No guarantee, but Richt sees possibility of ‘tremendous’ season

Bacarri Rambo drew praise from Mark Richt for the speed with which he picked up Georgia's new defensive scheme. (Associated Press)

Bacarri Rambo drew praise from Mark Richt for the speed with which he picked up Georgia's new defensive scheme. (Associated Press)

College football head coaches have to walk a fine line when talking to booster clubs.

On the one hand, the fans who gather in the spring and summer to hear the coach preview the forthcoming season are looking to get revved up.

But there’s always the danger of getting expectations too high, as Jim Donnan found out when he said before the 2000 season, “I’ve been waiting 55 years to be the head coach of a football team that has this much potential. And I guarantee you that we’re going to get it done.”

Mark Richt usually is a bit more circumspect, sort of in the Vince Dooley mode, though he did fire up one booster gathering earlier this spring by saying, “Are we going to beat Florida? You’re dadgum right.” To be fair, of course, he didn’t say it would necessarily be this season.

Richt walked the line on Wednesday night when he talked to the Georgia Bulldog Club in Albany. As reported by the Albany Herald, the coach said he believes that if his coaches can sign all the “Dream Team” in-state talent they’re after, those players will win a national championship before they leave UGA. As for the coming season, Richt said, “I think a lot of the ingredients are there for a tremendous season. We’ve just got to go out and do it.”

So, no Donnanesque guarantee, but a pretty optimistic outlook.

In other comments to the Albany club reported by the Herald, Richt said he nearly tried to hire Todd Grantham as defensive coordinator a month earlier than when he finally did make the offer. But, he said, “I’m not sure we would have gotten him then. I’m not going to say why, but circumstances changed.”

Discussing some of the southwest Georgia players on the team, Richt offered a couple of appraisals that should ease the minds of folks worried about the Dogs’ retooled secondary. He praised safety Bacarri Rambo, who said he might have picked up Grantham’s new 3-4 scheme the quickest of the defensive players. “He’s got a great understanding of what to do.”

And he said he thought cornerback Vance Cuff “was the most improved player in the spring. He’s fast —might be the fastest guy on the team.”

As for quarterback Aaron Murray, Richt kept expectations in check in Albany. He said he wants the redshirt freshman to have a “healthy respect” for the ball (don’t turn it over like Joe Cox, in other words). His advice to the inexperienced Murray, who has 10 returning offensive starters around him: “You don’t have to be the hero.”

An enthusiastic but safe outing for the coach, I’d say.

237 comments Add your comment

bobby

May 27th, 2010
11:11 am

samuel

May 27th, 2010
11:14 am

Does this mean a NC? It’s been over a generation and how much longer do we have to wait?

Gen Neyland

May 27th, 2010
11:19 am

If CMR can manage his QB like Saban did McElroy in 2009, there will still be blunders (yeah, McElroy made a few) but the personnel is there to overcome them. For some reason, I still see Murray being responsible for at least one loss, ala the Crompton enigma, before he settles into a groove. The JAX event may actually be a fun game to watch this year…

Gen Neyland

May 27th, 2010
11:21 am

bobby : It ain’t like winning the Powerball but congrats…

TuckDAWG

May 27th, 2010
11:27 am

I can realistically see a 10-11 win season GATA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Bill King is a............

May 27th, 2010
11:30 am

I’ve seen CMR a couple of times in Valdosta, once in Jax and once in Albany on the tour. As much as I like the man….he always says the same things. Its more like a robotic script. I would suggest sending Grantham to do most of these speaking engagements. He’s the one everybody is wanting to talk to anyways. We had Garner come to Valdosta 3 years ago and I enjoyed hearing his spill more than MR’s. Nothing against Richt……but the assistant coaches are more frank and energized in their gigs. One funny note from an Albany bulldawg club meeting several years ago…..Mark Richt says, “Two more questions.” One guy asks about our tightends. Then for the last question, Richt calls on a lady two rows behind me and she asks, “Coach, when is picture day?” LOL Thank goodness Richt took one more question after that.

SouthJaxBeachDawgFan!

May 27th, 2010
11:31 am

I like the fired up attitude of beating those gators! BTW, when is the Bulldog tour headed to Jacksonville? I only hoped that I didn’t miss it!

Bill King is a............

