Quotes from Georgia’s coaches and players

Here is a transcript of media day in Athens, courtesy of the University of Georgia:

Head Coach Mark Richt
Opening statement…
“Big game this week. It’s great to have a game like this at the end of the season and in particular at the end of this season, to have a season where we’ve not reached some of the goals, or hardly any of the goals that we set out before us. As far as won-lost record, to play game 12 and still have a game that’s this meaningful is exciting for me as a coach, because we are always looking for ways to motivate and I don’t think we’ll have to do a whole lot of motivating this week.
“Coach (Paul) Johnson has done a fantastic job at Tech. Once again, offensively they’ve got it going, averaging over 400 yards a game rushing. I think that leads the nation. Of course we know that (Joshua) Nesbitt got hurt and Tevin Washington has taken over. He’s running it very well. You can tell he’s getting more and more comfortable every game. A lot of people ask the question, ‘How is it different to defend the offense with Tevin compared to Josh?’ Right now we don’t see a huge difference. We see the same plays. We see the same system, we see the same pass routes, so we don’t see a big difference there.”
“It’s a great opportunity this weekend. I’m embracing the fact that we are playing in the evening. We haven’t played many night games, and this may be the first at home. I think our players will enjoy that. I think our players will enjoy the buildup to that. There usually is a little more electricity at night. I know our fans will be there ready to honor our seniors, honor our team one more time. It will be Senior Day. Our seniors will come out and get a chance to have a picture taken with their family in front of the crowd. I want to encourage our Bulldog faithful to get in the stands for that ceremony. It will be as close to kickoff as we can get it and still do the things that we need to do for our pregame warmups, so I’m hoping everyone gets there early enough to really honor these guys. It’s an emotional time for these guys, it’s a very important time for these guys. I know the Dawg Walk will be great. I guess the little league baseball team is going to be leading the pack for us at the Dawg Walk. Warner Robins did it again I guess. So Warner Robins’ little league team will lead the Dawg Walk out. We will have helmet stickers honoring the Georgia National Guard, and I heard our new governor will do the coin toss. There is going to be a way to honor Gov. (Sonny) Perdue at halftime, so there are a lot of great things happening besides the ballgame.”
On the Georgia seniors…
“I tell those guys it’s hard to lead when things aren’t going right. It’s easy to lead when you are winning. It’s hard to lead when you are not winning like you should or the way we feel like we should. To keep a team together and to keep a team motivated and to keep persevering is not easy. You can look at the seniors too. This isn’t what we wanted our senior year. They could have sacked their bats too. They’ve not done that or even come close to doing that. I’m proud of how they’ve led through the adversity and I’m very confident that when we come out of the gate, we’ll be ready to play, the seniors will and the rest of the team will be ready to play. That’s part of the reason why I’m proud of the effort. Most every one of them is graduating, if not already graduated. Even the ones who had a few bumps along the way, which they all have, have come out of it the right kind of men, so I’m really proud of them.”
On what the Georgia Tech game means to the Georgia seniors…
“It’s the last time they are going to play between the hedges. It’s the last time they get a chance to wear the red and black in front of their home crowd, so they want to have a good final memory. Guys do tend to remember the last time they are in that stadium. A lot of times as it’s happening they don’t think much about it, but I try to help them understand that it will be something you’ll reflect on and you want to reflect on it in a real positive way and a way that you’ll be proud of it. Just that in itself is enough.”
On whether he assumes an underclassman will leave for the NFL is he is highly rated…
“No, we don’t always assume it. We always try to go through the process of educating ourselves and them as to the pros and cons of that decision and try to get up with the families and talk a little bit about it, and try to come to a decision that is in the best interest of the player.”
On whether he is comfortable Aaron Murray will play Saturday…
“If you are asking me do I think he is going to play, I think he is going to play. It’s still not 100 percent certain that he is going to play, but he practiced well yesterday. He wasn’t very sore if any. There wasn’t a lot of soreness from yesterday’s practice to today. At the rate he is going and his mentality right now, I think he has every intention of playing, and we’re pretty sure he’ll play. We hope there is not a setback. I don’t foresee one. We will be in pads today, and somebody could run into him on accident, but we don’t want them to. The next two days we’ll gear it down even more so he shouldn’t have a setback.”
On how much more comfortable he is with Hutson Mason compared to at the beginning of the season…
“A lot more comfortable now. We did give Logan (Gray) a couple of snaps, but it wasn’t to be the starter if something happened to Aaron or be the first guy in the game. But if Aaron couldn’t play and you’ve got Hutson, then Logan would’ve been the next guy in the game, so we wanted to get him a little bit of work for that reason. But Hutson, he’s had so much meeting time and practice reps that we’re comfortable with him being able to run our offense.”
On Chad Gloer…
“Chad Gloer is a kid that was a walk-on, had high hopes, hopes of one day playing and hopes of one day earning a scholarship. He was able to accomplish both of those things. I’m really proud of his perseverance in that regard. He’s a hard worker, he’s tough. On the special teams he does make plays for us and he’s a big part of our special teams, but then he’s also out there practicing with the scout team all day long too and gives great effort in that regard, so we’re really proud of the job he’s done all throughout his career. He is going to represent our seniors at the coin toss, one of the four. Every senior we have will wear a C. They are all captains, but Chad deserved that right from the special teams play.”
On Georgia players attending the Georgia Tech-Duke game…
“I’m glad that they wanted to go. I’m glad they wanted to go check it out. If I was a player, I probably would have liked to do that. I like college football period, and you have a chance to go watch a good college game. Also it’s who you are playing next. There are no rules against is, and when I found out about it, I thought it was a good idea. I’m glad they cared enough to do it.”
On what the Georgia Tech game means to him…
“We haven’t mentioned this much, and I should have mentioned it more, but there is also the Governor’s Cup at stake. There is a trophy that travels to the team that wins the game and it gets to be displayed at your athletic complex year after year. It’s also a very unique situation in that this game is not quite a bowl game, but it gets treated a little like a bowl game in that there are gifts that are being allowed to give out. Every senior of the winning team gets a trophy, and every senior who plays gets a watch to signify that they played in that game. Also, the head coach gets a trophy also with the names of all the seniors who played in the game. I really like those.”
On the main benefits of playing in a bowl game…
