The Minion does not sleep. Dawg Post always beckons and is always pulling me away from something I crave—the Clermont Lounge, perhaps.
I'm usually up writing the Mail S(t)ack late into the night. But it's worth it…most weeks at least.
I'll be honest…the last few weeks have been a killer for the Minion. SEC Tournament action led right into an NCAA Tournament trip--all of which was spent with Dean. Yeah, I know, right?
Spring practice fired up the day after I got back from Charlotte.
So, I'm slowly breaking down. I think everybody on this beat has to a certain extent. Hell, even the Georgiadogs.com website—the official UGA website—crashed Thursday. That sucker is still a hunk of burning broadband.
It's been a rough stretch, to say the least. I guess that's why I I'm not writing an above-average intro with some sort of Robert Duvall-centered fantasyland of awesomeness. There have been some sacrifices, as sad as I am to admit that.
With all that said…ladies and gentlemen, you already know what it is…let's get it poppin'.
aname asks: From what you've heard, why is the D beating the O so bad at practice? I've been hearing that a lot.
I'm hearing the defensive line has been much improved this spring. Here's a little convo I had with a defensive starter (who asked to be referred to as "Mr. Anonymous Tackler" so as not to be the known person ragging on the offense.
Me: Sounds like the defense has been getting the better of the offense this spring…
Mr: Anonymous Tackler: Complete domination. They didn't make a single play Tuesday.
Me: Wow. What unit is creating the most havoc?
Mr: Anonymous Tackler: Everyone together. D-line is doing really well. They're taking up more than one blocker at a time.
So there you have it. Now, I'm going to sit back and watch as emails over concern for the offense hammer my inbox.
I'll tell you folks, you can't lose for winning. Or win for losing...
What are the chances UGA goes after Duron Carter. I hear he's looking at the SEC.
I'm sure they'll put out a feeler. But I'm told Duron, the son of NFL legend Chris "All he does is catch touchdowns" Carter has ties to both Alabama and Florida. So I would put those two teams ahead of Georgia from the jump.
bpadgett09 asks: Fletch, what do you predict our record will be after the first two games? These two games will set the stage for the season and for our hopes of a visit to Atl for the SEC championship game
I think there are only so many outcomes in play here…
1) Georgia wins both games.
2) Georgia beats Boise, loses to South Carolina.
3) Georgia loses to Boise, beats South Carolina.
4) Georgia loses both games.
OK…let's say I only have 100 percentage points to deal out here at the prediction table.
Since the Boise game is in the Dome (a mere 50 minute drive from Athens), and the South Carolina game is in Sanford, I have to give a few extra points to option No. 1. And thus, take a few points away from options 2, 3 and 4. Especially 4.
Also, I think South Carolina has a better chance to beat Georgia than Boise. I'm not saying they both can't…I just like South Carolina more because of the whole SEC thing and how Georgia-Carolina games always play out tense.
So…I'll set the percentages like this:
1) Georgia wins both games: 30 percent.
2) Georgia beats Boise, loses to South Carolina: 30 percent.
3) Georgia loses to Boise, beats South Carolina. 20 percent.
4) Georgia loses both games. 20 percent.
The point of all this was to say…I think Georgia has a better chance to win both than lose both. And if Georgia splits, I think they lose to South Carolina. The whole percentage thing was almost pointless…Wait…it was absolutely pointless.
And I still didn't give my prediction on the record, either. Take that!
Patches33 asks: If there is one basketball recruit that you see ending up at UGA who would it be? or who is UGA recruiting the hardest right now?
I think Georgia is doing a pretty good job recruiting a lot of kids in the state hard right now. I'm not sure why, but I think Shaq Goodwin could be the best bet. I don't have anything of real substance to base that on. I've only talked to him once. But since he's a great football player and has been offered by Mark Richt, I think Georgia has given him a lot to think about—with both sports.
Who do you see as UGA's top footbal priority?/Who are they recruiting the hardest?
I'm going to stick with John Theus as the top target. The kid is an NFL tackle. Mark it down.
I know this isnt UGA related but it could have a huge impact on UGA: UT is in hot water with the NCAA but are they going to just get a slap on the wrist or the axe? is the NCAA going after basketball or football more? Just wondering what you are hearing about that situation if anything.
Good questions…I don't exactly have my ear to ground about all the trouble brewing in Knoxville (thank goodness). But from what I heard, the punishment will be somewhere in between the axe and a slap.
Let's face…the coaches that committed these infractions are now gone. Now, I blame the administration for a lack of "institutional control." Oh my Minion, such big phrases we've learned since college!
Anyway, there better be some hell to pay. I'd expect a loss of scholarships and a postseason ban of some sort, but I'm sure of any of this or for which sport.
