Richt’s warning to players: ‘It could get worse’

"We are where we are," Mark Richt told the Touchdown Club of Athens. (Associated Press)

"We are where we are," Mark Richt told the Touchdown Club of Athens. (Associated Press)

Mark Richt didn’t hang around long at Tuesday night’s Touchdown Club of Athens meeting, showing up late and leaving immediately after some brief comments and taking a couple of questions from the floor. But he didn’t skip the fan gathering, as some had speculated he would, and when he took the microphone he didn’t duck the issue of Georgia’s 0-3 conference start, either.

“We are where we are,” the coach said to the full-house crowd assembled to hear his mentor, Bobby Bowden. “We’re going to have to get better or it’s gonna get worse. It’s not going to stay the same. I told the players, you think it’s bad now; it could get worse.”

But no matter what, Richt said, “we’re not gonna lose our poise, we’re not gonna lose our integrity. We don’t want to take our frustrations out on anyone, except maybe Colorado. … We just have to keep working hard and keep together. We must stay together.”

Generally, Richt’s update for the club echoed what he’d said earlier in the day at his weekly news conference: The coaches need to work on helping the players correct their mistakes and teach them how to handle adversity while maintaining a positive outlook.

“That’s all we can do right now is keep grinding and keep it positive,” the coach said.

Richt didn’t get into a lot of specifics about the Dogs’ problems, but he did note that in the Mississippi State game it seemed that every time Georgia made a big, positive play, something happened to negate it, whether a turnover or “the penalties got us again.”

On the bright side, he said that the return of A.J. Green to the lineup is bound to open up the middle some for the Dogs’ tight ends as defenses double-up the celebrated wide receiver. “It’s nice to see No. 8 out  at practice again and know that you might actually be able to use him this week.”

The Georgia coaching staff is hoping Kris Durham can play against Colorado. (Associated Press)

The Georgia coaching staff is hoping Kris Durham can play against Colorado. (Associated Press)

Even without Green, Richt said, the Dogs have been close to breaking several long touchdown passes with Kris Durham if only quarterback Aaron Murray had been able to hit Durham in stride. The problem, Richt said, has been Murray overadjusting after tending to overthrow receivers in the spring game. “We told him to keep it in play and give the guy a chance to catch it,” which is better than overthrowing, but “if he had hit Kris on the run I think he would have scored four or five times.” Richt also singled out receiver Tavares King for praise.

Durham, Richt said, was able to practice Tuesday in a noncontact jersey after suffering a stinger to the neck in Starkville, and “We hope he’ll be able to play” against Colorado.

Asked by a fan about dealing with the higher altitude the Dogs will face in Boulder, Richt said, “There’s not much we can do about it.” He said he consulted with UGA director of sports medicine Ron Courson and asked if getting out there 24 hours earlier would make any difference and Courson said no. Richt said Georgia will have oxygen available on the sideline but “we’re not going to make a big deal out of it.”

At that point Bowden interjected that Richt should just ignore the altitude and later during his own comments the former FSU coach said his teams’ experience playing at Colorado was that the only difference the altitude made was “the ball goes further,” which helps kickers. “They want you to think it’s a big problem and they try to psych you out,” Bowden said, but his advice on the subject is: “Don’t pay any attention to it.”

As for Georgia’s undersized defensive line, Richt was asked about additional playing time for redshirt freshman Kwame Geathers, the biggest of the Dogs’ nose tackles. The coach said that part of the problem has been Georgia’s opponents haven’t been playing two-receiver sets, which means the nose guards haven’t played much. Geathers, he said, “is coming,” though he’s still tending to favor the hand on which he had offseason surgery. “He’s not, in Coach [Rodney] Garner’s opinion, as ready to get as many reps as the other guys.”

After Richt left, Bowden, who regaled the crowd with amusing stories from his long career, assured the Touchdown Club, “I feel sure Georgia’s gonna pull this thing out” and said that frequently it just takes one player to make the difference. “It’s not like they need to replace all 30 players.”

