Friday, July 11, 2014

Around the tailgate - new era? more kool-aid?

Last question. Thanks to the tailgaters for stepping up and to everyone else for reading. Today we wrap up with a broader stroke. I was eager to hear these guys' opinions on the state of the program. Are they gulping the kool-aid or taking a wait and see approach? Let's get to it.

I get the sense that this is a new era in Mark Richt's tenure. There's a renewed, energized feeling around the program. I'm not sure if that transfers down to the fans yet, but I'm eager to hear how you feel about the state of the program.

I have bought into the hype every year.  Every summer I hear about how the team leaders are getting the guys together for summer workouts and how this team is different.  It seems like we always stumble early and we hear how “we still control our own destiny” and how we are going to “keep fighting”.  

We have been waiting for that “new era” for a long time.  We have seen glimpses of it at times, but never fully taken that step.  For once, I want us to start September like every game is the biggest game we play on the schedule.  

It is the time of the year to be excited about the season and I am, but is it too much to ask for us not to take timeouts on special teams?  See, I am still a little bitter.  I am in full “show me” mode.

Joe Waterloo
I am optimistic that Richt's starting to figure some things out but to be honest I fall for it just about every year and come December I'm typically scratching my head and wondering how long it will be until he retires. I think he is a hell of a person, a great role model, and he represents UGA well, but there always seems to be something lacking.  God knows I have a hard enough time keeping my 3 kids in line - I can't imagine trying to keep 100 of them on the straight and narrow.  But one thing I think a coach and a parent have in common is that the kids need to have a healthy fear of them.  Maybe other schools really do a better job than UGA of keeping these things out of the headlines, but that's probably just fans making excuses.  Maybe this off season will prove that Richt finally has grown tired of all the shenanigans, but up until this point it doesn't seem like our players have had that healthy fear.

I love the Dawgs... I am always hyped up and ready to go for the season.  I love the addition of Jeremy Pruitt and have high hopes for what this will mean for our defense moving forward - especially wondering how his defensive style will translate to the SEC full time.  I am pleased with the state of the program and look forward to what the future holds!  I hope that Mason has a Shockley-like season this year too!

Son of AHD
To me there is a new era on one side of the ball. The offense has been putting up great numbers the past few years (even with a slew of injuries last season). Even the "Fire Bobo" chants have finally started to die down. I don't think we really need to change much with the offense. The defense was another story. After a great start, the money hungry Grantham started slipping, even with a NFL caliber defense. What the defense needed was a fresh start. Once he left, and a few bad apples were shown the door, Pruitt and his new staff had something to work with. All the rumors going around campus is that these new coaches aren't playing around. They are kicking butt and taking names. I even saw one rumor that Pruitt hardly ever interacts with the players in a way that isn't clearly coaching. Even the new star Lorenzo Carter supposedly doesn't get any special treatment. Pruitt is completely changing the defense and it's effects seem to be felt throughout the entire team. Players and coaches are here to win championships. Individual glory is going by the wayside. I would not be surprised to even see our arrests and suspensions go down either. Can you imagine pissing off Pruitt? Right now it feels like a mental and physical revolution that has energized the players and the students in a way I haven't seen recently. Hopefully it'll pay off.

Each season every team takes on their own demeanor and step. This season's team has,on the surface, taken a serious and determined approach to their season. Our clown and stoners have moved on. I wish them well. The rebel uprising has been stymied and it is all about getting down to business. New Kool-aid. Fresh batch with a different look. I like it. Try some. We made plenty.

"The Force is what gives a Bulldog his power. It's an energy field created
by all living things. It surrounds us and penetrates us. It binds
the Bulldawg Nation together."
--Coach Pruitt  to the Defensive Backs.

                              "Don't underestimate the Force!"