Wet chicken and dry football talk

Here are a couple of quotes of note from Mark Richt at his weekly press luncheon reported at Chip Towers’ blog:

Is defense’s play a concern? “It’s a concern. It’s always our number one goal to shut down the run and Vanderbilt is a team that runs. Even the quarterback runs. We need to do better playing at the right pad level. Got to make sure we fit into the scheme of things, everybody in gap. Then you’ve got to tackle. We’re tackling decent but we’re not knocking anybody back. If we could stop the yards after contact we’d do better at stopping the run.”

Any chance freshman Rennie Curran could start at linebacker? “If he didn’t have a concussion this week he would’ve been a strong candidate to start. I’m not going to say it was guaranteed he was going to start, but he was making a strong move in that direction.” He added that Curran should return to contact Wednesday and will play.

Several things caught my eye here. First, what prompted Towers to ask if Curran was being considered for a start? He is one of the two least experienced players in the defensive two deep and, even though I think the kid is a player (and did pretty well against UT, for that matter), he doesn’t seem like an obvious candidate to consider for a start because of that.

The surprise is that Richt thought differently. I hate to say it, but this suggests that things are pretty messed up at linebacker right now.

Fundamentals on defense are lacking – no big surprise there. But it’s still jarring to see Richt check down the list of things that his players aren’t doing properly. After six games, I’m sure he expected much better on that side of the ball than he’s getting. Who gets held accountable – among players and coaches – and how they respond are the big keys for the rest of the season.


UPDATE:  Check out Groo’s point in this post

In fact, it’s worth noting that all four captains for this game – Moreno, Ellerbe, Mimbs, and Prince Miller – are all first-year starters.  That’s quite a message being sent.


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