I've enjoyed it. But I've also picked up another hobby. While I watch the Sopranos, I pick up marbles and jacks with my bare feet. Helps me calm my nerves and take the edge off.
All right, so I'm kidding. I don't actually do that. But I talked to somebody you know fairly well that does.
"The flat marbles are the hardest," he said. "The jacks just kind of stick to your feet. You can even get them between your toes. The marbles and the flat marbles make you squeeze pretty tight."
The man with the new pastime happens to be linebacker Christian Robinson. He's been picking up the little pests every day following his foot injury against South Carolina to help regain his muscle strength.
"You should try it," the junior said. "It's a whole box of marbles. You've got to pick them up individually. I bet it's 30 or 35 marbles. Every day. I'm still doing it."
The thought of a 6-2, 230-pound football player chasing marbles around in his free time is kind of funny. But its part of the reason he beat the expected recovery time for his injury – a hairline fracture. Well, that and hanging around the Butts-Mehre building doing rehab off and on for up to seven hours a day.
"Literally when they said I could start doing that and they said my foot wasn't broken, I was here seven hours a day," Robinson said. "I was sitting inside during practice. I'd get here at eight in the morning and rehab for an hour and half. I'd stay in the afternoon and work out with ‘Tree (Alec Ogletree) too because I didn't want him to have to work out alone."
That dedication and mentality is part of why many people associated with the team describe this year's unit as ‘Robinson's defense.' He was on pace for over 130 tackles on the year before the injury. And after being told the Tennessee game was the earliest he could come back, he returned a week ahead of schedule to play 20 snaps against Mississippi State.
"I'm glad because initially when they said nothing was torn or broken, I was like ‘OK.' But then they said it would still be three weeks and it would be three games that I would miss," Robinson said. "That was frustrating. Then I was healing faster and was on pace to get back before time. That gave me motivation to keep working."
Robinson could have led the conference in tackles. The injury derailed that goal, but there's still plenty for him to accomplish.
"Since then I've adjusted my vision," he said. "I'm still contributing and that's good. As long as we're winning and I'm able to be a part of it in some way, I'm happy."
Robinson's already been playing with marbles. With Georgia alive and well in the SEC East, he just hopes he gets to play for all of them come December.
BlueCat92 asks: It looked to me like for the second week in a row the offense got off to a good fast start and put points on the board. But, once the second half started. Miss. St. Made adjustments to counter our offense and it looked like we did not. Why do we not seem to make adjustments after half time?
Well I thought Georgia made great adjustments at halftime of the South Carolina game, putting receivers on shorter routes.
Anyway, I see what you're saying. Blair Walsh's misses play a role in some of this because of score perception. But even if Walsh had made good on the 12 points left on the table the past two weeks, I think most fans would still be frustrated. Touchdowns, touchdowns, touchdowns… That's what wins football games.
This won't be popular, but I think this team's winning is based on not allowing touchdowns. As in, this team will go as far the defense takes it. I know you can have both a great defense and a great offense. But right now youth and an inconsistent line keep giving me hesitation about this offense. I'm not saying it's a bad unit. Not at all. I just think it's going to have highs and lows.
The way the defense played the past two weeks, you get a two or three possession lead and I think the game plan should be obvious. Take the air out of the ball -- use run plays, protect the football and shorten the game.
That can be boring. But it works for Alabama and LSU. The keys are converting all possible points and not turning the ball over. Walsh's misses and Murray's picks seem to be the issue, not adjustments or lack thereof. I'm not talking about playing stale football here. But that defense is going keep Georgia in games – or put other teams out of games.
nayah asks: What the heck is wrong with AM? Not only does he look like Chris Rix but his career path is starting to resemble his as well. He had a freshmen season that made us feel like we have a championship-caliber QB in place for the next three years and now it seems that he's hit a stand-still in his development. I'm hoping he doesn't become that QB...you know, the one who always turns the ball over at the most critical point in ball games without fail. I hope the kid just had a bad game but I'm starting to wonder if this is going to become a trend.
You're right the turnovers aren't good. But I put most of Murray's troubles on the offensive line. It seems like every time he takes more than a three-step drop he's getting planted.
The single biggest problem with this current team is depth on the offensive line. Depth is the reason Glenn is at tackle – he should be playing guard. Depth is the reason Bean is playing at all. Georgia has to recruit quality and quantity on the line. Period.
