I always knew a Thursday would be the highest viewed day. I just always assumed it would eventually be because of my Mail Bag. It's the greatest feature on this site, in my own mind at least.
In actuality, my Mail Bag was bumped off the usual scheduled release time (Thursday at 7 p.m.) to make room for all the recruiting hoopla. I was forced to sit idle and watch as the site went to new heights without my beloved attraction leading the charge.
Now I know how Hugh Jackman felt watching Johnny Depp in Pirates of the Caribbean. The role of Captain Jack Sparrow was written with Jackman in mind. Instead, Depp nailed the role, leading the Pirates trilogy into a money making feast of awesomeness.
With that said, let's get it poppin'.
DawgOf1969 asks: In your opinion what is the story behind Crowell's mom's comments in the AJC?
Well this is the murky water of journalism for me…you see, I like conversation(s). I like to talk. Sometimes I ramble and carry on and linger on talking points that have long since dried out. It drives Dean nuts. But it's just the way I am. Hence these whole damn Mail Bags running longer than Tom Hanks in Forrest Gump.
That's the beauty of my job. I get to talk to people. And currently, I get to talk to a variety of people in a variety of areas. I get to talk to recruits. I get to talk to current collegiate athletes. I get to talk to coaches. I get to talk to parents. Hell, I've even talked to NASCAR drivers, semi-professional golfers, volleyball coaches, high school softball pitchers and Vince Dooley.
The point is, I like to get a feel for what is really going on. I usually do that by gathering context through conversation. In this case, I don't know the context of the conversation that particular journalist had with Crowell's mother. I didn't hear her tone. I couldn't hear which part of the sentence she emphasized the most.
Reading it, I didn't think it was a big deal. I thought she was defending both Isaiah and Quintavious. I couldn't help but think: Good for her. She's right. This offer needs to be legit.
People need to understand; so many media outlets are calling these recruits and their parents these days. There are at least six outlets that cover Georgia. Now think about how many representatives there are total…and we're all making these phone calls…and we're all asking these questions…and we're all writing our version of the story…these kind of quotes are bound to come out eventually. You know, the ones that get somebody riled up about something.
But I wouldn't worry here. This seems to have all worked itself out. Harrow committed to Georgia this week. Isaiah and his family are visiting this weekend.
To further the perception of my rambling personality, I think I answered this question with about 300 more words than it would have taken the average journalistic bear. Let's move on.
Sanfordman asks: I gotta a two parter.
YES! I love two parters…except when actors play more than one role in a movie and try to be all serious about it…like we're not going to notice. Anyway…
What's the best restaurant in Athens?
See, I'm not a good person to ask because I haven't toured the "local" eating scene as well as I should have to this point.
I've been in Athens over three years now and have had my share of good eats. But most of my dining has been at "chains" or "bar/restaurants."
I really like Pauley's downtown, but there is nothing special about the food. I'm just taken with the beer selection (over 120 choices of brew) and the atmosphere (great opportunity for conversation).
Of the "original" places I've eaten at, Big City Bread was, and is, great.
And, who is the greatest musician to come out of Athens?
This is such a loaded question. Am I going to get crucified if I don't say Stipe or Cindy Wilson or Fred Schneider? No? Good.
While I am not denying R.E.M. is the greatest band ever to hail from Athens and the B-52's were the first to hit it big, I'm kinda partial to Drivin N' Cryin'. I know, I know, they're listed as being an Atlanta-based band. But they cut their teeth in the Athens area back in the 80s. I really enjoy the song "Fly Me Courageous." It's one of those songs I'll listen to no matter how many times it comes on the radio. It's like "The Breakfast Club" of cable television for me. I'm not saying they're the best on the grand scale of critical acclaim, but when it comes to my personal preference, I'll take them.
Shout out to Widespread Panic, too. My boy Wes (G-6) turned me on to them not too long ago. When I'm in the right mindset, I can jam to that noise. They're probably the "greatest musicians" of the bunch. I like Drive-By Truckers, too.
Also: Props to rapper Bubba Sparxxx…he grew up in Athens. And he's fairly main stream despite the fact he uses phrases like, "Booty Chowder."
Dean Legge asks: I'll play this week: What is an over-the-back foul in basketball? I will hang up an listen.
Oh, the irony…Legge makes an appearance in the very Mail Bag he despises so much.
