What the Bulldog Nation wants to hear from Mark Richt

 Sometime soon Mark Richt is going to have his end of the year press conference. I would suggest that the head coach at Georgia have that presser sooner rather than later because, to be perfectly candid about it, he has reached a crossroads in his leadership of the football program in Athens. Georgia finished the 2010 season with a 6-7 record after a-less-than-inspiring performance against UCF in the Liberty Bowl.

No, let’s don’t choose our words carefully here. Let’s call it what it really was: It was a lousy performance. Georgia looked like a team that didn’t want to be there and at 6-6, maybe the players DIDN’T want to be there. But since they were there and since the University committed itself to play the game and provide programming for its television partner, it falls upon the head coach to demand that the guys who wear the uniform representing the state university at least play hard. And Georgia did not play hard against UCF.

Mark Richt will be back for his 11th season at Georgia and he has earned the right to fix what is wrong. And right now there is a lot that is wrong with the football program at Georgia. He needs to figure out exactly what is wrong and tell everybody exactly how he plans to fix it.

Then he needs to fix it–now.

I would not presume to speak for the people of the Bulldog Nation. But I am going to suggest that these are just a few of the things they would like to hear from their head coach in the very near future:

 

**–That he loves being the head football coach Georgia and is passionate about its success: Georgia is like any major football playing school in the South. Its people care deeply about the success of the team and are invested, both emotionaly and financially, in the program. And it pains fans to think that they care more than the players and the coaches. Of course Richt cares about his work and the success of Georgia. Just have a five-minute conversation with the man and you understand that. But here is where Richt, a man of deep faith and a belief in the balance of life (both admirable qualities), needs to step outside of his comfort zone. Georgia people want passion and they want a sense of urgency when things are not going well. I believe Richt feels these things but has not done a good job of communicating it to the Georgia people.

**–That recruiting is going to get better: Here is where Richt as a head coach and Georgia as a staff has to look in the mirror and be willing to face the truth.  The fact is that outside of A.J. Green, Justin Houston, and the two kickers, there weren’t a lot of players at Georgia who could start for Alabama. (I’m going to use Alabama and Florida as measuring sticks, for obvious reasons).  The running backs (Caleb King, Washaun Ealey), for all the hype coming out of high school, continue to be very average. The offensive line, for all the talent and depth that was supposed to be there, has underachieved for three years. The defense was in transition and was about what we thought it would be. It’s not fair to judge after just one year in Todd Grantham’s system. But in other areas,  either the players were not as good as everybody thought or they haven’t been coached very well.  Richt needs to figure out which it is and address it. Georgia needs better players and a lot more of them.

**–That players are going to be disciplined on and off the field: I hear about this more than any single thing other than wins and losses. Georgia people are tired of reading about knucklehead stuff that keeps players off the practice field and out of games. How hard can it can be, they want to know, to make players understand that their life is pretty simple: Go to class, go to practice, study, play in the games, and behave the rest of the time. When players show a lack of discipline on or off the field they need to be punished publicly and the punishment needs to be firm. Again, Nick Saban at Alabama seems to have a handle on this. I’ll bet Will Muschamp will get a handle on it at Florida in short order. When it comes to this area, a healthy fear of the head coach is not necessarily a bad thing.

**–That players are going to be developed and will get better under his watch: You don’t build a football program on players  who perceive themselves to be great  because they had a bunch of stars by their name coming out of high school. Of course you have to have the elite athlete, and Georgia doesn’t have enough of those. But you also have to have good players who will work to become great and average players who will work to become good. You can’t have a roster of guys who think they can get by on talent alone. You have to have hungry players. You have to be able to take average talent and develop it. Players have to get better from year to year. Georgia has not done that.

**–That players are going to get bigger, stronger, and faster. That nobody is going to outwork Georgia in the offseason: Look at Alabama’s players in their uniforms and then look at Georgia’s. It ain’t even close. Look at Florida and the strength and conditioning program it has under Mickey Marotti. When Will Muschamp got the job at Florida, it took him about 45 seconds to know that he was going to keep Marotti. This used to be a strength of the Georgia program. It is no longer. Joe Tereshinski has already replaced Dave Van Halanger  as the strength and conditioning program director and will get a chance to fix it. Again, this is not complicated. Look at what Alabama and Florida are doing and do that.

**–That everybody from the head coach on down is going to be held accountable: Richt not only needs to make it clear internally, but he must make this clear publicly to the Georgia people. Everybody, and that means everybody, is expendable if they are not willing to commit to the goal of getting the program back among the SEC’s elite. A good head coach at this level has everybody a little on edge. The players need to step up and hold each other accountable at every workout and every practice. Those who can’t, or won’t, commit at this level will have to leave.

