Richt gets all kinds of mileage out of flight west

Mark Richt,and cunning occupy the same sentence for one weekend. (Todd Kirkland/Getty Images)

Mark Richt,and cunning occupy the same sentence for one weekend. (Todd Kirkland/Getty Images)

When the absolute best move you’ve made all season is to get on an airplane, that may be an indication that the schedule has not exactly played out to its fullest potential.

But Mark Richt’s cross-country trip to brunch with an 18-year-old last weekend was a stroke of uncut genius. His surprise visit to Washington state’s Jacob Eason was masterful in execution and message. I’d almost credit the Bulldogs coach with having a little Machiavelli in him, if he wasn’t such a square-cut fellow.

Richt said that popping in on his prize quarterback recruit after the Auburn victory was a matter of “just enjoying each other’s company.” As if a 2,400-mile flight was the equivalent of meeting a friend for a coffee and bagel on Athens’ Broad Street.

The unusual mid-season journey told you a whole lot more than that, at least subliminally. These are a few of the louder statements it made:

“I still want this job.” The effort and the ingenuity invested in going all Lewis and Clark in November was significant. This was not the act of a man who – as some of Richt’s detractors claim – would just as soon be digging wells and saving souls in Honduras.

“I’m still capable of surprising you.” After 15 years, you think you have seen it all from Richt. Then he does something like this, which is truly unusual with a season still in progress.

“I’m feeling pretty good about the Georgia Southern game.” OK, maybe he doesn’t make this trip if, say, LSU was next up. With back-to-back games against option teams, Richt had to get on that plane with some comfort that he could handle the one from the Sun Belt Conference.

“See, I’m still secure enough in my job to leave town on a Saturday night.” Apologies to all the harshest of the coach’s critics, but the flight was round-trip, not one-way.

“The pressure on this incoming freshman quarterback is going to be enough to steam a lobster.” Good heavens, this kid must be the second coming of Peyton Manning (the younger, good one) to warrant such a visit. Richt just added two more 45-pound plates to the bar this kid is going to be expected to lift.

“Nobody’s saying that if I get fired the Bulldogs will lose their bellcow quarterback recruit, but. . .” The photo posted by both guys looked more like father-son than coach-recruit. The ties that bind obviously are strong with Richt and Eason. Not the kind of pose that suggested either would be very happy should Georgia fire its coach. No threat there, really. More a reminder.

Reader Comments 0

68 comments
Pfrosen
Pfrosen

Richt was just being smart. He knew at some level that he was gone and would love to take Eason to his next stop which will probably be Miami. Just saying.

dawg fan
dawg fan

First thing that jumped out at me about the Georgia Southern game:  NO IMPROVEMENT.  Our team has not progressed one iota from the start of the season.  If anything, we've gotten worse.  The problems with this team have been known for months now but it appears very little has been done about it.  The defense has gotten slightly better but I think that's more a function of the level of competition.  We've been playing joke teams.  The offense remains a disaster.  NO IMPROVEMENT.  Good head coaches make their team improve.  This does not seem to be a concern for Mark Richt.  He is too busy visiting recruits for NEXT YEAR to care about this year's team.  He has quit on the season.  This is not how championships are won.  The foundation for greatness is laid on the practice field, not in the living room of a 5 star recruit.  Mark Richt is a joke and does not get this.  Our team is going through the motions this season.  The quest for a championship starts NOW, not in January when Eason gets here and certainly not in August.  If Mark Richt understood this we would be seeing improvement out of this team, but we are not.  That's the bottom line.  FIRE MARK RICHT  and bring in a coach that wants to do the things necessary to win big and not just talk about it.  I apologize to any Richt loving Disney Dawg who I have offended with these comments. 

bodawger
bodawger

@dawg fan think having a qb might make a difference? try dealing with a lil reality in ur analysis!

goodlife1
goodlife1

I very seldom post on these blogs, but only in politics and sports do, as Charles Barkley says, "the losers come out and write anonymous comments like their opinion matters".   If the powers that be wish to make a coaching change at UGA, so be it.   I'll leave it up to them to do the right thing at the right time.


As for these posters...   always the same usual suspects, always the same negative comments, always shouting "fire the head coach", while NEVER once putting in writing who they believe the replacement should be.   Alas, it is easy to pass judgement from the luxury of a barco lounger probably having never played a sport at a high level - their only source of satisfaction coming from watching 18-21 year olds play a game while attending college.  I find it amazing how the players/kids themselves exhibit a level of maturity, even after a loss, that far exceeds the many "adults" on these blogs that should know better.


Go Dawgs!!

dawg fan
dawg fan

@goodlife1  "NEVER once putting in writing who they believe the replacement should be."  We've done it MULTIPLE times.  It's not our fault your head is stuck 3 feet up Richt's backside and you missed it.  Pay attention because here it is again:  Kirby Smart, Tom Herman, Kyle Wittingham.  Those would be my candidates to replace the joke choke artist Mark Richt.  I'm sorry you find all this so offensive.  Maybe you should switch to figure skating? 

goodlife1
goodlife1

@dawg fan @goodlife1 Ladies & gentlemen of the jury...  per my earlier comment...   I yield the remainder of my time to Dawg Fan.

dawg fan
dawg fan

@goodlife1 This is a blog about UGA and Mark Richt.  I'm not sure what kind of comments you expected to find here.  Are we supposed to be talking about cookie recipes or something?  The stupidity of the Mark Richt Fan Club never ceases to amaze me.  This is a free and open forum.  Feel free to show me where I am wrong on any of my opinions about Mark Richt.  Good luck. 

ProudtobefrmthaG
ProudtobefrmthaG

The kid has already said he's coming to play for Georgia regardless of who's coaching..Richt is gone next year

Undelusional
Undelusional

The trip was nothing more than a publicity stunt to quell the "fire Richt" momentum. Why travel 2500 miles to have breakfast with a kid who has already signed a financial agreement. Talk about putting pressure on a 18 year old. Richt heaps pressure on the kid just to save his job. Has he no shame?

Peachs
Peachs

If he loses that recruit his days are numbered even less than they are now, and I get the feeling the UGA public relations department once again mail one in for the AJC.  This kind of stuff is why he has been around for 15 years while every other SEC team has carried the weight of the conference reputation. 

UnbiasedObserver
UnbiasedObserver

LOL.  Funny.


This move was to hopefully buy more time with his Bosses and the UGA fanbase. .  He used the kid.  Why else make a big deal out of it? Post a pic on Twitter?  Tell everyone what he did?


Sad really.


dawg fan
dawg fan

@UnbiasedObserver  Something that picture also says is that Mark Richt has already given up on this year.  Instead of getting ready for Georgia Southern he's on a plane to Washington to woo a recruit for next year.  He knows he can coast from here on out and keep his job.  You think if we were gearing up for the SECCG that he'd be flying cross country to see a recruit?  He's quit on the season.  Then people wonder why our team quits on Saturdays when they get punched in mouth by a team that's just as big and strong as they are.  Look at their leader.  Mark Richt is not a champion. 

dawg fan
dawg fan

@OH:IO  Interesting read.  Yes, Georgia needed a "spark" coming off the 6-7 2010 season.  So instead of coaching football and demanding excellence Richt comes up with a snappy slogan like "Dream Team" as his spark.  I would like the Mark Richt Fan Club to explain to me how we're supposed to be excited about another heralded recruiting class in 2016 when even the "Dream Team" could only muster a Cap One Bowl trophy during their time here.  Please explain.   

Buschleaguer
Buschleaguer

@TOJacket @dawg fan @OH:IO

Yeah TO, 

It's those darn Jackets fault. If they could muster a win against UGa more than once every 5 or 6 years CMR would be under more scrutiny to actually achieve something besides winning "TIN" games every two years or so ,when the tin cans line up for the Dogs to knock down. 

Come on TO ,Tech has to up their game or CMR will have another 10 years to try and win another SEC east title.

JFKDawg
JFKDawg

All you Bulldog wannabees, just jump off the bandwagon.  I'm sure there are several other teams out there for you.  If all you have done yourself for UGA is sit back and complain, go away.  There is only one NC each year and one SEC champion each year.  Does that mean all the other coaches should be fired?  There is something to be said for stability, the character of your coaches.  You can always be an Auburn or a Louisville and sell your souls for short term fixes.


dawg fan
dawg fan

@JFKDawg  LOL.  Bandwagon?  What bandwagon?  The bandwagon to the Belk, Liberty or Independence bowl?  Okay twist my arm.  I'm off.  You Richt fans have fun with all of your "stability."  That's often a code word for complacency and mediocrity.  No one expects a championship every year.  At this point it would be nice to just show up for a big game and not get embarrassed like we do pretty much every time we play in those games.  That's all. Have fun on the bandwagon.     

OH:IO
OH:IO

I bet Chip has already scouted out his "Savior Skinny moves into the dorm" perch. 

dawg fan
dawg fan

@OH:IO  He needs to scout out the hospital because that's where Eason could end up if he's our starter next year.  I'm being facetious but seriously we are losing 4 starters off what is already a very mediocre offensive line.  The guys behind them must be a disaster.  They will be blocking for us next year.  Yet somehow this true freshmen from East Bumblewad, Washington is going to magically make us relevant in the SEC again?  It's laughable.  He'll get eaten alive.  Then the excuse will be that Eason needs more time to mature.  Well, that may be true but even after he matures there will be other areas on the field where we will be deficient due to poor roster management by Richt.  It's always something.  Instead of "Finish the Drill" or "Commit to the G" that should be Mark Richt's motto:  "It's always something."   

OH:IO
OH:IO

@dawg fan


But I hear they play SEC! SEC! defence in Washington high school football.  Fear not. 

The_Real_KJ
The_Real_KJ

@OH:IO Once again, you really should seek help for your obsessing over the physiques of teenage boys.  Hopefully before you find yourself walking into Chris Hansen's kitchen with a 4 pack of wine coolers.

OH:IO
OH:IO

@The_Real_KJ


Follow Chip on Twitter. He's the one  that needs help. He gushes. 

dawg fan
dawg fan

@Chuck_UGA Okay, we lose two.  Whatever.  Name me a time in Mark Richt's tenure when we have ever been anything other than mediocre at best on the offensive line.  I can think of two:  2002 and 2007.  That's it.  Those are the only years in 15 years under his watch when our offensive line could hold it's own against a great SEC defensive front.  And then people wonder why we can't win anything.  Yet, here he is flying cross country to kiss the arse of some hot shot QB recruit like it's going to make a bit of difference.  It won't.  The guy is absolutely clueless. 

dawg fan
dawg fan

@rtpiv LOL.  Maybe pass protection has been "great" because we throw the ball only about 20 times per game and defenses have absolutely no reason to rush the passer anyway because none of our QBs can hit the broadside of a barn with a pass.  That was hilarious.  Thanks for the laugh.

rtpiv
rtpiv

@dawg fan @OH:IO Pass protection has been excellent all season. It's the run blocking that has struggled. We have some good players in the wings.

TnDawg
TnDawg

I love Coach Richt but it is too late.  In my opinion, nothing he does after the last Florida lost can save his job as HBC at UGA.  It is time for a change in direction.

dawg fan
dawg fan

@TnDawg  He's not going anywhere.  Didn't you hear?  Things are back on track after our big wins over Kentucky and Auburn, two teams with a combined record of 9-11.  We've got another big game with 3-7 Georgia Tech coming up.  That magical 10 win season is still very much in play. The Mark Richt Fan Club has come out of hiding to valiantly defend the honor of their hero again.  Nothing has changed.  Nothing will change.  We're stuck tied to a chair watching an old rerun that keeps playing over and over and over again.  That's what this feels like.  It wasn't a bad show the first couple of times I saw it but now I want to rip my eyeballs out if I have to watch it again.  

DawgNole
DawgNole

Are you overlooking Ga Southern?

Probably not real smart if you're a UGA fan.

Just ask the gator fools how that worked out for them a couple of years ago.

dawg fan
dawg fan

@DawgNole  No way Richt loses to Georgia Southern or Georgia Tech.  His arse is on the line.  They're toast.  These are the games he circles on his calendar.  He knows the one's he's got to win to have those magical 10 win seasons and win 9.7 games per year.  He's no fool.  He's lazy, unmotivated and complacent, but he isn't stupid.   

dawg fan
dawg fan

@TOJacket He makes bad game day decisions sometimes because he's asleep at the wheel and in la la land.  It's not due to a lack of knowledge.  It's a lack of focus.  Funny how we see the same boneheaded mistakes out of the team. 

POV1948
POV1948

Richt has had some success with nationally rated QBs who came in with huge expectations, i.e., Stafford and Murray.  Recruiting is part of the HC job last time I checked.  Can't imagine that even the worst of the haters want UGA to lose Eason.  Between Hummer and Schultz, the AJC has cooked up enough ulterior motives to serve as a side dish at Feed the Hungry.

dawg fan
dawg fan

@POV1948  What success did Richt have with Stafford and Murray?  Neither one of them won the SEC and we saw the same embarrassing losses that we are seeing now.  What in the world are you talking about?

POV1948
POV1948

@dawg fan @POV1948 Point I was addressing was assumption that pressure will be too heavy for Eason. Stafford and Murray both had successful careers, Stafford starting as a true freshman and Murray as RS.  Reasonable to give Richt some credit for that, unless you're unwilling to give him credit for anything.

dawg fan
dawg fan

@POV1948 It's also reasonable to hold him responsible for our inability to win anything meaningful with both of those guys, unless you're unwilling to hold him responsible for anything. 

OH:IO
OH:IO

gurlschel, we hardly knew ye

Termigator
Termigator

Just some observations: Richt did what he had to do to fend off rumors, etc about Eason. Richt has saved his job unless UGA gets blown out by Tech (highly doubtful). Eason may or may not be as good as Stafford, but Stafford playing in the Metro Dallas area against top quality players was more ready to play as a Freshman than Eason will be while playing in the Pacific NW against DB's who look like a younger version of me (SWB). Richt will need to win at least 10 games next year (should be favored to win in all except maybe 2) to keep his job or he will never get to enjoy the fruits of who seems to be a genuine star at QB.

rtpiv
rtpiv

@Termigator I haven't seen DB's in Dallas or the Pacific NW. Is there a difference in diet?


Stafford didn't have his breakout game until Auburn, when the Dogs whipped a highly ranked team on the road.

OH:IO
OH:IO

Chip probably got another tingle up his thigh.

The_Real_KJ
The_Real_KJ

@OH:IO Another man's body you think about, huh?  At least this one is of age....