Man… That sounded like something Dean would say. Period. End of story.
Do you think IC was reprimanded by CMR for his "drop our nuts" interview?
Time and place… There's a time and place for all things. Isaiah is lucky in two ways regarding this:
A) There were two people standing there when he answered that question. I asked the question. Listening on my recorder, I thought he said ‘drop our necks.' As in, drop your neck and fight for a tough one-yard conversion. I used that as my first quote in the game notebook in the ABH and Dawg Post, stating he said ‘necks.'
B) The second person standing there was Wes, our do-it-all Dawg Post staffer. Unfortunately for IC (and me too), Wes had a video camera running. But Wes thought he said necks, too.
I guess we're both so accustomed to hearing the same old things in the locker room that we went about our business and didn't think twice. Isaiah is lucky I thought he said necks and that camera wasn't from another organization that could have blown it out of proportion. I think Isaiah uses that saying frequently, and he probably doesn't sit around thinking about its literal meaning.
Who will start in CornWash's place on Saturday?
I bet Chase Vasser starts, especially considering he's started two games already this year. Washington has been playing a ‘rush-end' type position, so in certain situations Vasser was already on the field.
Don't be surprised if you see something a little different out there. Maybe a mix-up with an inside guy like Mike Gilliard shifting over and getting some reps at an outside spot.
A lot of this idea's potential hinges on how much Christian Robinson can play. But if he's good to go, Grantham has already shown (through Shawn Williams) that he wants the best combination of 11 out there. If that means getting Gilliard (who is playing quite well) on the field at OLB, then so be it. Grantham has shown he'll shake it up.
It's scary to think about how good our D could be next year barring any early defections to the NFL. Boykin and Tyson are the only seniors. The guys that I think will take a hard look at the league are Jones, Cummings, Washington, Rambo and maybe Geathers. What's the possibility of all these guys returning next season?
Hard to say, but this is a valid point. Much of this depends on how the rest of the season plays out (duh), but I could see any of those guys bolting. And I could see all them coming back, too. We'll see.
Is Jordan Love injured?
I don't think so, but he isn't playing nearly as much as I thought he would at this point. Damian Swann getting the start against Coastal Carolina wasn't a good sign for Love. He's a big-bodied corner, so I'm not sure what the hold-up is.
By the way, did you know that 115 songs with ‘Love' in the title have spent time at No. 1 on the charts in the U.S? I think 1965 is a good reference here.
Chokehold asks: 1. Are the UGA radio broadcasts not offered on the internet anymore except through a subscription?
My dad always told me… There's no such thing as a free lunch. I think you're out of luck. Speaking of lunch…
2. Can somebody FedEx me some Zaxby's? I'll gladly buy you some too!
Not to brag, but I just grabbed Zaxby's Thursday night. Don't worry… It's still awesome.
gunter2011 asks: 1. Will our Secondary be able to hold Tyler Bray?
Ah yes… Another opportunity to flex my sometimes spot-on Nostradamus-esque ability to halfway predict the future. I've never dabbled in alchemy, but Dean did leave the Dawg Post eight ball here…So predictions all around!
First off… I don't like Tennessee's offense in this game. The Vols may play with the home field bump for a little bit, but after the game settles in I don't see much success. Tennessee has shown it can't run the ball. And I don't see the offense jumpstarting that this week. Without a consistent running game, I don't like any offense to get the best of Georgia's defense solely through the air. That just won't work in the SEC. It does against Montana and Buffalo though.
Here's to meaningless early season stats… Salud!
2. How many times do you expect Jarvis Jones to be in the backfield or hitting Bray on Saturday?
I'm sure Jones will get to Bray two or three times. Any more than that and it means Georgia is probably be dominating.
A sack and two hurries is the apple pie. Anything more than that is making it bacon.
3. Who will be the one to take off Da' Rick Rogers head off?
Just looked up the lines on this: Rambo: 3-1 (past history). Commings 7-1 (most chances). Boykin 9-1. Williams: 15-1. Hamilton: Oops.
I'll take a chance with Williams. I think he brings an underrated thump. I'll be watching this closely for the payout.
4. Will Isaiah break some long ones this week?
If by "long ones," you mean runs of more than 15 yards… In a word: Yes. In more detail: Yes.
