Wrap-up with Richt: Bulldogs plan to be among elite teams again in 2013

A quick wrap-up on Georgia coach Mark Richt’s end-of-the-football-season wrap-up with reporters on Thursday.

1. On whether the Bulldogs can be among elite teams again next year . . .

“We plan on being that. We hope to be that. We’ve got to earn that. Know one really knew what ws going to happen this past season. There were some big question marks a year ago, mostly offensively and offensive line probably more so than any other position, and running back as well. That’s all I answered questions on. . . . By the end of the year they came through. So more questions will asked of the defensive side of the ball this year. So those guys have to do their thing and be able to come through.”

2. On early signs of progress for the Bulldogs’ 13 early enrollees . . .

“They’re almost a class unto themselves. There are 13 of them and last year, what did we have, 15? So it’s a really large number of midyear guys. . . . I told them to look out for wach other and help each other. They’re doing fine.”

3.  On Kwame Geathers’ decision to turn pro . . .

“I’ve known that for a good little bit.. It just means more opportunities for the next guys. That’s why we’re recruiting d-linemen like we are. We knew there was a possibility of having this type of attrition. So we’ve been kind of preparing for that in our recruiting numbers. So there’s just just going to be more opportunity for the guys that are on campus and the ones that are coming in new. They’ll have a chance to find some of the playing time that Kwame would have had. We’ll just keep recruiting them and developing them and get them in there and see what they can do.”

4.  On whom might step up at noseguard?

“I definitely think we have enough of a talent base there. (Chris) Mayes is obviously a noseguard,  I think Michael (Thornton) is obviously a noseguard. I think Jonathan (Taylor) has some versatility where he could end up being an end as well. But I think we’re going to end up having enough beef and ability to be able to get it done.”

5. Are you well-equipped to reload after the massive exodus on defense?

“Well, we better be ready. I’ve got a lot of faith in these guys. But they’ve got to work. They’ve got to prepare right now. They can’t just sit here and wait until camp starts or even summer. They’ve got to start now and I talked to those guys about it. Their goal must be greater than just getting to play or getting to start or even being All-SEC, for that matter. They need to prepare to be the very best in America at what they do. . . . They have to  be thinking, ‘am I going to be good enough to help this team win a championship.”

6. How will Aaron Murray coming back fit in with Hutson Mason’s return at quarterback?

“If  Hutson (hadn’t redshirted) and he was in essence the second-team guy, which he really is, he’d have played a lot this year. He might’ve even played more than our second-teamers did based on our faith in his ability to function well. He might’ve gotten in a series or two earlier here and there. So I think he would’ve played a lot and hopefully he’ll have the opportunities to do the same next year.”

7. Might it look what you had with David Greene and D.J. Shockley, in which you had a regular rotation of every few series or so?

“I’m not sitting here saying we’re going to do anything like that.”

8. What’s impact of getting a former defensive coordinator in Chris Wilson to coach defensive line and will he have any other titles?

“I think we’re very fortunate to get Chris, with his experience of being a coordinator and co-coordinator and those types of things. He’s actually had some special teams responsibilities throughout his career. So he’s a very well-rounded coach, very experienced, very mature man, great family man. Just a great role-model for our kids. So I’m thrilled and I know Coach Grantham was excited to get him and the whole staff is excited about Chris being with us.

“As far as titles and everything, I don’t know if there’s anything coming down the road or not. Right now we’re just glad we’ve got him and we know he’s going to be doing a great job for us immediately in the recruiting area and getting to know our players and our system. But we know we got a really good one and we’re very fortunate.”

9. How do you handle the multitude of quarterbacks behind Murray and Mason?

“I’m expecting everybody to learn what to do and keep getting better. Hutson’s to the point where he certainly knows what to do. He’s ready for the next step, which is playing time. What that looks like I don’t know. But these other guys still have to learn and perfect and get to the point where they’re ready to go. Aaron is obviously the starting quarterback. He’s the guy right now; everybody knows that; there’s no question about that. But if something were to happen with Aaron, Hutson would be ready to play. Whatever game circumstance that were to come up, Hutson would be able to perform and perform well. That’s kind of where we are. Guys after those top two still have things to learn and perfect.”

10. On Michael Bennett’s progress . . .

“He’s doing very well. He’s got a very good attitude and Ron feels that he’s making great progress. As far as spring ball, I know he won’t be doing anything live. . . . There may be a possibility of his doing some route-running and catching balls. It may be a little early on that as well.”

11. On chances of early-enrollee Tramel Terry playing this season, and what position might he play?

“History has shown guys have been able to play as early as six months sometimes. But we just want to make sure he gets very healthy. If we do get him into competition setting we want him to be completely healthy before we do that. We don’t want him to have a setback. So we know if we need to redshirt we could, it might make sense. But we’re not going to say that’s what we’re going to do. . . . It could be he might not be ready game one but he might be ready not long after that. So we’re just going to have to wait and see. . . .

“He’s going to be in Coach (Tony) Ball’s room as a wide receiver and that’s where he’s pegged right now.”

12. On status of naming a new recruiting coordinator . . .

“First of all, there’s no rule that says we’ve got to name a recruiting coordinator as far as being one of our nine full-time coaches. We don’t need to do that. When Darryl (Jones) came in (as on-campus recruiting coordinator), there were a lot of things done in-house that are administrative things that a recruiting coordinator might be in charge of. The burden of that, Rodney was getting . . . it was just too much to coach ball, be a recruiter and be the recruiting coordinator in the truest sense of the word, where he’s organizing everything. Now there’s some things that can be done organizationally that doesn’t have to be from an on-the-field coach. I mean, all coaches recruit and I just expect everybody to be on top of it, of their areas and of their position. And with the help of Darryl and Connie (Connelly) and the rest of our staff provides for us . . . we have a group of poeple that does all those things recruiting related. We may not have to name a guy a recruiting coordinator and I’m not sure that we will.”

13. On plan for Josh Harvey-Clemons . . .

“Well, that’s one thing I want to make sure our coaches are all in agreement and Josh knows exactly what we’re going to do before I say anything. We just had our very first meeting — I just walked out of it — and it was all recruiting related. The coaches haven’t even sat down and graded the last game against Nebraska. So when it comes to that type of question, that’s something we’ve all got to get on the same page on and make sure all parties know what we’re going to do before we start to say anything public.”

14. Competition at place-kicker . . .

“Every year, every spring and every fall, if a guy comes in and can boom it and do it better than what we’ve got, I think there’s always the possibility of competition. So I would say, yeah, if somebody can do it better, we’re going to let him play.”

15. Impressions of BCS Championship between Alabama and Notre Dame . . .

“I didn’t watch every single minute of the game but I saw enough to see where it was going. And, I don’t know, I think it maybe, I don’t know if it proves the strength of our league. I’m sure there are some doubters here and there. I know a couple of our teams didn’t win bowl games. But I think it gave more evidence to what we think is true, which is, year in and year out and game in and game out from beginning of the season to all year long, the gauntlet of our league is rough and it prepares us for games like that. I think we’ve got one heck of a league and Alabama did a great job.”

16. Any other attrition expected . . .

“To my knowledge, at this point, no. There’s always the possibility of that. This is the time of year (transfers) happen one way or another. But there’s nothing right now that I know of.”

239 comments Add your comment

gt mess

January 10th, 2013
3:57 pm

gt mess

January 10th, 2013
3:59 pm

there it is the sec is the tough one and next year we will be the champion and play for the bcs–mark it down haters–go dawgs

oakisland

January 10th, 2013
4:03 pm

Thanks Coach for a great year. Just kick SC’s butt next year.

Just Asking?

January 10th, 2013
4:16 pm

Don’t we need to focus on Clemson first? Let’s not get ahead of ourselves. That may have been some of the problem with the game against Boise State.

transfers

January 10th, 2013
4:21 pm

Is there any chance in the world that Lemay comes back? He started the year as the backup and ended the year 3rd string. With Mason back after his redshirt ,that puts him 4th next season. When Murray leaves, Brice Ramsey moves to back-up (likely) and Mason starts.

azdawg

January 10th, 2013
4:22 pm

Boo Malcome is probably looking to transfer and Mason as well. Few LB’s that have not been playing may transfer as well. I can see a few players leaving to play elsewhere.

Texas Dawg

January 10th, 2013
4:22 pm

What’s the back story here on Josh Harvey-Clemons? And Huston Mason going to get enough playing time to keep him happy?

DawgByte

January 10th, 2013
4:25 pm

With the addition of Barkavius Stromboli I think our Nose Tackle worries are over.

Being Realistic

January 10th, 2013
4:26 pm

Coach Richt said all the “right” things. He gets paid a great deal of money to know how to say those things. He has proven he knows what it takes to win and get to the SECCG. Now we will see how good his staff is when the player experience level is not where it should be due to attrition and other forces.

Now for the Realism,

The offense will be just fine, Mitchell playing full time Offense will be a major help early. The Offensive line will be much better( although at times this past year we looked below average against good teams) and should help us keep Murray healthy. Our offense will not be a problem as long as we stay healthy and Murray stays healthy( not buying the Mason thing yet due to lack of experience in big games) and makes his throws.

Defense, we will have to grow up in a hurry, get bigger and faster to compete against Clemson and South Carolina. My biggest fear is we allow teams to control the ball eat up the clock and outscore us while our defense gets worn down during the game and we lose games in the fourth quarter. The Alabama game showed us that our players are not as athletic in the trenches, and are not as strong as their players up front( but that was an elite unit) were in the SECCG.

Schedule, We get Clemson who I am sorry to say If we have to lose a game early it should be this game not the South Carolina game( it would not hurt as bad) which would put us in a hole in the SEC East. If we lose both we could see doubt grow in our young and new players attitudes. LSU will be completely rebuilding and we can win that game. The Florida game will be a key game which will either send us to the SECCG or keep us in the hunt or send us to a third tier bowl game. The other game that really bothers me is the Vanderbilt game. The Dores looked confident down the stretch and they were playing some of the best football late in the season, and return a majority of their best players on both sides of the ball.

Good Luck and GO DAWGS!

NYCDAWGFAN

January 10th, 2013
4:27 pm

@UGA = DUMB … Who’s your team troll? Obviously they are a bottom feeded because you are posting on our blogs more than our own fans… Green looks good on you punk… Envious lil punk.

Chip, thanks for the wrap up.. Great season by the Dawgs, even better next year!!

Red and Black til Death

Being Realistic

January 10th, 2013
4:27 pm

transfers

January 10th, 2013
4:21 pm
Is there any chance in the world that Lemay comes back? He started the year as the backup and ended the year 3rd string. With Mason back after his redshirt ,that puts him 4th next season. When Murray leaves, Brice Ramsey moves to back-up (likely) and Mason starts.

____________________

One would look at the situation and say LeMay transfers after spring practice is over. Too much in front of him, already redshirted and he is burning time.

Preston Thompson

January 10th, 2013
4:32 pm

Next year is going to be a rough go from the start. Clemson, SC and LSU, mercy. I UGA can get those game under the win column they will go undefeated. Yup, I said it.

AltamahaDawg

January 10th, 2013
4:32 pm

Looking past Boise State?mmm, not sure that was a problem.

And I am sure Clemson will have thier full attention.

Dawg in Napa

January 10th, 2013
4:33 pm

LeMay’s brother came in, that would bode well for keeping him…but I have no clue how good the kid is, and he hasn’t gotten a lot of looks, which makes me think the coaches are too sure on him yet

[...] that. We hope to be that. We’ve got to earn that. Know one really knew what ws going Source: UGA Football – Chip Towers AJC Blog Share this: Posted in Dawgs « One-on-One Conversation: Al Horford You can leave a [...]

DawgPound

January 10th, 2013
4:41 pm

Elite my rear. We’re going to give up 30+ pts/game. 3 maybe 4 loses next season.

Discount DoubleDawg

January 10th, 2013
4:43 pm

To state the obvious, it will really just come down to our defense next year. The offense will be fine. I think we averaged close to 40 points per game this year (38?). We put 28 on Alabama at the end of the year when the offense was clicking and 45 on Nebraska which isn’t saying too much but 45 is 45 no matter how you slice it.

Can the defense step up? The good news is that the defense was not really that strong this year so we may not have as much room to fall as some think. Can Jordan Jenkins be an impact player? I think so. Other than that, I am pretty concerned about the defense next year.

If Grantham can put the right people in the right places and get them ready to play maybe we have a shot at the SEC Championship game next year. If not, it may be a 3-4 loss season. With solid play from the D that changes to a 1-2 loss season… realistically.

dawgfan

January 10th, 2013
4:45 pm

I’m sure a lot of you think its stupid to hang on every word a coach says at these stupid press conferences, and you’re probably right, but I have to say I am encouraged by what I sense is a new toughness in Richt. This seems to be a new Richt. The old Richt would say things like “12-2. We’re estatic. Its one of the best seasons in UGA history. What more could you ask for? We’re SEC East champs and that’s the goal. Yeah, we didn’t win it all but gee golly that’s okay. I’m just so proud of these guys I want to cry and give them a big hug,” or something to that effect. I just don’t get that vibe out of him anymore. He seems more serious. I think he’s tired of coming up short on the big stage and its motivating him.

Thanks.

Dawglasville

January 10th, 2013
4:45 pm

Maybe some of our offensive players will take our defensive players under their wings and keep pressure on them to stay out of trouble in the off-season. Minus our former tailbacks, we have had no troubles from the offense in the past years. I think Gurley and Marshall can both be huge in this area.

Joey

January 10th, 2013
4:46 pm

Our D will need to grow up in a hurry, but Clemson won’t be able to do anything with our O.

1970 Dawg

January 10th, 2013
4:46 pm

@DawgByte, I’m pretty sure Stromboli is signing with Ga Tech, since he is a 1-star player. LOL

Dawglasville

January 10th, 2013
4:47 pm

Well, there was the Mettenberger ordeal. Still the vast majority of the issues came on the d-side of the ball.

Being Realistic

January 10th, 2013
4:49 pm

Discount,

The biggest difference I see is that our defense this year got teams off the field after 5 to 7 plays, that may be a very tall order this fall. Our offense will have to help the defense by keeping them off the field. Overall I am not getting my hopes to high.

Joey

January 10th, 2013
4:50 pm

“We,” DawgPound?

Come on, techie, YOUR team will lose 5 games, with probably allowing 35+ points per game.

But not to worry, Richt will sit on his lead the entire 4th quarter, just like last month, so as not to embarrass PJ.

35-6.

Enjoy . . .

bill arp

January 10th, 2013
4:51 pm

3 quick points..

1) Glad to hear him say he’s somewhat looking for another PK. Maybe we can find another Coutu who just happens to be on campus already.
2) Can’t believe out of all the Dream Teamers, that we’ve only found 1 OL that plays(D Andrews), and he gets knocked on hit rear-end too much.
3) I’m predicting a QB controversy before the season ends. Heck, before the end of September..

Go Dawgs!

1970 Dawg

January 10th, 2013
4:52 pm

Joey, Didn’t SC beat Clemson w/o Shaw at QB? LSU just wasn’t prepared and Coach Miles let Clemson back in the game by throwing the ball late in the game and not making them burn their timeouts

supsalemgr

January 10th, 2013
4:56 pm

I am not LeMay is an SEC calibre QB. He is certainly athletic. If he has the speed maybe Bobo could use him in some receiver and specialty situations.

GTDog

January 10th, 2013
4:56 pm

Mason and Malcome are in a tough spot, especially Mason. They each have two years of eligibility remaining, and would lose one of those years if they transfer to another FBS program.

I suspect Malcome might leave, but I think Mason stays.

jaxdawg

January 10th, 2013
4:58 pm

go dawgs! so glad to be a UGA student and excited to be screaming at Spurrier’s ugly mug next year Between the Hedges. Go DAWGS! Beat every team and give no mercy!

Discount DoubleDawg

January 10th, 2013
5:03 pm

My hopes are only in our D holding teams to 30-35 points or less per game and that is not asking much. If we do that we have a shot because of our offensive firepower. Back when Greene was QB our offense only needed to score 20-24 per game to win. Our D now is putting much more stress on the offense to score.

Next year I see us using the 2 RB’s system to wear down the opposing D a little more than we did this year. It is good that we have an offense that can go up-tempo but we also need to slow things down sometimes. The best I see our record next year is with 1-2 losses.

1970 Dawg

January 10th, 2013
5:03 pm

Mason has already said he intends to finish at UGA even tho’ he is somewhat frustrated. I’m glad he isn’t satsfied with not playing and I think he is obviously ready to step in when needed. I wouldn’t want a player who didn’t want to get on the field. (such as Crowell).

GTDog

January 10th, 2013
5:07 pm

@dawgbyte:

Get with the program chief, Stromboli de-committed from UGA YESTERDAY. Where ya been?

He’s re-re-re-committing at a press conference held at midfield of the Super Bowl during the coin toss. Word is, it’s Nevada State. I have a highly placed inider there who says they’ve already ordered his new car, so it’s a done deal unofficially.

Holy Guacamole

January 10th, 2013
5:16 pm

Judging from what I saw of LeMay during the spring game and in other situations, if he transfers it won’t be a big loss. He hasn’t played a competitive game in what, 3 years?

AltamahaDawg

January 10th, 2013
5:25 pm

What 4 teams on our schedule are you saying is going to hold our offense under 30 points dawgPound?

Barbara

January 10th, 2013
5:26 pm

Did anyone proofread these comments? Many spelling and grammar errors. Examples: wach vs watch. Know one vs no one.

Holy Guacamole

January 10th, 2013
5:30 pm

The defense will be fine next year. They have enough studs either on the roster or coming in and all they will need is to be coached up. My biggest concern on that side of the ball is the defensive backfield, which will be really young and the team chemistry.

It may not be a popular theory but I am beginning to suspect that the problem with this last year’s defense was that they weren’t playing as a team, but rather playing for themselves and their stats. Team chemistry is a funny thing and it seemed to me (and maybe Shaun Williams too) that they didn’t play as a unit. For example, stripping the ball instead of tackling the ball carrier, etc. You may have NFL talent but it takes 11 guys working together to make a team.

The Tide is Rolling and Nothing can stop it

January 10th, 2013
5:31 pm

You don’t have the schedule to be an “elite team” with that defense you have.

Psst: You haven’t been an elite team in since 2005…

The Tide is Rolling and Nothing can stop it

January 10th, 2013
5:34 pm

AltamahaDawg

January 10th, 2013
5:25 pm

What 4 teams on our schedule are you saying is going to hold our offense under 30 points dawgPound?

Uhhh,

South Carolina exposed you last year…
LSU will hold you under 30…
Florida will hold you under 30…

Delusional idiots.

The Tide is Rolling and Nothing can stop it

January 10th, 2013
5:36 pm

Remember all off season when you blamed the defensive woes on your offense?

Now you’re singing the o’s praises.

This is why Georgia sports is the laughing stock of the south…

Bulldog Buck

January 10th, 2013
5:40 pm

Can’t some of you idiots relax and enjoy a fantastic year by the Dawgs! It would be great to know how many of you ever even played the sport. Go Coach Richt and Go Dawgs!!!!

BobDawg

January 10th, 2013
5:41 pm

I beg to differ…. We had you guys wetting your pants in the SEC game and that was the Nat’l champ game… Your ND game was a scrimmage at best… Top 5 finish and we will reload just fine on D.

BobDawg

January 10th, 2013
5:43 pm

.. even Saban made reference to the game and how tough the SEC is…. Congrats on your Chpship though…. See ya’ll in Next years game….

Holy Guacamole

January 10th, 2013
5:44 pm

Tide rolls in, Tide rolls out. Blessed be the Tide. Here today, gone tomorrow. Enjoy it while you got it.

The Tide is Rolling and Nothing can stop it

January 10th, 2013
5:47 pm

Eh…

South Carolina might have beaten Bama.

You guys have no defense. If Bama didn’t run all over you like schoolyard girls, then yes, utilizing the fake punk miss for Bama, the fake punt for UGA, the block field goal, and the missed opportunity to score from the one…

Then yes, you took Bama to the wire…. Congratulations on “what-ifs” and whatever bowl that was you won.

Destin Dawg

January 10th, 2013
5:47 pm

Le May needs to play WR or D back… not QB

Tide is Trolling and Nothing can stop him

January 10th, 2013
5:51 pm

Hey chief, sorry to let you in on a secret, but we’re elite right now.

By the way (uhhhhh)……

What were those FOUR teams that will hold us under 30 again?

The Tide is Rolling and Nothing can stop it

January 10th, 2013
6:04 pm

Hey chief, sorry to let you in on a secret, but we’re elite right now.

HA!!!

I don’t see two many Elite Teams get spanked 35-7 and play in the capital one bowl…

Sounds pretty mid-tier to me.

But hey, any mid-tier program would be proud of your season.

Just don’t expect a cupcake schedule like that again. You might have to play a WAC team like Boise one day…

The Tide is Rolling and Nothing can stop it

January 10th, 2013
6:05 pm

Elite at off-season arrests!

The Tide is Rolling and Nothing can stop it

January 10th, 2013
6:06 pm

It’s so funny and yet sad watching you UGA fans. You’re kinda like the French…

Tide is Trolling and Nothing can stop her

January 10th, 2013
6:16 pm

Whoooo Hoooo, look at her go!

I told you so!