A changed man

This doesn’t sound like the Mark Richt I used to know:

Georgia has played 21 true freshmen this year, and Mark Richt has changed his philosophy when it comes to redshirting, opting to play more guys for the experience and depth.

“I don’t think as much about redshirting guys as I used to, because not many guys stay five years anyway,” Richt said. “Even if they play just a little bit, they’re just so much more ready to play. There’s so many guys that, a year from now, are going to have to play. So if you know a guy’s going to have to play for you next year, you might (as well) get him as many reps as you can possibly get him.

“If he’s a redshirt freshman, he’s almost like a true freshman in a lot of ways. So I’d rather have a true sophomore that’s got a few plays under his belt than a redshirt freshman that hasn’t played a game.”

Again, the most interesting thing about this season is that it’s shaping up to be a year in which Georgia is simultaneously chasing a division title and prepping a young team for the future.  That’s a tough juggling act for anybody and when you consider how Richt has handled roster management before, it seems especially so for Georgia.  The early schedule has helped, no doubt.  But in that regard, this season’s ride promises to be an interesting one.

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16 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football

16 responses to “A changed man

  1. Uglydawg

    It would seem that eventually, you get enough young players experienced and up to speed, that you saturate your useable sponge of talent..then the incoming guys will find it hard to get off the bench again because it would be at the expense of not playing your best.
    I guess you could still play the youngsters in cup-cake outings, but with the talent already developed, the red-shirt is going to have to make a come back.
    If it becomes a problem, (showing recruits how much early playing time Georgia has been giving, and then not having the minutes to give them)
    then it will be a good one to have.
    Bottom line is that there is (are?) a finate number of playing minutes available…how much you want to spread them out will depend on how good your upper classmen are. As you develop young guys into the talented upper class, will you want to go out and conquer the world with that talent, or play freshmen?
    We saw this weekend what happens when you don’t get enough “style points”..dawgraded again…B
    But for CMR, where you rank during the season doesn’t matter, because your goal is to win the SEC and if you do that, you’ll go to the big dance.

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    • Uglydawg

      BTW…I believe CMR is absolutley on the right track with this philosophy. He’s building for now and for the future..as the Senator stated..it’s a tough juggling act. If he pulls it off then he will have made a huge statement about recruiting and developing a team in the SEC, and others will have to follow or fall behind.

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      • Macallanlover

        He is definitely on the right track but your point is valid, that will back up on you and there just isn’t enough playing time available except in garbage time. We will not be alone in facing that, all schools are seeing increased transfers as young players do not want to sit, especially that second year. With the class we are assembling for 2016, and the returning talent we will have back from this team, something will have to give. Great problem to have regarding quality players but advertising playing time for freshmen is a double edged sword when you are loading in 4 and 5 star players. I like the new direction but we will see some downsides over the next two years.

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      • Bulldog Joe

        We were the ones who fell behind.

        However the schedule has helped us make up ground this year.

        We’ll find out Saturday if we’ve closed the gap.

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  2. It’s safe to say that MOST coaches have changed their ideas on redshirting.

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    • Uglydawg

      Probably..but if your incoming talent isn’t to a level to handle actual game time, you’ll fail the juggling act.
      This is all good news to the cup-cakes that need to play big schools for a paycheck…Easy games will be even more important for developing those freshmen.
      But the team that is packed with talent at the top should be tempted to pound everybody with that talent.. If you don’t you get dawgraded..especially if your in the SEC and esp. if you’re Georgia.
      We were dropped a spot this week..not that it matters..the SEC race will determine where Georgia stands in the end and CMR realizes that.
      That’s why I feel like he’s doing the right thing..we are looking at some really good Georgia teams for at least the near future.
      The BIGGEST factor will be hanging on to a very talented coaching staff. That’s going to be huge.

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      • dawgtired

        “We were dropped a spot this week..”
        And we won the way we were supposed to. I noticed that teams like OSU and TCU didn’t drop in the weeks they struggled…politics.

        “The BIGGEST factor will be hanging on to a very talented coaching staff. That’s going to be huge.”
        …yep, I sure hope this coaching staff stays together long enough for us to enjoy a couple of Championships.

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  3. Cojones

    Sic’em Richt. A few of us have always had faith in you doing the right stuff with our teams. You are better at changing than several fans here are.

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  4. W Cobb Dawg

    Yes, we’ve played 21 newbees. No, we were not dependent on them for the wins so far. Godwin, Harris, McGraw, Thompson, Abram and a couple special teamers look to be regulars. These first 4 games have allowed us to get several other newbees some playing time so we can evaluate their performance. The schedule has certainly set up well for us in that regard.

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    • HahiraDawg

      Natrez Patrick hasn’t played perfectly thus far (mentally) but he certainly looks the part physically. I’m glad someone like him is actually getting as many snaps this year as he has. He will be a better starter quicker when his number is called. He is just one example along with the ones you mentioned Cobb.

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      • dawgtired

        I have high hopes for Natrez. He can be a force in the middle the way Carter/Floyd/Jenkins is on the outside. Thompson got a lot of PT in the second half this week. He looks fast off the ball. I hope he is ready to spell Mayes and Atkins throughout the Bama game. They will need it after trying to stop Henry over the course of 60 minutes.

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  5. Bright Idea

    From not playing enough guys to playing too many. Richt just can’t get anything right.

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  6. Big Ol cup of STFU

    Just win baby!

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  7. AceDawg

    It is definitely interesting. Hard to know if either this year or next is more of a rebuilding one. I tend to think both years split the difference and that overall UGA is in good shape for both of them. So long as the current veterans stay healthy, our freshmen can be positive assets that make our team better this year rather than just risky plays that have a return on investment next year. The veterans on the D line for instance have stood the test so far – better than anticipated. Our secondary is more of a concern to me than it appears for most. Luckily, it’s still a young group that will truly be veteran-laden next year – a year we’ll need it as our LB and DL groups will be young.

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    • Macallanlover

      I agree with your assessment, we are getting into a better balance of youth and vets. The concern for next year, to me, is getting some more reps for our OL that will need to step up in 2016, and enough playing time for those needed to soften the defensive front losses we will incur. We seem to be in great shape with the returning “skill position” players, and have some talent on board to replace the Seniors. Need to keep getting those young guys the reps and having film to use for teaching them. We have a lot of young athletes on this team that can help pick up the slack and minimize the steps back.

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