What sort of ‘cutting edge’ football are we likely to get from Mark Richt?

Mark Richt doesn't want to "confuse" Aaron Murray with too much change. (Associated Press)

Mark Richt doesn't want to "confuse" Aaron Murray with too much change. (Associated Press)

It’s the postseason, so fans and columnists are naturally devoting a lot of energy to parsing Mark Richt’s intriguing but typically vague comments at his season-end press conference.

Unfortunately, there wasn’t a whole lot of substance there, and what there was isn’t likely to make folks feel any better about the direction of the Georgia football program.

In other words, a typical Richt press conference.

The most interesting revelation was that UGA athletic director Greg McGarity, who was notable in his presence at the press gathering, has taken some of the administrative duties off Richt’s plate, which the coach says is “going to help free me up to [spend] more time doing the things I love the most, which is study the game of football and be an expert and be on the cutting edge.”

Richt didn’t spell out what that meant, but he indicated he was “not making any plans” to take back the playcalling from offensive coordinator Mike Bobo. He said he would meet with his offensive staff to “just look at what we’re doing and why we’re doing it and making sure we’re on the right path.”

Some wondered if he is contemplating revamping or opening up the offense, perhaps installing more spread option elements to take advantage of quarterback Aaron Murray being a dual threat.

But then Richt noted that when you make a lot of changes, it’s tough on the players. “If you just change for the sake of changing, then all of a sudden you’ve got to relearn something all over again. Do I want to confuse Aaron Murray right now? Heck, no. That guy knows what he’s doing, and he’s going to have a lot more confidence going into next season.”

So it doesn’t seem likely that he’s talking about installing the fun ’n’ gun.

Richt’s comments that Bobo and offensive line coach/running game coordinator Stacy Searels “have done a great job — not a good job but a great job” raised a lot of eyebrows and drew the expected hoots of derision. But, really, what did you expect him to say? It’s too late in the game for Richt to be reshuffling his offensive staff. He has to play the hand he dealt himself.

Perhaps a clue to what Richt will be doing with all this extra football time came when he said, “One of the biggest things I am going to be looking for is effort in the team and everyone around here. We need to do what we do well and do it full-speed. As a head coach, that’s the number one point of emphasis that I am going to watch for.”

Coupled with the installation of “old school” Joe Tereshinski in charge of the strength and conditioning program, you might take that to mean that Richt will be taking names and kicking butts during the offseason to try and light a fire under his team.

But then you remember this is Richt we’re talking about, the man mentor Bobby Bowden once joked was so calm and cool you needed to take his pulse to make sure he was still alive. It’s hard to imagine Richt summoning up any inner Nick Saban.

So the bottom line is that Richt says “we’re not looking to blow anything up.”

No wholesale changes, in other words. Which is not surprising. Sure, the Dogs just concluded a poor season in a lethargic manner that makes a good case for major change being needed, but the fact is that Richt only has the one season to turn things around and, as he noted, change confuses players. So whatever change we see on the field in 2011 is likely to be incremental and more of the attitude adjustment variety.

Richt tried to buck up the Bulldog Nation by declaring, “In my opinion we’re very close.”

He meant that the elements are there in his program for success.

But the reality is that if the head coach doesn’t manage to get more out of those elements in the coming season, we’re likely to be very close to the end of the Mark Richt era at UGA.

Were you disappointed by what Richt had to say or was it pretty much what you expected? And what “cutting edge” changes would you hope his football studies produce for the 2011 season?

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282 comments Add your comment

Jody

January 6th, 2011
10:37 am

NC Dawg

January 6th, 2011
10:38 am

bill

January 6th, 2011
10:45 am

The only “cutting edge” change coming for CMR is at the barber shop…you always want to look good during your final season between the hedges…

Dawg_Mike

January 6th, 2011
10:46 am

I’m not impressed…..yet.

hornblowermg

January 6th, 2011
10:46 am

it just makes you want to cry. what a load of crap!

DawginLex

January 6th, 2011
10:46 am

I openly stated i wanted him to resign after the bowl game but after reading between the lines, I am willing to give him another year.

The important stuff is coming though.

He must land a good recruiting class.
He must recruit 1 or 2 nose guards that can play now.
I would love to hear comments from him or read comments from someone in the know about the redshirted players and how they will contribute in 2011.
Dreams-AJ and Justin announce they are coming back………..

