Posted: 1:41 pm Monday, July 21st, 2014

Greg Blue on targeting: ‘I probably would’ve been banned from football’ 

By Chip Towers

UGA wide receiver Chris Conley poses with brother-and-sister fans Kathleen Petersen (L) of Athens and Mike Petersen of Cleveland, during UGA's Countdown to Kickoff this past Saturday at Sanford Stadium. (AJC photo by Chip Towers)

UGA wide receiver Chris Conley poses with brother-and-sister fans Kathleen Petersen (L) of Athens and Mike Petersen of Cleveland, during UGA’s Countdown to Kickoff this past Saturday at Sanford Stadium. (AJC photo by Chip Towers)

Former Georgia tailback Garrison Hearst and 1992 Doak Walker Award winner Garrison Hearst signs an autograph for a young fan.

Former Georgia tailback Garrison Hearst and 1992 Doak Walker Award winner Garrison Hearst signs an autograph for a young fan.

MONDAY REWIND

1. I enjoyed hanging out for a while Saturday with my 7-year-old son at the annual UGA Countdown to Kickoff extravaganza. The charitable event, featuring current and former Georgia football players, moved to Sanford Stadium this year and that appeared to be a hit for the hundreds of Bulldogs fans that turned out despite morning rains.

I know it was for my son. Hardcore fans like getting the autographs of and pictures with current and former Georgia football stars. As for my son, he was totally jacked about being able to run barefooted from goal line to goal line on the Sanford Stadium grass. And to jump on “the bouncies,” of course.

A few things I learned while milling around on the field and up on Reed Plaza:

(a) Don’t expect A.J. Turman to be much of a factor in the tailback competition. That’s not a statement on the abilities of the redshirt freshman from Orlando or the Bulldogs’ depth at the position, which is considerable. The fact is, Turman’s troublesome right foot remains in a walking boot. Turman didn’t provide any details about the injury – he was sidelined with a foot and ankle issue in the spring – but said the he won’t be full speed when camp opens in 11 days. In the meantime, Georgia will just have to try to get by with Todd Gurley, Keith Marshall, Brendan Douglas, Nick Chubb, Sony Michel and Kyle Karempelis.

Theus

Theus

(b) John Theus cut his hair. On both his head and his face. That may not seem like a big deal, but it’s a major development in the Bulldogs’ locker room and for his smooth-pated position coach, Will Friend. Theus’ hair, now above his ears and off his neck, had grown past the point of him resembling a red-headed Jesus to him looking like the lead guitarist in a heavy-metal band. But he said the decision had nothing to do with grooming preferences. “I just got tired of it,” the starting left tackle said. “Everybody kept asking when I was going to cut it off, so I just decided to go ahead and do it.” Besides, he said, preseason camp’s about to start, and “it’s going to be hot.”.

(c) Of course, a big part of “Countdown” is the former players, and I enjoyed talking to Garrison Hearst, Dennis Roland, Sean Jones and Greg Blue, among others. Blue (2002-05), known as one of Georgia’s hardest-hitting safeties of all time, was hilarious in discussing the new targeting rule that is impacting college and pro football. Asked how the rule might have affected his career while he was playing, “I would’ve been a cheerleader or giving out water or something,” Blue said with a laugh. “I probably would’ve been banned from football.”

2. The college football season unofficially got started this past week with SEC Football Media Days in Hoover, Ala. Georgia coach Mark Richt and three players spent about four hours talking to reporters about the upcoming season.

It’s always funny hearing some of the really bad questions that get tossed around at these types of events. For instance, Richt was asked whether the Bulldogs were considering moving Malcolm Mitchell back to defensive back to shore up the secondary.

“We won’t do that,” Richt said. “We tried that before. I think it stunted Malcolm’s growth to a certain degree as a receiver. Malcolm is a very explosive athlete, a very talented guy, but the art of running routes and all that kind of thing, he missed time. He missed the whole spring being able to get better at those kinds of things. He’s at the point in his career right now we want him to be the greatest receiver he can possibly be.”

To that end, Richt added that Mitchell looks fantastic in off-season workouts and conditioning and he anticipates him being a full go when practice begins Aug. 1.
The junior from Valdosta missed the entire season after suffering an ACL injury on Georgia’s first offensive drive of the season.

Richt was not quite as optimistic with regard to fellow wideout Justin Scott-Wesley, who’s also recovering from major knee surgery.

“That’s a good question,” he said when asked when Scott-Wesley might be ready to compete. “I think he might be available to play Day 1, but I don’t know if he’ll be playing at a tempo where we’re feeling like he’s ready to do it at the highest level. There’s a lot of competition at that position. So I’m not 100 percent sure how long it’ll be before he’s ready to go in there full speed.”

