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Friday, November 7, 2008

Deleted Scenes: Week 10

Each week, I write about 10,000 words worth of copy, but that still doesn't mean I get to use every quote I transcribe. So rather than allow them to waste away on a MS Word document in obscurity, I'll post them here...

Mark Richt on the troubles against Florida: "You've got to look at it, you've got to study it, you've got to try to see why, but you also can't dwell on it. When things don't go well in a season or in life, it's not real healthy to dwell on them for too long. You want to learn from it, but the bottom line is, if you dwell on it too long, it's going to keep you from moving forward and progressing. We can't be afraid to fail."

Richt on players coming back to win a championship: "I think a lot of guys do make that part of their motivating factors. I haven't gotten into it with those guys. I hate to set a time table on when I might talk to them because then everybody's on me like crazy, and I haven't set a time yet, but it would not be all that unlikely that I'll talk to them, and for sure during the bowl practice."

Richt on Stafford not winning 'The Big Game':
"He's been a very fine football player for us. I know Jim Kelly real well, and I think he's one of the greatest quarterbacks in college and pro history. He's done great things, but he never won the Super Bowl. Some people will say that means he wasn't a great quarterback. That's up to people to decide, but I don't see it that way, especially when you've played the position and coached the position and you know what it takes. I think (Stafford) is a special player, and I wouldn't trade the guy for anything."

Richt on the emotional swing from LSU to Florida:
"It is an emotional game and it takes a lot of energy to play every one of them, but you mentioned going to Death Valley and what's waiting for you there and what it takes to be physically and mentally ready for that, I can't help but think it takes a little bit out of you emotionally. Then you know you've got a game that's even more meaningful to your season the next week. You play one game just like you'd script it, then you play the other game just about as bad as it can go. LSU we gained three turnovers and lost zero. This game, we turned it over four and they didn't turn it over at all. And if you really get down to studying it good, the greatest difference in those two days is seven turnovers. That's huge."

Richt on how Dannell Ellerbe was used against Florida: "We call it the A-B position. It's when we're in our three down linemen package. We have an extra DB in the game, people consider it a nickel package. If you just have an extra DB in the game, you're five DBs, two linebackers and four down linemen. If you take that same alignment in the perimeter, but you go to three down linemen, and then you add a linebacker, which is what Dannell was, and he's on the edge, he'll rush a great amount of time, and of course he'll drop into coverage, too. A lot of times when people run the zone blitzes, you might bring the pressure from one side, and that defensive end on the other side actually drops into coverage. Well that's where Dannell was sitting, so if we're bringing pressure from one side, he can drop into coverage instead of a defensive end going out there trying to do it. Also, he can bring pressure off the end, and he's more apt to get a running back blocking him than a tackle. Not always. A lot of people will figure out you should slide to him and then you get a tackle on him, but sometimes the tackles will stay on the defensive ends, and now either a guard will kick out or you'll have a running back try to block Dannell. So that's where we were hoping to get a little more of a mismatch. But he'll be back in a more traditional spot this week."

Richt on Stafford's interceptions during the past four games: "When you look at them one by one, they don't look as bad as when you say seven. Some of them, you might get a ball tipped at the line of scrimmage, you might have a receiver who ran the wrong route which you're not going to hang somebody out there after a ballgame, Stafford's not going to do that but it's a combination of things. Sometimes a guy is getting ready to hit him in the throat, sometimes he needed to throw the ball away and sometimes he needed to eat it. Ultimately it's his responsibility to avoid the picks, but there are some circumstances that are a little bit out of his control, too. I have not lost any faith in Matthew whatsoever."

Richt on his tenure at Georgia:
"My goal from the very beginning has been to have this be the last coaching job that I have. That's going to be up to whoever is making that decision, but for me, my goal was that if I moved from Tallahassee, move one time. I'm not interested in telling a bunch of young men that I've got a better place to be than to be with them. I've just never believed that, and everything I've done since I've been here is to try to build a program on a very solid foundation and make decisions that will maybe help you have a good year, but also for the long haul. Decisions that are made to maybe get a quick fix, I've never been much for that. I've always tried to bring in the right kind of people, the right kind of players and do things in a way that people would feel like at least the intent is to do it in a first-class manner. So I would love to say this is the last coaching job I've ever had, but we know that's not my choice to make. I would say this, too. The contract that we've had together with the university is probably one of the strongest buyouts in the country, mainly because it's reciprocal in how we feel about each other. Not many coaches want that buyout in their contract because they want the ability to scoot out of there if they choose to. Mine isn't really set up that way. Mine is set up that as much as the university may have an obligation if they decide to let me go, it's just as strong going back in the other direction. It's a pretty strong statement to say, hey, Georgia wants Coach Richt at Georgia, and Coach Richt wants to be at Georgia."

