Scrimmage talk: you know you’re pretty good looking, for an 8-win team.

Mark Richt wasn’t asking for much from yesterday’s scrimmage.  Just domination.

“I want the No. 1 units to dominate, I hope,” coach Mark Richt said. “I want to see guys on the No. 2 unit making plays that would make us believe they’re ready to play SEC football. I hope we have a healthy day. That’s big.”

Well, he got the healthy part.  The rest?  Not so much.

Mark Richt is famous for his laid-back demeanor, or lack of fire, as many would put it. So by praising only faintly, it served as a severe admonishment for his Georgia football team.

The occasion was the second preseason scrimmage Wednesday at Sanford Stadium. The event was closed to the media, but the tone in the head coach’s voice indicated his disapproval.

“Like I told the team, I thought we looked like a pretty good team. But you know, pretty good’s about 8-4,” Richt said. “Maybe 9-3 if you’re lucky. But we’d like to do better than 8-4. And that’s about how we played (Wednesday).”

Georgia enters the season as the favorite to win the SEC East and ranked No. 6 in the preseason USA Today coaches’ poll. The good news for the team is it has 16 days until its opener against unheralded Buffalo to get any issues sorted out.

Following last week’s scrimmage, Richt was upbeat. This time, not so much.

“I saw some good things,” he said. “But I saw a lot of bad things.”

Sounds like we’re witnessing the emergence of a new Richt persona:  Bummed Richt.

I knew something was up yesterday when I was checking my Twitter feed after the scrimmage – Richt must have revised the fumble count to the media four or five times.  He was pissed.  And judging by this comment from his third-year starting quarterback, I can’t say I blame him.

“I didn’t really have two hands on the ball in the pocket. The guy swiped it away from me, and I’ve gotta be more careful,” said Murray, who has had a couple of costly fumbles in his two years as a starter, most notably during last year’s South Carolina game. “There’s big bodies are flying around, and I’ve gotta have two hands on the ball to make sure that doesn’t happen.”

Anytime you want to start paying attention to that, Aaron, be my guest.  (And don’t forget this was a scrimmage.  The quarterbacks weren’t being tackled.)


UPDATE:  Here’s the video clip of Richt’s meeting with the media after the scrimmage.  Dial it up to the 5:35 mark and listen.


Filed under Georgia Football

55 responses to “Scrimmage talk: you know you’re pretty good looking, for an 8-win team.

  1. Jrod1229

    Maybe it’s coach speak or the August love fest that always happens.. but I think Richt may see his best oppourtunity in years to do something big.. in the past he hasn’t come out and said we’re “pretty good” knowing that his team could be border line great.

    I may be looking too into it, but to me this screams of a coach who looks and see most of the pieces and thinks with the right attitude/determination they can go a long way..

  2. Joe Nails

    I actually like this Richt better. Grumbly Richt. Notice the anguish in his voice in that video clip. Not all this sunshine pumping we usually hear every year. I’d rather hear him up there saying how terrible his QB’s looked all pre-season and then have them working hard getting ready for the season to improve what’s wrong. I like it (for this point in the season).

    • Mayor of Dawgtown

      Me, too. He looks edgy and that IMHO is a good thing. The players will pick up on this and bust their collective asses.

    • The Lone Stranger

      Circumspect, world-weary Richt can be a powerful coaching force. I like too.

  3. I’d rather see Mark doing more backflips off the high dive board and see Mrs. Richt return to her role as waterwife/kissin’ buddy.

  4. Todd

    Too little , too late on creating an attitude. Easier to easeup than get tougher. This schedule is a coaches dream, yet he is down on scholarship players. The OL is still a question mark. As usual, Georgia finds themselves praying this freshman RB is “the one”.

    May be wrong, but I didn’t see many stats on throws to the TE last year in the presseason. IMHO, the TE depth could have created a very different look to the offense. I thought they could be padding the stats to throw a 3 TE set on somebody. Come to find out, they just didn’t use them that much after all. This year, I am not seeing the stats from Rome or Lynch. WTF. I guess the Bobo trip to San Fran was a vacation from all those crumb snatchers.

    Where is Garrison Smith? I thought he would contribute a good bit this year. I haven’t heard anybody talk about him.

    • You’re absolutely right. Let’s just board up the program and quit enjoying college football. Jeez man, you are 16 days away from a glorious Saturday in Athens. What could be better than that?🙂

      • DawgPhan

        just let them be. football season is almost hear, menu is set for the first game, trailer is going to get cleaned up next weekend, new weber smokey mountain added to the cooking arsenal and we are going to have a great time.

    • Sanford222view

      Garrison will play he just isn’t seeing much time because Abry has been a beast supposedly and Cornelius Washington moved to DE. Garrison and Ray Drew are the backups.

      While UGA didn’t use three TE sets last year they did throw to the TE position quite often. Orson had over 40-something receptions. That is a high number for a TE. I believe he was Top 10 in receptions nationally for TE’s.

    • IveyLeaguer

      I agree it’s too late to create an attitude, if hasn’t been done already. But I think it has, for the first time in a long time, and to a significant degree. There’s enough different with Richt (although subtle) and his players to indicate that. More businesslike, etc., and he was truly upset the other day, a good sign.

