Richt wants team to be a ‘model’ of how to handle adversity

UGA’s transcript of  Mark Richt’s weekly news conference on Tuesday:

Opening statement:

“It’s a beautiful day out there and a great day to get better. That’s what we are going to try to do in practice today. Let’s talk a little bit about Colorado. Dan Hawkins is a good friend of mine actually. We got to know each other through the Nike Head Coaching Trips that Katharyn (Richt) and I used to go on. We haven’t gone on one for a while, but we got to know Dan and his wife. He’s just a great guy and an outstanding coach. He has his team going. They are 2-1 and ready to have a big game with us. From what I understand, they’re having their big blackout there. They are having the 20-year reunion of their 1990 National Championship team. I saw a list of all the players who look like they are going to come, so it looks like they are going to be revved up. Plus they had an open date to get all fired up about it too, so we’ll have a tremendous challenge as we go into the lion’s den, so to speak, or the buffalo’s den.”

“They are a very solid team. They are 2-1, and I’m sure they will be very fresh after an open date and very well-prepared by virtue of the fact that they’ve had time. I know Coach Hawkins does a great job. It will be a really good challenge for us. So it’s time for us to, starting today, have a really good day of preparing for this ballgame and this team and the challenges of the distance that we’ll have to travel. It ought to be a good one.”

On Georgia’s recent out-of-conference scheduling:

“It sounds like a good idea and it’s kind of romantic I guess. It seems like everybody would enjoy doing that. I’m sure a lot of fans enjoy taking some of those trips, but it is tough on your team, your players and coaches. For example, we are scheduled to get in about 6 a.m. after the game. So that’s tough. It’s tough to really get some sleep that night between a plane, a bus and different time zones. We are rolling into the next game, a very important Southeastern Conference game with that kind of night, which is tough. We are going to have to adjust Sunday. We are already talking about what we’ll do differently Sunday at least as a staff to try to get some sleep for our sanity and try to give respect to the game you just played but also know you have to move forward. We are going to have to reduce what we do as far as reviewing the film of the game. Something has to give, because we don’t have time to do everything that we would normally do. Playing that kind of game does draw attention. It does get you on the other side of the country, but do we really recruit over there? We really don’t. All the fans who are taking this trip, I hope they enjoy it. It is a beautiful place. I’m sure our fans will enjoy it. Our players will at least get to see the Rocky Mountains and they’ll say they were there when some other guys probably wouldn’t have gotten the chance to do that. But I have no problem not taking these kind of trips.”

On whether he was opposed to Georgia’s non-conference scheduling all along:

“No, I agreed to it. It was a decision made by our administration and myself and I’m sure the president had his say in it also. When we went to the 12th game, as you all remember, we were like, ‘What are we going to do?’ Everybody was trying to figure out what they were going to do with that 12th game. The thought came up to play a non-conference team out of our region because we hadn’t done that much in the history of Georgia football. It was something that I think a lot of fans would enjoy and we thought that it would be a good thing from a media point of view. After that first trip, I guess it was Arizona State, it was very similar to the travel time coming back. Just to see what it did to everybody, it wore them out. It’s one more game that will drain you mentally and physically because a Colorado, an Arizona State or Oklahoma State, you have to get ready. You have to get ready and you have to travel and you have to live through it. As soon as we took that first trip, which I think was Arizona State, I didn’t know if this was a good idea or not, win or lose.”

On whether scheduling seven home games and one BCS nonconference opponent is the best formula to reach the SEC Championship game:

“The one BCS opponent being Georgia Tech, I think so. I think the city of Athens would probably enjoy another home game. I know there is revenue that is brought into this city every time we have a home game. There is revenue brought into the program when you have another home game, so I think it’s more of a hindsight comment I am making than I think it’s probably better to do it that way. I did not try to put my foot down and say this is a bad thing or anything like that. I mutually agreed to do it when we did it.”

