UGA’s Mark Richt put on defensive again during SEC coaches teleconferece

ATHENS — Sorry for the relative lack of presence on the blog today. I had to tune into the SEC Coaches teleconference, videotape a segment for ESPN’s College GameDay and go get my knee worked on at my orthopedist’s office. But I’m saddled up here at practice now and will bring you updates the rest of the day.

As for the SEC teleconferecne, Georgia coach Mark Richt continued to get peppered with thinly-veiled queries insinuating that is job may be on this line this week or this year or whatever. For him, that’s pretty much four days in a row of that line of questioning and you can tell that’s it’s starting to wear on him a little bit.

I’ll just quickly share some of his answers from his 10-minute or so session and you’ll get an idea what I mean:

Does Saturday’s game feel like a must-win?

“I wouldn’t say that. It’s a very important game for us, very crucial for the Eastern Division race. It’s not a must win mathematically for the race or not a must win in any other way I know of. But is it crucially important? There’s no doubt about that. But we look at every game like it’s a must-win game, so however you want to spin it, you can spin it. You guys spin it anyway you want anyway. So do with that what you want.”

What’s the general feeling on the team about having to face No. 12 South Carolina coming off such a disappointing loss to Boise State?

“I’d say excitement right now. These guys are really excited about playing this ballgame. They’re getting a chance to play between the hedges for the first time this year, getting play SEC competition for the first time. Maybe they’ll get some form of redemption for last week as far as how we played overall. So everybody’s got a good attitude. They showed up ready to work.”

What about keeping up team morale?

“We don’t have that issue right now. Everybody out there might think that, but nobody had to push anybody yesterday. Everybody’s in, everybody’s working hard, the scout teamers know that Tuesdays and Wednesdays are their game days basically . They’ve got to go great job to simulate what’s going on and I thought they did their part. We were in full pads going live football and competing. There’s no motivational issue right now. There’s no need for anybody to pick anybody up. We’re just going to contuinue to work hard and prepare.”

What are you doing to insulate your team from crictism?

“We’re just coaching ball, OK? You guys want to make things bigger than they are. The bottom line is like anything in life, you’ve got to control what you can, and that is my attitude and my effort and our team’s attitude and effort. That’s true every season. Today’s no different than a year ago or two years ago going into Game two in my mind. Everybody’s locked in, everybody’s working hard and everybody’s confident we’re going to have a good ballgame.”

How do you keep from focusing on the big picture job of getting the program turned around but having to get ready for a tough opponent?

“You answered your own question. You just go to work every day. What can I do today that’s going to help us in Game 9, not much other than getting better at fundamentals, get better at tackling and those kinds of things, and that’s going to help me on Saturday. The goal is to get ready for South Carolina and that’s what we’re going.”

With all the fan forums and blogs and Internet coverage, how do you filter out the noise?

“Well, just what I’ve been saying all along: We get in our meetings, we focus on our jobs, we practice, we compete well, we use the type of energy it takes to have a good day. We can control certain things and that’s what we focus on. And that’s when you’re winning, too, and you’ve got people saying how great you are. You’ve got to be insulated from that, too. If anybody gets to involved in anything that’s swirling around good or bad it doesn’t help you win. So I think you’ve got to manage that.”

Do you address it with the team?

“We don’t talk about it, quite franlkly. We’;e going to work. It’s Game Two, it’s Game One in league play. I don’t see what the issue is as far as any kind of reality,. I don’t even know what’s swirling around. Everybody says there’s stuff swirling around. I usually find about it if my mom calls or I go to church and everybody says they’re praying extra hard for me. That’s when I know it’s out there.”

OK, that’s enough about that. Here’s what some of the SEC coach — including Richt — had to say about the eventual addition of Texas A&M to the SEC.