And I also don't have more than a guess on which sport will be hit the hardest. I'll guess basketball, but that's no more educated than Kenny Irons…Thanks…I'll be here all week.
No, no. Thank you. Don't forget to tip your waitress.
BlackDeathD asks: How do programs like VCU, and Butler get to the final 4. IS it because they do not recruit one and done players? Instead they build a team as a group? Could the one and dones who are there just to show what they can do and not be a team player hurt programs like UK, UNC, Kansas ect? Just a theory I have. Of course maybe it could be that a program like Butler has no interest in build a D-1 football program and BB is the only thing the AD, and fans really focuses on. Maybe?
Dean put an interesting idea in my brain regarding this very subject.
He contends that since these smaller schools put so much emphasis on winning their conference tournament, they become adept in one-and-done style of play. Most of the time, these lesser schools HAVE to win their conference tourney. So they always play with a sense of urgency in March.
That has to have something to do with it.
Also, there are usually more juniors and seniors on teams like Butler and VCU. Outside of Gordon Hayward from Butler last season, there aren't any NBA draft picks on these rosters, so they don't leave school early.
That means older players get the benefit of extra years of practice to develop and extra seasons of games to become battle tested.
That also has to have something to do with it.
And finally, anytime two teams face off, any team can win. Any team on any given night on any given stage, and any team can get hot for an extended period of time…That also has to have something to do with it.
SuwaneeDawg03 says: I look forward to each and every edition of the mail sack. Dean should give you a big enough raise to allow you to buy yourself a fine steak.
You aren't kidding. For those of you who share this sentiment, I both thank and urge you to flood Dean's Inbox with support for the Minion.
Any word on how Caleb has looked in the spring? I don't believe I have heard anything about him.
I think the less you hear about King, the better things are probably going. It seems like (and probably unfairly) the only time King's name hits the press is when he strains a hammy or does something illegal.
So far this spring, he's done neither of those negative two things, thus you've heard little to none about him. Don't worry, the Red & Black is waiting…
We have heard about how the defense is getting the best of the offense to this point. Have the coaches specified which units of the D are dominating thus far?
It seems to me that the defensive line is the most improved thus far. They're doing what they are supposed to do, taking up the right blockers and all that noise.
The defense has gotten the best of the offense in every practice...and I think a few of you guys made the point to say that everything starts with the line.
How does Eric Ainge get away with being an authentic crackhead for 4 years at Tennessee?
I think what young, impressionable kids should take from this is the short-term benefits hardcore drugs can provide. I mean Ainge threw for 72 touchdowns in college. From what I can tell, painkillers aided in this glory on the football field. There's no telling what the herion and meth could do for a star athlete.
It's the long-term use that can hurt you…or kill you. Whatever.
But now it's made for a nice feel good story. And by using the media, a long time druggie (since the age of 11) now has flipped the perception…now people are congratulating him and lifting him up as an example for getting up out of the funk.
I hope he remains sober. I really wish the best for him moving forward. But I'm not going to tweet about his triumphs. Is that wrong?
With the continued talk of calling your bit the 'Sack', have you considered changing the official name?
This statement prompted me to change the name of the Mail Bag this week. I'm still toying with ideas until I settle on something that both pleases the Minion and doesn't draw the mighty wrath of Dean the Bean. He's quite grumpy at times, especially in the morning.
14dawgs47 says: who ever the opposing coach is that gave his thoughts on Corey Moore needs to be taken off the list.
It was a rather strange comment, but we run whatever the coaches say. For better or, as in this specific case, for worse.
I would like to see a depth chart on dawgpost don't know if its possible with it changing each week but would be great as a fan to see the changes.
I'm not sure if that's possible. Dean is the IT guru. I'll ask him about this, but in the meantime I can give you my current depth chart—which I think is just as good as anything Dawg Post as a whole could muster up.
Offense: QB: Aaron Murray.
LG: Kenarious Gates...
C: Ben Jones. Chief backup: Chris Burnette.
WR: Tavarres King…and the five other guys are clumped. Outside of King, somebody has to start getting some separation here. Surely, somebody can do that, right?
albdawg stops in to ask a few questions: How is Figgins doing at FB?
Well…you know, why don't we just ask Mike Bobo about this, since he gets to see Bruce work every day. Ladies and gents, welcome the QB guru and current playcaller into the Sack. Please hold your applause until after the show.
Let's hear it Mike…
"It's a learning curve, but I think he's done a good job…it will be interesting to see how he does at the point of contact. There's more collisions there and something he's going to have to get used to. But he has the body and he's done a nice job with assignments so far, but he's got to get used to playing the position.
Bruce says carrying the football has been his biggest adjustment. Thoughts?