On whether there would be any personnel changes for Saturday’s game:

“There will be nothing drastic. I guess the most drastic personnel change would be A.J. getting in the game. We hope (Kris) Durham will be ready to play. He’s still suffering a little bit from a stinger, but I don’t see a major overhaul. There might be one kid starting over another here or there, but I don’t think were going to just not play a certain guy. If a starter ends up being second team, we still plan on playing that guy. We just have to get better.”

On Georgia’s offensive identity:

“We do want to run the ball still and have play action passing. I think people certainly respect our run game. We may not have the numbers, but they know that they need to stop that. I think people feel like if they stop the run and try to pressure the freshman they still probably think that’s the best way to go. Although I do think our freshman is growing up pretty quick and has played pretty darn good considering what he’s had to deal with. But we are still very much interested in running the football and throwing the play action passes. 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. We want to be physical in nature, no doubt. We especially want to run the ball because the more physical you run it, the better chance you have of creating space for those receivers and play action passes.”

On whether lessons were learned from A.J. Green’s suspension:

“Hopefully I’m sure he learned something from it. I would think everybody saw what happened to A.J. and hopefully, if they were in that position, would not give in to whoever is trying to convince you that this is a good thing to do or that it’s OK to do. So hopefully the guys learned from that.”

On whether the return of A.J. Green has provided a boost to his teammates:

“I don’t know. I can’t help but think that the guys know. They see him everyday. They see him practice. They know he’s a very talented guy. They know that we have a better chance with him than without him. I don’t know if everybody is just kind of jumping up and down, saying A.J. is back.”

On whether teams defend Georgia differently with A.J. Green:

“I think they would. I’ll say this, based on a year ago, you might see a team have a certain percentage of a coverage versus pro-I . You are watching the scouting report and you see versus base I, what we call I-formation and base personnel, we might see that they have a certain amount of percentage of this coverage or that coverage or whatever it might be. Then when we play them in the very same coverage, they play a little differently than they have all season long, so I think if they looked at the film and said if this receiver is just as good as that receiver there is no reason to roll coverage that way, then we’ll just kind of do what we’ve been doing. But if they see somebody that they feel like could hurt them if they just played the way they normally play then they have to do something different. So we’ve seen a lot of different looks towards wherever A.J. lines up. Do I think people would have played us differently the first four ballgames? Probably would be my guess.”

On whether Georgia players talked about what would happen if A.J. Green had played in the first four games:

“We never did that. We couldn’t do that. There is no point in doing that. We all, whether we said it or not, I’m sure there were times we were thinking about it. Durham has played very well. Durham has played that position very well. Kris really has been open deep maybe four or five times, and if we hit him on the run he is going to score. He got behind the perimeter a lot in these last few games. Of course A.J. has been able to do that too throughout his career. (Aaron) Murray is still getting that feel of how to hit a guy deep on the run. If you remember the spring game, everything is just way out of range. So if that ball is out of range, no one can catch it. Keep it in play, give the guy a chance, that’s what we are trying to coach instead of trying to throw that perfect ball. With that, we have caught a lot of deep balls, but if you noticed, it hasn’t been on the dead run where the guy can go take it to the endzone. But that’s better than overthrowing them. In time and with more experience, Aaron I believe will be able to hit these guys on the run a little better than he has, and I think that will help whether it’s A.J. or Durham or No. 12, Tavarres (King). And we have others that can go pretty good too.”

On keeping Georgia’s morale up:

“We need to keep a positive outlook for sure. We need to keep coaching and correcting and teaching and all those kinds of things. We definitely need a positive outlook. The main thing that I think we need to do is we need to continue to work hard. We need to continue to stay unified, stay together. And we need to continue to have a positive outlook because the bottom line is things will get worse or things will get better. It’s probably going to be based on what we do, what we do as coaches, what I do as the head coach, what we do as position coaches and how our players respond to that. Those are the things that we are really focusing on. The things we don’t want to do is lose our integrity or lose our poise or we don’t want to take our frustrations out on someone else. We need to teach these young men how to handle adversity. We need to teach anyone who is watching, maybe who has been through tough times, how to handle adversity. That’s my goal, that we will be a model of how to handle it and we’ll turn this thing around and get it going. Those are the things I am focusing on.”

