ATHENS — I’m pretty sure Mark Richt and Mike Bobo talk. As head coach and offensive coordinator, I think they actually see each other face-to-face in meetings and at practice every day. But it would appear there’s a significant disconnect when it comes to the information they’re getting — and giving — on the availability of wide receivers Malcolm Mitchell and Justin Scott-Wesley for Saturday’s game against Vanderbilt.
You may have heard what Richt said on Tuesday during his weekly news conference. First, in answering a question about how Georgia’s passing game might improve, he said, “I do think having Justin and Malcolm is going to help.”
He wasn’t wishy-washy about them playing this week. He stated it as fact.
Later, he was asked specifically about Mitchell’s ability to perform after being out eight weeks with a knee injury. “He would have to have a setback not to play,” Richt said. “The same with Justin.”
That was during the lunch hour Tuesday. Later that night, pushing 8 o’clock after the Bulldogs’ practice, Bobo was asked about the same two players.
“I don’t even know if those two are going to play yet,” Bobo told reporters. “That’s yet to be determined. We haven’t said they’re going to play Saturday yet. Hopefully we’ll know by Thursday whether they’re going or not.”
Asked specifically about Mitchell, Bobo said: “He’s looked good, but he hasn’t really done a full practice. He’s spotted certain drills and certain periods.”
Bobo was also asked if stamina might be a concern with the two wideouts. “A little bit,” he said. “We’ve got to be smart with them and how many plays they can play — if they can play.”
Again, much uncertainty in Bobo’s comments.
I, for one, remain a little skeptical as to how much Mitchell can help the Bulldogs having practiced none before Monday and then not still not fully engaging in every drill throughout the whole day. Scott-Wesley, on the other hand, has been going pretty hard the last couple of weeks. He should be good to go just based on my observations.
Ultimately, only Mitchell and Scott-Wesley can say, and they’re not available for interviews this week. We’re told maybe after Saturday’s game. Again, if they play.
As for Mitchell, Bobo said a lot would depend on how much swelling he may have encountered after Tuesday’s practice. We’ll get a quick look at him again during our brief viewing period this afternoon.
In the meantime, here’s a little bit of what I saw of Mitchell and Scott-Wesley on Tuesday. Mitchell was doing all the pass-skeleton but none of the footwork and line-jam drills: