Archive for the Lessons Learned Category

A year of the Dawg

Posted in Bowls, Catharsis, Gung Ho, Lessons Learned, Memories, Memphis with tags , on Saturday December 31st, 2011 \pm\31 2:39 pm by Big Muddy Dawg

On the evening of December 31, 2010, as I walked out of the Liberty Bowl, it began to rain. I sought shelter under a tent to wait out the sudden downpour and thought about the game I had just seen the Dawgs lose to the University of Central Florida Knights. And I wondered how in the world we ever got to where we were.

“There’s reasons why we ended up the way we did,” Richt said. “We’ve got to make changes. We’ve got to make sure that doesn’t happen again in the future. When you start saying ‘change,’ that doesn’t necessarily mean personnel… It’s more of how we go about our business. We’re going to improve. We’re going to get Georgia where it belongs.”

I was worried. I knew what was coming and I dreaded it. And it was as if the weather was playing along, crying for me and them Dawgs. No, actually, after the way we played that game in the Liberty Bowl, we didn’t deserve any sympathy. And Coach Richt was right. Things had to change.

“I don’t know if you’d call that the straw that broke the camel’s back or that last spark that lit the fire that got things moving around here,” tight end Aron White said. “It was definitely time for a change. … It definitely got us going. It definitely lit a fire under us and got us to working and pushing.”

And now look at us. A year later and a completely different team from the one that limped out of Memphis and back home to Athens. As I think back on that night a year ago and I remember that hard rain that fell after the game, I’ve come to realize that it was a cleansing rain. And I’m glad Memphis and the Liberty Bowl happened. Because it precipitated a change within the program that we all love. A change that we can now be proud of.

Happy New Year, folks. Let’s keep this thing rolling and start off 2012 undefeated.

Go Dawgs!

Rating the recruits

Posted in Lessons Learned, Recruits with tags , , on Monday December 12th, 2011 \pm\31 3:10 pm by Big Muddy Dawg

ESPN takes a look at their 2011 ESPNU 150 class and talks a bit about how each recruit turned out. We’ve got a few on that list:

4. Isaiah Crowell, RB, Georgia: Crowell lived up to the billing on the field, giving Georgia an explosive back when he was in the lineup. Crowell started seven games, leading the Bulldogs in rushing with 894 yards and a 4.7-yard average on 182 carries. While there have been flashes of greatness, Crowell has had two suspensions for violations of team rules, fumbling issues and some injury concerns.

13. Ray Drew, DE, Georgia: Considering his lack of playing time, Drew showed signs he can be a solid — if not standout — defensive end in the SEC. Playing in just six games, Drew registered 2½ tackles for loss, including a half-sack, three quarterback hurries and a fumble recovery.

18. Jay Rome, TE, Georgia: Rome redshirted and will play basketball this season. His football playing time in 2012 will depend largely on whether junior tight end Orson Charles decides to return for his senior season. Otherwise, Rome will likely be on the back burner again until 2013.

45. Malcolm Mitchell, WR, Georgia: Mitchell made a big impact for the Bulldogs, leading the team in receiving yards, despite missing three games with a hamstring injury. The receiver caught 38 balls for 614 yards and four touchdowns while averaging more than 16 yards a reception.

They’ve only rated roughly 75 of the 150 so far so they’ve yet to mention Damian Swann and Christian LeMay, although, as you know, LeMay redshirted. Take a look and see how some of the guys we missed out on performed, including Quan Bray, Xzavier Dickson and Gabe Wright.

There’s someone conspicuously missing

Posted in Allaying my own fears, Glory, Hearts & Minds, Lessons Learned, Seniors on Monday December 12th, 2011 \pm\31 2:51 pm by Big Muddy Dawg

Here’s a write up in the Red and Black listing awards winners at the annual team Gala on Saturday night:

Newcomer of the Year Award winners were redshirt freshman receiver Michael Bennett of Alpharetta, freshman receiver Chris Conley of Dallas, Ga., and freshman receiver Malcolm Mitchell of Valdosta (offense); freshman linebacker Amarlo Herrera of College Park and junior nose guard John Jenkins of Meriden, Conn. (defense); and freshman defensive back Quintavius Harrow of Columbus (special teams).

I haven’t talked much about Isaiah Crowell but that isn’t because I haven’t been thinking of him. I will state that he has my full support and well-wishes. Yes, we’ve got Keith Marshall and perhaps others coming in. But it is my belief that we are a better team with Isaiah Crowell. And with the support structure he has in place, I think Isaiah has every chance of being a better man. Just look at his teammates around him. They’re evidence of this.

Aron White speaks for me

Posted in DGD, Lessons Learned, Pre-game jitters with tags , on Tuesday November 8th, 2011 \pm\30 4:06 pm by Big Muddy Dawg

The AJC asked Aron White to give his thoughts on the physicality of last year’s game against Auburn. Nestled in his reply is this statement:

It definitely got a little ugly at times; there are some plays we wish we could take back and some player we wish we got to see again.

Some player. No pluralization there. Just one. I’d say I have a fair idea who Aron might have in mind.

All part of the plan

Posted in Allaying My Own Fears, Dinky Dau, Lessons Learned, Strategery with tags , on Wednesday September 7th, 2011 \am\30 10:57 am by Big Muddy Dawg

I think I might be bordering on “ordered a cheeseburger” territory here. Because I read things that say we’re committed to running that no-huddle, hurry-up and wait whatever it was we were attempting against Boise and I think, well, he didn’t technically say we’re going to run it exclusively.

If there’s anything we’ve learned from repeated viewings, it’s that the Tenet of Balance from the Book of Bobo does not allow for one system to dominate over another. There can be no order without chaos. No good without evil. No run without the pass.