On graduate assistant Nick Jones:

“Nick is really fantastic. Of course Nick played center for us and some guard during his day and he is a graduate assistant coach. He’s our on-the-field offensive coach. His main job right now is to get the scout team lined up and ready to try to simulate Colorado, and he is doing a great job of that. I enjoy watching him. He is confident in his ability to in drill work, for example, he’ll coach the guy. He’ll talk about the technique. He’ll be quick to see what he’s doing right or what he’s doing wrong, and he’ll be quick to correct or quick to praise. He’ll do that verbally where a lot of times a young graduate assistant coach is a little bit nervous about doing that. He’s like, ‘Is this my role? Can I do this? Will coach (Stacy) Searels get mad at me?’ All those kinds of things, and Nick has just done a very good job. During camp, he’s had more of a chance to do that, but right now his main goal is just to try to get that scout team lined up and ready to go. I think he is going to be a tremendous field coach. He’ll be a great recruiter. He’s definitely what I’m looking for in a coach. I’ll say this too because you mentioned one, when you look at Todd Hartley and Mitch Doolittle and what they did during the bowl game time and you have Brad Hutcherson also, who was a student assistant with us all the way through. Now he’s an off-the-field graduate assistant guy, video guy. Those guys do an awesome job. It would be tough to do it without them.”

On what the presence of A.J. Green does for Georgia’s tight ends:

“The tight end position will benefit if people roll coverage to A.J. That is what happened in some of the games last year. When you saw Orson (Charles) or whoever running down the middle, a lot of times it’s because a safety is overplaying No. 8 and there is a linebacker usually and maybe a safety, but normally a linebacker trying to run with him or with Aron (White) or whoever it might be at tight end. I would think if in fact people find a way to double A.J. in some way, shape or form it will benefit the tight ends for sure.”

On Georgia’s energy level at the start of games:

“I don’t know if it was the energy level that wasn’t right. I think what wasn’t right was our ability to adjust to the things that anytime you play a team, they are going to do something new. Usually whatever is new, they are going to give it to you in the first series of the game. You could prepare for everything you see on film, but the bottom line is you are going to see something that you probably haven’t seen that needs to be adjusted to. You hope in that first series you can at least have something to draw from and say, ‘This is how we would handle this certain look.’ But when you have a brand new defense there is not a whole lot to look back on and say, ‘Last year when they did this, this is what I would do.’ When you are only prepared for what have seen and you see something new, you have to hopefully adjust well that first series, and we haven’t been able to. After that opening drive we actually played pretty good defense. I think they got three more points with about four and a half minutes to go in the game still. Of course they had that long 97-yard drive, which was kind of a stake in the heart. It didn’t finish it but it sure took a lot of wind out of our sails at that point. I think we have to do a better job of adjusting to some of those things that maybe we haven’t prepared for.”

On things Georgia had not seen from Mississippi State on film:

“There were some formations that we hadn’t seen. Part of it was they were using a lot of three-receiver tight end stuff. They had some guys who were injured that we weren’t sure how injured they were. If you go by the film they were using those guys quite a bit but we didn’t know for sure if they would play or if they weren’t going to play. As it turned out they didn’t play an awful lot, so they used a different personnel grouping to do some of the same things they liked to do so it was a lot of very common threads but it wasn’t exactly the way we practiced it. It had to do with it being more of a two-back, three-receiver than a three-receiver, one-back and one tight end.”

48 comments Add your comment

UGAY

September 30th, 2010
12:15 am

WOOOOOO! Ugay is the best.

5150 P.O.A.D

September 30th, 2010
12:27 am

Handle adversity? Why don’t you leave the players in jail for a few weeks when they get arrested?

CONFEDERATE DAWG

September 30th, 2010
12:35 am

COME ON DAWGS!!!!!! LETS GET IT IN GEAR

Gdawg

September 30th, 2010
12:35 am

UGA-41 Colorado-14
offense rolls in this one

No $#!7 Mark Richt

September 30th, 2010
12:37 am

“It’s a beautiful day out there and a great day to get better.”

