Online Now 669

The Junkyard

Where Dawg fans hunker down

Reply

*** Transcript of Mark Richt's Tuesday press conference

  • Courtesy of UGA Sports Communications ...

    Head Coach Mark Richt

    Opening Statement...
    “It’s finally here – game week. It’s been a long time waiting for this ballgame. The minute we announced we were playing this game, I think it created a buzz. I know it created a buzz here in the Butts-Mehre building with our players. I remember when we first announced it to the team, looking at the excitement on some of the guys’ eyes and even the disappointment on some of the seniors’ eyes that they weren’t going to be able to be a part of it. It’s been a big deal to us to know that we are going to play Boise State in the Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game. So it’s here. I can remember when it was 104 days away, and now it’s four days away. It’s moving right along.

    “Boise State, as we all know, is the winningest team in college football since 1997. Coach (Chris) Peterson has done a tremendous job of getting those guys to believe, getting those guys to play with confidence, swagger and intensity. They are great fundamentally. They just play so hard. They know what they are doing, and they believe in what they are doing, and for good reason. Because they are a team that wins, they will be a very difficult team to beat. Teams that are in the habit of winning are hard to beat, there is no doubt about that.

    “Offensively, they were No. 2 in the country in total offense last year. Over the last few years they have been in the top five in scoring nationally. They are just in the habit of doing that. When you look at their scores it’s 51 points, 57 points, 49 points, 42 points. Every once in a while they will play a game in the 30s. Every time they play they just rack it up. They are used to doing that. One of the big reasons for that is their quarterback Kellen Moore, who we know is a senior. He is an extremely accurate passer. He is a guy that you can tell understands the system extremely well, and he has all the confidence in his skill people to make plays. He is complimented by Doug Martin, their great running back. (D.J.) Harper also plays a good bit. I was sorry to hear about the No. 3 back who is injured. I know what it’s like to have one of your players to have an ACL for the second or third time and cost a guy another season. That’s tough on those guys.

    “Doug is very, very physical back. He is a guy who always gets positive yards after contact. I’ve seen him break big runs. He has good speed. I’m sure he loves his fullback, Dan Paul. He’s a real physical guy, another senior who is a big part of what they do in their offense. He may not have a lot of yards, but of course they use their fullback similar to what we do as far as being a big-time blocker and a guy who sets the tone physically.

    “Up front, (Thomas) Byrd, their center, and (Nate) Potter, their left tackle, are probably their two finest. They are breaking in a couple of guys on the right side, and I’m sure they will be just as good as the ones who played a year ago. Their tight end is back. (Tyler) Shoemaker, more of a slot receiver, is back. I’m assuming that’s the role he is going to continue to play for them.

    “Defensively, it’s just as impressive if not more impressive what they’ve done. Last year they led the nation in sacks and led the nation in red zone defense. They were No. 2 in the nation in total defense and had a few shutouts along the way. The thing that is interesting about this defense, as far as we’re concerned, is they are returning just about everybody. They are going to have nine or 10 seniors starting on that defense and one or two juniors starting on that defense, guys who have played a lot of football and played a lot together.

    “Billy Winn is a beast inside. He is a certain first round draft pick in my opinion and in most everybody’s opinion. Really across the board, their front is super physical. They all have a bunch of sacks and tackles for loss. I think they might have been first or second in the nation in tackles for loss. Their front seven is very tough.

    “The 4-3 is their base defense, but they will get into a 3-4 look when they begin to play more of the spread set. It’s a lot like what other people do across the country. They have an outstanding linebacking corps. I know Tommy Smith is a Georgia boy from North Atlanta High School. He is going to get an opportunity to possibly start. Either he or (Byron) Hout will start at the “mike linebacker.” Their safety is (George) Iloka, he led the team in tackles last year with 63 on the perimeter and does a great job.

    “From what I understand they aren’t sure who is going to be their place kicker yet, but they do an outstanding job on special teams as well, so we know it’s going to be a challenge there.

