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Monday, January 5, 2009

Richt Teleconference Quotes

Sorry this took me a bit to post. I had to go chat with Dennis Felton before I could transcribe everything. But here ya go...

On the importance of keeping coaching staff intact:

"It's very big. It's important to all our coaches. They're all outstanding men, the kind of coaches and men we want and need in this program."

On the specifics of Garner deciding to stay:

"We're not going to get into all that right now. Rodney's the one that made the decision. I didn't have to talk him into anything. We did have some good conversations no doubt, but Rodney believes in what we're doing here at Georgia and he and his family enjoy Athens very much. It was certainly a very flattering situation for him no doubt. I can't say it was an easy decision for him. But he made the call, and I'm just thankful he wants to still be at Georgia."

On whether he'll get a raise:
"It's like I said with Stacy, all of our coaches will get raises, and in due time, you guys will get all that information."

On whether it becomes tedious to have to keep battling to retain assistants:
"When you have outstanding people, other folks are attracted to them, and they're going to want them to come to their program. All these coaches are worth fighting for. Rodney, certainly. In the end, it has to come down to what these guys want to do, where their heart is. I'm thankful that Rodney's staying, I'm thankful that's Stacy's staying, I'm thankful that all our guys are staying. Georgia's certainly bigger than any one man, but I do believe in continuity, especially if you have the right kind of men, and I believe we have that here."

On the timing of keeping Garner through signing day:

"I don't know. It's hard to say, but there's no question Rodney's an outstanding recruiter. We all know that. But he's much more than an outstanding recruiter. Recruiting is about relationships. It is about your program and your university. It's about a lot of things. ... All those things together is how people make their decision, so certainly the relationship that Rodney has or any of our coaches have is critical. It's certainly a big part of it.

On getting a commitment on national TV:

"We've won a lot of games over the past few years, we've gotten a lot of attention by virtue of playing BCS bowl games, playing for conference championships and even this bowl game we just played in, the wonderful Capital One Bowl, which gave us a chance to show the nation we're still a pretty good football team. I think that excited young men, and when they see others getting excited about that on national TV, that helps."

On if he had heard anything from Matthew Stafford and Knowshon Moreno about decisions:

"I have not. I would think it would be within a week's time or even less."

On one thing he would like to see improved the most next year:

"The main thing for us is we want to maximize our potential in every area of our program. I want our coaches to get better. I want myself to become a better leader. I want our players to do what it takes to become the best possible player they can be with the offseason program and all the stuff they have to do over the summer -- and academically and socially, too. I want our strength program to improve. I want everything to improve. I want to maximize what we have here because we've got a tremendous base of talent. We've got some outstanding coaches. We've got a lot of tremendous support staff. We've got the ingredients, and we just have to maximize everything. I think each player, each man, each coach needs to make sure we're hungry and get after it."

On whether he would address issues with the staff:

"I think we've already had a little bit of time to reflect, and one of the things that I know for a fact affected how we played defense was how we prepared, how we practiced. I know that we practiced different this year. It was directly attributed to the number of injuries we had in camp. So we already began to address that issue when we practiced in the bowl. We probably tackled more in our bowl practices than we did all season long, and I think our defense improved. I think the defense had a better edge, I think we tackled better, I think we had more swagger going into that ballgame because we knew we prepared the way we had to. We kind of bit the bullet a little bit. We had a couple guys get banged up. We didn't think we'd have Dobbs, but Dobbs actually played. I think that was part of what we needed to address was making sure we practiced like we needed to. I know there's risks when you tackle somebody to the ground, but if you don't, there's a risk you don't do well in a game you need to have it the most.

"There are other things. We'll address personnel, make sure we've got guys in the right spots. We'll make sure we're asking guys we're asking guys to do things they're able to do. We've got to be honest with ourselves about whether or not or how we're going to create pressure, whether it comes from individuals or more from scheme. We've got to look at all those."

On whether there was a lack of hunger this year:

"I think when the season is over and you don't reach your goals, you're like 'Why not?' You get excited about the future and get excited about doing what it's going to take to get back to where we were. Like I said, we could maximize everything we have and still end up not winning every game. It's just that brutal of a schedule and that brutal of a league, but I just want to feel like we've done that. As I reflect on this season I've got to look at it and, as we look, I'm trying to decide whether -- I mean, we might have had one of our better coaching jobs. We might have. When you look at all the injuries and how we're trying to play ball. You watched Alabama play Utah, and they lost their left tackle who all year long was just stoning people and they never had to worry one bit about what was going on on that left side. Now all of a sudden in the bowl game, they had all kinds of problems. So that's just one guy. Injuries do make a difference. I'm not using it as an excuse, but that was a reality of what happened, and it certainly was a factor in how our season went."

On whether he ever thought Garner would leave:

"I don't know what was going through Rodney's mind the entire time. The thing about that, there's no question that I want Rodney at Georgia. That's a no-brainer. But I don't have control over that. There's a certain amount of things I can do to talk to Rodney about, but I want guys who want to be at Georgia. I just can't make up anybody's mind for them. The bottom line is, we want guys who are excited about being here, believing in what we do and getting after it. When it comes to certain things in life I really can't control, my goal is to do the very best I can do and then trust the Lord with the rest. The things you can't control, you can't worry about those things."

