With the start of practice yesterday, I got a little caught up in all the excitement and totally forgot to post the replies to your questions for Mark Richt from last week.
I actually still have a bunch of stuff from that interview to get posted, but the beauty of practice starting again is that there's no shortage of material, so while I'll definitely get to it all eventually, I'm having to parse it out in staggered doses. It's a lot like Jagermeister in that respect.
Anyway, I didn't want to keep my fellow Twits waiting too long (lest a few choice words be tweeted in my direction) so here ya go...
-- Our good friend @BernieDawg had two questions: From his perspective, what will the secondary do 2 create more turnovers this season? That, & can I ride shotgun to StillH2O?
First off, I'd be remiss not to encourage you to visit Bernie's Dawg Blawg HERE.
Secondly, Richt's answer to Bernie's question doesn't really have a lot to do with the defensive backs. He sees the solution coming from the boys up front.
"I think a lot of people think the turnover is created by a guy catching the ball, but it's usually created by the pressure you put on the passer when it comes to interceptions – whether it's interior D line, D end, pressure from a linebacker, whatever," Richt said. "Make the quarterback throw it when he doesn't want to, make him throw it out of a space that's more confined than he's comfortable in. When it comes to fumbles, you get fumbles when you hit QBs when they're not looking. You get fumbles when you stick your face on the ball. So we have to emphasize it in practice – not only talk about it, but drill it – and hopefully play hard enough and fast enough that those things happen."
I think that's a mantra that most Bulldogs fans can get behind, though I'll admit, those defensive ends still seem like a pretty big concern to me.
As for your second question, Bernie, I think you're gonna have to work on your pass-rush skills to make the cut for the travel team.
-- And actually, there is a bit of news on who might be riding shotgun with Richt on the road this season, and that comes from this question posed by @cbrannon: Coach, how do you manage to make time for your family?
Seems like an appropriate query for this time of year, so here's what Richt had to say...
"In season, I have breakfast and take my kids to school every day. We work late, so I don't see them at night, but I see them every morning. One night a week we have family night – Monday. We go to church together and have lunch together on Sunday before I get cranked up. And then any time they're able to come to practice or by the office or whatever – they come Thursday night after practice and then we go home and I have that evening with the family. My wife's been on the sideline. My boy, David, has been on the sideline. Zack's about to probably get a little sideline work. Zack and David will probably be my traveling buddies. Anya's been on the sideline, too. And I've asked my kids if they'd want it any other way and they say, ‘This is all we know.' They're fine with it. But I think the every single morning, getting up together, spending time together, getting them off to school, that's a big deal seeing your dad every day. Doing those kinds of things helps them feel like they're normal kids."
-- This one actually came via email from Jim Franklin: Did the SEC rule banning Asst coaches from HS run "clinics" get changed? Big topic w CMR & Corch Myers @ Destin?
Jim's referring to the rule Richt took issue with during the SEC league meetings this spring that prevents coaches from attending clinics they aren't hosting themselves. This creates a distinct disadvantage to schools like Florida, South Carolina and Georgia, each of which have in-state ACC counterparts who are allowed to attend these events.
Unfortunately, any attempts at changing the rule seem to have hit a wall. First off, there's the typical bureaucracy that goes on, where rule changes must also be approved by the athletics directors and presidents, too.
The bigger problem with this one, however, was actually the other coaches. Since the majority of SEC schools don't have big-time out-of-conference rivals in their home state, the coaches weren't as inclined to add more work to their offseason. I'll let Richt explain...
"I think that actually lost a little steam in our room because one thing I discovered is part of the reason why the SEC was not allowing coaches to do it was because if they're allowed to go to every single one of these things, then all of a sudden your assistant coaches are going all over creation. They lose some of their sanity because they think, well if they're there then we have to be there. On one end, you don't want an ACC school in your own state, for us Georgia Tech, you don't want them to be able to be at something that we can't be at. And the perception is that we don't care or we don't want to be there, which is not true. So that was where we were coming from. But there are some schools that don't have that in-state issue. They don't have that competition factor."
So bottom line... sucks for Georgia, Florida and South Carolina, but Ed Orgeron and Monte Kiffin have got better things to do.
-- I did manage to get one more answered, this one from @Grayson47, who wanted to know if Georgia might start using a few more aspects of the spread in its offense in the future. For that answer, however, you'll need to come back tomorrow, as I'll actually have a much more in-depth post on the issue.
For anyone else who posed a question, sorry, but I ran short on time with Richt and couldn't get to all of them. We'll keep doing this throughout the season though, so let me know when you have a burning question you want asked. (If anything else is burning though, I'd prefer you just consulted a physician.) And remember, you can follow me on Twitter HERE.
Practice notes coming later this evening...