So, did Mark Richt leave talent for Kirby Smart, or not?

From today’s presser:

On the one hand, I’d say Kirby’s in “the cupboard wasn’t bare when I arrived” camp.  On the other hand, the hunger part was a lesson that Mark Richt had trouble impressing on the troops when he was here.



Filed under Georgia Football

23 responses to “So, did Mark Richt leave talent for Kirby Smart, or not?


    We’ve said it before, lack of quality depth was an issue at times, especially on OL. Kirby has elevated the talent on the roster..should lead to more competition.

    That said, I think R, Chubb and Sony will be mist.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Derek

    It doesn’t matter what the roster looks like. He’s never, ever, ever gonna concede that talent matters…publicly. If you are a coach its always about prep and focus and hard work.

    He will recruit the most talented players though.

    Part of CMR’s issue was the appearance, real or imagined, that the best players could coast. Was that a reflection on leadership or a perceived lack of urgency due to lack of competition? Who knows? I have a feeling we won’t need to worry about solving that mystery.


    • I think his “CEO” approach the last few years caused this. He let his coordinators take the reigns. Grantham def babied players. Pruitt did not. We all heard how Pruitt clashed with the rest of the staff.

      I love how Kirby holds everyone accountable – whether on the field or the recruiting trail. You better find recruits or you can kindly find the door.


  3. artful codger

    Left bare in critical area of OL if nowhere else. There is significant OL roster difference between ’16 and ’17. Time may prove DB was bare as well.


  4. Bigshot

    Kirby inherited some talent, but the offensive line talent was sorely lacking. Kirby knows the O-line is important, Richt treated it as an after-thought.


  5. South FL Dawg

    Having 85 instead of 70 helps. Signing more OL also. And give Kirby props for recruiting Jake Fromm instead of whoever the other kid was.


  6. Lazy grad

    Or maybe it was the need to send an effective message to the “talent”?
    Exhibit 2016

    Exhibit August practice 2017

    Result? Wims had a good 2017, as did others…

    I don’t want to throw around the oft-used phrase “culture change” yet that is what seems to be the change from 2016 to 2017 and it looks like it will continue…


  7. Thorn Dawg

    Yes, there was talent… at skill positions. Oline was woefully bad and not deep when Kirby arrived.

    Go look at Miami’s 2018 recruiting class and tell me if that doesn’t look familiar. Lot’s of weapons at skill, but no legit tackles or highly ranked lineman.


  8. W Cobb Dawg

    “…there wasn’t a lot of difference in the two rosters from 2016 to 2017..”

    I think Kirby’s pulling our leg on that one. Scanning last year’s roster, there’s 50+ players that arrived after CMR’s departure. Kirby’s first 2 signing classes were very good. And it’s not just the players and depth, the coaching improved dramatically in ’17.

    Having said that, I think Kirby inherited a good foundation to build on. I’d argue CMR inherited more pure talent and depth from Donnan. But the team that made it all the way to the championship had little to do with CMR and everything to do with Kirby.


  9. Bright Idea

    Would Richt have been 13-2 last season with the exact same roster? Just askin’, but yes, he left some talent.


  10. Uglydawg

    Here’s a hypothetical for you. If CMR were the coach, would Chubb and Sony and the others have come back for their Senior year? I say probably outright no.
    I also believe that Senior leadership was a huge part of 17’s success and will have residual value at least through 18. If we see a few more high profile seniors follow the character/ work ethic of those men, it will reside even longer. On this sort of influence, Team Culture is improved.


    • DoubleDawg1318

      My number one concern is replacing all the senior leadership from last year.


    • Mayor

      FWIW I think you are right Ug. Chubb and Sony and probably the LBs too go to the NFL if CMR is HC because they know it will be the same old same old. When CMR first showed up and was young and engaged I noticed that the team played harder for him than it had for Donnan. That was by the boards by the time CMR left though.


      • Macallanlover

        I think the adopted CEO role was partially responsible, the bigger piece of the shortfall for Richt was Kathryn’s cancer. I think it affected his involvement more than any of us know.


  11. Shane#1

    That is my major concern also. UGA has freaky athletes, but Michele, Chub, Bellamy ,Carter, and the rest will be missed for sure. I am excited to see the new O line.I dream of Wilson and Cleveland lining up on the right side.680lbs of roadgraders! Andrews brings 320 more lbs. at RT. If Natori can win the LG spot that’s another 340 lb. monster! McBride also interests me, He just looks like a LB, And that speed!


  12. I don’t think there’s any doubt Richt left some nice dishes in the cupboard when he vacated the premises. Chubb, Sony, Carter, Bellamy, Sanders, Wynn, Ledbetter, Thompson, Atkins, Godwin, Nauta, Eason, Rodrigo, and, of course, R were all safely in the fold when Kirby walked in the door. Sure, Kirby had to convince Eason to stick with his commitment, but that never seemed to be in doubt. I agree with others … the sticking point was the offensive line.

    Kirby took those nice dishes and found some new ones that were clear upgrades. He and his staff are a recruiting machine. McGee and Coley get all of the publicity for their recruiting, but what Sam Pittman has made happen with the talent on the offensive line has been pretty darn amazing.

    Just as the Mayor said above, Richt got Donnan’s players to play hard for him. Kirby did the same things with Richt’s guys.

    Maybe Spurrier was right … in today’s game, after 10 years at one place, a program may need a new voice.


    • Macallanlover

      That last statement is true for mosr any regime. Sports, politics, and businesses all need a shake up and fresh thinking on a regular basis.


      • Silver Creek Dawg

        Exactly why I resigned from my sales job on Monday. 6 1/2 years and I am ready for a new challenge, plus the company needed a new voice.


  13. ugafidelis

    “there wasn’t a lot of difference in the two rosters from 2016 to 2017.”

    There also wasn’t a lot of difference in the coaching staff from 2016 to 2017. For the first time in how many seasons?