Oh really? It’s been pouring all day in Athens the past few days. Is this some metaphor for UGAs football team right now?

SatillaDawg

September 30th, 2010
12:38 am

Go Dawgs!

Sic ‘Em! Woof, Woof, Woof!

Let’s get the train back on the track!

We’re with you, Dawgs!

5150 P.O.A.D

September 30th, 2010
12:42 am

Coach what about Ben Jones trying to cause a serious injury the Miss St D-lineman that was not involved in the play? Do you think Ben should get some type of discipline?

5150 P.O.A.D

September 30th, 2010
12:46 am

Gdawg 41 points? Really? Do you really think Walsh can kick that many field goals in one game? Make it 42 points on 14 field goals.

No problems here

September 30th, 2010
12:51 am

Coach, how do you account for your offensive coordinator’s play calling? Is running Carlton Thomas up the middle really how you expect to score this season? And how, exactly, is the 3-4 helping win games? Can you not adapt the system to the players you have? Getting no pressure and getting beat deep three times a game is just like the last three years. How is this better? I’ll hang up and take the call.

RealDawg

September 30th, 2010
12:51 am

Stop being so damn negative. Go Dawgs.

uh huh

September 30th, 2010
12:57 am

Hitler was so successful because no one questioned his authority. If no one calls Richt out on his shoddy coaching of this team, nothing will change.

Still@theBAR

September 30th, 2010
12:57 am

What is there to be POSITIVE about? I know I wil have a shot everytime UGA get a flag thrown against them. I will get more shot than if I get one when the dawgs score.

DawgnMD

September 30th, 2010
1:15 am

Maybe these expert football analyst should read this. I was born and raised in Athens and have been a true Dog fan for 40+ years. I have to admit I agree with Mandel about getting rid of CMR.
http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2010/writers/stewart_mandel/09/29/mailbag/index.html?eref=sihp

Herschel Walker

September 30th, 2010
1:20 am

To quote Stewart Mandel from Sports Ilustrated: ”
“In all my travels, I’m not sure I’ve ever come across a fan base whose self-perception is so far from reality. Georgia fashions itself a national power in the vein of Ohio State, USC, et. al., based primarily off one glorious three-year run 30 years ago with Herschel Walker (and some kick-butt years in the 1940s).”

Still@theBAR

September 30th, 2010
1:29 am

That is a great statement by Stewart Mandel. Maybe now UGA fans will see the truth about themselves. Since somebody besides a Tech or other SEC person said it then it has to be true.

wolfdawg

September 30th, 2010
1:40 am

if they do not win this one season is over/buffs lost 51-7 to mediocre cal team

JoeCool23

September 30th, 2010
2:30 am

Is it such an impossible feat to take all these Georgia high school talents, who are pretty good, and win 14 games consecutively? really?

JoeCool23

September 30th, 2010
2:33 am

“We need to teach anyone who is watching, maybe who has been through tough times, how to handle adversity.”

- WTF, is this?! New coach in December please.

PHIL

September 30th, 2010
2:45 am

Joe Cool it might not be if we played the schedule that Boise, TCU, OH State and USC play.

G8tr h8tr

September 30th, 2010
3:40 am

Joe, it darn near is impossible. In the SEC we play 8 trams which have great talent too and Ga Tech is no slouch. We have no monopoly on talent, unfortunately.

TheTaxJacket

September 30th, 2010
3:45 am

*** Nesbitt for Heismen ***

(((( 45 – 42 ))))

G8tr h8tr

September 30th, 2010
3:48 am

Joe, We need to COOL this talk about a new coach. We have an outatanding program at UGA, Go back and look at Dooley’s record during his 25 years. He had 3 years where he lost 5 games and 2 where he lost 6 games. My point is that every team has rebuilding years especially now that players can leave early for the NFL

3rd gen Dawg

September 30th, 2010
4:06 am

Have some faith in the Red and Black?? Never forget the Silver Britches they have bled on for decades?? This is our coach and should be for the long haul…

bog dawg

September 30th, 2010
4:09 am

We are definitely not out of this thing. Running the table convincingly will get the pollsters attention and a win over Bama in the Championship game is a real possibility. Our main man AJ is BACK and the opposition knows it!!! The Buffaloes will think a freight train hit them.