3. Nice to see Janet Harris finally get her due. It was announced over the weekend that the former standout power forward is going to be inducted into the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame in 2015. She’ll join three other Lady Bulldogs already in the Hall: Katrina McClain (2006), coach Andy Landers (2007) and Teresa Edwards (2008).

It has been a long time coming for Harris. Not that she was looking for it. One of the cool things about Harris is she moved on with her life, working without fanfare for FedEx for the last 15 years. But she was admittedly surprised and relieved when informed of her induction.

“When they sent me my bio to look over, it sort of blew me away,” Harris said. “I’m not someone who thinks about the accomplishments in my career. When you actually see it all, I was like, ‘Wow.’ It took me back.”

Said Landers: “Janet Harris was our first great player and she made it cool for other great players to come to Georgia. People in Chicago who followed women’s basketball and have followed basketball – the old coaches and the media – will still tell you that Janet Harris was the best player to ever play in Chicago. When Janet got to Georgia, Janet was better than our basketball team.”

Harris will be inducted on June 13 in Knoxville along with five other nominees.

56 comments
bergdawg
bergdawg

Got to start making rules for kids who break the law and get dismissed from one school and immediately go to another school. What  bunch of crap. Different drug policies too. Why would UGA make such a tough drug policy? It's stupid!!

Surelyyoujest
Surelyyoujest

Greg Blue was a Thomas Davis wannabe - guy was a stiff who would hit late and cheaply and would whiff more than he made contact - and, yes, he would have been banned for taking cheap shots, unlike Davis who was the real deal!

DawgGoneIt
DawgGoneIt

Well I'm assuming John Taylor will be off the team here soon. That's his second arrest in 4 months time and this one was a felony offense. He's a troubled young man and a bad apple that we don't need on the team. He would have been good for depth but he was not a starter. 


That would leave Mike Thornton and Chris Mayes to compete for that NG spot. Or a true freshman like Lamont Gaillard could come in and compete early for playing time. Toby Johnson can also play nose. 

Hangonsloopy
Hangonsloopy

Funny how the original photo on ajc.com was a nice, clean cut, clean shaven coat and tie and it's now the mug shot with the new dreds and scruffy face.  


Please explain! 

ColumbusDawg
ColumbusDawg

I believe with all my heart that this SLOOPY dude has FECES for brains. Ohio is it? That was one of the states that made it possible for That P.O.S. to get reelected.

Hangonsloopy
Hangonsloopy

Another dog recruiting gem


And to think they make fun of Auburn.

Hangonsloopy
Hangonsloopy

The good news, the dogs Fulmer Cup standings just improved! 

HotDawg
HotDawg

Only 1 remaining from the check scam.

Will he screw up a second chance?

HotDawg
HotDawg

Yes, J. Taylor should be gone after this. Auburn is already posting bail for him and has Scholarship in hand.

SLR
SLR

What a wonderful thing it was to watch Thomas Davis and Greg Blue!!!!!

ColumbusDawg
ColumbusDawg

So, who else besides Mayes and Thornton is listed as a nose tackle?

ColumbusDawg
ColumbusDawg

Seth must get up before all the rest of the pundits and rushes to check the police blotters!

ColumbusDawg
ColumbusDawg

Oh well, I guess I don't have any room to talk, article says FELONY assault. He is gone by lunch time. Was he not one of the check cashers?

JackClemens
JackClemens

Seth Emerson of the Macon Telegraph just tweeted that Jonathan Taylor is in jail on an aggravated assault charge. Whaddaya got, Chip?

ColumbusDawg
ColumbusDawg

Well, another chapter in the "I"m a Roll Tider" saga. It is being reported that two IDIOT Alabama fans approached Mettenberger in a bar and one of the inbreds sucker punched Mett and ran out the door. I will repeat: if the U.S. ever needs an enema, they'll have to in through Alabammer!

Buzz-Off
Buzz-Off

Yep, true story, but he may flip to Louisville!!!

Buzz-Off
Buzz-Off

I just heard that a recruit this past weekend was caught stealing from several female athletes in Busbee Hall. Word is he had an Auburn scholarship offer in his mailbox before he returned home. Is this a true story?

HotDawg
HotDawg

Chip Towers, can you get more clarification of this new rule concerning hitting the quarterback?

Is it possible to interview an SEC official (maybe head of referees) about new rules and how they will actually be implemented in games?

Bring up specific game play scenarios.

HotDawg
HotDawg

What's gonna happen to players that get pushed into or fall below the quarterback hit zone?

Can they not grab his ankles to tackle a split second before he throws?

If qb scrambles and a linemen is on the ground, can the lineman reach out to grab his legs to tackle?

This rule is going to be as bad as the targeting rule, from short definition I read.

