"I think I have learned, too, you have to have good players," he said. "I think good players help you win football games."
It's not that Bobo didn't understand this… I think he always has. He's been one of the better recruiters on staff his entire time in Athens. He knows talent when he sees it; he's not dumb. He was what I would call a very good recruiter before taking the reigns as offensive coordinator in 2007.
But what Bobo said was key. It was sort of an acknowledgement of a couple of things: 1. The staff can admit to mistakes (recruiting in the middle part of the past decade set Georgia up for some problems at the end of the decade). 2. Georgia's staff (really no staff) can X and O its way to a successful season.
Understanding your mistake(s) is the first step in correcting problems. Correcting them is the next step… we will better know how that's going as the fall develops.
Still, you have to have the key pieces of the puzzle to solve it. I love Joe Cox because he's a stand up guy. He took the blame – at times he tried to take too much of it. He told me "no one wants to go out a loser" after the Kentucky loss last year – and it was painful for him to say. He was a leader. But he was given the task of doing too much last season – particularly, particularly, particularly without a running game at the start of the year.
Aaron Murray, who no longer has to deal with Zach Mettenberger or Logan Gray in the signal caller department, has all the tools needed to help Georgia win the SEC and beyond. The upgrade at quarterback is enough to get Georgia past the Gators and Gamecocks and into the title game where the Tide will likely make their third appearance in a row. But Murray is far from being there. He can get nervous – witness G-Day – and… quite frankly he's young.
"Having good quarterback play in this league – whether the team is in the spread, or if they are a traditional offense – you have to run the ball and play defense, and I think that is going to be our mindset this year," Bobo said.
I'm not sure that Bobo is saying that was not the mindset last season, but it sure was not what happened on the field. That can change in 2010… and it probably will.
Still, Bobo and company learned some painful lessons about skill last fall and winter. 8-5 is not accepted in Athens, and the recruiting results for the class of 2010 are the same sort of results that caused the 8-5… good enough talent for some people to be confused that Georgia should be challenging for the SEC, but not enough pieces in the right places to actually do it.
"I think we have a good (talent) state here (in Georgia). I touch on that because I think I have learned how important players are," Bobo admitted.