Beau Page/Dawg Post

Richt recaps Saturday's spring game

Read on to see everything head coach Mark Richt was saying following today's spring game.

Opening statement…
“Well, that’s it for spring ball 2016, Miami-style. It was a lot of fun. When I look at it in totality, I really enjoyed working with these young men, just a really, really fantastic group. Worked hard, didn’t bow their neck at anything, they took the coaching, they took the guidance. They’re trying to become what we’re asking them to become. I thought the coaches did a nice job all the way around. Just pleased, got a lot of work to do and got a long way to go, but when you just look at a group of young men who just had a brand new staff and a brand new system and all the things going on, I think they did a really good job. Today, like most spring games, like most scrimmages, there were certainly some real highlights for both sides of the ball, and usually a highlight for one side of the ball is probably a lowlight for the other side of the ball, so it’s kind of hard to judge it. The good news is, Miami won today, [Laughter] but overall I thought it was a pretty good day. There were some disappointing things that happened here and there, but again, overall we got good work. I thought at the very end we looked pretty gassed, and we were. We really, basically, ran out of skill people. We really had just one-deep on both sides of the ball—offensively for the most part—and those guys really got more reps than I wanted them to get. That’s why we ran the third quarter [clock], just let it run. Fourth quarter, I wanted to get a possible one-minute drill at the end. We just need work at that and I wanted Brad [Kaaya] to get that, if at all possible, which he did, and he did a nice of finishing with a TD pass. Actually, [earlier on] he threw his first pick of the whole spring, when it comes to scrimmages and the game, of course. He tried to back to back shoulder throw one . . . Beautiful play by Corn [Elder], but overall I thought Brad had a really good spring. The other guys are really difficult to judge, especially today. There was just such a lack of guys who were able to make plays out there, quite frankly. They were working hard and all that, but I thought the defense—I thought the DB’s kind of swallowed up the second unit of receivers. But I will say, those guys, we couldn’t make it without them, and they had some really good days, but today they struggled a little bit, I thought. Overall, couple fourth down stops, which is good for the D, not good for the O. Couple touchdown plays that were good for the offense, so kind of hard to decide where you fall.”

 

On his sense of what this team will or will not be able to do when they meet back up in July…
“I think our biggest issue is depth, really. When you’re playing two- and three-teams in the fall, you’re always so thin, but if all you have to do is get one team out there, then your depth all of a sudden feels a little bit more comfortable. So, right now, we felt super thin because we got the team split in half and we’re going at a pretty good tempo, not many timeouts, and even when we did it was just to kind of reset and go. [We had a] quick little halftime. It’s hard to say, but I think if we stay healthy and guys take care of business in the offseason, we’ll be okay, but if we get a couple injuries in a couple spots, it would hurt us. We’re not as strong as we need to be as far as numbers.”

 

On the running backs…
“Just, all spring long, I thought that the top three guys had some really nice days, but ‘Choc’ [Trayone Gray] did some really wonderful things in this spring, too. I think he really elevated himself. He really improved, as well, so I liked what happened with him. Early on it looked like three guys and then he’s really starting to play well, so he’s putting his hat in the ring.”

 

On what has to happen this summer…
“Well, they’ve got to get in great condition. They’ve got to take care of their academics. They’ve got to behave off the field and those kinds of things. Just, work hard. There’s enough installation on both sides of the ball where they’ll l know what to do. They’ll do [that during the] summer. Nowadays, we’re allowed to be with them a little bit and meet with them and things like that. So, I think starting day one it’ll be a huge difference.”

 

On the QB’s behind Brad Kaaya…
“Well, like I said, it’s hard to assess. There weren’t many opportunities to have guys open. There weren’t many opportunities to be[able to] stand in the pocket and make a throw. We did have the one really nice drive to start out with Malik [Rosier], which was nice, for that two-unit. After that, it was tough sledding for all of them.”

 

On cornerback Corn Elder…
“He’s a tough kid. He’s a smart kid. He loves football, he loves this team, loves this University. Very happy that he’s here—I am, he is. I talked to him a little bit about it [and I told him]. . . ‘I’m not saying you’re the leader of the defense yet, but the characteristics that you have are signs of a good leader.’ Hard-working, tough, dependable, taking care of business in school, just being coachable, being teachable, and not being afraid to compete when you’re just a 17-year-old, 18-year-old kid.”

 

On the many former Miami players here…
“I loved it. We had an event last night and over 300 lettermen, football alums, showed up, which they say was the biggest [we have had for that] and we just enjoyed each other’s company. It’s about camaraderie of being a Cane and it’s also about supporting the young guys. So, we spent a little bit of time with the alums and then we brought our current players in and we mingled a little bit for a good bit, and then we broke bread together. Then we had the awards and then we let the players go. Then we stuck around and just shot the breeze and told war stories. I’m one of them, I sat there all night. I was about the last one to leave. Just had fun talking about old memories and what could be in the future.”

 

On how the offensive line performed without injured players…
“Not bad. There was a sack here and there. There was a bust up front here and there, but they were bringing nice little blitzes and twists and things of that nature, little line movement up front, which we didn’t handle perfectly. We moved the ball well at times, we ran the ball well at times, we threw the ball well at times. I’m talking about the one-unit. When you get to the second unit, it’s just really tough. It was just tough sledding with that group.”

 

On if offensive lineman Alex Gall will be back for the season…
“Yes. We don’t think there will be any surgery for him. He’ll be fine in a few weeks.”

 

On the first unit of the defensive line…
“I don’t know if we really have a first line. I think our first and second lines are like tied for first, for the most part. Maybe on the edges it’s a little bit different, but we are rolling a lot of players and we hope our strength will be in numbers and guys who can play, but guys who can rotate heavily. They had their moments up front on the defensive line. They got some really key stops on some fourth downs and third-and-shorts that I thought was pretty impressive.”

 

On how much the four incoming wide receivers will play
“They’ll have to play. They’ll have to play for sure. We’re telling them all to get ready to compete and there’s no doubt that those guys will get a boatload of reps. If they can function well, they don’t have missed assignments and they’re not afraid to compete, they’re not afraid to play major college football, then they’ll be in the game because I don’t want to have like we had today where one side of the ball you basically had five skill guys taking every single snap. It’s just not good.”

 

On the weather…
“I want to say thank you to the weatherman for holding off the weather and allowing us [Laughter], in an 80 percent chance of rain, to finish. We got every day in without getting rained on, so that was nice.”


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