Mark Richt, I think we’ll all agree, is a pretty good quarterbacks coach. And it’s nice to wade through the hot seat, schedule talk and whatever annual noise there is about him to find some good Xs and Os stuff from him. Here’s something from Chris Brown, in an excellent piece about the learning curve at the position:
… As defenses have become increasingly sophisticated, quarterbacks now need more options than simple key-defender reads provide. The answer was the progression read, which forces a quarterback to look at one receiver after another until he gets to the first open man. The progression read removes the need to look directly at defenders, but it doesn’t mean a quarterback should be looking directly at receivers, either.
“I don’t tell our guys to look at a defender,” Georgia head coach Mark Richt said at a coaching clinic. “If our quarterback is looking at a defender, then his vision is too tight. Let’s say he looks at the Will [weakside] linebacker and the Will linebacker flies out to the flat. If he flies out to the flat, I better hit the slant, right? Well, what if the Mike [middle linebacker] runs that way and picks your slant? It’s because you told him to look at the Will.”
The quarterback isn’t looking for defenders. He’s looking for passing lanes — open windows through which he can throw the ball. “I tell them to look to the area,” said Richt. “You look to the slant area, to the curl area. If there’s nothing between you and him, throw it in there. If there’s someone in the throwing lane, then go to the next read.”
Sure, it’s just one part of the package, but it’s what he and Bobo have had Aaron Murray drilled on for four seasons.
Watch this clip at the 1:32 mark and then the replay and you can see Murray scan the field as the play develops before throwing to Marlon Brown.