Dawgs2010

January 6th, 2011
10:47 am

Richt should just step down. Just leave!

Dawg eat dawg

January 6th, 2011
10:47 am

It was what I expected, but still disappointed.

The only question I have is if the removal from Richt of his adminstrative duties is just to ease the transition to the new coach UGA will have next year.

Vince

January 6th, 2011
10:47 am

Enter your comments here

LT

January 6th, 2011
10:50 am

Presser was very disappointing, no plan, no direction, sort of lala land, calling coaches great, when record indicates otherwise. Just seems that his time has run its course, why wait, just prolonging the inevitable. It has become evident that CMR cannot right this ship, guess we will really see, but just doesn’t seem possible based on what was said, and performance in bowl game.

ugab

January 6th, 2011
10:51 am

How is MR going to change things? all the recruits are going out of state. MR is full of sh’t! All the dawgs have is a determined QB!

ugab

January 6th, 2011
10:52 am

Sounds like getting a new AD got MR another pay day!

georgedawg

January 6th, 2011
10:53 am

These top players from Georgia are realizing that other competing schools like Auburn, Alabama, Florida, South Carolina have better coaching staffs. What a turn around in fortune for Georgia football tbe last three years. If richt was a business owner he’d go broke – he is not a good manager or decision maker.Hope Richt turns it around – glad we have McGarity helping him and deciding where we go from here.

ugab

January 6th, 2011
10:55 am

I’m affraid of who they would hire in place of MR. Garner, Bobo,etc,etc

DollarDawg43

January 6th, 2011
10:56 am

There is a lot of howling going on right now and justifiably so-we looked decent at times this past season but overall it was a lackluster campaign. We just didn’t look like what I expect a Georgia football team to look like.

That said, I honestly don’t believe we need wholesale changes. We do need better strenght and conditioning but what is getting lost in all of the current furor is that is one of the main things, if not THE main thing, that CMR told Greg McGarity we need. It turns out that CMR had tried to get funding for this when Damon Evans was here but Evans was reluctant to commit additional money to football. Instead, his strategy was to spread some of that money around and win championships in multiple sports.

I knew during the third quarter of the Mississippi State game we were in for a long season. Our guys were gassed. Better strength and conditioning will keep that from happening again.

This illustration alone proves that we as fans don’t know as much sometimes as we want to think we do. All along Richt was trying to get something he knew he needed to make the team better. I didn’t know he was trying to upgrade S&C and neither did any of you. They just don’t tell us stuff like that and they have no responsibility to. Now, though, that this has been addressed it will help our program in the future.

Before we burn Richt at the stake consider one comment and one question. First, when you fire the coach you know you are giving up 2-3 years as the new coach gets his people and program in place. Often times, patience in the face of panic is well rewarded. Mark Richt didn’t suddenly forget how to coach. Second, who are you going to replace him with that will be such a substantial upgrade and how do you even know that magic person wants to come to UGA?

simplythetruth

January 6th, 2011
10:57 am

It’s over (Richt’s program)…. Place his comments right alongside his infamous comments about maybe we should have practiced tackling more but we were afraid of injuries(paraphrase). Richt is about as close to the cutting edge as Earth is from Pluto. One thing is for sure, it is obvious that those in charge of the HC have exhibited no more of a desire for change than Richt. The entire program is CLUELESS.

VA DAWG

January 6th, 2011
10:59 am

The clock is ticking….one year or Dan Mullen may be changing from Miss St Dawg to Georgia Dawg. Time will tell. GO DAWGS!

ugab

January 6th, 2011
10:59 am

MR said the same BS the last 4 years. I remember this time last year. Coaches love playing and beating the hell out of the dawgs. Hell, other teams know Ga is going to cost theirselves the game.

GODAWG

January 6th, 2011
11:01 am

The very best thing Mark Richt could do for Georgia football is to leave now. That would automatically get rid of Bobo, Searls and all the other inept hangerons. GO DAWGS – with a new and quality coaching staff.

DiggityDawg

January 6th, 2011
11:02 am

The only fire that needs to be lit is one under Richt. He has to get more animated and charged up for the sake of the players. The teams lack of steam is a direct result of Mark “the ice man” Richt. This is football not texas hold’em. He is just not a NC coach. God bless the guy, he seems to be n ear sainthood in his personal life. He Has To Go.

