Let me preface this by saying these two things:
I am a Mark Richt guy. I have faith (blind faith, perhaps) that Mark Richt can get this ship turned around in Athens. He suddenly didn’t forget how to coach or win a close game overnight. I think he is owed some time to fix the mess we are in.
I don’t have a problem with the “vanilla” offense we run compared to other teams across the country (see Auburn, Florida, Oregon, etc…). If it works, and it has, then stop it. This offense produces NFL players. This offense led the SEC in scoring in 2009. So I don’t have a problem with it.
But sometimes, Coach Richt, you have to think outside the box. I am not saying abandoning your bread and butter for the sake of being cute. But you have to be a little more creative.
Mark Richt (or Mike Bobo, Rodney Garner, whoever-but Richt is the head man) whiffed on not recruiting Cam Newton. Hindsight is 20/20. I am also not one of those who bash Richt for not getting all the instate guys-Massaquoi, Knowshon, Stafford, Green, Ben Jones, Orson Charles, Chapas, etc…all came from out of state. If you can go into other states and get talented players, then who cares if you pass up on Zeke.
But to say you passed up on a 6’6” freak of nature because he was a more tight end is a problem to me. He has great God given gifts. Gene Chizik sure found a way to utilize him. Trey Burton is not a “traditional” quarterback, but he is an extremely talented athlete and Urban Meyer found a way to use his talents. I am not saying throw your basic principles out the window; it wouldn’t kill you to have a little more imagination, either. Why isn’t Branden Smith involved more with the offense? I know Smith was hurt for a while, but even when healthy he was underutilized when the offense needed a spark.
This goes back to one of the overall problems with the team: not talent evaluation, but talent placement. Carlton Thomas has a place on the team. He could be a useful weapon…but not running up the middle out of the I. The insistence of trotting Logan Gray out on punt returns (although he has had some nice returns). There is a talent on the team…putting that talent in the best postitions to succeed is another thing. Maybe we are seeing a reversal of thought…Nick Marshall is going to play DB at Georgia, not quarterback.
I am not saying start recruiting athletes and place them wherever and abandon your scheme. But if you have a great athlete out there or one on your team, find a way to make the most use of their talents and maximize their potential.
UPDATE: Bill King shares a similar sentiment.