    “Again, they are a great football team, a team that we have to get ready to do battle with. We are excited about it, and we’re thankful to be in this game. We’re glad that the Georgia Bulldog fans have risen to the occasion as far as getting ready to show up and cheer on the Dogs.”

    On if he puts Georgia's Aaron Murray and Boise State's Kellen Moore in a similar mold…
    "I wouldn't put Murray in his category yet. Kellen has done so much. He will end up being the winningest quarterback in the history of college football. It's not a slight against Aaron, but Aaron just hasn't played as many games and won any championships or anything like that. This guy right now I would say is deadly accurate. There's a difference between completions and hitting a guy on the dead run and hitting a guy exactly where they need to be hit. He throws it so accurately that he allows his receivers to really get some good yards after catch. I have not seen him use his wheels like Aaron has, but part of the reason why Aaron ran last year was maybe not being 100-percent sure he wanted to throw it into a certain coverage so he took off running. He actually did a pretty good job of it. I think Kellen would be less likely to cross the line of scrimmage, although he's mobile and can make plays moving around. He's a little bit more mature than Aaron in his play. I think Aaron is a heck of player, and I think Aaron is going to play extremely well for us this season. Kellen is the leading passer in the country returning as far as QB rating and things of that nature. I think he hit 70-percent of his passes. Aaron is getting there, but I don't know if he's there yet.

    On the culture of change at Georgia, offseason training and having a 240 pound running back in Richard Samuel…
    "We had a great offseason I believe. I have seen the results. I've seen guys bulked up pretty good. I've seen guys that have a lot of stamina in practice. I will say that when we did move our practices to the a.m. during came that it helped our guys. It was cooler in the morning, but we've had a couple weeks of the heat in the afternoon once school began and I still see guys that are holding up pretty darn good. Richard Samuel being 240 pounds is a very big physical, fast guy. He's not much for dodging people. He's an outstanding pass protector too. Every once and a while there will be a guy or two that will make the whole team look tough, and he's one of those type of guys. I think the offseason went extremely well. I think guys are in a really good frame of mind right now, and like everybody else in the nation ready to hit somebody besides their teammates."

    On the physical factor in games last year…
    "I personally think we just didn't finish well last year, so there are a lot of things that we could do better. We lost the close games. In years' past, we've won the close games. Is it because of the physical nature? Is it because guys didn't make a play here? Or the ball bounced the wrong way? Whatever it may be, the bottom line is we just didn't get the job done. So we are looking forward to turning that around and getting it done this season."

    On the buildup for the Georgia-Boise State game and if it will determine how the rest of the season goes…
    "It is a big build up for an opening game I think because of who we are playing, where we are playing and maybe a little bit of the uniform issue and all that kind of thing. So there's an awful lot of hype going into this ball game compared to some other opening games. I don't personally think that the season is riding on the one game. It's really not. It's a game that we absolutely want to win. It's a game that we expect to win. We talk a lot about winning the Eastern Division, and that is the one thing that we can control. It really has no bearing on the Southeastern Conference race, so it doesn't really get in the way of that goal or the goal of winning the Southeastern Conference. What I do think it's going to do is give us a pretty good feel of what we are made of right away. It's also going to be a great teacher of what it's going to take to win in our league down the road. I think it's very positive that we are playing the game, and I certainly would love to win it because we can create some really good momentum from that but I don't think the season is riding in the balance."

    On contrasting now compared to when Georgia played Boise State in 2005…
    "At that time, I know that that was kind of the upset special. That was kind of the game that a lot of people were pointing to say what's going to be the upset of the week or the opening game of the season. A lot of people were picking Boise State to win that game. But I didn't blame them. I looked at the film. They had quite a few pros on that team. We did them here (in Athens). We did get them on a really blistering hot day and humid day. I think that was a factor that day. We started well and grabbed momentum early and never looked back. They never really got a chance to get it going. On any given day, if we had got the ball first and thrown a pick on the first play of the game who knows what would have happened to us that day. You just never know. The score that day I don't think was indicative of the difference in the teams as much as the momentum that was taken early, and we never relinquished it so to speak.