**–That the people who wear the uniform for Georgia will again play the game with passion: I know we are dealing with a different generation of athlete who feels more entitlted (because the process has told him he’s entitled). For the most part today’s athlete is not going to buy into the love of the institution like the folks to sit in the stadium. That’s just a fact of life, a generational difference. Still, it can be managed. But, as I said at the top, the head coach can demand that his student-athletes give their best effort when those athletes represent the University. I know that is a quaint, outdated, and probably naive notion that it is a privilege to wear the uniform. But the Georgia people don’t feel that way and their feelings have to be taken into account.

Greg McGarity, the new athletics director at Georgia, is not going to say these kind of things but I will because these are just facts. After 19 years at Florida, he’s been at Georgia for four months. That is not enough time to evaluate a football program at this level. You have to go through a recruiting season, an offseason conditioning program, a preseason while watching the day-to-day operations. There are a lot of moving parts to a football program and McGarity has only seen two: a preseason and a regular season.

And all those folks who wanted to let Richt and his staff go after this season probably haven’t looked at what it would cost. It doesn’t take a lot of checking to see that such a decision, which would have included Richt’s buyout (just under $7 million) plus the cost of buying out the assistants would have cost Georgia in the $9-10 million range. Then you have to hire a new coach (at least $3 million) and another staff. So right now that would be about a $15 million decision for  Georgia. I don’t think that was a factor in this decision but in this economy you can’t pretend that it doesn’t exist.

As I said at the top:  Very soon Mark Richt will have to tell the Georgia people two very important things. 1) What he believes the problems are and 2) How he intends to fix it and that he intends to fix it now.

And as uncomfortable as it may be, Mark Richt needs to make his case with passion–a lot of passion.

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797 comments Add your comment

Muddiver

January 3rd, 2011
10:03 am

As much as it pains me to say Auburn is looking pretty smart right now. They paid $250k and are looking at a NC we paid $3 mil and got 6-7. Good deal for them.

chief # 1

January 3rd, 2011
10:03 am

Its one thing to be a Christian, its another matter to put up with been Sorry as a Football Team,It all raises and falls on one thing LEADERSHIP and Georgia doesn’t have it any where.

3rdN8

January 3rd, 2011
10:04 am

@ ga gator

A big part of my reasoning is based on the fact that UF has so many in-state schools to compete with for talent. Not to mention that practically every school in the country recruits south Florida. I think Oregon has a kid from Pahokee. In fact I think every Div I team has a kid from Pahokee.

what of it?

January 3rd, 2011
10:05 am

Awfully gentle, that wasn’t just a lousy performance, it was pathetic and a slap in the face to bulldog nation. The fans deserve better for as much time, money, and dedication as they give to this team week in and week out. If the players cared half as much as the fans, there is no way they could have lost that game, and instead they rolled over and urinated on themselves.

Why is it that the place-kicker was better able to articulate our problems in the game than the head coach?

Scott

January 3rd, 2011
10:05 am

I agree with the passion part and have deeply questioned Bobo’s playcalling but UGA was 40 points from setting the all-time single season scoring record. Some of these kids don’t take pride in wearing the G on their helmets like the old Butts and Dooley teams. God rest Erk, we should have hired him and the passion would have been there for sure.

JDawg

January 3rd, 2011
10:06 am

“We need to recruit OL first then go after some stud running backs.”
**************************************
Richt would probably settle for anything right now. No commitments in almost 5 months.

Losing will do that to a program.

crapsandwich

January 3rd, 2011
10:07 am

I really like Mark Richt. He deserves better, he will not get it.

I look for Richt to be fired this week. Don’t believe they aren’t meeting now to discuss that very issue on the Regents level with Adams. Money does not even enter into the equation. Yes it will cost us about 15 mill or so, but what is the cost of keeping Richt? Fans know he is lame duck, money will begin to dry up and that $55,000,000 profit each year will drop by 30% OR MORE.

Everyone assumes Richt will be back. I don’t.

Non Dawg

January 3rd, 2011
10:07 am

Buck Futt:
Just the name you chose speaks volumes about a low class Auburn fan. No need to say anything else.

dawg-gone

January 3rd, 2011
10:07 am

AFdawg
Those Coaches don’t wish to come to UGA….why leave their program for a losing program (this year)?
Of course Money talks and total control talks………just saying show me the $$,$$$,$$$ and hope!

