USATodaySports/Mitchell

Wednesday Scrimmage Recap

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

Mark Richt – August 17, 2016 – #CanesCamp Scrimmage No. 2


Opening Statement…

A lot of guys were laying it on the line today and tonight. We had to wait all day for it. We had three lightning alerts in two days. Twice we started practice yesterday and had to go back in and come back out. This morning, there was no chance. This afternoon, it didn’t look good. Thankfully we had no school today so we could get the work in. But it was probably better that we went in the cool at night, even though when we started it was pretty hot. We started right at six o’clock, which is game time for our first two games, which was probably good.”

“[Brad] Kaaya played great, although he did throw one ball that could have gotten picked. It might have gotten picked, but it should have been picked. One way or the other, it’s the same to me. He had one play he turned into a catastrophe, which is not excusable. Other than that, he played great. [Stacy] Coley played great. I thought [Mark] Walton and Gus [Edwards] made some really outstanding runs. Guys in general just competed, on both sides of the ball. The No. 1 unit for both sides really had their way, I would say – offensive ones [first string] did great, defensive ones did great. That’s what you hope at this time of year.

“All the No. 2 quarterbacks were in orange jerseys, they were live. I just want to see if they can make a play with their feet, or if they get hit, if they can get back up and go play another snap. I got see a little bit of that. I will have, within a day or two, either a No. 2 quarterback or co-No. 2 quarterbacks. I’m narrowing it down to two. I want to watch tape and be sure, but I’m pretty sure I got it narrowed down to two. Whether one is ahead of the other right now, I don’t know, if they just split time with the twos the rest of the way until we make a decision probably a week from now. We’re getting closer there.”


On if Stacy Coley has shown enough to be considered a No. 1 receiver…

“He’s been practicing very well. He’s in better shape than he was in the spring, like most of them, and he’s had very little issues with injury. He did a great job of preparing for camp and the season. I’ll say it again – I think Gus Felder did a great job. As hot and nasty as some of these practices have been, the one guy, on Day 1 I think, had an I.V. and the rest of the guys have been fine. We’re going hard. We’re practicing hard. We’re making them work, and they’re showing up and competing.

“I thought for having a delay, then having another delay, then having to wait and get it going again, I thought the guys really came to play. This was the last opportunity to compete offense versus defense, because in the next scrimmage, we’re competing against Florida A&M with our No. 1 offense and defense on the same team from now on, as far as scrimmaging. In practice we’ll do some things against each other, but we’re going to start turning our attention to the first opponent or the first two opponents, because we do have some time.”


On the format of the scrimmage…

“We’ve been doing it all along – No. 2 offense versus No. 2 defense, No. 1 offense versus No. 2 defense. The No. 1 units did great. No. 1 defense, versus the two offense, had a great day. There were some bright spots with the two units, either offensively or defensively. For the most part, our one units played really good.”


On which freshmen stood out in the second scrimmage…

“I know Dayall Harris – he’s not a freshman, but he’s a newcomer – he had a nice day. Travis [Homer] has shown me that he is tough and smart…I think he’ll be a really good special teamer. It’s unfortunate with Ahmmon [Richards], with that turf toe thing slowing him down. That hasn’t helped him. Jovani Haskins made improvement today. I saw Malek [Young] do well at corner. [Shaq] Quarterman, I don’t even look at him as a true freshman. He’s doing well.”


On Travis Homer’s role, and if he could play running back…

“I don’t know. We have three ahead of him right now, but he has proven to be a guy that, I think, we’ll be able to count on this year. Where he is now, and knowing you have a whole season and you get better as you go when you’re a freshman, we’re not going to be afraid to put him into a game.”


On the play of the wide receivers in the scrimmage…

“Mostly really good, as far as I can tell. We made some nice catches. [Christopher] Herndon made a nice catch and physically, caught a ball short of the first down and kind of manhandled a defender to get a first down one time. [Darrell] Langham made a nice play on the goal line, with really tight coverage. He played as big as he is. He made a really nice play, like you should down on the goal line.”


On separation among the running backs…

“We don’t really look at it that way. We really expect two or three to play. I can’t think of the last time I had one guy that I thought we were going to feed. [Nick] Chubb kind of got that way when I had [Todd] Gurley suspended and I think Sony Michel was hurt. We didn’t hardly have a choice but to let him eat it over there a lot. I don’t think it’s in our best interest or the team’s best interest.”


On if he is seeing the defense play with the energy level he expects…

“Oh yeah. I think it’s been excellent. I don’t know how Manny [Diaz] would feel today, I don’t know what he would say, but I see everybody playing hard, practicing hard. I’ve had no issues with having to kick somebody in the rear to get them to go – maybe one or two guys here and there.”


On the offensive line in the scrimmage…

“Mostly good. [Brad] Kaaya got sacked, I would say, once and then the second one when he threw a pick, he got pressured. Other than that, it was pretty good. I’m guessing Kaaya hit 80 percent of his passes. That’s my best guess.”


On the improvement of the offense between the two scrimmages…

“We came a long way. I’m doing better too – I’m putting them in a better position. Going against Manny [Diaz], a lot of it is difficult to deal with. Everything we’ve installed in the fall, we didn’t install everything in the spring, so some things were kind of new. You kind of saw on paper what was going to happen, but until you experience it, there’s a learning curve for us to know how to play against it. We did a little better job against the things that he has been throwing at us. On the other hand, we don’t want to spend the rest of our lives scheming each other. It’s time to start moving on, which is about this time in the fall.”


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