Richt: ‘I’m coaching my tail off’

With Georgia on its first four-game losing streak in 20 years, Mark Richt was asked by a reporter Wednesday night if he feels like he is coaching for his job.

“You always are,” Richt replied. “I think you always are. I can tell you I’m coaching my tail off, though.”

Richt also was asked if the speculation about his job security is fair, given his 10-year record.

“I’m not going to get into all that,” he said, adding that he will focus on things he can control.

A few other notes:

  • As of Thursday morning, Georgia had 142 tickets still for sale from the 400 that Tennessee returned from its allotment for Saturday’s game. If the remaining tickets are sold, the game will be the Bulldogs’ 60th consecutive sellout at Sanford Stadium -– every game since Richt became coach.
  • Also as of Thursday morning, Georgia had 467 tickets available for the Oct. 16 game against Vanderbilt and 755 for the  Nov. 6 game against Idaho State. Those are from the 1,200 tickets returned by Vanderbilt and the 2,000 returned by Idaho State.
  • If you missed it, Richt said Marlon Brown is definitely out for Saturday’s game with a shoulder injury and Kris Durham’s chances of playing are 50-50 because of the pinched nerve in his neck that kept him out of last week’s game.

(Andy Johnston contributed to this blog.)

248 comments Add your comment

[...] 10:33 a.m. For all of you UGA football fans. Mark Richt on the UGA beat blog: “I’m coaching my tail off.” Comment here. [...]

BamaDawg

October 7th, 2010
10:35 am

We as fans make it sound so simple. The individuals writing these blogs never stepped on a football field let alone played on one or even played organized football in their life. Every coach is going to have their share of storms and CMR is going through his. For all you people out there wanting him fired, what if someone had issues about your job performance and wanted YOU fired how soon we forget…..think about it.

5150...Do you have a job?

October 7th, 2010
10:37 am

Serious question. You jump up and post on every GA blog early. Just wondering if you have the sports page of the AJC as your homepage, or are you “self-employed” working from home like me.

Dawg_Mike

October 7th, 2010
10:37 am

I am a Richt supporter to the end.
but….he better shake things up.

Bremen Dawg

October 7th, 2010
10:38 am

If we lose Saturday, then you will see a game not sell out.

Ralph

October 7th, 2010
10:38 am

Of course the comments were closed on the blog about thUGA hit and run Ealey’s plagiarizing. Such offenses usually gets you suspended/expelled from a University; so either thUGA coddles football players, or their school of journalism finds plagiarism a useful tool.

Worm

October 7th, 2010
10:39 am

I hate to say this, but ALOT of my fellow season ticket holders are sitting out Saturday..Bad record,HDTV,good choice of games Saturday, and the dreaded EARLY start..If you don’t have tickets, Don’t sweat it-They’ll be 10-20 bucks apiece..sad state of affairs.

Jborodawg

October 7th, 2010
10:39 am

Here’s a highly pertinent post a Knoxnews/govolsextra. Check out the response at the bottom…

“…First off, I am not happy we aren’t winning…Big Orange country has gotton so used to being on top of the heap, for such a long time, that we have become big headed and think it is a divine right for us to be such a top dog. We have lost our humility and humbleness, and have become obsessed with winning at all costs, bowl games, rankings and status…the tail has been wagging the dog, and it’s not pretty. We have been EXTREMELY ugly to a gentleman who worked, bled, dreamed, and set up a program that was the enevy of the SEC and the nation. The way Coach Fulmer was treated by far to many posters here is a shame and disgrace. The man spent 30 years of his life working for and building up The Tennessee Volunteers. Lazy-Boy coaches second guessed him on every turn, continually finding fault, never happy or contented. They always wanted and thought we deserved to be SEC champions or national champions. They complained, cried (poor babies), threw temper fits and got rid of the BEST coach we will have had for a long time. They got what they richly deserved in Lane Kifflin and it couldn’t have happened to a more deserving crowd! …You idiots wanted the Dean of SEC coaches turned out, you succeeded. Your reward was Kiff & Co., and you royally deserved each other. Hopefully, some of you Lazy-Boy coaches will have learned your lesson for awhile, and instead “thinking” your smarter than the coach, you will support Tennessee like never before. I am …NOT proud of the way people have treated a fine gentleman coach, Philip Fulmer. Did/does he have weaknesses and faults, yes. But he is/was/and always will be what the vast majority of his fault finders aren’t and that is HONORABLE!…may we remember the lesson of being careful what you ask for, ’cause you just might get your wish…we need to learn how to be gracious in victory, gracious in defeat. The way we act when we win or lose, says more about our character than anything else. Quite frankly, with the way the majority of posters here, our character stinks to high heaven. Let us clean up our character, recover our pride and heritage, and go for the high road. Go Big Orange! Go Tennessee!…”

RESPONSE:

“…The same thing is happening to Georgia. They turned on their coach, sabotaged his recruiting by wanting him fired, and now his team is horrible…”

Buckhead Dawg

October 7th, 2010
10:40 am

I think the hot seat is probably frying his tail off…

UGA VIII will save us!