  • RICHT: I’m just going to stay away from commenting on anything as far as expansion right now until all the dust settles and I have a better idea of what’s going on. I’ll say this: It looks like change is coming. I’ll say that. But for me as a coach, my effort and energy has to be focused on preparation and this game and that’s what we’re doing. . . . The truth of the matter is I don’t know and for me to make some kind of comment would be premature. I’ve got an AD as a boss and a president and a commissioner and I don’t think anybody needs my comments on expansion right now.”
  • WILL MUSCHAMP: “Whatever Dr. Machen and our administraion decide I’ll support. But Texas A&M has a great tradition and is an outstanding program. . . . I really think we’re headed to the 16-team leagues. Eventually I think there will be four of them at some point if you ask me personally. But whatever our conference decides I’m fine. . . . I don’t know how it will work. Honestly I haven’t put any thought into it at all. But I do think that’s where it will go eventually. I think there’s the haves and have nots esstially.
  • STEVE SPURRIER: “It may open up the door for LSU, Arkansas, the Mississippi schools and so forth. I don’t think it will have any impact with us. We’re trying to recruit our state and the border states. That’s about where we are. Every now and then we’ll go up into New Jersey and the OPhiladephia area. But the TV markets and all that if A&M comes in, which looks like is going to happen, that’s fine with all of us. We don’t make those decisions. That just adds a bigtime college program, Texas A&M, to the SEC. And I thnk that’s fine with all of us coaches.” . . . (impact on recruiting) “It won’t for us. Maybe the western teams over there can go into Texas and it can give them certainly more pull. Who knows?”
  • LES MILES: “I’m kind of caught because I coached in the Big Eight conference and I coached in the Big 12 conference and I have historic respect for that tremendous conference and the traditions of those teams. So as happy as I am to realize that there will be a greater, plainer view of Texas, I’m saddened in some respect that the old Big Eight-Big 12 is kind of fragile right now. I don’t understand it I guess is what I’m saying.” . . . (Recruiting) “Texas football is great high school football, very talented players. I think there will be a strong view of the strongest football conference and a competitive view of the choices the Texas players have to make and I think they’ll be looking at what conference is the best they can play in and which is closets to my home and what’s the travel distance that my parents would have to go to see me play. I would think the SEC would be preferred to West caost travel or whatever the other choices would be. . . . The dynamics are going to be very significant. I think we would compare very favorably to the other choices of those Texas prospective student-athletes.”

PRACTICE OBSERVATIONS

Real quickly, practice is ongoing. Georgia is in full pads for the second consecutive day. Very unusual. . . . Wide receiver Marlon Brown was wearing a green jersey. His left ankle was heavily wrapped but not sure if that’s the reason. . . . Nose guard Kwame Geathers, who suffered a neck injury (aka stinger) was nowhere to be found for the second straight day.”

207 comments Add your comment

South GA Dawg

September 7th, 2011
5:57 pm

South GA Dawg

September 7th, 2011
5:58 pm

One Damn Loss and everyone is gone!!!!!!!!! I know I cant be the first????

Pompano Ann

September 7th, 2011
6:08 pm

Where is the redemption? We needed it this past Saturday and now Carolina will be a huge game to keep us in for any hopes of a good season and to maybe keep a coach? So many questions to the formula for a good team; but still the basic questions; why 31 years since a National Chapionship while the SEC dominates around us. Are we a pit stop for the NFL and all good players leave their Junior Year? Saturday will and should determine all key decisions for the future of UGA Football!

roughrider

September 7th, 2011
6:10 pm

It’s time for the UGA Alumni to quit buying season tickets and donating money. When Richt and staff are gone, we can start back.

He Hate Gator

September 7th, 2011
6:15 pm

Good questions and comments Ann…

jackson

September 7th, 2011
6:15 pm

I just wanted to say that I’m second.
ps- please God let our loveable dogs be loveable again after the s.c. game

Dbalcer

September 7th, 2011
6:17 pm

We had some significant injuries Saturday. I hope most of them can play Saturday. I will be there rooting my DAWGS on to victory.

statesboro dawg

September 7th, 2011
6:21 pm

You people need to wake up and get a life it was one freaking game I support mark Richt because before him you never won 10 or 11 games. Go COACH I support you

Frank Lane

September 7th, 2011
6:29 pm

Last year, AJ Green never once apologized to the team for his behavior that led to four games suspended. Bacarri Rambo did apologize to the team today in a public forum, and that turned around my whole impression of the young man.

Rusty

September 7th, 2011
6:32 pm

I am a Bulldog Fan from Encino California and follow the team the past four years. Lay off of Richt until after the season ends. The team needs to perform starting with Saturdays game and marching forward to a bowl bid. Go DAWGS from California!