Steve Spurrier

September 30th, 2010
5:08 am

They get all those talented atheletes, I don’t know what happens when they get to Athens.

Hang In There Richt

September 30th, 2010
6:52 am

Hang In There Richt

September 30th, 2010
6:53 am

bill

September 30th, 2010
8:54 am

i support cmr but pls stop belly aching about a road trip…you’d think they were flying back from belgium for crying out loud…tennessee goes to cally, so cal goes to virginia, nebraska plays at va tech, fsu plays oklahoma, etc etc…it happens all the time…these are 20yo men on a 3 hour flight – it’s not that big a deal, besides, it’s not like alot of these players aren’t used to rolling in during the wee hours of the morning anyway.

Kevin in Jax

September 30th, 2010
8:57 am

Richt creates his own adversity. Can you believe he started Joe Tereshinski in front of Matthew Stafford, wasted a season with Joe Cox at the helm, and actually redshirted Knowshon Moreno. Got blown out by 2 less than mediocre Tennessee teams, and the real kicker, was 1 and 2 against Ron Zook. The time is now. Please pull the trigger McGarity.

r2chs

September 30th, 2010
9:57 am

Synopsis of his comments: He’s hedging…overly positive talk about the other team/coaches; talking about the “distance” traveled (seriously, CO?) and how hard his staff works watching football films. He’s already lost the game subconsciously. Unfortunately, nothing’s changed. This is the same team, same exact strategy that went to Starkville.

GAYTORS

September 30th, 2010
10:16 am

What if A.J. Green’s presence makes the playcalling more effective by distracting the defense? What if Green’s presence sparks the entire offense and in turn energizes the defense? What if South Carolina continued their skid and lost to Bama, Arkansas, and Florida and Florida lost to Bama, LSU and GA? What if UGA fans continued to support their team AND coaches through a tough stretch? Coach Richt didn’t forget how to coach, he’s just having a rough patch. The trip to Atlanta is still possible, we CANNOT give up on our DAWGS no matter what.

PTC DAWG

September 30th, 2010
10:22 am

Just win BABY!!

Dawg Trainer

September 30th, 2010
10:48 am

Uh, coach, you just made a trip to Starkville. Central Time zone. One more hour, and you’re in the Mountain Time zone in Colorado. Oregon just kicked our backsides and they came from the Pacific Time zone…which is a harder adjustment going east than going west.

Sounds like a trial balloon excuse to me, and the game hasn’t been played yet. Did Colorado say that when they came to Athens?

Lowcountry Dawg

September 30th, 2010
11:03 am

I say if we score first against Colorado, the whole team ought to do a “Rocky Mountain High” endzone dance!

Dirtywhiteboy

September 30th, 2010
11:28 am

I agree with Gaytors, if your a true UGA fan support your team, stop btching and pointing fingers and thinking you could do a better job as head coach!!!! If you could do a better job you’d be the coach!!! Fact is CMR HAs done a great job for us as head coach and his record speaks for its self. If every one wants to him fired, who would replace him? I don’t think you’d find anyone that will win as much as CMR has. So support your team and stop puting a good man down!!!!!!!!!!

FAN FOR LIFE

September 30th, 2010
12:51 pm

I agree with Dirtywhiteboy ….. The time is now to press on and support this team. Lot’s of people called for Vince’s head and look what we got in Goff (46–34–1)and Donnan (40–19). Even in Dooley’s first ten years he was not as godd and CMR (79-38-5). I agree that it’s tough to watch Flordia and Alabama win National Championshps but a true fan would realize that everything goes in cycles. The team will rebound and over the long haul the recruiting will level out and FLA and BAMA will fall s well. You don’t forget how to coach overnight.