October 7th, 2010
10:40 am

That statement has as much basis in fact as all the posts saying Richt doesn’t have his heart in his job. Everybody questions his work ethic when he loses, but when things go bad, the more likely scenario is that you press harder and make more mistakes. Give this team some air, and they will come around. Tennessee will be our grand awakening. That is my hope.

DawgNation

October 7th, 2010
10:41 am

Here comes the insults from the trolls. wait for it. Five…Four…three….two….one….

Bremen Dawg

October 7th, 2010
10:44 am

BamaDawg, if you were a good manager years ago and you started having problems over the last three years and it continued to get worse. You couldn’t motivate your employees, they were always getting in trouble, the product is not selling as much. Would your boss let you go or keep you??? I still support Richt but just think about that.

5150...Do you have a job?

October 7th, 2010
10:47 am

I figured as much. I don’t post very often, but the fact I know you do says much about my computer habits as well.

PMC

October 7th, 2010
10:49 am

Most great coaches I’ve heard from say they did their best coaching in the worst years. I have no doubt he’s doing the very best he possibly can. Hopefully good things are on the horizon.

Lowcountry Bulldawg

October 7th, 2010
10:51 am

jborodawg,

Its starting for sure. The media has picked it up, the bloggers have picked it up. If this season does not get turned around CMR is gone. Whether right or wrong, the wheel has been set in motion. CMR is now having to defend his coaching methods and style publicly way to much these days. That is never a good sign for a coach.

Here's a theory for you...

October 7th, 2010
10:53 am

Dawgs lose a couple of games. The number of disgruntled Dawg fans on the blogs doubles from a few diehard Richt haters to a couple of dozen. The AJC notices this and starts articles about how Richt is on the hot seat. Every new loss exponentially increases the negative comments on the blogs, prompting the AJC to ride the wave and take a solid week for news reporting and editorializing to say the Dawgs have bit the weenie. The constant reporting gets the majority of the fan base to think there are HUGE problems with the program, insurmountable problems.

At what point does this become a self-fulfilling prophecy? I’m not suggesting Richt shouldn’t be fired, but when does the critical mass overtake the reality of the situation in Athens and preclude any other option but firing the coaching staff? Does the tail wag the dog and to what extent?

I really welcome feedback on this issue.

Lowcountry Bulldawg

October 7th, 2010
10:56 am

Theory- you are exactly right.

Bama in Atlanta

October 7th, 2010
10:56 am

Bama went through a similar situation with Mike Shula. Shula was brought in after the Mike “I Was Too Drunk To Remember” Price debacle mostly to help clean up the UA image with a secondary hope that he could be a good head coach, even though he had only been an assistant to that point. I think Shula and Richt both have character beyond reproach and were very good assistant coaches but Shula seemed to lack that certain intangible that makes someone a great head coach. Case in point, Shula has not been a head coach since leaving Bama.

A lot has been said about Richt’s demeanor on the sidelines and that if he is not breathing fire every second that he cannot be a successful head coach. Granted, Nick Saban looked like someone whizzed in his Cheerios even though Bama was up 24-3 against Florida and he has certainly brought success back to the Capstone; but I also think people like Tom Landry, Don Shula and Jim Tressel have been able to produce championship results without having to reach a certain quota of smashed headsets per game. Therefore, it’s not just sideline demeanor that is the measuring stick of a great head coach.