You got it. We'll grade these out next week and see how I did.
oilslyck asks: Re: the new conference alignments. I know it is all about the money, but who gets the money? Seriously??
The conferences will get more money… Which means the institutions will get more money. You could throw the coaches in there. There's potential for them to get more bread as it's passed on down the table.
Not the players. Not the fans (more money spent on travel and potential raised prices across the board). And most importantly, not me. Sigh.
Texas has been the instigator to a lot of the movement to the super-conferences, but why? They are the most profitable athletic department in the country and they have the largest endowment of any public university in the country. Why are they busting up the Big12 to get more money? They are going to make it difficult for all other sports, the fans, parents, etc. -- just to get more money than they can spend already.
I'll revert back to an old favorite from the Waterboy here...
Lynn Swann: "You gonna add another championship trophy to the old case downstairs?"
Coach Red Beaulieu: "That's kinda like my old man told me one time, Lynn. The only thing better than a crawfish dinner, is five crawfish dinners."
It is my guess that in these schools wanting to jump conferences, there are some individuals who will profit personally if this goes through and the schools get a windfall - school prez, AD's, etc.
Most likely so…
Do you feel this is really to help "ole State U" or is their personal greed that is the big motivator behind this?
This whole conference expansion is a shortsighted move, in my opinion. It could be a draw for a couple of years. Hey, it might be fun to go watch Georgia play at Texas A&M or Missouri for a new trip to mix it up.
But when everything settles down, who is really going to get psyched up to go watch Texas beat down Washington State (if a move to the Pac-however many teams there are is made) every other year? How many people will actually travel from Penn State to see the Lions play TCU? Will the television ratings get THAT much better?
It's kind of like trying to sell out a NASCAR race in California. It worked for a half-decade. How's that working out now? Not many "core audience" types for races in California, are there? After the thrill is gone, you better have the core fans in root. If not, you'll see empty seats instead.
jmandawg asks: Your up by 14 points at home and your defense is dominating. Do you kick a FG and go up by 3 scores on a SEC team or go for it on 4th down even though you o-line couldn't get it on 3rd and short?
Objection! The prosecutor is leading the witness… (Voice of Harry T. Stone ): I'll allow it.
Given the parameters you've set, I kick the field goal and take the points. But I'd think about it… I always think about it.
In case (get it!) you're wondering, Perry Mason did lose once during the original television series (1957-66).
ralphes asks: Do you have any update on injuries? Who is out and who is back?
Marlon Brown (ankle) is improving well and should see more time.
Damian Swann (groin) looks to be good to play.
Chris Burnette (knee) looks questionable. Iffy. Game time decision.
Christian Robinson is in line for increased playing time.
Is there anyone else? Hit me on the board Saturday if something springs up or lingers until game time.
aname asks: First, I want your idea on this thought. "Other than the first interception, the interceptions were in garbage time (the whole game was garbage time) and can't be taken that seriously."
Man… You guys sure have an agenda this week – veiled agendas at that. Not saying that's wrong. It's all good in this hood.
No… no interception is ever good. That's like getting up at a blackjack table a couple hundred percent and being OK with losing a couple hands at the end of the night. That's not acceptable. That's weak.
Second, anything going on in the bball recruiting front?
As it stands now with the big remaining three, Georgia looks to have the best shot with Shaq Goodwin. I think Parker will go to Ohio State. Carter is a bit of mystery though. He's kind of the wildcard in all this.
I like what Georgia has done otherwise (although waiting around to offer Marcus Hunt and watch him go to Tech could sting down the road). The trio of players Fox has assembled is a collection of athletic, explosive types. All need some polish… But the bodies to work with are coming in.
Who will play for CW?
Come one, come all… I think you'll see an outside linebacker medley out there. Chase Vasser is the cauliflower (yes, he's the white dude). T.J. Stripling is kind of like an under-cooked pepper (needs more time on the grill to hit it's full potential). Reuben Faloughi is asparagus (solid, but not spectacular). Ray Drew is a baby carrot (this Mailbag is going downhill fast) and Mike Gilliard is zucchini (what in the hell is this doing here? Hey, wait a second… This tastes pretty good!).
Let's move on…
Do you honestly see us being more than a 12 win team in bball this year?