HOPEFUL SIGNAL ON OFFENSE?

I thought it was interesting that in his news conference Tuesday, Richt talked about Georgia still wanting to run the ball and keep the play-action passing game that hasn’t had much success so far this season, but he also said, “We do have ways to get the ball to our receivers quickly on quick screens. We have screens to our backs. We have ways of throwing quick game if we feel like they have outnumbered the run and we want to get some one-on-one situations. We are still very multiple in what we do.”

Sounds like the head coach wants offensive coordinator Mike Bobo to mix it up a bit more. At least, I hope that’s what that means.

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427 comments Add your comment

ca dawg

September 29th, 2010
11:05 am

cmon dawgs, let’s notch a W in boulder and get things on track!

Newman

September 29th, 2010
11:05 am

We are just too soft. No Monday practice, no hitting during the week, etc…

MURPHY

September 29th, 2010
11:10 am

I agree it will get worse. Maybe just maybe the return of AJ might get this team going.We all hope it does.

bill

September 29th, 2010
11:15 am

“We’re going to have to get better or it’s gonna get worse.” — that’s the problem, ya think?

Poncho

September 29th, 2010
11:16 am

Mr D

September 29th, 2010
11:17 am

Defense doesn’t look much improved over last year – confused & lost. I have faith, but it’s being sorely tested.

Justin

September 29th, 2010
11:18 am

Bobo has mentioned mixing it up for the next game for 2 years. He has yet to do it.

Loran, Whatayagot?

September 29th, 2010
11:20 am

It’s interesting to read all of the thousands of expert head coaches who’ve got all the answers. In fact, they know more than the coaches who live with these players year round. Do you think these coaches who have sterling resumes have suddenly forgotten how to coach and manage players? Yeah, a lot is going wrong and I’m frustrated, but if anybody’s gonna fix it, it’s the staff in place. Now, go beat the Buffs.

MATHDAWG

September 29th, 2010
11:20 am

I hope that Coach Bowden gave Richt some advice while he was in Athens. Maybe Richt could use him as an adviser/mentor. Coach Bowden has gone through some good and bad times at FSU and his experience in these situations is unsurpassed.

Otto

September 29th, 2010
11:22 am

Sterling resume, the OC has 1 year of Jack State and came up thru the farm system?

Matt

September 29th, 2010
11:22 am

You know, so many things suffer when you lose ballgames: recruiting, rankings, revenue, NFL salary, coaching continuity, etc. Richt’s right–it could get worse.

The only way it DOESN’T get worse, is if Georgia finds a way to start believing they are dominant, playing with confidence, forgetting the last 3 games. If Georgia keeps thinking about those past 3 games, it will get a LOT WORSE FAST.

UGA insider

September 29th, 2010
11:23 am

I’m so nervous about the UT game. I don’t know what’s going to happen to our program if we lose again to a depleted UT team at home. The UT game could well be most important game in CMR’s history at UGA. I fear a loss would send a shock wage to Adams and hierarchy and force McGarity to get rid of the entire staff. There is going to be that much pressure next week folks.

Russ for UGA VIII in '010

September 29th, 2010
11:24 am

Bobby Bowden for Coach in Waiting!

JM

September 29th, 2010
11:24 am

I’d go with the Arkansas plan. It almost worked if not for Mallet. That was Gorgia’s best gameplan, make teams beat you passing the ball, stop the run, most teams can’t do it.

JaxDawg05

September 29th, 2010
11:26 am

A win in Boulder sure would ease the pain of an 0-3 start in the SEC.

Randy

September 29th, 2010
11:26 am

10-3 or 9-4 and a top 20 final ranking is possible, so you have a lot to play for. Win a game, then get on a roll, then beat Florida, Auburn & Tech, and you have a great season.

But it all starts with getting 1 win.

