Coach Mark Richt opened his teleconference call Sunday by saying he didn’t know who would be the quarterback for this week’s game against Kentucky.
“We’re not ready to get to the quarterbacks yet, but we will discuss all possibilities,” he said.
“We’re not ready” isn’t as butch a theme as “Finish the drill”, but what it lacks in testosterone it makes up for in accuracy.
Those of you who thought starting Faton Bauta was a sign of desperation on Richt’s part couldn’t have been more wrong. Alarmingly, it was a sign of something even more disconcerting.
I’ve heard my share of rumors about how Richt has managed the program of late. I don’t know enough to say whether the story of a somewhat detached CEO approach is true. What I can say is that it really doesn’t matter if the program has slid because Richt isn’t involved enough in the day-to-day details or because he is. The real problem is the stunning number of details that are being ignored on a weekly basis.
“Stunning” is the right word here. Georgia is doing things we haven’t seen in a while. It’s lost three of its last four conference games, and it’s not a stretch to think that, but for a Kenneth Towns touchdown saving tackle, it could easily have been a clean sweep. This past Saturday, the Dawgs were held to three points for the first time ever under Richt. Those aren’t indications of a well run football team.
You know what else isn’t an indication of a well run team? Setting players up to fail. I’ve already had my say about the ill-advised manner in which Bauta was prepped and the game plan that didn’t do him any favors, as well as letting a kid like Reggie Davis continue to do what he’s already shown he’s not capable of handling. Who sits back and lets shit like that happen without thinking about the consequences? Or, just as sadly, supports decisions like that?
There is a certain amount of irony here in how we’ve all been a little guilty of not seeing the forest for the trees. I know I have. Georgia is a serious mess this week, not because Richt isn’t fiery, or because his players aren’t good at handling adversity or because of undersigning. Georgia’s a mess because it’s a rudderless ship. It’s losing and its head coach has no idea right now how to regain direction. If you aren’t convinced that’s the case, read this sad story in the AB-H.
One thing I’ve always said about Georgia head football coaches – recent history indicates the ones that lose their jobs are the ones that don’t have good coordinators. That’s a lesson I thought Richt had absorbed. Now, I’m not so sure. I’ve already explained that I’m not enamored with much of what Schottenheimer’s done this year. Here’s what his boss had to say in response to an obvious question:
Richt won’t be stepping in to take some of Brian Schottenheimer’s play-calling duties.
“I’m in there just about every meeting,” Richt said. “We do a lot of talking in terms of personal in terms. We do a lot talking in terms of downs and distances and situations and things of that nature.”
Whatever you two talk about isn’t clicking. Schottenheimer is in the process of going down as Richt’s worst coordinator hire, which is a helluva statement on my part, because I still think of Willie Martinez as the gold standard in that department. Richt stuck with Martinez too long, but at least I could understand why. There’s no personal bond between Richt and Schottenheimer; if Richt hasn’t seen enough yet to be convinced some serious change is badly needed, I don’t know what it’s going to take for him to get to that point.
I don’t think Richt is losing his job this year. There’s too much money at stake and it’s shaping up as a bad time to go out and sign a new head coach. (Okay, not from Jimmy Sexton’s point of view.) But there shouldn’t be anything stopping Greg McGarity from asking Richt to explain and justify exactly what’s happened and where things go from here. If nothing else, maybe that’ll force Richt to pay more attention to the myriad of issues he’s let slide. Something’s got to change, that’s for sure.