Richt on how he approaches his job: "All I can do is on a daily basis try to do my job in such a way that, No. 1 it pleases the Lord, that's my main thing. Past that, to try to do the best job I can for the University of Georgia, the best job I can do for our coaches and my family and the players. To me, leadership is about serving the people God has put you in authority over. That's my job is to take care of the people that I'm in authority over. So that's how I go about my day, and hopefully it's good enough in the end. It's been pretty successful over the last seven years, and hopefully we will knock out 80 victories in eight years. That's not bad. I know I fall short in a lot of areas and make mistakes, and I hate it when I do, but I'll just try to admit it and move on, move forward."

Richt on why the team struggled against Florida:
"I think that part of it is just the fact that we are young up front. You don't want to make an excuse, but the bottom line is we're playing a bunch of puppies up front. That hasn't helped us. I'll give these other teams credit, too. I think when the season's over, history might prove they're the two very best teams in the country. At least two of the top five anyway. We had the chance to be one of those with a victory in either one of those for that matter. I will say that both of our games where we didn't play extremely well came off of long road trips that were pretty emotional games. The way our schedule went, we go to Arizona State and get back at seven o'clock in the morning, we go play a game against Alabama. We played one of our other longer road trips and a very emotional game, then we come right back to Florida. It's just tough to peak week after week after week. We didn't. I've got to do a better job of getting them to do that."

Richt on the offense's struggles vs. Florida:
"They were extremely quick, and they played hard. We had more missed assignments this game than we've had in a while across the board, and our backs didn't protect as well as we're used to. But that's a tribute to how hard Florida played."

Richt on how the tight ends were used last week:
"The one where Bruce caught it, he was the primary guy on that one and he got the first down. We hit Tripp on a play where he was actually the primary, but it ended up where it was kind of a scramble situation where we hit him. Matthew broke out of the pocket to the right and Tripp did a good job of reacting to that and separating a little bit. The touchdown to Aron, he was the primary guy because of the coverage that was played. If it was a different coverage, the ball would not have even gone on that side of the field."

Richt on Logan Gray's role as punt returner: "He's just talented, and he wants to play and help the team win. He's another guy who was like, 'I'm not going to get many reps behind Stafford and Cox, is there something I can do to help?' He's more athletic than most quarterbacks I've had that were third team. I was talking to Coach Ball, who just happened to walk by me during the kicking part and he just said Logan Gray has done a great job for us on kickoff return. He's a good blocker, and he's just a guy who wants to help us win."

Blair Walsh on failing to execute the on-side kick against Florida:
"That's on me. I was just trying to get it up. It shouldn't have hit the ground. It was supposed to go over the guy's head. It was supposed to go up. It was supposed to be a pass almost."

Walsh on his teammates' reaction to his missed field goals: "They've been very positive about it. A couple just asked me what happened and stuff like that, but that's always good cuz they think you don't do it that much. They've been real positive about it and that's helped me get through this."

Corvey Irvin on the difference between the Florida game and the Alabama game:
"We came back out in the second half against Alabama, we rallied around each other. We got our juice back. We outscored them 31-10 in the second half. We just couldn't get our motor started against Alabama."

Irvin on the aftermath of the Florida game:
"We got beat. They whooped us. I really can't say what all he said, but it's over. Get ready for Kentucky, and don't let this divide the team. Don't get to pointing fingers and blaming each other. Step up as leaders and get ready to be 8-2."

Rennie Curran on the motivation moving forward: "We all work hard. Everybody wants to win and continue to improve. Even though some of our goals seem not reachable right now, we've still got a lot to play for. We've got guys who are injured right now that we're still playing for and representing and just our whole tradition and knowing there are people who would kill themselves to be a part of what we're a part of. Even though this game killed some of our dreams, we've still got a lot to play for."

Curran on whether Georgia suffered an emotional let-down after Arizona State and LSU: "When you have to big games back-to-back like that, it's hard to prepare yourself mentally when you get done with such a huge emotional win like LSU. You don't even really have time to celebrate. You celebrate that one day, and then it's back to work the next day. It just kind of throws you off, but as a team I feel like we responded well, we were prepared, we were ready to do the right things, so in the end, I don't think it affected us too much. But it does take a little toll."

Matthew Stafford on people saying he's not a great QB because he hasn't won a title:
"I guess they're right. We haven't played for a conference championship since I've been here. I don't know if it's fair, but that's just the way it is in society and in sports."

Stafford on the criticism of the team following the loss to Florida: "I think any time you're accepting losing, you've got a problem, but we're not worried about them, we're really just worried about the guys that are in the room with us."

Tripp Chandler on moving past the Florida game: "Whenever you have a loss the only thing you can do is get a win to get that feeling gone from inside, but today was a day where we kind of took a step back to look at, OK, what have we got? We've got a 7-2 team, and that's a pretty good record at this point. We have a really tough game this week against a good Kentucky team, so yeah, it's still dwelling inside of us, but it's not something we can linger on and just sit on and dwell on. We've got to focus on the task at hand."

Mohamed Massaquoi on how the team moves forward: "Just realize that we took a loss, and with a loss you have to come back and work that much harder. You have to regain momentum, and you have to look at the things that beat you and correct them going into the next week."

Massaquoi on A.J. Green: "He's a phenomenal talent. He's a guy that just makes plays. That's what he's accustomed to doing, but at the same time, he's a humble guy. He hasn't changed at all, and it's just good to see him doing as good as he's been doing."

Clint Boling on the line's problems in the second half against Florida: "When they figure out that we're just going to pass the ball and have made us one-dimensional, they can just kind of pin their ears back and rush the passer, especially with the athletes they have up front, it's tough to do as an offensive line."

Boling on Knowshon this year vs. last:
"I think he's definitely trying to lead a little bit more being a little bit older. Just having him around helps out a lot."

Asher Allen on the emotions following the Florida loss:
"It was just a disappointment. (Florida) was pretty much the same team from last year, so it wasn't like we weren't ready or anything like that. We're disappointed. We felt like we could have done better as a team, but there's nothing better than getting a win, so we're looking forward to getting that taste out of our mouth."

Allen on the bad halves of football Georgia has played this year: "I think it's just plays building up. You make a play and it comes back or things like that. You have to regroup after those kind of plays, and for us, it's been just kind of hard to start again."

Allen on players trying too hard when they're losing: "Effort is something you really encourage and if your mind-set is that you really want to make a play, that's obviously something that is encouraged. If you've got 11 people on the defense really, really wanting to make a play, something good should happen."

Darryl Gamble on the team's energy: "We still get excited for each game because we still have opportunities to prosper and come out with a good record. Those games are over, and I just believe we should still give the same kind of effort into each game even though we didn't pull out Alabama or Florida."

Gamble on the defense's problems in the red zone:
"Most of the time, it's off of a turnover or a special-teams play, so they pretty much have all the momentum. We're coming back off the field because most of us are on special teams or stuff like that, and it's just the momentum built up. They go into the drive having a lot of momentum and it's a short field, so offensive coordinators' eyes are opened up a little wider when they have so little field to work with and have more options of what plays to use."

Gamble on Rennie Curran: "Rennie is really good. He's great in the blocks. It's pretty hard to try to run the ball towards Rennie. He's quick, too, so it's pretty hard for linemen to block him. His height, too, those big guys don't feel like bending down so far to try to block him. He's pretty much is just all-out against the run."

Jeremy Lomax on Florida's monster second half: "When that train gets rolling, it's kind of hard to stop. You've got to hit them in the mouth before it gets started. They get to feeling good, and it's hard to stop it. We needed one big play, and it never came."

Lomax on Kentucky's offense: "They have a good offensive line, very aggressive. The quarterbacks, they have a good pocket passer, then they bring in a fast, quick guy who can actually throw it, too, so we've got to contest that, too. They've got good running backs, they're aggressive blocking. It's a lot to deal with, and they're going to be hungry. I'm going to tell you now, it's not going to be a blowout."

A.J. Green on Mohamed Massaquoi: "Just his effort. He goes out there and plays every play hard. Stafford throws that interception, and you see him just streaking down the field to try to make the tackle."

Green on trying to stop the slide in the second half against Florida: "The other team gets the momentum, and you just start backpedaling. It's pretty hard to stop that. There were a lot of things that didn't go our way, but we've still got to get after it, work hard and get better."


Anonymous said...

We have the week off prior to FL next year, so none of these bs excuses will cut it. Time for our staff to take that game as serious as FL takes it. Only then will we beat the Gators on a consistent basis.

Anonymous said...

Agree Anon. Man up and shut up. Time for the excuses to cease. Win the damn game.