Mark Richt, taking 2011 day by day

Maybe it’s just me, but I seem to detect a somewhat different tone from Mark Richt this offseason than in offseasons past.  It could be hot seat-based, maybe a little bit of world-weariness creeping into his mindset or perhaps due to less whispers of sweet sunshine pumping in his ears from Van Halanger, but it’s unmistakably there:

Georgia head coach Mark Richt fielded this question on Tuesday: Does the highly ranked, much-anticipated recruiting class ramp up expectations for the Bulldogs this season?

Richt sighed and looked away.

“I don’t know. Doesn’t everybody expect us to win every year?” he said, then laughed. “Does it really matter? I don’t think it does. I really don’t. Whether you said you had a good class or not, I think the expectations are the same.”

And you’d think Georgia’s quiet time with John Law would be a cause for much rejoicing, but Richt sounds almost grim about that, too.

On Tuesday, Richt tied the arrests to the team’s on-field performance.

“I think that they know that that’s probably been part of our issue as to why maybe we haven’t had the success that we believe we should have,” Richt said. “We all know we could wake up tomorrow and have a bad situation. But to this point today, they’ve done a nice job.”

And has made Richt rest easier, right?

“So far,” he said. “Vacation starts tomorrow, so just give me 10 more days.”

I have no idea what that translates into come season’s start, but I appreciate having less smoke blown up my ass, that’s for sure.  Hopefully the team is getting the message that happy talk alone doesn’t translate into wins.

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UPDATE:  No matter his mindset, Richt will always be a class act.

Georgia’s preseason roster includes the name of James Eunice, the wide receiver from Valdosta High who drowned in January while duck hunting.

Eunice is listed as No. 23, the number on the Georgia jersey that Richt sent to his family after his death.

Eunice was an honor student who was accepted to Georgia and planned to walk-on this season, according to the Valdosta Daily Times.

Eunice would have turned 18 on Thursday.

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29 Comments

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29 responses to “Mark Richt, taking 2011 day by day

  1. The Life of Reilly

    Don’t worry there is still time for the staff to blow a whole lot of smoke up your ass.

  2. Bad Marinara

    I told my wife about Richt selling his lake house so he could give more to charity. She teared up and said, “If you guys fire him…!”
    Maybe we need to step back, take a breath, and appreciate the man who is leading these kids in our flagship University. He will win. Going in you knew no one could go 10 years winning every year. You would have been happy if he promised only one losing season. I know we hate down trends, but it was inevitable. Probably should have happened after around 4-6 years. You can’t even pick ten straight games against the spread, and yet you demand he magically force 18-20 yr olds to always win in the toughest conference in college football. Sometimes the ball just bounces the other way.
    Yes it comes with the territory, but we also have an opportunity to rise above all that is bad about the fanatics. I’m proud of my state, my university, and my coach. I’ve never met the man but he is MY coach. Go Dawgs!

    • Dawgfan Will

      This.

    • I agree completely with you; but, is there any such thing thing as “BAD” Marinara.

      • Go Dawgs!

        Oh, there is. I’ve had a few examples of that phenomenon, but none were worse than a marinara dish I had at a place called Flammini’s in Dalton, GA once.

        • Dawgfan Will

          Ah, Flammini’s. The one time my wife and I ate there, you could have broken the table with one of the rolls. Some prankster (or idiot) had also put on a Sinatra greatest hits CD, put on “Strangers in the Night,” and hit repeat. I think it played about 12 times before we left.

          Wonder why they’re closed?

      • Puking My Guts Out

        Yes. There definitely is……….

  3. Russ

    Agreed. He’s a fine man and a fine coach. I’m glad he’s at UGA.

  4. UNCDAWG

    We’ve had the smoke of JTII blown rectalward in the early offseason. But it is much better than gaff after gaff only to have Jr. explain it to you how its all part of the master plan. The smoke can come in different levels of discomfort but it all ends up in the same place….

