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Mark Richt Conf Notes


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His comments make me very happy. I have mentioned before that I think we lack the cutting-edge and the innovation in our program. CMR mentioned that 5-6 times today. He really has focused on the things that need to be done, and while it could have been more timely- I'm happy he is getting there fast.

Also, has anyone notice that Seth Emerson has taken his game up a notch or two?

From Seth Emerson

My initial impression of Mark Richt's press conference on Wednesday: He wanted to convey that change was happening at the Georgia football program, but without actual personnel changes.

The key quote:

"If you just change for the sake of changing, then all of a sudden you've gotta learn something all over again. Do I wanna confuse Aaron Murray? … We're not looking to blow anything up. In my opinion we're very close."

Richt's postseason wrap-up is usually held via a teleconference, from what I'm told. But after a 6-7 season and a bowl loss that has fans up in arms, Richt spoke Wednesday in the team meeting room. Athletics director Greg McGarity, associate athletics director Frank Crumley and a bunch of other Georgia officials were present.

Here's what stood out to me:

- During his opening statement, which lasted close to 15 minutes, Richt said he didn't want to spend much time re-hashing the just-completed season.

"Last year was certainly not anywhere close to what we expected or what we expect here," he said at one point. "I understand that as much as anybody."

MY TAKE: Richt seemed to know he had to say something to fans who were disillusioned. He wasn't reading from a script or anything, but throughout the press conference (which lasted about a half-hour) I did get the sense that Richt was aware of what was being said about the program.

- Richt ticked off the reasons there would be no staff changes: The defensive staff was already overhauled last year, and went through a transition in 2010; The offense did well, and Richt has no plans to get more involved in play-calling.

"Mike Bobo's the coordinator, Mike Bobo's the quarterbacks coach. Stacey Searels is the running game coordinator," Richt said. "And they've done a great job."

MY TAKE: I'm sure fans will have a field day with that last quote. But Richt has confidence in his coordinators, and as long as they're going to stay in those jobs, that's what he has to say.

All that said, Richt mentioned the term "cutting edge" about a half-dozen times. He never quite explained what that meant: That the offense has gone a bit stale and needs more flare? Or some off-field stuff? Honestly, I can't say.

- The addition of McGarity makes Richt feel like he's a first-year coach all over again, Richt said.

"I'm just spending less time messing around with some things that Greg wants to be able to help take off my plate from an administrative point of view," Richt said.

MY TAKE: Again, this point seemed kind of vague too. We're due to speak to McGarity sometime today or Thursday. McGarity did speak a bit with Richt after the presser ,then got on the elevator with him. It does seem obvious that Richt has a better relationship with him than with Damon Evans.

- Based on Blair Walsh's post-Liberty Bowl comments, I asked Richt if he thought the program itself had felt a sense of entitlement lately.

"I don't think anybody feels that way now," he answered. "If there was an issue with that, I don't think there's anybody that feels … I don't think anybody's taking anything for granted. I'm sure that's a healthy thing for us too."

MY TAKE: That's about the answer you'd expect. Richt was also asked later if he felt more of a sense of urgency this January than any previous times in his tenure, and answered by saying he just had "a greater sense of excitement."

- There were no updates on the juniors considering the NFL jump. Richt did basically admit that A.J. Green should go, at least if his decision is all about draft status and money, while saying everyone else could help themselves by returning.

"I don't know who's gonna come back, who's not gonna come back," Richt said. "All I know is that whoever comes back is going to be 100 motivated to help us get back on top of the Eastern Division."

MY TAKE: I think the staff knows Green is gone, barring personal reasons the receiver would want to spend one more year in college. But they're hoping guys like Justin Houston, Cordy Glenn and Brandon Boykin will be swayed by the desire to improve their pro stock by having good senior seasons.

- The team has already announced a change in the strength and conditioning program. (Joe Tereshinski II was among those present at the press conference.) It will also be bringing in a nutritionist to see what improvements could be made in that area.

He also spent a few minutes talking about some things they're doing to help the leadership aspect of the team. He never mentioned all the off-field stuff. (Incidentally, asked about any discipline for Marcus Dowtin, Richt said they would discuss that "in a couple days.")

MY TAKE: Richt's eyes appeared to well up when he was discussing Dave Van Halanger, who has been with him for years, and is officially being moved into a mentoring role. That may have been because he hated relieving Van Halanger of his strength duties, or because Richt is still really passionate about helping players off the field. Or he was just faking it. But I doubt it.

"I have a heart for these kids," Richt said. "I can't help it."

