October 23, 2012

ST duties for Richt?



Tuesday, Mark Richt announced he has tentative plans to have someone else on his staff focus on special teams - himself.

During his weekly press conference, Richt was asked if he would consider naming a special teams coordinator instead of dividing up the duties like he's done in his 12 years as the Bulldogs' head coach.

Apparently, that's not what he's got in mind.

"First of all, you can assign somebody within your staff to do it, or if you don't, that means that if there's no attrition, you're going to fire somebody to hire a special teams coordinator," Richt said. "So, I don't know if I'm interested in doing that, but I think one thing that I can do as head coach is at least spend time learning the kicking and punting fundamentals well enough to be their coach."

Richt said he'll take steps this off-season to make that happen.

"Right this minute I wouldn't say that I have enough expertise to do that, but I think this off season it would be wise for me to do something like that because I am freed up enough to do that, and if that's my contribution to special teams in the future, I think it'd be valuable," Richt said.

He was asked why he wouldn't consider naming a special teams coordinator like Florida, where assistant coach D.J. Durkin has helped mold the Gators' unit into one of the nation's best.

Florida ranks first nationally in net punting with a 44.24 average, senior kicker Caleb Sturgis has hit on 12 of 14 attempts, while the Gators have blocked eight kicks in Will Muschamp's 20 games as head coach.

Georgia has traditionally split its four special team duties among four different assistant coaches, a strategy Richt staunchly defends.

"We've had some pretty good punters and kickers over the years since I've been here. We're not doing anything any differently than we've done before really. But, they (Florida) have done a very good job on their special teams, and there's no doubt about that," Richt said. "But there are some people in the country who do a good job on special teams and need a special teams coach, and there's some that do it and split the responsibilities."

Richt said his Bulldogs aren't doing anything different than schools that have coordinators in place.

"Some people say they have a special teams coordinator, but he may just be coordinating the practice time, or he may be coordinating the meeting time. So there are a lot of people who have a special teams coordinator and he's coordinating what happens, but he doesn't necessarily coach every single team on every single kick," Richt said. "There are a lot of people that are still dividing up responsibilities, but they (Florida) are certainly outstanding at it this year."

More practice time for the Gators?

Thanks to there being no classes for undergraduates on Friday, the Bulldogs actually are able to squeeze in a little more time to practice for Saturday's game against the Gators, something Richt says the team intends to take advantage of.

"With the 20-hour (practice) rule, you can't change much. We have it planned out to the minute every week, so if you do a little more here, you're robbing something," Richt said. "Now this particular week on Friday, there's no school, so you literally can have a four hour day on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, which is 16 hours plus three hours on Saturday, so that's the max that we can have this week. But, Friday is unlimited, so you can actually have a little bit more time Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday and have a little bit more time Friday. It's not because it's Florida week as much as it's the fact that there's no school on Friday. So we're able to do a little bit more of anything that we think is important."

Otherwise, Richt said he won't be changing a thing in regards to his team's preparation for Saturday's 3:30 game (CBS).

Neither will he have to say much to get his team motivated. With a win, the Bulldogs can continue to control their own destiny for the SEC East crown.

"I think it's just one of those weeks as a coach where you don't sit there and wonder how you can motivate these guys this week," Richt said. "They are just motivated to play this game, so I don't think that's an issue.

Injury update

Linebacker Jarvis Jones practiced again Tuesday and seemed to be moving around without any issue.

"We think he will be able to play in the game," Richt said.

However, there were a couple of missing personnel.

Defensive end Abry Jones (ankle) was not at practice and is expected to miss the game.

Also, tight end Jay Rome was not seen working out with the rest of his position mates. An update is expected later.

This and that

Richt was in poor voice for Tuesday's weekly press conference, hoarse he said as a result of hollering at special team members Saturday night at Kentucky. … Richt did not rule out Mark Beard getting the start at left tackle Saturday against the Gators. "Mark Beard has really come on for us. He played a little bit more in the Kentucky game than in some of the games prior to that due to Dallas Lee tweaking his ankle a little bit, but he's an athletic guy," Richt said. "He's getting more comfortable as we go, and it's not a bad looking lineup when Beard's in there. I think Beard will end up playing, and I think Dallas will end up playing. I'm not sure who will start. If Beard starts, Kenarious Gates is a guard, and if Lee starts, Gates will be a tackle. But he will play in this ballgame."