Mark Richt wasn’t talking about his tight ends there, even though as a group they’re on pace for the fewest catches in a season since he became the head coach.
Assuming the Bulldogs make a bowl game and continue on their current rate, the position will finish with 23 catches and 312 yards over the course of 13 games.
In 2007, the tight ends finished with 24 catches and 307 yards as well as three touchdowns. The current crop of tight ends have zero this season.
Richt got a little testy earlier this week when the dip in production at the position was brought up.
“The reality is we have progression reads and we are gonna throw it to this guy if he is open and if not we will throw it to that guy,” Richt said. “And sometimes the tight end is open we throw it to him and sometimes he doesn’t.”
Given the reputation that preceded Brian Schottenheimer’s offensive strategy, that’s another one of this season’s little surprises. Whether that’s on the offensive coordinator or the starting quarterback, though, I can’t say.
In any event, what Richt was referring to by that quote in the header is a completely different group.
Georgia feels it has a lot of talent at wide receiver. So why has one guy caught almost three times as many passes as anyone else?
Part of that is because it’s Malcolm Mitchell, a fifth-year senior who quickly gained the trust of transfer quarterback Greyson Lambert. But part of it is because most of the options are true freshmen.
It’s time to get those guys involved more, the coaches acknowledge.
That’s not a bad thing in and of itself, but it begs a couple of questions. First, as we know, it’s not like Georgia’s running a ton of plays on offense. If you’re going to give these kids more touches, whom are you taking them from?
Second (and perhaps more significant), when Richt goes on to say the freshmen receivers need to play, “Because that’s really the only way they’ll develop”, is he hinting that the staff is beginning to see this season’s purpose as more developmental than they did in August? I’ve said all along that Richt’s been trying to balance the need to get his young talent game experience with the goal of winning the SEC East for the first time in three seasons. Is this an indication he’s reconsidering whether those are still worth balancing?