Dean Legge/Dawg Post

Richt Talks RBs, O-Line, & More

Read on to see what he's saying.

Head Coach Mark Richt Post-Practice Availability Transcript

West Virginia – Russell Athletic Bowl – December 20, 2016

 

On Tuesday’s practice and the cloud cover at the end of practice…

“I’m used to [the heat], but I’m not running around like these guys are. A year ago when I was out here, I was drenched just trying to get used to it this time of year. It turned out nice here at the end. We had a good day. First day back from our little break in the action in pads. We treated today like a Tuesday [practice], which it is. We’ll treat tomorrow like a Wednesday practice, and we’ll treat Thursday like a Thursday. Then we’ll take the travel day [Friday], then do another Tuesday [practice], another Wednesday and another Thursday. We’re kind of dress rehearsing what we’ll do next week, just see if there’s any kinks and either correct them or get rid of them.”

 

On if there is any scrimmaging going on during practice…

“No. The first few days before we started our scout team work was the closest thing to that. But even that was just fundamental work.”

 

On running back Mark Walton’s contributions to the team…

“He worked hard. He practices hard every day. He does it in the weight room every day. Some people wonder where the energy comes from. It’s hard to be up every day. It’s hard to give the kind of physical effort he gives. I think part of it is that he loves football. You can tell that. I think he loves the camaraderie of the team and I think he loves Miami. God has blessed him, obviously, with a really good skillset too.”

 

On running backs not forcing it, and getting into a groove over the last month…

“I remember that time. I remember talking about it myself, a little bit, about our backs. If we don’t run the ball well, or we give up a sack, everyone wants to blame the line all the time. Sometimes the running game has to do downfield blocking, tight end blocking, fullback blocking, or a back maybe just missing where he should be running the thing. It’s everybody. We thought we had a little bit of everything. But we think we got most everything ironed out. In general, I think the backs have done a really good job of being more patient and finding the creases, and being where they’re supposed to be, helping the linemen block the right guy. If you get off track, you force a linebacker to cut back too soon, which makes it difficult on a down lineman to come off a double team correctly. We use the term ‘pressing’ the line of scrimmage…on a certain angle, until the last moment, then making your cut really makes the difference for a lineman too.”

 

On bowl practices helping younger players come along…

“It’s like I said - we don’t really have any young players that aren’t playing right now. They’re all playing. We don’t have enough players to have these little extra scrimmages and stuff like that. We don’t have enough depth right now.”

 

On the growth of the team’s offensive line unit…

“We’re getting better. Some of it is just learning the new language that Coach Searels has and doing it the way he wants it done. Most everybody runs the same kinds of plays – inside zone, outside zone, power, some people run a weak lead or spread draw. It’s just learning how to do it the way we want it done and executing well. I think they’ve done well.”

 

On Walton’s ability to close games with big runs in the fourth quarter…

“I think it usually happens when you stay patient with the run. It happens when you have the lead and you’re trying to finish the game with the run. We had the lead and we were trying to finish the game without having to throw the football. You just kind of keep pounding and pounding, and after a while, guys don’t tackle quite as well as they did in the first quarter or in the second quarter. All it takes is one guy to not get him on the ground or not squeeze tight enough, the guy blasts through.”

 

On players skipping bowl games to begin NFL Draft preparations…

“I think it’s sad, personally. I think football is the greatest team sport there is, and I think until the season is over, you should be with your team, really and truly. You can take out whether I want a guy to stay to help us win and all that…football is the greatest game. It’s the greatest game because it’s a team game. Everybody is counting on each other. I bet their teammates are like, ‘I understand. I understand,’ maybe face to face. But I bet you when they lay their head on the pillow, they’re like, ‘Why is that guy doing that? We’re a team. We paid the price together.’ I think it’s sad. That’s how I look at it.”


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