Some news and notes from Mark Richt's Sunday teleconference:
-- Looks like both Kenneth Harris and Kade Weston will be available against South Carolina.
"(Trainer) Ron (Courson) saw him today and said he looks good. He expects him to play this week. I don't know if he'll be at full speed tomorrow, but he really feels confident he'll be able to go. Kenneth Harris, we're thinking he'll probably be able to play, too, but Kenneth has a little ways to go to really be pain free."
-- For all the talk about how big football schools don't care about graduating their players, it's always good to hear coaches actually discuss how important that is. Richt was asked about his decisions to redshirt some players, and here's what he had to say:
"One thing that has changed the most has been our academic strategy. We've really done a great job of looking at the young men's playing time and saying, if this guy does not redshirt, we must get him graduated in three-and-a-half years. That's not easy to do, but we target that through summer school and maybe one or two May-mesters. It's a tough grind for them, but if they don't redshirt, they need to get graduated in three-and-a-half because after that fourth season which is three-and-a-half years of school they're looking to go try out for the NFL and go around the country to train. And now that we're doing that, and I have more confidence in that, I'm a little more likely to play a young kid."
-- Sounds like we won't see much of Baccari Rambo, Nick Williams and some of the other freshman DBs. Richt said coaches are comfortable with the current rotation in the secondary that includes CJ Byrd, Asher Allen, Ramarcus Brown, Reshad Jones, Prince Miller, Bryan Evans, Vance Cuff, John Knox and Andrew Williams.
"I think we feel very comfortable with the guys who are getting playing time now," Richt said. "I'm really thankful that we did the subbing we did in the first two games because now our coaches are getting the confidence in some of the younger players and won't be as afraid to put them in the game."
-- South Carolina's loss to Vandy took some of the luster off this week's game, but Richt said the Bulldogs will be going up against an extremely impressive defense at South Carolina.
"They were so good last year, I thought, and they're all coming back, so they have to be as good or better," Richt said. "I thought last year's was their best one just from a physical standpoint, just big, strong, athletic guys and DBs that can run and hit. I've already started watching some tape, and they're just strong. The safeties come hit you without any fear whatsoever. They're good, they are very, very good."
-- Asked about the Georgia offense, which set a highwater mark for home games during the Richt era with 56 on Saturday, the head coach said it was tough to tell just how good the unit really was.
"We have been productive in both game in points and yards," Richt said. "We've been very balanced in passing and rushing. We have a veteran quarterback. We've got some veteran backs. Our line is gelling, we've got some mature receivers. So we've got the ingredients for a good offense, but until we play a couple Southeastern Conference defenses, I'm not willing to say we're better than last year."
Other notable quotables...
-- On preparing for a team that doesn't know which quarterback they'll be starting: "They're not that different in style. I don't think it would matter. They're trying to accomplish the same thing regardless of which one of the two and there may be a third guy involved. I don't think he's got a player right now that is so drastically different than the others that it would make a difference."
-- On recruiting in South Carolina: "We do recruit that state. Jon Fabris is the one who's in there the most. We have other coaches in there but Jon is the one who's there year after year after year. We've had some folks that have gone down to the wire with South Carolina and Clemson. Timmy Jennings was another from South Carolina that did very well for us. Every guy we've taken out of there has been very productive for us, and that's what you hope for. Youhope to hand guys outside of your state that maybe aren't guys you could get in your state in any given year. And I think that's held pretty true for all our out-of-state guys. Most everybody we've recruited out of state has been highly productive for us."
-- On how good Knowshon is: "I think he's just got a super quickness about him that guys are just missing him in very tight quarters. It's one thing to miss a guy out in space, in the open field. But he makes so many guys miss in the box, it's just amazing to me."
-- And finally, I wanted to add a bit to my earlier post from today. I hope you'll take the time to read my comment addendum to today's links. I in no way meant for it to turn into a political discussion, but I do think discussing the role of the media is a viable topic for this blog.
I think that there is a great disconnect between the media and viewers/readers, and that is problematic. I think many of you have preconceived notions of how news is distributed, and I think many journalists do a poor job of understanding what readers want and communicating that information effectively.
I would hope that, from time to time, we can have civil discussions about this. I realize politics is always a hot-button issue, and I agree this is not the place for those types of discussions. But I am very interested in your views of the media, and I would hope you would respect and listen to the comments I have. After all, if there's one thing I follow more closely than Georgia football right now, it's the media.
Anyway, having said all of that, Richt was asked what he thought about Knowshon's hurdle not making it onto "SportsCenter." Here's what he said:
"I think they missed the boat or didn't do their homework or whatever. I don't know how they couldn't have noticed that. It's going to make our highlights for a long time."
At that point, an ESPN reporter chimed in to say that FOX controlled the broadcast for the game and did not send that highlight to ESPN as part of their satellite package.
Then, not surprisingly, a FOX reporter said ESPN could easily have gotten the highlight if they wanted it.
So Richt's conclusion: "I guess they're both under the bus, then."
And just in case you would like to see the highlight again, you can find a few copies on YouTube, including THIS ONE.
Sunday, September 7, 2008
Some news and notes from Mark Richt's Sunday teleconference: