Amid contract extensions for both University of Georgia head coach Mark Richt and defensive coordinator Todd Grantham, the Bulldogs are gearing up to begin spring practice on March 20. Over the next four weeks, the team is scheduled to hold 15 practice sessions, closing out with the annual G-Day Game on April 14.
"We are really looking forward to kicking off spring ball," Coach Richt said on www.georgiadogs.com. "With spring ball, you have to start out making sure you are teaching the fundamentals of the game well. Guys like to talk about schemes offensively and defensively and special teams, but if you get everybody where they are supposed to be and they can't make the tackle when they get there or they can't wrap up the football when they are tackled to the ground, then you aren't going to be good enough. Fundamentally we have to make sure we are doing those things."
Additionally, Coach Richt announced that they had reinstated mat drills during the offseason, which were suspended in 2011, because coaches were focusing on building strength and muscle.
"Last year for the first time we didn't do our mat drills because we wanted to get bigger and we wanted to get stronger, and we accomplished that," Richt said. "This year, we reinstated our mat drills once a week. We got what we wanted as far as the intensity, change of direction and football position, discipline and accountability. It was a little bit of a shock for a few of those guys who had never had a taste of it."
Also, a three-year contract extension for Coach Richt should put to bed any discussions of replacing the UGA head coach—at least for now. But, Richt is definitely looking down the long road for his career at Georgia.
"I'm excited about the contract," he said. "I've never really changed my stance on how I feel about Georgia from the first day I had the opportunity to be here. My goal and my wife Katharyn's goal was to build our life in Athens, Ga., raise our children here and finish my coaching career here. That thought has never changed for me. I'm thankful that Greg McGarity and the University of Georgia are excited about me continuing on as the head coach."
Coach Grantham received a two-year extension on his contract, which had one year remaining.