Nov 3, 2009

Losing faith in the coaches

I hate to say it. I still support Coach Richt and think he's a great person, coach, mentor, and recruiter. But I, along with much of the Bulldog Nation, am losing faith in the ability of our coaches to make the right decisions.

The 2009 season has been characterized by complacency and excuses. After each of our 4 losses (so far), we've heard the usual coach speak, the "things just didn't work out" remarks and the "we'll might make some changes" concessions. After our embarrassing self-destruction at Tennessee, the coaches seemed to finally agree with many fans that we needed to change something. Whether it was the schemes of the coaches, the starting players, or just the general attitude of the team, something needed to be changed. A good team doesn't lose a game in Knoxville like we did. We heard "changes, changes, changes" throughout the week leading up to Vanderbilt.

So what exactly did we change during that week? Offensive Coordinator Mike Bobo came down from the box and called plays on the sideline. That was pretty much it. After losing to Oklahoma State, LSU, and then that terrible, humiliating loss to Tennessee, all we really did was bring a coach down to the field. Georgia won convincingly, and all was forgotten.

Then, we (and likely the coaches/players) were distracted by the looming threat of Florida. We were fooled into believing that all was well after we beat a pathetic Commodores squad, and we thought we could go to Jacksonville doing exactly what we've been doing all season, with the exact same personnel that were embarrassed by Tennessee, and we could somehow beat the #1 Florida Gators.

But maybe we would secretly make some changes? Maybe something would be different on Saturday and help lead us to victory. In fact, there was a significant change in our Georgia Bulldogs, and it was apparent from the very beginning.

We wore black helmets and pants.

That was, sadly, the most significant change our coaches have decided to make this season. Then it was revealed how poorly thought out our strategy was, and we saw more of the same from Georgia in the Cocktail Party. Why? Because we didn't change anything other than the uniforms.

I'm afraid that our coaches and our team are too complacent with the way things have been. Losses are shrugged off and they claim to focus on "finishing the drill." If these last 4 games are so important (as they should be), then why are we not doing anything possible to win? What we've been doing has not been successful. We're 4-4, and bowl eligibility is actually not guaranteed. If what we've been doing all season just hasn't worked, shouldn't we try something different? Isn't it worth it?

And as a final note: It's not just looking ahead to the future to want to play a freshman quarterback. Many worry that we could have better options at the most important position on the team, and UGA fans are most concerned with winning the next game. With our performance at that position this season, it's worrisome that the coaches maintain that who we have starting is our best option still.

Unfortunately, with closed practices and our beloved program having a red and black clad security person pacing the Sanford bridge, telling passersby to move on when trying to just see for a moment how our options look, none of us can really know what's going on. And that's why we can't trust the decisions being made right now. We have no way to keep accountable our program and coaches, no way to really vote or take action for the good of our team.

But if our coaches continue to refuse to take chances, to make real changes other than fashion, and we continue down the road that we've been on throughout this season, I don't think we'll have to.

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