Monday, July 25, 2011

Richt On Offense


DSC_2944Coach Mark Richt spoke to the media Thursday morning in Birmingham at the annual SEC Media Days.

He was asked how concerned he was about depth this year, particularly at running back and offensive line and how much pressure he felt personally to get the program to the 9 or 10 wins a year where it’s accustomed to being?

Coach Richt: That's a lot of questions (laughter).

Asking about depth up front. I think it's fine if we don't get anybody hurt. We actually had a pretty good lineup. Cordy Glenn, I think, is one of the finest offensive linemen in the country at left tackle. Kenarious Gates at left guard who played as a freshman and has got great ability. Ben Jones, I think he's going to win the Remington, I think that much about Ben at center.

Then at right guard we got Chris Burnette, who we've had high hopes for who has been banged up a little bit in his career. He was able to go through spring healthy, looks great. Justin Anderson, another senior who played a lot of football for us, at the right tackle. That starting lineup gives me a lot of confidence that we can get a lot of things done up front. If we get too many injuries up front, we can struggle with some guys that have to play with the inexperience.

At running back, we're really only one guy shy of what we thought we were going to be going in. We lost Washaun Ealey and Caleb King recently. We took Richard Samuel and put him back at the position. He spent his first two years at running back. He knows how to play the game. He's a more mature man than he was a couple years ago. Back then he was 6'2", 225, and ran sub 4.5. Now he's 6'2", and 240, and runs a sub 4.5. I'll say this about him. His style of running is not a guy who is going to spend a lot of time trying to dodge people. He's going to try to mow them down, run them over, bring a lot of physicality to the position.

I think we have plenty of depth at that position right now. The question is how productive will we be, you know. But a year ago I didn't leave the season thinking, ‘Man, we were ultra-productive at the tailback position.’ I left the season saying we fell short at the running back position. My feeling is when this season is over, I'm going to feel better about how the running backs did this year than a year ago.

DSC_2949Coach Richt, do you trust the offensive line this year (question asked by Ben Jones)?

Coach Richt: Let me say this. You weren't in here when I was bragging about the offensive line. They're worried about the depth of our offensive line. I'm not worried about the depth if nobody gets hurt.

I think Ben Jones, I said it a minute ago, I'll say it again, he is the best center in America. I think he's going to win the Remington. I think he's a great competitor. I'll never forget when we were recruiting this guy. He got in our camp. We're doing a little pass-rush drill. He's just whooping everybody.

Finally I stepped in and I said, Look, I want every defensive lineman to line up. One by one, I want you to go against Ben, play after play after play. After about, I don't know how many, 10 or 12, he was finally exhausted and somebody beat him. But he is a fierce competitor. He's mean as a snake on the field. But he knows what he's doing. He's a great leader. He's a great football player. I'm glad we got him.

When you got him at the center of your offensive line, you know you're going to have a good line. I have a lot of faith in you guys, and you personally.

Good question, by the way, Ben (laughter).

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