      I think Richt has gotten a handle on just about everything else, to his great credit. But the psychology of managing our mindset during the course of the season is where my concern is.

      And it’s not too late for that. He can still demand more, from his players AND coaches, and get a better handle on how to apply psychology to the mindset during the season, on and off the field. He’s never really figured that out, IMO, and it’s not surprising, seeing as how Bobby Bowden never figured it out either.

      But one of the masters is just down the street from his office, which is why I wish he’d take advantage of that great resource.

  5. Dave

    Barber averaged 49.5 yards per punt……and Richt is praising his hangtime. Kicker had a 42 yarder too…..Good signs as we’re at least 12-2 with even average special teams last year.

  6. mg4life0331

    Mark Richt has lost control of Bobo.

  7. AusDawg85

    Paraphrasing…”good, not great performance. Did I see everyone busting their butt on every play? No.”

    I would have dragged them into the locker room afterwards, and before the Powerade was dispensed and pads taken off, shown the team the 2nd half “lowlights” of the SECCG, then asked if anyone was ready to get back out on the field and try this again.

    They’ve got to want to be great, not just show up from time to time (sadly, an UGA tradition it seems).

    • Cosmic Dawg

      I hope he pulls any slackers from starting against Buffalo..surely we are deep enough to pull that off. And here I was thinking these kids were fired up for the new season…:/

  8. Skeptic Dawg

    Shocking! You say a Richt coached team is looking like a 4 loss squad? This should not come as a surprise to anyone.

  9. Scorpio Jones, III

    As I said somewhere earlier, considering my football watching and listening heritage, Butts, Vince and Larry, for a coach to say anything positive…anything, does nothing but send fear racing down my spine…and when the fans are babbling about national championships….well, I need a drink while I dig out my book of crow recipes. Freshmen in the kicking game, no offensive line depth, freshmen at running back and a defense everybody keeps telling me is world class, but is this not the same bunch that played in Atlanta last year?

  10. Macallanlover

    I am not sure the fumble against SC was as costly as the one to open the 2nd half against LSU in the Championship game. Defense has stood tall until that short-field TD drive gave them major momentum and opened the flood gates. We will never know about that, and we do know the one against SC cost us one, but I cannot get over that felling of doom when I saw the ball bouncing on the field at the Dome about a minute into the third quarter.

  11. IveyLeaguer

    It wasn’t a Vince Lombardi performance, but it was certainly different. Richt was not a happy camper, not should he have been. I liked it.

    The thing is, it’s imperative that coaches be DEMANDING, that the bear of excellence be set high, and when it’s not reached, the players have to know, in no uncertain terms, that it’s not acceptable.

    There are as many ways to do that as there are coaches. That has been lacking in Athens for some years now, and is a big part of what got us in this hole, culture-wise and otherwise.

    If it’s not Richt’s personality to do it, that’s fine, but then somebody else has to do it. Grantham has taken up the slack for the defense, in that department. Either Richt or Bobo must do it for the offense.

    When Richt was OC, whatever he did in that department seemed to work, most of the time. Under Bobo, it hasn’t worked, and as a result Georgia’s offense has had a tendency to beat itself, especially in early games.

    We can’t afford to give the Mizzou game, or any of the other games away this year. Not only that, it’s time to play something other than catch-up, for a change.

    • W Cobb Dawg

      AM is in his 4th year at UGA (counting redshirt), not to mention he was an early entry giving him another 7 months of tutoring by our coaches. He’s obviously very smart and a hard worker, with a good arm and good mobility. Except for height, he’s about as close to the ideal QB candidate as you’ll ever see. If he’s still screwing up after all this time, I blame the teacher, not the student.
      But what the heck, it’s hard to take preseason comments serious. One day CMR is saying we make too many mistakes, a few days later he’s taking everyone to the pool. We’ll find out what we’re made of when we get on the field at mizzou.

      • IveyLeaguer

        I agree. At some point the teacher has to be held accountable. And it’s not just QB’s that have helped us beat ourselves on offense. But it hasn’t carried over into the season YET, so that’s something.

        What I know for sure if that excellence has to be DEMANDED from a college football team. Otherwise, you’re not going to get it. Richt did that in the early years, but got away from it.

        Is this a sign he is trying to get back to it? I hope so.

        In terms of QB’s, it’s got to be either Richt or Bobo that cracks the whip. Maybe both. But I would think Bobo.

      • Mayor of Dawgtown

        Westy, let’s not go off half-cocked here. It was a comment about 1 day’s practice in summer camp. You’re talking about a QB that threw for 35 tds last year. Somebody taught him something right. So he dropped the ball a couple of times in practice. I’ve always believed that everybody has a certain amount of screw-ups in them and you want to get those out of the ol’ system before the season starts. This is all positive IMHO. If what we heard was only how great everything was I’d be really suspicious and think we were getting snowed. Having a few warts is not necessarily all bad.

        • IveyLeaguer

          If it was just about yesterday, you would be right, of course. But this is something that’s been going on for 6 years, at least.

