Keeping ‘em on their toes

Mark Richt wants you to know that if you think you’ve got a handle on Georgia’s starting lineup, you are sadly mistaken.

“If you’re working out this summer thinking you’ve got something nailed down, you better re-check your thinking,” Richt said. “We’re going to have 29 practices in the fall and probably about at least 20 of them before we nail down who’s going to start across the board. It’s going to be a lot of competition.”

There’s uncertainty everywhere you look (okay, not in the offensive backfield)!

“This is a year in particular … We still don’t know for sure who’s gonna play where, who’s gonna start,” Richt said. “We have a good idea of knowing who’s gonna play. But I can’t think of a year where I’ve had more uncertainty as far as who’s gonna start. But I feel like we have the right ingredients. I feel like we’ve got the right talent base. It’s just a matter of who’s gonna win it (the starting job), and are they gonna be mature enough to play well enough early enough, especially with how the season begins.”

When Richt was asked which positions are open: Richt’s first response was all the D-line positions.

“I think we’re gonna have … a lot of guys playing, but I’m not sure who’s gonna start. I think that’s up for grabs,” Richt said. “I think just about every one of those positions are up for grabs, as far as the D-line.”

Then Richt said the secondary remains up for grabs, other than cornerback Damian Swann.

“I’m not convinced we’re settled on who’s gonna play the middle linebacker positions for us. I’m not 100 percent certain who’s going to start on the perimeter, other than I can safely say Swann’s going to be one of them. There’s some guys that have earned the right to be No. 1 at the end of spring but we’ve gotta see if that’s where they end up. In the fall there’s gonna be more competition coming in. So we’ll see there.”

And don’t forget the offensive line.

Georgia’s overall offensive depth chart is largely settled entering the fall, but the offensive line could be the one area to watch in August. Friend has taken a close look at reserves Xzavier Ward, Mark Beard, Austin Long and Watts Dantzler this spring and said he is perfectly willing to reshuffle the starting lineup if one of them seizes a job.

“I guess if there is a time to mess with it, it’s right now,” Friend said. “So we just wanted to take a look at some things. That way there’s some guys that have played some different spots where if we need it in fall camp, it’s not the first time that they’ve done it. Those are some plusses.”

What to make of all this up-in-the-airity?  Do I really think that the coaches are that far in the dark about who should be out on the field?  Grantham’s comments in the spring make me doubt that’s the case.  Do I think that after last season, Richt is concerned about a highly ranked team in the preseason being complacent at the season’s start?  Hells yes, I do.  You can get by a Buffalo without giving 100%.  That won’t work against Clemson in a road game opener.

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19 Comments

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19 responses to “Keeping ‘em on their toes

  1. Gravidy

    I’m just happy that the team has managed to make it from the bowl game trough spring practice with no big injuries and no scooter-related suspensions – well, uhhh…that we know of. All of the rest of the happy talk is just noise.

    If they somehow manage to get all the way to opening night with no injuries or scooter-violations, I’ll gladly take my chances with this team.

  2. RP

    I think the run d will be solid this year. Pass rush and secondary are questionable. 59 should be good, but are we ever going to get a d-end that can rush the passer at all?

  3. W Cobb Dawg

    ajc will twist this to suggest there’s a QB controversy! You read it here first.

  4. TheSaint

    This has been Mark Richt’s achilles hill for many years.

    Allowing complacency and entitling certain guys as starters, curtailing competition and merit based decisions about who should start.

    Would love to see us move to a merit based system like Bama runs, but looking at Richt’s record, this is probably just happy talk, not going to happen. The starters are already predetermined. Happens every Spring.

    • AthensHomerDawg

      Lose the nail….. grab some Kool Aid. ;-)

      • Dog in Fla

        Because of this cartoon, I now know what an eeyore is and have a better understanding of how Rush Limbaugh got promoted to the rank of 4-F

        • AthensHomerDawg

          Seriously you have to get your Pooh Bear on. I must have watched those shows a thousand times with my sons when they were kids. I won’t even go into the Lion King pizza party gigs I was forced into. Glad they graduated to Bulldog sports! It’s all good.

          • Dog in Fla

            My wives, the super-hot coordinated blonde and the one who can’t dance, and my kids that I know about banished me from even going with them to Disney World and all other theme parks much less watching TV with them. They think I’m not a good team player and can’t keep mouth shut.

    • D.N. Nation

      Are you posting through a time vortex from 2010? I can’t tell.

    • AusDawg85

      I see how the FIREMARKRICHT!!11!! crowd warms-up in the off season just in case we stumble out of the blocks to an 0 – 2 start….

  5. Dboy

    “You can get by a Buffalo without giving 100%. That won’t work against Clemson in a road game opener.”

    Do whatever Saban does to prepare for big game openers. He kills it.

  6. Cojones

    Don’t know about you guys, but having the 13 enroll early means to me that substitution of players into the position vacancies has lifted a great deal of the “iffiness” concerning player loss to the NFL and graduation. With the remainder coming in during the summer and at least 4 possible starters among them, they can be viewed like relish. Mixing and matching for best competition puts depth to our newly filled positions with the chance that someone is going to top off and complete our consumption of this Hot Dawg Team.

    The signal from Richt to the team as a whole to work their ass off during the summer when the coaches can’t direct couldn’t be clearer: “If you want to play, you better be the best there is coming to the position up to and through the summer. Anything less and you will be competing for 3rd team.”. That ought to keep them on their competitive toes.

  7. Rebar

    I like the attitude of Coach Richt and think this is the right way to go into the summer. No complacency! We’re gonna need it with the way our season starts out playing 3 top 15 teams in the first 4 weeks.