YB11 Mailbag: More Tackling Talk Plus Calling out Teammates and Best Coach!

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YB11 Mailbag: More Tackling Talk Plus Calling out Teammates and Best Coach!
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It's Thursday, folks, and you know what that means; YOUR BEST 11 MAILBAG IS BACK! This week the load is light, but that means we'll be dropping some truthrockets and knowledgebombs just because we have the time!

 

There are a couple of different things going on with the Shawn Williams situation. First of all, he's not exactly wrong. Georgia has been pushed around on defense, they lacked some real fire at times and they have given up more points than a "good defense" should give up.

Secondly, a player recognizing this and saying something about it is a good thing. You can't fix problems you don't know you have, and acknowledging that y'all need to get tougher is a plus.

However, on the third point is where we have the issue. Calling out specific teammates publicly never goes well. Now, I'm not going to pretend that football teams are just one big happy family where everyone holds hands and things proceed in a non-confrontational manner. In fact, I've found that the beauty of a football dispute where teammates don't feel like they're getting the most out of their brothers in arms is that you can tell them that to their face.

Say it to them in practice. Say it to them in a game. Say it to them in a meeting.

So, I don't think this was a good idea. I think it might work, but I'd prefer to see this happen behind closed doors. If a fight happens, so be it. That's what you do in football. But the point is better when handled by the people who suit up in that locker room with you.

 

I played safety, so basically what you're describing is almost a nightmare for me—a sweep where the guard pulls out to clean up the corner, which means that the wide receiver is coming hard to crack me if I'm the buzzed down safety to the playside.

If the corner doesn't call crack then I get blown up and I'm trying to figure out where my earpads are so that I can get back to the huddle. If the corner does call crack then I can at least get my body ready for a serious collision—either way, it is happening.

That said, I'd still rather take on a cracking wide receiver than a lineman or a fullback in close quarters. At least wide receivers are concerned about not getting themselves hurt. Normally fullbacks and linemen are so much bigger they have no shot of getting hurt unless you chop their knees or shins up.

Side note—chopping up a lineman's legs is how I got into my first fight in high school football practice. It wasn't nice, but that senior wasn't going to keep picking on the freshman all day. There were lessons to be learned.

 

For me, National Coach of the Year, I'm going with Mike Riley. People keep kicking out Bill Snyder, but I mean, hello, his team did go 10-2 in the regular season a year ago. I mean, if you didn't realize they returned a lot of players and were going to be good again then what in the heck were you looking at in the offseason? 

Mike Riley on the other hand? There was no indicator that his team would be even close to this good in 2012. Nothing at all. Yet the guy opens the season like gangbusters, and he's in the middle of a huge turnaround in Corvallis that no one saw coming.

He's already won twice as many games this year as he did a year ago. He's my guy. I don't care if he goes .500 the rest of the way—a 3-9 turned to a 9-3 is enough to get him that award if you ask me.

 

I am glad you enjoy it, because honestly it is infuriating. Diving at ankles. Diving at headfakes. Diving at a leg that's given, then taken away. So much diving going on, it's pathetic. I'm not sure how people stay sane and root for Texas or Baylor or West Virginia or Arizona or Tennessee—or any of the schools who just decided tackling people is overrated.

I can appreciate a good juke move. What I cannot appreciate is a guy who misses a tackle because he ducks his head, the ball-carrier spins and then the defender spears air and looks up like a moron wondering where the dude went. 

Also, diving has contributed to another thing I hate on a football field. Idiot defenders diving at legs because they don't want to tackle has now created this phenomenon where ball-carriers jump all the time. Dumbest thing ever.

Sure, there are like two or three great "hurdles" in recent years. Who cares? Keep your feet on the ground and run. Once you go into the air you can get all sorts of helicoptered, fumble—it's a dummy move. 

Don't be a dummy.

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