    On if Georgia has learned anything on Boise State from transfer Michael Tamburo…
    "You would have to ask coach (Todd) Grantham on that. I don't know if he's really spent a lot of time with him on that. It's very obvious that we have everyone's film. We can study all the film. We can talk to other coaches that have played them. That's where we get all our information from. Todd might have spent time with him, but I really don't know. You'd have to ask Todd on that."

    On Michael Tamburo's outlook…
    "It's early for him, but he's got ability. The one thing he did get to do and that I got a taste for his abilities is in our practice games. He was one of the quarterbacks that played on that day, and you can see he has got some nerve staying in the pocket. The pocket wasn't all that great at times, but he stood in there and made some really fine throws and seemed to be very accurate. He hasn't got an awful lot of reps at all with our offensive units. I've seen him throw a few passes here and there when we throw with our receivers, but at this point, the guys who are getting the most work are the guys that are going to play right now."

    On what other opposing coaches have said about Boise State…
    "I'd say opposing coaches say 'get ready.' They say 'these guys know how to play the game of football.' They're going to get after you. You better be prepared. They are relentless in their play. They are well coached. They believe. Lately, they've started fast and furious on both sides of the ball."

    On true freshman seeing playing time beyond Isaiah Crowell…
    "Malcolm Mitchell has made some plays for us. He'll play. Will he do something spectacular this week? I don't know, but he's a young guy who has done well. Damian Swann has got an awful lot of practice time especially the last few days with Branden Smith and his set back. By the way, we expect Branden to get a little bit today and then everything the next two days. So we think Branden will be fine. Ray Drew is going to get to play. There's a few guys that are going to get to play some snaps on offense and defense, and then a lot of guys will play some special teams.

    On what he thinks is going through Isaiah Crowell's mind this week…
    "What I hope is going through his mind is his assignments and knowing what to do on every play. We do have quite a few plays. He's like any other true freshman. He's trying to learn it, master it and try to get comfortable with it. It is nice to have Aaron Murray in the backfield with him who can guide him a little bit here and there to give him little reassurance that he's lined up in the right spot. I'm sure he's very excited. He did grow up wanting to be a Georgia Bulldog. He grew up wanting to play tailback for us. Through the recruiting process we pointed to this game as a game that he'd get an opportunity to show what he can do, to show the college football world what he's got. But I think once he's gotten here that he's quickly understood that it's not about Isaiah Crowell. It's about Georgia. Even reading some of the quotes he's been mindful of his teammates and he knows he's got a lot to learn. He does want to do whatever he can to help the team win, and time will tell how much that will be as we go. But he's a very good football player and he's been a really good kid. He's had a good camp."

    On the depth chart unfolding to create more playing opportunity for Crowell…
    "I guess. I guess you are talking about Washaun Ealey and Caleb King, and Richard (Samuel) to this point hasn't practiced a lot lately. So the stage is getting set up for him to certainly get opportunities. I'm not mad that he's going to get opportunities. After watching him practice, you can see that he's got a lot of ability. But he hasn't got hit super hard yet either. We've had some scrimmages and he's been hit, but somewhere along the line somebody's going to get a really good shot on him and we'll see if he holds onto the ball and we'll see how he handles that. I think he'll be fine."

    On the defense and the 3-4 going into a second season…
    "I feel so much better about our defense than a year ago. I knew our guys weren't sure what do a year ago 100-percent. You're putting it in from scratch. Everybody's trying to figure it out. Even the assistant coaches other than Coach Grantham were learning it as we went along. There's absolutely nothing to draw from experience wise, but our guys understand it at a much greater depth. They are much better technicians than they were a year ago. Coaches have been able to spend more time emphasizing the technique on how to do your job well. There's no doubt in my mind that we are better than we were a year ago. But we're also playing one of the most prolific offenses in college football game one, so we'll see how that translates but there's no doubt that we are better than we were a year ago."