C'mon Dean…I think you know what an "over-the-back" foul is. Brian Williams aggressive play to get that rebound reminded me of your approach at Ryan's or Golden Corral. When that last chicken finger is basking in the hot light it doesn't matter if there is a 12-year-old girl or an 80-year-old man in the way…LEGGE GET WHAT HIS STOMACH DESERVE. LEGGE MUST FEED HUNGER. YOU GO HARD TO THE BUFFET OR YOU DON'T GRAB A NEW PLATE AT ALL…Open buffet means one thing: LEGGE BEAST MODE.
What…you didn't think I'd actually accept the invite for ice cream did you?
RyanJordan asks: Fletch, Imagine that you and Dean were competing in a decathlon style event, where he picks 5 events he's confident he would beat you in, and you pick 5 that you feel you would win. What would Dean choose in your opinion and what would you go with? Lastly, could you handicap the events and give us your prediction for a winner. Competitions don't have to sports related.
Just when I thought I'd roughed Dean up enough for one Mail Bag…
Dean's skills closely mirror Napoleon Dynamite's skills…you know, like nunchuku skills, bow hunting skills, computer hacking skills... Girls only want boyfriends who have great skills…Kidding. Slightly.
He'd probably pick tennis, a game of horse, a Jersey Shore trivia contest, 90s only karaoke and a "name that Tom Hanks sappy love movie quote" contest.
I'll go with a home run derby, an actual game of one-on-one in basketball, who can beat Super Mario World the quickest, general sports knowledge and a hot wings eating contest.
Here's how this would shake out…Dean wins the tennis match in straight sets to go up 1-0.
I rebound by hitting Star Road in Mario to beat the game in a cool 20 minutes while Dean struggles to get by the first castle. 1-1.
Dean is the hands down better shooter of the two of us. He puts me out in horse with a bank shot 3 from the left wing. I answer in the one-on-one game, edging him 11-9 by going over his back to grab the last rebound to get in position to win the game. 2-2.
I easily win the home run derby, but not from my own prowess. I only manage to smack one over the fence. But Dean gets a blister on his thumb after his fourth swing, preventing him from continuing. 3-2.
I then rake Dean over the coals in the hot wings eating contest, beating him 53 wings to 22. He can't handle the heat…and by the way, every hot wing you consume has over seven grams of fat. Keep that in mind the next time you go to the bar with friends after a game. Anyway, I'm up 4-2, needing only two more wins to take this piece.
But, Dean storms back, nailing a Tom Hanks quote from ‘You've Got Mail' as I stammer through some mushy line from ‘Sleepless in Seattle.' Whatever. I'm over it. 4-3.
He then blows me out of the water in the 90s karaoke contest, acing every word to the Cranberries hit "Linger." 4-4.
I then edge ahead, winning the general sports knowledge round. Hey, Dean does know more about Georgia than I do. There I admit it. But when it comes to most everything else in the sports world, "he doesn't care." That's a direct quote from him. 5-4.
So it all comes down to this…the Jersey Shore Trivia Contest…Dean has watched the show religiously since it came out. And I shunned the thought of even glimpsing at it…until a month ago. I sat down and watched every episode in a single day. I couldn't pull myself away from it. It was like a train wreck…on steroids. Awesome steroids.
At the 25th hour, I stump Dean with a simple question about Pauley D's tattoo arrangement to take the pivotal sixth win of the first ever Dawg Post decathlon. I'm exhausted. I'm emotional. I'm speechless. ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE!!!!! ANNNNNNNYYYYTTTTTHIIIINNGGGG IIIIIISSSSS POOSSSSSSSSIIIIBBBBBBLLLLLEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!!!
BlackDeathD asks: If Georgia signs crowell and Jenkins and finishes with a dream class, would it be fair to say UGA has a real shot at the SEC East Title "IF" they beat SCU?
Yeah, I think that's fair to say. I think continued improvement on both sides of the ball from the players they already have may be more important than the recruiting class.
South Carolina is going to be tough. I can't believe this, but they'll be the favorite entering the season. Say that to yourself out loud. "South Carolina is the favorite to win the East." Wow.
dunkaroos8 asks: Who's the last Georgia football player you would pick a fight with and why?
And Michael Lemon would have made for a good answer here. He doesn't just beat people up…he breaks eye sockets. But he's long gone, too.
