Mark Richt is all in on fit and trim. Or at least finding a happy medium.
In the offseason training program, Georgia did more running than any other year in Richt’s tenure, the head coach said this week. So more guys dropped weight, but some of them were asked to then put it back on in muscle mass.
“We’ve gotta get stout enough to stand up to teams we’ll play defensively and be able to move people offensively,” Richt said. “But I think we’ve identified the guys we want to gain the weight. We’ve still got one or two guys that might need to trim up a bit. But everybody who’s a little heavy is not far from their target.”
Yeah, yeah, Florida and Georgia Tech. I get it. Except I’d argue those games were as much about poor execution as about beef… more, really.
In those two bad games, the edges were as much the problem as up the gut. Georgia’s front was physically beaten too much, but the back was late to the ball and didn’t make plays.
“Two things can happen, really,” Richt said. “One is physically we get thrown around. And the other one is to maybe not make your run fits exactly as they should be, and then a big run spits out of there. There was probably a little bit of both in those games, with the amount of rushing yards that happened. The bottom line is, we’ve gotta be physical enough and play with good pad level and good fundamentals enough to keep from getting moved.”
Florida was a case of outside contain being poorly maintained (maybe more a case on occasion of not being maintained at all). And while Georgia Tech was more about getting gashed up the middle, Johnson did a good job running his offense at gaps Georgia created with its line shifts.
If physical size were everything, then Georgia wouldn’t have gotten pounded like it did in the 2012 SECCG. That was just a mashing. It’s not every day you see a team convert a two-point play by running the ball up the middle.
It wasn’t that Jenkins and Geathers were stiffs; they were just worn down. Which is why Mark Richt’s current attitude makes sense. You can adjust your schemes mid-game. There isn’t much you can do about durability once your linemen get winded.