LAKE BUENA VISTA —Apparently, University of Miami All-American receiver Ahmmon Richard’s hamstring was a lot worse than many first thought.
Speaking on Wednesday before UM’s practice at Disney’s ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex, coach Mark Richt was asked how Richards looks.
“Cautious, still,’’ Richt answered. “He did have a little bit of competitive repetition. He got a few plays against a defender in front of him. I think it was scout team work a little bit. But he looks a little cautious, which is understandable. It was a severe pull. I mean, it’s been almost a month. That’s a long time for a pull. But when it happened, we were just thankful that when we did the MRI we didn’t have something worse than it was. We’re all being cautious, but on the other hand, somewhere down the line you’ve got to let it go. Hamstrings are the ones that you’ve just got to be careful with.”
Richt said he will be listed as questionable for Saturday’s 3:30 p.m. game against Toledo (3-0) at Hard Rock Stadium.
The coach added that linebacker [Michael] Pinckney, who also started fall camp with a pulled hamstring, “is fine.”
“I’ve not seen anything on him. Jeff [Thomas] is fine. He’s doing full speed and Pinckney’s doing fine.”
Richt said he thought Tuesday’s practice “went well’’ in preparation for Toledo. “The players had good energy and focus. I think we’re right on track to play a game on Saturday.”
What about their conditioning?
“I feel pretty good. If you base it strictly on what we normally would see on a Tuesday practice, what I saw yesterday looked typical. I didn’t go, ‘Oh, man, we’re in trouble.’ Now I’m not going to sit here and boast we can handle the heat. Yesterday was an overcast day, a little bit of a breeze. Today will test them more.
“You just gotta play. We’ve always had the thought of trying to substitute as much as possible. We always try to encourage our guys if you’re not No. 1on the depth chart don’t let that bother you. You may play as many or more plays as the starter if you’re in a solid backup role and a guy we feel like we can trust to put in the game.”
“I’m sure he meant we didn’t play to the expectations that we had for our defense. A lot of people outside the program wanted to talk big about our defense. But we take pride in what we think we have and four 10-play drives and the first drive of the game going seven-and-a-half minutes to open the season, that’s not what anybody expected. Certainly it was a tribute to the preparedness of the Bethune-Cookman and their program, but we think we can do better than that and we expect to do better than that.
“I’m not saying we lit anything up offensively by any means, but I’m sure that’s what Manny meant. In our eyes that’s not what we expect defensively.”
Is there anybody Richt thinks has earned more playing time?
“Oh, man. It’s hard to say. Offensively I would say [receiver] Dayall Harris will get in the game a good bit more than he did last game. I don’t know who else really. Defensively, I’ve not sat down with Coach Diaz to say, ‘How are we going to substitute this game.’ I usually wait until Thursday to do that.”