Monday, August 16, 2010

Hair of the Dawg: Odds and Ends

There was a lot of news late last week from Athens. In case you weren't aware of any of those headlines, catch up in this week's edition of Hair.

In a major development at the University, Greg McGarity was hired to fill the void left by General G-String in the Athletic Department. If you're reading this blog, I'm sure you were aware of the news and are heavily mancrushing on him because of his UF pedigree and Dawg roots. You win in life when you learn from the best, and Foley does an OK job last time I checked. It's hard to argue with Jeremy Foley's successes at Florida, and this hire seems to be a no-brainer, but let's not completley gloss over the red flags here.
  • Controversy in hiring Ron Zook. Let's face it, this was a bad idea from the beginning. When the Zooker coached with Spurrier in the early 90's, he was demoted after the 93' season to special teams coordinator. It's concerning that he was a personal friend of Foley's, which gave him a leg up on the other potentials. Many of the Gator faithful thought this was a horrible call and Zook would be way over his head. Good call.

  • Tendency to can coaches during the season. Under normal circumstances I'm not a fan of doing this (Dennis Felton not included here!). It is generally a distraction to the team and ideally not the way to treat someone that is in a position that is so life consuming. He fired Zook and Carolyn Peck midway through their respective last seasons. It could be argued that this helps to stop the bleeding mentally, but I don't buy that if it's still a member of the same staff or, in these cases, the lame-duck coach.
  • If it sounds to good to be true... I'm stretching here to find things wrong with this hire, but I simply can't. All that comes to mind is, "Man, this guy must piss liquid gold too." If you give some thought to this, how many AD's have you seen get fired for underperforming? All that comes to my mind is Steve Pederson at Nebraska in recent history. Usually the coaches just get the axe and the AD talks about how they're going to "right the ship" with a newer, better coach. Wash, rinse, repeat for the next guy.

***Just for the record, I think this is a great move by Adams in the twilight of his career. His legacy depends on it and he was aware of that.

Switching gears a bit, fall practice is well under way and the Dawgs have held two scrimmages. The general consensus is that Aaron has underperformed a bit, and there might be some concerns with how capable the offense will be. For reference's sake I'll outline his stats in those two outings below.

  1. 12-21-237/ 2TD's, 1INT

  2. 8-20-133/ 0TS's, 0INT

I think it's a bit early to be saying how good/bad we'll be based on those stat lines. How much worse could we get than last year, really? The kid obviously has much better tools and football savvy than we had last year (Joe you're a DGD). I expect that we'll be a lot better in this area than we think. There are WAY too many weapons on the field and nighmare matchups for us not to be good (Orson, AJ, TK, Ealy, CK).

There are some early surprises in camp as well. Darryl Gamble has been a terror off the edge. I think he's had somewhere around 6 sacks in the scrimmages, and by all accounts, has taken over Cornelius Washington's OLB starting spot. I really like Gamble to be an anchor of our D. He has had a very solid career and, let's face it, Jancek didn't do anyone any favors in his time coaching the LB's. Whenever I want to pursue someone on foot, I always try to get myself in the most awkward position in which to start after them. Inevitably, I always end up in that stance the LB's have been taught for the last 5 years. Bear in the woods comes to mind, but I digress.

Freshmen Derek Owens and Alec Ogletree have turned heads as well. Apparently Owens is backing up Bam Boykin and getting a lot of looks at special teams and in the nickel as well. AO has been all over the field and I expect him to play a lot in his freshman campaign, a la Reshad Jones.

Finally, a little on the hardwood side of things.

Freshman signee Cady Lalanne out of Orlando will not be joining the Hoop Dawgs after all. In an apparently surprising turn of events, the NCAA Clearinghouse would not allow him to enroll. From what I can gather, he knew there might be a problem and didn't voice his concerns to the staff. Per Dan McDonald at UGASports, he will be heading to UMASS and sitting out this year, rather than heading to prep school or JUCO. I'm not positive on how he had an issue with the NCAA and got into UMASS but was not allowed admittance into UGA.

This leaves the Dawgs with some depth issues in the low post, especially considering we'll probably lose Trey, Chris Barnes, and Jeremy Price after this year. We'll only have 1 true low post player (Donte Williams) with experience after this year with Marcus Thornton being more of a combo player. I don't think Fox likes going the JUCO route but I see it in our near future. It's a must at this point.

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