Joe Momma Angie Daddy

September 7th, 2011
6:37 pm

Hey Roughrider, you hit the nail on the head. When people quit spending money, that will get their attention. When the seats start getting empty, CMR and staff won’t be around lond!

tony

September 7th, 2011
6:38 pm

Dawg Nation Is Completely Blind! I tried to warn you guys about Mr Richt a yr ago. Don’t you people realize that if Mr Richt wanted to win a national championship he could? If Mr Richt wanted to defeat Boise he could have. He can even defeat every team left on their schedule if he wanted to. I will leave it at that.

Please hire an elite coach

September 7th, 2011
6:47 pm

I like Richt and respect him as a man. However, he is not the man to lead UGA to a title. If he was UGA would have at least played for the title by now. It’s not a coincidence that 4 other SEC schools have won titles during his tenure.

Dawg gone...

September 7th, 2011
6:52 pm

South GA Dawg’s 2nd post says it all- Dawwgnation’s psyche was so fragile (even though a few tried to be brave), now all hope is lost. Everyone expects a SC victory on Saturday, even Dawgnation! That tells you alot about state of UGA program.

SEC Fan

September 7th, 2011
6:54 pm

The SC game may not be a “must” win for Richt, but it’s a “must” win for a lot of UGA fans; and, if Richt loses, you ain’t heard nothing yet.

DawgHare

September 7th, 2011
6:58 pm

Reading about all of the heat Coach Richt is getting from fans and the media is getting disheartening.
Say what you will about the recent results of his teams, he is a good man, and he loves his players… certainly a lot more than some of the “fans” who booed the team on national television. Oh wait, *they were just booing Bobo*. Yeah right, I’m sure the players knew that.
It’s hard not to conclude that one of the problems at Georgia is coaching, but another problem at Georgia is the fans. We need to focus on cheering for the Dawgs and not booing them or Richt (or Bobo). That hurts the whole program, present and future.
My hope is that Richt and his staff can turn it around. And personally, my prayers are for a good man, his family, and his team who are feeling a lot of heat.

GO DAWGS!!!

Merry Meru

September 7th, 2011
7:15 pm

When UGA stops recruiting low-class, dreadlocked, tattooed goons with no character, things will improve. That won’t happen while Mark Richt is in Athens.

Richt has sold his soul to the devil, and the devil has reneged on the deal.

Pierce Dawg

September 7th, 2011
7:17 pm

It is so sad people base their comments off of 1 lose THIS SEASON. Last season is over,give it up. Give CMR a break,he is a good man and coach. They did not throw Dooley under the buse when he had 4 or 5 bad seasons in a row. He later went on to win a national championship. Be positive,the season is young. GO DAWGS and CMR!!!!

Pierce Dawg

September 7th, 2011
7:22 pm

My prayers are with you and the team CMR. I SUPPORT YOU AND WISH YOU ALL THE BEST!!!!! Hold your heads up,GOD is in control.

dawgfan

September 7th, 2011
7:30 pm

Well, SOMETHING needs to get Richt fired up. Getting knocked around like a rag doll the past few seasons sure hasn’t done it.

BirdDog

September 7th, 2011
7:36 pm

I was as disappointed as I could be Saturday night, but it’s only the first game and it was against a top 5 team. A lot of young guys got game experience on a big stage which will benefit them. I’m not quitting on the Dawgs like so many others. But, I guess most people enjoy a witch hunt. Anyway, Go Dawgs! Protect your house!

dawgfan

September 7th, 2011
7:41 pm

I’m not quitting on the Dawgs either. I have quit on this coaching staff. My allegiances lie with the University of Georgia Bulldogs, not Mark Richt. No coach is bigger than the program. Win or we will find somebody else that will. That’s America. Love it or leave it.

Troup Co. Dawg

September 7th, 2011
7:51 pm

There is no fire in this Program? No will to win! Maybe next year with a new Staff, it will take more than just falling down on each other, half-hearted tackling, and weak game planning! This team has way too much talent in it’s players to make boneheaded mistakes that they make ! You can bet Spurrier will have a plan! He still has fire, Good luck Dawgs! I will no longer have any hype for this program unless they show it on the field! Beat a ranked opponent and maybe I’ll celebrate!

