“In December 2000, [the University of Georgia's] President Michael Adams and then Athletic Director Coach Vince Dooley came to Tallahassee and interviewed me for the position of Head Coach of the UGA Bulldogs. After many hours of prayer, Coach Dooley called me and I accepted the position. We moved to Athens in January 2001 and have truly been blessed. We have a great church, an outstanding school for the children and a wonderful staff. Throughout all of life I try to live according to COLOSSIANS 3:23 – “And whatever you do, do heartily, as to the LORD and not to men.” – Mark Richt talking about becoming Georgia’s head coach

 

Mark Richt brought a motto to the Georgia football program that he very much believed in. It was the start of a new era in Georgia football and had immediate success.

“Finish The Drill.”

It became as important and renowned as anything else to Bulldawg Nation, becoming an obsession that our players lived by. It started because of the difficulty of the infamous mat drills that all players must do.

“Finish The Drill” was quickly joined in 2002 by “Man Enough” after the Bulldogs were called out by Pat Dye as he didn’t think they were “man enough” to go to Tuscaloosa and beat the Alabama Crimson Tide.

After pulling off the close win, “Man Enough” began appearing on everything Georgia football, from TV shows to t-shirts.

Oh, those days seem so long ago.

The Bulldogs were once known by their “Finish The Drill” moniker because of their ability to finish off and win the close games in the fourth quarter. They’ve struggled to do that the past couple of seasons, but I think it may be coming back in 2011.

Joe Tereshinski is the Strength and Conditioning director now, and apparently the workouts have been hellacious, to say the least. Top runningback recruit Isaiah Crowell couldn’t even finish the first two workouts from what I’ve heard from people close to the team.

The new attitude about S&C and nutrition should make a huge difference. Offensive linemen should be stronger and should be better than they were last year. The defensive line has made huge strides size-wise, and not just because John Jenkins has come on campus.

The players are pushing each other and challenging each other to be better and get stronger.

Richt understands the situation he is now in and has gone about things the right way to get Georgia back to where he had it.

Richt knows that the time is now to make a statement and take over the SEC East as Florida and Tennessee are down a little from where they were earlier in the decade. South Carolina is a formidable foe right now, but if the Bulldogs can assert their dominance starting this year, we could be starting a nice little run like we had from 2002-2007, if not even better.

The talent is there, and always has been. The “Dream Team” is here for the next four to five years, and another great recruiting class is coming. We have the SEC’s best quarterback for three more years in Aaron Murray. Crowell is expected to be the next Knowshon Moreno, and if he even comes close he will still be a top ten back in the country.

The defense has talent at all levels in guys like Jenkins, Christian Robinson, Jarvis Jones, Alec Ogletree, and Brandon Boykin. They are all competing at a high level in the weight room and any drills the coaches are putting them through.

Richt also has two leaders that could possibly rival the two Davids, Greene and Pollack, as far as being guys that the younger kids should listen to and follow. Those guys are Murray and Robinson, the best of friends. They are vocal about the need to change things in Athens and how this year is going to be a big one for Bulldawg Nation.

Richt is still recruiting at an elite level and has set himself up well with hirings over the past few years.

Richt is still one of the best coaches in the country, even if the past two years haven’t shown it. He seems to have a fire under him this year and is as excited as I have seen him probably since he has arrived.

He wants to win as much as we do.

2011 is huge year, and it could be remembered as the year that Richt brought the Dawgs back again.

Finish the Drill.