GAYTORS

September 30th, 2010
1:00 pm

FAN FOR LIFE- I completely agree. Richt has done so much and knows a lot about recruiting talent. I’m not sure who out there could replace him.

robodawg

September 30th, 2010
1:23 pm

Is there a rule about not sleeping in Colorado Saturday night and returning to Athens in the daylight hours on Sunday? Seems like that would help the team a lot.

Still@theBAR's top

September 30th, 2010
1:52 pm

He loves men

38ford

September 30th, 2010
2:31 pm

Just read this on http://www.firemarkricht.net
How about Joe Lombardi (QB coach for saints) as someone to replace Richt?

buckeyedawg

September 30th, 2010
3:17 pm

I wish for all the coach haters to stop and be thankful that our coach is a good man and stuck around to be at ga. how do we know he might of thought about fla st or the U when they were making coaching changes. Or maybe other schools could have contacted him when he was having some of those better yrs. Who knows? He said he always wanted to spend his time coaching in athens. I dont want to take a chance with anew coach who could be adud. Cmr has been loyal to us lets support him now and be positive

Desert Dawg

September 30th, 2010
4:18 pm

is the game on TV anywhere? I dont see any listings on the schedules– I thought the SEC network was televising–if so how do I get it out here in Phoenix?

haters are skaters

September 30th, 2010
5:03 pm

well, i’m unispired!

Mark

September 30th, 2010
5:51 pm

The game is on FSN in GA, just like the Miss. St. game. I am not sure if they will carry it in Phoenix.

Any thought of firing Richt is crazy. The man has not forgotten how to coach, and I am confident he is working his tail off getting this team ready for its next challenge. My family has six season tickets, and we love to attend the games and root for the dawgs. It hurts when we lose, but I am certain that the Richt household, the Bobo household, etc., and the UGA locker room are more upset than we are in my house.

We just received our FL tickets, and our trip is planned. I hope to see the dawgs in Jacksonville come in on a roll. Go Dawgs!!!

P. Bull Terrier

September 30th, 2010
6:02 pm

Most people posting on here have no idea how to identify and correct a problem. When they’re at work, all they have to do is cook more fries whenever the boss yells “drop the fries”.

I know reading is tough for all of the fry cooks on these blogs, but Richt actually had some insightful answers that explain a lot of the things people are complaining about. UGA isn’t going to win the SEC this season, but I think we’ll see plenty of improvement as the season goes along and a stronger team to start the season next year.

JDawg

September 30th, 2010
10:25 pm

Jim Harbaugh please save our sinking ship! You or Kyle Wittingham, or Chip Kelly, hell I can think of plenty of coaches that can actually get his team a little bit fired up for a game and not just run his fingers through his hair and look puzzled. Im so done

CEPH

October 1st, 2010
7:44 am

Richt needs to shut up talking and start coaching.. He is a combination of Barney Fife (Andy Griffith) and Eddie Haskell (Leave it to Beaver). The more he talks the more stupid things he says (Barney Fife) then he tries to get you to believe them (Eddie Haskell)
Richt is on a mission to either save the Bulldog Nation from themselves or Mediocrity is the norm. I can’t believe he actually said that for everyone watching “they are going to show us how to deal with adversity” What is the adversity?? Fans simply wanting you to take a very talented team (that is getting steamrolled by lesser talent ) and make them winners, is that adversity? I think not. The adversity is in his own mind because the fans won’t go along with his inane excuses and alibis. He is trying to get us to go along with his complacency (8 or 9 wins is ok) I think Richt is basiclly a lazy person who doesn’t want to pay the price to get us to the next level. He simply needs to get the hell out of Georgia and go to Mt. Sinai and save the world instead of the Dawg fans.. We don’t need saving we just need a coach who has a will to win!!!!!

bob

October 3rd, 2010
12:05 am

Richt is a losey recruiter, lots of thugs