Maestro, pump up the jam:
This is your occasional reminder that Warren Haynes could play the guitar better while simultaneously eating a steak burrito and playing Words With Friends that you or I ever will with years of intense practice. But that's okay.
In case you missed it, Coach Richt talked with reporters earlier this week about the future of Georgia football. Now, anyone who's ever interviewed Coach Richt knows that he's about as diplomatic a coach as you'll talk to. Honest, sure, but diplomatic. What that means is that if you really want to know what's on the agenda for the leader of Bulldog football you have to read between the lines a little bit. Below I'll highlight some of the things Coach Richt said, and my take on what he meant. The two aren't different necessarily, just not synonymous. For example:
"Well, we better be ready. I’ve got a lot of faith in these guys. But they’ve got to work. They’ve got to prepare right now. They can’t just sit here and wait until camp starts or even summer. They’ve got to start now and I talked to those guys about it. Their goal must be greater than just getting to play or getting to start or even being All-SEC, for that matter. They need to prepare to be the very best in America at what they do. . . . They have to be thinking, ‘am I going to be good enough to help this team win a championship."
"The goal is to win it all." And that's not self-evident. In past seasons Mark Richt has generally cited winning the SEC East as the goal going forward and then gone into a lengthy exegesis about how everything else is out of the team's control, you have to play one game at a time, yada, yada, yada. Not this year. After two consecutive divisional crowns and coming 5 yards or 15 seconds short of playing for it all, Richt knows what the next step is. And this year there's no doubt among the fan base that it could happen.
Richt also says:
“If Hutson (hadn’t redshirted) and he was in essence the second-team guy, which he really is, he’d have played a lot this year. He might’ve even played more than our second-teamers did based on our faith in his ability to function well. He might’ve gotten in a series or two earlier here and there. So I think he would’ve played a lot and hopefully he’ll have the opportunities to do the same next year.”
Hutson Mason will play when possible in preparation for 2014. Richt stopped short of saying there'll be a Shockley-type arrangement in 2013. That's probably because D.J. Shockley's Bulldog career looks a lot better in hindsight than it did halfway through. That being said, Joe Cox proved that learning on the job is not a good option where SEC quarterbacks are concerned. There's just no substitute for snaps, and the coaches would much rather Mason get his snaps during 1-2 series per game in 2013 than for the first time in 2014 when there's no Aaron Murray to come back in and get things bac on track if necessary.
Richt says regarding naming a recruiting coordinator:
"First of all, there’s no rule that says we’ve got to name a recruiting coordinator as far as being one of our nine full-time coaches. We don’t need to do that. When Darryl (Jones) came in (as on-campus recruiting coordinator), there were a lot of things done in-house that are administrative things that a recruiting coordinator might be in charge of."
We hired Darryl Jones because he's an experienced high school coach with ties throughout the state and who knows the recruiting process. He'll handle the logistics of recruiting. The coaches will coach. It's called "division of labor." Henry Ford says it's gonna be a big deal. So stop asking.
Richt says about attrition:
“To my knowledge, at this point, no. There’s always the possibility of that. This is the time of year (transfers) happen one way or another. But there’s nothing right now that I know of.”
There will be attrition. There's always attrition. But at this point nothing's set in stone, we're making some calls on behalf of guys with whom we've come to the mutual decision that things aren't working out in Athens. There are guys who are assessing their health and whether they need to give up football. We wouldn't be looking at signing 32-35 guys in this class if all 59 of the guys currently on the roster were returning. The math just wouldn't add up. But it's too early for me to talk about this stuff. Check back with me in April.
Coach Richt talked about a lot of other things, some of which we'll touch on in the coming days in more detail. But on this unseasonably warm January Friday in the Peach State, let's not worry about that. Instead I ask, what are you people doing this weekend? Anybody have a decent movie recommendation? I'll hang up and listen. Until later . . .