I’m not saying which approach is right or wrong here, but this exchange sure sums up a difference in coaching styles:

… The daring gambles of LSU’s Les Miles had one fan wanting Richt to take more risks.

“You watched the `Mad Hatter’ this weekend,” Richt said. “It fired you up.”

LSU ran a reverse for 23 yards on a 4th-and-1 in its upset of Alabama.

“It was exciting,” the caller said. “I think it would give a spark to the guys and it would give them confidence.”

“When they don’t work out, you feel like if I didn’t do that, we might could have won this game without doing that,” Richt said. “You can hurt your team as much as you can help it, but there are times when you do need to take the risk.”


Filed under Georgia Football

46 responses to “Hatless

  1. JBJ

    Yea that is par for the course with CMR. His conservative nature over the last four or five years has taken a toll on the program, whether you are talking about play calling, special teams, or making coaching changes. I cringed when I read his response to the caller. Lesticles makes those calls and doesn’t second guess and doesn’t look back. Maybe that’s why he is successful.

    • piper

      not that the complainers would ever admit, but his conservative nature has also won a lot of games for us. which, when you have a competent defense, is fine. we haven’t lately, that’s why everyone’s up in arms. i think grantham will get us back there, but we have to give the man time to work. the improvements on that side of that ball are already VERY evident. let the changes have time to work.

      i agree with the comment below, however, about the coaches being too tentative with a young quarterback. i’m not sure who it was, but i’d bet cmr had a player early in his career that he feels like he really screwed up by throwing too much at him too soon. he needs to trust some guys a little more.

      • JBJ

        Couldn’t agree more about Grantham. Couldn’t disagree more about conservative nature winning games. We can look back and say they woulda, shoulda, coulda. My opinion is that if you play to win and put the hammer down we win 90% of the games you are referring to anyway, if not 100%.

        • Normaltown Mike

          So when Odell, Pollack, TD, Blue, Jennings, et. al. played for Georgia, CMR “played to win”.

          With Dowtin, Dobbs, Evans, Byrd and Miller, CMR “plays not to lose”.


          That Jamie Newberg sure IS a genius.

          • JBJ

            BVG coached to win in my opinion.

            • Normaltown Mike

              So if BVG had “coached up” those guys, they’d have been just as good?

              Or is it that Van Halenger forgot how to “condition” those guys?

              This just in…Cam Newton signs with Auburn and leads team to SEC title, Gene Chizik named Coach of the Year.

              • JBJ

                Would BVG have let the defense get to the point it was last year? I think not, but who knows.

                You can blame CVH for S&C. You can blame the players for not having enough fire to do it on their own. Some people could blame the HC for allowing the program to get to that point.

                CMB and CVH are the REAL problem.

  2. dean

    One is coaching to win while the other is coaching not to lose.

  3. keith

    CMR would have never, I repeat never, tried to score before the half backed up on his 10yd line with David Greene at the helm, much less Jefferson. CMR limited the playbook on Murray early in the year anad it cost us. Playing not to lose rather than playing to win. Well you would think by now he would know that playing that way cost you victories. And we were playing with a QB that had been in the system more than a year.

    • Will Q

      Several people have said that limiting the playbook early in the season cost, but how do you know that? It’s just as possible that had they opened things up with Murray early on that we would have seen the shaken-up freshman of the last couple of games at the beginning of the season rather than the precocious freshman that has us all wondering how he made so many mistakes against Florida.

      Knowing now how many games we’ve lost makes it easy to look back and say we should’ve opened things up, but at the time, Richt and Bobo were doing exactly what everyone wanted them to do: bring Murray along slowly.

    • Hackerdog

      It’s easy for Captain Hindsight to say that Richt should have been leaning on Murray (without Green) in the early games. But before the season, I don’t recall seeing or hearing that anywhere.

      Before the season, everybody said we should protect the freshman QB and rely on the best OL in the country, and the second best set of RBs in the conference.

