Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Tuesday Press Conference – Part 1


Coach Mark Richt

DSC_1050 Opening statement:

“It’s a beautiful day out there and a great day to get better. That’s what we are going to try to do in practice today. Let’s talk a little bit about Colorado. Dan Hawkins is a good friend of mine actually. We got to know each other through the Nike Head Coaching Trips that Katharyn and I used to go on. We haven’t gone on one for a while, but we got to know Dan and his wife. He’s just a great guy and an outstanding coach. He has his team going. They are 2-1 and ready to have a big game with us. From what I understand, they’re having their big blackout there. They are having the 20-year reunion of their 1990 National Championship team. I saw a list of all the players who look like they are going to come, so it looks like they are going to be revved up. Plus they had an open date to get all fired up about it too, so we’ll have a tremendous challenge as we go into the lion’s den, so to speak, or the buffalo’s den.”

“They are a very solid team. They are 2-1, and I’m sure they will be very fresh after an open date and very well-prepared by virtue of the fact that they’ve had time. I know Coach Hawkins does a great job. It will be a really good challenge for us. So it’s time for us to, starting today, have a really good day of preparing for this ballgame and this team and the challenges of the distance that we’ll have to travel. It ought to be a good one.”

On Georgia’s recent out-of-conference scheduling:

“It sounds like a good idea and it’s kind of romantic I guess. It seems like everybody would enjoy doing that. I’m sure a lot of fans enjoy taking some of those trips, but it is tough on your team, your players and coaches. For example, we are scheduled to get in about 6 a.m. after the game. So that’s tough. It’s tough to really get some sleep that night between a plane, a bus and different time zones. We are rolling into the next game, a very important Southeastern Conference game with that kind of night, which is tough. We are going to have to adjust Sunday. We are already talking about what we’ll do differently Sunday at least as a staff to try to get some sleep for our sanity and try to give respect to the game you just played but also know you have to move forward. We are going to have to reduce what we do as far as reviewing the film of the game. Something has to give, because we don’t have time to do everything that we would normally do. Playing that kind of game does draw attention. It does get you on the other side of the country, but do we really recruit over there? We really don’t. All the fans who are taking this trip, I hope they enjoy it. It is a beautiful place. I’m sure our fans will enjoy it. Our players will at least get to see the Rocky Mountains and they’ll say they were there when some other guys probably wouldn’t have gotten the chance to do that. But I have no problem not taking these kind of trips.”

On whether he was opposed to Georgia’s non-conference scheduling all along:

“No, I agreed to it. It was a decision made by our administration and myself and I’m sure the president had his say in it also. When we went to the 12th game, as you all remember, we were like, ‘What are we going to do?’ Everybody was trying to figure out what they were going to do with that 12th game. The thought came up to play a non-conference team out of our region because we hadn’t done that much in the history of Georgia football. It was something that I think a lot of fans would enjoy and we thought that it would be a good thing from a media point of view. After that first trip, I guess it was Arizona State, it was very similar to the travel time coming back. Just to see what it did to everybody, it wore them out. It’s one more game that will drain you mentally and physically because a Colorado, an Arizona State or Oklahoma State, you have to get ready. You have to get ready and you have to travel and you have to live through it. As soon as we took that first trip, which I think was Arizona State, I didn’t know if this was a good idea or not, win or lose.”

On whether scheduling seven home games and one BCS opponent is the best formula to reach the SEC Championship game:

“The one BCS opponent being Georgia Tech, I think so. I think the city of Athens would probably enjoy another home game. I know there is revenue that is brought into this city every time we have a home game. There is revenue brought into the program when you have another home game, so I think it’s more of a hindsight comment I am making than I think it’s probably better to do it that way. I did not try to put my foot down and say this is a bad thing or anything like that. I mutually agreed to do it when we did it.”

On whether there would be any personnel changes for Saturday’s game:

“There will be nothing drastic. I guess the most drastic personnel change would be A.J. getting in the game. We hope Kris Durham will be ready to play. He’s still suffering a little bit from a stinger, but I don’t see a major overhaul. There might be one kid starting over another here or there, but I don’t think were going to just not play a certain guy. If a starter ends up being second team, we still plan on playing that guy. We just have to get better.”

On Georgia’s offensive identity:

“We do want to run the ball still and have play action passing. I think people certainly respect our run game. We may not have the numbers but they know that they need to stop that. I think people feel like if they stop the run and try to pressure the freshman they still probably think that’s they best way to go. Although I do think our freshman is growing up pretty quick and has played pretty darn good considering what he’s had to deal with. But we are still very much interested in running the football and throwing the play action passes. We do have ways to get the ball to our receivers quickly on quick screens. We have screens to our backs. We have ways of throwing quick game if we feel like they have outnumbered the run and we want to get some one-on-one situations. We are still very multiple in what we do. We want to be physical in nature, no doubt. We especially want to run the ball because the more physical you run it, the better chance you have of creating space for those receivers and play action passes.”

On keeping Georgia's morale up:

“We need to keep a positive outlook for sure. We need to keep coaching and correcting and teaching and all those kinds of things. We definitely need a positive outlook. The main thing that I think we need to do is we need to continue to work hard. We need to continue to stay unified, stay together. And we need to continue to have a positive outlook because the bottom line is things will get worse or things will get better. It’s probably going to be based on what we do, what we do as coaches, what I do as the head coach, what we do as position coaches and how our players respond to that. Those are the things that we are really focusing on. The things we don’t want to do is lose our integrity or lose our poise or we don’t want to take our frustrations out on someone else. We need to teach these young men how to handle adversity. We need to teach anyone who is watching, maybe who has been through tough times, how to handle adversity. That’s my goal, that we will be a model of how to handle it and we’ll turn this thing around and get it going. Those are the things I am focusing on.”

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