May 27th, 2010
11:36 am

Look guys……the biggest problem over the last couple of years has been the turnover margin. I’m banking on Grantham and Lakatos will fix that on the defensive side of the ball. With Murray being a Redshirt freshman…..hopefully we will keep the ball on the ground more and when he does throw it….hopefully he’ll be smarter than Cox or Stafford. Yes….as much as some of you all thing Staff was the greatest, he still had a big bag of ints. If we can take those possessions and put points on the board vs. giving the other team those opportunities….we’ll be in good shape. 11 wins is very possible!!!!! I’d say damn likely. If we can win the turnover battle….we’ll win the games. plain and simple

[...] but the roster is still chock-full of veterans.  8.  Mark Richt told a booster group that “a lot of the ingredients are there for a tremendous season.  We’ve just got to go out and do it.”9.  John Calipari has added former Oregon [...]

Villa Rica DAWG

May 27th, 2010
11:37 am

I’m looking forward to this season. I think everyone’s expectations have been tempered a little better than two seasons ago and I think we look a whole lot better than this time last year.

[...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Monica Broderick, Tim Tucker and AJC Junkyard Blawg, Gordo. Gordo said: DawgFan No guarantee, but Richt sees possibility of ‘tremendous’ season: Bacarri Rambo drew praise from Mark Richt… http://bit.ly/bvznCg [...]

KUCHAR

May 27th, 2010
11:46 am

without Bama or LSU on the schedule, how hard can it be? I don’t really think your going to get the rest of the country to drink the Koolaid on what an effort it was if you go undefeated and if you drop 2 games, you fans will turn on CMR faster than lightning.

One, two, free, fo, fi, dem der Gator don't take no jive!

May 27th, 2010
11:47 am

I agree that UGA could have a great season. But they could also have another season like last year. Coaching (discipline), the new D and QB play will dictate how the season goes.
Look forward to the WLOCP in October!

4U2PNB4I8U

May 27th, 2010
11:50 am

I SEE ALL DOG FANS ARE DRUNK AND THINKING OF THE ANNUAL NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP IN MAY HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

George G.

May 27th, 2010
11:57 am

Georgia will be a seven- or eight-win team in 2010.

Rodney Holloway

May 27th, 2010
12:00 pm

Look, I am the only one who will tell it like it is: 5-7 at best with CMR as Head Coach.

Fire Richt!

OldFan

May 27th, 2010
12:02 pm

Well, I feel better now. “We’ve just got to go out and do it”? Kind of hard to imagine that hasn’t been the lead-in for every season. It’s the “just” part that seems to trip them up. UGA has always had the talent. It has it this year. The fundamental question remains: Is the coaching staff good enough to exploit the talent it has and to overcome the challenges it has where the talent and experience are thin? So far, despite all the success CMR has undeniably had, this program is not placed among the elite in the SEC or nationally. It hovers in that gray space between mediocrity and excellence. This could be the year, with the schedule favoarable, for CMR to make his big move. But like in most years, if UGA loses to Florida because it’s expected to, loses another game because it’s out-coached, loses another because bad things happen to good teams, and maybe a fourth because it panics and gets stupid, then we’re right back saying “just” for 2011 and looking up at the elites again. CMR is a fine man and a good coach. This team has the players. Does it have the coaching?

[...] Atlanta Journal Constitution (blog) [...]

Saban

May 27th, 2010
12:03 pm

Great Season coming up.

5-6.

With more dawgs in jail than on the field.

DCJohn

May 27th, 2010
12:03 pm

When we had Knowshon and Matt, it would have been hard to believe those guys would have left without an SEC or National Title. That was the half full side of that glass, which was the offense. If the NEW defense holds up their half, our glass should be full within the next few years. Sooner rather than later.

One of your better updates Bill.

bwell

May 27th, 2010
12:06 pm

If Murray play within the system and try not to do-it-all on his own. Ga can go far, if Bobo call a game and mix it up like he did last yr against South Carolina. Bobo has to come out and set the tone; not being so conservative. Hand the ball off, plus new recruits coming in, yeah Ga can win the SEC championship 3 of the next 4 years and three Nat’l, C’ship

Daniels Dawgs

May 27th, 2010
12:08 pm

Some of these comments are a joke!!!! 5 and 7 come on really. We have the longest streak of 8 plus win seasons in all of college football. 5 and 6 I am still trying to figure out that on since we play at least 12 games.