      Now, those same people are saying Richt is an idiot for playing it the way every single person thought we had to play it. Whatever.

  4. Mike

    I seem to remember a onside kick against Florida not too many games ago. Right after Georgia scored and seized the momentum in what at the time was a tight game.

    Gutsy call, but it did not work and I think Florida went down and scored on that possession?

  5. Biggus Rickus

    Miles is 59-16 at LSU with the flukiest national title since Colorado’s in 1990, maybe the flukiest ever. With his own recruits as upperclassmen the last two years he was 17-9. Let’s not overpraise him because he’s gotten lucky a LOT this year. He’s a mostly good coach who does weird things and has never lost fewer than two games in a season. I expect that trend to hold when they lay an egg against Arkansas. And for what it’s worth, Richt is 2-1 against him.

  6. JC

    Don’t forget, 4 weeks ago everyone in Louisiana wanted to fire “the Hat”…..but now he’s a genius.

    • Will Q

      Yep, kinda like how by the end of 2007 everyone was saying how Mark Richt was a motivational genius…but now they want to fire him.

  7. Bright Idea

    LSU/Miles was 8-5 in 2008.

  8. Irishdawg

    Richt doesn’t have a voodoo priestess chained up in his basement like Les Miles, either. Does Miles make gutsy calls? Yes. Has he also gotten an unholy amount of good luck on them? Yes and Yes. Richt and the Dawgs get more shitty luck thrown their way than any team I can think of; even if Richt had tried more pull-it-out-of -your-ass plays, they probably would have blown up in his face.

    • Russ

      Miles isn’t always lucky, either. That’s how you wind up 8-5 and people calling for your head.

      • Todd

        Georgia needs to beat the #2 teamin the country at their house, and Georgia tech to be 7-5 for the second consecutive year. Who is counting right? Sure wouldn’t want to be like that stupid ole Les Miles.

        Saban’s face sure looked different on saturday afternoon than it did after a “BLACKOUT” game in Athens.

        • Will Q

          You mean the blackout game that Richt tried because everyone thought the previous blackout game against Auburn was awesome and showed how well our boys could play when they were properly motivated?

          • Hackerdog

            Come on Will. Only idiots try blackout games, except when they work. Just like only geniuses try fake punts, except when they don’t work. It just depends.

            Fire Richt!

  9. Todd

    I remember Richt runningout the clock in the 1st half against Michigan St.. It was a bowl game for crying out loud! With Stafford and Moreno. I knew then this man didn’t have what it takes to be a national champion coach.
    FSU fans still talk about Richt being too conservative as their OC. Same thing when he came to Georgia. The red zone problems were awful. Thank God for Billy Bennett and Coutu.

    Logan Gray returning punts, red shirting Moreno, promoting within, these are examples of being conservative. Yes, conservative will win you ball games, especially if you have better talent. Which isn’t the case right now at Georgia.

    Promoting from within has been the most costly of them all. Bobo’s lack of creativity and Willie Martinez talent evaluations are going to prove to be more than Richt can bare. Face it boys, it ain’t gettin’ no butter next year.

    Les Miles recruits playmakers, and puts them in situations to do what they were brought there to do. Richt fulfills life long dreams of walk ons, broken up players, and kickers with scholarships and pool parties. Don’t forget about the occasional pony rides. Moral victories are welcomed and cherished in Athens these days.

    • Les Miles recruits playmakers, and puts them in situations to do what they were brought there to do.

      Miles wound up 8-5 last year with a significant part of the fan base calling for his head.

      Somehow, I suspect that if you were a Tiger fan, you wouldn’t have been advising patience on their part.😉

      • Puffdawg

        Actually, SB, Les was 9-4 last year. It was 2008 when he went 8-5.

          • Puffdawg

            No sweat. I know it’s hard to keep track when Les has such a passion for winning while our coach only has a passion for not losing.