C from Marietta

January 6th, 2011
11:03 am

Let’s beat the dead horse even more. Bill WE KNOW YOU WANT CMR FIRED. We know you think you know more about football than CMR. He is not going to be fired this year. Get over that. How can he hire a new OC, when he is on the hot seat. What good OC is going to come to a program, where the coach could be gone next year. Give it a rest. WE KNOW THE AJC AND YOU WANT HIM FIRED. WE GET IT.

Hussy Punter

January 6th, 2011
11:05 am

Richt chose to become more of an ‘administrative coach’; he seems to be playing it off now like it wasn’t by choice and not how he wanted it. He was more involved in the football aspects of things his first 5-6 years and then backed off. 2007 was successful so it confirmed to him that he was doing right. 2008 should’ve been a red flag; we had a ton of talent and barely squeaked by a lot of inferior opponents while getting killed by the ‘big boys’. Yet b/c we were 10-3 he and everyone else just ignored it. Then came the past 2 years-awful. He chose to become more like Bobby Bowden then continuing to be Mark Richt and that not on the AD, that is on him. Plenty of other coaches are more involved in the football-Saban and Meyer are perfect examples. I know Meyer quit but I never heard anything about them not ‘having time to focus on football’. You’ve got to be kidding me w/ that BS. I really do love Richt though, I wish none of this was happening and would love for him to bring me back on the side of believing that he should coach us for as long as he would like and that he will bring us a NC. He’s just got a lot to prove now to keep his job and starting off the year feeding us a load of BS probably isn’t a good sign. He does seem to finally have realized the issue, just hasn’t taken responsibility for it. We shall see though….

Ricky 4

January 6th, 2011
11:05 am

I’ve supported Richt since day 1 but I have lost faith. He gets less out of more and it is disappointing & I am tired of it. The SEC is on the verge of winning a 5th MNC & the Dawgs haven’t been one of them. Not even close. South Carolina, Arkansas & Miss. St. have passed us. That makes us at best the 8th best team in the SEC. That is unacceptable. We lost to a Confrence USA team in the bowl game. That is unacceptable. We can no longer lure the best talent in the state to come to Athens. That is unacceptable. We are pretty much a laughing stock and I have no faith that this coaching staff can turn things around. I feel the writing is on the wall & we are less than 12 months from a coaching change. I hate feeling this way about the University of Georgia. I never thought that we would again fall to this depth. But here we are and none of Coach Richt’s empty speech makes me feel better.

Spanky

January 6th, 2011
11:05 am

Bill, I think that there will be some changes! CMR just doesn’t know if it will be BOTH Bobo and Searels. While everyone is declaring the end for our coach, I am predicting a rebound season. Why? ..because CMR knows that it’s do or die for next season! People surprise you when their backs are against the wall, and he has proven that he can figure it out (or he wouldn’t be here a decade). If not, I’m wrong, we get a new coach, move on! Go Dawgs!

Josh

January 6th, 2011
11:05 am

Enter your comments hereI said it yesterday right before the game, i left a comment on the page… i think we are a laughing stock to these 5 star players and they have set us up for a big heart break ex. X. Dickson, Bray, Rome just gave you a hint that Dickson is going to work on he and Crowell, NONE of these high players are going to come to UGA. We are in for tuff times til we change regimes! sorry mark, GO GET CHRIS PETERSON or GARY PATTERSON! WINNERS want to play for WINNERS!

monty

January 6th, 2011
11:07 am

We got behind the 8-ball with all the AD distractions and troubles IMO. Richt is a great guy. I hope he turns it around next season for everyone’s sake. But IMO he doesn’t have the coaching ability to rise above the level of his talent. Give him a team that will send 5-6 players to the next ranks and he will win you 9-10 games.Give him less than that and you get this year.Give him a whole team of 4 star players and he still won’t give you but 10 wins. No way our team with present coaching staff can win the East next year.Tennessee will be back before we will.

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Bud

January 6th, 2011
11:11 am

I wonder if coach Richt stands there,like most of the Dawg nation,and thinks to himself,”Why did Bobo call that play?”I bet he does have more input in the play calling next year,he just won;t come out and say it.

close..

