collapse in front of their coaches.

No, I'm not saying Mason wasn't struggling. But he was accepting the role of leader. And I really think he strives under a quick pace. It's going to be interesting to see how the play calling adjusts to his style after four years of the same quarterback. And I think it all starts by looking back at the last two games of the season.

Join me. Murray has moved on...



We should too. It's Mason Time!