Mark Richt brings out the contrarian in me sometimes.

The big story today is that Coach Richt is spending more time with the offense and in the quarterback meetings.  But after reading his quotes in this post at Hale’s blog, I’m far more intrigued about the opposite – that he’s spending less time with the defense.

“I was actively coaching the quarterbacks in the very beginning. After some time, Mike was coaching them and I was basically an observer. It had been that way, and then I’d say the last maybe two or three years, I was not just sitting in every single meeting. I’d spend more time looking at defense or whatever. Now I’m just going to get in the offensive room where I feel I can add the most value from the knowledge I have of coaching over the years, and I’ll spend time with the defense after scrimmages and after games watching film with them as they grade and things of that nature. Same with the kicking game.”

Let’s summarize.  The head coach has decided he can afford to spend less time being involved with the defense that’s being coached by three newcomers, including a new coordinator who’s installing a scheme that’s a fairly radical departure from what he’s had in place since coming to Athens than he did with a bunch that for the most part had been with him from the inception running a scheme that had been in place since 2001.  Hmmm.  Why do you think that’s the case?

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UPDATE: David self-kibitzes about his initial post here.  He makes some solid points in doing so.

I hate to disagree with David a little bit here, but my sense is that Richt felt he had to involve himself more in the defense the last two or three seasons because it was clear that the results on the field were diminishing.  In other words, the change is less about the new guys and more about the old ones.  It was something he didn’t want to do, but it was clearly a buck-stops-here approach.

Now that he’s made the change, he’s going to sit back, relatively speaking, and see what the new defensive coaches are able to achieve.  In so doing, he allows himself to get back to what he loves the most.  As David put it,

Richt said he has not missed a single offensive team meeting or individual quarterback meeting this spring, and that will continue into the season. From what he says, he’s not running the meetings, but he’s getting a firsthand feel for how the meetings are run and how the players respond. He’s closer to the action now, and it really sounded to me more like that’s what it was about for Richt. He missed being there.

I think that’s right.  I don’t think it’s about Bobo much at all.

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38 Comments

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38 responses to “Mark Richt brings out the contrarian in me sometimes.

  1. Bulldog Bry

    He probably spent some time with Grantham and said, “Ok, we’re good to go here”. Maybe not so much the past couple of years.

    I’m not reading what you’re reading. He’s just a QB guy, always has been. But maybe Bobo is not “fiery” enough in practice (you KNOW that’s coming).

  2. I, too, thought this an interesting revelation. That he felt the need to state publicly that the change was no reflection on Bobo probably means that it is a comment or nudge to Bobo.

  3. Hogbody Spradlin

    A. He spent more time with the defense previously because that’s where is buddy was coaching?

    B. He spent more time with the defense previously because he knew he would eventually have to fire his friend and wanted to do a thorough evaluation?

    C. He spent more time with the defense previously because he felt he had to help with the coaching?

    D. He spent less time with the offense previously because that’s what he learned at his summer executive sessions a few years ago, but he delegated too much and is reeling them back in?

    E. Some or all of the above?

    F. This is a tongue in cheek post and I don’t get the joke?

    • B., although I’d change the word “knew” to “suspected”.

    • 69Dawg

      +1 E. I think he has been trying the more hands off executive approach the last few years and we have seen the results. Some assistant coaches are good to go on their own, Erk Russell, Coach Van etc. Some guys just slack off when not closely supervised ( Willie and the boys).
      I have been saying for ever that CMR has been OJT’ ing this HC thing for a while and he was doing OK until CBV left and he named Bobo OC. Since then we have slipped. Now that he seems to have hired a harda$$ DC he can go back to holding Bobo’s hand. I’m fine with that.

  4. Mike

    Maybe it is because he knows he is out of his depth on defense

    • Hogbody Spradlin

      True, but it wouldn’t explain why he spent more time with defense the last 2-3 years.

      • Because he saw a bigger mess unfolding there. He now sounds confident about his new staff.

        Look, I think this is to his credit. I like the fact that he was careful and thoughtful about what he was seeing. I think it says a lot about the kind of man and coach he is – more than sitting in quarterback meetings again does.

        • Hogbody Spradlin

          My comment to Mike was more in the nature of “ok, but beside the point.”

          I agree with what you say. If the program goes to the next level soon, and the only next level is a national championship, Richt will be widely seen as a coach who built his organization the right way.

  5. FLdawg

    CMR evokes contrarian reactions?
    You are correct, sir.

    Since the Sugar Bowl destruction of Hawaii, our football program has gone backwards.

