A Resolution for the New Year
Even though the Independence Bowl was great for the Dawgs, everyone knows the 2009 season was not Georgia football. A season filled with mistakes and turnovers and missed opportunities and blown chances. Over the next few sentences I will compile a New Years Resolution for the Dawgs.
First, it is essential for the Dawgs to cut out the turnovers and improve the turnover margin that plagued them for much of the 2009 season. In football, it is the team with the fewest mistakes that most frequently wins the game. In Georgia’s case, it is lucky that we won any games this year. The large negative turnover margin is unacceptable. So many things in the 2009 season hinged on the number of turnovers. As Richt pointed out countless times, what if Georgia didnt turn the ball over so many times this year. The Georgia defense – which was weak to begin with – was put into so many situations where it would be hard for even the best defense’s to succeed. On the other end, what if Georgia’s defense would have forced more turnovers than they did. The offense would have been put into great situations and, as a result, this season might very well have been another ten win season to add to the Richt era. So they key for the New Year? PROTECT THE FOOTBALL!!! Look at the games where we did this year (see Georgia Tech, Arkansas, etc) all very fun wins. Look where we didnt (see Florida) – not very much fun.
Secondly, I would love to see our coaches figure out how to use our strengths from the start of the season. The best football teams are not always the ones with the best athletes. Rather, the best football teams are the ones that work together the best to win and achieve the most unity within the lineup. That being said, can we please start off with an offensive line that works as a unit well? I understand it takes time to put together the starting lineup but by the second or third game of the season, we should know the best fit. We shouldnt have to take SIX games to figure it out. The offensive line is so key to the overall success of the offense as a whole. It all starts up front and if you dont have that in line then your offense goes no where. You cant run, you cant pass, you cant win. The resolution for 2010? Identify the strengths and weaknesses of our team before the season starts and know how that can help you win a ballgame.
Third, its important to hit the recruiting trail hard after the bowl and get the coaching situation is figured out. Preach to recruits the emphasis of tradition at Georgia and show them that they can be a part of something special. Most importantly, look for players that will be true to the Georgia name. It would be nice to sign players like Pollack and Greene who made the team around them better. We have had a string of top 5 recruiting classes but no real total impact players. Curran is close. I feel like Justin Houston might be one of those players in the future. He plays with a lot of energy and passion that can be contagious. Players that have that energy and the love for the game do nothing but good for the program at Georgia. I look forward to seeing what kind of class we put together in 2010.
-Part of the new coaching staff that is brought in will have to resolve the Akillies Heel of third and long. Countless times throughout the 2009 season, the Dawgs would stop the other team on first and second down only to give up a long pass or run and would have to stay on the field. Every day over the summer there need t be drills where the D has to stop the O on third and longs and GET OFF THE FIELD. This was possibly the most annoying thing to watch as a fan this year. That and soft defensive zones. Killer.
-Finally, get back to playing Georgia football. This year was not it. Utilize the run to set up the pass. Play a Junkyard Dawg D. As much as I like the different uniform combinations, stick to the silver britches, red helmets and white or red jerseys. Stick to business during the 60 minutes on the field and celebrate as much as you want after. I would love to see Ben Jones eat the turf of every field we play. There is nothing like the taste of victory. One of the most important things will be to see how we respond to this down year. Our program can go one of two ways. Up or down. For the sake of my heart, if we do these thing we will go no where but up. I am proud to be a Georgia Bulldog.
Until next time, “You stay classy Classic City.”