I’m as firm a believer as anyone in the position that 90% of what emanates from Butts-Mehre in the offseason should be dismissed as nothing more than happy talk. And the other 10% doesn’t mean diddly until it’s proven on the field.
That being said, I am intrigued on a certain level with some recent comments made and actions taken by Richt:
- Strength and conditioning. Start with Richt’s comparison between Tereshinski and new hire John Thomas: “Coach T is kind of a strength, explosive, endurance guy. And John is a little bit more of a high-intensity training kind of guy.” Add in this about Sherman Armstrong, the other new hire: “One of the things we really felt like we needed to bolster within our strength and conditioning program is the element of speed.” Then top it off with this explanation about why mat drills, which were eliminated last year are being reintroduced on a more limited basis: “If you’re doing it three times a week while you’re trying to lift, it takes away from the eight hours you’re allowed to lift and also it breaks down the body. So a year ago we just went strictly to try to get more strong and more mass and more lean muscle mass throughout the season. And we did that. We accomplished that, we got some of the bigger, stronger guys … in the country.” All told, it sounds like we’re hearing more specifics about what Richt wants out of S&C than we’ve heard in a while. Maybe that’s because he’s not as deferential to the current staff as he was to Van Halanger. Maybe there’s another reason. And there’s no telling, of course, if he’s correct about what he thinks he’s getting with the new hires. (By the way, that “The guys are kind of buzzing about the excitement …” comment about Armstrong? That’s happy talk.)
- Brain picking. By his own admission, Richt’s brought in three coaches to discuss special teams. “We feel like we’re on the right track in terms of what we’re going to do,” Richt said. “Now we just have to get the right people and get it taught properly.” I don’t want to read too much into that, but it sure sounds like he’s conceding there was more to last season’s problems than just personnel issues. And what to make of this? Georgia recently flew in its entire coaching staff to meet with Jon Gruden.
Like I said, it’s silly to read too much into all of this. But it’s clear Richt’s got some specific things on his mind before spring practice kicks in. Does anyone else find much of this of significance?