    Losing to Kentucky last November (at home!) was the worst of UGA losses in recent memory. This was the 11th game of the season! How can this happen? In quality D-1 programs with quality coaching, each season progresses with improvement from game to game. This loss at the end of the year is inexcusable, shameful, and intolerable. This loss has to be one of the worst coaching debacles in history. This one loss did the most damage to our season, to our national image, to our rankings, and set the program back even further. As Vince Dooley is often quoted : “They always remember, what you do in November.”

    We love CMR, but we must face the facts.
    We must say what needs to be said.

    Yes, CMR is getting more involved in the offense – 2 years too late! CMR feels the heat and pressure – 2 years too late. He is
    finally emerging from the complacency of the CEO cocoon of the last 2 years. The multimillionaire CEO must get back into the ears and heads and faces of all coaches, players, and units.

    And, CMR now realizes another colossal blunder: promoting CMB to O.C. Now, we love CMB. But UGA is NOT the program for “growing” and “on the job” learning. UGA deserves and requires the leadership of proven elite coaches, preferably with NFL experience.

    Years too late, CMR learned this the hard way, and finally found CTG.

    We love CMR, but when he was hired here, all UGA fans expected results similar to his FSU record: Heismans, All-Americans, National Championships, and consistent national prominence.

    We love CMR, but 2010 is the make or break year. We CAN do it. Don’t believe the weak girly-men who say we can’t.

    NO MORE EXCUSES.

    GO YOU HAIRY DAWGS!

    • keith

      yes, cause lord knows a humiliating home loss to an inferior team(Bama losing to UL-Monroe in Saban’s 1st year) means the downfall of your program.

    • Hogbody Spradlin

      FLDawg:

      This isn’t text messaging. It’s actually okay to say people’s names. CMR CMB CTG UGA PDQ . . ?

      If Dog In Fl. is out there, can you find the scene from Good Morning Vietnam where Robin Williams worries about Nixon’s visit?

    • hailtogeorgia

      TB! Good to see you again. Changing your screen name would never hide your wordy, anti-Richt posts.

      We get it, already. You think Richt hasn’t done a good job. We can do it and it’s a shame that we haven’t and Richt is to blame. All that razz.

    • Spence

      So you think the offense in the Kentucky game was that bad? Dude, you’re way off the mark here. The offense had some hiccups, but for the most part has been rolling by the end of the season in every year Bobo has had the helm.

      CMR brought in a new defensive staff and we’ll find out this year (and I suspect quickly) whether we’ll return to a high level of defense. Maybe you don’t remember how sluggish the offense was at times in 2002 and 2005, but I’m sure you remember how good the defense was.

      Don’t worry, things are on the right track. If they’re not, we’ll know before too long. Just don’t be one of those dudes that yells “fire” everytime we don’t get a first down. Championship teams punt too.

  6. thewhiteshark

    I think it’s due to a new confidence in the defensive staff and a desire to actually coach instead of just being an administrator. In his dark moments he probably regrets giving up play calling. The QB decision is also huge and I think he wants to see as much of those guys as he can.

  7. JMart

    It is what it is. Obviously he felt a greater need to be involved with the defense with the previous staff than he does now. Do we really need to analyze this statement any further to understand why?

  8. SCDawg

    Whatever it is, I like the fact that Richt is back helping with QB’s. Richt is a great QB coach, and his influence will make Bobo a better QB coach and OC.

  9. SCDawg, you got it right. Let the new D coaches do their thing. The 3-4 is new to all of them but the DC. CMR is not a 3-4 D coach. He was/Is a very good QB coach & a very good OC. More hands on is good. The “Potential” for 2010 still excites me.

  10. Go Dawgs!

    Maybe I’m stupid, and I understand that every Dawg fan hates Mike Bobo for some reason, but just what is it about our offense that pisses you people off so badly? We scored a lot of points last year. We failed to score on every possession last year. We had Joe Cox as our quarterback last year, and still were a very highly ranked offense.

    What’s the deal?

    • 69Dawg

      We don’t hate Bobo, bless his heart, it’s just his Evil Twin that takes over his body during games. This Evil Twin stops running when we need to run and passes from the shot gun just to BALANCE things out. This Evil Twin does not have the, when you’ve got them down stomp them in the dirt, instincts. If he can keep his Evil Twin in check by staying on his meds we will be fine. The Tech game seemed to be a good start.

      • SCDawg

        I think Bobo recognized balance simply for the sake of balance is meaningless in the 2nd half of the season, and we’ll see less and less of that the evil twin over the next few years.

        • Mayor of Dawgtown

          Last year UGA scored more points during the SEC portion of its schedule than any other SEC team, how come people are pissed at Bobo? Be rational. not every play works. Universal truth: When the OC calls a play that works he looks like a genius. When it doesn’t work he looks like an idiot.