GT

January 3rd, 2011
10:07 am

Tech basketball, Georgia football same disease. The coach gets too comfortable, and they really think for the millions they are getting paid the college is getting their money’s worth. If they didn’t feel this way they would do the right thing and resign. Trying to make Richt fake passion is really part of the problem, he is like a dull preacher who enjoys his job at the expense of his congregation. These other coaches at Alabama, Auburn, Mississippi State and South Carolina get better every year at their job, Richt stays the same. Faking it in a press conference will not get this team going, when Miles bring out a 400 lb lineman with no fat on him for the coin toss a message is sent. Miles and the SEC coaches all give awful press conferences because their work shows their passion, they don’t need to lie about their work.

01HAWK

January 3rd, 2011
10:08 am

BAMA………………………….Headed towards the # 1 class in the country for 2011 with signing of DEE HART………………………………… CROWELL would probably make it a # 1 class. SABAN will probably sign one more RB. Hopefully INGRAM tells SABAN soon what he wants to do.

INGRAM by the way is graduating this SPRING. He was an early qualifier. Congrats to you MARK INGRAM !!!!!!!!!!!

RICH GET RICHER…………………….I like the ROLL TIDE COMMERCIALS ON ESPN !!!!!!!!!!!

Blackberry Cobbler

January 3rd, 2011
10:10 am

When CMR was hired at UGA, his mentor Bobby Bowden said he didn’t think CMR could be a good coach (said he was too nice).

Most fans and alumni are now fed up- the Liberty Bowl was the last straw. CMR has now used up what little faith and benefit of the doubt that a lot of fans were still giving him.

The program seems to be beyond repair at this point. Sad, really sad.

CMR, being a man of strong faith, believes that God allows things to happen for His purpose. Therefore, CMR is not going to get emotionally attached to the situation. As he said “It is what it is” and you deal with it. That’s his take on life but that’s not what UGA fans deserve and not what the program needs.

5IML

January 3rd, 2011
10:10 am

3rd,

Mich St had players my size (6′1″, 175) playing on defense. Physically, it was a complete mismatch. MSU played a very weak schedule and caught more than a few lucky breaks. The only lucky break on Saturday was the reversal of Nico’s fumble recovery for TD.

I don’t expect Dareus, Ingram, or Julio to return (and they shouldn’t). I’m surprised Dont’a is rated as the No. 2 ILB. He might decided to leave. Because of the injury, Barron will be back. Robbie Green will return from suspension. Things are looking good for the foreseeable future. RTR!

notso fast

January 3rd, 2011
10:10 am

Coach R has lost the passion for the game when the SEC is all about passion. Look what Florida is trying to do. Look at the assistants they have lost to other programs. Is anyone trying to get Bobo? Coach R need to clean house and start over. No one enjoys letting friends go but he is paid well to win and he better start winning or some friend wwill be having a talk with him.

ga gator

January 3rd, 2011
10:11 am

3rdN8, you are partially correct, but really the only two they compete against is FSU and a little with Miami. USF, FIU, FAU and Central Florida dont get the kids FSU or UF go after.

Dumbo

January 3rd, 2011
10:13 am

1st: all the Techies…worry about the Wreck on the Flats, so, go somewhere else with your stupid comments. 2nd…Richt, please understand, the great majority of us go to church for our religious needs. I go to Sanford Stadium for entertainment and pleasure, please don’t confuse the issue; either you are a football coach or a missionary, you don’t do justice to either by trying to be both at the same time. 3rd….Donnan was right when he said of putting a fence up around Georgia recruits, maybe, you and your staff need to spend more time in Georgia hustling after recruits rather than wasting time & money on the slimmest of chances of signing a kid from some other state, 4th…please show some passion and energy on the sidelines. 5th….whenever a player does something stupid (like jumps off-sides) snatch him out of the game, chew his butt in front of 90, 000 people and let him know that this kinda play is unacceptable. 6th….whenever one of your players decides to go downtown and get in trouble, you suspend him, take his uniform and hang it in the End Zone at games, so everyone will know that this player screwed up and is being punished. Embarrassment & humilitation is a very strong deterrent…..these kids understand disrespect…they disrespect the Team, the Program and the University….you show them disrespect as part of the punishment. They’ll learn real fast.

3rdN8

January 3rd, 2011
10:13 am

@ crapsandwich

not sure I agree that Richt will be fired this week. But if he is….who does UGA go after? Kirby Smart is probably on the short list, but am unsure what other candidates would receive serious consideration. Malzahn?