“The experience of the trip, I’ve never been to a bad bowl. Every bowl you go to, the people are wonderful. They have really neat things to do. You get a chance to go compete in another college game. You get to practice along the way, which I don’t know that the players are all that excited about that part of it, but as a coach you like to get more practice opportunities in. You tend to take some time to let the younger guys get a little bit more work. I don’t do that maybe as much as other coaches do. My focus is usually to make sure we are preparing to win the game. I know graduation day, historically at Georgia you have a bunch of seniors taking off to graduate, and it’s a day where we do some scrimmaging with the younger guys. That’s important too. I think it’s certainly nice to be able to say you have a certain streak of playing in a bowl game. That’s important too.”
On Kris Durham and his chances to play in the NFL…
“I think he can. I think a lot of the scouts have taken notice. They like what they see. Of course earlier in the year he had a little bigger role in that when A.J. (Green) wasn’t there he kind of became the go-to guy and responded well and made a lot of plays. They like his range and like the fact that he’s tall and can make plays. He’s never had trouble getting by people. He’s never had trouble getting open deep. As Aaron was kind of feeling his way around, Durham was running by people and Aaron was getting it to him, but if he could have it him on the dead run a couple of times, who knows how many touchdown passes he would have. I think Kris has an excellent opportunity.”
On Washaun Ealey and Caleb King this season…
“I think that they did a good job, but I think they could do a better job. I think overall they had a pretty good season, but they could do better. Hopefully Saturday they’ll do extremely well.”
On the win over Georgia Tech last year…
“That was a big day. We wanted to run the ball that day no doubt. The more you run the ball, the more you can control the clock. Everybody knows that and everybody wants to keep it out of the hands of an offense that is dangerous. That was kind of our plan going in, but we didn’t really expect to run it like we ran it or as well as we ran it or as often as we ran it. I don’t know if we could predict that to happen again. When you have some of the receivers that we have and the way Aaron has played as a passer, you don’t just want to forget about that part of your plan, but running the ball will absolutely be a big part of what we are going to try to do.
On continuing to run the ball against Georgia Tech in the game last year…
“It went very well, we were scoring points, we had a lead. We felt like that was the way to continue to go throughout that ballgame considering the fact that we had the lead and we were having success doing it. We’ll be ready to do both.”
On whether the defense this year is better than a year ago…
“That’s kind of a reflective question. Let’s wait until the season is over and we will talk about those things.”
Kris Durham
On not having classes this week during Thanksgiving break…
“I’m kind of accustomed to it. I’ve got two online classes and one normal class on Tuesday and Thursdays, so I’m kind of used to this schedule. I usually get up and get my day started. That’s how I am. I’m more of a morning person. I guess that’s why teaching is a good profession for me.”
On if he plans to be a teacher and a coach…
“That’s the game plan for when I get through with football at whatever time that will be. Hopefully, I’ve got a few more years left. But that is the ultimate goal.”
On finishing up school…
“I graduated last may, but I’m not going to finish up graduate school just yet. I’m going to pursue a football career, and after that, I’ll finish up grad school. It was something my parents always preached to me to finish your education, so that’s why I always wanted a Master’s degree, so that’s something I’ll shoot for after my playing days.”
On what convinced him that he does have a future with football after his collegiate eligibility is complete…
“I always believed that I had the ability, but with the opportunities I’ve been given I’ve taken advantage of them and I do believe I have a future in football. I’m going to pursue that, and I’m going to give it everything I’ve got and see how it works out. If it doesn’t work out the way I want it to then I still have a lot of goals and different aspirations in my life, and teaching and coaching, that is one of them. I’ll still be a successful person in my eyes.”
Christian Robinson
On the factor of the running game in the Georgia-Georgia Tech game last year and its importance for this year’s game…
“It’s going to be about the line of scrimmage and if you can move the ball. That’s football. At the same time, if you can get them off of the field that gets them out of their game on offense. If we run the ball on them it’s just controlling the time of possession. Last year, that was a big deal for us. This year, if we can repeat that it would be great.”
On the Georgia-Georgia Tech rivalry in general and this year in particular…
“It just feels different. I didn’t understand my first year until we got out there, and it didn’t go well for us. Then we had to spend a whole year of everybody talking about you and getting awards and stuff. I didn’t understand how big a deal it really was until that first one, especially being on the losing end of it. It’s huge. If you don’t win this game, the next year is not fun. It wasn’t fun for us in off-season training just hearing about it. We want to win this game, and we are going to do our best to win it. It’s just as big as it’s ever been, and there’s a lot more on the line for us. They’ve already become bowl eligible, and we don’t want to lose this game and we want to go to a bowl game. We are going to do everything we can to prevent them from beating us and keeping us out of a bowl game.”
Demarcus Dobbs
On this year’s senior class’ legacy…
“We had great people come out of our class. We’ve had great athletes make it to the next level already out of our class. But as far as legacy I wouldn’t really be able to say right now.”
On the importance of getting a win against Georgia Tech…
“It would get us to a bowl game, hopefully. It would get us bowl eligible, and we would be finishing on a strong note. It’s a forgettable season as you look at it, but it wouldn’t be something to hang you head on if you did make it to a bowl game and you were able to jump start the season for next year with two back-to-back wins if we make it to a bowl game and win. It’s a way to salvage the season and a way to move forward.”
Shaun Chapas
On the victory over Georgia Tech last year…
“It was a good day. It was pretty fun. It’s something that we’re working hard this week to try to have success like that again.”
On the running game this season…
“We had set some pretty high expectations for ourselves coming into the season. I think it’d be fair to say that we haven’t met those on an every single game basis.”
On being able to finish the season with a win…
“I mean, it’s a huge game for us finishing out the season. We want to finish strong, finish with a win and get bowl eligible. I’ve been to a bowl every year since I’ve been here and I want to keep that going.”
Akeem Dent
On facing Georgia Tech’s run game…
“Run wise, especially we’ve done a good job. Of course there are going to be some breakdowns every once in a while because we’ve tweaked things defensively, but we’ve got our guys out there doing the best they can to play the best they can.”
On the legacy left by this senior class…
“This group of guys, they’re hard workers. They’ve gone out there on every snap and every down and just try to leave it all on the field.”
On becoming bowl eligible…
“It’s really important. Of course we don’t want to be that class and we don’t want to be remembered as that class. It’s really important to get that next win to get to the bowl game.”