  11. Reptillicide

    What I took from that is that Richt feels confident with the new defensive staff and doesn’t feel like they need his help, which means he can focus on the qb’s and the offense which is what he does best

  12. Farsider

    I think this is a rorschach test, the viewer will see whatever they want to see, good or bad. A lot of conclusions could be drawn, all seeming to have validity.

  13. Dboy

    If CMR (w an ocoordinator background) goes and gets “his man” that is an NFL caliber Dcoordinator that plays a defensive scheme that CMR is unfamiliar with and CMR has to oversee the defensive practices, we have a problem.

  14. S. FL Chapter of the Bulldog Nation

    What I take from that quote is that Coach Richt is in a place now where he feels that he can and wants to see how Bobo’s grooming these young QB’s…He took Green and made him the most winning QB in NCAA history (at the time). He knows Offense and QB development. I’m guessing that he felt confident enough with the time he had spent with Bobo leading up to the point he relinquished the play calling duties, that Bobo was more or less an extension of his on play calling philosophy and that he could focus his efforts on another area of need.

    Also, at that time Martinez was taking over/running the Defense and it may of become evident that there were too many Chiefs and not enough Indians on the D’s staff….also, Coach Richt may have seen that his boy was in over his head. Who knows….

    What’s important now is that he not only feels, but that he recognizes that he needs to become more hands on (which very well could be a by-product of him running the D in the bowl game last season) with the O and the QB development.

    Which in my mind is exactly where we need him to be in order to get the most out of the 2010 season!

    I can definitely see where Coach Richt might of become a little too “Hollywood” after the ’07 season and might of thought that he could sit back and watch his “Thoroughbreds” take him to the promised land. However after being brought back to earth by Bama….that idea should have popped like the bubble it was in.

    The important thing is that now everything’s moving in the right direction, and the “Bust your butt for what you want” mentality is definitely in place….that’s how you get the job done!

    I for one, and I’m sure I’m one of many, am EXTREMELY pumped to see the product on the field! LET’S GET IT ON! GO DAWGS!

  15. Brandon

    If Grantham turns out to be good and we have a decent defense again it will be amazing how much our offense will suddenly improve as well (without improving really at all). There will be less b***hing about offensive playcalling and “fire” and all of that other crap when we no longer have to score on nearly every possession to win. I’ve always been dumbfounded that so many people have been unable to connect the decline in our program to when Willy Mo took over the defense. These people did a lot of intellectual jumping jacks trying to tell themselves and others that it wasn’t the case but like General Patton said “a blind man could see it in a minute”. Of course all of this is no guarantee that Grantham is worth a crap either, he certainly says the right things but saying and doing is two different things. I hopeful though for the first time since the West Virginia Sugar Bowl game though that our program will reach new heights, as long as Willy Mo was around we were never going to reach our potential with Grantham replacing him at least there’s a chance.

  16. I have never seen a game where I agreed with all of the playcalling (by anyone). It is the O game plan that interests me & I think the Dawgs under CMR & CMB did a good job every year with what they had to work with that year. The D, injuries, penalties, & directional kicking have been the major problems, Not the O game plan.

  17. Spence

    This quote is interesting to me because I remember back in the early 2000′s hearing CMR say he never got involved with the Defense. Now, yeah, he was the OC at the time, but still.

  18. JC in Powder Springs

    Now that the D is being addressed by CTG, and the kick-offs are being addressed by CWB, CMR is rightfully directing his attention to other areas that need work. The offense needs help. One example – the way Cox fixated on a single receiver last year leads me to believe the QB’s need improvement with fundamentals. The next major area of work is reducing penalties.

    If the Dawgs can fix the fundamentals and reduce penalties, they can make a title run this year. The talent is there. But they must minimize mistakes by the new QB. That’s why the QB coaching job is so vital this year. It’s good to see CMR focusing attention on the QB’s and O.

    • Brandon

      I think we led the conference in points scored in conference games, I’m not saying there’s no area we can improve in, there always is, but criticisms of Bobo are big time nitpicking when you consider he’s had to score on damn near every drive to win against anybody half way decent.

  19. jack waybright

    did not read all the other comments. but my spidey-sense is telling me that Richt wants to name a starter prior to fall practice and let it be one guys job to loose. i think a team that can know who their qb is prior to the last week of practice before the first game has more going for it than the team who endures constant questions of who will be the starter.

  20. Vious

    Richt knows another sub-par, non-SECCG appearance will result in his seat getting warm (as it should be)

    Win and win now