Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Weekly Press Conference


Head coach Mark Richt and several football players addressed the media today during the Dawg's weekly press luncheon. They offered the following comments:

Head Coach Mark Richt
Opening Statement…

“I want to talk to the Dawg fans and tell you that I love you and appreciate everything that you do. The Dawg Walk will be at 5:00. We will not be there before 5:00 like we did last time. We jumped the gun, and there were probably fans getting ready to go to the Dawg Walk and realized that the players had already come through. We need to do a better job of that, so we are definitely going to do a better job in that regard."

“The other thing I wanted to mention with our fan base is how we take care of our campus. It’s one of the most beautiful campuses in the country and we want to keep it that way. We are Georgia and I am encouraging everyone to put the trash where it belongs and if you have to bring some baggage, bag your trash. Let’s do that, because it is a beautiful place and we don’t want it to look like the city dump after a ballgame. I want to encourage everyone to do that, and if everybody takes care of yourself and helps the guy next to you, it will be looking good when we’re done. It’s OK to pick up someone else’s trash if you want to; I do it all the time."

“Jeff Owens was named to the AFCA Good Works Team. There are only 11 in the country that got that, and Jeffrey did that and it’s wonderful."

“One more announcement is this week the American Football Coaches Association is getting involved in the Coaches Cure for Muscular Dystrophy, and we are going to participate in that. We want to show our support for the fight against muscular dystrophy."

“We are playing Arizona State for the second year in a row. We were fortunate to go to their place and get a victory. I was very thankful last year that it ended up being a night game. By the time the game started, we were in the shade, which was nice. Our sideline was actually on the shaded side of the stands. It was good for us. We didn’t quite get the 100 degree heat that we thought we might get after it cooled down. Now they are coming to play us. I’m sure they aren’t too thrilled about the fact that we beat them last year; they’ll be ready to go. They are outstanding all the way around. They are undefeated. I’m sure they are excited about the opportunity to come and play an SEC team and maybe get a little revenge. Coach (Dennis) Erickson, we all know, has won a couple of national championships. He’s been coach of the year many times. We are going to have a heck of a game. I’m looking forward to it. It’s good to get a couple of wins under our belt and grab a little momentum. Hopefully we can keep it going.”

On how A.J. Green has developed since the Arizona State game last year...
“He’s close to 20 pounds heavier than the day he came to Georgia, so he’s definitely a stronger receiver. I’ve seen no drop-off in speed or quickness. He’s a much better blocker. He certainly has a greater understanding of what we are trying to do. Last year we had some guys guiding him almost every play early in the year. Of course as the season went on he got more comfortable. He has changed the game for us to a certain degree. I don’t think there is any question that Arkansas and really everybody that we’ve played has had a very strong awareness of where he is. Arkansas, as you look at the tape, you can see that they definitely were rolling their coverage to A.J., no matter where he was."
"A lot of times in a three-receiver set, not many coaches are going to double the receiver in the boundary and leave that three receiver set to the field in some kind of quarters coverage. Everybody is running an overload where they get a backside safety involved on that three-receiver side and play a lot of man coverage on the back side, but they didn’t do that very much. What happened throughout the game is we began to throw the ball to Michael Moore, Aron White and Tavarres King. The guys that were opposite of A.J. began to make plays; the tight ends down the middle, I mentioned White and we also had Orson Charles catch a couple of big balls down the middle. They are all beginning to benefit from the types of coverage A.J. has been seeing. Then it got to the point where they had to go back to running the overload and playing press coverage. That was the one time we happened to throw the fade to A.J. for a touchdown. So A.J., in turn, benefited from those guys making plays."
"That is something we had talked about all offseason where early in the year we felt like the receivers opposite of A.J. were going to benefit from some coverage looks and they were going to have to take advantage of it. If the played well enough, maybe we could free up A.J. to get some single coverage opportunities, and that’s what’s happened. I think Mike (Bobo) did a good job of scheming to get the ball to A.J. even though they were playing some double coverage on him. We still got the ball to him and he still was a factor in that regard too."
“I don’t think there is a certain type of route that you’d say he is best at. He can run very route. I wouldn’t say he’s just a deep ball guy, I wouldn’t say he’s just a quick-screen guy. He can really run just about any route that we want him to run. When you take his combination of height and the range of his arms, his speed and agility; a lot of guys who are tall might be fast and can make a play on a deep ball, but A.J. can outjump people, he can run by people. He can make them miss, and he’s becoming a pretty darn good blocker."
"There isn’t much that you’d ask a receiver to do that he can’t do well. He’s pretty good. I’m glad we have him.”

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