Lowcountry Bulldawg

September 7th, 2011
7:53 pm

Frank Lane-

AJ Greens apology. Make sure you have your facts straight before giving a opinion as a fact

http://sports.espn.go.com/ncf/news/story?id=5547721

Lowcountry Bulldawg

September 7th, 2011
7:55 pm

One damn game and you would think we are talking about a 2-10 coached team. Pathetic is the way Dawg Nation has turned on the staff and now the media is fueling the fire. I will support this team 100% all season and then let th eguys who get paid to make those decisions make whatever they deem necessary. Until then I support Mark Richt and this staff. Some of you need a reality check of what it means to be a Bulldog supporter.

Innocent bystander

September 7th, 2011
7:57 pm

Nose guard Kwame Geathers, who suffered a neck injury (aka stinger) was nowhere to be found for the second straight day.”

Second straight day? Does that include saturday in the dome?

LOL

September 7th, 2011
7:57 pm

When UGA stops recruiting low-class, dreadlocked, tattooed goons with no character, things will improve. That won’t happen while Mark Richt is in Athens.

—–

Wow, UGA sure has some educated fans.

Sick and tired

September 7th, 2011
7:58 pm

I’m so sick of hearing “it was just one game people – calm down”. It was just the next joke of a game in a long line of bad games over the past three years! Bobo is getting worse each game!

ga gator

September 7th, 2011
8:00 pm

Be careful what you ask for Dawgsters!

Jiggy Smaha

September 7th, 2011
8:01 pm

It’s time for all true Georgia fans to hunker down behind the team. We haven’t even played a conference game yet. Let’s see where we are around the middle of Octiber.

Sonya

September 7th, 2011
8:05 pm

DAWG with two bags over head

September 7th, 2011
8:06 pm

For those calling for more patience, I ask, where have you been the last 3 seasons? Last Saturday was not a one-time radar blip, but a direct indication of a drastic 3-year downward slide. Our braintrust had 8 months to prepare and we played like it was the second part of a Liberty Bowl doubleheader. Nothing has changed in 8 months, so why would you think anything would change in 6 days against another very good opponent? Wake up a smell the coffee. We won’t turn this program around with Richt at the helm. Every day he remains is another day we have to endure as the laughing stock of the league.

dawgfan

September 7th, 2011
8:13 pm

It obviously wasn’t “just one game” when we saw the same exact kind of inept and uninspired play that we’ve been seeing going on 3 years now. You Richt apologists just don’t get it. Its not that we lost the game. Its the WAY we lost the game. Its the same way that we’ve been losing games for YEARS now. Not days. Not months. YEARS. You people act like we didn’t go 8-5 in 2009, didn’t go 6-7 in 2010, and didn’t just get schooled on what is essentially our home turf by a team from Idaho. I didn’t even know they played football in Idaho up until about 6 years ago the first time we played them. Yes, they are a top 5 team. We’ve played a lot of top teams and we’re going to play a lot more. Richt hasn’t beaten one in YEARS. Not days. Not months. YEARS.

Wake up and smell the coffee.

Pierce CO Dawg

September 7th, 2011
8:13 pm

I agree lowcountry dawg. If not the media bashing them,its the so called fans. Love or leave them. Quit being some sore losing critics. I support the team and CMR. Try saying something positive for a change. You might like it. GO DAWGS!!!!!

kyle

September 7th, 2011
8:14 pm

You brilliant play callers and know-it-all fringe need to grab a headset and show us all how it’s done.

I’m behind CMR 100%. He’s earned more respect than to be booed by rednecks that probably barely even have a high school degree, much less went to Georgia.

Browndog

September 7th, 2011
8:14 pm

Can’t believe everyone gives up on the team after one game. UGA is young and learning to play and the season will play out. UGA is rebuilding and needs support from the fans much more than the constant barrage of negative comments and opinions. Good luck on Saturday!

Pierce CO Dawg

September 7th, 2011
8:14 pm

Enter your comments here

Melvin Udall

September 7th, 2011
8:15 pm

What if this is as good as it gets?

DAWG with two bags over head

September 7th, 2011
8:17 pm

Melvin,

Welcome to my world.

Pierce CO Dawg

September 7th, 2011
8:17 pm

Sore losers turn your tv off,you amaze me you so called fans.

Cali Dawg

September 7th, 2011
8:21 pm

CMR…take over the OC duties like you used to. I’d much rather have questions about how you handle the time outs with under 2 minutes as OC than what we have to suffer through with the current OC.
I fear CMR gets the boot at UGA and wins a NC as an OC for someone else…it’s gonna happen. CMR, maximize your talent where you’re at.

Sick and tired 2

September 7th, 2011
8:21 pm

Exactly what Sick and tired said. It’s NOT just one game people. Georgia has been very underwhelming since 2008. The record shows it, the stats show it. It’s not just angry Dawg fans and the writers here at the AJC that notice it either. National writers are talking about how disappointing Georgia is.

Loosing to Boise is acceptable considering they are a top 5 team. The WAY we lost is unacceptable. We had too much talent to look like the second most skilled team on the field. We had too much size to be dominated on the line of scrimmage. Boise adjusted at halftime and we didn’t. We were out-coached and that’s not debatable. The coaches are doing these kids a disservice by not coaching them up like they’re paid to do.

Pierce CO Dawg

September 7th, 2011
8:22 pm

I agree Kyle,no class!!!!!

Dawgsgone

September 7th, 2011
8:23 pm

Close your eyes and listen. Change the names & dates and we have Ray (We’ve just got to go back to work and get better)Goff all over again. Love the man and what he stands for but he is not a big time, big game coach and he is too nice a guy to do what needs to be done with his assistant coaches.

kyle

September 7th, 2011
8:26 pm

Pre-season rank 1 in 2008 and Knowshon/Stafford decide to do their own stuff…still finished 10-3. Most teams would kill for 10-3.

8-5 in 2009, yes we struggled but picked up the pieces towards the end and finished with a good win over A&M.

Last year was ugly…so many close games and 4th quarters we couldn’t close out. 11 years would take it’s toll on anyone! Even Spurrier said 12 years at Florida was enough…Everybody needs to take a deep breath and focus on 2011…we have a LONG season to go with plenty of opportunities.

atl xmen

September 7th, 2011
8:26 pm

please…uga fans will keep filling the seats,,they are not tech fans. thats what real and true fans do. they support the team through the good times and bad. richt is the coach to take uga to the bcs nc game.he has already come close a few time in his 10 years..there will be other chances.

Lowcountry Bulldawg

September 7th, 2011
8:27 pm

News Flash-

No one is forcing anyone to be a UGA supporter. If this is to “painful” for you go find another team. If you are a UGA fan that wears two bags simply take them off and guy buy you a Oklahoma or LSU hate. Easy to be a fan win you are ranked #1 or #2 in the nation. This is when the rubber meets the road in fandom. Are you with us or against us? Choice is ya’lls.

SugarHillDawg

September 7th, 2011
8:30 pm

Hey Low Country, where did you get this one game crap? It’s been TWO YEARS and one game of mediocrity and we’ve had a belly full!!!!!!!!!!!

LakeDawg

September 7th, 2011
8:30 pm

Does Saturday’s game feel like a must-win?

“I wouldn’t say that.
————————————————————————————-

CMR won’t look his challenge in the face. SC game is a must-win game and UGA better stare it in the face and prevail. But thay won’t. That’s why the Dawgs lose Saturday. I truly hope I’m wrong. I hope the Dawgs go 11-1, because I don’t think I can stand another lost season.

BTW I find it interesting that it takes a crisis for UGA to scrimmage two days in a row. Of course CMR has told a couple of times in the past that he was going to scrimmage more, but that was just fodder for those “crazy” Dawg fans. He knows what in the hell he’s doing. Okay.

And we wonder why UGA has become so soft.

Lowcountry Bulldawg

September 7th, 2011
8:34 pm

Sugar Hill,

Richt cannot fix two years ago, Richt cannot fix last season. What is done is done. We have to let this thing play out and again at the end of the year it is making a change fine, but at this point it is 1 game. Its a 11 game season now and Conference play begins. We gotta let this play out before firing him after 1 game.