Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Tuesday Press Conference ~ Offense

FOOTBALL

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

Coach Mark Richt

On Tavarres King’s importance to the team…

“We love TK and what he’s been doing on the field and off the field. It’s just the type of person he is and the type of leader that he’s been. We think the world of TK, and I’m very confident that he’ll end up getting drafted and have a good pro career. He’s been very crucial, and we’ve counted on him. That flanker position, we count on that guy to make some big plays for us and he has. We expect him to be able to get deep, we expect him to be able to stretch the defense, and he’s just done a very good job of that. I’m proud of him.”

On the importance of Todd Gurley and Keith Marshall’s success this season…

“It’s huge. I’ve got faith in Ken Malcome. I thought Ken was really coming on, and he is. He’s a good player and he’s helping us win, no doubt. But Keith and Todd are very talented guys obviously, and they’re both very mature guys. They both kind of fed off each other in a very positive way, as roommates and as friends from high school. They had this vision, like we’ve talked about, of working together and playing together and maybe taking a little bit of pressure off of each other. Both of them are having supreme true freshman seasons, so it’s been huge. It’s been a big part of our ability to run the ball the way that we’ve run it, and I think we’re only going to get better at it. We don’t have a senior lineman in the bunch. We only have Tavarres King and Marlon Brown as the only two seniors on the offensive football team, so hopefully we’ll get better at it as time goes on.”

On Marshall and Gurley’s durability as the season progresses…

“Even last week, Gurley had 11 carries and Keith had eight. That’s not a lot. If there’s one guy getting 20 carries every game, I think it’d be tougher on them. That’s not to say that it’s not tough on them. The thing about breaking tackles is that a lot of guys hit you. If the first guy tackles you, just one guy hits you. If you break four tackles, four guys missed the tackle. They hit you and missed the tackle, and the fifth guy hits you, so you actually get hit a little more when you’re breaking tackles, but I don’t mind them doing that. I think it’s the fact that they’ve been able to help each other out, and when you add Ken Malcome to the mix and even Richard Samuel at times, it’s kept them from getting too many carries where a true freshman might really get beat down.”

On the progress of freshmen kickers Collin Barber and Marshall Morgan…

“It’s a tough job to be a true freshman. I think when you’re being recruited, you’re so excited thinking, ‘Oh, I’m going to get to play. I’m going to be playing in the SEC and I have a chance to start as a freshman.’ It’s really exciting to think about it when you’re being recruited and you’re signing and you’re preparing all summer long. Then you get in the games and you realize how crucial some of these situations are, and if you struggle,(you realize how many people have an opinion on you. It’s different for those guys I’m sure from anything they’ve ever experienced. So they just need to know that you believe in them. They need to know that you think that they’ve got what it takes, and they do. Both of those guys, I think, are very talented. The more that they smooth out, the more that we’re going to see what they really can do on a consistent basis. They care what people think and what coach thinks, and they should care what their coaches think. They should care what people think, too, but they can’t get too concerned about that. They just have to focus on their job and block everything out. That’s not easy to do, but that’s what they’ve got to do. I think they’re getting better at that.”

Tailback Keith Marshall

On increased confidence as the season goes on…

“I feel more confident now, for sure. I’m more confident in the playbook. I know my assignments, I can play more freely, and I’m not as worried about making sure I’m doing everything right.”

On his and Todd Gurley’s performance as freshmen…

“We feel great about [our season], but the bigger picture is the team. I think we complement each other well. It’s kind of cool (to be called ‘Gurshall’) to be compared to the greatest ever. It’s cool.”

On the differences between high school and college football…

“It’s definitely different. I’m not running as much or taking as much of a beating as I did in high school.”

Quarterback Aaron Murray

On moving into top-5 in SEC in career touchdown passes…

“I’m just blessed to be on this team, and to have Coach Mike Bobo allowing me to show off my talents. I’m lucky to have my receiving corps, my running backs, the linemen – it makes my job easy.”

On Gurley and Marshall…

“We want to be balanced, they give us balance. They can run the ball, eat up the clock, make big runs. It’s unbelievable. It feels like the Oregon offense sometimes, how they break through with those big 40, 50, 60, 70-yard touchdown runs.”

On Georgia Southern’s defense…

“They play a pretty straight-up defense. Of course every team has their array of blitzes and packages for third down and things like that, and we’ll have to be ready for it. This will be a big challenge for our offense. Against this type of team, you don’t get a lot of possessions, so we need to make sure when we do get the ball, we give our defense a break, first of all, have good drives and make sure we put points on the board.”

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