Kaaya's QB Coach Talks Richt
I was able to get some thoughts from Rudy Carpenter on Miami’s hiring of Mark Richt. Carpenter is Brad Kaaya’s quarterback coach since high school, as has been profiled on CanesInSight previously. Carpenter had an extremely successful career at Arizona State, as well as an NFL career ranging from 2009-2011.
Q: What are your overall thoughts on Mark Richt to Miami?
Carpenter: I think it’s a great hire because not only is Mark Richt familiar with the state of Florida and recruiting the state of Florida, but he is also familiar with the Miami program, being an alum of the school. I think he can find the perfect mesh point of the old Miami ways and also making the ex-players a part of the program. He understands the culture that the Miami fan base is looking for, and what the ex-players are looking for, and what I think the current players are looking for.
Q: How does Richt’s offense fit Brad’s skillset, in your opinion?
Carpenter: He’s a pro-style guy with also some spread elements, similar in ways to what James Coley did. I think Miami’s offense has been good the last couple games with James and Brad. It could be more consistent in certain areas, especially their red zone offense, but they still did pretty good. I think Mark Richt is going to be able to build on that and develop Brad even better. I think that he learned a little bit at Georgia the last few years and he will want to be more involved in the day-to-day stuff like coaching quarterbacks and calling plays.
Q: If you were Richt, what would your recruiting pitch be to recruits?
Carpenter: The first thing I do is talk to all of the current Miami players who are draft-eligible and thinking about coming out. I try to convince all of those kids to give me a shot as their coach and to help better prepare them for the next level. When I’m recruiting Florida, I kind of preach what Nick Saban has been doing lately, which is saying ‘hey I understand you have a dream to play college football and you also have a dream to play in the NFL’. Instead of being that coach who is scared of their players leaving to the pros, I embrace it. I do everything I can do to get you out of your neighborhood and to the league. He is going to run a system with an NFL base. I’m going to make this place available and open to NFL players and general managers and scouts to do everything I can to get you to the NFL.
Q: Have you had the chance to talk about the hire with Brad or his family and how do they feel about it?
Carpenter: I know that they are super excited. I know that Brad is just absolutely excited. I will also say this, which is important to note. Brad and his family are very, very, very loyal people so Brad was very emotional and almost in tears that the coaching staff at Miami was fired. They recruited him and gave him his shot. They’ve coached him and developed him to be considered one of the top quarterbacks in the country. He felt responsible that he didn’t play well in some games or the Clemson game and he feels like he was a part of the reason they got fired. I know he takes that personally and feels horrible about it. Brad is not an outwardly emotional guy and loves to play football and it will be a great fit because I think Mark is very similar. He’s very careful with his words and how he projects himself to the media, but he is stern in what he believes in. Mark Richt has a gameplan and a formula that works, and Miami has been missing that. They have totally relied on talent. I think Coach Richt is someone who will be able to mesh talent, with good coaching, and good scheme, and good discipline. The players will respect him and want to play for him.
Q: In which areas to you think Richt will be able to help Brad take that next step?
Carpenter: I think Coach Coley has done an awesome job with Brad. I think he’s done a good job of making Brad really take control of this system and giving him a lot of alerts and checks and kill plays and letting Brad have freedom make audibles. I personally played for Dirk Koetter and then played for Dennis Erickson. I was emotional and mad when Dirk got fired, but my football knowledge was expanded. It wasn’t that Dennis’ system was better than Dirk’s, but it was just different. I got to learn two different systems, which made my transition to the NFL a lot easier. I think Coach Richt is going to spend a lot of time coaching and developing Brad, but also he is going to open Brad’s mind to more offense, to more scheme, to more game planning, which I think will mentally stimulate him this offseason. He’s had good quarterbacks throughout his career and he will challenge Brad and because of that, I think Brad will become more of a commodity when it comes to NFL teams.
Q: You have watched a lot of Miami football this season, specifically on the offensive side of the ball. What does this unit need personnel-wise in order to run this offense as effectively as possible?
Carpenter: Miami has some of the best wide outs in the country. They have two great running backs and tight ends. And they have a great quarterback. They need to get bigger and stronger up front and sure up their pass-protection. They need to be more physical at the point of attack and get more movement. I think if they can run the ball and get that extra safety down in the box, then they can go play-action pass and throw deep balls and deep-ins, and comebacks, and posts to the burners they have. One of the things I wished they did more of this year is they need to do more shifts and motions and get Yearby in the slot. You can motion him around because he’s a great receiver and can work the middle of the field. I think his screen game will be a little bit more in-depth and he will have a bigger menu of running back screens, wide receiver screens, and tight end screens as well.