Dawg fans have pounced on incoming freshman quarterback Zach Mettenberger’s observation about the already-noticeable difference in this year’s Bulldogs.
Last year I was around a lot, and the leadership wasn’t too great last year. I’ve been here three weeks and I can already tell that the leadership and the seniors, they want to win a championship again. They want an SEC championship. They want a spot to play for the national title. So far, the leadership has been outstanding in my opinion.
His comment is getting a lot of favorable play because it gives us another plausible explanation (and scapegoat) for what went wrong last season and also gives us hope for the coming season. The coaches remain the same and we lose several key contributors, but maybe a little shift in leadership and attitude will help to turn things around. It certainly helped Florida (though a couple of new coaches didn’t hurt the Gators either).
You didn’t have to be an Elite 11 recruit to wonder about Georgia’s leadership issues last season. We’ve been over that ground several times. We’ve also heard that things are a bit different this offseason, and the imperative is coming as much from the coaches as it is the player leadership. It’s positive to hear all of the right things coming from the players, but the leadership and attitude has yet to be tested against a very difficult 2009 schedule.
But seriously – three weeks? It’s not that Mettenberger might be entirely off-base, but is an incoming freshman who hasn’t even gone through a full practice yet really in the position and the place to contrast team leadership? Mettenberger’s proximity to campus and family ties to the athletic department did give him a chance to be around the program much more often than a typical prospect. There’s still a difference between being around the program and being in the program.