Me

May 27th, 2010
12:15 pm

Beware of the coach overselling his program. Must be anticipating a little bit of a heat wave in Athens this fall.

U R Right

May 27th, 2010
12:16 pm

@ DD You can’t argue with stupidity. Just let them pass with out commenting.

I think we win all the games we are supposed to struggle with, but there will be one trap game.
Not sure who that will be. Not yeck or UF but some one we should handle out right

Gator Nation

May 27th, 2010
12:18 pm

Yes indeed Gen Neyland, the Jax event will indeed be a fun game to watch AGAIN this season. Of course it depends on what side of the stadium you’re sitting.

Rodney Holloway

May 27th, 2010
12:20 pm

I am not too stupid, just realistic. We have no shot at winning another SECC with Rict as coach.

gtfanfrom1951

May 27th, 2010
12:22 pm

maybe 9 wins no more including the Bowl against a 6-6 team

One, two, free, fo, fi, dem der Gator don't take no jive!

May 27th, 2010
12:26 pm

U R Right,
How can you call others stupid when you say:
“I think we win all the games we are supposed to struggle with”.
Now THAT is a stupid statement. Maybe, I “hope” we win those games. No one can honestly say they SHOULD or WILL win these type of games. Folks like you are why so many others teams call Dawg fans delusional. That’s like me saying UF should beat Bama this year on the road. No we shouldn’t. Hope we do, but it will be an upset.
Learn the difference between thinking and wishing/hoping!

Gator Nation

May 27th, 2010
12:29 pm

So exactly when did this guy Grantham turn into Vince Lombardi?? Based on dynasty defenses he built in the NFL? Because he came from the Cowboys? Because he worked with Nick Saban? Sure, I understand that he could well be an improvement from the last guy but exactly when did this guy become a defensive guru and the answer to all of Georgias problems. Sorry, don’t see it and probably never will.

brooks

May 27th, 2010
12:29 pm

Georgia is very capable of winning 10 games this year. Don’t think we will underestimate anybody. Pgrantham will have the d eating raw meat by september. Ealey is a special back and boykin and rambo will anchor the secondary. Columbia trip will tell early on. Need sanford to be rockin and to beat the dang vols. Already got recruits coming in that can help immediately. Big recruiting class for us coming up. All the bandwagoners will be jumping back on soon. Go dawgs

brooks

May 27th, 2010
12:34 pm

Gator nation. I would worry about your new coordinator considering your first one left.

Sam

May 27th, 2010
12:36 pm

The defense has to be way better. I think Chris Low did a piece on the SEC champ and where the defenses ranked. Worth looking at.

BobDog

May 27th, 2010
12:39 pm

It’s going to come down to Murray at QB and the defense. The defense caused the 2008 season to go bust.

Gator Nation

May 27th, 2010
12:41 pm

brooks, doesn’t matter. He wasn’t even around long enough to have a cup of coffee. Yep, we are having to replace Charley Strong and its always a concern when you have to replace as an accomplished coach as Charley was. But the D line and secondary coach are still there, so there is alot of continuity. Don’t you worry about the Gators, this program has been built on alot more than any one guy leaving. Even a Steve Spurrier.

SSIgator

May 27th, 2010
12:43 pm

the coach said he believes that if his coaches can sign all the “Dream Team” in-state talent they’re after, those players will win a national championship before they leave UGA. As for the coming season, Richt said, I think a lot of the ingredients are there for a tremendous season.

Sounds like last year – and the year before that and the year before that and the year before . . .

Dawg 39

May 27th, 2010
12:44 pm

The Talent is there. Still young & inexperienced. Therefore the “Possibility” is there. I expect a great 4 year run begiining this year but I am an optimist. Also, I think AM is the real deal. Who Knows?.

Spike

May 27th, 2010
12:49 pm

I’m already taping my ankles and putting eye black on.

BIG JIM

May 27th, 2010
12:49 pm

Last year for Markus Richt at the DawgHaus. DawgNation as usual
is considering themselves to be better than they really are. Do teams
Jawja,Gayterville,Tuscaloosa Tech, and Knoxville State expect the guys
who are top flight talent to compete in the classroom? HELL NO, and it
doesn’t matter to them.

