Most quarterbacks wear noncontact jerseys in spring games, but Bauta chose to invite the defensive hits by wearing white. The 6-foot-3, 216-pounder from West Palm Beach rushed six times for 35 yards, and Richt praised his decision to welcome live tackling and showcase his athletic ability in the run game.
"Whether that's the case or not, I'm going to be in there grinding every day like I'm first on the depth chart or last on the depth chart," Bauta said. "It shouldn't matter. To be honest, it's never going to affect my motivation of what I'm doing. If I'm the No. 2 guy or No. 3 guy or whatever the case may be, my preparation and work ethic can never stop.
"I have to be prepared, because you never know what can happen."Truth. We all remember thinking Aaron Murray was on his way to a career game on Senior Night right?
Look, I have no hesitations in my confidence with Hutson Mason running the offense. Some uneasiness is there, but that is solely a product of no longer having a longtime starter under center. However, I do feel like we will need an added dimension at quarterback in certain situations.
For instance, there are two big differences I saw once Mason took over late last season. One was simply confidence. Murray had that as a fifth year senior; Mason lacked it, understandably. Secondly, and most importantly for the 2014 season, is zip on the ball. Mason will gain confidence aplenty as he continues to become entrenched as the starting quarterback for the University of Georgia and the leader in the huddle. But he won't have all of the throws we've become used to seeing.
You may read that as deep throws to the center of the field or deep outs to the sideline. But where it will truly manifest itself as a potential issue is in the red zone. There's just less time to put a pass on the money to the right spot before the whole window is completely shut.
Again, like Tyler said in the podcast, we may be proven wrong. I hope so. But what may be a valuable option, both in the short term and the long, is Faton Bauta. Even if he too doesn't have the arm to make those throws, or even if he doesn't quite have the grasp of the playbook yet to allow Bobo to keep the entire thing open, he could add another dimension with his running ability that would freeze linebackers long enough for a play to develop.
With that, the yards and the touchdowns will come. Without it, Marshall Morgan's leg may be our best red zone option.