If you're setting the over-under at 12, I'll gladly take the over. While I think the team will struggle some this season to find it's way sans Thompkins and Leslie, I think Georgia can scrap together more than a dozen.
Now, if you put that figure at 16 or 17… Let's say 16.5 – I'd have a tough time going one way or the other.
CW had a break out game this past week. Give me a break out player for every game the rest of the season.
So, wait… You went basketball question to Cornelius Washington question… Only to go back to a basketball question followed by another stab at a Washington-related inquiry…? I like the misdirection.
I came up with a pretty solid group of breakout performers on my own, but then I decided to draw names out of a hat just for fun too. I'll let you figure out which list made it to print.
TNLogDog: Give me your thoughts on coach Willie Muskrat. He looks like a total jack leg screaming at the refs on national television...am I right or am I right!?!
I'm all for some excitement and yelling and passion and intensity when the time is right. Or if you're a coordinator. But I think too much of it starts to water down the message, you know what I mean?
Some coaches – like Bobby Knight – have had great success with it. I just don't see how Muschamp can keep it up. I mean, if he acts so crazy about a certain situation on the first drive of the game… I get it. Team comes out unprepared and he's upset. That's fine… If his quarterback throws a pick in the second quarter and he goes nuts… Again, understandable… But a holding penalty… Wait… Is this dude going to have an aneurism? Upset over the spot on a second down draw play… No, seriously, this dude is giving himself ulcers. Doesn't like the pre-game spread of assorted bagels… I'm transferring.
I think you can lose the meaning in translation if you continuously deliver different messages in the same manner. That's just me though.
You don't blow a gasket at your kid for spilling milk. But you might if he drop kicks his little sister. To respond to these two offenses the same way would be detrimental in the long run.
Do you think the news and pictures of the MSU player taking a leak on our hedges last Saturday during the third quarter will hit the national media?
There is no way that was real/true… Right? No, seriously… That wasn't real, was it?
SuwaneeDawg03: I am finally getting back to the point of really enjoying watching our defense play again. I hope they don't let me down this weekend.
The defense has done its part. The unit has allowed only one touchdown the past three games.
Any chance we get Malcolm Mitchell in space so he can make some dudes miss like AJ used to do?
I like this idea because it goes along with what could help relieve some of the pressure on Murray. Some short, quick passes to Mitchell to see if he can mak something happen without Murray getting killed on a regular drop. Write it up!
I am not trying to be a homer, but I don't think IC was out of bounds on his awesome run this past weekend. The refs didn't even blow a whistle until after he was in the end zone.
Was a close call. I still haven't gotten a good look at a replay, but when the run initially happened I didn't think he stepped out. But I was as far away from the play as you can be.
And there's nothing wrong with you being a homer. Some of my best friends are homers.
Anything new on conference expansion? My hillbilly in-laws claim that Slive was in Morgantown recently. (Hopefully they won't read this.)
Did you say won't read this, or can't read this? Joking… Joking.
I can only speculate on this… I guess West Virginia could come into the conference, but I don't see any appeal there. I think Missouri, if any, is the best bet as of right now.
Do we get a cheap shot on DaRick this weekend?
I think the time has passed for a cheap shot. Last season a player might have gotten away with it or might have still felt passionate enough to do something out of line. But at this stage, nearly two years after the fact, I would hope nothing cheap happens. If a clean hit comes in the flow of the game, you know a Georgia player will love that in the film room Sunday.
And something on par with Ortiz-Mayweather could happen… Remember, you've got to keep your guard up at all times. But anything blatently cheap shouldn't happen.
A bit of advice, wear your red and black glasses this weekend to keep out that nasty urnge.
It's conflicting if nothing else (depending on the brand of the shirt). If you see five Tennessee fans, I guarantee you three of them will have a slightly different variant of orange on.
gadawgluver asks: How much are we going to beat Tenn and how?
I picked Georgia to hand out a solid beating – something like 31-10. I think the game will play out similar to the Mississippi State game, except Tennessee may come out of the gates looking a little better due to the night crowd at Neyland.
As the game plays out, I think Georgia will be able to run the football, control the clock and keep Tennessee from doing much on offense.
If the defense is 7th in the nation right now, where do they finish at the end of the season?
With the way the schedule plays out, I think this defense will finish no worse than top 20. Auburn and Georgia Tech are teams that can put up numbers, but games against Vandy, New Mexico and Kentucky should help pad the stats. Florida without John Brantley just got a lot less offensive, too.