On how he feels about Rodney coming back:

"I told Rodney -- well, I texted him after I talked to him and thought a little bit about what happened and when he told me he was staying. I told him I was humbled by his decision, and it just motivates me to be a better head coach and a better leader. It motivates me to help us all reach our full potential. I think it's great for Georgia when guys get those kinds of opportunities and still feel like this is the place for them."

On what this means for recruiting to have consistency on staff:

"I don't think there's any doubt that most people, I can't hardly think of one that it doesn't matter to. They're not talking to a brick wall. They're not talking to a field turf field. They're not talking to a football. They're talking to people. They're talking to people who are going to be in charge of their children's lives, trying to help them grow into manhood and have a great college experience on and off the field. And even those young men, they want to feel comfortable with the coaches, with the players who they're going to be living with and joining that family. That stuff is very, very important, and it plays a vital role in the decisions that these parents and guardians and these young men make."

On any other players he's waiting on besides Stafford and Moreno:

"They're supposed to call me and call those young men direct -- I say they, I mean the NFL committee. I've not heard on any of those guys yet. So I'm kind of waiting on that. I don't know exactly what's going through everyone's mind but my gut feeling is there's a lot of guys that have already decided what they're going to do as far as staying. There may be another one or two other than Knowshon or Matthew that is really struggling with it, but for the most part, I think most of them are pretty settled right now."

On what happens to the scholarships if Stafford and Moreno leave:

"It opens up numbers. When you're total number -- your 85 number -- any time a guy leaves for any reason, that's another opportunity for someone else."

On potentially having give QBs on scholarship:

"That's not a bad number. If you have three, you don't have enough, quite frankly. This year, we had three and we were quite fortunate that no one got in trouble. Although after watching Baccari Rambo a little bit, we probably could have swung him back there and made hay. You really need to have four to five, and if you have five and two of them are seniors, I think you're right on par."

On the status of the offensive line and who might play:

"Here's what I'll say about that, and it's the truth, and I think history has proven it for us: The best guy is going to play. If one of those freshmen come in and are better, then they'll play. And if they're good enough to start, then they'll start. It's just kind of how we do it. Even A.J. Green, there was nine other scholarship receivers when he rolled onto campus besides himself. It wasn't long before he was starting and he led the league in receiving yards. We don't know. We're going to compete and the best man is going to play."

On whether he has stayed in touch with Stafford and Moreno during the decision-making process:

"There's been a little bit of contact, but you want --- I don't want to put undue pressure on these young men. I do really want what's best for them. I want them to figure that out for themselves. All I can say is that if they do stay, I want their whole heart. I want them to do it the same reason you want a coach to stay -- because he believes in what's going on, he loves the place, loves the people, and he wants to do great things and be a part of a great team and a great program. I don't want a guy who's only half-hearted. I will say this: If Matthew or Knowshon were to stay, it would absolutely be because their heart said to stay at Georgia. So I'm not worried about those guys. If they stay, it's because they love the place and want to help us win a championship."

On how much the preseason No. 1 distracted the team, and how he might handle it differently next year:

"I think everybody would just understand it a little bit better and know that it doesn't really mean a thing in regard to what's going to happen in reality. What matters is the focus and the work and hopefully staying healthy. All those things are what give you the best chance to win. It probably causes more distraction than anything else."

On Lane Kiffin saying he thought he could steal recruits in Georgia because Richt's staff wasn't going as hard after them:

"I would say this: I'll just make comments about our program, and I feel like everybody else should probably do the same."


jason ferguson said...

Is it just me or has Richt become a little more salty this year. He seems to have a little more acid in his words....which is a good thing. I love him, but I do want him to have a bit more "bite" to him here and there.

Have you seen ESPN's article on "predictions". They pretty much say UGA will take a step back if Stafford and Knowshon leave. I agree that there is a big drop-off in production if Knowshon leaves. However, I think Cox can do just as good as Stafford. He may now hit the "home runs" but I believe Cox throws a more catchable ball than Stafford, which will only help our WRs.
Could you imagine both coming back AND our O-line staying healthy? WOW!

David Hale said...

You know, I've thought that about Richt all season. I covered him for two years, took a year away, then covered him again this season, and there's a clear difference. I think it's sort of like being president -- you know how you look at pictures of Clinton or Bush in their first year and their 8th year and it looks like they've aged 50 years? I think life in the SEC eventually wears on you, too, and you stop watching all your words so much and simply play the game. I like it, too. Heck, makes my job easier, that's for sure.

As for Stafford vs. Cox, I'll respectfully disagree. I like what Joe brings to the table, but so much of what Stafford did this year went unnoticed, and the Dawgs will miss those little things if he leaves. I do wonder though if maybe a few less future NFL stars and a few more guys looking for their lone shot at glory might not make for a hungrier -- if not more talented -- team next year.

Bernie said...

I have to say I too am enjoying CMR's saltiness. It's much better than Lil' Kiffy's boneheadedness. What a twit! Reminds me of the litle kid in the schoolyard that continually pesters other larger kids...until he gets punched in the eye.

Saturday Oct 10th...