10 comments Add your comment

wesleywhatwhat

November 23rd, 2010
3:49 pm

let’s go JACKETS!

H15

November 23rd, 2010
4:02 pm

Jackets need to play a complete game to get it done.

Daniel

November 23rd, 2010
4:04 pm

Online classes?

Do these guys go to UGA or DeVry?

Dawg House

November 23rd, 2010
4:28 pm

Daniel….. read the text. He has already graduated. He is finishing up student teaching and a Masters.

I know in a Techies eyes, being a teacher and coach is a FAILURE. And that, is what is so sad aboutyou pompous nerds.

Dawgs-44 Nerds-10

ManUp...

November 23rd, 2010
4:38 pm

It’s not a failure if it’s your goal. It’s a failure if it’s something you’ve settled for. So, yeah, at Tech a lot of us know people whose dream was engineering, science or architecture. They couldn’t hack it and went into teaching instead. In that case, yeah, the culture at Tech is to say, “sorry about that” and to kind of suspect someone just didn’t work hard enough. But a football player at UGA teaching and coaching? Sounds like what he wanted. Good for him.

Manup...

November 23rd, 2010
5:22 pm

As someone who makes hiring decisions for my company, I can tell you with confidence that you would not make it to the interview process- based on the fact that you don’t know how to use the word “who” in a possesive sense.
You are a shining, hilarious example of why GT people are never taken seriously by anyone other than themselves..

Hahahah

November 23rd, 2010
5:24 pm

I love how the uga players and coaches talk about how winning this week is important for a variety of reasons other than the fac that it’s important to beat tech.
Whereas beating uga is the only dream tech kids live for. hahahahahaah

gt84

November 23rd, 2010
5:50 pm

i dont car how talented ga is, if gt executes its offense they have a great chance to win , bc ga defense is not that good, so it will be a shootout if we can get maybe 1-2 turnovers and we execute our offense good we will win,

gt surprises everyone with their best game of the year gt wins 35-28

Rodney Dangerfield

November 23rd, 2010
9:52 pm

ManUp, stop being a stereotypical “know it all” douche Tech fan. Anyone obtaining a four year degree and working on a Masters has their head on straight. Stop feeding the stereotype of Tech fans being “know it all” elitists.

I have friends that are dawg fans and I can attest that not all dawg fans are tobacky chewing, wife beatin’, toothless rednecks. Some are just normal people like alot of Tech fans.

damngooddawg!

November 24th, 2010
4:09 pm

I don’t believe I’ve ever seen a school so obsessed with what kids from another school are saying. Get a life, guys! If I’m a Techie, which thank God I’m not, I don’t give a damn what Kris Durham says about not having classes during Thanksgiving break…geez Louise!