South Jax Beach Bulldawg

September 29th, 2010
11:29 am

I have to admit that bringing in Coach Bowden as some type of consultant does sound intriguing. However, I am deeply concerned about this teams lack of mental toughness as well as physical toughness ont he field. The other night I spoke with a former UGA great running back who resides here and he pretty much said the same thing! No toughness!

bugsquacher

September 29th, 2010
11:32 am

where is mike leach?

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tom

September 29th, 2010
11:34 am

We are very soft. The previous poster blamed no monday practice but I think NCAA mandates one day off. Some people do it on Sunday others on Monday. May be wrong. We need to toughen up and play harder. To make that happen you have to practice harder and guys have to fear that they may lose their jobs. Not sure they fear it right now. Rambo is starting to play like Bryan Evans. its like they feel entitled. that is not good. Gotta play like your hair is on fire.

Lilburn Dawg

September 29th, 2010
11:35 am

I’m not sure we could beat Georgia State this year.

chilidawg

September 29th, 2010
11:36 am

Confucius say: if we don’t change direction, we’re likely to end up where we’re headed.

dawgfacedboy

September 29th, 2010
11:36 am

What exactly is on BObo’s “sterling resume”?????????? I’m glad that now that we are 1-3 we realized that we can throw shorter passes and get rid of the ball quicker! WHEW!! I’m glad we didn’t make that adjustment during the game, maybe halftime even!! WHEW!!! THat was a close one!!!

rincon dawg

September 29th, 2010
11:38 am

if AJ Green comes back and we start winning what happens when he leaves at the end of the year? Seems like no one is talking about that. Durham leaves to he is a senior.

dawgfacedboy

September 29th, 2010
11:38 am

Open it up weeke to week as to who starts on Saturday. Competition breads excellence, complacency breeds laziness.

Snoop Dawg

September 29th, 2010
11:38 am

Sounds like da Preacha Man and Daddy Bowden were really serving that Koolaid.

Don’t get drunk; get angry. We need a coach, not a camera poser…

Your team will only lose with more regularity until Richt and his clown caravan are gone.

Wally Butts' Designated Stumbler

September 29th, 2010
11:41 am

STILL waiting to hear for how many games Ben Jones is getting benched after that chicken-$#!& attempt to injure Fletcher Cox.

Anyone know?

LutzFLDawg

September 29th, 2010
11:41 am

these sound like the comments of a man who can’t figure out how to right the ship.

Snoop Dawg

September 29th, 2010
11:41 am

What’s all this crap about bringing Bowden onto the UGA payroll? He is a fossil. He was let go by FSU last season for a reason. The apologists are getting to be as much of a problem as our incompetent coaches.

rincon dawg

September 29th, 2010
11:42 am

you would thing this coach would have said hmmm there putting 8 in the box maybe i should throw screens and slants. Nope what do they do “we were calling running plays blindly”. His words not mine.

MaconKnight

September 29th, 2010
11:42 am

I agree we all need to stay positive in this situation… But lets face it If this overrated O-Line does play better this may get much worse than we ever could have imagined.. Not upset at all with our D they have fought their talls off.. in each game we have been a positon where could have swung the momentum in our favor if a better play had been call and if the O-line would have held up, this offense has not performed up to any of our standards… we have one heck of a QB in Murray, this O-Line has to man-up and start blowing people off the line the question is will see it this week or will it take 6 more weeks for them to jell

rincon dawg

September 29th, 2010
11:43 am

CMR is bowden. Dont need two. Dag gum.

SimpleDawg

September 29th, 2010
11:45 am

Richt is right about a few things he said……it most assuredly could get worse, and there’s nothing he can do about the altitude at Boulder.

We do need to spread teams out more….get King and Thomas out in space. If we’re going to run between the tackles, run Chapas or Munzenmaier ( sic? ).

Note to Murray – “The ball goes farther”.

The Dawgs need to heed Ol’ Ben Franklin……”We must hang together, or we shall surely all hang separately.”

Phil

September 29th, 2010
11:47 am

“I’m so nervous about the UT game”

You better be worried about the Colorado game. If we fall behind, it could go downhill fast out there.

bruce mac

September 29th, 2010
11:51 am

How much worse can it get? What, is he expecting us to lose to Idaho State? How far we have fallen in three weeks.

GTfan

September 29th, 2010
11:51 am

GT fan here… like to see UGA get on a winning streak. Although we are hated rivals one Saturday in November… definitely want to have both programs successful… pick up the pieces and get a win in Colorado boys.

cwuga

September 29th, 2010
11:52 am

Richt keep saying that the players and coaches going to stand together and be a family that is a lie…and I know that for a fact…there is no family feeling in that locker room nor meeting room. The players(some) feel like they are not given fair chance to play and other players are treated like kings …the kings and non players are fighting among themselves. People playing the same position don’t talk to each other because position coach got one player that can do anything and nothing is done and the other player make the same mistake and is punish….It starts at the head….Richt need to go and take his coaching staff with him….

zack

September 29th, 2010
11:52 am

Reggie Ball

September 29th, 2010
11:54 am

Good news. I’ll be suiting-up in Boulder. It’s a sure bet win for ya.

Ralph

September 29th, 2010
11:56 am

It won’t get much better until the thUGA character mentality and recruiting of lowlifes ends. The current dancer/prancer, dreadlocked, tattooed, bling wearing, loose helmut, lawless goon showmen aren’t going to change their gang mentality until they run out of eligibility.

Richt and staff set the tone. How does this cycle get broken? Only with a new coaching staff, and that is still a while off – then maybe player character turnover.

The alumni and fans have been part of the problem by not screaming B.S. when all this started. Instead they cheered it on.

Dazed and Confused

September 29th, 2010
12:00 pm

“we’re not gonna lose our integrity.” What integrity?

Dawg Fud

September 29th, 2010
12:00 pm

I really have no idea what we will do in Colorado…but I am sticking by my pre-season prediction that we will 5 games or less. Unfortunately that is looking more like reality everyday.

5150 P.O.A.D

September 29th, 2010
12:01 pm

Why would a team Double AJ right now? I don’t think AJ is that great, but after his 4 games away I would just go man on him until AJ proves he can make some plays. If Murry is running for his life he will not beable to get it to AJ anyway.

SadDawg

September 29th, 2010
12:01 pm

Bowden: “…frequently it just takes one player to make the difference.”
**********************************
All it would take is one OC to make the difference . . .

Dan Hawkins

September 29th, 2010
12:03 pm

I feel your pain Coach Richt

mcdaviddawg

September 29th, 2010
12:04 pm

They certainly going to get worse for Richt, Fire him, the sooner the better.

Lee Corso

September 29th, 2010
12:05 pm

The problem is that Bobby Bowden is Mark Richt’s mentor. The Bowden Way simply does not work in 2010.

Tide Roll

September 29th, 2010
12:06 pm

Did he say anything about Ben ” Hit and Run” Jones? Surely Miss. State has forwarded the tape to the SEC who will then dictate to Richt the punishment. Does the man have a proactive bone oin his body!? Jones cut blocked the kid from the side, effectively trying to end his career. He should be removed from the team and Richt should be forced to apologize for his player’s actions. It was the same hit that was delivered by Chris Davis on his on teammate, Tindon Sturdivant (except Davis Hit Sturdivant from the right side) effectively ending his career. What a program. Do something about Jones Richt, BEFORE the SEC does.

edumacated

September 29th, 2010
12:06 pm

cwuga,

Your post, if true, would explain everything.

ugadad

September 29th, 2010
12:06 pm

Guys this is a good team…the guys play hard its the play calling that is crazy…..they put the wrong players in at the wrong time…you got 4TEs and you put the Skinnies(OC) one on the line…thats crazy….