We had a… ahem… lengthy discussion yesterday about what Richt might be up to by closing fall practices to the media. Here are a couple of follow-up thoughts to that, both along the lines that Richt is simply breasting his cards so that he doesn’t tip his hand to Boise State’s coaches (okay, I’m done beating the poker metaphors to death now).
First, if you haven’t seen this quote from Richard Samuel in yesterday’s AJ-C, it’s worth a look:
Q: Surely some things have changed. How much would you say is different?
A: I’d just say the signals mainly; actually the whole play-calling situation. We’re doing a lot of no-huddle and a lot of high-tempo stuff, and that’s new to us. There are a lot of sight adjustments, so you have to be paying attention and focused and listening and hurrying up.
If that’s the case, that’s a big change from season’s past, when Richt wanted to control the tempo of a game as much as possible. That would indicate two things to me: one, Aaron Murray knows more and more what to do and two, Richt likes what he’s seeing out of the defense.
The other thing I wonder about is the shake up at safety.
Georgia ‘s starters at safety for the Boise State game are now set, and Bacarri Rambo isn’t one of them.
Richt said for the first time this preseason what some players have already said — that converted cornerback Sanders Commings and Shawn Williams are the starters at the position.
Richt called Commings “our No. 1 safety right now along with Shawn.”
Rambo was a starter last season when he finished second on the team in tackles with 82 and tied for the team lead with three interceptions. His second-team role has prompted uncertainty about his status.
“He’s done well,” Richt said. “They’re good football players. … With Sanders ability to play both, it just gives us better depth, but Rambo’s done well.”
There’s been a lot of speculation that Rambo’s been in somebody’s dog house, although to date none of that has been substantiated. What if there’s a much less sinister possibility – that Grantham and Lakatos favor safeties with better coverage skills than Martinez did? I’m not saying for certain that’s what’s going on here, but it’s not an unreasonable premise. And as much as I like certain things Rambo brings to the table, there’s no question he whiffed a good bit in pass coverage last season.