Georgia Bulldogs sharply focused on 2012 football season

Sorry for the delay in getting some of this out to you guys. Hope you saw my STORY and BLOG from the Pigskin Preview on Tuesday at the Georgia Sports Hall of Fame in Macon. If not, you can read them HERE and HERE. Meanwhile, here’s more of what was said from the UGA contingent at the Pigskin Preview down in Macon yesterday:

JUNIOR QUARTERBACK AARON MURRAY

On walkon FB Merritt Hall, who is listed as starter heading into summer camp . . .

“He’s a crazy dude, that’s for sure. He reminds me of somebody like Ben Jones in that he’s just a crazy football player that’s dirty and ready to put his head in the pile and just knock people around. That’s the kind of fullback that you want, somebody that’s not afraid of contact, who’s just going to fill that hole and get it open. Whatever linebacker shows up first, he’s taking their head off. I’m excited about it him. I know we have some other guys, Zander [Ogletree] and the guy who just got here who’s a freshman [Quayvon Hicks]. Hicks is a really good looking fullback, too. So that’s going to be a good competition.”

On college football playoff . . .

“I think it’ll be fun. I know I probably won’t be around to be a part of it, but I think it will be fun for players and fans and teams, too. Maybe a team that had one loss against a pretty good team that might think their national championship chances are down the drain, now they’d be able to play in the playoffs and have that second chance to compete for a championship. So I think it would be a lot of fun and the fans would enjoy it more games and more big-time games between big-time teams.”

On concussions . . .

[Knocks on wood window frame] “I have yet to have a concussion in my career. One time in high school I felt a little woozy after a play, but I don’t know that it was a concussion. Nowadays they consider any dizziness a concussion so it might have been a small one. But to my knowledge I haven’t had one. . . . Any kind of head injury is a pretty big deal and you don’t want to mess around with that. But our doctors to great job. If anybody has any kind of symptoms of any kind of thing like that, they hold them out and make sure they’re completely ready to go before they put them back in for contact.

On whether coaching staff has advised him to run less . . .

“They never told me to stop running. They told me to be more cautious and be a smarter run, I guess, as far as getting out of bounds or getting down and saving my body. I don’t know what my problem. I just really enjoy contact. I grew up playing defense, so I think I just missed all the hitting. I definitely think it’s something I need to work on this offseason. Maybe get out to the baseball field and work with some of the baseball players how to slide properly.”

On whether he thinks Malcolm Mitchell will play any wide receiver this season . . .

“I hope so. This summer I know Malcolm will be out there. He’s already been out there working with us. He’s always out there, whether he’s playing DB or receiver. . . He just goes back-and-forth. I know he’ll be ready no matter what. He still knows the plays still and will run all the routes in the offseason. He knows the yardage and the cuts. He’ll be ready, offense or defense.”

SENIOR SS SHAWN WILLIAMS

On if he likes the preseason top 10 national ranking . . .

“I try not to pay attention to it because everybody expects you to win each and every game anyway. The only way you can take care of that is to take it one game at a time because we know nobody is going to take us lightly. We’ve got to go out and win one game at a time and take it one week at a time and quarter by quarter.”

If he thinks Mitchell can play both ways . . .

“I feel like he can do it. He can come in and play wherever we need him. There’s going to be a lot of guys moved around, so he’s got to be able to play wherever for the betterment of the team.”

On playoffs and changes in college football . . .

“You can’t pay too much attention to that stuff because football is always going to be football. You can’t be worried about what happens if you lose a game or anything like that, so you just have to go out to win and worry about that when the time comes. . . . I just hope Georgia’s in the mix if it ever comes around.”

GEORGIA COACH MARK RICHT

On ball security issues with Aaron Murray . . .

“We talked about it on the way down here. I asked him, ‘what are the three biggest drive killers in football?’ Of course the first thing he said was turnovers. I said right. Shawn helped him out and said penalties and I said right. Then the third one he said ‘knowing what to do’ and we call that missed assignments. If you don’t turn it over and you don’t have many penalties or missed assignments, you’re going to move the ball and you’re going to score. If you have any combination of those three, you’re going to punt or turn it over and make life miserable for everybody. Players can control all three of those for the most part. That’s Murray’s job to make sure we’re not turning the ball over and we’re not in the situation where we don’t know what to do or get penalties. We talk about it. In his defense, he had a couple of tipped balls and some things he couldn’t totally control. But he knows. He knows his job is crucial in regard to respecting and protecting the football. I think we all learned from our experiences.”

On potential of Shawn Williams . . .

“I think [All-American] is a very realistic goal for him. Why? Because he’s about 6-1 or 6-2, 220 pounds and can run like a deer. He’s physical, he’s got good ball skills, he knows the system and he wants to be good. He has become quite a leader for us.”

On possibility of one day playing Georgia State . . .

“That’s certainly a possibility. I wouldn’t count that out. Lately it’s kind of been unwritten rule that we play Georgia Southern every four years, though I don’t think there’s any contract that holds us to that. I mean, I don’t even know how far out we’ve scheduled, quite frankly, on the out-of-conference games. I know we’ve got to wait to see how many conference games we play and all that. But I think that would be a possibility.”

On getting ready for season . . .

“You always just have to pray that guys stay healthy throughout camp. It’s a contact sport, it’s a physical game and guys do get banged up. Hopefully there will be nothing serious.”

115 comments Add your comment

Dawgs2014

June 13th, 2012
6:01 pm

Shawn Williams is a beast. 2,220 lbs…

Lowcountry Bulldawg

June 13th, 2012
6:53 pm

This team has alot of potential but it is so hard to get really comfortable with any CMR coached team with alot of expectations since the ‘08 campaign. Wish it wasn’t the case, but CMR is now IMO a show me first type of coach before anyone can really buy into the hype.

Granthams The Man

June 13th, 2012
7:24 pm

This could be a great year for UGA football. People who question Richt, fail to understand that Ga has lost many, many top rated offensive linemen over the last 6-7 years. Also, the defense had held the team back since 2006, that won’t be a problem this year or for the foreseable future.

AltamahaDawg

June 13th, 2012
7:30 pm

Did I miss the sharply focused on 2012 season part?

Granthams The Man

June 13th, 2012
7:31 pm

Henry’s decomit shouldn’t be a suprise to anybody. I don’t blame him for keeping his options open and he still may become a Dawg.

I’m not completely sold on Henry as a RB, the only game I saw him in was against Buford in the playoff game. He didn’t do much. he will most likely be a project and need to change to another position. Ga is LOADED at RB, so either way, Ga will be fine. Good luck, Derrick.

the truth

June 13th, 2012
7:32 pm

Grantham should seriously be considered for HEAD COACH. Do you think our special teams would be bad under Grantham. How about our defense? Running Game? Hire Todd Grantham.

BigDawg

June 13th, 2012
7:35 pm

Martinez should have been let go earlier. Love CTG and the fire in him! I hope James Franklin doesn’t have to run to Richt after the Vandy game again and say that CTG was mean to him, what a man!

zulucanbial

June 13th, 2012
7:46 pm

Saban that Drink your milkshake was funny!!!

LogicalUS

June 13th, 2012
7:51 pm

“How about our defense”

Well the defense gave up the 38 pts a game the last two times it took the field….but of course that is the offensive coordinators fault. Just like when the defense got landrushed by Boisey 35, SC 21, Vandy 30 etc…, it is always the OC fault.

Grantham is as overrated as they come.

its 2008 all over again

June 13th, 2012
7:51 pm

Enter your comments here

T-Town Dawg

June 13th, 2012
8:04 pm

LogicalUS, you do realize that the offense gave up points or put the defense in short field situations in every game you mentioned, right? Do you even watch the games or do you just check out the final scores?

Hey Logical

June 13th, 2012
8:18 pm

Huge majority of Georgia fans are extremely pleased with Grantham. Growing pains first year, last year put in some bad situations by offense, this year LIGHTS OUT defense. Would make Erk proud.

Johnny Griffith

June 13th, 2012
8:24 pm

Derrick Henry de-commits from the Bulldogs. Let’s all celebrate the walkon fullback. Yayyyy!

LogicalUS

June 13th, 2012
8:34 pm

“defense in short field situations”

Horse pucky…it wasn’t the OC who gave up 120 yds rushing to the Lattimore kid in the 4Q vs SC. It wasn’t the the OC who after having a summer to prepare got completely embarassed by those slow, short WRs from Boisy or the OC who refuse to cover the TE against MichState…..It was the OC who saved Grantham against Vandy when his pitiful defense got ran roughshod over by a Vandy offense which couldn’t break 90 yrds against SC, LSU or Bama.

Luckily for Grantham, the punter was a better tackler than his defense or he would be the newest Martinez getting run out of Athens.

Reality is that Grantham is an average DC who is often outclassed in 2nd halfs by the better OC which UGA plays…see SC\Boisy\LSU\MichState.

Good that UGA fans love him…we will see after the game will he blows this season for Bobo to get blamed for? Top picks right now are Mizzou, SC possibliy UT\UF.

LakeDawg

June 13th, 2012
8:43 pm

There goes Richt again, worrying about practice injuries. If he hasn’t learned his lesson and UGA doesn’t have physical scrimmages, the season will be less than satisfying.

go-BRAVOS

June 13th, 2012
8:45 pm

Along with praying that guys stay healthy I hope CMR prays that they won’t be anymore arrested. Every time I see a UGA headline on AJC I’m expecting another suspension on the way.
Maybe this can be the year that UGA lives up to the hype; however I have to see to be believe it. UGA has shown a propensity for weltering under big expectations and pulling choke jobs a la the Braves last September.
Go Dawgs!

pj

June 13th, 2012
8:50 pm

11-1 and another appearance in the title game sounds about right. You know we’ll stumble somewhere.

zgoldatl

June 13th, 2012
9:02 pm

Would love to see my Panthers play the dawgs. Saw them in Alabama in 2010, & will be in Knoxville when GSU plays Tennessee this year. I want to play UGA and GA Tech. Looking forward to the move to FBS. Go Panthers, Bleed Blue

Snoop Dawg

June 13th, 2012
9:21 pm

They’re saying that this year they might go all the way…

Corey Smith

Right. Pass the koolaid, boys!

AltamahaDawg

June 13th, 2012
9:32 pm

Wow Lakedawg, that’s what you took away from the story?

Gdawg

June 13th, 2012
9:40 pm

Hey (il)logicalUS,
This is only the 3rd year Grantham has been at UGA. These are almost all his recruits now. The improvement from 2010 to 2011 was phenomenal. UGA was 11th in the SEC in 2009 and in 2011 they were 2nd or 3rd overall in the SEC and somewhere around 5th nationally… Are you unaware of these statistics or using (il)logical reasoning? Dawgs D’ this year should be tops in the SEC and country if the Offense can be even effective. Even people with limited football knowledge can recognize that. Who do you support? Tech? Bama?

Mobile Dawg

June 13th, 2012
9:40 pm

Lowcountry didn’t miss, I think he hit the nail pretty much on the head.

AltamahaDawg

June 13th, 2012
9:40 pm

You know times have changed, when the gators need to advertise in the UGA blog, to sell tickets.

Mobile Dawg

June 13th, 2012
9:42 pm

That’s LakeDawg Altamaha, definitely two Dawgs of a different breed, Lakedawg and LakeDawg.

AltamahaDawg

June 13th, 2012
9:43 pm

Except that you debunked that mischaracterization of the 2008 team, yourself ealier.

Mobile Dawg

June 13th, 2012
9:44 pm

Muschamp is actually ahead of schedule. You know he was a UGA missile planted to implode in the Florida program, bring it down in flames. There’s more than one way to skin a gator.

AltamahaDawg

June 13th, 2012
9:47 pm

Ok, there are 2 of them. Would I understand the comment if i knew the difference?

Mobile Dawg

June 13th, 2012
9:50 pm

Yes, LakeDawg is kinda like me, a realist that understands that Richt has his weaknesses and may not be the answer. Lakedawg is one of the blind, kool aid drinking homers than can’t see the forest for the trees.

Mobile Dawg

June 13th, 2012
9:51 pm

Maybe a mole might have been a better analogy than the missile. Blame the Merlot.

AltamahaDawg

June 13th, 2012
9:54 pm

I see. One is smart, and the other is stupid.

Mobile Dawg

June 13th, 2012
9:55 pm

Belly Laugh ! ! !

AltamahaDawg

June 13th, 2012
9:57 pm

Truth be told, there isnt a bit of difference between what they know, see, or do, about Georgia football, just their demeaner.

Mobile Dawg

June 13th, 2012
9:58 pm

I appreciate the compliment….Coming from you that means something.

AltamahaDawg

June 13th, 2012
10:00 pm

But since he is smart like you, do you agree with:

“You always just have to pray that guys stay healthy throughout camp. It’s a contact sport, it’s a physical game and guys do get banged up. Hopefully there will be nothing serious.”

was Richt “there he goes again” not learning his lesson?

Mobile Dawg

June 13th, 2012
10:04 pm

You’re right, the main reason I’m here is to learn. Reading the articles, comments, is like a short course in what’s going on in Athens with the Dawgs. The blogs are my main source of information. I filter the comments, watch the games, do the math and keep my expectations in check.

Forecast is 4 to 6 again this weekend. May watch the US Open for Fathers Day.

AltamahaDawg

June 13th, 2012
10:06 pm

Personally,I agree with that statemant 100% and I can’t believe any Dawg fan wouldn’t.

AltamahaDawg

June 13th, 2012
10:08 pm

I’m taking my pop, and ” letting” my kids take me, to the sandbar. Not suppose to rain for the first time in a month it seems like.

Mobile Dawg

June 13th, 2012
10:09 pm

Altamaha, fortuately for me, and you, our every move and word isn’t pored over, sifted through. To answer you question directly, nothing wrong with Richt’s comment. No matter what he does he’s going to be scrutinized. One of my issues with Richt is his communication skills, I think he needs to be more direct, he beats around the bush to much, aw shucks. Just a quirk with me, I like a guy that gets to the point, I guess that doesn’t make me right, just my preference.

Mobile Dawg

June 13th, 2012
10:14 pm

We’re headed to the beach ourselves, similar gameplan.

AltamahaDawg

June 13th, 2012
10:18 pm

My issue is that he opens his mouth, and doesnt say “no comment” every time.

Although in that particular case, I actually thought it was pretty direct . I mean as far as any answer would be to ” so, what about that whole getting ready for the season deal”.

Mobile Dawg

June 13th, 2012
10:35 pm

He would be better served with no comment. Although that would thoroughly aggravate a lot of folks too. Like I said, he’s in a glass house and really can’t win. Only way he can win football wise, is “coach” / “lead” a solid football team that’s always competitive and prepared.

Like him or not, Saban is the model for college players, IMO. These guys need work ethic and discipline if they’re going to succeed, in life, or at the next level. Richt is to touchy/feeley, comes across to me as a nice guy with no backbone. He can succeed if he surrounds himself with the right coaches. No nicer guy than Mack Brown, unfortunately he wasn’t the guy “behind” the success of Texas. Losing assistants hurt him badly. Like when Richt lost Van Gorder.

Pago Pago DAWG

June 13th, 2012
11:01 pm

Can we at least win a bowl game in the next 4 years!

satilla dog

June 13th, 2012
11:25 pm

Derrick Henry is over rated,the georgia team called buford shut him down last season. Bet he does not want to play the wolves again. Georgia does not need him,he is not physical enough.

satilla dog

June 13th, 2012
11:26 pm

As for tech and the gators,you are headed down hill. I love it

Ole Yeller Dawg

June 13th, 2012
11:28 pm

Have the Coaches learned their lesson on punting to the opponents MVP for the season (Honey Bear) I mean all season long this was the only offense LSU had… didn’t the coaches watch the film? Not once but twice they punted directly to the Honey Bear… he burned them twice!

“we all learn from our mistakes” Coach Richt, then don’t kick the ball to the Honey Bear! Are you smarter than a fifth grader? A particular coach lost this game… a senior punter should have known not to put the ball cleanly in Honey Bears hands! DO Not Kick TO THEIR ONLY OFFENSIVE THREAT someone make a sign, put it above Richt’s doorway! Not Once But Twice in the same game SECCG – Honey Bear!

kingdaddy

June 13th, 2012
11:47 pm

I want to hear more about how our OL is improving and evolving. I believe Murray will improve his turnovers this year, but only if our OL can be counted on to give him some time to complete the play called. Defenses like S.C.s will be coming fast and Coach Bobo should use their agressiveness against them. Murray will not have time to sit in the pocket. Bobo has to scheme a good gameplan if he wants to beat the tired ol ball scratching visor-thrower.
I also want to hear more about Special Teams improvements. Nobody wants to discuss STs at all and this makes me nervous.
Also want to get updates on Missouri…Go Doggies…

RED DOG 77

June 14th, 2012
12:13 am

Me? I wasn’t sold on Derrick Henry…………even though I realy like Richard Samuel [5*] RB he never really panned out , just a carbon copy of Henry……….I would much prefer we continue recruiting proto-type RBs like Marshall and Gurley……….and keep that big ‘ol fullback tradition going at Georgia…………..2012 is gonna be a dadgum blast. Me thinks the monkey is off our back……..remember when coach Mark Richt was known as the ultimate “road warrior”……Hell back in those days you would just about rather be on the road than at home for big games…………We are turning the corner. This year it won’t matter where we play…………One prediction……er…….a…..two first, We are going to beat the living snot out of South Carolina, two………..Auburn will scare the hell out of us , but we will pull it out……………RED

Grantham Dawg

June 14th, 2012
2:50 am

I have admired and respected Coach Mark Richt as Georgia’s head coach for quite some time, but some things have got to change. After listening to many of his interviews like this one regarding Aaron Murray, it is obvious what part of the problem is with Georgia not reaching its highest potential year after year under Richt’s tenure. First, he is instilling a fear of playing “to not lose” philosophy rather than playing “to Win” Where is the confidence and faith in this approach? Second, he is communicating and treating his players like boys. I have heard him refer to his players as boys many times. While they may be 18-25 years old, they are men. Aaron Murray is a smart young Man who is also a very talented quarterback. What Murray needs more than anything going into this season, is the leadership and confidence that he can lead his team to a National Championship. If he continues to be fed the play “to not lose” stuff by his head coach then he is going to display the same lack of confidence and scared disposition as he has in previous seasons. Aaron Murray and the Georgia football team have the talent it takes to win a National Championship. However, their head coach needs to start treating the Georgia football players like men and instilling in them a play “to win’ mentality, a warrior mentality, and a men of confidence and faith mentality. Aaron Murry is obviously going to have to dig deep and step up as a true leader on this team without depending on his head coach for the needed words of wisdom. I am not reading or hearing one ounce of confidence being spoken from Richt about himself or his players. The common theme being spoken from Richt seems more centered towards doubt,worry,fear, and then excuses when we lose.
There is no place for this kind of approach at Georgia, especially from the head football coach.
The music has got to change for UGA football, the players, and the fans. The reason myself and others alike are excited about Georgia football again is because of the spark that Coach Todd Grantham has brought back to Georgia football. I knew he was the man when he took up for his players after the Vandy game last year. It showed how passionate he is about his job and his players. I couldn’t believe Richt didn’t back up his coach or his players, but instead kissed up to the Vandy coach. The Georgia football team has the ingredients this year to make a run at it. Even if the head coach is coming across as luke warm, all the leaders on the team need step up and replace that approach with their own positive high energy and talent as a team and do it for themselves and for Georgia. The motto should be “At Georgia, We Play To Win”. Any coaching or communication that does not line up with that motto, needs to take place somewhere else.
Go Dawgs!

WDE

June 14th, 2012
6:11 am

I woke up this morning in a far corner of the world, and after checking to make sure the family back home was OK I got to thinking that how great it is to be an American, and being a member of the Bull Dog Nation is just icing on the cake…..Go Dogs!

WDE

June 14th, 2012
6:19 am

Ole Yeller Dawg hmmmm I think you were referring to the Honey Badger not the er Honey Bear.but I wouldn’t expect a Bug to know that much about college football to start with.