Of the players left, I'm going to go with Orson Charles. He has an incredible build and he's strong as hell. But I think he's got that "nice guy until you piss me off, and I try to break your face" thing going on. He's a great guy. Doesn't seem confrontational. Also chats it up well. I get the feeling if you did somehow cross him, he'd unleash an ungodly reign of fire.
RenegadeDawg asks: 1) If you throw a cat out of a car window, does it become kitty litter?
Whoa now, Dean's a cat lover. We can't step on those toes.
But, along those lines, I did wonder to myself as the Eagles lost in the playoffs: Is Andy Reid going to execute Mike Vike since he didn't perform and win. Turnabout is fair play.
2) If Wily E. Coyote had enough money to buy all that ACME stuff, why didn't he just buy dinner?
You're on to something here. Hey, as long as we're talking about cartoons, I've got a thought: How was there only one female smurf? The guy to girl ratio was like 200 to 1. Looking back, I think I got mixed signals from that show. Smurfette is this smoking hot blonde who all the guy smurfs lusted over in tremendous fashion. I'm sure of that. But in my older age, I've come to realize that Papa Smurf had Smurfette on lock. He had to. His name was "PAPA SMURF." He was obviously the dad to all the other smurfs. So unless Gargamel ate Mama Smurf (which was never explicitly made clear or even implied), am I to assume Smurfette was Papa Smurf's concubine? Damn it I'm confused. There was such an age gap between the two. The whole thing feels wrong. My childhood was a farce. A lie coated in a blue shade.
3) If a person suffering from multiple personality disorder threatens to commit suicide, is it deemed a hostage situation?
By this point, I'm running out of ways to deflect your worthless questions to my worthless answers. This is awesome. This is what the Mail Bag is all about.
Speaking of which, in a real hostage situation (with more than one person), if Urban Meyer was the hostage, would anybody really care? At this point, he's pissed off Georgia, Alabama, Tennessee and South Carolina fans. And he angered his own kind by quitting twice in a 12 month time period. I think the rest of the nation respects him as a coach, but is tired of hearing about him or seeing him hug Tim Tebow all the time.
I think the cops would be like, "Just do what you want. You've got no leverage. Nobody cares."
MagicMan31 asks: Convince me why I need to buy the latest Kanye album. Is it better than college dropout?
Kanye's latest album is a different sound than his previous (which is kind of how his career has gone). The music on his latest album is wonderful.
Now, my personal preference ranks College Dropout at the top of the list. It will be hard for ‘Ye to top that beautiful piece of work. But the song "Runaway" off his latest album instantly went into my top five Kanye songs list the first time I played the track.
My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy is not College Dropout. But it's worth the money if you're a hardcore Kanye fan like I am.
It's so hard to top a debut album. If you think about it, artists have years and years to perfect that first package. Then they're expected to turn around a second one less than a year later. Think about that…years to write and scheme and perfect the first one through smalltime touring and long nights up working and years of trying to get noticed. After the initial success, what's left in the bag? Nothing. But they're expected to do better despite having no material to start with and less time to make it work.
I have so much respect for music artists who have sustained success. The second album is usually the beginning of the end for most.
Anyway, here's how I rank Kanye's albums: College Dropout, Graduation, MBDTF, Late Registration, 808s and Heartbreak.
And while 808s come in last for me, some of my favorite individual songs (Street Lights, Amazing) come from that album. West has had an epic run, all PR disasters aside.
TripleB asks: 1. What are the draft prospects for next years top football players in your opinion?
I assume you're talking about Georgia's players? Apple dawg will tell you, I don't do well with vague questions.
I bet Orson Charles will have a decision to make, too. He may have the chance to leave a year early.
On defense, Boykin will be a taken on the first day. Jarvis Jones is an NFL player. I'm not sure when though. If Jenkins come to Georgia, DeAngelo Tyson stands to gain the most. I think he could play himself into a solid pick with a full year at defensive end.
If you were talking about all college players, I'll make a bold statement. Look for Stephen Garcia to make a run to replace Andrew Luck as the No. 1 overall pick next season…Kidding. I completely wasted your time by including that sentence. Still friends?
I think Thompkins is right on the lottery bubble. He could be a top 10 pick. This is just my personal opinion, but I think a lot of teams still want to see more out of Trey. There were scouts from 17 NBA teams at the Kentucky game. They got a show that night. But what about the Tennessee game?
Trey needs to be more consistent and show more mental and physical toughness. He's a lock to be taken in the first round. But he can play himself into the lottery realm for sure over the next two months.
On the other hand, I'm a little worried about Travis. He's a freak athlete. No doubt there. But he doesn't have a position at the pro level. He doesn't have the size to play small forward. And he doesn't have the skills to play 2-guard. I love to watch Travis. He's a good college player. But he's not a pro-type player right now. That's the truth. Everybody can dunk like he can at the next level, even some of the white guys.
3. Can we please get you and Dean to do the sumo suit challenge during halftime of the next basketball game? How about you put a steak on the winner?
That would be fun to watch. I get the feeling something like that would start out as all fun and games…you know, a laugh here, a wink there…and it would slowly turn into an all out Dawg Post Warfest.
Understand this: Dean doesn't get into fights (bets, arguments, etc) that he doesn't already know he's won. He'd probably sneak a shank under his sumo outfit and stab me discretely to gain the advantage. I'm not kidding.
BernieDawg asks: What do you make of the players' recent comments about the off season workouts? Usual rhetoric or is there something to it? And how much do you feel like the S&C change will help on the recruiting trails, if at all?
I expected those comments to start filtering out on Twitter and Facebook. Of course the players were going to say all that—it's something new. Any time something new comes along, it's going to be "the best" or the "the hardest" workout ever. That's how everybody is. I started lifting in ninth grade during third block weight training. It was the hardest thing I'd ever been through. When I got to college I started working out in a dungeon-style old school looking gym. I thought it was the best workout since the Cave Men started curling boulders back in the day. (I think Neanderthals actually coined the phrase "curls for girls." Actually, they didn't need to workout to get the ladies. They just clubbed them over the head and drug them back to the cave).
Anyway, I started going to the Omni a few years ago. I found this to be groundbreaking. Then, I had to cancel my membership when my parents quit giving me money after college. So I started doing P90X as a cheap alternative. I thought it was "the most incredible thing ever," too.
Anyway, from talking to some of the players the last few weeks (gasp! He has sources…) I think the workout schedule is more intense than what they had previously been going through. And it seems to be 100 percent more organized. There is a sense of direction—a grand scheme. I think the players appreciate that.
And yes, it helps the recruiting aspect a great deal. Recruiting is really all about perception. Do the recruits think you are a great program or not? Do they think you can win or not? Do they think you offer the best overall package or not? That's all it is.
So, anything that can help influence the perception is key. Here's what a current commit told me once, off the record of course. Let's welcome an anonymous source into the Mail Bag!
"When I was at Alabama, they showed us the nutrition side of things. They showed us everything we would be eating and doing to get ready. When we went to Georgia, there wasn't even mention made of a nutritionist. I couldn't believe it."
Yeah, that quote should make you very happy things are changing. The perception kids were getting was Georgia wasn't as thorough across the board as other SEC schools.
Also, Teddy Valentine climbed over my back to get in line at McD's this morning. When will his wrath end?
True story: Valentine officiated one of the first basketball games I covered at Georgia. During a timeout, one of the other refs came over and was carrying on a lighthearted conversation with an SEC representative sitting near me. As the ref turned to head back to the court, the rep said, "How's Teddy?" The ref looked back and said, "He is crazy." And he said it with a dead serious look on his face. Even his peers think he's nuts.
CaDawgFan asks: 2010 was a bad year for the big 3 sports (football, basketball and baseball) at UGA. All three had losing records. When's the last time that happened?
1977 to be precise. That's right, the top song on the charts that year was Rod Stewart's "Tonight's the Night." Star Wars was the top grossing film (Smokey and the Bandit was No. 8 for those of you with love for Burt Reynolds). And the 1977 Oldsmobile Cutlass hit the market with a bang…Those sure were the days! Page here was still 10 years from bursting on the scene.
SuwaneeDawg03 asks: 1. Do you feel any added pressure this week since Dean has deemed your mail satchel worthy of one of his questions?
I only feel pressure after I release these things. I seriously always hope Dean doesn't read any of it. Well…maybe I hope he sees the decathlon blurb. But that's it, I swear.
2. I have been a huge Spurs fan for 21 years now and admired how Pop has employed Tim Duncan over the years. I would like to see CMF use Thompkins in the same fashion. Pass to Thompkins down low in the post, wait for the double team, and then have him pass to an open shooter, runner, etc. With Leslie and Robinson running down the middle and Trey being a good passer it would be quite effective.
I'm with you…Trey does have the skill set to do all those things. He's a good passer, a good ballhandler and usually makes good decisions. I like the comparison to Tim Duncan. I'm sure Trey does, too.
3. Have you been witness to any workouts or spoken with the new nutritionist? If so, please detail some of the differences in the new system.
I have not seen a workout…or talked to anybody on the nutrition side of things. But I did just sit in on an interview with Thomas Brown. While he wasn't giving away the finer details, he did say a few interesting things. Let's welcome former player, and current member of the strength and conditioning staff, Thomas Brown into the Mail Bag.
"I'm hands-on. I'm on the floor every day motivating guys, encouraging them to give their all every day to buy in to the system and get back to playing sound team football."
"It's intense. It's intense. I think it's going to be a change for them because everything we do is going to be based on conditioning. So I think we're going to be more prepared to finish games."
"They've responded great. I won't single out individuals, but I think overall we have a great group of guys who are committed to win. There are some guys who needed a little extra pushing, which is what I'm going to do—push them until they quit or turn around. But I think we're doing great so far."
Thanks Thomas. What a career that young man had…and is having. We'll be right back after these messages.
4. Who will be the top candidates for OL coach if CSS leaves?
My vote is for Matt Luke. He's currently the offensive coordinator and line coach at Duke. I've heard nothing but good things about the way he recruits and the passion he coaches with. He was at Tennessee for a couple of years, so he knows what it takes to win in the conference.
There are other candidates out there, but it's all just speculation on my part at this point.
5. What helps you pass the time with no college football once NSD and the Spring Game are over?
I like to dabble in the finer arts…Super Mario (beaten 93 of 96 levels. Still searching for those other three)…Netflix (Mad Men)…I'm also an avid reader (Dawg Post magazine, Dawg Post website, Dawg Post message boards)…also in my spare time, I enjoy nursing sick puppies back to full health, singing Christmas carols to the elderly at the nursing home (yeah, Christmas is over, but they don't know the difference) and taking long, reflective walks on the beach.
14dawgs47 asks: Jarquez Samuel looks to have good size and some good offers, De end is a need for us are we just not interested?
Yeah, it looks like he was a guy that may have been just on the cusp of getting an offer from a couple of big schools. I've heard he's fairly strong and has the frame to continue adding weight. He committed to Marshall yesterday.
The nt at gmc, what is his conditioning looks like he has put on alot of weight, can he play and hold up in the sec.
Yeah, I was quite surprised when I saw Chad report the kid weighs over 400 pounds. That's…just…not…healthy. But who am I to judge? Apparently the kid has pretty quick feet. I wouldn't say he's light on his toes (get it!), but he moves better than a 400-pound guy should.
Can he hold up in the SEC? I have my doubts. Not at that weight anyway. Remember, Kwame Geathers came in and lost 40 pounds when he was a freshman.
If this kid ends up at Georgia, he'll have to lose at least 40 or 50 pounds.
begger asks: how many teams do you think make the NCAAs for the SEC this year? I'm thinking 3 or 4, slim chance at 5 with the most likely # being 3.
Right now, I only see three teams as tournament worthy (Kentucky, Georgia and Florida). And to be frank, none of those teams have exactly captivated the nation's attention. Kentucky's loss at Alabama, Georgia's loss at home to Tennessee and Florida's putrid win over Auburn this past week makes me feel uneasy. Tennessee and Vanderbilt are right on the bubble, in my mind, as being a team that can make it. (This has nothing to do with where teams currently stand or what they're resumes indicate. This is where I think they will end up).
At this point though, I wouldn't be surprised if a random team (possibly even from the West) were to sneak into the NCAAs by winning the SEC Tournament. Georgia did it in 2008. Mississippi State did it in 2009. That's the only way this conference gets to four or five teams.
bjdogg asks: With the recent news on Dowtin, Williams and now T. Strickland, are we seeing CMR taking a more aggressive stance on use of his scholarships (ala Nick Saban as has been a hot topic on the board the last couple of days)? Is it just coincidence that we got rid of some bad apples and an injury prone player to open up additional spots?
Well…surely Saint Richt wouldn't push a player out to open a scholarship would he? Only scum like Saban and Chizik and Meyer do such evil things. Not Mark. Not Richt. Not Georgia.