Pass rush is going to get worse, not better. And DB's job just got tougher. If you think scoring is at record levels now in college football. It's going to get more ridiculous. There won't be much defense from any team soon.

Allowing 30 points might be considered an excellent defensive showing in college football in the near future.

Unless they start changing some rules in the defenses favor, defense will be non-existent.

HotDawg
HotDawg

Thomas Davis would have been a regular casualty of the targeting rule also.

He was fun to watch play.

DawgGoneIt
DawgGoneIt

@Hangonsloopy I have one question for you. Why do you care so much about UGA? And don't say you don't because you're around us too often.


Please explain!

HotDawg
HotDawg

How do figure when they wind up at Auburn?

What does that tell ya?

Hangonsloopy
Hangonsloopy

@HotDawg I think you are jealous of Auburn's recent Championships, SEC! SEC!, and National. 

DawgGoneIt
DawgGoneIt

@ColumbusDawg Pruitt can play around with it a little bit. I think Toby Johnson can play nose. And remember, we won't ALWAYS be in the 3-4. We'll be multiple, 4-3, 4-2-5, etc. We'll have different defenses and not just ONE guy playing nose the entire game. Some of these incoming freshmen are going to have to play early. A guy like Lamont Gaillard could get some early playing time.

HotDawg
HotDawg

That was my question. Our D - Line depth took a hit. What was a possible strength is iffy. Especially with the new qb hit rule.

Pruitt will have to work wonders this year.

JackClemens
JackClemens

@ColumbusDawg Or he has really good tipsters. But, given history, I'd definitely be up early checking the jail log every morning.

ChipTowers
ChipTowers moderator

@HotDawg Here's Steve Shaw, the SEC coordinator of officials, with some more detail on that rule:


"It's to protect our quarterbacks or people that are passing the ball. When an offensive player is in a passing posture, doesn't have to be in the pocket but he's in a passing posture, clear that a pass is going to be made, now a defender rushing unabated -- that's the key word here -- cannot hit him at the knee or below.

"Again, the quarterback is most vulnerable when he's in that passing posture. This is a player safety thing. ... Basically what our officials are going to look at, when a player is under his own power, he is directing his own hit. If he chooses to go low, that is going to be a foul.


"People have asked, do you have a strike zone for quarterbacks? There really is. Now you hit them above the knee and below the neck. That's really the strike zone for defenders.

This rule change I think will create the player behavior change."

ChipTowers
ChipTowers moderator

@HotDawg They specify that it's not a foul when the defender is blocked into the QB.

HotDawg
HotDawg

They're screwing with the natural instincts of football players.

FlatTire
FlatTire

@HotDawg  I remember those days quite well; we knew how to tackle back then with a defense that was able to stop someone 


Hoping Pruitt changes us back to those days

HotDawg
HotDawg

Not at all. More like losing any respect for Auburn and others that take habitual offenders. They were given a chance and screwed that opportunity.

To me it's not a clean slate after transferring.

Their record and behavior is still what it is.

JackClemens
JackClemens

@Hangonsloopy @JackClemens No, Chip does a great job, as does Seth. Chip wasn't far behind and caught up quick. He's often out front. My Whaddaya got, wasn't meant as calling him out.

HotDawg
HotDawg

Thanks for the info Chip. We'll see how well it is implemented. SEC refs drive a lot of people crazy. Will they be trigger happy with the yellow flags?

There is going to be a huge learning curve (players, refs, and coaches) from many scenarios on the field.

I don't see this as an improvement to the game.

Do they allow for inadvertent hits?

HotDawg
HotDawg

Thanks again Chip.

I will bet there will be many more articles and comments on this rule as season progresses.

In fact that is a sure bet!

They're ruining football.

HotDawg
HotDawg

Flat...Absolutely. But I'm afraid all these rule changes against the defense is going to hurt every team. See my above comment.

Hangonsloopy
Hangonsloopy

@HotDawg We're a second and third and fourth chance country.  Convicted Felons play in the NFL and President's get @ummers in the Oval Office with young interns and Auburn National Championship QB's get $$Million dollar NFL contracts. 

Hangonsloopy
Hangonsloopy

@HotDawg I'm sure the dogs will yet again get screwed by the refs. It's on the Excuse List, 

HotDawg
HotDawg

The first game that this rule has a major effect on the outcome, all hell will break loose.

HotDawg
HotDawg

Doesn't mean I have to respect that.

2nd and maybe 3rd chance I am OK with, depending on individual cases.

Community College with no football team is a perfect "2nd" chance for repeat offenders.

Up to them to turn their life around. Major college football is not a right. It's a privilege.

Quit enabling kids.

HotDawg
HotDawg

Yep, like UGA is the only team that complained about bad calls by refs.

Don't be an idiot.

HotDawg
HotDawg

I'd impeach a bunch of them. Especially this current one.