"Oh, well I haven't given him the ball yet, so that's probably why…(pause for laughter).
Oh, you offensive coordinators…I swear. But seriously, what will be his biggest adjustment?
"He's used to blocking at the line of scrimmage with maybe a foot. Now you've got maybe five or six yards of space. Something he's got to get used to, and there's a lot of collisions there. He's a tough kid and he's got the body for it and he's got to get used to it."
Well there you have it, folks. Thanks Mike for stopping in. Don't be such a stranger.
Who are the WRs besides King and Bennett that are getting praise so far.
As Bobo dipped out, Tony Ball poked his head in the door to see what all the commotion was about. While we've got you here Mr. Ball, can you field a question? Is depth the issue? Proven depth?
"Proven. Proven experience and proven depth. We've got to find some guys. I think we've got some guys. But we've got to get better at doing things consistently."
Spoken like a true coach. Thanks Tony. It's always great to have Mr. Ball in the Sack.
Outside of King, I haven't heard much about the others receivers. Bennett is getting "He's never played so that means we think he's going to set our hair on fire" attention. Which is fine. Other than that, I've been getting the "blah" quotes about everyone else. Did all this make you panic? Sorry.
I think you should get a free trip to Houston for the weekend. Thanks for the info.
Again, I urge you to force Dean to build a wooden Arc to survive the flood of emails you guys should be sending him.
dunkaroos8 says: I read in the dawgpost magazine that an opposing coach was hating on Corey Moore a little bit saying he got beat a couple times by his running back who never got an offer. I'm sure he's just sticking up for his player but do you know who the coach was who said that and the running back he's talking about?
I don't know who the coach is. I did make a few of those calls though…and we printed what those coaches had to say. If I did know who the coach was, I still wouldn't give him away. Delonte West said it best: snitches get stitches.
hpdog asks: After reading Dallas Lee's brother has no interest in UGA, and we hear nothing about Lee, other than he's not able to practice, do you think DL is not happy at UGA, or may be leaving, and this is why his brother is not coming ? May be reading too much in to this, but it's odd that a younger brother wouldn't want to play with his brother, if Dallas was happy and/or contributing?
I know just a little bit about this. I don't feel comforbable going into detail, but I don't think Dallas is unhappy. I don't know exactly why Dillion doesn't like UGA, but he doesn't. He has zero interest, but it doesn't seem to have anything to do his brother. I saw their dad wearing a Georgia shirt in February, so there doesn't seem to be an outright hatred of Georgia or anything like that.
Sorry for the vague response, but that's all I can offer at the moment.
DickVanDawg asks: I was really excited when we signed Jordan Love but so far he hasn't done much, how's he looking this spring?
Love has done fairly well…he's just behind some really good players at the present time. Boykin and Commings seem to be a lock to start (unless Commings moves to safety) and Branden Smith's speed and potential seem to keep in the mix in nickel situations.
I haven't heard much about Love this spring, but that's not unusual. There's still time.
Berlusconi says: Fletch, have you seen the movie about you? If Chevy Chase attended practice which current player would be most likely to recognize him?
Funny question…if not for the current show Community, there wouldn't be much of a reason to recognize Chase. "Fletch" and "Caddyshack" have long since disappeared in the rear view. And can I just say…Christmas Vacation could quite possibly be my most hated movie. I can't stand that movie.
I'm going to say Aron White, Brandon Burrows and Tavarres King would recognize Chase right off the bat. I'm not sure why I settled on these three. I just think they would.
Everybody else would probably say something along the lines of, "Hey Coach, I know that guy from somewhere…you know, he always falls off stuff…and he's not really funny…but I know him."
blackbulldawg asks: 1. How has Aaron looked this year as compared to last?
Aaron has looked great. He is rounding out nicely. He's been a great interview, great leader…I actually have a column coming out in the next Dawg Post magazine about this very subject.
The gist of my angle is that Aaron still has three seasons to play…and he should make a dent in the Georgia quarterbacks of all-time hierarchy. This hierarchy is prestigious…even though I just made it up.
2. How has JJ looked so far can it be safe to say he can be part of the KILLERS?
Well…let's go ahead and compose our Dawg Post band, aptly titled ‘The Killers.' Or just the ‘Killers.' Either way…
Blake Sailors would play the drums, because sometimes he gets lost in the shuffle here. The kid makes every tackle on special teams, but like a drummer, he's kind of at the back of the stage. Still a Killer nonetheless.
Jarvis Jones plays the bass…because he's steady, always on key and provides the backbone to every great hit.
We're going to put Jakar Hamilton on tambourine—just until he proves he's the Hitman once again. If so, we'll find another instrument for him.
