Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Tuesday Press Conference ~ Offense

FOOTBALL

Coach Mark Richt and a delegation of players met with the media Tuesday during the Dawgs’ weekly press luncheon. They offered the following comments:

Coach Mark Richt

On the impact of Marlon Brown’s injury to the current receivers…

“We’re going to miss them (Marlon Brown and Michael Bennett). I’m not saying that the other guys aren’t physical, but they’re not as physical. Marlon was a guy that liked contact. He’d get out there and block, and he was very difficult to cover because of his physicality getting off the jam or separating at the end of a route or whatever it might be. Michael Bennett was very much like that as well, so we’re going to miss them. There’s no doubt we’re going to miss them. Bennett was the leading receiver when he left, and Marlon was tied for the leading receiver when he got injured. So it’s not a good thing for us, but Tavarres King is an outstanding player. He’s a veteran, and he’s a guy that we believe in and trust to play well. Malcolm Mitchell has proved to be a playmaker without any question, and there’s been opportunities over the last couple years where Chris Conley has had a chance to make plays and he’s done that. He’s come through for us most of the time, and he’ll bring a little bit of physicality to the game, as well. Rhett McGowan has done well when he’s been asked to do so, and the things we’ve asked him to do, he’s done well. I would think Justin Scott-Wesley is going to get a little more opportunity. I failed to mention Rantavious Wooten, but he’s a guy that when he’s been called upon, he’s done a good job. So a guy like Wooten will probably get more opportunities. McGowan may get more opportunities, Chris Conley may get more opportunities, and Tavarres King has been in the mix the whole way and Malcolm has been in the mix the whole way. I think a year ago we weren’t really sure what a Bennett could do or a Conley could do, but when you’re talking about the Florida game (from last year), they really came through in that game. That was a little bit of their coming out party, as far as making some big plays in big games, so I think they’ve got some confidence to be able to do that.”

On whether Malcolm Mitchell is still practicing with the defense…

“It’ll be diminished just a little bit more. When I say diminished, it’s just that he’ll spend less field time with the defense but there are still some things defensively that we want him to be prepared for.”

On whether it’s a possibility that defensive players move to wide receiver…

“Not really. Branden Smith of course has given us some offensive firepower in the past. That’s something we haven’t done much of this year because we felt like we have some guys who are able to do those types of plays. Wooten is a guy we didn’t have last year and we have this year, and Malcolm Mitchell. Those two guys do the types of things that Branden Smith could do. If we had lost those two guys and not the bigger guys, it might have been the time to grab (Smith) and put him in there with some of those things. I think with Wooten and Malcolm we can pretty much do those things.”

On Justin Scott-Wesley…

“Justin has a great opportunity. He was of course eligible to play this year; he wasn’t redshirted or anything, but he hasn’t had a lot of snaps. Sometimes guys will say I’m not playing this year so I’m just going to go over here and feel sorry for myself and wait until the spring. Justin has not done that. He’s come to work every day to improve. We watch film as coaches and his effort hasn’t gone unnoticed. I don’t know what’s going to happen. I think he’s going to play more than he’s played, and if you are in the game you could get a ball. We’ll call a play and we don’t know who it’s going to go to a lot of the time. It just depends on the coverage and the protection, so he may get his hands on the ball a couple of times and maybe something good will happen and give him some confidence too and give us more confidence in him.”

On Jay Rome…

“Jay has done well. He has gotten a few balls here and there. Our tight ends in particular I think are doing a good job. We haven’t really spent hours planning and figuring out ways to get the ball to our tight ends, but they are part of our progression. Sometimes they get it and sometimes they don’t when the ball is thrown to them. I think Jay is becoming a much better blocker as well. He’s getting pretty serious about becoming a good player. His production has been pretty good.”

On the status of Chris Burnette and the consistency of the offensive line…

“Burnette, we’re just not sure. I don’t think Burnette will go today. It’s not out of the question this week for Burnette, but I don’t think he’ll go today. As far as our consistency of our offensive line play, I guess you could say we’ve been inconsistent, because we did start out pretty strong in the first five games and ran blocked pretty well and definitely protected well and scored a lot of points. We played a really good South Carolina team and they exposed some things for us as far as some pass protection issues. We just didn’t run it quite as well. We were running the ball better early on than I thought we could. Early on I just didn’t think we could run the ball that well. We’re still running it pretty good now – it’s not been awful by any means. I think we’re still effective at running the ball, but just not getting the big numbers and the big, long home run plays. I think they’re doing a good job overall considering where we started and where we are. I’m very thankful for the job Coach (Will) Friend has done, and I think it will only get better too in time. There’s not a senior in the bunch, and I think we’re going to end up being pretty good before it’s over.”

Quarterback Aaron Murray

On the injuries at receiver…

“It’s tough losing those guys. Michael Bennett was our leading receiver in touchdowns and receptions I believe when he was injured, and then Marlon, he was having an unbelievable year and an awesome game. It’s tough losing both of those guys, especially because they’re so physical. Those are guys you can play on the weak side, in the slot, in both slots on the weak side. You can move them around, which was huge in our offense. I feel bad for Marlon, it being his senior year. It’s not the way he wanted to go out. But I know we have guys who can step up like Chris Conley, and Rhett McGowan and Justin Scott-Wesley. They’ve got to be ready to go.”

On Auburn’s defense…

“They’re going to come out and be pumped. It’s a 7:00 game, the crowd will be rowdy and we’ll be dealing with crowd noise. Those guys are playing for respect and they’re trying to ruin our season, so I know they’ll be excited. We’re definitely going to have to be ready to go and we know we have a huge challenge ahead of us.”

On Auburn’s season…

“In the SEC, teams are rarely consistently successful every single season – there are too many good teams. You are going to have up and down seasons. I don’t believe Auburn’s record reflects the talent they have on that team. There were only one or two games they didn’t play up to their potential, but every other game they’ve played really well. We have to be ready.”

Wide Receiver Tavarres King

On Damian Swann’s play this season…

“He’s upped his level of play immensely. He’s a great corner. He’ll continue to progress and get better. He reminds me of an Asher Allen type corner. He’s always around the ball. It always seems to fall in his hands.”

On Justin Scott-Wesley’s chance to step up…

“I talked to Justin yesterday and told him it was time to step up. He’s gotta be someone we can depend on. He’s up for the challenge. Losing a guy like Marlon is huge to this offense and our receiving corps. Justin has come a long way since fall camp – he knows it’s his time.”

No comments:

Post a Comment

Post a Comment