On the for real, I think Dowtin's dismissal had nothing to do with trying to free up a spot for somebody like Sanford Seay. It had everything to do with getting rid of a player who was killing the team attitude.
Strickland probably could not have carried on with his shoulders in the shape they are in.
Charles White wanted to move on, too.
This attrition had nothing to do with freeing up scholarships. But it doesn't hurt, does it?
apple dawg asks: You didn't misread my question. I worded it vaguely.
We'll get it right one of these days.
1) Conventional wisdom is that the greatest period of growth under a new head coach comes between the first and second years. That's why so many head coaches have very successful second years. Do you think the same is true for defensive coordinators?
I do. And this is another aspect of progression that applies to most everything in life.
Think about it: 1st graders make a huge leap from their first year in the system. Kindergarden is all about fundamentals (not pooping in your pants, tying your shoes, not eating glue). That next year—or season—you start perfecting your craft. More is expected. More responsibility is placed on your wee little shoulders. You start reading books with more words. You can write full sentences. You can button your own pants when you get done in the bathroom. It's a magical step to witness take place.
The same thing applies for Dean and I: My first year here at Dawg Post was full of absolute blunders. I was just trying to get my damn name spelled right in the byline. One time, I was one click away from locking the whole site down for a lengthy period of time. That led to the best string of sentences Dean ever said to me over the phone: "Just shut your computer and go home. Just walk away from it. I'll deal with it. Don't click anything else."
Now, I'm breaking commit stories and writing multi-thousand word Mail Bags. But I owe it all to the mistakes I made when I first started.
2) If you could add another national holiday, whose birthday would you honor?
September 24…That's the date I'd save. It's Jim Henson's birthdate. And yes, he's the creator of Muppet Babies, the single greatest children's show in the history of children's shows.
My favorite Muppet was Gonzo, which probably says more about me than anything else I could tell you.
Henson also did work on Sesame Street (which I did not like as well) and Fraggle Rock (which I do not remember as well).
For a more serious answer, I'll take Benjamin Franklin's date of birth. This answer was partially prompted by my recent trip to Philadelphia.
Let's welcome Ben into the Mail Bag…what's happenin' Mr. Franklin? Any thoughts on Mark Richt being on the hot seat?
"A great empire, like a great cake, is most easily diminished at the edges."
I see. I think you're getting at strength and conditioning and off-the-field distractions. I agree. What do you think about those who give Richt a hard time on the message board?
"Any fool can criticize, condemn and complain and most fools do."
Right. Do you think Richt can turn it around?
"Applause waits on success."
Uh huh…all right, well there you go. Thanks for stopping in.
3) Can a reptile ever make a good pet?
Not no…but HELL NO! The only exception to this rule is if you have a pet boa constrictor and you name it Larry. That's it. Larry boa…that's it.
hpdog asks: Fletch, I'm going ask a probably unpopular question, but here goes: Do You still see Trey as a 1st Round NBA pick ? I'm struggling with him going that high right now. He is certainly not dominating games like he should, most of his game is played with his back to the basket, and he hasn't shown the ability to hit the 15 foot jumper, or take defenders to the basket while facing the hoop. Don't get me wrong, I love Trey, but I'm really not sure he can play small forward in the NBA, and he isn't tough or strong enough to play the NBA Power Forward position. IMO, he is really going to have to demonstrate more the rest of the season, particularly hitting the jumper, to go as a 1st Rounder. What say You ?
I kind of already touched on this earlier in the Bag…and I agree with you on most of your points. Trey can take over games (Kentucky) and also frustrate at times (Tennessee).
I think he's a solid first round pick, regardless of what happens from here (unless the wheels completely fall off, which isn't going to happen).
NBAdraft.net has Trey going to the Clippers with the ninth pick in the draft. That's like Todd McShay projecting A.J. Green to go to the Cleveland Browns—major bummer. But that gives you an indication of how Trey is thought of by people who spend all their working hours projecting the draft.
trooperdawg980 asks: In your contact with the players can you sense the kind of "change" needed with which Bulldawg Nation can use to face the upcoming season with a renewed sense of optimism? Does next season's success depend less on change or does it all fall on the backs of this years class of signees and the way that class is completed?