January 6th, 2011
11:12 am

how many players for central florida would anyone take over the players for UGA? how many UCF players are more talented than Georgia’s? if these coaches were going a “great job”, changes wouldnt be needed, and this blog wouldnt be up. whatever changes he’s talking about, wont be the right ones, the attitude of the team will be based on the coaches. thats the problem.

Dawgie Bowser

January 6th, 2011
11:13 am

Georgia football is the #2 revenue producing college program in the nation. Do we deserve and expect better results than we are currently getting? You tell me?

ugab

January 6th, 2011
11:13 am

Well said Dollardawg43. There are alot of teams out there with less talented players, but well coached. There are some power houses in the SEC to compete with these days. MR has turned this team around once. Can he do it again? Can MR be as dedicated as a Saban,Meyer, Mullen,etc

helmet head

January 6th, 2011
11:14 am

I hear running a play action pass is cutting edge so UGA is on the right path

iknowgeorgiafootball

January 6th, 2011
11:14 am

Two things:

1) He spoke like a politician and said what a politician would say! Richt is an old-school religious
politician–his words are only for entertainment

2) When was Georgia ever this dominant football program everyone wants to relive. If we think about it, Richt has been, in recent history, the best thing that has happened to Georgia football. Of course, with the resources and recruiting base available, these expectations make sense, yes, but let’s cool it a little guys.
#1my pants are a little too minguer for this festivity!
#2kirby smart to Michigan–called it!

ugab

January 6th, 2011
11:14 am

Play calling is horrible!!

ugab

January 6th, 2011
11:16 am

Kirby 2 Michigan?

What??

January 6th, 2011
11:16 am

You are correct in assessing that the most likely reason that more changes were not made is due to the fact that Richt sees this as his last season if there is not significant improvement and staff changes would make it another year of transition. In other words, he doesn’t have time to make a change. I think a change that really needs to be made is removing Garner as the recruiting coordinator and hiring a full-time, dedicated recruiting coordinator. Our talent evaluation has obviously been lacking the last few years. We are recruiting in a very lazy manner based on the stars that players are given by the recruiting services and not based on our own coaches analysis of tape. Also, when I hear comments like the ones made by Tank Carradine’s coach that “it just seemed like FSU wanted him more”, I want to vomit. Do the coaches at UGA not realize that they are recruiting and coaching for their lives as this point? If a player wants to go somewhere else then that is their decision, but it should never be because they didn’t feel like UGA wanted them because we desperately need help. I think the sense of entitlement that Walsh mentioned has run from top to bottom in the program.

Martha

January 6th, 2011
11:16 am

If MR has to go….PLEASE hire Derek Dooley!! TALK about some eye candy! woo hoo….MR looks good, but if you gotta replace him, DD is The Man!!

Macclenny_dawg

January 6th, 2011
11:16 am

It was about what you would expect out of Richt. He was right that he felt we were close. Close to having a new coach. We have the talent we are just not using the talent we have. To run a pro style offense you have to have very good offense and defense lines. WE don’t have these type of mean linemen. We are a reflection of our coach which is nothing seems to bother them. What I have saw is talent that used to respond when we needed too. But that happened for so long until it just became like don’t worry it will work out, we will be ok!!! This team could and would win the SEC next year if he was to let Grantham install his mindset on the team. Richt needs to get back at doing what he does best and tweek this offense and use more of our athletes. WE should play more 4 and 5 wide receiver sets. Just to spread the field because our line is not real strong. The recruits will not help that much this year and its very unlikely the would come. Why would they just so they could be redshirted??? That has become the Richt way!!! He better get out there and find some jucco players and get them fast because his time is very limited!!! SEC CHAMPIONSHIP or bye bye Richt!!!

Carlton

January 6th, 2011
11:17 am

“Cutting edge” and Mark Richt don’t belong in the same sentence. I’ve always been a Richt supporter but to say you’re “very close” to having “cutting edge changes” in your football program after 10 years of the same (and after a blow-up year) is just PR talk.

I also wonder what “cutting edge” football Richt is now going to study? The spread offense? Sorry Richt, Meyer’s been running that on you for 6 years now, West Virginia beat you with it in the Sugar Bowl in 2006, Auburn killed you with it this year-and you’re just now noticing? GIVE ME A BREAK!!

td

January 6th, 2011
11:17 am

DollarDawg43

January 6th, 2011
10:56 am

A fan that will actually take a logical look at the program!! What a refreshing change to these “so Called fans” that all they want to do is change for change sake. Or should I say Obama supporters.

One more idea to look at for you. How much has President Adams “Admissions committee” works against getting the needed talent in the program? How many scholarships has “his committee” rejected that we have known about (4 or 5)? How many did Richt not even offer because he knew they would not get past the committee? Could Odel Thurmond get into UGA now? Thomas Davis? Greg Blue? I do not think so and without that mean streak then you are going to have problems with the right attitude on defense.

If you “so called fans” really want to do something then you need to start getting Adams removed or it will not matter who the coach is for the team.

KD

January 6th, 2011
11:17 am

The UGA coaches and the Bulldog Nation got played by Dickson as to think he was coming to UGA, he was wearing a Georgia hat week at the Under Armour practices letting people to think he was possibly coming to UGA, I think he knew all along as to where he was going, along with all these other recruits that UGA thinks is coming. I said when Richt did not go for it on 4th and inches in the FIRST QUARTER that he just lost some recruits over that call. The kids of today like a offense 7 defense that is exciting, not conservative, and I was right. I believe that UGA might get only 2 recruits left to come to UGA, i would be surprised if they get more.A big supporter for UGA told me the other day that Bobo the BOZO is holding the players back with his play calling, that he heard directly from the players. Take for example the bowl scores from the Ala. game & MSU game, I bet Richt would have called off the dogs about scoring so much when he have gotten ahead by only 3 touchdowns. Richt & company are getting left behind on a lot of things, starting with RECRUITING !!!!

RealDawg

January 6th, 2011
11:17 am

Running out of things to change.

Red Man Reaction

January 6th, 2011
11:18 am

Disappointed and not surprised in the least.

We’re dead.

ugab

January 6th, 2011
11:18 am

I am just a fan that is sick to my stomach with the poor coaching at Georgia. My opinion doesn’t matter anyway. I don’t contribute millions to UGA. Ask Bobby Bowden how to get the boot. Alumni who pay $

tgentry97

January 6th, 2011
11:18 am

How does firing the coach give up two to three years??? Look what it did for Saban, Meyer, and now Chizik! CMR is done!

helmet head

January 6th, 2011
11:18 am

Amazing how Garner/Searels would interview with another school every season. Now nobody is calling them. There is not one hot coach on that staff. How many offers has Bobo gotten? Van Gorder was the only coach worth anything.

king donko of punchstania

January 6th, 2011
11:21 am

There wasn’t anything intriguing about Richt’s presser. It was the same ol’ garbage that Bowden warned UGA about when Richt was hired – he’s too nice…not tough enough to win. For all the positive things he’s done for UGA, he’s also done something equally embarrassing.

And for all you jock-sniffing fans – nothing on these message boards makes a darn bit of difference to recruits. It’s pathetic how you hang your life on what these kids say and do – especially those of you who “friend” them on Facebook. It’s people like you that end up not being able to live within 500 yards of a school bus stop.

read n black

January 6th, 2011
11:21 am

Here is my belief – I believe we need to recruit and coach more like Stanford. I didn’t see any thugs on the field the other night, just alot of heart that resulted in a championship caliber team.

I also believe many, like myself, have had an unspoken impression that Mark Richt is a magician who has kept a secret weapon up his sleeve the past four years. In the back of my mind, I keep believing he has an ace in his back pocket or wild card hidden somewhere that is going to prove his was right all along. This “ace” or “wild card” will prove that his smooth talking will support he was right over the past few years and we were right for continuing to believe in him. I still do believe in him, but it is because of what he says, not what he does or has done. Which, in reality, makes me ignorant as opposed to the Dawgs being winners.

oakisland

January 6th, 2011
11:21 am

The guy is totally clueless. He can not get the top recruits to attend the state’s top university. He sticks with assistant coaches who are just average at best. The players are not “coached up”. UGA deserves better. If he really cared about our great university, he would resign. I think he knows the handwriting is on the wall and he is just collecting one more years pay for himself and his inept assistants.

Dig Bick

January 6th, 2011
11:22 am

Mark Richt has Field Goal Gonads !