DDAWG

January 3rd, 2011
10:13 am

CMR NOT TOUGH ENOUGH!!! PERIOD

Truth

January 3rd, 2011
10:13 am

There’s only one BULLDOG in the SEC and that’s MISSISSIPPI STATE

When UGA beats a CUSA team, they can get their mascot back. Hail State

JB

January 3rd, 2011
10:14 am

I wonder how isolated Adams,McGarity,Richt are to this raw emotion out here. Like polls, you can gauge feelings by small samplings. Boy, if this is true, they are in trouble.

BamaDan Is A Gomer

January 3rd, 2011
10:14 am

The same way 2 great years for Alabama because they bought Mark Ingram and Julio Jones doesn’t mean they are “back” to the “glory years”. All while being on probation by the way, one infraction away from the Death Penalty. My point is WE DON’T KNOW that Cam was paid, just like we don’t know if Ingram has been paid ( We know he’s had contact with agents, attended the same infamous party as AJ Green, Puncey, and Marcel Dareus, etc.) Since you know more than the NCAA does at this point BamaDan, why don’t you explain Julio Jones driving around campus in a brand-new escalade? Cheating is a national pastime over there in Tusca-loser!!

Wally Butts' Designated Stumbler

January 3rd, 2011
10:14 am

Well, now we know why Marcus Dowtin didn’t play Friday.

The Road to Back-to-Back Fulmer Cups Starts in Athens

SavDawg

January 3rd, 2011
10:15 am

Searls definitely needs to go. Bobo needs to be demoted to Q-back coach, or let go. Our program has PLENTY of money to hire top rate assistants. Go find’em, pay ‘em, and lets try again. I’m not sure Richt can stop this embarrassing slide. One more season. He has earned that. UCF had a 6′2″ 230 lb tailback. That is what UGA used to have until Richt brought in his ACC finesse offense. This is the SEC coach. Get back in the I formation and play like we used to !!!!!

Englebert Humperdink

January 3rd, 2011
10:16 am

I’ll tell you what I’d like to hear from Mark Richt: “I resign.”

3rdN8

January 3rd, 2011
10:16 am

5IML

Agree on your assessment of the 2011 team. I think it will be Saban’s best one yet. If these JUCO players pan out, Bama will be deeper at virtually every position than at any time in my memory.

dawg-gone

January 3rd, 2011
10:16 am

Muddiver you are full of it. You have no proof Auburn paid anything. If you do speak up so justice can be done. Don’t make uga look like cry-babies we look bad enough!

ATL is TigerTown

January 3rd, 2011
10:17 am

Get real BD. You win your little bowl game and now you’re suddenly the anointed one. That’s rich. Sure go ahead and urge UGA to strive to be the 4th best team in the division. That’s a “benchmark” they’ll love. I know they appreciate your “insight”.

01HAWK

January 3rd, 2011
10:17 am

Michigan State players reminded me of DUKE players. All of the small DB’S was funny.Seeing Ingram and Richardson run over them was funnier. Looking for LSU, ARK, and AUBARN to do there job.

Still can not figure out how SOUTH CAROLINA beat BAMA. That is a head scratcher.

Buckeye

January 3rd, 2011
10:18 am

Going 0fer on New Years sucked. Alabama – no surprise. Best team in the country talent wise. Miss State – everyone new UM had no defense. FLA/Penn State – entertaining.

Falling to 6 and 7 in a 3:30 game against Conf USA on New Years Eve must really suck.

Playing in another BCS game doesn’t suck Looking forward to Tuesday vs Arkansas.

Thought I’d give you a chance to beat up on the Big 10 for a while and quit beating your dead horse.

Buckeyes in 2020! Tearing down the hedges!

Saban

January 3rd, 2011
10:18 am

Alabama has alot of fat white girls. 60% of bamers are on food stamps. having a sister-wife is common. the double-wide is the state symbol.i thought those coon-asses were trashy.

howard

January 3rd, 2011
10:19 am

What I want to hear from Richt is that he has decided to STEP DOWN.

5IML

January 3rd, 2011
10:19 am

3rd,

In 2011, we need leaders to step forward on offense and defense (and avoid major injuries) to get back to the glory years. (By “glory years”, I mean last January. lol)

01HAWK

January 3rd, 2011
10:19 am

ATL is TigerTown ………………………One Championship since 1957 and AUBARN is all of that ? Get real. You will always be 2nd best in the State of Alabama.

Denver Dog

January 3rd, 2011
10:19 am

Bama Dan, here is your legacy; Charely Pell, Danny Ford, Jackie Sherrill, and Gene Stallings. Two thinks in common: 1) Learned under the bear at Bama. 2) Got caught in the worst recruiting violations in CFB, in the south, in history. Cheat is just part of your language. Remember Darwin Bell.

