“It looked like we were organized and knew what we were doing.”

Call it the birth of a new persona, if you like.  Recharged Richt.

“We as coaches were kind of. …it felt as close to 2001 since I’ve been here,” Richt said of his first season. “It felt like the first day of a new staff and I think a lot of it is because we obviously had a new staff on defense, but even change in the practice schedule as much as we did, it was brand new for me. It was brand new for the offensive staff.”

Richt called the first day of spring practice “outstanding,” even with what he admitted was the distraction of the Monday night arrests of four football players.

“The defense obviously was going through some brand new stuff for them and the players as well,” Richt said. “Just a lot of excitement, a lot of anticipation. We actually on Monday we got in the staff meeting, went over the practice on the board, talked about where everybody is going to be at every period. Then we went out in the field as a staff and we walked through it all where everybody was going to be. Then at the end of the player meetings we took the players out there and we just walked and said this is where this drill is going to be, this is where this drill is going to be, this is where we’re going to do period four, five, six or whatever. We kind of dress rehearsed where everybody was going to be throughout the practice and then today when we did it, it showed.”

I know we’re veering dangerously close to happy talk territory here, but it does seem like the fresh blood on the staff has encouraged Richt to change his approach this spring and that he’s more upbeat as a result.  (Certainly, it feels differently than Grantham’s spring debut, although that may be due more to Richt recovering from the tough decision to fire Willie Martinez than anything else.)

And there is some method to the new madness.

Basically, Pruitt and offensive coordinator Mike Bobo changed up the practice structure and tempo to where reps are now going to double the number of players at one time. A very fast pace was demanded, and in return, players would condition during practice and not have to condition so long as no one was cited for loafing during practice (which would mean the whole team would run).

There’s that “p” word again.

It’s the first day and you don’t want to read too much into things, but it’s at least a little encouraging to see that the team bought into the changes.

According to Richt, “There was not one time when I had to add a team sprint to the end of the day. Everybody was busting it. The coaches were pushing and the players were responding well.”

Richt also added this about the defense: “I was pretty impressed with the fact that our defense could get lined up as quickly as they did. The offense was going fast-paced and high-tempo, and the defensive coaches got the boys lined up and when the ball as being snapped, considering so much was brand new to everybody, I was kind of curious to see how that would go.”

Organization.  Players lining up quickly.  It’s a start.

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28 Comments

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28 responses to ““It looked like we were organized and knew what we were doing.”

  1. Noonan

    Allen Iverson does not approve.

  2. Spence

    If Pruitt has players lining up before the snap then our defense has already advanced.

    • Go Dawgs!

      I’m reminded of how depressed I was when I heard the Vikings’ special teams coach had “fixed” Blair Walsh in just 15 minutes. This guy has already taught the defense how to be in place before a snap in his first freaking spring practice. Meanwhile, Louisville’s players are doing extra curls in the weightroom so they’ll look good this fall as the stand there looking at each other with arms out to the side, palms up in the universal look of confusion that I like to call “The Grantham”.

  3. Get those kids conditioned. Get them trimmed up and fast, and most importantly, get them lined up and ready to go full speed. Rinse. Repeat. I like it.

    • W Cobb Dawg

      I think CJP made it clear he expected players to be trim and in shape when they hit the practice field. Looks like that’s actually happening.

  4. Vinings Dawg

    Looks like the missing fire has been found…

  5. AusDawg85

    Sure sounds like CMR and CJP can work together as one. Never had that impression with Grantham who seemed to want, and was left to be, to his own devices. If CTG was the great D coach he projected to be, that approach could work, but this other way seems far better. And credit has to go to Bobo who seems fully in charge of the O allowing a Richt more time to engage in other areas. If all true, could be a sign that CMR is reaching his peak coaching maturity years, which is consistent with the profile of many high achievers in coaching and CEO type roles. Too bad it’s happening in the dawn of the playoff era that can reward even more one-shot wonders (looking at you Auburn) over higher and consistent quality programs.

    • Agreed, but I hold out on hopes that the playoff may cut us a break since we seem to stub our toe at least one time a year.

      • Mayor of Dawgtown

        If the new playoff system had existed in 2002 and 2007 UGA would have been National Champions both of those years IMHO.

        • WF Dawg

          I have no doubt you’re right. The ends of those seasons were the only two times I’ve ever felt sure we could have beaten any team in the country.

        • I was thinking the same thing.

        • If the new playoff system had existed in 2002 and 2007 UGA would have been National Champions both of those years IMHO.

          Had we played for both, yeah.

          IDK about 2007, though. ESPN kicked us out of our #2 spot back to 5th or 6th, wasn’t it? Not sure, but if so that would have made it a committee decision, I guess.

          Maybe Condoleeza Rice would have been sympathetic, and would’ve gotten emotional about the injustice of the ESPN campaign that screwed us. And would have lobbied the committee on our behalf to see that we didn’t get double-screwed.
          ~~~

  6. Jim

    If this header applies to the Clemson and SC games I will be much happier

  7. W Cobb Dawg

    D players lined up and ready to go!? Somewhere a towel is weeping…

  8. DawgByte

    I don’t know about you, but I’m very concerned about the 3 defensive players who were arrested. I suspect all three will be suspended for the Clemson game, which is disastrous considering the situation. This is NOT the way we wanted to start off the 2014 season!!!

  9. I Wanna Red Cup

    I like the fact that there was work on special teams the first spring practice day.

  10. AlphaDawg

    This is great and its also why I hate promoting from within. Sometimes it works like with Bobo, but i love having a new set of eyes and fresh perspective adding and tweaking whats worked for them in the past. Glad to see both Richt and Bobo open to change.

  11. “It looked like we were organized and knew what we were doing.”

    Well. Whattayaknow. Another very good sign.

    Steady as she goes.
    ~~~