"I am really encouraged right now," Richt said today.
He should be encouraged, and I can tell that he is.
Now I don't want to start going down the path of giving a guy who has never coached a game on the sideline at Sanford Stadium too much credit. But I also think it is obvious that Grantham has brought something different – call it confidence or competence (or both if you'd like) – but it is something.
Richt has had the tools (for the most part) to take Georgia to the top since he arrived at Georgia. That, however, was certainly missing in 2009. But in Grantham he needs worry very little about his defense. Grantham's new scheme, expertise and just plain newness is working in ways that simply could not have worked had Willie Martinez been retained for a number of different reasons.
I have felt for some time that the 2010 team was going to be more talented in general than the 2009 team, and I think that's the case. But I think its obvious to me that the talent at Georgia, which would have been better this coming fall no matter who was coaching it, will be enhanced by the addition of Grantham and his scheme – no question. I think Richt should be given credit for understanding that and getting the Killer App in there.
The Killer App… Grantham's 3-4 will probably take Richt's Georgia program to the next level. At a minimum, I don't think anyone should be penciling in 8-win seasons for the Dawgs in the next few seasons.
"I enjoyed watching the guys today," Richt, who is typically guarded with his comments, said today.
I enjoyed watching them, too. But my options for the day were watching Grantham mold his defense or have my head beat in relentlessly by my wife in tournament picks (seeing two of my Sweet 16 picks gone by 4PM means I don't know what I'm talking about… right?). By contrast taking in another practice at Georgia was awesomeness – at least out there Murray State can't crush my dreams.
Richt has reason to be optimistic. He might fight back admitting it, but he knows it.