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Thursday, December 31, 2009

Richt's Wrap-Up

Mark Richt held his end-of-season wrap-up teleconference this morning. He was at his most evasive when discussing -- well, almost everything -- but here are a few tidbits from the phone call...

-- Richt said he would not comment on the DC hire until a final decision was actually made, including about John Chavis. "I'm not taking any pleasure at all in what people might be going through out there, but the only comment I'll make on that is that, when I do have that decision made and it's ready for public consumption, we'll let everybody know. But my goal is to get the right man for the job and the timetable, I never set one. I gave a general idea. But the bottom line is that I'm not going to make any comments until the job is done."

-- Richt said he hoped the final two games of the year helped change the public perception of this season a bit, but on the program overall, he said he thinks the perception is still high: "People have a picture in their mind of what should be and we do too. We certainly don't want to say that 8-5 is the greatest season in Georgia football by any means. But I liked the way we finished and I liked the way the guys battled to the very end."

-- Richt on Rodney Garner as a DC candidate: "Rodney is not a candidate for the job and he knows that. We're just still in the search."

-- Richt on the battle for the starting QB job in the spring: "The things I'm going to be looking for are a guy who can hit his target, make great decisions, a guy I think can handle the pressure of the job. It's the same thing I'm looking for when we're going recruiting. Whoever wins that job has to have a very good respect for the football. … I think it's going to be a very difficult thing for these young men because in one sense they want to do something great to win the job but they also have to understand that the ultimate respect for the football and not being careless with it is a big part of the job description. That might be the biggest thing they've got to understand."

-- On Logan Gray: "I think he's trying to make a decision right now. I don't know for certain what he'll come up with but we want to respect what he wants to do. We didn't put a timetable on that either."

-- On other position changes: "I do think there's a possibility of a couple things but if I say it publicly it becomes a big issue and causes people to maybe be uncomfortable before they want that decision to be public. I'm not saying there's some certainty that there'll be some changes but there's going to be some thought about that as a staff. What you want to do at this point of the season, which is very young and brand new, is to get everybody in the right spot where they'll have the greatest chance of success… I think that conversation is going to happen after recruiting because we have to see what we've got at certain positions. Are we filling our needs with the recruiting process or will we possibly have to make a move within the program to get us as solid at every position as we possibly can. And again, is there a move out there that would possibly help a young man's future? Those are the things that will come into play, but that conversation really won't be done in ernest until after the signing date and we know who we have coming in."

-- Richt said he has spoken with Rennie and Reshad since the bowl game but didn't elaborate much beyond that. He also said he did not know of any other juniors or redshirt sophomores who are seriously considering the NFL. He did say, however, that he was sure some were "curious" while not seriously pursuing it, which is almost exactly what he said about Reshad last year.

-- The dead period for recruiting ends after Jan. 3, and Richt had originally said he hoped to have his new DC in place to make calls after that. Now, not so much. Richt said he'll be on the road or making some calls to a few players at that point, but he seemed more enthusiastic about having a DC in following the next dead period, which lasts from Jan. 7 through Jan. 10. He also backed off his "first week in January" prediction a bit.

-- Richt said no other schools have contacted him for permission to speak with any of his current assistant coaches regarding job openings.

-- Richt said he did not expect Trinton Sturdivant to participate in any contact drills this spring.


Matt said...


Would you say that John Chavis is most likely not going to happen? I mean, he's only been with LSU for a year. (And really, if Mark Richt fired Willie last year, we would be better now and would have had a better chance to get Chavis before LSU picked him up)

Anonymous said...

David, Want to try and make an "educated" guess on Chavis? Good to see you survived "the move". Thanks, Gregg

Anonymous said...

I don't find Richt to be "evasive" in his replies, he is being professional. Prematurely discussing a personnel decision at DC, or the movement/plans for certain players before all the pieces are in place would be pretty stupid. I know the media in this country feel it is their inalienable right to get answers to questions they ask, but I feel more people should take CMR's position and tell them they will know when the time is right, as determined by me. No one is in the position he is in to make that decision. Speculation can indeed be harmful, but it keeps the public tuned in and makes the internet wires crackle and pop. Not a bad thing, except for the mesan-spirited posters who feel they should trash one candidate publicly to promote one they prefer.

David Hale said...

Anon, you're welcome to your opinion, but bashing the media is silly. The media works for YOU. I don't understand all the people who say, "the media is to blame! stop asking so many questions!" We're not asking for us... we're asking for you. That goes for all news, from sports to politics to the economy. And yes, we do have an inalienable right to answers... because the press is asking questions for American citizens. That's how the system works and that's why the founding fathers created a freedom of the press.

Of course, that's little to do with Mark Richt, but the point remains the same. I'm not condemning the man for not giving me the answers I want, but I'm not going to sit here and say I'm thrilled to get no real information either. He is evasive and even he would admit it. That's what he thinks he needs to do because it's his job. The media's job is to get information. So why is it OK for Richt to do his job but it's arrogant of the media to want to do its job?

David Hale said...

