Friday, July 22, 2011

Media Days


DSC_2930Coach Mark Richt spoke to the national media Thursday morning in Birmingham at the annual SEC Media Days. Here’s what he had to say.

Good to be here. Year 11. It's amazing. It's an exciting time for me to be here, exciting time at Georgia.

We are looking forward to our opening games. Start out with Boise State, a big deal for us. The winningest college football team in America over the last 10 seasons, a team that as you watch their film, you realize that they are a special football team in the way they approach it. I've probably never seen anybody play any harder than they play as a team down after down, film after film. They are a very confident team.

We have our opener in the Southeastern Conference against South Carolina. Of course, everybody is kind of picking them to win the east. So what a tremendous challenge for us.

But it has energized the program in a big way. I think that everybody understands what it's going to take prepare-wise. I think everybody has been willing to pay the price.

I say 'everyone.' There have been a few guys that have gotten off the bus, so to speak, from a year ago. Some guys have chosen to move on and a couple guys got a little bit of help. The guys that are still here are really excited about the future and are willing to pay the price to play the kind of football that everybody in our Dawg Nation expects.

That's where we're at and I'll just open it up to you guys to ask anything you want.

I asked Coach Richt about the possibility of more moves involving the tailback position.

You mentioned you were one player shy of where you wanted to be at tailback. Orson Charles is arguably one of the best athletes on the team. Do you foresee any design that might put him in the backfield carrying the football? What about Big Jenkins? Is he going to be a wham back during the year?

COACH RICHT: You said that I said we're one player short at the tailback position. All I'm saying is we had Washaun and Caleb in the fold and we lost two of them, but we added one in Richards. We're one short on scholarship. We do have some walk-on backs that will help us throughout camp.

The question was, Would we possibly take Orson Charles and put him in the backfield? I don't see that at all. But the question also was with Johnathan Jenkins, could he end up playing some kind of a wham back in a short yardage goal line situation? That's possible. He's a big boy. He's athletic. Got good hands, too. Who knows, might do that.

I know this, he's wearing a single digit number, No. 6, so he thinks he's a skill player. That '6' will look about this big (laughter).

DSC_7407Coach Richt was asked by a Tennessee reporter about Aaron Murray and Tennessee quarterback Tyler Bray being in the same class.

Do you think as a former quarterback and quarterback coach we could be on the cusp of a Manning/Wuerffel type great young quarterback rivalry this year?

COACH RICHT: I hope they are. I hope they're both that good. I hope ours is better. But I do have a lot of respect for Tyler Bray. He really has a lot of ability. Looks like he's got a lot of moxy, a lot of belief in himself, outstanding receivers to throw to. I can't imagine them not having a big year offensively over there at Tennessee.

Aaron, he's really a coach's dream in how he approaches the game. He understands preparation. He understands team. His motivation is for Georgia to win. His motivation is to see his teammates have success. His motivation is not to promote self. When you have a guy like that, it just makes your life a whole lot easier.

A year ago, he just did such a great job, and Mike Bobo along with Aaron, the way he trained him to create some habits that is going to help him protect the ball, help him make some good decisions, be a great ball-handler, all those things you want a quarterback to do. He did a super job of it.

He's had a season to live through it. I think all those great habits are going to serve him well the rest of his career.

You probably do have two young quarterbacks that will make a lot of headlines in the next few years.

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