Jump to content

richt keeps passing on qb lessons..


SacFalcFan
 Share

Recommended Posts

richt keeps passing on qb lessons

by carter strickland

the atlanta journal-constitution

published on: 11/20/07 athens when he was playing, all mark richt ever wanted to know was why?

why this protection on that route? why that receiver instead of this one? why this call at that time? why? why? why?

"i was the kind of quarterback that wanted to know why we were doing what we were doing," richt said. "it was not in a disrespectful, are you questioning what i am saying, way. i wanted to learn. the strategy intrigued me."

the perfect strategist was there with all the answers - university of miami quarterbacks coach earl morrall.

"earl was a kid that would take 10 minutes to talk to you about the price of a bag of doughnuts," former miami coach howard schnellenberger said. "he handled all those questions."

quite adroitly, if the results are the barometer. richt never did become a star at miami, where has was jim kelly's backup. but in the 25 years since his college days, the georgia coach has taken all those answers and turned them into teaching tools for future quarterbacks.

"just go back and look at all those guys at florida state and then look at the ones here," said eric zeier, a former uga quarterback. "it's amazing the type of talent that he has helped produce."

in a 13-year period at florida state, six of richt's players - chris weinke, charlie ward, casey weldon, peter tom willis, brad johnson and danny kanell - went to the nfl. his first two primary quarterbacks at georgia, david greene and d.j. shockley, are in the league.

all of it started with the endless PIRATED VIDEO IS ILLEGAL of questions an 18-year-old richt would rattle off each day at practice and the long-winded answers he would get from morrall.

"somewhere in there, coaching was kind of in my blood," richt said. "i just didn't know."

now there is no doubting it. richt builds quarterbacks, starting from the ground up.

he works with legs and feet, making sure his players have the proper balance and fundamentals. if the feet aren't in the right place, passes won't be accurate.

"what gets most quarterbacks [in] trouble are their feet," zeier said. "it can be their heads, too. but most of the time when your feet are bad, you are going to perform poorly as a quarterback. and all [richt's] guys are very fundamentally sound, and their footwork is fantastic.

"you take a look at [matthew] stafford and the progression he has had under richt, and it is all because of his footwork."

stafford has gone from 13 interceptions and seven touchdowns in 2006 to 17 touchdowns and nine interceptions in 2007. in addition, earlier this season richt said stafford is the most talented quarterback he has coached. mel kiper, espn's draft guru, also pegged stafford as the possible no. 1 pick when he comes out.

"we started from scratch with them trying to teach me what to do," stafford said. "it's awesome to see how much you can learn and how much more you learn just from high school."

richt never worries about the arm. doesn't even touch it in some instances.

"they don't mess with our motions," said joe cox, stafford's backup. "they figure the way that we throw was good enough to get here. they are not going to try and change things unless there is really something bad like a poor mechanic that is hurting your throwing ability."

"when a guy has been doing something for 18 years, when you ask him to change his throwing motion, he is not going to be the same quarterback that you signed," said mike bobo, who coaches quarterbacks with richt.

after the feet, richt works on the quarterback's head: thinking on your feet. leadership. changing plays on the fly. richt wants them to be in control of the game mentally as well as physically.

"almost every play we go up there, i am able to change it and move it around," stafford said.

that's because even as a sophomore he has learned to rely on his intelligence and not look to the bench for every call.

"we are one of the only schools where we don't look to the sideline for checks," cox said. "we know what to check at the line of scrimmage. that makes us better in every other aspect of the game because we know in our minds what is going on."

"they have got to learn the system, and they have to think in a systematic way so when the pressure is on, they will be able to go to the right guys," richt said.

of course, not every quarterback can do that. some need guidance. richt does not recruit those who do not have those qualities.

"we look for guys that have all the physical tools," bobo said. "but we look for the intangibles, the leadership."

richt's presence is the last element in the building of quarterbacks. the coach is the calm in the tumult that is a college football game.

"you can tell he was a quarterback," stafford said. "once you are a quarterback, it is kind of like you are always a quarterback. you are calm in those situations."

"as a quarterback, you really start to take on the characteristics of your coach when you are out there on the field," zeier said. "for all these guys, take a look at how many games we have won in the fourth quarter and how many late drives we have had [14 wins when trailing in the fourth quarter]. that is a direct reflection of what he has built and what he brings to the table."

Link to comment
Share on other sites

i completely agree.. imo we will be in a nc game before moreno/stafford leave for the nfl..
i told my friends the same thing last summer.

well the thing is while moreno and stafford are currently the studs on the team, if richt can keep the recruiting up to current levels and also continue to "release the hounds" by becoming more aggressive, and also a little more of a spontaneous (can't find the exact word i'm seeking) then uga will compete for the ncg for years to come imo as more potentially great players come on board with ga. i don't think you guys need to worry about the year when moreno and stafford will leave because i think by that time their replacements will have already proven that they are more than capable of carrying on the tradition.

i still love carolina and i will still think we can beat the dawgs whenever/wherever we play, but richt has changed his attitude a bit from my perspective and that is going to pay large dividends for a while. to me it is a given that uga and uf will be competing for the sec east over the next years, the question in my mind is will any other team be able to compete with them and which team will it be? i obviously place my bet on the gamecocks.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

i completely agree.. imo we will be in a nc game before moreno/stafford leave for the nfl..
i told my friends the same thing last summer.

well the thing is while moreno and stafford are currently the studs on the team, if richt can keep the recruiting up to current levels and also continue to "release the hounds" by becoming more aggressive, and also a little more of a spontaneous (can't find the exact word i'm seeking) then uga will compete for the ncg for years to come imo as more potentially great players come on board with ga. i don't think you guys need to worry about the year when moreno and stafford will leave because i think by that time their replacements will have already proven that they are more than capable of carrying on the tradition.

i still love carolina and i will still think we can beat the dawgs whenever/wherever we play, but richt has changed his attitude a bit from my perspective and that is going to pay large dividends for a while. to me it is a given that uga and uf will be competing for the sec east over the next years, the question in my mind is will any other team be able to compete with them and which team will it be? i obviously place my bet on the gamecocks.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...