From AJC

UGA sports blog

What Mark Richt had to say at today's news conference …

10:18 am January 5, 2011, by Tim Tucker

ATHENS — Mark Richt officially turned the page to 2011 at his end-of-season news conference this morning.

"Just wanted to start out by saying I'm glad 2011 is here," Richt said. "I'm excited about that. Last season certainly was not anywhere close to what we expected or that we expect here, and it was certainly well below the standard of what Georgia football is all about. I understand that as much as anybody. I'm not happy with the way things went, but I do think in the process of going through what we went through, we'll be better for it in 2011."

Despite the team's 6-7 record this past season, Richt said he has "a greater sense of excitement than I've had in a long time," partly because of changes implemented in conjunction with new athletic director Greg McGarity that Richt said will free him from some administrative duties to spend more time focusing on football in 2011.

"In some ways, I feel like a first-year head coach," Richt said. "Usually when you come in as the first-year head coach, the administration is coming to you and saying, 'Coach, what do you need? What do you need to win?' You wouldn't think going into your 11th year you'd have that kind of feeling, but that's what's going on.

"Instead of me being the new guy, Mr. McGarity is the new guy. And as he has come in, we have had many conversations about what we need to get done to make this program the very best in the United States of America. That revives me; that rejuvenates me; that excites me in a big way.

"We've got some things that have been put in place and are being put in place that are going to make us better. And quite frankly things are being put in place that are going to help free me up to [spend] more time doing the things I love the most, which is study the game of football and … be on the cutting edge."

Richt said director of player development John Eason, a former wide receivers coach, and administrative assistant Dave Van Halanger, a former director of strength and conditioning, will handle certain duties that previously fell on the head coach. Eason serves as the football program's academic liaison, and Van Halanger heads a new mentoring program for the players.

Also, Richt said, "there are a lot of little things that crop up along the way that sometimes don't get solved [or] sometimes take too long to solve in my opinion, but now the relationship that I have with Mr. McGarity is helping us expedite some of those things. . . . I am just spending less time messing around with things that Greg will be able to take off my plate from an administrative point of view."

Richt, though, did not express any intention to take over as the Bulldogs' play-caller.

"I'm not saying I'm taking over as the [offensive] coordinator or anything like that," Richt said. "Mike Bobo is the coordinator; Mike Bobo is the quarterback coach, and Coach [Stacy] Searels is the running game coordinator. And they have done a great job . . . so I have confidence in those guys.

"The point I'm making is, I'm going to have the ability to have the time it takes to truly study the game of football, the trends and what's going on, so a higher percentage of my time is going to be able to be used for that, which is exciting to me."

Overall, Richt spoke with a confident tone as McGarity and several of Georgia's associate athletic directors watched and listened.

"We're not looking to blow anything up," Richt said. "In my opinion, we are very close. I mean, how many teams have what would be considered a down season one year and the next year they are right there?"

He also stressed the importance of the recruiting class Georgia will sign on Feb. 2.

"You've got to get a boost from your recruiting class, your freshman class," Richt said. "I've never been on a championship team that didn't have guys step up and make a difference."

Edited by Dawgy
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The biggest thing I agree with is that this season was a big slice of humble pie for this team and that everyone will learn and have learned valuable lessons.

I'm not thrilled that he has no plans at all to be more involved with play calling, but it is what it is. Honestly it doesn't matter who is calling plays when the o-line doesn't execute even in run blocking.

Seems like Richt is as eager to move on from this season as I am. :lol: I'm ready to find out who's ready to commit in this recruiting class, find out the underclassmen staying or leaving, and get ready to move into spring ball.

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I've been meaning to say that I don't understand when folks complain about Searels. The S&C folks produced subpar components for the unit. I can assure everyone that Searels is by far the most nationally respected assistant coach on our staff.

The defensive struggles have gotten all the headlines in the past few years, but OL has been a problem for far longer. First Callaway sucked at recruiting and we kept blowing out shoulders, then we finally get a good OL coach who overcomes being left with a bare cupboard in '07 but then the S&C standards go to he11. I think Searels + S&C changes = '11 will be the best OL we've had since '05.

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Sorry, but we're gonna try harder won't get it done, IMO. Tennessee's gonna try harder too, so is Florida and South Carolina and Alabama and LSU, Arky, Kentucky, Ole Miss, MSU, Vanderbilt. Heck I bet even Auburn is gonna try harder to cheat without drawing so much publicity.

Everybody tries harder every year, but sometimes you have to admit that your staff is not getting it done and even their best is not good enough. I really appreciate Mark Richt, as a man and as a leader of young men. But keeping his staff intact is not trying hard enough. I hate it for him and for Georgia, but these are the decisions that will end his tenure at UGA.

