Steven Mitchell, USA Today

Mark Richt recaps Thursday's scrimmage

Read on to see everything new head coach Mark Richt was saying following Thursday's scrimmage.

Opening statement…

“Today was a good day, in that we got to teach our one-minute offense and one-minute defense, how to try to play a drive before the half, how to try to play a drive at the end of a game. Lot’s of learning going on. I was rusty myself, but we got everything taught that we needed to get taught. We got a lot of things on film that we needed to get on film to help us build on that throughout the summer. If I didn’t introduce it until the fall it would have been too late, so it was good we got this done today and I thought they did a nice job.”

 

On how happy he is with the 14 practices…

“I’m pleased. I know offensively, we installed a lot and we got to see enough execution where a lot of our cutups, our teaching tapes, will be Miami. That’s what I want. I want all the teaching tapes to be Miami, but there are some teaching tapes that are from Georgia, there are some teaching tapes that are still from Florida State. The more times that we execute certain concepts, the more the Miami plays knock out the other plays. So, my goal is to have enough execution where I can teach installation of our plays and of our system with just Miami tape. Obviously, by the end of next season, I’m hoping every single one of them is from Miami.”

 

On if the spring game has any more weight towards a depth chart…

“It does, it does to me. I think it does to the coaches. It’s the closest thing to a real game, and it is a game, but it is not real in that we’re not kicking off and we’re punting without a rush and we’re doing some things that are not normal in that regard. We play 12-minute quarters. So, it’s not exactly a game, but it’s close and there’s going to be a good many fans there to add a little pressure to it. When everybody is watching, you tend to feel it. So, I thought even last Saturday [when we scrimmaged at Oxbridge Academy] was healthy for us.”

 

On the wide receivers, specifically Lawrence Cager…

“Cager has gotten better. Cager and [Darrell] Langham are playing a little closer to 6-4 now, 6-3, maybe 6-2-and-a-half. When I said they played like 6-footers when they were 6-4, they’re growing on me. They’re up to about 6-2-and-a-half, maybe 6-3. They have improved and we’re trying to see, can they play the X? Can they play the split end, or is a young guy going to take it? Or, am I going to have to take somebody who is on the Z side and move him to the X side who’s already here? I do think I saw improvement.”

 

On if he would prefer to have a returning QB as the backup to avoid burning Jack Allison’s redshirt…

“Well, that’s a good question. We’re going to play who we think is the next best. Whoever we think is the next-best quarterback will be second team and whether or not Jack’s that guy or not, whether he redshirts or not, I don’t know. I’ve coached so long. I had a string at Florida State wherever everybody I ever coached redshirted. It was just kind of the way it was because there was somebody always ready with two or three years of experience, sometimes four. They’re fourth year, they were a redshirt junior, they started two years, Charlie Ward being one of those and we all know what happened with him [won the Heisman Trophy]. So, whether we redshirt or not, I don’t know, but if he’s the number two quarterback, he won’t redshirt. If he’s number three, we’ll probably try not to play him unless we have to.”

 

On if a QB has emerged behind Brad Kaaya…

“I’ve got a little idea. I’m not going to say yet, but it’s more of a lead rather than somebody winning the job because the summer is big. I’ve seen guys go through the summer and learn their ball handling better, learn their routes better, learn to execute everything better, have more confidence in the system. Then, all of a sudden you start practice in the fall, and you’re like, ‘Whoa, look at that guy. He’s really learned, he’s really gotten better.’ So, I’m not going to sit here and try to name number two right now.”

 

On what he has seen from David Njoku…

“He’s a very athletic guy. As a tight end who is attached to the line of scrimmage or right next to the tackle and blocking the two-back running game, the sweep, the power, the sprint draw, the leads and all that stuff, he’s really proved that he’ll stick his face on somebody and really fight it and get after it. He’s definitely athletic enough to block, but you’ve got to be strong, you’ve to go be really willing and I see some of that, too. So, he’s a pretty versatile guy.”

 

On if Trayone Gray can be moved around or if he is strictly a running back…

“I see him as strictly a tailback, right now. I never ever thought to put him anywhere else, quite frankly. You’re trying to learn one spot. If you try to learn two spots it’s just too confusing, especially this very first spring [in our system]. Over time, if he really knows what to do there, you can start teaching him some others and see what he can do, we might do that.”

 

On if Trayone Gray or what other players have been considered for the return game…

“I’ll be real honest with you, I’m not even sure. I know I’ve watched, but I haven’t gotten down to the real nitty gritty of who we think can do what at that spot. I’ve been so busy coaching offense, but I do see [Stacy] Coley back there. I see [Mark] Walton back there, I see [Braxton] Berrios back there, I see Corn [Elder] back there. There are a few others, I’m sure, who’ve been back there, I just don’t remember.”

 

On Gerald Willis…

“I like what he’s doing. I like the kid. I think he cares. I think wants to be great. We’ll see, we’ll see how much he’s progressed, but there’s no doubt in my mind if he stays healthy and does what he’s supposed to do in the summer, he’ll play a bunch of snaps for us.”

 

On Standish Dobard and the tight end position beyond David Njoku…

“He’s done alright, but the top two have been [Christopher] Herndon and [David] Njoku.”

 

On if that is the order of the tight ends…

“Well, they play so much at the same time, sometimes one is a tight end, one is a receiver, one time a guy is a fullback. We move them around a lot.”


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