SickandTired

May 27th, 2010
12:52 pm

If Richt doesn’t beat florida this year. he should not be allowed on the team bus to the airport in Jax. His record against Florida is not only bad it is pathetic and he’s way overpaid for the job he does. Fire him this year, or fire him next January. He needs to go.
Georgia: The Wisconsin of the SEC
Gerogia deserves better.

anotherdawg

May 27th, 2010
12:53 pm

To guarantee either a NC, or no more SEC championships is like guaranteeing Petrino will remain at Arkansas forever. No one knows for sure what’s going to happen, but unless you are a pessimist or a hater, there is alot to be excited about. Heck,if anybody really knew for sure, they could literally win the lotto. But, if you are a real Dawg fan, there is alot to be excited about!

jacketbacker

May 27th, 2010
12:55 pm

hey all you sorry puppies.Tech has took over this state. Paul J is the man by by markie markie.

BAMA STAN

May 27th, 2010
12:56 pm

13 NATIONAL TITLES – 22 SEC TITLES!!!

Agree with Richt’s assessment – I am thinking 9 wins minimum for the Dawgs – could win 10 – could win 11.

I predeicted a bad year for UGA last year – and got hammered by other posters – thought UGA would win nly 6 or 7 regular season games for three reasons:
1. Losing Stafford, Moreno, and MOMass
2. Decline of Defense was obvious
3. Schedule was tough – and the Tennessee loss was easy to predict as it followed LSU – Tennessee beat UGA a few years ago in a similar set up after UGA hammered LSU – a mediocre TN team beat a flat UGA team led by David Green

I think UGA bottomed out last year – Richt made the changes he needed to make on his staff – and are positioned well with a potentially great O-Line, good skill positions – and I think the QB will play well and improve as the season progresses – just got to stay healty.

Defense – very very atletic – set up nice for 3-4 and nickel will be no problem for this athletic unit – they just need to gel – and could easily revert back to a 4 -3 to mix it up.

A lot of If’s”
– South Carolina will be a great test
– Arkansas will be a scoring machine
– Have to take Miss State and Colorado seriosly – can not be flat in Boulder
– Tennessee, Vandy and KY should be No problem – if UGA is focussed.
– FLORIDA should be the favorite – they have the week off to prepare and have a great record against UGA when they have an open week before.
– AUBURN – will be very interesting – I think AU will be imprved and this is ALWAYS a game that has it’s history of surprises.
– GT – rivalry game – UGA should win – but a rivalry game can be unpredicatble – UGA will get a great effort from GT – they need to be ready to go!!

RECAP – UGA is positioned well for what I think will be a very good season!

Hope to meet up in the DOME!!!!!!

ROLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL TIDE!!!!!!!!

anotherdawg

May 27th, 2010
12:59 pm

Bama Stan, that’s actually a pretty intelligent post!

SSIgator

May 27th, 2010
1:00 pm

BAMA STAN -

Sorry, but we will see you in the dome once more.

1eyedJack

May 27th, 2010
1:00 pm

Boy, Vince Dooley’s tour stops must have been REALLY boring.

Gdawg84

May 27th, 2010
1:01 pm

After the last 2 seasons, I’m hoping for a big season, but I’ll believe it when I see it.

It will take a great season to wash away the following:

Going 2-2 against KY in the last 4
Being outscored by UF 90-27 in the last 2 (17-3 sucks beyond belief)
Being outscored by UT 145-62 and going 1-3 in the last 4 against some of the worst Ut teams in memory
Assorted other indignities whereby we’ve lost most every big game we’ve played over the last 2 seasons

Tech Sucks

May 27th, 2010
1:01 pm

Dawgs will surprise everyone and win the SEC this year.

Will

May 27th, 2010
1:03 pm

UGA over the past 3 years has stockpiled an amazing array of talent, size and strength. Many predict our offensive line to be the nations best and we finally have coaches on defense who know how to coach. Look out folks, if we eek one out in Columbia and Murray gets a little confidence the sky is the limit folks.

1eyedJack

May 27th, 2010
1:03 pm

Bama Stan

That last post was like deja vu all over again. I read pretty much your whole post in Athlon’s football magazine.

SSIgator

May 27th, 2010
1:03 pm

Tech Sucks -

In gymnastics right?