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Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Richt on Murray, tweeting, the tackle spots and plenty more

A few notes from Mark Richt’s appearance on the SEC post-spring practice teleconference on Wednesday – along with my take on each of them. Or in some cases, not much of a take.

- Richt continued his policy of not saying anything about the recruit theft story:

“There’s not gonna be any comment on this. First of all, it has to do with prospects and all that kind of stuff. The bottom line is we’re just gonna make any comment on it.”

He added: “Sorry.”

MY TAKE: As I’ve said previously, Richt doesn’t want to wade into the situation publicly, given the sensitivity of the Carver-UGA relationship.

- Speaking of Carver, Tuesday’s big non-story was Isaiah Crowell not starting a Twitter account. Someone started one under the tailback recruit’s name, but it quickly turned out to be a fake.

Richt pointed that out, showing that he was aware of the situation. Then he reiterated that he’s not going to clamp down on players using the social media tool – as certain other coaches have done.

“I know it’s such a big part of the social life of these kids,” Richt said. “I’m really not looking to shut it down. They sacrifice enough with the time they put in for school and football, with all the things we ask them to do. … But if a guy’s irresponsible with it, normally there’s a good warning the first time around.”

And then, presumably, they have those privileges yanked.

MY TAKE: As someone who makes a living with the written word, I think Richt’s stance is admirable. And the Georgia players certainly do seem to enjoy their Twitter.

- Quarterback Aaron Murray showed some improvement over spring practice. Richt said he saw some better touch on Murray’s passes, but what stood out the most was Murray standing in the pocket a bit more and letting plays develop.

“I think he’s much more comfortable with our system overall,” he said. “I think he’s learned to stay in the pocket a little bit longer, especially when he knows something’s about to break big, he’s willing to stay in there (and wait to throw it).”

MY TAKE: Not my take, but writer Edward Aschoff posted this blog saying that if he had to pick a “franchise player” among current SEC players, he’d take Murray. His colleague Chris Low said he’d take Alabama tackle Barrett Jones.

- Asked about the backup left tackle spot, Richt said it comes down to who ends up at right tackle, then they’ll work from there. He said they’re looking at Justin Anderson, Austin Long, A.J. Harmon and possibly Kenarious Gates at tackle.

“I think a lot is going to depend on who is gonna be the starting right tackle, and then my guess whoever we think the third-best tackle is, he may end up having to cross-train from the left and right aside,” Richt said. “We do have some true freshmen too who could end up playing so well they throw their hat in the ring.”

MY TAKE: That’s the first time since Trinton Sturdivant’s injury that a coach has mentioned Kenarious Gates for tackle. We’ll see. Right now the best bet is Anderson at right tackle and Harmon or Long cross-training.

- Finally, Richt’s overall summation of spring practice:

“I think we got better. I think we practiced with the right amount of intensity. We competed well. Guys who were competed for jobs, guys who were competing offense vs. defense. I liked what I saw.”

MY TAKE: That’s about what you’d expect him to say.

Some notes from other coaches on the teleconference:

- South Carolina’s Steve Spurrier said the decision on Stephen Garcia will probably come some time over the summer. Garcia is set to graduate soon and thus, as Spurrier pointed out, would be eligible to transfer anywhere and play immediately. But the ball coach expressed the hope that Garcia would re-join the team with “a better attitude” than he’s had.

“We’ll check his progress and see how he’s reaction to some certain issues,” Spurrier said. “We’ve all three (Spurrier, the athletics director and school president) sort of given him some guidelines.”

MY TAKE: Garcia will probably be back for the Gamecocks, but it’s not certain yet.

- The former Florida coach and the current one have divergent views on over-signing. Will Muschamp said Florida had “no need” to do that. But Spurrier said that with the academics of the state of South Carolina, “it would be helpful to over-sign.”

MY TAKE: Spurrier is right about the academics in the state of South Carolina. Then again, that’s true for most of the SEC. And it doesn’t mean it’s right to over-sign. Credit Spurrier for his honesty, but he seems to be on the wrong side of the prevailing wind on this issue.

- Tennessee head coach Derek Dooley said his “honeymoon is over” and was when last season, his first in Knoxville, began. He was asked what he hoped Volunteer fans see from him and his program.

“I hope they see a coach who wants to be here,” he said. “I hope they see a coach who appreciates the history and tradition of Tennessee football. And I hope they see a coach who has a good systematic approach in getting them to represent the team on and off the field in what they expect.”

MY TAKE: I used my line on Twitter - "there was a 10-second run-off before Dooley's appearance on the teleconference" - so I have nothing left to say here.

1 comment:

Hobnail_Boot said...

I'd be willing to wager my next 3 paychecks that Garcia is under center come September 10th.