My blog has moved!

You should be automatically redirected in 6 seconds. If not, visit
and update your bookmarks.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Notes: Richt Downplays Conditioning Concerns

Willie Martinez has been squarely in the crosshairs of caustic fans for two seasons. Mike Bobo has seen his playcalling critiqued by a bevy of message board pundits. Even Mark Richt has earned the scorn of fans unhappy with the team’s 4-4 start to the season and its 10-7 record over the past 17 games.

But the most recent coach to come under the microscope at Georgia is strength and conditioning coordinator Dave Van Halanger, a longtime assistant for numerous successful programs. With Georgia’s struggles on the offensive and defensive lines and problems running the football or bringing down opposing rushers, some critics have wondered if Georgia simply isn’t strong enough this season. Richt thinks that’s just par for the course.

“Everybody wants us to win, everybody wants to find some kind of angle to see where they think we’ve got issues,” Richt said. “So if everybody’s going to start chiming in on what we need to do, then it’s obvious that every part of our program is going to be looked at and questioned.”

Richt said across the board his staff works to keep up with the latest advances around college football, whether it be strength and conditioning, Xs and Os or simple coaching methodology.

“Coaches go to conventions, strength coaches go to conventions, everybody goes to the seminars trying to stay on top of the cutting edge,” Richt said. “Everybody gets together and they discuss the things they have, the things they do, what do you like and what don’t you like. And everybody’s got friends in the business where you can compare notes.”

It’s common practice during every offseason to evaluate Georgia’s program against what the competition is doing, Richt said, and that hasn’t changed in the nine seasons he’s been in Athens.

“We’re always out talking to other folks,” Richt said. “Our offensive and defensive staffs are either taking off somewhere, bringing somebody in or both. Our strength staff does that, too. We just do that across the board.”

Richt said most other coaches are happy to exchange ideas, although not normally within the same conference. But he said it’s not uncommon to seek out coaches from around the country who play a similar style on offense or defense or who have played against common opponents and bounce ideas off each other after the season has ended.

“If you want to get better at throwing certain screens to your receiver or things of that nature, you’re going to find a team that does it great and ask how do you do it?” Richt said. “Instead of just trying to watch the film and hope you get it right, you just go ask them. And most people will help you. It’s hard to go within the league. You won’t get much help there. But you go as far as you’ve got to go, and sometimes it’s an NFL team.”


For the past month, Georgia’s coaches have given redshirt freshman safety Baccari Rambo increased playing time and have been pleased with the results. But despite the struggles of starters Reshad Jones and Bryan Evans in coverage against Florida and Tennessee, Richt said it’s unlikely Rambo will move past either veteran on the depth chart.

“I don’t know if he’ll move into the starting lineup but he’s earned playing time and he’s playing well,” Richt said. “He’s continued to practice well, and that’s good, good for us."

Richt said this week he planned to continue playing veterans that give the Bulldogs their best chance to win their remaining four games despite many of the team’s preseason goals now being defunct.

Rambo offers the option for Georgia to both keep a quality product on the field this season, Richt said, while also giving playing time to a younger player projected to see a bigger role next year. But Richt doesn’t think Rambo needs to be in the starting lineup to be prepared for next season.

“I don’t think he would have to start to say that would make him more ready a year from now,” Richt said. “He’s playing plenty to help us be ready for next year.”


With sophomore receiver A.J. Green out of action this week with a bruised lung, freshman Rantavious Wooten is slated to make his first start of the season against Tennessee Tech, and the fast rise up the depth chart isn’t coming as a surprise to Wooten’s teammates.

Richt said that veterans raved about Wooten’s performance over the summer, giving Richt and early indication that the true freshman would be in position to help out immediately.

“They loved Wooten from the get-go – his quickness, ability to change direction and just how quickly he was picking up the route running,” Richt said.

Wooten has just four catches so far this season in minimal duty backing up Green, but that will change this week, and Richt said he expects Wooten to make the most of his chance.

“He’s going to get a really outstanding opportunity this weekend,” Richt said. “Wooten playing a position behind A.J. certainly hasn’t given him a ton of opportunities. This will be the biggest opportunity to this point for him, and I think he’s excited, he’s up for it.”


Wooten isn’t the only freshman receiver hoping to make an impact against Tennessee Tech.
Marlon Brown thought his breakout game had come last month against Tennessee when he had the first two catches of his career. But a hip pointer a few days later derailed his plans for a bigger role.

“After the game, I was like, yeah, I’m going to get a little more playing time,” Brown said. “Then that Tuesday at practice I had the hip pointer going up for a pass.”

Brown said he was healthy enough to play in the past two games for Georgia, but he didn’t see any action. That should change with Green out this week, and Brown’s hoping for another opportunity to showcase his skills.

“I’m just going to go in, warm up, and if he says, ‘Marlon, you’re in the game,’ I’m going to go in the game and do my job,” he said.


It has been more than a month since Georgia played in front of its home crowd, and Richt is thrilled to be back.

“If you’re home three or four games in a row, sometimes it’s good to get away,” he said. “But when you’ve been gone a long time, it’s good to get back home. I’m looking forward to being with the Georgia people.”

It’s been a rocky ride since Georgia’s last home date – a narrow loss in the final minute to LSU. The Bulldogs where thumped on the road at Tennessee, beat Vanderbilt prior to an off week, then settled for another dismal performance in Jacksonville, Fla. against the rival Gators.

With three losses in their last four games and not a lot of pats on the back along the way, Rambo said getting back in front of a cheering crowd will be a welcome dose of enthusiasm for a team in need of some positive energy.

“I know going off to play, we’ve been doing that for a month, and the opponent’s fans haven’t been too nice to us,” Rambo said. “It’s great to come back home and see our friends and let them support us. I think it’s going to be a great feeling to get back home and play again.”


Anonymous said...

MR's explanation about Rambo not starting was disappointing. What message does that send to non-seniors? This reminds me of the let's not keep score or let's give every team a trophy for participating philosophies of many youth leagues.

Anonymous said...

Could somebody please ask Coach Richt how many interceptions for touchdowns we have as a team, then please follow that up with how many Bryan Evans has? Bacarri Rambo?

Anonymous said...

Could somebody start emailing and see if he can change some of his positions posted on that site?

UGA69Dawg said...

Well BE & RJ might as well enjoy their senior year cause the only way they play at the next level is if the UFL makes it. Not going to get drafted by the NFL.

Anonymous said...

Dave: Can you ask CMR who is grading out better, Rambo or Brian Evans?

Shouldn't that determine who starts?

I am losing faith with each passing day.

runnindawg said...

Ealey gets benched for missing a block, but yet Evans is still starting despite looking like he has no idea what's going on? Seems like a Catch-22 to me.If your going on performance, how can you justify benching our best tailback? But, not benching one of the worst secondary players we've had here? Rambo needs to see the the field a lot more than Evans!

Todd said...

If you had a son that was a legit D1 player, would you want him to go to Georgia? Not me. Richt is like this tacky-ass Floridian-transplant yankee that likes pink flamingos in his yard. Allowing dancing on the sideline while having ther butts kicked. Nice! Bryan Evans and Prince Miller are jokes. I am so tired of watching the drelocks flop while he is chasing down the guy that just smoked him.

Strength and conditioning is a problem. I don't give a damn what somebody max benches or squats. That doesn't conditon you for 4 quarters. Country strong or dare I say "pulpwood" strong is so much better than weight room strong. Weight room strong is strength at certain angles, while "pulpwood" strong is pushing and moving at different angles.

If the new DC comes in, don't be shocked if he is critical of Georgia's S&C program. It is not up to standard.

JRL said...

I have heard from multiple sources that S & C is really lacking. Big biceps don't = big plays.

Anonymous said...


Chris said...

While I dont really agree with the decision to keep playing Cox I do kinda see the point that he gives us the best chance to win now.

I just dont see how on God's green earth anyone can say the same thing about our current safeties. Does Richt actually say that they are doing the best job of anyone on the team with a straight face? Really?

pursuant to that as well, how much input does Richt really make on the defense. Being an offensive minded coach are personnel decisions left to Martinez? If so that is just another shovel of dirt on the grave of his career at Georgia for me.

As for the man running, he isnt going to make the site into anything more than it is. I can tell you that he isnt happy at all about what is going on but the site isnt going to be used to promote any agenda.