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Georgia football was going back to 2001 on Tuesday with an entirely new defensive staff.
At least that‚Äôs what it felt like for Georgia coach Mark Richt.
‚ÄúWe as coaches were kind of. …it felt as close to 2001 since I‚Äôve been here,‚Äù Richt said of his first season. ‚ÄúIt felt like the first day of a new staff and I think a lot of it is because we obviously had a new staff on defense, but even change in the practice schedule as much as we did, it was brand new for me. It was brand new for the offensive staff.‚Äù
Richt called the first day of spring practice ‚Äúoutstanding,‚Äù even with what he admitted was the distraction of the Monday night arrests of four football players.
‚ÄúThe defense obviously was going through some brand new stuff for them and the players as well,‚Äù Richt said. ‚ÄúJust a lot of excitement, a lot of anticipation. We actually on Monday we got in the staff meeting, went over the practice on the board, talked about where everybody is going to be at every period. Then we went out in the field as a staff and we walked through it all where everybody was going to be. Then at the end of the player meetings we took the players out there and we just walked and said this is where this drill is going to be, this is where this drill is going to be, this is where we‚Äôre going to do period four, five, six or whatever. We kind of dress rehearsed where everybody was going to be throughout the practice and then today when we did it, it showed.‚Äù
He wasn‚Äôt done gushing.
‚ÄúIt looked like we were organized and knew what we were doing,‚Äù Richt said. ‚ÄúI was writing a few notes as we went on things that we‚Äôve got to clean up, but for the most part I was impressed with what we did and I really like the new format.‚Äù
That format included different length for practice periods–some three, seven, eight and 10 minutes–and having an 11-on-11-drill on one field with the No. 1 and 2 units going at ‚Äúpretty much a rapid-fire pace.‚Äù
At the same time, third-stringers worked 11-on-11 with the staff split up to handle both.
Even with the news of the past 24 hours, Richt said ‚Äúwe definitely wanted to focus on the excitement of the first day of spring ball.‚Äù