Aww, Coach, don’t be so modest about it.
Actually, after reading the background behind the decision to insert Isaiah McKenzie into the game yesterday as a punt returner, I realize Richt wasn’t being modest, just accurate.
Richt told reporters afterwards that McKenzie, who was in the dog house due to his decision making, was returning the punt because freshman Terry Godwin made a couple of mistakes earlier in the game.
“When Terry got in there, he wasn’t alerting everybody when the ball was kicked short…,” Richt said. “And after the first time, he didn’t do it and we coached him up. And then the second time he didn’t do it and we put Isaiah in. And that was a good thing.
Let that sink in for a moment. McKenzie was in the dog house due to decision making, but seeing as he hadn’t fielded a punt in weeks, where else could that have happened?
Freshman Terry Godwin fielded Georgia’s earlier punt returns. Head coach Mark Richt said he decided to start Godwin in that role because McKenzie had made bad decisions during punt returns in practice.
I’m going to pass on the obvious snark about Reggie Davis’ decision making and focus instead on the wisdom of keeping a kid who walked off the field yesterday tied for Georgia’s all-time mark in returns for touchdowns and punt returns for touchdowns – in less than two seasons, mind you – on the sideline because you don’t like the way he practices. At some point the reluctance to deploy a major weapon, in a season in which you don’t have too many of those, is insane.
Put it this way: I’ll bet Logan Gray was one helluva practice player. I don’t remember his punt returns being much of a game changer, though.
Don’t watch McKenzie field punts in practice, if that lets you sleep better at night. But get his ass on the field.