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Post Dawgs need Ealey and King

Tuesday February 8, 2011

Whenever you take a “new sheriff in town” approach to change, there’s going to be some shaking out. You can’t expect quote after quote about the toughness of offseason workouts (even allowing for the same fluff we hear every year) without expecting a few guys to decide that it’s not for them. We’ve already seen a couple of players leave the program for a variety of reasons, and there still may be more to come as the offseason program continues.

So on one hand I’m surprised to hear about Washaun Ealey’s suspension, but at the same time I’m not surprised to hear that there are players on the wrong side of the program and its new taskmasters. Ealey reportedly missed a punishment run, and the consequences for missing disciplinary appointments usually don’t involve less discipline. It’s not a good situation, and the fact that Ealey is “looking at (his) options” leads us to believe that there are a lot of questions being asked and soul-searching going on about his future.

With the Ealey news we also have to remember that Caleb King sat out the bowl game dealing with his own issues. Missing scheduled runs and meetings is about effort and commitment, and those who lack in those areas are going to struggle in this new environment.

Judgment aside, the fact remains that Georgia is in a much better position with King and Ealey available to the team. They are capable, proven, and experienced tailbacks. This isn’t the time to get into the tiring circular discussion about the role of the offensive line vs. the tailbacks in establishing a consistent running game. Whether or not one or the other starts, the depth they represent is significant. Even if Crowell delivers, that’s only part of the puzzle.

We’ve seen Georgia have to turn to the fullback position in recent years to find that “just in case” tailback. A rotation of Crowell, Malcome, and Thomas wouldn’t be a much better situation. Whether for injury, endurance, or production, Georgia has frequently had to dip deep into its stock of tailbacks. I’d much rather that next option be someone of King and/or Ealey’s experience and ability. The receiver position is going to be thin enough next year; culling the roster of tailbacks isn’t going to help much.

The ball seems to be with both King and Ealey now. Ealey claims that he still wants to be a part of the program, but if he shows up for spring practice and beyond it will be because of positive steps he has taken in the meantime. If one or the other isn’t with the team come August, it will be evidence of their incompatibility with the program’s demands and standards. It won’t be cause for celebration. I’m hoping that both get their heads on straight and come with a renewed commitment to the program and their responsibilities because that seems to be the only way that they’ll be a part of the team next year.

One Response to 'Dawgs need Ealey and King'

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  • I do not know how long it takes for some players to mature mentally, but these two it is a huge task. One is a rising junior and the other a rising senior. Nothing personally against them, but I’ve said all of last season King is not productive. How many games has been available to play the past two years either due to suspension or injury. You can not plan a game or prepare for a game with players like this. You are better off to cut them, and recruit a young man who really wants to play. They are out there. But these two they are not team players. In the long run you are better serve to let them go, free up a scholarship, and find someone in the next level.