            • Todd

              It is going to be funny to see if Mettenberger will help the LSU team.

              Also in all these records, is LSU getting embarrassed? Are they getting blown the f$%! out on national TV? Take your pick in Georgia’s case the “come from ahead” losses to Kentucky, Georgia Tech, Tennessee. Or making Crompton look heismanesque in a blow out or the infamous BLACKOUT. How is his record against Florida?

              • Puffdawg

                I should be taking heed to the old expression “Never argue with an idiot. He’ll drag you down to his level and beat you with experience.”

                Enlighten me on what you meant by your Mett comment. Is it that Richt is a poor coach for kicking him off the team after he sexually assualted a female and then lied to Richt’s face about it? Or is your point that Les Miles is a good coach for recruiting him after he sexually assualted a female and then lied to Richt’s face about it?

                And as to your point about us being blown out on national TV, if you’d put your shortsightedness aside for 30 seconds, you might consider the fact that Richt identified the problem (perhaps later than he should have) and has taken measures to fix the problem(s). With his new DC (and scheme), they have been competitive in every game. In a vaccuum, merely being competitive does not do it for me as I don’t like to settle for moral victories. But under the circumstances, having replaced CWM et al with a drastic schematic overhaul, I view this as a process and am willing to acknowledge the team has improved.

                P.S. I’d say they were pretty freaking embarassed in 2008 when we whipped their asses in Death Valley by two touchdowns, they lost by 30 to Florida and lost by 18 at home to an unranked Ole Miss team. They followed up the Ole Miss loss with a season ending loss to a 5-7 Arkansas team.

                And if not for a phatom celebration penalty on AJ last season they’d probably have been embarassed for that loss as well. You can thank the SEC refs for Mark Richt only being 2-1 against Miles instead of 3-0.

                And you can probably thank South Carolina, Vanderbilt AND Kentucky’s kickers in 2007 for Richt not being 4-0 against the Mad Hatter.

              • Xon


                Willie is gone now. Did you miss that? Is there some magic pixie dust that you think a program can sprinkle on all of its players and coaches so that none of the are ever duds, so that the basic fluctuations of binomial distribution NEVER come up on a down side for your team, so that you NEVER lose badly? Holy crap, dude. You can either analyze real-life events with some notion of sense, or you can’t.

                I’m not saying you cannot draw the conclusions you are drawing about the direction of the program or about Richt’s future in it. I’m saying you need to work on your arguments for that position. Hard.

  10. Will Q

    It’s amazing how in one season being called “the Mad Hatter” has gone from being an insult to a compliment.

  11. Irishdawg

    “Saban’s face sure looked different on saturday afternoon than it did after a “BLACKOUT” game in Athens.”

    Can we please put to bed the idea that having a black-out that game somehow caused us to lose? The jerseys aren’t magic, for Christ’s sakes. Just because we lost a game with them doesn’t make wearing them a bad decision or mean we should never wear them again.

  12. Xon

    Yeah, thanks for that IrishDawg.

    The Bama game in 08 was BAD, BAD, BAD. It WAS a soul-crushing, depressing, sets-you-back a little kind of day. Game Day. The hype. The energy. The jerseys. The expectations for that season. All of those things combined to make it a particularly painful, and embarrassing loss. But this is football. We have a problem with small sample sizes (snicker snicker) here. We play 12 – 14 games a year. In baseball, nobody freaks out when the Red Sox lose ONE game to the LAST PLACE team in the league by 8 runs. Why? Because that kind of stuff IS GOING TO HAPPEN from time to time. 162 games has a way of evening out the randomness, though.

    It’s partly the nature of the beast, and it contributes to the passion of football so it’s not like we would want to change it even if we somehow could. But it has to be remembered if we don’t be up in Heaven one day (if you believe in that) and have God show the highlight reel of your sins for all the world to see, and the first segment is “what an illogical dumbass you were over a game when you were supposed to be a grown-ass man”…

    Get. It. Together.