Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Weekly Press Conference, Continued


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

Coach Mark Richt:

On the Dawg's running backs:

No one has really stood out. No one has really asserted himself to the point where he's our guy. Part of Caleb's issue has been messing around with injuries all the way throughout. Richard (Samuel) has been solid. I think they've all been kind of solid, nothing spectacular. No one really has made the offensive line look better than maybe they are blocking at times. We have pretty much been getting what we've been blocking for, which statistically hasn't been a whole heck of a lot.

I do see improvement. Guys don't get better until they get experience. I think there's improvement. Washaun (Ealey) has shown some sparks here and there. He's still learning what to do on all the little things. Carlton (Thomas) did a nice job this last ballgame. We may see a little bit more of him. It has been a situation where no one man has really separated himself.

On Damon Evans:

I think he said he had concerns about the season if I'm not mistaken. I have concerns about the season of course with the way we've played. As far as the program, we have a very strong program, finishing in the coaches poll No. 10 last year and No. 2 in the AP the year before and six out of seven years in the top 10, that's not bad. That's the past, I understand that. But when you start talking about a program I think you have to start looking at where we've been in the recent history here.

The other thing is the season is not over, its just not over. When some of your main goals not necessarily fall by the wayside, but become less attainable, it's tough on everybody. We are very concerned about how this season has gone, and we are battling as hard as you can possibly battle to get things moving in the right direction this year.

On Marlon Brown:

Marlon is smoothing out his game, I guess is the best way to put it. He is a very good worker, he has a very good attitude. He is a talent, he just needed to get more reps to become a smooth competitor, a smooth receiver. He has proved to be a pretty tenacious blocker. You can tell he wants it, you can tell he's getting better. He has earned a right to play more snaps for us and hopefully he'll get more opportunities to catch the ball because he has good hands.

He's big, he's strong, its just taking him just a little while to get used to college football. He came from a relatively small program. When I say that I'm not trying to demean where he came from because they've done a wonderful job, but I guess the competition level that he played against was an awful lot different from the Southeastern Conference. I think he's just learning how to play with the caliber of athletes on our team and in our league.

On drawing from the 2006 team and they way it finished the season:

It's hard to measure a team's ability to withstand pressure. I think a lot of teams fold under that kind of pressure. A lot of coaching staffs fold under that kind of pressure and we never did. We were very resilient. We were very persistent. We stayed the course. We didn't make a bunch of wholesale changes, whether it was players, coaches or anything like that. We just kept grinding, we kept banging away. You just never know how close you are to success until you live it out. I was pretty proud of that team considering what they went through and how we finished. Even that last ballgame I think we were down 15 or 18 at the half to the No. 1 defense in America. It didn't look like we had much of a chance, but we found a way and there is a lot to be said about that. I might be as proud of that team as I was any team at Georgia considering what everybody went through.

Quarterback Joe Cox:

On Vanderbilt:

They're a good team. You hear about them struggling and think they are having a down year, but they're not. You watch them on film, especially on defense, and they are a real hungry team that's really played well against everybody. They played LSU well, they played Ole Miss well, and they lost a couple of close games that could have gone the other way. They are a well-coached team, and they are every year. They're always disciplined and have really smart players. This year they're hungry. I know they are going to want to get a win versus us more than anything, and we need a win versus them. It's going to come down to who executes the game better and who really wants it more.

On the importance of big plays:

It's huge to have anybody make big plays. Big plays build momentum, and we didn't have any this past game. It's definitely something that we need in this weekend's game against Vanderbilt. Big plays turn the momentum for both sides of the ball, especially big plays in the running game. If you run the ball well, a play-action pass works out a lot better. It just helps out everything about your offense, so we know what needs to be done and we know we need to put a lot more big plays up this weekend.

On the running game:

That's probably been the most frustrating thing is that we know it's there but it hasn't been working. It's something that we got to just keep chipping away at. We know we have good backs, we know we have a good line and we just got to get it going so we know we can do it.

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