USA Today/Logan Bowles

Richt Recaps First Spring Scrimmage

Read on to see everything head coach Mark Richt was saying following his team's first spring scrimmage.

Head Coach Mark Richt – Spring Practice Transcript – April 8, 2017

 

On how the scrimmage went…

“Here is how it went. We basically had two halves. We didn’t play a game, but we had X amount of plays and then we had a break. And then we had another X amount of plays. The first drives started at the minus-25, meaning 75-yards to go. So we started those drives. And quite frankly, there was a couple times where if we just would have put the ball on a guy, we might have had a big play and got excitement for the offense. But we missed some guys that I thought were open. Barely, but just still missed them. Then when there was protection, when there wasn’t protection, obviously a couple sacks and throwing the ball out of bounds. Then it became bad snaps, then it became fumbles, and then it became picks. The first half got ugly, to be honest with you. Second half, you start the drives on the plus-40. And then we would do some third down situations. And then we would do red zone, a plus-16 drive. Well second half was much more fun for the offense. Scored a couple touchdowns, kicked a field goal, made some plays. Got encouraged. Last play of the game, threw a little touchdown so the offense felt good on the last play. I wouldn’t say the offense dominated the second half. But the offense made plays and made it much more competitive than the first half.”

 

On if the quarterbacks were live and if they could get sacked…

“Yeah, they could get sacked. And one guy broke a tackle, and spun out and ran. I think he still threw it away. But normally in a game, where, ‘hey that’s a sack.’ And there were a couple times where I know [sophomore quarterback] Evan [Shirreffs] once or twice had guys bearing on him, and he just stayed in there and threw it, and completed a ball or two and still got hit, which is a good sign. [Redshirt junior quarterback] Malik [Rosier] I think was the one who spun out of a tackle when it looked like they had him. I know there was a cornerback blitz one time that we missed. He had him, just no one blocking him, but Malik spun out of it. He ended up not completing the ball, but you know, I guess just proof that a guy can move and can create, make plays, stuff like that.”

 

On the team’s health after the scrimmage…

“I hope so, I didn’t see anybody get carted off, which is nice. I mean, I am so involved in calling the plays and just going. [Head athletic trainer] Vinny [Scavo] will hit me up and tell me what’s up in the next day or two.”

 

On the quarterbacks…

“There were moments. There were moments. Evan did some nice things. There was probably a moment where everybody did something pretty good. I noticed a couple times where, like I mentioned before Evan, there was a couple third down situations, where we were doing our third down situations. We went third-and-3, third-and-4, third-and-5, third-and-6 and then we came back and did, seven, eight, nine and 10. Third downs, all possession downs. And he did a good job of standing in there and ripping the ball a few times. I’m trying to think who threw touchdown passes. There was a couple. I think Malik had one, but I hate to say it because I am not 100-percent sure. But Malik and Evan probably had the best of it. [Redshirt junior quarterback Vincent] Testaverde had a couple good moments, as well. But that’s about all.”

 

On if he would say the defense carried the day overall…

“Early on. Overall? Yeah I would say for sure. If you went only second half, it would be debatable who won. If you say somebody won the drill, I probably would say offense. But first half it was no question what so ever. It was a combination of self-inflicted wounds on offense and just defense smothering them up, once they started smelling the blood.”

 

On defense winning the day in the spring…

“If offense dominates in the spring, I can promise you it’s usually a long season. Unless you have like a boatload of guys showing up in the summer. Some of the greatest offenses I have been around have got their butts kicked by the defense at Florida State and Georgia. So it is not that uncommon, but it is a good sign.”

 

On takeaways to build upon for the next scrimmage…

“Just for these guys to understand that when we practice in the week, and it’s thud and we are trying to simulate a game, we are trying to simulate football the best we can and keep everybody healthy by not tackling, not cut-blocking below the waist. When you do get in the game, that is all good and that is important. But like I said, on that cornerback blitz we for sure would have said that’s a sack, and that’s the end of it. Even if we were in a scrimmage, the old way. But as it turns out we didn’t get him on the ground. So I’m telling [sophomore defensive back] Malek Young, he needs to get him on the ground. So we have got to be really fundamentally good at tackling and then we have to make sure that we can break tackles and just function. Offensively, just early on there was just to many, like I said sometimes there was protection, a guy open and we had a chance for a for sure touchdown and we just missed him. Well, oh, too bad, you had your chance. Well, that could have been a 75-yard touchdown to start the scrimmage. And now the defense is on their heels. Now, the other way it is deflating for the offense when you don’t make the plays. So when they are there you have to make them, and when they are not there you have to throw it away or make sure you don’t throw a pick or fumble; for the QB’s especially. Guys just have to learn to play football, without scrimmaging. But when we do scrimmage prove that you can do a good job, I guess.”

 

On sacks against the quarterbacks and freshman quarterback Cade Weldon…

“There was a good amount of sacks, I would say. Maybe four to eight. There may have been more. Somewhere in there. But you are going ones, twos and threes. I didn’t think Cade was ready so I didn’t give him any reps to day. Next scrimmage he will get reps. I didn’t think he was ready for the moment yet.”

 

On any early enrollees that were notable…

“Well, it is hard to know what [freshman offensive lineman] Navaughn [Donaldson] is doing on every snap but he is running with the first team. And that is great experience for him. I mean, just imagine if he showed up, second summer session and tried to learn and get himself in shape. We are getting him in shape, he is learning football, he is playing with the one unit, he is getting communication from veteran lineman and he is getting coached like college kids get coached. He will be so much more ready in the fall then if he could have been if he didn’t show up early.”

 

On the offensive line…

“I know we have more help on the way, which is good. We had a decent day today. We had a decent day today. I emphasize pass more then run. I know [junior running back Mark] Walton can run. I didn’t need to prove that Walton could maybe take over a scrimmage because I know he can do that in a ball game. I was more concerned about if our backs can pass protect and can quarterbacks function in the passing game. So I did more of that then run the ball.”


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