          One thing I know for certain. Excellence has to be DEMANDED from a college football team. Otherwise you will not get it. Richt & Co. did a good job of that for the first couple of years.

          But he got away from it, and nearly lost control of the program. He’s busted his butt to put the pieces back together, and it’s almost there. From what can tell, this is the only piece that’s lacking, that Richt hasn’t fully addressed.

          Yesterday’s press conference was different – a first for Richt. I’m hoping that’s his way of indicating he IS INDEED going to demand more. And not just from his players but, maybe even more importantly, his coaches. Because IMO, that’s what we need right now, more than anything else.

          Personally, I wish Richt would do two things: 1) Think back to how things were his first two years, and 2) have a long talk with Vince Dooley.

          • Mayor of Dawgtown

            I agree with your post except for one thing: If CMR is going to have a long talk with someone I would rather it be with Tom Osborn.

            • IveyLeaguer

              Interesting. Why Osbourne? Nobody ever got more out of less than Dooley, and that’s Richt’s problem.

              • Mayor of Dawgtown

                Really? What did Vince Dooley actually accomplish? He backed into the only national championship that he ever won when the best back in the history of college football literally fell into his lap. Half of his SEC Championships came while HW was there. At least 3 of the 6 were shared with Bama because UGA didn’t play the Tide those years.If you take out that stretch of 1980-83 when the Dawgs only lost 4 games in 4 seasons what would VD’s winning percentage be? 60%? Other than ’66, ’68, ’71 and ’76 plus the foregoing early 80s stretch what other really good teams did he have in 25 years? Plus, as soon as Erk left the program started going down. Personally, I wish VD had taken the Auburn job after the ’80 season. UGA would have made Erk the HC and the Dawgs would have won half a dozen more natties before Erk retired.

                • Mayor of Dawgtown

                  P.S. I would have said “talk to Erk” above but unfortunately…that’s not possible.

                • IveyLeaguer

                  I won’t go there, because that’s another argument, another cup of worms.
                  But I think you’re dead wrong. Dooley didn’t win any more than he did because he didn’t recruit well.

                  But developing players and coaching was something he did very well. And he was a master psychologist, which is why Richt would benefit from his counsel.

                  If you disagree with that, don’t even bother. Because AFAIC, you don’t know what you’re talking about, and we’ll get nowhere fast.

                  Sure, I wish we had done better in the Dooley years. But when we had the players, we did it.

                  And sometimes, when we didn’t have the players.

                  • Mayor of Dawgtown

                    You didn’t say anything that really disagreed with what I said IL. FWIW I thought at the time and still believe that Dooley’s strength was as a game-day decision maker and yes CMR could use some help in that department, so maybe you have a point. As for the quality of athlete at UGA during Dooley’s time, look at all the ones that played in the NFL later or that were AA and/or All-Pro. Jake Scott. George Patton. Bill Stanfill. Edgar Chandler. I could go on and on. UGA had plenty of talent then. Were there years when the Dawgs didn’t? Sure. That’s when we had 5-5, 5-5-1, 5-6 type teams. I don’t want to demean Dooley so much as to not look at him through rose-colored glasses like so many do. I still maintain the real coach on the staff was Erk, however.

                    • IveyLeaguer

                      That’s cool. I do hold Dooley in high esteem, up there with Bryant and other great coaches, because I believe he could have done as much, or close to it, with the same material Bryant had.

                      Yeah, we had some good players under Dooley, a lot of them, and most were part of a championship team at some point. But it wasn’t anything close to the year-to-year talent Richt has had.

                      I don’t remember a year when Dooley drastically underachieved, and there were few, if any, that you could call underachieving. Richt has had 7 underachieving years in a row.

                      Dooley got the most out of his players, he didn’t put up with any crap in terms of lack of effort. And he was master psychologist. That’s how he won so many games he had no business winning. And usually in the 4th quarter.

                      And that’s what Richt could use the most right now.

    • The Bear of Excellence

      I have to sit out the Buffalo game ’cause I done set myself tooooo hiiiiiiigghh on honey and brownies and went ridin’ shotgun with B. Smith!

      • The Beer of Excellence

        I also have to sit out the Buffalo game ’cause I got myself tooooo hiiiiiiggh on PBR and Bud.

  12. Jrod1229

    Wow a coach doesn’t decide to felate his team after a meaningless scrimmage and we think the world is coming to an end. Even if the team was perfect he’d of come out fired up. Thats what coaches do, they motivate players to work harder by striking them down.

    Some of y’all need to get off the damn ledge and enjoy life a little bit.

    • BMan

      Agreed. Maybe some people want a coach that comes out and says he’s been waiting all his life to coach a team like this. Wonder if there are any of those around Athens?

  13. Pingback: If You Look Close Enough, You Can See It « The Grit Tree

  14. Really would like to see Mason get an opportunity to run the show – I believe he pays attention to managing the game and protecting the football. That surely cost us in EVERY big game last year!

  15. shane#1

    I am not surprised, halfway through camp and these guys are tired of playing each other. Have them run some wind sprints after practice this week coach. That always made me pay attention.

  16. Rebar

    Seemed like a pretty honest assessment to me; when did Coach shave?