Alec Ogletree will play as the spot-on guitarist. He'll shred every show and steal the spotlight for minutes at a time with his heart-stopping, helmet-shattering solos.
Cornelius Washington will be the lead singer. He's super talented, but at times you're not quite sure what you're going to get. He could headline a classic show one night, then disappear for the next few weeks. Could be the key to the band…or replaceable (ala Bon Scott or David Lee Roth) and the band could still be very successful.
What does this all mean? I'm not sure. But this was fun.
3. Who other than BAM can be our best option at PR?
I like Boykin there…but I wouldn't mind seeing some new blood. Maybe Swann or Mitchell or Marshall. Let one of these heralded freshmen come in and try to make something happen. I'm kind of over the whole, "Just field the ball and don't screw up" version of the punt return team. I understand that not fumbling is a great thing. Thanks to all the geniuses that like to point that out. But 10 yards gained on a punt return is the same as 10 yards gained by the offense. So are six points…I'm just sayin'.
4. Who minus Crowell do you see has a shot to come in and make an immediate impact not because the position is low but just purely off talent wise?
John Jenkins has talent. He'd play even if the nose tackle spot wasn't down in depth. I think Nick Marshall, Ray Drew, Malcolm Mitchell, Jay Rome and Corey Moore do, too. And I bet one of the other linebackers will play, either Kent Turene and/or Amarlo Herrera.
All of those guys are really talented. Like super talented.
Thanks for all you do My Dawg fans in Okinawa, JA SALUTE YOU
I appreciate your questions. Little known fact: I have been keeping up with a Mail Bag Reader Power Rankings behind the scenes…you're currently at No. 1, just ahead of Renegade and Magic Man. Keep up the support though, the wolves are always circling…Wait..do wolves circle? I didn't want to compare my readers to buzzards. Hmmm….
gadawgluver asks: How did Kentavious look duing the All Star game since you were up probably eating mayo on something and watching the game. He seems to be able to play with anyone kid in the country right now, your thoughts?
I wouldn't eat mayo if Adolf Rupp himself came back to life and spread it on a basketball and told me I would get special basketball powers if I only licked the mayo off. Or something like that. I'd rather ride in a car to Valdosta with Dean than take one bite of a sandwich with mayo on it. I'm that dead set about this.
And why do you have to ruin the Mail S(t)ack with such a blasphemous thought? I told you guys, there is always somebody lurking, waiting to spread a little mayo in my life. I don't get it. I won't get it. I don't think I'm supposed to get it.
Anyway, Caldwell made like Hellman's (which I'm told is the Michael Jordan of mayo. I wouldn't know) all week at practice. Like mayo (for some), Caldwell is a versatile player. He has great range, but he can create off the dribble too.
I like his game a lot. And I think he'll probably be Georgia's leading scorer next season.
Who is going to surprise us during the spring game in a few weeks?
Ken Malcome probably will. The third or fourth string running back always gets the love in those games. And I bet Arthur Lynch has a nice catch or two (although I'm still all about Lynch right now. Dude is huge). And I'd say Michael Bennett looks swell, too.
On defense, Jarvis Jones will probably have a big first half. As will Abry Jones…and Derek Owens will do something flashy.
We shall revisit these predications after the fact and test my Nostradamus-style predictions.
How much will Mark Fox get in his new contract?
I'm assuming close to $2 million per. Which seems like a lot, but I guess he's worth it. He better make the 2012 recruiting class count…or he will have got in when the gettin' was great.
Is the information harder to get this year after the spring practices in football? Is this a change from last year or just my imagination?
Nothing has changed from last year.
The problem with spring practice is simple. Every single player is "getting awesome." And every single story coming out is positive. And the sun is always out. And the National Championship is only hard work and a unified attitude away.
So there is hardly ever any "real" news coming out. Other than injuries, we in the media really have to wade through a slosh of "you need to check this guy out," and "he's gotten so much bigger."
Now, every so often, these stories come to fruition. But I think we could do without some of the quotes about players improving that are never going to see the field.
Wait…am I becoming a cynical jerk. Surely not. I promised the Minion's Mothers I wouldn't become jaded. I love my job….I LOVE MY JOB….I LOOOOOVVVVEEE MYYYYYYYYY JOOOOOOOBBBBBBBBB!
Is there a player that everyone is talking about this year as their seems to be each year from practice, it may be early for this question.
I LOOOOOOOOOOOOVVVVVVEEEEEE MYYYYYYYYYYY JOBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBB!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I'll go with Arthur Lynch, Ken Malcome and Mike Gilliard.
With that, I'm off to talk to players about more players fulfilling their potential this spring. Don't wait up on me.
Turn the lights out boys, the party's over. We outta here baby. Thank y'all for coming.