I don't think the 2011 class will have very much to do with how Georgia fares this upcoming season (outside of Crowell coming in and tearing it up like Lattimore did. IF that is the case. IF. IF.).
Don't read me wrong here…there are some playmakers in this class that can make a difference early. But for the most part, most of this class will redshirt, just like most recruits do. Crowell, Mitchell, Herrera, Andrews, Marshall, maybe Drew—those guys can get on the field early and make some plays.
But the changes currently taking place with players already on campus is 100 percent more important. There are over 50 players taking part in that change right now. There are key starters on both sides of the ball that are exponentially more important for next season than almost every kid in this upcoming class. That's more important.
And I think they're buying in. They're embarrassed. They know they have to change. Nobody likes losing, but sometimes I think the fans think they take losing harder than the players.
gadawgbite asks: Fletch, What kind of impact do you think Freddie Freeman will have with the Braves this year?
Let's see, Freeman is a career .301 hitter in four seasons in the minor leagues, and he's still just 21 years old.
That tells me his ceiling is still high, but I'm sure there will be growing pains. I think he'll have an impact, but I think there will be mountains and valleys. We saw that with Heyward last season (the thumb injury was a major factor there).
noahcleveland asks: In your opinion, why did Ray Drew drop in the ESPN rankings from the 3rd best overall prospect to the 13th. He looked like he dominated the all star game. I know other guy's stock may have went up, but his should not have dropped that much in my opinion.
First of all…ESPN's recruiting analysis is the Kevin Millwood of the 1998 Braves pitching staff…sure you can get some productive info (starts) from ESPN (Millwood), but it's just not as good as Maddux, Glavine or Smoltz (Scout, TOS and TOS).
That's right; Scout is the Greg Maddux in my opinion.
So, I don't place much stock in ESPN's rankings anyway.
Second of all, Ray Drew is the same player he was months ago. He still has the same upside. He still has the same skill set. I know the rankings mean a great deal to a lot of people, but once a player is offered or commits somewhere, the rankings kind of go out the window to me
No offense to Chad or anybody that ranks players…but I ask myself one question when I see a kid: Can he play in the SEC? If the answer is a solid yes, I throw the player in the pool with the other players I think can hang. If it's a maybe, I rank the player in that category. If it's no, I move on.
theburnem asks: Put you on the spot. If today was signing day who do we finish with...go.
Now that Rome (who has been a lock for a long time) and Mitchell are all set, I really like Drew, Crowell and Jenkins to sign with Georgia. At this time, I'm not exactly sure who else is out there that will come on board. I'm sure there will be a few others, as Georgia can take upwards of 28 kids in this class.
Do you think we can get a chat with all of you including Chad before signing day?
Yeah, I think that's a good idea. We'll probably have one soon. I'll credit you for initiating the thought, too.
Jtugadawgs asks: First off I appreciate all the time you put in the mailbag
Well, thanks a million. I appreciate you guys taking the time to read this whole convoluted thing I put out each week. Dean was just so absolutely sure it would never work. I smile a little wider with each new question or compliment.
1.) Give me your gut feeling today on Drew, Crowell, Jenkins, Rome & Mitchell (May know before answered?)
My gut tells me Drew, Crowell and Jenkins will be Georgia bound. And I'll add…if Ray Drew doesn't sign with Georgia, I'll kiss my best friend's bearded mother. Well…she doesn't have a beard. But you get the point.
2.) Do we beat both the Broncos & COCKS to start off the year?
That's the million-dollar question, isn't it? You should have added Florida and Tech in there, too.
I can't really say for sure one way or the other. There are way too many variables left to play out before I can even begin to wrap my little pea-sized brain around those games. You know my feelings about Nostradamus, don't you?
3.) I love what Mark Fox and our basketball team are doing. We have talent again it's been since Jarvis and Ezra since we have had a team like this (And no head coach with a last name that starts with H). So basically do we win the East or The Sec Tourney? And do we make it to the "Big Dance"?
Well, the East is definitely the better of the two divisions. And right now, they're kind of beating up on each other. With the exception of Florida, each team in the East has at least two losses in conference play. No team looks like the clear favorite. So, Georgia is right there in the mix.
I think Georgia will make the NCAA Tournament. I'm not quite as sure they'll actually win the East, but I think it's a strong possibility.
Hey, you said it…not me. Remember folks; all statements are welcome in the Mail Bag. Come one, come all. Take the platform and blast away.
