Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Vandy-Georgia aftermath: No regrets for Franklin, Logan Stewart benched by SEC, 2 Dawgs suspended too

Logan Stewart has been suspended for the first half of Saturday's Army game for a flagrant personal foul, according to the SEC office.

In case you were wondering, Georgia's Kwame Geathers (the guy who punched Stewart) and Shawn Williams (the infamous No. 36) have been suspended for the first half of the Oct. 30 Florida game, Geathers for fighting and Williams for a flagrant personal foul.

We all saw Geathers punch Stewart and we saw Williams slap our kicker, the pesky Carey Spear, upside the head and draw another personal foul late in the game.

If you're tempted to feel slighted by Stewart's suspension, watch this video from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Stewart, our sophomore center, is a nasty player, which of course is a good thing in an offensive lineman, but here he crossed the line. I'm anticipating a long comment stream about cut blocks and chop blocks, but surely we don't teach our offensive linemen to tackle a defensive lineman in the back of the legs after getting a 20-yard head start.

While I'm delighted that Geathers punched Stewart and we got a first down out of it, in retrospect I can't say that I blame the big fella. It was a dirty play on Stewart's part. I wonder what James Franklin will say about it.

Speaking of Franklin, at Monday's press conference he was asked if he had any regrets. This is what he said: "I’m not a guy that has a whole lot of regrets. I’m pretty calculated, and I’m pretty well thought out with the things that I do for the most part. I am an emotional guy as you guys know as well. I would have liked the game to end differently. I would have liked to have won the game."

I'm not going to break this down, because it's a pretty unsatisfactory answer and I hope never to hear it again from him, in any situation. I do realize that he's not giving this explanation to his wife or his pastor, he's giving it to a bunch of sports writers, whom he doesn't particularly respect or feel like he needs to answer to. But if you don't think you did anything wrong, then just say so. That was the question. But don't say you don't have any regrets in life because you think everything through even though you're also an emotional person.

I really don't think he would have responded the same way if he had game-planned for that situation. His actions were fueled totally by emotion, which is understandable. He really, really wanted to win. Shawn Williams really, really acted like an ass. Franklin's a take-charge guy and he wanted to take-charge of the situation.

But after viewing several videoclips, it appears that Franklin sought out Grantham, who blew his stack and almost instigated a riot, then he found Richt, who wasn't far away to begin with, and quivering with anger he told Richt about Williams' inappropriate gestures and his exchange with Grantham, punctuating his explanation with a few choice words. Richt put his hand on Franklin's shoulder and nodded with understanding and then apologized. After Richt left, another Georgia assistant approached Franklin and shook his hand and Franklin took the opportunity to again complain about Williams and Grantham.

Why didn't Franklin just tell Richt? Why did he have to tell Grantham, a notorious hothead, first? And why did he keep complaining about it to another assistant after he talked to Richt?

Because he's human. Williams got under his skin, which is exactly what Williams was trying to do. Franklin let his emotions get the best of him, just like we all do. But in doing so, he let his players know he cared about them, and a few minutes later he gave his rousing "we will never back down ever because those days are over" speech.

These things happen in football. That was Franklin's sixth game as a head coach. You can bet he's going to learn from it, whether he admits it to the ink-stained wretches or not, and he's going to make the Bulldogs pay for it someday soon.

Back to Stewart, I hope Vandy starts Joe Townsend at center and leaves the rest of our lineup intact, instead of doing a fruit-basket turnover again and moving Wesley Johnson to center and Seymour to tackle and White or Jelesky to guard, and then moving everybody back when Stewart enters the game.

In review, here's our offensive line before and after Stewart's return from mono:

LT: Ryan Seymour, R-Jr
LG: Chase White, R-Fr
C: Wesley Johnson, R-So
RG: Mylon Brown, R-So
RT: Kyle Fischer, R-Sr

LT: Wesley Johnson, R-So
LG: Ryan Seymour, R-Jr
C: Logan Stewart, So
RG: Mylon Brown, R-So
RT: Kyle Fischer, R-Sr

It will be interesting to see the difference Stewart makes in our offensive line when he enters the game in the second half, if Franklin does put him in the game.


Another Loud-Mouth Vanderbilt Alum said...

We're not gong to back down from anyone...........ever..


In the case of Stewart, we were the instigator and they didn't back down from us... Unless Geathers did something to him first that he didn't see.

But I certainly like the concept of us not backing down from anyone ever. We'll see.

vandyfan2 said...

Let's look at this comment: "offensive linemen to tackle a defensive lineman in the back of the legs after getting a 20-yard head start" The ball was on the 31 yard line and the infraction was at the 40. I would say that is closer to 9 yards and not 20 yards. Also the tackle was on the D lineman's left side near the knee. I'm not saying what happened is right, but why are we saying that our players should be punched? Let the officials handle it.
In regards to your question about the current O-line and it's make up, let's look at the fact that in the last 2 games there has only been 1 sack, so one could see it makes for a better line up than in the 1st 4 games, where there were multiple sacks.

There's 2 sides to every story and we may never hear the whole truth.
However it appears there is a can do attitude at Vandy and I hope it continues!

Greg M said...

Looks like a clean block to me. I was taught you get your helmet in front of the body it is not a block in the back. Plus he hit him in the thigh. Boo Hoo. What a crock of BS.


I just wanted to hear some analysis of offensive line techniques from you guys.

As far as the OL lineups, there is no question that the offensive line is playing well and has jelled as a unit in the last two games. My point is that I'd hoped we'd just pop one guy in the lineup to replace Stewart for one half rather than move everybody around. Looks like we'll be doing that by starting Andrew Bridges at left tackle and moving Johnson to center.