Reading the offseason happy talk tea leaves

I’m as firm a believer as anyone in the position that 90% of what emanates from Butts-Mehre in the offseason should be dismissed as nothing more than happy talk.  And the other 10% doesn’t mean diddly until it’s proven on the field.

That being said, I am intrigued on a certain level with some recent comments made and actions taken by Richt:

  • Strength and conditioning.  Start with Richt’s comparison between Tereshinski and new hire John Thomas“Coach T is kind of a strength, explosive, endurance guy. And John is a little bit more of a high-intensity training kind of guy.”  Add in this about Sherman Armstrong, the other new hire:  “One of the things we really felt like we needed to bolster within our strength and conditioning program is the element of speed.”  Then top it off with this explanation about why mat drills, which were eliminated last year are being reintroduced on a more limited basis:  “If you’re doing it three times a week while you’re trying to lift, it takes away from the eight hours you’re allowed to lift and also it breaks down the body. So a year ago we just went strictly to try to get more strong and more mass and more lean muscle mass throughout the season. And we did that. We accomplished that, we got some of the bigger, stronger guys … in the country.”  All told, it sounds like we’re hearing more specifics about what Richt wants out of S&C than we’ve heard in a while.  Maybe that’s because he’s not as deferential to the current staff as he was to Van Halanger.  Maybe there’s another reason.  And there’s no telling, of course, if he’s correct about what he thinks he’s getting with the new hires.  (By the way, that “The guys are kind of buzzing about the excitement …” comment about Armstrong?  That’s happy talk.)
  • Brain picking. By his own admission, Richt’s brought in three coaches to discuss special teams.  “We feel like we’re on the right track in terms of what we’re going to do,” Richt said. “Now we just have to get the right people and get it taught properly.”  I don’t want to read too much into that, but it sure sounds like he’s conceding there was more to last season’s problems than just personnel issues.  And what to make of this?  Georgia recently flew in its entire coaching staff to meet with Jon Gruden.

Like I said, it’s silly to read too much into all of this.  But it’s clear Richt’s got some specific things on his mind before spring practice kicks in.  Does anyone else find much of this of significance?

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23 Comments

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23 responses to “Reading the offseason happy talk tea leaves

  1. heyberto

    About the only thing I like outright it shows Richt isn’t settling in, he’s constantly trying to improve. That seems to be as much of a result of McGarity’s influence as anything, but the fact that he’s embracing that methodology of not resting on his laurels makes me extremely happy. You can’t figure out what works if you aren’t making adjustments.

    • DawgPhan

      I think that the McGarity influence is mostly on the pocketbook. I dont know if ole red panties would have ok’d travel expense to fly the whole team to see Coach Gruden or paid for the 3 special team specialist to come in. Seems like McGarity has opened up the pocketbook when it seems like spending money could help win games.

      • I think McGarity had a little more influence than that, particularly the reported conversation the two had about the differences between him here and what the Florida staff was doing to be better.

        • Robb

          Exactly what I was referencing. Richt didn’t do this stuff before. I think McGarity has brought a sense of urgency to Richt, but that isn’t to say he doesn’t like Richt.. he’s clearly also given him his support publicly, and seemingly privately as well.

          • Krautdawg

            He didn’t, did he? For the life of me, I can’t remember the last time I’ve heard Richt discuss so many details of what he’s doing. Or giving off the vibe that there’s something specific he wants out of O, D or special teams.

            • I also think that McGarity doing more of his job of handling administrative things that Evans left for Richt to handle has left him with the time to get the things like this done. Richt can be more of a true coach now instead of simply being a fund raiser/executive.

  2. 69Dawg

    I only hope that one of the Defensive assistants can take over when CTG gets “the Call”. UGA lives and dies by the defense. The offense scores against the weak teams and chokes against the strong teams and that has not changed in the last 5 years.

    • JRod1229

      Yeah gonna have to disagree with you there.. say what you want about Murray, but when Stafford was here we had to outscore team to have a chance to win. Now if you want to point to the D being the calling card last year, no one will fight that, and why would you want to? Taking the pressure off the offense is good. Ask Alabama.

      • Greg

        Unfortunately, Stafford was in Athens when we had a bad O-coordinator and an even worse D-coordinator. Took care of the D-coordinator problem, but we’ve still got Bobo around to make sure we lose to the better teams on our schedule.

        • Puffdawg

          Score more points against weak teams. Score less points against good teams. An epidemic facing UGA and UGA only since the invention of football.

  3. Keese

    I’m glad CMR is not too prideful to seek out other opinions

  4. W Cobb Dawg

    Flew the whole staff to see Gruden?! Didn’t know he was a ST guru. The guy who used to be with falcons & is now with steelers, Bobby April comes to mind as a ST specialist. I’m not sure I’d fly anyone in to listen to either one of them. But I guess if it helps the STs, then go for it. Money is not one of our problems.

  5. HK

    This stands out to me:

    “Maybe that’s because he’s not as deferential to the current staff as he was to Van Halanger.”

    Weight lifting/fitness experts seem to be about like fishing guides or dog trainers; they think there’s only one perfect way to do it, which is their way, and all other methodologies are stupid and wrong and oh my God how could you possibly think they’re right…

    The reality is there’s merit to a lot of different ways to fish or train dogs and I presume the same goes for weight training/fitness. If this is richt recognizing that and trying to get a little bit of the benefit of a few different guys’ knowledge, then great.

  6. Dog in Fla

    CMR felt some affinity with Chuckie because of the manner in which he liked to have his hair styled

  7. Mayorof Dawgtown

    I have seen some of those Gruden QB sessions on TV. The man knows offensive football.

    • Puffdawg

      I had heard Gruden seriously considered taking a job on Oregon’s staff to pick up some things from Chip Kelly. Unfortunately he wasn’t mentoring enough high profile recruits so there wasn’t any money in the Oregon budget to pay him.

  8. Comin' Down The Track

    Sometimes you have to actually get better in order to simply maintain the status quo. Sometimes, when you make a habit out of employing that mentality, you get more out of that line of reasoning than you originally anticipated. Reaping what one sows and all that.

    I all for it.

  9. Irishdawg

    If the US Army can finally realize there are different ways to approach fitness and injury reduction, then I have no doubt that Richt sees that as well. It sounds like Van Halanger had gotten a little complacent, and Richt wanted the S&C program to go in a different direction, which is a good sign.

  10. Uglydawg

    Lee Iococca said, “If you sit in the road, somebody’s gonna come along and run over you”…..or something like that. Point is..if your not moving forward you’re going to fall behind in a hurry. I once thought UGA was in that situation under CMR, but not anymore. My suspicions is that Grantham has had a lot of influence in CMR’s motivation and philosophy. He saw Grantham’s enthusiasm, competivness, etc. and realized he needed to make some adjustments in his approach to coaching UGA…..I’m not saying that I know this happened, I’m just saying I wouldn’t be suprised to the point that I even suspect it.

  11. Go Dawgs!

    I sure wish ESPN had left the quarterback camp cameras rolling when UGA’s coaches visited Gruden. I’d love to get my hands on THAT tape…

    • Tom Haverford

      I can see in now–the coaches hadn’t even sat down before Gruden hits Bobo with “Mike how many times has that 3rd and long draw play worked since Knowshon left–twice…three times? A shame it didn’t work the other 17,000 times you called it. Let me ask you something–when the defenses stack the box to stop the draw play they know is coming–you ever think of calling a SCREEN play instead…you know to keep them off guard?”