With that said, an excellent article was written when rumors were swirling about Mike Shula being fired. I can’t remember the author or I would be glad to give credit, but the message was that the Bama AD needed to make a decision as to whether or not Mike Shula was the guy to lead Bama football back to the winning standards and if Shula wasn’t the man then they needed to cut bait and offer up the proper lure to get the big fish that would get the job done. I’m not going to state my opinion as to whether Richt should stay or go, but UGA just hired a very good AD and I think his first major decision at the end of the season is to make the determination that either Richt is the man to do the job or not. One of the determining factors would be for Richt to explain to McGarity his detailed plan to get UGA football back on track. If McGarity is satisfied with the plan then he needs to throw his full support behind Richt so that high school recruits have a sense of security about who will be in charge the next year. Now, if Richt is not the man, then it needs to be announced immediately after season end and before a bowl game if UGA qualifies for a bowl game this year. That way, McGarity can define what is looking for in a head coach, get his list of candidates together, raid the UGA Athletic Club coffers and reel in the big fish.

Dawg Nation may be divided in their opinion of Richt and like all passionate SEC football fans the blogs will continue to light up the rest of the season. I know it’s tough to do but Bama fans were in the same position a few years ago and my advice is that you have a competent AD so let him do his job after the season is over and the pendulum will eventually swing the other way.

slatty

October 7th, 2010
10:57 am

Never confuse motion with action. B. Franklin

Digdawg

October 7th, 2010
10:58 am

I just wish we could fire Obama!! Today!!

FLA DAWG

October 7th, 2010
11:00 am

Nah Coach,

You’ve still got alot of tail left.

59bulldawg

October 7th, 2010
11:03 am

Why is it that some folks think you have to be a coach before you can offer legitimate criticism at a coach? Do you have to be a politician before you can criticize another politician? I don’t have to be a chef to recognize spoiled food and I don’t have to be a mechanic to know that my vehicle isn’t running properly. And Georgia fans don’t have to be a coach to recognize a coaching correlation between lack of discipline, poor athlete development and performance, and increasing numbers of losses. I’m not suggesting Richt has forgotten how to coach. But I do think he has become too comfortable and has lost his edge and quite possibly his desire to do the hard things it takes to achieve championships which BTW take a little luck but a great deal of hard work and effort . . . not gimmicks! Anybody who suggests that only those with coaching experience can criticize another coach is simply trying to limit debate because they don’t like what is being argued.

Dean

October 7th, 2010
11:04 am

Ask Johnny Majors just how honorable Phil Fulmer is!

Wally Butts' Designated Stumbler

October 7th, 2010
11:05 am

Hey, look! A Tim Tucker blog that actually allows comments!

AGTFAN53

October 7th, 2010
11:05 am

@Jborodawg – Good Post. Fans of all teams do this at some time or another. I think the really good fans learn to hold their tongues a little and give a coach or player a fair chance. A lot of UGA fans and a lot of GT fans are way to quick to throw coaches and players under the bus. There are already GT fans turning on Coach Johnson. And considering how successful Coach Richt has been, it’s pretty quick to throw him under the bus. Eventually those second guessers, who think they know more than any one who actually coaches for a living will get their way. They’ll get a good coach fired because of rough patch. Then when they’re sufferring through years of mediocrity, they won’t realize that they’ve got the results they deserved. Loyalty counts.

HairyDawg

October 7th, 2010
11:09 am

Absolutely hilarious article!!! All the more reason he should be fired. The best he can do with all the 4 and 5 star talent is a 1-4 start! He said he coached his butt off last year too and we had similar results. He is simply a “has been” success story that is no longer capable in a revamped SEC. Sure he could beat the Fulmers, Holtz’s, and Gaileys of the world but he has proven inept at beating all these newer model coaches throughout the modern SEC. We need CHANGE at UGA now.

JB

October 7th, 2010
11:09 am

Maybe he’s different with the team at practice than publicly or on the sideline………His “storm” must be inward, and in Major college Div 1 football, ain’t good, although Tom Landry with the Cowboys never showed emotion or broke a sweat…..

Dean

October 7th, 2010
11:13 am

Well, he’s proved that he can coach. I’d say his only early pitfall was clock management and he learned from it and improved. Lately, I’d say he’s been too loyal and coddling of assistants. He proved he can make tough decisions by firing his brother in law. So what you have now is a true learning experience. Obviously some poor fundamentals were being taught by the assistants the last several years and along with the coaching turnovers is manifesting itself this season. I like to think Richt will make the necessary changes to bring in the right coaching staff. From there, he has to realize that somehow, he is not conveying discipline in his players as obvious from their off the field actions and some on the field playing/penalties etc… Let’s face it, you learn from mistakes and you become a better person, employer, spouse etc.. If Mark Richt does as I expect and learn from all this then he will be a proven coach who is battle tested and learned from the dark days. He has relationships built with high school coaches in the state. It’s time to support him and help him build UGA football program that we can all be proud of. I think greatness could be just around the corner if we just give it a chance.

scuba

October 7th, 2010
11:15 am

How Bout Dem Dawgs!

