Mark Richt may have doubts. I’m guessing he actually does have doubts. But when in doubt, make the safe pick — and that’s Greyson Lambert.
Richt surprisingly announced Monday that Lambert, the junior transfer from Virginia, has won the starting quarterback job at Georgia, at least for Saturday’s season opener against Louisiana-Monroe. Via Seth Emerson on the AJC’s Dawgnation.com:
Brice Ramsey, who had been the presumed favorite since he finished last year as the No. 2 quarterback, will share second-team snaps with Faton Bauta this week in practice.
The competition isn’t over yet: Richt said that the coaches “are very interested” in another quarterback getting fist-half snaps on Saturday. He didn’t specify which one, but Ramsey has consistently shared reps in practice with Lambert.
Here are some quick thoughts on this development, and I’ll expand on them more Tuesday following Richt’s weekly news conference:
— ASSUME NOTHING FOR FUTURE: I doubt there is a clear 1-2 division between Lambert and Ramsey because there’s nothing to indicate that there has been much of a difference between the two to this point. The season opener merely will continue Richt’s evaluation process for the quarterbacks (also Faton Bauta), and that likely will continue in Week 2 against a weak Vanderbilt team. However…
— SEPARATION IS NEEDED: Richt is not a fan of rotating quarterbacks, and he would prefer not to travel too far down that road. It’s important for Georgia to have a firm No. 1 QB by the third game against South Carolina and the cackling Steve Spurrier, who would love nothing more than to upset the Bulldogs . . . again. There are too many games on the schedule where Georgia will need the quarterback to make a play to win (probably: Alabama, Auburn, Tennessee, Georgia Tech).
— THIS ISN’T A GOOD SIGN FOR RAMSEY: I hesitate to pile on Ramsey. But I’ll write now what I was going to write Tuesday anyway: It wasn’t a good sign when Richt took a transfer quarterback from Virginia in the offseason. Taking an upperclassman transfer quarterback is not what Richt does. That should have sent off warning bells about the coaching staff having doubts about Ramsey. That doesn’t mean Ramsey still won’t develop into a strong and/or competent quarterback. But at this point, Richt and offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer seemingly are leaning toward the quarterback perceived as less likely to make mistakes and give a game away. That may seem like a strange designation for Lambert, who completed 59 percent of his passes for 10 touchdowns and 11 interceptions at Virginia last season. But sometimes statistics at losing programs can be misleading. At least that’s what Richt and Schottenheimer are hoping.
Lambert is ahead for now but he shouldn’t get too comfortable yet. Those are my early thoughts. I’ll have more on Tuesday from Athens.
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