Oh... and regarding Chavis, I'd prefer not to get into guessing about the future. I'll simply say that he's a real candidate and that if he wasn't interested, I'd have assumed he would have said so pretty emphatically by now.

Michael A said...

Anon, no, speculation isn't necessarily a bad thing, except when the people who might be affected by the speculation start to believe it and act on it, i.e, players, coaches, recruits, etc. In that sense, it helps to at least come out and set the record straight so those people at least know what they don't know. And I do agree with you that Richt was not that evasive in this interview. Being evasive is more about spreading misinformation or being purposely vague with the intention that it will cause some confusion. That can be damaging because it leads to credibility issues. In this instance, when he said that he would not comment on personnel moves he came right out and said so because of x, y, and z. That's fine. At least we know where he stands. I greatly prefer that to having to interpret coachspeak which he has at times relied on this season.

Anonymous said...

My question is not whether Chavis is interested, since I assume he would be if only to get a raise at LSU, but is he the right person?

I know he's been successful, but for some reason he doesn't excite me. What is your opinion about him, and do you think he'd be a good fit at UGA?

David Hale said...

Chavis isn't exciting because we pretty much know all there is to know about the guy. He's been around for a while and there's nothing particularly glamorous about him. But I think that might be just the right type of hire.

First off, look what he did with Eric Berry at Tennessee. Reshad Jones has a lot more natural ability than Berry. Second, remember the beatdown UGA gave LSU two years ago? That defense was markedly improved under Chavis. And third, he knows the SEC as well as anyone out there, so you would have to think the adjustment period under him would be significantly less than a guy who is coming from the NFL or from the Big 12 or something.

I'm not saying it's a home run if Georgia gets him, but it's at least got warning-track power.

ChicagoDawg said...

Chavis would absolutely be a 'home run' in my opinion. Known commodity who has had tremendous, sustained success in coordinating defenses at the highest levels of CFB. There is a 20 year body of work on the biggest stage at the college level (SEC, rivalry games, SECC and BSCC). Look at his PPG averages through the years -- case closed.

With Bud Foster, I think he would have been a great hire, but stuffing Maryland, NCST, UNC, etc., is damn site short of shutting down AU, UA, LSU, FL, etc.,

With Smart, again I think it would be a great hire. However, there are unknowns -- limited history and is he really the thrust behind Bama's defense or a figurehead? He may be the next Buddy Ryan, but we just don't know and I suspect many are emotionally driven by his GA ties. If KS had played at Carson Newman would there really be a big clamor for him to be the next DC? It is great that he played at GA, but frankly is irrelevant as to whether he is the right coach (see Ray Goff). That said, he is intriguing and worth the chance, but make no mistake -- it would be a chance that CMR would be taking with that hire.

Mike said...

Rumor has it that Chavis has just agreed to remain at LSU. I'm assuming we got leveraged again for a raise.

The Watch Dawg said...

Damn you David, damn you and tour questions. We just want you to show up, write down the statements and leave the questions to be answered by speculation on our part.


Riley said...

Yup..Chavis is out:

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the update and all your posts during 2009. I look forward to 2010. This question is completely unrelated to the dawgs, but needs to be asked: If recruiting is in a dead period, why do I hear reports of recruits commenting on what Coach Urban Meyer has told them about his leave of absence?

Anonymous said...

David, couple things:
1. Have you read Gillebaud's (or however you spell his name) article stating that Chavis turned us down?
2. Doesnt he state a few things as fact that have not been confirmed? Otherwise, he knows more about the UGA search than most UGA-affiliated reporters (that's not a shot at yall; it's more a statement that i think he took some serious liberties in his article...)
3. It also looks to me like Miles and Alleva (LSU AD) probably broke "code" on how you deal with these things. They have very publicly given details about their conversations with Richt and how he's going about his search (again, more info than we've gotten anywhere else...). Here's guessing that Damon and Richt are none too happy with the boys at LSU if Gillebaud's article/quotes are accurate....

This search is bizarre. I'm convinced we either have THE guy wrapped up, under the table, or we are stepping all over ourselves and are on candidate #5 or 6. What do you think??

Anonymous said...

David, no one expects you to not ask the questions, but it is understandable that Richt wants to be secretive given the timing of this search. Virtually everyone that would be considered a candidate for this position is still coaching for another team, either college or pro. We chastised Saban for denying he was leaving Miami for Alabama,, but he was right to deny it while the Miami season was still playing out. I prefer that to what Petrino did. UGA fans demand info, and you ask, but when Richt says he will not answer the questions, that should be the only time it is asked.

Anonymous said...

HVL Dawg imagines how the resser might have gone....

David Hale:
"Coach Who are you going to hire as DC?"

"Gosh, I'm glad you've asked that. I've talked with 6-7 guys so far and I've got them in pecking order. Its OK because each of them knows where they stand on my list."

"That bastard from VT really screwed me over. I don't think he acted in good faith during our discussions. I actually told him over the phone to go to hell. I'm really holding a grudge against that bastard and I'll be praying over it probably for a couple of months."

"So far I've offered to 4 other guys and the first one who agrees gets the job. In case of a tie we'll just flip a coin."

"I've talked with the Kirby Smart but he wants a TON on money and thinks he'll be a head coach in two years, frankly he's a good guy but not proven, not worth that much money, and would probably divide the fans and rest of the staff, so screw him."

"I talked with the Indian Cheif from LSU. He says that living in Baton Rouge really sucks, ya know with all those crazy cajuns and such, but ya know he's not a job jumper. He's kinda loyal to his employer and to his players. He knows that if he came here he'll look like an ingrateful money whore. We've made a substantial offer but LSU is probably going to match our offer so it all comes down to how much he hates living in Baton Rouge vs his feelings about his honor as a man. I gave him a couple of days to think about it- ya know he's got a game coming up. Has anybody asked him about it. The balls is his court so ask him- or better yet ask Coach Miles and all the LSU players about it."

"I've also talked to the DC at Gardner Webb College. My son plays up there and I watched a game. The coach is a really smart guy and has the defensive philosophy I would stake my future on. I know he can be sucessful in the SEC but I know the press and blogs will tear him to shreds unless I hire him during the very quiet period. You know how the fans are clamoring for a blockbuster name."

"I've also talked to a Joe Bob and Framk Boy- you know those great NFL guys. They're both in the playoffs right now but I think you should all know I've talked with them. Its OK to alert their local media during the playoffs, because if they want the UGA job they should be willing to tamper with their current contrats in case I pick 'em."

"These guys better hurry because Ya know I'm going to hire somebody by next week even if is that guy from Gardner Webb. I think it is important to meet a deadline."

"Does that answer the question your readers deserve David?"

"Coach, I said who are you going to hire?"

Anonymous said...

David is definitely not just talking about this conference call as far as Richt being evasive. It is every time he meets with the media...not just today.

David Hale said...

All I'm saying about Richt being "evasive" is that he's going out of his way to not answer questions -- not just about this but on all subjects, all season. I understand that there are times that is part of his job and a wise move on his part. I'm not asking to be spoon fed either. But it's not a criticism of Richt to say he's being evasive. He is. It's not a character flaw, it's simply a description of his current means of operation.

After he was criticized for saying Florida had an unfair advantage playing in Jaxx, he openly stated that he was not going to give the media anything to work with this year -- said it on the record. In fact, I'll go back and find the quote when I have a little more time. It's simply fact.

And again, I'm not criticizing Richt for it. I'm just telling you what's going on. I'm working in other directions to try to get you the information, too. I don't mind doing the work. But it bothers me -- not just on this beat but all over -- when the media gets criticized for doing its job. We are getting the information FOR YOU and yet the media is portrayed as the enemy almost all the time.

Again, Richt has a job to do, and he's doing it the way he sees fit -- some of it I agree with, some of it I don't. The media has a job, too, and when I know Richt is deliberately trying not to answer questions, part of my job is to tell you what's going on. That's all.

And one last thing: I agree with the reader who pointed out that today he was pretty blunt in simply saying, "I'm not going to talk about that." And I agree completely that I'd far rather a "no comment" than an answer that is purposely misleading. So kudos to Richt on that.

dawgjammin said...

This whole DC search reminds me of one of my favorite movie quotes of all time... From Crimson Tide..."You don't put on a condom unless you're going to...F"

It seems to me like like we've gone through half a box of condoms without actually getting laid yet...

Either Richt's really good at this job search thing or he's really bad, historically bad.

Anonymous said...

Hey, remember when Mike Anderson turned down a gobzillion dollars from Georgia to remain at Missouri? And how his agent was a supreme dick about it?

Saint Mike's got losses to Anal Roberts and the Richmond Spiders this year. His record with all that talent at Mizzou is a whopping one game better than Fox at Georgia.

Moral of the story: These clowns who leverage Georgia for cash? Screw 'em. We can and will do better.

Muckbeast said...

"Being evasive is more about spreading misinformation or being purposely vague with the intention that it will cause some confusion."


That is not the definition of evasive.

Auntie Rae said...

I think you meant Oral Roberts. Anal was his brother. Though Oral did enjoy fucking people in the ass.

Anonymous said...

Classy Auntie Rae, are you related to Lane Kiffin?

Dawgfan17 said...

David, I think you hit the nail on the head when you brought up the Jacksonville thing. Richt has seemed much more guarded on little things since then. With all the talk about DC and such I want to make sure we are doing what we can to keep the best writer around covering UGA. It is ok if you use other offers to get a better deal for yourself but don't want you going anywhere. You write great full length stories and put much more effort into your blogs than most. Most newspaper blogs are a few sentences and then count on the readers to do the work for them. Just letting you know that while it may be for pennies your hard work is appreciated by this Dawg, I work nights and reading your blog and links helps the night go by faster.

Anonymous said...


i wish my employer classified "work" as surfing the bulldog blog....

Paul said...

I can't say that I blame Richt for being evasive. As has been hinted, anytime he gives an answer to a question there is some element of the fanbase that gets their internet panties all in a wad over it. Not to mention certain colleagues of David that egg on the less thoughtful members of the Bulldog Nation.

If I were Richt, I would give very "helpful" answers either.