Richt: Malcolm Mitchell to stay on defense but offensive reps to rise

Following are some of the highlights from today’s news conference with Georgia head coach Mark Richt and some of the Bulldogs’ players:

GEORGIA COACH MARK RICHT

On whether Malcolm Mitchell will remain on defense …

“Malcolm will definitely stay with the defense as far as being ready to play. I imagine he will still play. His offensive reps will increase, and he’ll probably start to spend some meeting time with the offense as well. I’m thinking about trying to find a way to split time with him if he can manage it. We think it can work for us. He’s a guy who I think is in good enough condition. I know he’s smart enough to understand what’s going on on both sides of the ball with the experience he’s had. We need him on special teams too. He’s going to play offense, defense and special teams off and on for the rest of the year I would think.”

On Vandy’s two-quarterback situation with Austyn Carta-Samuels and Jordan Rodgers . . .

“I don’t know if Coach Grantham got to watch any Wyoming tape or not. We did watch what happened in the Presbyterian game, and he played well. He didn’t have to really run the ball that often and wasn’t pressured much. He did drop back and throw the ball well. It looked like he ran the system well. Everything was pretty smooth while he was running the show, and I can only assume that he’ll start but we don’t know that either. They didn’t change what they would have been done schematically a lot. As a matter of fact, they probably did a little bit less in this game than they had done in the others, probably due to the fact that the first play of the game they took off for a touchdown and the score got out of hand quickly. I don’t think they needed to show much.”

On Georgia’s punt return specialists . . .

“The main thing is that we’re looking for a guy who will field the ball and communicate well. So I think we’re still searching for that, but it’s a tough job. You’re back there and guys are flying down the field getting ready to pop you as soon as you touch it, and sometimes it’s hard to decide whether to catch it, to let it roll, to fair catch it or to return it. It’s a tough job, and we’re trying to get someone who will go back there and just take the bull by the horns and make good decisions and communicate well to everybody and wrap up the ball.”

On playing a night game for the third consecutive week . . .

“I do like playing under the lights. I don’t like waiting for it to get dark, but it’s nice. I think it’s nice for our recruits because they easily have an opportunity to come, especially if kids need to come from some distance. I think there’s more energy at night, and the weather’s beautiful at night this time of year. From what I see, it’s supposed to be another great weather day in that regard. But nothing has really changed for me. The night before the game, I travel with the team to the hotel and spend time with them. I come back a little bit earlier, usually when the rest of the coaching staff comes in to work on offense and defense, I’m making my way back for some recruiting and that type of thing. But not much has changed. I know when you play at night, it normally means you’re having a good season, so I’m glad we’re playing at night.”

On the fiery reputation of defensive coordinator Todd Grantham . . .

“I knew he had a lot of fire. Sean Jones played for him in Cleveland and Sean said that about him. Brad Johnson, who is my brother-in-law, was on the team playing quarterback at the time, so he got to observe the type of coach he was in practice. I wanted that. That was one of the things I wanted in the guy who was going to lead the way for us on defense. Defenses play a lot on emotion. You certainly had to have good schemes, and Todd had a great reputation for that, understanding not only how to pressure people, but also how to play the back end in coverage and all that. I heard just great things about him in that regard. It’s an emotional game. It’s about playing hard and getting after it. When the guy in charge of that group is that type of personality, it tends to bleed over into the way his players play.”

On Vanderbilt’s high-risk special teams philosophy . . .

“With the 20 hour rule you can’t change much, because if you add one spot, you are pulling from another. Everything we do we think is important down to the very minute. I don’t know how much more we could do it. You get a negative return on your investment sometimes if you overdo something. I think we have the right amount of time to get the job done in our special teams, and I think we’ve improved. We’ve only had three games, and we are going to be challenged this week on special teams more than any game this season. We’ll get a little better gauge of where we’re at because I know they have a lot of returning players, and they’ve already proved this year they are back on track from where they were a year ago.”

On look of offensive line with injury issues . . .

“I think we would start with [Mark Beard at left tackle and Kanarious Gates at left guard] if Dallas Lee can’t play. We’re not certain of that yet. I don’t know how much he’ll go today. He may not go at all today; we’ll just have to wait and see what he does.”

On whether Todd Gurley should be getting more carries at tailback . . .

“I’m pleased with Todd (Gurley), Keith (Marshall) and (Ken) Malcome. I think we have a good battery of backs. Everybody is staying healthy, everybody is being productive, everybody is staying fresh. That’s a good thing. I’m not saying any given day one of those three might get a bunch of carries. It could happen, but I like how we are rotating them right now.”

GEORGIA PLAYERS

WR MICHAEL BENNETT

On his skill set . . .

“As a receiver you need be fast – it’s important to get open and use your speed. I need to show [those who think I can’t run] that I can do everything. I’ve gotta show them differently.”

On his first career 100-yard game . . .

“It was a goal of mine going into the year. I wanted to be a 100-yard receiver – it’s cool to do it. I know that’s a threshold that, as soon as you get to it, you know you can do it. I want to continue to do well and get yards for my team.”

On three different 100-yard receiving games by three different players…

“It makes it tough for opposing teams because they can’t key in on one guy. We give them three or four different receivers to look after. And with Artie [Lynch] having a great game on Saturday, there’s a tight end that they’ve got to look after. It’s a lot for a defense to focus on.”

QB AARON MURRAY

On the offense’s performance . . .

“We’re comfortable as an offense. Coach [Mike] Bobo has put a lot of trust in me and in the receivers to run great routs and get open and make plays. We feel great with our progress. There’s still work to be done and guys who still need to get comfortable in the four-receiver set, but we’re doing well.”

On Michael Bennett . . .

“Since day one he’s been a kid who has worked his tail off. He’s a very physical receiver – as a quarterback you love a big, strong receiver who can get off a jam and crate space, and he’s able to do that. He’s out there every day in practice working hard, and in the film room watching film making sure he’s ready.”

On Vanderbilt . . .

“They’re strong [in the secondary], they’re strong everywhere. The thing that jumps out about them on film is how hard they play, every single snap. Whether it’s a two-yard run you have defensive backs running up the field, or on a 30-yard pass you have linemen sprinting to get involved in the play – they have a lot of intensity and they don’t give up.”

DB DAMIAN SWANN

On defending against the Vanderbilt quarterbacks . . .

“We haven’t really gotten into their two quarterbacks too much yet. We’ve watched a little bit of tape from last year, which was [Jordan] Rodgers, but we haven’t really gotten into their other guy who could be their starter for this week.”

On the feel of the clubhouse through week four . . .

“There isn’t really any extra motivation going around. We all have the same mindset and that’s just to play hard. We just want to play hard and execute our game plan so that we can get to where we’re trying to go. It’s the fourth game and we’re about to hit a big SEC stretch that starts this week.”

On playing against Vanderbilt after last season’s heated match-up . . .

“Some of those feelings and emotions might carry over from last year, but also it might not. A lot of teams like to dwell on the past but we aren’t one of them. We’re going to go into the game with the mindset that what happened last year in the past, is in the past. This is a new game, we’re both new teams and we’re both just trying to win the game.”

LB AMARLO HERRERA

On last week’s interception return for a touchdown…

“It felt great. It was the first time I’ve scored in my college career and it was a great feeling. I had my eyes on the pylon the whole way. I recognized the play action right off the bat and played underneath the receiver and was able to turn my hips and pick the ball off. I’m working really hard on getting better at defending the pass and the run, but this was a big play for me.”

On the play of the defense thus far . . .

“I’m not worried that we haven’t played up to people’s expectations so far, it’s only the beginning of the year. We’re on a roll now and I think there are better things to come. Suspensions and injuries may play a factor in our performance, but like I said before. We didn’t have the same starting line up in every game last year so you can’t really say that we aren’t playing as well because certain guys are missing.”

82 comments Add your comment

NewnanDawg

September 18th, 2012
2:25 pm

Show Me Your TDs

September 18th, 2012
2:25 pm

AUTOMATIC WEAPONS

September 18th, 2012
2:26 pm

BOUT THEM DAWGS!

Under The Bleachers

September 18th, 2012
2:44 pm

Chip,

Did you ask ALL those questions, are was it a compilation from all reporters present?. Either way, you answered a great deal of the Bulldog fans questions.

UGA Insider

September 18th, 2012
2:47 pm

Anyone know what is going on with Ramik Wilson? Guy was awesome as a freshman and spring ball. Now I never see #51 on the field.

Flat Tire on I-95 in Jacksonville

September 18th, 2012
2:50 pm

They need to start using the Scott-Wesley kid more at reciever he has great speed which can create problems for teams

Chip Towers

September 18th, 2012
3:05 pm

UGA Insider: Part of the problem is Ramik Wilson plays the Sam linebacker, or strongside outside linebacker. The Bulldogs rarely employ one on the field because they’re always in nickel or dime packages in the secondary. When they do, it’s usually Cornelius Washington or Chase Vasser on the field.

909

September 18th, 2012
3:07 pm

Been told by 2 UGA fans that UGA made 20,000 free tickets available days before the UGA-FAU game.

Hmmmmmmmmmmmmm.

dawgfan

September 18th, 2012
3:08 pm

I understand the philosophy of sharing carries among the running backs, but I also think its difficult for our running backs to get in to a rhythm the way Bobo does it. They’ll start showing a little promise on a drive and then you won’t see them again until a quarter or two later. By then the whole game has changed and they’re cold. It just doesn’t make a lot of sense to me, but what in the heck would I know? Bobo is obviously a genius because we had 700 yards against Florida Atlantic. Hopefully we’ll be seeing them again in the SECCG too. That would be nice.

Thanks.

CHDawg

September 18th, 2012
3:13 pm

Flat Tire, I have to agree with you on JSW! I was impressed with his Gday work, and his long catch against FAU really gives us an idea of his afterburners–they are impressive. I would like to see them get him the ball on a reverse or a delayed drag over the middle–something that lets him open the throttles. A long speed route would be interesting, too. I have also been very impressed with Lynch’s running skills. He reminds me of a good 70s pro TE. Big, and hard to bring down. He stiff-armed the FAU guy for about 15 yards the other night. Hopefully the fumble was a fluke. That is a party spoiler. Lynch also had a long pass called back for a holding penalty, or he would have had 20-30 more.

Flat Tire on I-95 in Jacksonville

September 18th, 2012
3:24 pm

I think the fumble was a fluke I knew it was coming the minute he caught that ball do to the angle the other guy was coming at

Lynch has been sure handed everytime he has been in; I couldnt understand why they didnt play him last year

Scott-Wesley and Bennet on the same field presents a problem to a secondary do to their speed

Bennet has shown he can outrun people time after time

Joey

September 18th, 2012
3:27 pm

I thought Damion Swann was doing a good job on handling punts. He seemed to have the surest hands when catching the ball, anyway.

Artie Lynch is a beast – I watched him several times blocking, and he had a takedown on a DE.

Lynch must be about 260 lb+ and pretty fast. Still haven’t seen he and Rome in a two-TE set yet.

mike addington

September 18th, 2012
3:27 pm

I’m still trying to figure out why they called QB runs after Lemay returned from throwing his pick. If you want the guy to get QB experience, running the football ain’t the way to get it

Dawg Haus

September 18th, 2012
3:34 pm

Keeping Malcolm on D is probably best for now. He’s doing a good job at corner and the receivers have been outstanding even without him. I’d like to see Scott-Wesley take it to the house on Saturday.

Dawg Haus

September 18th, 2012
3:36 pm

Joey, I hope that two-TE set is coming. Lynch and Rome would be scary together!

Flat Tire on I-95 in Jacksonville

September 18th, 2012
3:45 pm

Lemay doesnt know the playbook and he looked lost out there

he is nowhere near ready

if someone doesnt know the playbook they sure arent going to be able to read a defense either

Mightydawg

September 18th, 2012
3:52 pm

909–you heard wrong. The only tickets that were released before the game were unused student tickets and those were sold at the ticket window for normal prices.

BigDawg

September 18th, 2012
3:55 pm

Let’s get ready for a rumble! Return the favor for Vandy for last year like you did for Aubum last year for the dirty plays the year before!! Jame’s Frightened aka Jane Franklin is coming to town, get out the tissues for him to cry after the game, haha!

LeftCoastDawg

September 18th, 2012
3:55 pm

@909 – who cares?

artful codger

September 18th, 2012
3:55 pm

As great and exciting as Malcom Mitchell is on offense, I think the greater team need is at corner. Especially will need him there next year as we will lose B. Smith and Commings … along with Rambo and Shawn Williams at the safeties too. I can’t imagine going into next year with Damian Swann as our most experienced starter. The whole D unit will lose a lot of starters, an experienced leader in Mitchell will be crucial.

[...] couple of interesting quotes from today’s presser… first, in response to a question about Georgia’s less than stellar punt return game: [...]

FRANK LANE

September 18th, 2012
4:11 pm

Where was Richard Samuel for the FAU game? Did he play at all? Why did Richt not mention him with the tailbacks?

Show Me Your TDs

September 18th, 2012
4:13 pm

JSW on some kickoff returns as well!!!!!

Crap

September 18th, 2012
4:23 pm

At least we didn’t have to settle for any field goals last week. Man, I hate ‘em. Dawgs getting better, but certainly not yet in a position to take anyone lightly. Play the game and take care of business early and often.

Hackberry Holland

September 18th, 2012
4:33 pm

You girls better hitch your britches up cause Vandy’s coming to town and they have something to prove.

Real Talk

September 18th, 2012
4:38 pm

Coach Richt, it’s ok to show a little edge from time to time. You have tons of talent on both sides of the ball and the team often looks very self motivated. You will be amazed at the response from your team once they see their coach as intense and fired up about winning as they should be on every play. It can be the difference of several more 10 win seasons or an SEC championship and national championship. Play Not only to win but also change the mindset of every opponent to fear coming on the field with UGA. Go Dawgs!

hind tit

September 18th, 2012
4:39 pm

Mitchell will be the next Champ Bailey mark it down. He understands and plays both positions very well because he can watch film of whoever he goes against on either side of the ball, recognize what their doing, make the play on the ball whether it be receiver or corner back. He is very good at both positions whereas most are good at one and average at the other. A 15 year player at the next level.

Flat Tire on I-95 in Jacksonville

September 18th, 2012
4:41 pm

Vandy is coming to town to prove what??

How much of a jerk their coach is

7576DAWG

September 18th, 2012
4:44 pm

Hackberry Holland
Come on , if Vanderbilt can beat Georgia in Athens they will deserved the win. As a fan I can always accept a better team winning unlike the South Carolina game last year where Georgia beat them like a rented mule but lost the game because Georgia beat themselves.

AltamahaDawg

September 18th, 2012
5:08 pm

Vandy is coming to town to prove that they are not Vandy, I guess.

gofortwo

September 18th, 2012
5:10 pm

It’s hard to believe the NCAA continues to suspend Houston. I feel we are playing by two different sets of rules. Go ahead and play Rambo and Alex.

Joey

September 18th, 2012
5:11 pm

That’s good AD.

I can’t stop snickering . . .

AltamahaDawg

September 18th, 2012
5:12 pm

So it’s a case of one team trying to prove that they are not who they are, playing a team trying to prove that they are who they are.

azdawg

September 18th, 2012
5:12 pm

Mitchell is more productive for the team on offense. He rarely drops passes and moves the yardstick for 1st downs and scores TD’s more then he makes int’s and tackles. Do the math. Leave him on offense.

AltamahaDawg

September 18th, 2012
5:14 pm

I know, right. Cause they they really are.

AltamahaDawg

September 18th, 2012
5:16 pm

Mitchell is about a few more reps making ints. He’s already scared 3 to death in his short career at DB so far.

Joey

September 18th, 2012
5:16 pm

I do think that SC must be good this year. SC barely got out of their game with Vandy with their skin.

So I, for one, will not be disappointed with a 7 or 10 point win over Vandy.

It’s up to the O-line. If they protect Murray, he will kill Vandy. If not, it will be a fight to the end. Our D is not what it will be when UT comes to town.

Joey

September 18th, 2012
5:20 pm

gofortwo, Houston should just tell the NCAA that his dad put that drug in his Frosted Flakes, and his dad didn’t tell him about it.

He would be eligible immediately.

Sound a little familiar?

Inlet Dawg

September 18th, 2012
5:23 pm

Got to get Richard Samuel involved in this game he is a game changer,motivator and leader.I don’t know why CMR can’t see it.

Dawg Haus

September 18th, 2012
5:24 pm

“They are who we thought they were!”
-Dennis Green

bham dawg

September 18th, 2012
5:25 pm

azdawg… did you see devin bowman get burned in the mizzou game? did you see the mizzou running back break that long run? mitchell was the only one on the field that could catch him and saved a td. playing corner is not all about stats. the lack of stats is what is more impressive with a corner bc that means the opposing qb doesn’t want to throw his way or the reciever he is covering is constantly blanketed. Mitchell is an incredible athlete and is valuable at reciever and corner. After this year though we will definitley need him on defense and the coaches realize that. Get him ready this year and he will be much better in the future.

bham dawg

September 18th, 2012
5:28 pm

@inlet dawg… richard samuel is a dgd but he is definitely not a gamechanger. the best players are going to play no matter age or loyalty to the program. unfortunately RS is the 4th best option at TB and 3rd best option at FB.

Joey

September 18th, 2012
5:29 pm

azdawg, so you don’t like what the offense has done so far? Not enough yards? Points?

We have 10 receivers who have made catches, half of which have TD receptions. Murray has 8 TD passes in less than 3 games playing

We have the top offense in the SEC. Our D ain’t nowhere near the top (for now).

Our D needs a shutdown CB worse than our O needs another receiver.

I agree with Richt.

Rush III

September 18th, 2012
5:30 pm

Hope you folks remember Vandy gave Carolina all they and I think we better be ready.
BTW have you noticed the Gators are playing alot better than last year, Jax will be a war.

Rush III

September 18th, 2012
5:32 pm

all they wanted —whoops6

Flat Tire on I-95 in Jacksonville

September 18th, 2012
5:38 pm

our D line has to do a better job of penetrating or we are going to lose a couple cause Richt and Bobo cant coach their way out of a deficit

ARdawg

September 18th, 2012
5:40 pm

Rush
I don’t think anyone is overlooking Vandy. Certainly not I. Georgia shouldn’t be discounted either. They look better, playing better and have better players than we did with the 08 squad that was supposed to be world beaters.

I said it last year and stand by it now, the Gators will eventually be good and will beat some people this year

Joey

September 18th, 2012
5:40 pm

Exactly right, bham dawg. Samuel is where he needs to be right now. Special teams and occasional FB and TB plays.

When this season is done, even if he doesn’t get drafted, Samuel will be able to catch on with an NFL team. A 6′2″, 245 lb FB/LB, with sub – 4.6 speed, WILL get a job.

NFL minimum $355,000.

ARdawg

September 18th, 2012
5:41 pm

Of course I said Tennessee would also and I believe they will. I just hope it isn’t us

bham dawg

September 18th, 2012
5:41 pm

@Flat Tire… did you watch the Mizzou game? Bobo and the offense answered everytime mizzou went up.

The AJC bloggers aren’t very knowledgeable. Get a clue guys.