JB

October 7th, 2010
11:15 am

Well said 59Bulldawg……….I agree…………..The slide the last three years and 1-4 this year and being blown out on National TV the last years in every marque game we have been show cased in……..Look at the first five years hard guys……….then the last five…….It ain’t happening

Dawg Fud

October 7th, 2010
11:15 am

I have to ask the obvious question here…what things does he have control over?

With player arrests, poor performance over the past three seasons and a top-recruit on the record describing the program as undisciplined I am struggling to see where Richt has “control.”

DawginLex

October 7th, 2010
11:16 am

It’s time to get behind these kids and these coaches. It is not our decision how long this staff will be at UGA.

You are either for us or against us.

There is no middle ground.

Count me in as a DAWG who will be there Saturday barking like crazy.

Dawg Trainer

October 7th, 2010
11:16 am

“I think you always are. I can tell you I’m coaching my tail off, though.” – Mark Richt

“We didn’t get stupid overnight” – Phillip Fulmer

He’ll get one losing season, he’s earned that due to past success. But when #2 comes, he’s gone. It’s that simple.

Joey

October 7th, 2010
11:17 am

The 1-4 record isn’t Richt’s fault. The players have to follow the plan Richt creates. Let’s face it, with a 90-27 record, Richt’s excellent at creating plans that work, that’s not up for debate amond anyone with common sense.

If the coach says protect the football, and you fumble on the goalline, you’re gonna lose ballgames. If the coach says don’t accept money as a player, and you do, you’re going to be suspended. If the coach says run the ball, and you don’t, you’re gonna lose. If the coach says don’t throw interceptions, and you do, you’re gonna lose. If the coach says don’t get burned deep, and you do, you’re gonna lose.

Again, you simply can’t say Richt’s coaching doesn’t work, 90-27 answers that.

But sometimes, the players don’t take the coaches words and go execute. But they’ll learn.

Lowcountry Bulldawg

October 7th, 2010
11:17 am

If we could score touchdowns in the redzone rather than fieldgoals that may go a long way in shutting up the majority of the fanbase. If that was happening he isn’t sitting on a 1-4 team. To manyyears have gone by now, where is team settles for 3 way to often. Fix this issue with a little innovative play calling and watch what happens.

Here's a theory for you...

October 7th, 2010
11:18 am

HairyDawg -

It is obvious you don’t need any more reasons to call for Richt’s head. All the reflex “fire the coach” people, answer this: Who do you replace him with? Who that is worthy of the job will want to bleed red for you following a coach with a 75% winning record who is fired during his first losing season? What will prevent the next great messiah from turning it around and bolting for USC, NFL, Texas, etc.? These are serious issues that need to be examined before you lower the boom on everything and start over. Tennessee is on option “B”. Saban was Alabama’s option “D”. Think about that.

Joey

October 7th, 2010
11:18 am

Uh, how bout that Tenn record after they got rid of Fulmer????

JB

October 7th, 2010
11:19 am

Bama in Atlanta….Great post….

Dawg Trainer

October 7th, 2010
11:20 am

“You are either for us or against us.”

Oh, I’m against you, believe me! 51-33, 35-14, and 45-19 brought me happiness. Want more of the same Saturday!

Lowcountry Bulldawg

October 7th, 2010
11:20 am

Gus Malzahn start there

DawginLex

October 7th, 2010
11:23 am

Good dawg trainer. Since richt is 6-3 against the vols and about to go 7-3, we will accept the results as well.

We know where you stand.

The University of Georgia Tech

October 7th, 2010
11:24 am

uga fans are unrealistic. 1980 national championship is far removed that most people outside of athens do not know who was the qb on that team and some the coach or heisman winner. so come back to the real world of 2010…richt put this program back on the map and should he get heat for not winning, heck yeah….should he be fired for 1 bad season: NO! Wake-up. you unrealistic fans made him fire the defensive coord. who is on his way to a national championship…nice call uga fans! with change comes growing pains…the young qb and new def coord will grow together and next yr will be back to 10wins and in the hunt for a sec title…and that is all u can want….but u dont uga fans think is a national title u should get every yr….um…30yrs and waiting

Dawg Trainer

October 7th, 2010
11:26 am

Look, Fulmer HAD to go at the end. He lost the fan base. He had the support of the administration and some of the big donors, but he lost the rank and file. I don’t know if Richt has lost the fan base yet. If you guys throw in the towel for the rest of the season, he MIGHT lose the fan base.

