While fan talk in the wake of starting tight end Bruce Figgins’ suspension for half the season largely has centered on Orson Charles, the blue-chip receiver/tight end hybrid out of Tampa, the need to replace Figgins’ blocking skills seems to be weighing more on the Georgia coaches’ minds, as reported in the Athens Banner-Herald.
Mark Richt says both Charles and the other incoming freshman tight end, Arthur Lynch of Dartmouth, Mass., are “going to have to play. I doubt any tight end gets redshirted this year, but we’ll just have to wait and see how it unfolds.”
But Lynch, who tops 6-foot-5 and weighs 258, has the more typical tight end size and has been told by tight ends coach John Lilly to be ready to play as a “point of attack blocker and receiver” against Oklahoma State on Sept. 5. “He always said he expected me to play Oklahoma State, but now it’s even more of a reality,” Lynch told the ABH. “I know I’m the heaviest one there.”
Richt said he’s “a big, strong kid” who “I figure can block well for us, but again has good hands.”
As for 6-foot-3, 230-pound Charles, he could be used to shore up the Dogs’ rather skimpy corps of just six wide receivers. “Orson might be effective as a wide receiver, too, because he’s got wide receiver skills. He may be used in more than one way,” Richt said. The coach also mentioned incoming freshman cornerback Branden Smith, who “has got some abilities as a receiver. We’ll try to find a way to use those guys, too, to fortify that number.”
As for defensive end, where spring star Justin Houston will miss two games on suspension, Richt told the ABH he did not anticipate moving anyone to that position, but he noted that in the spring the Dogs already practiced having linebackers Darryl Gamble, Marcus Washington and Darius Dewberry line up as an end some of the time to bolster the pass rush.
On the other side of the ball, Richt talked with David Hale of the Macon and Columbus papers’ Bulldogs Blog about the need to get his backup quarterbacks some playing time this season. “You want to, but you’ve got to be careful of disrupting your starter and his rhythm,” Richt said.
Unfortunately, playing a tough nonconference schedule doesn’t help. “The best way to do it is if you play well enough, toward the end of the game you can get the guys some playing time. … But with our schedule, that doesn’t happen too often.”
As Joe Cox found out the past couple of seasons when he rarely got in to relieve Matthew Stafford.
Still, the fact that the backups, particularly Logan Gray, bring a different look than Cox might loosen up the typically tight, conservative way Richt and offensive coordinator Mike Bobo have tended to use their quarterbacks.
“If there’s a way to insert a guy in a situation or a down-and-distance or field position, that might be part of what we’d do and it would be comfortable for everybody,” Richt said. “So that’s a possibility.”
Sounds promising, but Richt often talks a more adventurous approach than he actually uses in games. Here’s hoping he rolls the dice a bit more this season.