Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Tuesday Press Conference – Part 1


Head coach Mark Richt

Opening statement:

Coach Mark Richt Florida is a great football team. Coach Urban Meyer has done an unbelievable job there. They are of course coming off an open date for our game this week. It’s just kind of what you would expect from a Florida team, very fast, athletic, very well-coached. I’m sure with their open date, they will be as healthy as they can be and be ready to play. It ought to be an exciting day in Jacksonville. CBS, we haven’t had the fortune to be on CBS much, if at all, this year, so that will be nice for our program to get the nationally televised game.

On how much a week off can help Florida:

A lot of things can happen in that time frame. I know from past experience that if you are going to try to make a fairly radical change, that’s the time to do it. I’m not saying they are going to do that, but you can definitely do a lot more in an open date because you have more time to think things through. Then you have more time to prepare your players and get the reps you might need if you are going to make a change. If you are going to make a change, a big change, this open date would be the time to do it. We know that there may be a little bit different look. If it is, we are trying to predict what the new looks might be. Just getting people back healthy I think is going to be a big part of the difference for them.

On facing Florida:

Florida has won the East I don’t now how many years in a row. Florida is a team that still controls their destiny, so there is no doubt we need to step it up. The bottom line is we just need to continue to improve. The last three weeks our goal has been to get better, our goal has been to play more physical and practice more physical and to be more disciplined. All the things that we’ve been doing the last three weeks, we just want to continue to do.

On Aaron Murrays recruitment and his decision to leave his home state:

I know Florida wanted him and I know that it was definitely a very exciting thing for him to think about, for him to play for Florida. I’m not exactly sure what the turning point was. I think he really enjoyed coach Mike Bobo, I think he enjoyed myself. I think he trusts us to develop him into the quarterback he wants to be. And I think he probably looked at the depth chart and felt like the opportunity would be a good one for him. It just turned out to be a really good fit. I know when he came on campus once or twice, I don’t know if it was the very first time, but you could tell he left with a real comfort level that felt like you were definitely in the race with him. I think quarterbacks tend to commit a little bit earlier than other positions just so that they can get the place where they think they belong and begin to recruit their class, so he decided pretty quick and stayed true to his word.

On whether Aaron Murray has exceeded expectations:

CSC_1312 The season is not young, we’re eight games going into the ninth game. There is more season to play so I don’t want to say how I think he did this year, because there is a lot more to play, but to this point he’s done very well. You hope that we were going at the right pace with him. For the end result to be what it is at this point, I think we did a good job of kind of easing him into this thing. If we had given him more early on, he might have handled it, I don’t know. We didn’t want to take the chance of just throwing the whole game plan on his back early and expecting him to play like a two or three-year starter.

The thing that I’m really most proud of for him is the respect that he’s had for the football and the fact that he rarely throws it in a dangerous place. He’s had a couple of those, but not many. Every quarterback tends to do that and some guys never grow out of it. He’s had a very healthy respect for the ball. His ball handling has been exceptional; his ball fakes have been exceptional. He has learned to work the pocket better and better. I think he’s improving on that. I think he is a little more athletic than I thought he was. We talked about that a little bit. I think he’s made more plays with his wheels than I expected him to. Again, he has to still be wise when he gets out in the open. Some of the shots he’s taken, that’s the one thing I’ve been most concerned about with him is how he gets exposed to some of those hits, and we have to be smarter there. But he’s done a nice job.

On Aaron Murray making his first start against Florida:

I haven’t talked to him, but I did see him on the way in here. I was thinking about grabbing him and talking to him a little bit about the fact that we are playing in Jacksonville, playing in Florida, it’s his home state. I just want to encourage him just to focus on his job, and just do what you’ve been doing every week. Prepare like you’ve been preparing every week, and you’ll be fine. I probably don’t even have to say that to him, to be honest with you. As far as the split of the crowd, our guys understand that you have to treat it like an away game because both fan bases can produce enough noise to make you do your non-verbal communication. Well treat it like an away game in that regard.

On Aaron Murray earning the respect of the team:

I think they respect him. I think they respected him going into the season. He did have the summer to kind of prove his leadership, knowing that he was going to be the starter. There is a lot of responsibility on the starting quarterback in the summer, because the inability of the coaching staff to really get involved and be out there coaching. So the quarterback has to take a lot of responsibility; he did that. I think they know he loves Georgia, they know he loves his teammates. They know he is truly dedicated to the preparation it takes to be a quarterback here at Georgia. So I think he definitely has a lot of respect from his teammates.

On the SEC East race:

There is that hope. There is definitely that hope. Anytime you play Florida it’s a big game, we know that. It’s a traditional rivalry, and it means so much to our players, fans and coaches. To get to this game and understand that it has a tremendous amount of meaning in the Eastern Division race period because if Florida wins out, Florida wins the East. If we could get this victory, it opens the door for us to get to Atlanta. Just knowing that going into the ballgame is an exciting thing for our players and coaches and I’m sure our fan base too. I’m just thankful we’ve gotten to this game and there is true meaning for us in the Eastern Division race.

On the possibility of winning on Saturday:

We pretty much dug out of a hole, and now were just trying to climb the mountain a little bit. Hopefully we’ll just continue to play well and represent Georgia is a way that everybody will be proud of the guys and the effort and the players and the coaching staff. Were always looking to win. We want to win and we are going to go in this game with that mindset. It would be big for us to win the next game regardless of who it is because we’ve grabbed a lot of positive momentum and we just want to keep going. This is where were at right now.

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