Coach Speak: Richt addresses recent injuries, improving offensive line, and upcoming scrimmage

Stefan Adams

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After Thursday’s practice on Greentree, head coach Mark Richt addressed the status of a few injuries that have taken place on the field in the past few days.

On junior TE Michael Irvin II: “First of all, [he] had MCL surgery,” Richt said. He had to get it cleaned up. They expect 100-percent recovery, it’s just going to take a bit. If he recovers quickly, he could actually play the last four games, or even one game at the end, if it came down to it, and not lose a redshirt. He’s going to end up being able to redshirt, no matter what. We would never play him if he’s not ready, but you never know how a guy feels by the end of the season. It’s even possible – I’m not saying it’s probable – but what’s certain is he’s going to be back 100 percent from that injury.”

On junior LB Michael Pinckney: “He just tweaked his ankle. We put it in a boot just for compression and to not let it swell. We decided to keep him out today. We hope he’ll scrimmage [Saturday].”

With Irvin II out, the Canes are down to three scholarship tight ends. The lack of numbers in the position group has effected the team in other ways that just depth at TE and Richt seems like he could be ready to make a move at the spot.

“We had to stop practice short today because I just don’t have enough tight ends on our roster,” Richt said. “Our threes didn’t even get to practice short yardage because I flat out didn’t have enough people. So, I’ve got to get more tight ends on this field.”

While the Canes have no real playing experience at TE right now, Richt has been encouraged by the progress from each of the young tight ends.

“[Brian] Polendey has done a really good job,” Richt said. “He is a guy that just every week, every month, he gets a little bit better. It’s kind of slow, you know. But then a year later, you’re like, ‘Wow. Look what he is now compared to a year ago.’ He has done a really good job in a lot of areas.

“The young guys are still learning what to do, but they’re learning fast. They are talented kids. But they’re freshmen, like everybody else.”

Sources have told CIS that redshirt freshman QB Cade Weldon has had an incredible camp so far and is making a serious bid for the number 2 QB job. Richt says he’s seen major progression from Weldon in areas such as maturity, preparation, and accuracy.

“Cade has really had a very good camp,” Richt said. “Today, he did a couple of things that weren’t like him in regards to how he has been practicing the first four or five days. He has practiced really [well]. He’s beginning to look more like a mature guy who understands what it takes to prepare and do the things he has to do. And he has been very accurate. He has done a really good job. Today he had a couple of hiccups, but overall, he has really had a good camp.”

Another unit that has shown improvement is the offensive line, particularly the first team. Richt praised the current group of starters after practice for giving QB’s time to throw and open lanes for the backs.

“I’m pleased with the ‘one’ unit right now…everybody is in sync. Everyone is doing their job,” Richt said. We’re getting a lot of great protection, good pockets, good run game…it has really been good…We’re very encouraged with the offensive line.”

UM is still working for more cohesion and consistency from the backups on the O-Line, though.

“I’m pleased with individuals on the twos and threes, showing signs of doing things the way they need to be done,” Richt said. “The problem is the coordination of all five guys doing it right at the same time, with the twos and threes. Every so often, the ‘two’ line or the ‘three’ line will [make you say], ‘Wow, look at that.’ Then there will be times when you got two guys making a mistake and you’ve got no chance, but the other three [linemen] will be doing it perfect.

Who has flashed among the second- and third-string offensive line?

“Really every freshman and redshirt freshman lineman we got,” Richt said. “And Venzell Boulware – brand new. I don’t have one guy where I don’t know if he can function in this league or help us win. I think it’s just a matter of developing, physically and mentally.”

After six straight days of practice, the Canes will take the day off and rest up tomorrow before playing their first scrimmage of the fall on Saturday night at Hardrock Stadium. The scrimmage will take place around 7 pm and will be closed to the public, however Richt will be available to the media afterwards around 9:15-9:30 pm. The format will be ones versus twos and the threes versus the threes. What will UM’s head coach be looking for on Saturday?

“As always, you want guys to prove that they’re ready to either start or that they’ve earned playing time,” Richt said. “How far have you come? These controlled situations…that’s what they are. They’re situations. It’s first-and-10. It’s third down. It’s red zone. It’s short yardage. It’s a one-minute drill. You don’t know, in the game, how it’s going to happen. So in the scrimmage, you have to play all situations as they come and we have to find out what kind of ballplayer you are.

“This is the closest thing we have to a game. We’re going to go ahead and do it at night. We’re actually going to have our pregame meal like we normally have for a game. We’re going to have our pregame warmup like we do for a game. We’re going to try and make it as much like a game as possible, the night before and even the day of. Just see who’s close enough to say he’s either on the plane, or he’s going to play, or he’s a starter.”
 