Fulmer at the end was coaching for 8 wins a year (to get that contract rolled over) instead of competing tooth and nail for a championship. I just don’t see the tooth and nail from Richt.

Ed

October 7th, 2010
11:26 am

“For all you people out there wanting him fired, what if someone had issues about your job performance and wanted YOU fired how soon we forget…..think about it.”

I did think about it BamaDawg, and realized that I’ve never had a job where I can have two or more consecutive off years and stay employed. Never. Then again, I’ve been in sales and management, so maybe my perspective is different.

I don’t feel sorry for Richt, he can retire a multimillionaire today.

Hit A Single

October 7th, 2010
11:28 am

Coach Richt doesn’t need to explain anything to anybody other than his team, coaching staff and AD. The more things stay in house the better, whether it is good or bad. If the media was criticized half as much as coaches these days they would crack under the pressure.

Joey

October 7th, 2010
11:30 am

If you look at the numbers, and compare to last season, Richt’s staff is actually coaching well. The Bulldogs have improved in penalties, turnovers, that’s a biggie, and in defense and special teams. The offense has a freshman QB and has not improved overall so far in the rushing game or scoring compared ot last year, but there’s a lot of season to play.

Richt’s been working more closely with the QB, and Murray’s throwing for more yards as a freshman per game, than Cox did as a Senior. Murray’s thrown 8 td’s, and 3 interceptions, that td-to-int ratio is better than McElroy or Mallet or Garcia, and of course, miles better than Joe Cox last year. Murray has done all of that, without AJ Green for the 4 out of 5 games, imagine what Murray’s numbers would be, had AJ played in all 5 games.

SadDawg

October 7th, 2010
11:32 am

It happens everywhere. Auburn, Tennessee, Michigan, FSU and others just in the last couple of years.

What have you done for me lately? That is the prevailing attitude of sports fans now.

Just watch, let Texas lose to A&M and their fans will be calling for their head-coach-in-waiting (Muschamp) to replace Brown.

I think Richt can turn it around if he becomes the CEO, gets a true OC from the NFL, and stays out of it, except the big picture decisions. It is obvious that everyone, not just Kiffin, knows how defense our predictable offense. That in turn, puts undue pressure on our defense because of the 3-and-outs. I counted 5 in a row against ARK.

He needs to do something, like take over the playcalling for the rest of this year, to make season ticket holders know he knows what the problem is.

PINKLON THOMAS

October 7th, 2010
11:34 am

All I know is that we have the best players, fans, and most money.

It is our birthright to winners. If coach MR can’t win get another
talking head.

I think the dives off the 10M board have fuzzied up his brain.

DawgGoneFishing

October 7th, 2010
11:35 am

Anyone remember the UGA record before the ‘59 SEC championship?
Anyone remember the record before CVD’s first year in ‘64?
Anyone remember the record the year before the ‘80 NC and what bowl we played in?
Anyone remember how many straight we had lost to YECH before CMR came in 2001?

We have lost 4 games by 32 points. A play here or there could make us 5-0. I know-statistics are for losers but we had some(many actually), where we came out on top.So you idiots who want to fire a great coach and an even greater man because the tables turned this year are very foolish.Your bad mouthing is hurting recruiting as much as our record(probably more) so why not stay on the band wagon and see where we go. When the season is over yell all you like but I’m a UGA grad and this is my team !!!

mcdaviddawg

October 7th, 2010
11:35 am

The first time I realized that Richt didn’t coach was very early when in 2003 we lost to LSU when we thought UGA haad a shot at a title. Saban beat a team that merely showed up. Since thanI’ve seen we either win on talent or we loss. Now after ten years of no coaching the program has fallen apart. The man is a Bowden product. Bowden didn’t coach but won by out recruiting. Richt has never been able to out recruit Florida and now Bama is running over us. Add the fact that these coaches coach their players up, we can’t compete. Even when our talent was equal with Knowshon and Stafford, we could only achieve being good. The program under Richt will never be able to assemble that kind of talent again. For all you who think Richt works so hard, I’ve watched a totally detached and disinterested coach on the side lines for several years, where he didn’t talk to a palyer of coach during the entire game. Just walked the sidelines with his headphones and dark glasses. I’m not sure he knew what was going on. This man will nver lead us again to an SEC title much less a national title. Such little expectation for a man making 3 mil. Save the program, fire Richt.