USA Today/Logan Bowles

Richt on Injuries, Position Changes, & More

Read on to see everything Mark Richt was saying following Tuesday's practice.

Head Coach Mark Richt – Spring Practice Transcript - April 11, 2017

 

Opening Statement…

It was a practice of two halves. The offense had a great first half of practice and then we had a break, we came back and did some more team work, and the defense kind of took control of the day. It was good to see the offense, in our team run period and our seven-on-seven periods, make the plays that we did. The second half, more third down situations, the defense pretty much dominated that. But it was a good day of competition overall, practice number 10.”

 

On any additional thoughts on scrimmage, having reviewed the game film…

“Offensively, very few times did we have a situation where the play didn’t have a good chance of success. A lot of times, if you get a minus two yards on a run, you might think that’s the worst thing that ever happened. Then you watch tape, and you see everybody did their job but you got a little double team up to a linebacker, and both guys go to the linebacker and the let the guy go. Everything else blocked beautifully, and if they just stayed on the double team a half a second longer, we’re ripping through there for a good 15- or 20-yard gain. That’s promising, when you see that on tape. When you see three guys, four guys messing up, you’re like, ‘Oh my goodness. We have no clue what we’re doing.’ That’s the scary day.

“Most of it was [the first scenario] – one or two guys, offensively. Like I said after the scrimmage, when you’re springing a guy wide open and then you just barely miss him, well, you missed him. You got to get it to him. If you hit him, now you’ve got a 75-yard touchdown early in the scrimmage, that kind of changes the game, it changes the scrimmage too. We have to hit the target when it’s there, and everybody on the offensive team has to execute every play. Every guy has to do his job. The good news was, it wasn’t a massive amount of guys each play. It was probably one or two, here and there. But we did have good plays. That’s good too.”

 

On the upcoming scrimmage, and if there’s been any shuffling of quarterback roles…

“I haven’t decided yet on that. We pretty much have been rotating quarterbacks all along, given so many guys work with the ones [first string], with the twos [second] and with the threes [third], trying to make that decision. Like today, for the first time, we gave [Cade] Weldon a little bit of work with the two unit. It’s different. When you’re in the huddle with a bunch of guys that are young and struggling along with you, it’s not so bad. When you’re with the two unit, they’re more mature, they know what they’re doing better, and you have to go in there and be the guy, it’s tougher on you. It showed a little bit today. But you have to, little by little, feed him until he’s ready to go out there and compete.”

 

On what has impressed him about sophomore Travis Homer and status of freshman Robert Burns…

“I don’t know for sure, but we believe Robert will be back in plenty of time for the season. We spent more time pass protecting last scrimmage than running, and that’s the thing we have to make sure [Travis] can do well. I think he knows what to do now, and he knows how to do it, but you still have to be physical, even in pass protection. I think people are still kind of bull rushing him a little bit. He’s got to learn to undercut block in a scrimmage, and when to man up and strike a guy and slow his charge and run him past the quarterback. They usually have edge rushers. Once in a while you’ll have a rusher that comes through the gap that’s yours…you have to meet him at the line of scrimmage, don’t give him a lot of space. If you’re going to get through the gap, then you try to block them, he could go either way on you, he could run you over. You have to learn who to block and you have to be able to do it well. He’s still learning how to do it well.”

 

On if any thought has been given to trying Deejay Dallas at running back, given lack of depth…

“If we didn’t think [Trayone Gray] was coming back, if we didn’t think [Robert] Burns was coming back, if we didn’t think there was any hope of anyone else joining us, then he would probably be the first guy on the roster to do that. But at this point, we didn’t want to jack him around, learn all this, then go to receiver. We’re trying to let him learn something. We felt like, if we’re going to let him learn a position, receiver is one that is going to take more to refine. The running back position, you tend to be able to teach that a little bit faster. There’s a little bit less of a learning curve. So if we absolutely had to, by the first summer session, training him as a running back, we can. We’ve talked. All along, he’s been like, ‘Whatever you ask me to do, coach, I’ll do it.’ But our goal is not to do that.”

 

On the return of Darrion Owens from injury, and if he sees confidence returning in his play…

“It is. It is. Little by little, his confidence is coming back. He’s playing a little harder and faster. He’s changing direction better. A year ago, it almost looked like he was dragging that leg along with him. Now he’s much more in sync with his gate and how he runs, how he moves and how he changes direction. I’m really happy for him.”

 

On the status of quarterback Jack Allison, who was injured in Saturday’s scrimmage…

“He has a bruised shoulder, basically. Some people call it a bruise, some people call it a strain. There’s different ways to term it. When the shoulder separates, it comes apart. It did not come apart. It’s just bruised, and it’s sore. He’s already getting his range of motion back, which is good. He’s day-by-day. I saw him this morning. He’s doing [vertical movements with his arm], he couldn’t do that the day before. Things are moving in a good direction as far as that’s concerned.”

 

On if, in hindsight, the decision to have live quarterbacks in a scrimmage was the correct one…

“Let’s make everything clear – I don’t ever want a guy getting hurt. But a cornerback can get hurt. A tackle can get hurt. A running back can get hurt. A receiver can get hurt. Everybody can get hurt. My goal is not for anybody to get hurt. My goal is to learn as much as I can about these guys, who are competing for the most important job on the team. The way we were going, I wasn’t getting a lot of clarity. If the quarterback can prove that he has mobility, he can stand in there and throw a strike when people are bearing down on him here and there, that’s part of football. If you’re a pocket passer, you’re going to get hit when you’re in the pocket. If you run, you might get hit. It’s part of football. How do guys react to that? Protection’s not good. Protection’s not good again. On the next play, protection is perfect – am I going to scramble around like a mad man, because I’m afraid my protection won’t be good the next time? There’s so many things you can learn about a guy. If you wait until Game 1, and you base your decision on everything but true reality in football, you might be making the wrong decision. Then the guy’s in there, and you realize, ‘He can’t really handle it, when the bullets are flying.’ Now I have to make a change after Game 1 or after the first quarter, I’m like, ‘Oh my gosh, he can’t handle it.’ I certainly don’t want anybody getting hurt, but I felt it was the best shot for me to learn some of the things I need to learn about these kids.”


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