5.) Last one I hope CMR is around for a while I really like him we have had 2 down years of "Georgia's" Standards, but doesn't every Sec school now and again? So how much longer will I see CMR on our sideline? Thanks Again Go DAWGS!!!
I'll stick to my guns here: Either Richt will not be here after next season…or he'll retire from Georgia when he so chooses. I really believe that. I don't think there is any middle ground. He'll either get back on track next season and be set for years to come…or he'll be fired after a third disappointing season in a row. It's that simple to me.
gavindawg asks: Who will be the next OL coach? I would like to see a NFL line coach come in, seeing that we run a pro style offense.
Yes, an NFL guy would be ideal given Georgia's style of play. And NFL coaches coming to the college ranks are all the rage now.
I said earlier I'm partial to Luke. But if Richt can get an NFL guy, that would almost certainly a better hire than most of the names I've seen mentioned from the college level.
I know all of you want Robbie Caldwell, just for the sake of his quotes and press conference congeniality. His interactions with the media are the exact opposite of what I'd grown accustomed to with Searels here.
hogwhaloup asks: I think the Boykin - Cummings duo will be special next year. Who gets your vote for the best CB duo of the MR era? I'm thinking Jennings - Minter.
I, too, like the Boykin/Commings duo. And I also agree, Jennings and Minter were one hell of a combo. I can't really offer another tandem to compete there. Prince Miller and Bryan Evans were a close second though. Calm down, I'm just kidding.
stephenm1 asks: 1) Do you think Dom Cobb was dreaming the entire time during Inception?
Haven't seen it yet. I plan to soon.
And let me tell you, if that is the way it ends, I'll be thoroughly pissed off. I'm tired of investing hours into these so-called "suspense thrillers" that interest me right up until the end. Wait, this was a dream? Wait, he was really dead the whole time? He was knocked out cold in a car accident? She was in a coma? He was crazy the whole time?
I'm tired of that (expletive). Is that all Hollywood has left? Is that the only way they can twist the plot anymore?
It worked to perfection in the "Sixth Sense." It was well done by Ron Howard in "A Beautiful Mind." But now everybody else is killing me softly with this tactic.
Why am I wasting my time? Why do I meticulously study every single detail of each scene for hours on end?
There is no point anymore. Apparently every freaking person is either dead or dreaming or both. Suck it Hollywood. I'm done.
You know, it would be like watching the O.J. Simpson car chase, murder trail, acquittal and fallout, only to find out Nicole Brown's mother was dreaming the whole time and it never actually happened.
Just stop it all. Just stop this nonsense now.
2) What do you think about Catwoman and Bane being the villians in the upcoming Batman movie?
I love that Anne Hathaway will portray Catwoman, although I'm not sure she can live up to the way Michelle Pfeiffer played the role back in 1992.
3) Do you think Mark Zuckerburg is a dick as portrayed in The Social Network or just socially awkward?
I gotta admit: I haven't seen The Social Network yet. I know, I know…but the film came out during football season. August through November basically turns my social life into a Dean Legge house party. Crickets.
But, from what I've heard, watching that movie will make you want to delete your Facebook. I already have twice, but I keep coming back for various reasons. Damn it.
gadawgbite asks: Old Metallica, Led Zeppelin, or Pink Floyd? LOL!
How is this fair? This would be like having two clones of Katy Perry lined up next to the real Katy Perry and then asking me to chose one.
I'm not going to take the bait.
I think all three are great bands. And I think they all have their time and place to be played. Metallica is great in dungeon-style weight rooms. Zeppelin is great to jumpstart a good night of drinking. And Pink Floyd is money in the bank when you want to melt into the couch and second guess all of your life decisions and wonder "what does it all really mean?" for a couple of forgotten hours.
nayah asks: Why wasn't Cornelius Washington the force that everyone thought he was going to be? Do you still see him being a factor in the future?
Even Cornelius admits he wasn't the force he thought he'd be. But don't take my word for it…let's welcome Mr. Washington into the Mail Bag.
"Well, I feel like I could have done better. There is a lot of stuff that I could have done to help us win. It comes with learning, so I'm going to take it as an experience and work harder this summer and make sure I'm doing everything I possibly can to help us win."
Thanks for your time, Cornelius.
Speaking of time, we're out of it.
Turn out the lights boys, the party's over. Thank ya'll for coming.