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Well I would like to see Bobo, Ball & Lakatos gone. But wish in one hand and defecate in the the other and see which one fills up first.

Everybody on the coaching staff has to be aware they're on a one year contract. So I'll be patient knowing that either it works or they are all out by this time next year. Some of the assistants should start working extra hard because no advancement or even peer level employment offers have come their way. It's comforting to know that should they not figure it out, at least whoever should come next would be left with a talented roster based off young talent and this recruiting class. In the meantime I'll hope that they can get right this off-season.

Edited by Billy Ocean
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Well I would like to see Bobo, Ball & Lakatos gone. But wish in one hand and defecate in the the other and see which one fills up first.

Everybody on the coaching staff has to be aware they're on a one year contract. So I'll be patient knowing that either it works or they are all out by this time next year. Some of the assistants should start working extra hard because no advancement or even pier level employment offers have come their way. It's comforting to know that should they not figure it out, at least whoever should come next would be left with a talented roster based off young talent and this recruiting class. In the meantime I'll hope that they can get right this off-season.

Everyone is on a 1 year contract? Is that something you assume or is that a fact? Do we all just think that if we average 28pts per game, the oline is similar to this year, we are a bit better at 9-4 with losses to UF, SC, AUB, and UT... there will be staff changes or is that not improving, how do you fire your coach when you avg 28pts game and win 9 games.... coming off a losing season... can you guys not see this being an argument. I agree 10 games at a minimum/win sec east or major major staff changes next year., but it seems like richt with his two sec titles has bought himself a lot of latitude with the big wigs.. '

Earlier post, why ball and lactos fired? understand bobo, but lactos first year? and ball? ?

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Everyone is on a 1 year contract? Is that something you assume or is that a fact? Do we all just think that if we average 28pts per game, the oline is similar to this year, we are a bit better at 9-4 with losses to UF, SC, AUB, and UT... there will be staff changes or is that not improving, how do you fire your coach when you avg 28pts game and win 9 games.... coming off a losing season... can you guys not see this being an argument. I agree 10 games at a minimum/win sec east or major major staff changes next year., but it seems like richt with his two sec titles has bought himself a lot of latitude with the big wigs.. '

Earlier post, why ball and lactos fired? understand bobo, but lactos first year? and ball? ?

De facto 1 year contract. Richt and Grantham have muti-yrs w/ buy-outs but some are on actual 1 yr deals.

Ball player development of fresh and soph especially and recruiting.

Lakatos bc we coulda done better to start w/ and he didn't impress me at all this season.

Bobo should move on bc I think he is equalparts lazy in play design and random at actual calls.

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I'm not going to get too excited or disappointed by what was said. Talk is cheap. I want to see all the "changes" and "cutting edge" stuff translate to fielding a championship type team. I think everyone here and at Butts-Mehre know this upcoming season is a turning point in UGA football.

Right now, the one thing I'm most curious to see is the new S&C and the results/attitude it produces.

Now, I know this won't correct all our problems or suddenly make Bobo think that on 2nd and 25 giving the ball to Carlton Thomas for run up the middle is bad idea, but I think it will have a HUGE impact on both O & D.

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Well I would like to see Bobo, Ball & Lakatos gone. But wish in one hand and defecate in the the other and see which one fills up first.

Everybody on the coaching staff has to be aware they're on a one year contract. So I'll be patient knowing that either it works or they are all out by this time next year. Some of the assistants should start working extra hard because no advancement or even peer level employment offers have come their way. It's comforting to know that should they not figure it out, at least whoever should come next would be left with a talented roster based off young talent and this recruiting class. In the meantime I'll hope that they can get right this off-season.

Well said. Richt said all the right things, but Im sure UF, Tenn and all the other SEC coaches are saying the same as well. Im tired of the talk...its time to start seeing results on the field. If we get most of the recruits we are looking at, he should have no shortage of talent. Its all up to the coaches to get the most out of them. Sure hope he does, but one must understand why many have doubts.

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I'm not going to get too excited or disappointed by what was said. Talk is cheap. I want to see all the "changes" and "cutting edge" stuff translate to fielding a championship type team. I think everyone here and at Butts-Mehre know this upcoming season is a turning point in UGA football.

Right now, the one thing I'm most curious to see is the new S&C and the results/attitude it produces.

Now, I know this won't correct all our problems or suddenly make Bobo think that on 2nd and 25 giving the ball to Carlton Thomas for run up the middle is bad idea, but I think it will have a HUGE impact on both O & D.

Exactly!!

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