Per Seth Emerson, here’s what Richt had to say last night in Albany about his three options:
Faton Bauta:: “Guy’s been here working his tail off every day. He’s probably the hardest worker of the bunch. He’s really become a good decision-maker. He’s getting the ball to the right guy most of the time. He’s thrown very few balls, in a competitive setting, that should be intercepted. He hasn’t been careless with the ball. He understands the system, even though it’s relatively new he’s picking it up quickly. So he’s got a tremendous opportunity.”
Brice Ramsey: “Brice, when he does it right it’s beautiful. Big, tall, he’s got a beautifl throwing motion, he’s very athletic. And he’s really becoming a great student of the game. It’s just amazing to see him in meetings and how well he takes notes and how well he’s picking things up. Brice has had a little bit of a habit of throwing some balls into coverage, and he’s gotta do a little better job of taking care of the ball in that regard.”
Jacob Park: “(He) has got a tremendous skill set. Tall, long, athletic, can throw it extremely well. But he’s a little bit behind in the knowledge of the game. But like I told him, and I’ve said publicly, if between now and the time August 1 rolls around, when we start practicing, if he really gets that knowledge down and gets to where it’s second nature to him, he’s gonna throw his hat in the ring pretty strong.”
That sounds to me like he’s looking for a reason not to choose Bauta as the starter, but hasn’t found one. Yet.
“But like I mentioned today, you’ve gotta be an accurate passer, you have to be a good decision-maker, but you also have to be able to handle the pressure of that job,” Richt said. “And until you get there in front of 90,000 and the millions on television, we don’t know how they’re going to handle the pressure of being the man. So even if we name one guy, those second- and third-team guys better hang onto their hat because they may be in there if the first guy doesn’t handle it well.”
I admit to being skeptical about the quarterback battle lasting into the beginning of the regular season. (Richt even told Emerson that he would have preferred to select a starter coming out of spring camp.) But my skepticism is starting to wane. All I can say at this point is that I hope one of the three takes command of the position during August. Having to use the regular season to find out who can best stand the heat is almost a surefire recipe for losing a conference game in September.