CORAL GABLES — Mark Richt opened his post-practice meeting with reporters by asking we not share what he said to his team in the huddle.
It wasn’t nice.
Richt, who has a reputation as one of the most mild-mannered coaches around, wasn’t in a gentle mood Friday. The reason: his offense “botched,” in his words, a one-minute offensive drill. It led to an irritated Richt ripping his team to their faces, then sharing more thoughts with reporters.
“When he gets like that,” defensive tackle RJ McIntosh said, “you know something’s wrong.”
Trying to work through a one-minute drill at the end of practice, Richt said, “it looked like we didn’t coach one down,” he said. “We had meetings to cover it. We had walk-throughs to cover it. We jogged through it two days ago. We jogged through it again today. We told everybody exactly what to do, how to do it — and it didn’t happen.”
He was even salty that pylons, used to mark places for a drill, were in the wrong spot.
Richt said the buck stops with him, but he passed the blame around.
“Everybody around here’s got to do their job,” he said, “and right now it’s not happening. And I’m part of it. I’m leading it. It’s on me, but I promise you, it’s going to be on everybody else, too, who needs to do what they’re supposed to do.”
The issues weren’t specific to the first-string offense, led by Malik Rosier in Friday’s drills. He didn’t focus his wrath on freshmen or other newcomers.
He was seemingly mad at everyone.
“I don’t care what string,” he said. “We’re teaching it to every single guy here. … If a guy gets beat trying to pass [protect], OK. If a guy runs the right route and the ball hits him in the chest and he drops it, that’s going to happen from time to time. I’m talking about not knowing what to do when it counts the most.
“That’s why we lost games last year. That’s why we lost close games.”
Of Miami’s four losses last year — all of which came in a four-week stretch in October — three came by a combined 11 points.
Richt clarified that he hasn’t been this angry for the entire camp.
“Just today,” he said.
Three players — left tackle Kc McDermott, junior center Tyler Gauthier and McIntosh — spoke to reporters afterward. McDermott, a senior, put the onus on UM’s veterans to lead their inexperienced teammates.
“We didn’t execute the way we needed to,” he said. “Obviously there’s a learning curve with the younger guys, some things they haven’t seen before. … We’ve got a lot of young guys out there. The No. 2 group is full of freshmen and guys who haven’t played that much.”
McIntosh said the offense is “coming along. They’re making a couple mistakes right now, but they’re going to get it.”
Defensively, McIntosh feels, “we’re a good defense.”
He’s not alone in that regard.
“We just keep pushing each other,” McIntosh said. “The young guys, we’re trying to get them mental reps, in the film room we’re asking them questions to see if they know. Putting the pressure on them.”
Richt said Saturday’s scrimmage, the second of three this month, might begin in the morning, the afternoon, the night — or Sunday, depending on the weather. It will be on campus, not Hard Rock Stadium, and will follow the same format as last Saturday’s outing.
The coach hopes he doesn’t have another similar outburst afterward.
“I hope it got their attention,” Richt said. “It got my attention. We’ve got to coach better. This isn’t the first shot out of the cannon doing a one-minute offense. … We meet at night, we walk through in the gym, we come out here and jog through routes, we meet about it again in the morning before we go out, we do that two different times, you know?”
“Are you a visual learner? All right, watch it on the board. Watch it on film. You an audio learner? Then listen. Kinetic learner? We’ll jog through it for you. Every way a person learns, we showed them how to do it, and they didn’t do what they’re supposed to do.
“But again, when we don’t execute, it’s coaching, it’s coaching. It’s coaching. It’s either too complicated, all right, or we’re not good enough teachers, or we’ve got the wrong guy in the game. That’s coaching, and we’ve got to figure that out.”
Aside from the one-minute offense, are there parts of the offense he feels good about?
“Yeah,” he said. “Our No. 1 offense has done a good job overall. But we’re trying to win a game. We’re trying to win a game. And we just didn’t do what we were supposed to do. Things I know they know what to do. So anyway, it’s disappointing.
“It’s just too crucial of a play to have this happen this deep into camp. There’s days where I want to rip somebody, but today, I’m ripping everybody, starting with me.
“These guys know, any minute we’re breaking in to scout teams. Don’t come crying to me. We gave everybody reps. Ones, twos, threes got a boatload of reps, got a chance to show coach whether they’re ready or not.”
Gauthier said he’s ready to earn his spot.
“This is basically our last scrimmage before we settle the ones and twos down,” he said. “It’s a very important scrimmage in that aspect.”