What do you tell A. Murray this week so he does not throw interceptions?
It may not be something Murray needs to hear. Maybe it's the coaching staff. I run some screens early… maybe some pass plays with a moving pocket to get Murray out of the danger zone.
Murray has shown he can be a little unsteady at the start of games. He gets amped. I'd tell him to calm down and give him a few easy, quick developing plays to get in a rhythm.
Who is the star for UGA against Tenn?
I like Crowell on offense. Georgia needs to run the ball well to win this game. I think it will.
Is there a worse school song anywhere in the world than Rocky Top?
I've been debating over this for some time… As far as college stadium songs go… It's either Rocky Top or Sandstorm. I hate Sandstorm. My feelings date back to a senior trip taken to Cancun. I'll spare any details (for the sake of embarrassment)… But I bet you I heard that song a hundred times in the clubs down there. Ridiculous, really. And now I get to hear it prior to every kickoff at some places on Saturday.
At least Rocky Top has words and meaning and heritage to it, as backwards and repetitive as it is.
Will Rambo have a great game against Tenn?
I see no reason to jump off the Rambo-wagon now. I've been firmly on board for a lot longer than most. I'm sticking around to cash in the dividends.
hpdog asks: Is it just me, or are you also getting tired of CMR's comment "If I had it to do over again"; such as not challenging IC's out of bounds call, and going for it at our 40 late in the Ole Miss Game. After 11 years as a head coach, he probably should not have to second-guess himself like this should he?
Ah, yes… The old Kenny Chesney tune. It's a quite common thing in society these days, what with our nation becoming increasingly more open to talk about feelings of reflection. I'm not sure if that last sentence is necessarily true, but it was a sweeping generalization that aided my argument.
"I'd done a lot of things different," Chesney sings. "People say they wouldn't change a thing, even if they could. Oh, but I would."
My friends and I had a funny way of mocking this song in high school. If you're familiar with it, Chesney kind of slowly sings all these scenarios he's encountered in his life. He follows each regret with a short quip, almost saying the words instead of singing them. The song isn't bad and the meaning can speak to any listener. We've all got regrets, but it's still a good time to poke fun at.
I was going to get a honey bun out of the snack machine… But I didn't.
If I'd have just studied for that geometry midterm… But I didn't do it. Not nearly enough.
You get the point. I'm sure we were a lot more graphic and less mature with our jokes back in the day. And by back in the day, I mean yesterday.
Anyway… Here is the list of things Richt regrets, coupled with a Kenny quip.
I should've gone for it on fourth down… But I was too afraid.
I should have listened when they said not to hire Jancek… But I didn't.
We saw Knowshon jump over a guy as a true freshman. We should have played him in 2006… Now I don't have the chance.
I wanted to tell Dan Mullin how I really felt after that game… But I just shook his hand.
I wanted to crank that to Soulja Boy in 2007… But I wouldn't.
Cam Newton turned out to be really good… I should have bought it. But I didn't.
I should've gone down to the weight room to make sure the fellas were finishing every rep and every set… But I didn't do it… Not nearly enough.
Anyway, this has gotten silly. If you clicked the link or were already familiar with the song, maybe some of this made sense. If not… Let's move on.
Looks like they lifted Conley's redshirt last week, or had he played earlier?
He caught his first pass last week, but did get in the game against Ole Miss the week before. I know the staff was on the fence about redshirting him. Injuries to Brown and Wooten forced their hand.
CMR is quoted as saying Austin Long is still not ready to contribute at OT. Is this a talent issue, or is the mono still lingering? I sure hoped he'd be playing by now. ?
Austin is plenty talented enough... He's just not ready to play yet due to the accumulation of "bad stuff" that's happened to him -- the back, shoulder, mono and staph infection. He needs more time.
AM needs to win a big game this week. As good as he's been the past year and a half, he has not had a signature win yet. Hopefully, we'll play a complete game this week. Keep up the good work.
Thanks. We'll see how it plays out.
UGA53MAIN asks: Seems to me Murray has a slight problem locking on to one receiver. Do you agree?
That may be… But he doesn't exactly have much time to look for the No. 2 option. Currently, his second best bet is to tuck the ball and brace for impact.
