Richt Day 2: Manny has total control on D

Read on to see everything head coach Mark Richt was saying following the team's second spring practice on Thursday.

On the second day of practice
“We practiced harder, longer. We finished the drills better. We had a lot less guys, if they ended up on the ground they got up off the ground. I didn’t see anybody bow his neck or even act like anything other than ‘coach me coach’ attitude. We’ve got a long way to go overall, but when they practice that way and buy in that way then we have a chance.”

On the practice format
“I think they enjoy the organization. They enjoy the tempo. They enjoy the coaching. They enjoy the consistency of how we’re asking everybody to do the same thing, whether it be how they dress, how their chinstrap buckles when a drill starts. Whatever it may be. So I think that’s probably why they are enjoying it. I think they’re probably already seeing that we’re getting better.”

On what is required from the team
“There is a certain way we want things done and we’re going to ask them to do it that way. Then we’re going to demand basically that they do it that way. When you’re consistent with them, ‘this is the way we’re going to do it and if you don’t do it that way then this is going to happen,’ they learn pretty quickly, if you follow through. If you only follow through once or twice, if one day you’re in a good mood and you do it one way and one day you’re in a bad mood and you do it another way, it’s confusing. I think every team, and even when you raise kids, they want to know if you are serious, ‘hey yeah, you got to be in at 11 son’. If he comes in at 11:15, two nights in a row, he’s like ‘whatever’. If he shows up at 11:01 every time and you bust his tail every time then he knows that you are serious and they will stay within the boundaries that you give them. I think they (our team) really do want to buy in.”

On the 4-3 defense
“It wasn’t like I had to have a four-three no matter what. I was wanting that, but you got to hire the right man. If he happens to run a three-four with some four-three concepts, if he’s the right man, if he’s the best man for the job then I’m going to hire him. But I really feel Manny was the best man for the job and I do love the fact that it is in a four-three format. It does let guys turn it loose and kids I think they really enjoy doing that. If you are a read it and react team and that kind of the thing, it’s just not quite as fun.”

On the team’s defensive personnel
“You want guys with speed. You want guys that are very athletic. But you want guys that are going to be coachable and teachable. Its not like guys are just doing what they want to do. They’re turning it loose because there aren’t so many assignments that their minds are binded up. A confused player can’t play fast. So coach (Diaz) makes it simple for the defense, but creates problems for the offense. Something that I know about Manny (Diaz) is that he is a very smart football coach. He understands offensive football. He understands protections. He understands run the game. He understands what offenses are trying to accomplish and then he’ll have something for it.”

On whether or not he will be spending a lot of time with the defense
“Me personally, I’m not going to spend a lot of time on it. I hired Manny (Diaz) to be the tip of the spear on this thing. I’m going to be coaching offense. I’m going to be very involved with special teams. I will meet with the defensive staff on a weekly basis, once or twice a week. Once early in the week to kind of get a feel for what’s happening and as far as what he’s thinking, and then another after games so we can review everything together and talk about personnel and all that kind of the thing. Manny is being hired to run the show, because I’m not going to be over they’re trying to tell the defense what to do. Now there may be some things that I might say ‘hey when a defense does this to us its problematic, you may want to think about it,’ but I’m not going to be an expert, compared to what Manny knows.”

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