NotPremier

January 3rd, 2011
10:19 am

You folks need to calm it down…UGA will never be a premier program nationally and will never be able to hire a big name coach from any other big time school. CMR took your program to new levels, quit being brats and give the man a chance to fix it…GO GATORS!

ga gator

January 3rd, 2011
10:20 am

Buckeye

By 2020 you will be 0-18 against the SEC.

Muddiver

January 3rd, 2011
10:21 am

Dawg Gone you’re absolutley correct. Auburn got a player we passed on for free and are looking at a NC. We paid $3mil and got 6-7. My bad.

Suckeye

January 3rd, 2011
10:21 am

blahahahahahahahahah— little ten guy talking smack. hilarious—– blahahahahahahahahah

ga gator

January 3rd, 2011
10:21 am

Denver Dog where do Vince, Hershel and Jan Kemp fit into your scenario?

blue field

January 3rd, 2011
10:21 am

Boise St in 2011…tearing down the hedges…………………

01HAWK

January 3rd, 2011
10:21 am

DENVER DOG………………………………We strive for CHAMPIONSHIPS in T-TOWN…………………And not lower tier BOWLS. Oh by the way…………………….Stallings won a CHAMPIONSHIP in 1992.

haters are skaters

January 3rd, 2011
10:22 am

the comparisons btwn fulmer and richt are uncanny!

it’s sad really, he’s obviously in denial

JB

January 3rd, 2011
10:22 am

Gonna be a long 10 month’s…………I’ve seen our Bulldog club spring event drop the last 3 years from 700, 400, to 200 last year……Hope we have a 100 this year.
I think fans from other schools on here are getting the idea we think we ought to be 12-0 every year. No, that is not the case. We just want to put a passionate, well coached team on the field with a chance to win. The State of Georgia is in the top 5 Nationally with Blue chip prospects. The are pretty bad at this time. The guy at the top making close to 3 mil is accountable, IMO

dawg gone

January 3rd, 2011
10:23 am

muddiver..agree. Its sad….

ga gator

January 3rd, 2011
10:23 am

JB, that is not the case, but quite a few delusional Dawgs think that you are #1 in the conference every preseason.

JB

January 3rd, 2011
10:23 am

blue field, Hey dumb a$$, gonna have to drive 70 miles to do that. The game is at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta.

ylojkt

January 3rd, 2011
10:23 am

Let me not be the first to say how fun this is to watch. Out of all the fans of SEC teams that I know, UGA fans are the worst! They simply cannot help insulting other schools fans and teams repeatedly, they think their team will go undefeated every year, and they are clearly delusional and undeservedly egotistic.
I knew our Jackets were in for a bit of a rough year, not just because of the loss of big time skill players, but mostly because of the youth of our offensive line. UGA still had their skill players, and had Murray (who is obviously a skilled QB), and they also had what was supposed to be a team leading Senior Offensive line – yet they failed to achieve anything other than letting a few weakened teams beat themselves (and this includes my beloved Jackets). The teams that UGA beat all pretty much handed the games to them, I personally didn’t see them take a game from anybody.
Now you smug pup fans know what it’s like to have a coach who is satisfied with the status qou and not taking risks or having his team play aggressive ball. I hope it lasts for a few more years, and the Jackets beat you four straight. One thing is for certain, you have been given two gift games in a row by GT, but that will end next year. The only question then is, will we be as smug as you were when we had FG Gailey as coach and our AD settled for his same attitude for years past our fans liking. The effects are still seen in the stands at Grant Field today, the same can happen in Athens as well.
One other thing, some of you on here have mentioned UGA getting the Fridge as OC or coach, no way would Ralph ever go to UGA, he is way too smart of a man for that. Maybe you should go after O’Leary, wait, he wouldn’t even consider your school either. Hmm, well somewhere out there must be a desperate HS coach willing to lead that disaster for a couple of years.

BamaDan Is A Gomer

January 3rd, 2011
10:24 am

Dead Wrong 01Hawk we are #1 in the state THIS year no matter what kind of trash you spew! 28-27!! CHOKE!!

JB

January 3rd, 2011
10:24 am

ga gator…….On these blogs maybe….Not the REAL fans/Alum I sit near at the games.

5IML

January 3rd, 2011
10:25 am

01HAWK,

I agree with you on Ark and LSU but not Aub. I liked a couple of the signed at the Capital One Bowl:

“Roll Ducks Roll” “CAM. What’s in your wallet?”

ESPN liked the signed also as they continued to show them.