And, besides, who’s to say we’re going to commit to it this weekend? Maybe we’ll run all I-formation plays against the Gamecocks this weekend and then switch to the Shotgun Spread next weekend, against Coastal Carolina. Yeah, see, it’ll be great. It’ll be the Chanticleers against the Prairie Dawgs. Next weekend.

Or maybe it’s a bit of misdirection? Kind of like how Coach Spurrier said sophomore Connor Shaw was his starter over fifth-year and fifth chance senior Stephen Garcia. The frequent skirmishes between the University of South Carolina and the rebel Garcia have been well documented over the years so maybe this was more than Coach Spurrier sending Garcia a message? We’ll never know how Schlieffen-esque this plan might have been because, in the end, Shaw mucked it all up and Garcia had to come in and save the day.

Deep breath.

Look. It’s obvious we’re going to do what we’re going to do. I’ve read this before and I know how it goes. Just, please, whatever we do, let’s make sure we execute to the best of our abilities on the field, the sideline and in the booth. I just don’t want to feel like we’re bringing a knife to a chainsaw massacre. I’ve seen that too and I know how that goes as well.

“I doubt we go to Ramsey”

Posted in Allaying My Own Fears, Lessons Learned with tags , on Tuesday August 23rd, 2011 \am\31 12:01 am by Big Muddy Dawg

I can’t actually believe I read that. Here’s the full quote from Coach Mark Richt:

“I doubt we go to Ramsey. This might be the first time that we’ve gotten all 29 practice opportunities in. We haven’t gotten there yet, but we’re on track.”

We’re not taking a day off from practice this year? To go to the pool? But…Wait a minute. You mean there’s not going to be any photos of the Dawgs splashing about in the water? No video feature on ESPN of Coach Richt taking a plunge from the 10 meter board?

Glory, Glory indeed. We’re getting after it. That change we wanted to see this off season? This is a small part of it. But I find it meaningful. We’ve got work to do. Our coaches know it and the players know it as well.

Go Dawgs!

Introducing the new scooter for 2012

Posted in Allaying My Own Fears, Dinky Dau, Lessons Learned, The Reverend with tags , on Monday August 15th, 2011 \pm\31 3:52 pm by Big Muddy Dawg

The University of Georgia has issued a statement introducing the new 2012 model up-armored scooter, made exclusively for Bulldog football players for use around campus:

As you can see, the new model has been completely redesigned to offer maximum protection from the dangers of day to day travel around the perilous streets of Athens, Georgia. Included with each scooter is the new Injury Coutermeasure Equipment (“ICE”) systems, attached to the front of the vehicle. This device loudly warns others of the imminent approach of a football player-laden scooter with various barks and shouts modeled after the patented “Joe T Screech”™.

Also included with the scooter at no extra charge are self-inflating, puncture-proof road tires strong enough to withstand the force of impact caused by up to a .50 calibre round. And speaking of which, you may have noticed a turret atop the new scooter. Each 2012 model up-armored scooter is armed with one M2 Browning “Ma Deuce” .50 calibre machine gun, for those times when a Bulldog football player finds himself in and around the vicinity of Pauldoe Street.

There will be no more traffic fines issued to Bulldog football players “emerging the wrong way from an alley” with these new scooters. Because when Ma Deuce is along for the ride, every way is the right way.

Todd Grantham On Bulldog Roundtable

Posted in Allaying My Own Fears, Lessons Learned with tags , on Friday July 29th, 2011 \pm\31 5:02 pm by Big Muddy Dawg

Have a listen to Coach Todd Grantham as he discusses the Dawgs defense on Bulldog Roundtable this morning with Chuck Dowdle on 680 The Fan. “Consistency and performance” is a phrase that’s oft repeated by Coach Grantham as he talks about evaluating film from last season. The memories of our defensive break downs at key moments in various games last season is still pretty fresh in my mind so it’s easy to understand that this is a point of emphasis by Coach Grantham to our team.

Also, when discussing his recruiting philosophy and what he looks for in a player, “Hey, can this guy help us beat Florida?” is mentioned. The logic being that the road to playing in Atlanta in December goes through Jacksonville in October. I’m pretty good at stating the obvious, yeah?

Lattimore To Crowell

Posted in Lessons Learned with tags , on Wednesday July 20th, 2011 \pm\31 5:45 pm by Big Muddy Dawg

Quick Outburst of Cynicism

Posted in Hate, Lessons Learned, Ringers, Way Too Dramatic with tags , on Thursday December 2nd, 2010 \am\31 7:31 am by Big Muddy Dawg

Other than my little histrionic video after our game, I haven’t really given much thought to Auburn or Cam Newton. Until yesterday, that is, when the NCAA gave its ruling on this whole situation. Essentially, the NCAA discovered wrong-doing on the part of Cecil Newton, who solicited money for his son’s services. But it also determined that it did not have any evidence that Cam knew anything about any of this. Once this wrong-doing was discovered, Auburn, in accordance with NCAA rules, immediately declared Cam Newton ineligible and petitioned for his reinstatement, which was granted the following day, with no conditions. Just in time to play against South Carolina in the SEC Championship game this Saturday.

I’m not ready to share all of my opinions on this whole matter, particularly in conjunction with the A.J. situation we suffered through earlier this season. But I do want to say this: should this Saturday’s game between the Gamecocks and the Tigers be a closely contested match, I wonder how many calls will go Auburn’s way? Conversely, I wonder how many questionable calls might go against South Carolina?

I’m not a straight-and-narrow, squeaky clean individual. I’ve done questionable things in my life that, upon reflection, I’m not particularly proud of. Which puts me in a great position to recognize something shady when I see it. I don’t claim to know all of the facts to this case but I know enough to think that somebody or something is, to borrow a phrase, dirtier that a money grubbing preacher.

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