A Few Notes in the Midst of a Dry Off-Season
Wow, it’s been a long time. I’m not even going to apologize for the lack of posts. Life’s busy, and The Senator and T. Kyle King and the gang over at DawgSports have been VERY helpful in passing the time during this off-season. I wanted to log on and just share some thoughts:
-First, how ’bout this off-season? Don’t worry, I’m knocking on wood, clutching a rabbits foot, and steering clear of ladders and mirrors while I say this, but It’s an amazing feeling to not have had anyone arrested since OCTOBER. After the past couple of years, it seems almost surreal.
-On that note, however, it’s not that we’ve been lacking of off-season attrition. However, (and this feels bad saying it this way,) I like the way most of these players are leaving. Call me a Disney Dawg or kool-aid drinker if you must, but for the most part it appears that we’re ridding ourselves of the “cancer” that Christian Robinson spoke of. I’ll hold all of my opinions on Coach JTII until after the 4th quarter on Sept. 3rd, but if him kicking the players in the ass is making some of them quit, I’m personally okay with it. Time will tell whether he’s just being a stubborn old man and pissing off everyone, or if he’s working the dawgs to the bone and some can’t handle it, but I’m assuming it’s the latter. Either way, seeing players that obviously appeared to be “me-first” players leave makes me much more happy than sad.
-A few notes about positions… I’m definitely an eternal optimist (which is a bad BAD thing to be as a Dawg fan,) but there aren’t any positions that keep me up at night. I easily could (and probably will) be proven wrong come gametime, but how many times in the past have we seen unproven position squads band together and get work done? Let’s look at some of the weak spots:
RB: I’ll start with the one that’s received the most press this offseason, our running backs. This is probably the spot that I’m concerned about the most. Call me a cynic, but I’ll believe in Isaiah when he shows me something. I’ve had my heart broken too many times recently by “the next big” runningbacks at Georgia to believe any differently. For right now he’s a punk freshman in my mind, who can’t string together a coherent Facebook post to save his life. Carlton Thomas is the same person that he’s always been. Ever since I first heard him in an interview, where I could barely understand him speak, I knew that he wasn’t very good at using his head. Some people like Carlton as a change-of-pace back, and like it when he gets a toss-sweep, but I’m not one of them. As for the toss-sweep, I’d rather have B.Smith getting that and rounding the corner than Thomas. I’d just as much prefer that Carlton never get the ball at all. Ken Malcolme is another interesting back. People are worried that the coaches don’t have faith in him since they put him behind a walk-on on the spring depth chart. I think that “Boo” has something to show us and will be a formidable backup… to Richard Samuel. Richard Samuel is a DGD if I’ve ever seen one. Not only does he work HARD in school (I’ve had a few business classes with him,) he’s never been arrested or in the doghouse. He also wants to do anything he can to help the team succeed. THAT, my friends, is Dawg-loyalty. Isaiah Crowell probably wouldn’t even give up his jersey number to help the team, but Richard has tossed around his football career more times than is EVER needed, all for the good of the team. People are quick to forget Richard’s earlier performances as a Bulldog running back. They typically look at his “best game” at Arkansas, and subtract his 80-yard TD, and point to him being a bust. I would like you to think back for a second and remember where we all were in that 2009 season. We had just lost Knowshon, we were hoping for someone to bust on to the scene. Richard was never going to be an every-down, light-it-up back. That’s just not who he is. He goes down too early after first contact, and has trouble finding the holes. However, I think he’s going to be a very serviceable back this year. I’m calling it now, he gets the nod at starter in the Dome.
OL: I heard so much hype around the OL the past couple years that proved to be empty, that I’m actually kind of EXCITED that there’s no hype this year. It’s going to be tough to start so many green linemen and to not have many backups after them, but if the boys believe they can do it, then they can do it. Kenarious Gates came in last year and proved that a true freshman can make a huge impact on the Line. Let’s just hope there’s more like him out there.
WR: T.King will be a stud. Not AJ-level, that’s impossible, but a stud. Marlon Brown will at least be serviceable. As will Wooten, Troupe, and Bennett. A freshman will have a big impact this year, be it Mitchell, Scott-Wesley, Conley, or Marshall.
Defense: Our pass-rush is going to be stellar. Big John Jenkins will require a double team on the line, (as will Kwame Geathers,) which will open up holes for our LB corps to do some damage. Our secondary is no better or worse than last year. In fact, if just a few of those players (I’m looking at you, Rambo and Hitman) were to step up their game, I think our secondary might even be a strength. Our secondary will be helped greatly by our fantastic pass rush. I still expect at least one specific play will be a nagging problem for us this year too (I’m looking at you, wheel route-2010, bootleg-2009.) I don’t know what it is, but we’ll be complaining about it come October.
Over all, if the players that we have in our system buy into our system and sell themselves out for the G, nothing will stop us this year.
I’m tired of writing. I’ll probably do a broad season-preview sometime later. By the way, we’ll be better than 8-4.
Until then, thanks for stopping by, Bulldog Nation.