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Throughout a 1-4 start to the season, Georgia has clung to the same daily routine that has been used throughout Mark Richt’s 10 seasons as coach.
Today that stopped.
Richt had his players – for the first time ever on a game-week Monday – strap on full pads and practice 11-on-11 with the first offense against the first defense. This is a significant step that alone would speak volumes of the current situation. But perhaps even more telling was that Richt – who doesn’t typically speak to reporters after Monday practices – stopped by for a moment just to let everyone know what had transpired.
“It’s was very, very physical,” Richt told us.
He then described it in more detail for fans during tonight’s radio show, saying his team is not tackling well, blocking well or playing physical enough.
Richt has kept a typically cool demeanor and steadfast approach through his team’s struggles, so let’s call this development like it looks: Tonight seemed the first hint of a public acknowledgement by Richt of what’s at stake for his own immediate future if Georgia doesn’t start winning soon.
Really, it appeared to be a timely public relations offensive, both in speaking to the media after practice and then saying several times to fans, “We’ve got to turn this thing around.”
*** Asked on tonight's show about playcalling duties, Richt replied, "Mike Bobo is calling our plays. That's the way it is right now."
*** As for the feel on campus, my old college paper, The Red & Black, ran a front page headline today from the Colorado game that read, "One and f---"
*** A caller to Richt's show tonight asked him why he doesn't lead his team onto the field the way Nick Saban and Dabo Swinney do to start games. Richt agreed with her idea and said he would do that Saturday.
*** Richt said cornerback/punt returner Branden Smith (concussion) is definitely out for Saturday’s game against Tennessee.
*** Receiver Kris Durham (neck stinger) was still no-contact in practice today, though he remains “optimistic” that he’ll play against the Vols.
*** Freshman tailback Ken Malcome says he still doesn’t know if he will redshirt this season but he continues to prepare as if he’ll be called on to play. Malcome, who has yet to play for the Bulldogs, made the trip to Colorado and says he's over a concussion from earlier in the season.
*** Linebacker Darryl Gamble will wear Quintin Banks’ No. 31 jersey for the Tennessee game.
*** The Oct. 16 homecoming game against Vanderbilt will kick off at 12:21 p.m. and be televised by SEC Network. That means UGA’s first four home games this season will have all started around noon.
This post has been edited 4 times, most recently by Gentry Estes on 10/4/2010 at 10:47 PM
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