Why do we blow during the second half?
The Dawg Post Mailbag is intended for mature audiences. This free flowing discussion occasionally touches on subjects intended for older readers.
With the disclaimer out of the way, I'm not sure what the problem is. Like I said earlier, the game plan could be by design to shorten the game. Or Georgia could be getting outcoached. Either way, the turnovers need to stop.
Looks like Crowell's pass blocking is picking up, do you agree?
Yeah, I do agree. He's missed some blocks – no doubt there. But from my angle, when he lines up and knows which player to hit, he will get after it. He may not like blocking (I'm not sure), but it doesn't look like he hates it. Isaiah still has moments where he kind of floats around and doesn't touch anybody. But that's probably the norm for a first-year tailback.
Will Neyland stadium cause our O line problems? Kind of like it did in the Dome?
I think most of the line won't have too much trouble with the snap count… But I'm not putting my own money down that one specific right tackle who is a senior will have a perfect game. I'll tell you that.
NCBulldawg asks: I hope we come out with intensity like we did last week.
Just getting started…
I hope our fundamentals stay sound throughout the game and we play the full 60min.
Picking up momentum…
I pray to God we are better than taking a cheap shot on Da'Rick. The young man is a player and chose the best school for him. Good on him!
Don't stop now…
I'm glad that I don't have to hear the fire Richt talk now that we are winning.
And we're done. Good run of statements there. I think you nailed 4 of 4.
BravePhoton asks: What is the problem with Israel Troupe? How can a guy with his measurable be so invisible?
I've given Troupe a hard enough time here in the Mailbag the past 12 months. Suffice to say, he's just not that interested.
Where is the two TE set with our stable of TE talent?
It's in the playbook – I've seen it at practice. But again, if you're inserting a second tight end it means you're substituting for another player. At this time, the coaches must like the receivers or Bruce Figgins ability to move around a little bit.
It's nice to say, ‘We've got all these tight ends, let's use them.' But the combination that you throw on the field must be the best 11 – regardless of what position has the best depth. Personally, I like three-receiver sets with Orson and Crowell in there and Murray in the shotgun. Out of the I-formation, a fullback is obviously going to be on the field. So… the second tight end hasn't come into play as much to this point.
That's the best I can give you.
Our O-line is the biggest in all of football, NFL included. There is a rumor Bobo is going to go with the picket fence blocking scheme, ala Hoosiers, with Crowell blazing by before then paint dries. Confirm or deny.
Will not confirm or deny due to risking my Butts-Mehre clearance card… That sounds like some Wing-T stuff, drenched in hot sauce sarcasm. Personally, I think Crowell could run behind any blocking scheme.
BigBandMan asks: Fletch --- You appear to be a fashion conscious sort --- What is your take on the Gamecock uniforms last week?
I liked South Carolina's jerseys last weekend. I've always been a fan of the Wounded Warrior Project stuff. I understand how the camo numbers could have been hard to see by the television audience, so I get the move by the SEC to change them out. But all this juking and jiving with uniforms is getting old.
Might as well start letting Jim Henson design these uniforms – everybody is somebody's muppet these days.
--- How do you see the matchup between our OL and the Tenn DL Saturday night?
I'd bet the offensive line plays well at times and poorly at others. That's how it's been this season. The run game should be productive – Tennessee has struggled in that area, even against weaker opponents.
It's the pass protection that needs to become more consistent, especially against the blitz.
--- Who do you rank as our numbers 1, 2, and 3 receivers at the present time?
Removing age and position (Z,Y & X) from the equation, here's the way I rank them… Mitchell (raw ability), King (enigmatic vet), Bennett (steady and tough). That's it for now. I like Brown's potential moving forward, but his ankle has cost him any legit shot of cracking the top three to this point.
--- Is Bray the best QB in the SEC now?
Until Bray wins a meaningful game, I can't designate him as such. I know, I know, the same argument could be made about Murray. In terms of talent and potential and body-type, I absolutely like Bray. But he's still young and playing on a team that shouldn't win many more games this year.
In terms of best QB in the league right now, you may have to look West. I hear Arkansas has a pretty good gunner out there.
--- Thanks for the Sack.
Things are getting awkward in here… Think I'll hit the back door and head out.
Turn out the lights boys, the party's over… We outta here baby… Thank y'all for coming.