So the first 2015 scrimmage is in the books. Contrary to my jokey post yesterday, Richt did release a fair amount of information about it and where things stand in many areas at this point.
First, here’s a stats summary. So there’s that. It should be obvious that the stats from any scrimmage that ended without Nick Chubb generating any yardage – or touches, for that matter – should be taken with a grain of salt. And it’s clear if you listen to what Richt had to say yesterday about the scrimmage, that he took the numbers in context.
Still, there was more to take away from yesterday than I expected. On to the bullet points:
- Richt’s demeanor. He’s almost always laid back in these settings (except when he’s responding to a Chuck Oliver question), but there was a certain sense of calm in how things are progressing that emerges as you watch him answer media questions. It’s not that he was blowing smoke; he acknowledged there are several areas of concern. What comes across to me, though, is a feeling that there haven’t been any big surprises so far. When you consider the overhaul of the offensive staff, that’s not a bad thing.
- The offense. Evidently it’s been going through growing pains through the first week of spring practice, but smoothed out some of the rough edges in the scrimmage. Per Richt, “We looked more like an offensive unit today.”
- Center. It’s not as high-profile as the battle for the starting quarterback position, but the search to replace David Andrews is important in its own right. Yesterday, Isaiah Wynn received the first-team snaps at center, followed by Hunter Long. This is pure speculation on my part, but my guess is that the coaches would prefer for Wynn to emerge as the starter, simply because Long is a senior and if he winds up as the first-teamer, it means they have to go through the same shuffle at the position next year.
- Injuries on offense. They’ve made something of a mess at running back and wide receiver, which is why Quayvon Hicks is now getting training at yet another position, tailback. There are only seven or eight healthy receivers right now, which makes the math kinda shaky when the coaches are trying to run three teams out there. On the other hand, it’s kind of nice to see some serious production out of Justin Scott-Wesley.
- The quarterbacks. Basically, no surprises at this point: “There were flashes by all of them at certain times,” Richt said of three quarterbacks, who are competing to succeed Hutson Mason. “Sometimes they’d drop back and do exactly what they were supposed to do and throw beautiful strikes. … And then there were some times where you shake your head a little bit. They all have to learn that every play is not going to be successful and sometimes you’ve got to throw the ball away.” Gee, where have we heard that before?
- The defense. Obviously the big statistical story was Jake Ganus’ day, but keep in mind he was working second-team. More interesting to me is that Jarvis Wilson, an early enrollee at defensive back, keeps doing enough to get attention (although Richt makes a point of talking some of that down). With the job Pruitt did with Sanders last season, any db who steps up early is worth keeping an eye on.
- Isaiah McKenzie. The one surprise from Richt’s presser was the way he gushed about McKenzie – as a receiver. We all saw a lot of promise from him last season – he ran routes pretty well and did a good job with separation – that was tempered by a case of the dropsies at certain key moments. So to hear Richt say “He’s got good hands” makes me hope he’s about to step up and become a key contributor on offense. Sure would be good timing for that.
Anyway, that’s what I saw. What about you guys?