Thursday, April 21, 2011

Richt's Off-season Update, aka "The Return of Jules"

I slacked off on updating this off season to-do list for Coach Richt. To be honest, it completely slipped my mind until I was cleaning out the ol' draft folder last night. Probably the best thing to do at this point is to see where we stand as of today and then pick up where we left off starting tomorrow.

Regardless, I think we can knock this thing out well before SEC Media Days.

As a reminder I've used my italics typeset keyboard to repost the items from last December. Then I'll switch to my bold keyboard and summon my inner Jules Winnfield to address where we are.

The following is a list of things I think Coach Richt must address this bowl and subsequent off-season. I'll address each separately in subsequent posts. 
You, flock of seagulls, you know why we're here? That's lift some mother effin' weights.

1. Recruit both AJ Green and Justin Houston as if Uga's bark depended on it. Both are certain longshots impossibilities to stay another season. But they are true difference makers that don't come around often. So make a pitch and make it hard. I agree with helping them through the process, seeing both sides. But make sure the last point you make is barked loud enough. 

Well, we struck out on both. However, I don't think we can or will end up blaming either for their decision. AJ is gonna go really early as expected and Justin could definitely be a first rounder.

2. Address the Georgia Bulldogs' lagging strength and conditioning program. No one's going to get fired this off-season. It remains to be seen if anyone steps away. But Coach Van's program has proven insufficient in August as much as November, in the first half as much as the fourth quarter. We were manhandled Saturday night in the trenches. The new director of S&C needs to own Jules Winnfield's wallet. Not a replica. The actual one that says...well,you know what it says. (Maybe Samuel L. visiting Saturday was a sign...a prophecy of some sort.) UPDATElooks like CVH is indeed leaving.

That was of course written just as news was about to break on the Van Halanger adjustment in duties. To be honest, I was more than underwhelmed by Richt's decision to stay in house with this appointment. And I'm still withholding judgment (as we all should) until we can see the results this Fall, especially in the 4th quarter.

But you'd be blind if you didn't already see that there are signs of progress. In other words, things are no longer chummy in the weightroom. There's definite accountability within the off season program and the players are responding. From what I hear, we can expect this to continue and that's a good thing. I think it just comes down to how quickly we can see a lasting impact on the field.

3. Sign Isaiah Crowell. He's a difference maker and he cannot cross the border.

Done. And done very well. It's old news of course, but it doesn't hurt to recall what a spectacular job recruiting the staff did in Columbus getting this kid to stay in state. I don't get into placing too much on incoming freshmen's shoulders, but I do believe this kid is a potential homerun with every handoff. We'll know more by late August.

4. Find the dude that eats space on the defensive front as if they were biscuits on the breakfast table. He's out there somewhere. I don't care if he's in a high school cafeteria or a second rate diner outside of some junior college in Podunk USA. Get both of em and ask them what number they want to wear 'tween the hedges. It's worth saying again...we were manhandled Saturday night in the trenches.

Again, done. And done very, very well. Kwame's emergence this Spring has taken some of the luster off of signing Big John Jenkins, but after last season I think we'd all take 5 or 6 of these guys if we could. Someone to fill up the middle and give Crob and Tree some space to roam will be like flipping a coin on last season's defense.

Things get much tougher going forward with 5-10. I'll try to be back soon to look at the offensive line.

No comments: