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Blog: Richt eyes special teams changes, updates other defensive staff

10:30 p.m. update: A lot of this is now moot since Olivadotti is heading to the Redskins and Wilson to Southern California.

Georgia football coach Mark Richt said he’s planning on assistants Kirk Olivadotti and Chris Wilson remaining on new coordinator Jeremy Pruitt’s defensive staff.

That will leave Pruitt to hire an outside linebackers coach that Richt also hopes can pay dividends in boosting Georgia’s special teams.

“I want Coach Pruitt in his hire to get what he wants and what he feels he needs, OK?” Richt said Wednesday. “But my guess is whoever it is will have a strong special teams background as well. That’s not a prerequisite for coach getting for what he feels he needs.”

Kicker Marshall Morgan was an All-Southeastern Conference pick, but Georgia ranked last in the SEC in kick and punt returns, had two punts blocked and some fumbling issues on punt returns.

“Special teams, I’ve got some things in mind,” Richt said. “I really can’t say exactly what I’ve got in mind but I do have some things in mind for that that I think is going to be helpful.”

Wilson, the defensive line coach, reportedly interviewed for the Alabama defensive line job that was since filled, but Richt said he expected Wilson and Olivadotti, who coaches inside linebackers, to stick around.

“Yeah, right now, if they want to,” Richt said. “And as of right now, I think they want to, but yeah if coach Olivadotti and coach Wilson want to be with us then that’s the plan to be with us.”

Richt said “the natural thing” would be to fill the opening with an outside linebackers coach. That’s the position that Grantham coached for the Bulldogs.

Pruitt’s background is in coaching the defensive backs and he will continue that at Georgia.

Richt backs a proposal to add a 10th on-field assistant coach — something he said most coaches are in favor of. He doesn’t expect that to be pushed forward this year but thinks it will be sooner rather than later.

“If that happens that would probably free up a lot of people to say this is all this guy does is special teams now,” Richt said. “In the meantime, we’re going to have something that I think is going to be very exciting for us to get better in that area.”

Richt said Pruitt told him he wanted to chip in helping on special teams.

“That was music to my ears,” Richt said.

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by Marc Weiszer

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