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Interesting comments about Polendey

Richt isn’t the type of guy to bullshit just to get someone’s hopes up.
 
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"Brian Polendey has done a really good job,” Richt said. “He is a guy that just every week, every month, he gets a little bit better. It’s kind of slow, you know. But then a year later, you’re like, ‘Wow. Look what he is now compared to a year ago.’ He has done a really good job in a lot of areas."

Sounds slightly promising I guess
 

DMoney

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Polendey just needs to be serviceable as a 3rd TE and situational guy. Jordan and Mallory will be the guys against LSU.

Weldon is impressing a lot of people. The #2 race will be fun to watch on Saturday.
 

ben

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Polendey just needs to be serviceable as a 3rd TE and situational guy. Jordan and Mallory will be the guys against LSU.

Weldon is impressing a lot of people. The #2 race will be fun to watch on Saturday.
A #2 race sounds kinda gross
 

OBLIVION

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Cade making that move. Guy was pretty much written off.

Good news on Polendey. He doesn't need to be Shockey. Just make a play when called upon.
 
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Good for Weldon. Feel he's been slept on all along, but he's had some bad breaks and bad decisions, too.
 

Poptimus

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Polendey just needs to be serviceable as a 3rd TE and situational guy. Jordan and Mallory will be the guys against LSU.

Weldon is impressing a lot of people. The #2 race will be fun to watch on Saturday.
Will CIS be reporting from the closed scrimmage?
 

OBLIVION

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Polendey just needs to be serviceable as a 3rd TE and situational guy. Jordan and Mallory will be the guys against LSU.

Weldon is impressing a lot of people. The #2 race will be fun to watch on Saturday.
Excited about Weldon D. Glad the young man didn't pack it up and has come back swinging for the title.
 

CaneFan954

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Who has flashed among the second- and third-string offensive line?

“Really every freshman and redshirt freshman lineman we got,” Richt said. “And Venzell Boulware – brand new. I don’t have one guy where I don’t know if he can function in this league or help us win. I think it’s just a matter of developing, physically and mentally.”


This was particularly encouraging to me. Coach Felder (a former offensive lineman himself) will get the linemen where they need to be physically, but I'm glad the actual ability to function on the field is already apparent.

I'm almost more excited about the oline depth being promising than I am the starters looking good. Almost.

Hat tip to Coach Searels and also to the offensive linemen themselves.
 
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Watch out for Weldon, I remember last year the defense said he gave them fits on the scout team.
 
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Good news on Polendey. He will have to contribute this year at some point. Too quick to write players off around here.

Happy to hear that the OL is progressing as well. They are seeing one of, if not the best DL they will see all year, on a daily basis. I think they are going to surprised some people.

Intrigued by the Weldon news.
 
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Weldon another example of how good things happen when you use marijuana responsibly
 
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“We had to stop practice short today because I just don’t have enough tight ends on our roster,” Richt said. “Our threes didn’t even get to practice short yardage because I flat out didn’t have enough people. So, I’ve got to get more tight ends on this field.”
What I gather from this is that we will indeed be seeing some jumbo packages in short yardage. Reports say Polendy has been running with the ones, Brevin with the twos, and Mallory with the threes. Judging by that, the only way you don't have enough TEs to practice a situational drill on the third team is if that drill is calling for two TEs and you don't want to overwork any of your remaining TEs.
 
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I want to hear Weldon is having a great camp and is pushing for the starting spot, not the #2 spot. So much for an open competition.
 
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Polendey just needs to be serviceable as a 3rd TE and situational guy. Jordan and Mallory will be the guys against LSU.

Weldon is impressing a lot of people. The #2 race will be fun to watch on Saturday.
Yep. Last year the players said he was the best during practices throughout the season.
 

OBLIVION

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I want to hear Weldon is having a great camp and is pushing for the starting spot, not the #2 spot. So much for an open competition.
I hope he continues doing what he's doing every practices. That will push Rosier to be better or it might give the coaches something to think about.

It's still early into camp.
 
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#20
Polendey just needs to be serviceable as a 3rd TE and situational guy. Jordan and Mallory will be the guys against LSU.

Weldon is impressing a lot of people. The #2 race will be fun to watch on Saturday.
I loved Weldon coming out of high school. Seemed he was going to become another casualty of college life but sounds like he’s back on track. His athleticism and arm strength is a dangerous combination.
 
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