Having witnessed Mark Richt’s media briefing Tuesday in Athens, I was struck — not for the first time, and surely not for the last — at how resolutely positive this man is. No, things aren’t going well, he conceded, but his Georgia Bulldogs “are battling as hard as you can battle.”
And I thought, again not for the first time, that Mark Richt would be a mighty fine boss to have: Loyal, circumspect, unwilling to assess public blame.
Then I read the transcript of Paul Johnson’s concurrent media briefing at Georgia Tech, thoughtfully provided by ace publicist and fellow Vinings dweller Dean Buchan, and this passage fairly leaped off the computer screen:
“There’s no doubt about it. We have to get better [on defense]. In my mind, when you play the way we played on Saturday, everyone is accountable. The coaches, the players and I’m accountable because I’m the ultimate guy. I see guys not playing fast and not flying to the ball.”
And I thought to myself, “Paul Johnson might not be the greatest boss, but he’s exactly the sort of man you’d want running your business.” He didn’t candy-coat the Florida State effort by saying his guys made the stops when stops were needed. He said: “We have to get better.”
Again, I’m not trying to suggest one style is better. Mark Richt has won two SEC titles at Georgia and was part of two national championship teams at FSU. He’s a fine coach and a fine fellow. But this much I do know:
Mark Richt will have a hard time shuffling his staff no matter how this season plays out because that’s the kind of guy he is. Paul Johnson won’t find it so difficult to make changes if he determines change is needed. Because that’s the kind of guy he is.