  5. Fitzdawg

    There was a ‘bonus question’ on a nationally syndicated quiz show last night that taught me that it’s illegal to throw a banana on the sidewalk in Athens, GA…. Sounds like an ‘Emerging from an alley’ incident waiting to happen.

  6. W Cobb Dawg

    Maybe my perception is off, but I note an agitated tone in CMR this off season. It seems he doesn’t care to have his feet held to the fire. High expectations are nothing new at UGA – that’s as basic as the law of gravity. Winning is what he’s paid for. I can sympathise with his dilemma, up to the point where I remember most men his/our age have no choice other than to produce every single day. He’s lucky, as he still has a job and can redeem himself after a terrible season.

    • NCT

      Fair enough. Fortunately for me, my day-to-day production does not rely on a roster full of college kids.

      • NCT

        Clarification: Except when it does. I was not productive at all in the first week of November 2008 (as one example). Talk about a funk.

      • Dawgfan Will

        My day-to-day production depends on a bunch of high school kids with senior-itis. But I don’t have to see them for another 2 1/2 months.

    • Puffdawg

      If winning games were the only responsibility of being a head coach, Jim Tressel would still have a Columbus address. Somebody on this blog made a great comment the other day I’ll paraphrase: “I hope CMR turns it around because I don’t want to have to root for an asshole of a coach.”

      Look, you want to compare this to the real world? Mark Richt took this company to levels it hadn’t seen in two decades. In one decade he has:
      - finished in the top ten in the nation in sales 6 times
      - almost led the nation in sales 2 of those years
      - finished in the top 25 two other years
      - won or tied for the top salesman in the (most competitive) region 4 times
      - he has consistently gone into other reps’ home territories and landed accounts
      - he wins best dressed at the Christmas Party almost every year
      - he finishes higher in sales than his rivals from other companies more often than not (save one rival who wears jeanshorts to work on casual Fridays)

      And he did all that while piously observing and admiring the rich tradition and history of the company. He has consistently refused offers from other companies. He has handled the company’s stock holders with great patience and empathy, despite constant complaints about how he goes about his business. His only noticable faults, if they can be called that, are loyalty to his support staff and transparency with the press and the Securities and Exchange Commission. These faults have only hindered his production of late, which he has taken steps to correct.

      How does your resume stack up to that? (that is a rhetorical question as I’m not looking to make this personal)

      • Puking My Guts Out

        In the real world of corporate America the guy you described gets used up by his superiors then fired.

        • The Donald

          Not necessarily fired. Why let him get gifted with corporate welfare from the state charged back to the corporation in the form of unemployment compensation welfare? Management forced resignation tactics start after his territory is cut in half with much more windshield time, his best customers are assigned to a slacker related to the boss, his production goals are increased over his best year yet and he’s replaced by two younger ones at half the salary and benefits. Therefore it’s a good thing because it saves on overhead. Coffee is for closers.

          .

  7. Dog in Fla

    Richt sighed and looked away. “I don’t know. Doesn’t everybody expect us to win every year?” he said, then laughed. “Does it really matter? I don’t think it does. I really don’t….”

    Maybe he needs to see a doctor

  8. Stoopnagle

    Yeah, I got the same sense. Especially after he blew out the guy in Macon.

  9. Cojones

    Let’s go a little farther. Let’s cheer for him/team concurrently. We know his history so why not cheer him on to greater history? He doesn’t want to live in the past and neither do we. As long as he is our coach we should approach every game by looking to the good and not perceive bad about our team. To do otherwise will not lead to anything positive in the fan’s or the team’s eye.

    I like to read about his pensive reflections. It makes him more like us and gives us a sharing feeling. That’s tantamount to having a sensitive , though rabblerousing fan base. We can all use that for the summer.

  10. Russ

    Posted this in the other thread, but seems to make more sense here. One of Richt’s “thugs” was in the news again. When will these guys learn?

    http://sports.yahoo.com/nfl/blog/shutdown_corner/post/Chiefs-TE-Pope-saves-six-year-old-boy-from-drown?urn=nfl-wp2597