    On the receiver position…
    "I love the camp that Rantavious Wooten had. I love the camp that Marlon (Brown) had. Tavarres King started out extremely well and got nicked up a little bit that slowed him down a little bit but he's come on strong of late. Malcolm (Mitchell) has made some plays. Michael Bennett had a very good camp. Michael proved to be one of the toughest receivers that we got and showed up to work every day and he got better. (Israel) Troupe had a good camp. So we've got enough guys in my opinion to go out there and roll them around and let them all play and see who makes the most plays. At the tight end position, which we also consider receivers for us, I thought Aron White and Orson Charles had a great camp. I think Artie (Arthur) Lynch improved drastically. Of course we took Bruce (Figgins) and moved him from tight end to full back. Bruce got a whole lot better at fullback early on in camp especially. In the spring, we were still opitimistic about how Bruce would begin to perform as a fullback, but then as we got into camp and began to hit he really made a big, drastic jump from being a guy that maybe knows his assignment and get to and breakdown a little bit try to fit up on a guy to a guy that just started to run through people and really hit people on the run and do things that a fullback needs to do. Zander (Alexander Ogletree) is a pretty good fullback too. So we feel pretty good about skill."

    On the Columbus (Georgia) connection being established for this game…
    "We're glad that we got some guys from Columbus doing well for us. I guess three projected starters. Well, I don't know if Isaiah (Crowell) would start, but he could. The longer Richard (Samuel) doesn't go, and I don’t think Richard will go full speed today. He'll get some, but if it continues on it may be that Isaiah gets the nod. Either him or Richard would. It'll just depend on what Richard can do here in the next couple of days. I think if Richard doesn't practice in the next day or two, it might be that Isaiah gets the chance to be the starter. So it could be that we have three kids starting from Columbus."

    On the pass protecting abilities of the tailbacks…
    "They're getting there. Richard's never had a problem with that, but everybody else after him is fairly inexperienced in that regard. Pass protection is a skill or an art or whatever you want to call it, and like everything else it takes time to learn it. It's a matter of learning who to block and how to get it done properly. And you got to have an attitude. Those linebackers that are 220 to 250 pounds come barreling down on you and they're looking to sack your quarterback and you got to get nasty some times. It just takes reps. I'm not disappointed in anybody's progress, but I wouldn't say they're just totally polished at it right now."

    On being able to use both Richard Samuel and Isaiah Crowell provided Samuel is healthy enough to play…
    "I don't think there is any doubt that we would hope for them to split the time, to share the load. Most everybody in college and pro football would much prefer having two guys that could get it done. I think that Richard's style and Isaiah's style contrast enough to where that would be really good for us too. If no one got hurt all camp, I don't think there's much doubt Richard would start and Isaiah would be number two but with both of them getting playing time."

    On if there are any players other than Carlton Thomas who would not play vs. Boise State for reason other than injuries…
    "Nothing to report on that. Nothing to report at this point anyway."

    signature image

    GET AT ME ----- E-MAIL: gestes@247sports.com ----- TWITTER: @GentryEstes247 ---- FACEBOOK: http://www.facebook.com/dawgs247

  • Thanks G. Are there any plans down the road to do audio clips of interviews or anything like that? Just curious. shrug

  • Gentry Estes said... (original post)

    Thanks G. Are there any plans down the road to do audio clips of interviews or anything like that? Just curious. shrug

    Plans are for network to add audio and video in near future as far as I know.

    signature image

    GET AT ME ----- E-MAIL: gestes@247sports.com ----- TWITTER: @GentryEstes247 ---- FACEBOOK: http://www.facebook.com/dawgs247

  • Gentry Estes said... (original post)

    Courtesy of UGA Sports Communications ...

    Head Coach Mark Richt

    On the receiver position… (Israel) Troupe had a good camp...

    What is going on with Troupe? I hope he reaches his potential. He was our highest ranked ESPN 150 recruit in 2008, #27 overall, 2 spots higher than Dez Bryant FYI, higher than Chris Rainey and Aaron Hernandez.