Andrews set to snap

Georgia Football: Tuesday Press Conference - Offense

DSC_6267Georgia head coach Mark Richt and a delegation of players met with the media Tuesday during the Bulldogs’ weekly press luncheon. They offered the following comments:

Head Coach Mark Richt

On Aaron Murray’s play during the Clemson game…

“I think Aaron overall played a pretty good game. The fumble was disappointing. With the interception, if you’ve played quarterback and coached it long enough, that type of thing is going to happen from time to time. It was a good thing that they did schematically, and it just really wasn’t in his vision when he was making that decision. Every once in awhile that will happen, so I’m not going crazy about the pick. When you work up in the pocket, you have to be firm with the ball in your hand, and you’re going to get hit and tackled from time to time, so we can’t spit the ball up. For the most part he made good decisions. Being knocked around like he was and sacked like he was, I thought he continued to go back in the pocket trusting it and being able to make a big play on the next play. He created plays three times where he broke out of the pocket, found guys and hit them on the run. He got us in the right play most of the time, so overall he did well. I think Aaron just has to continue to do what he does for us with getting us in the right plays and the right protections. He just has to hit his target when it’s there and not turn a bad play into a catastrophe. Every once in awhile, it’s a bad play, so don’t throw it up for grabs and if you do happen to get sacked, hang onto the thing and I think he’ll be fine.”

On South Carolina quarterback Connor Shaw…

“You’ve got to be careful with him. The thing about Connor is that he’s going to run quarterback draw, he’s going to run zone read and he’s going to run when it’s not there in the passing game. It’s kind of three different types of runs for that kid, and you have to have a plan for all of them. When you get a guy in a pocket, especially a guy like that, you have to have some integrity in your rush lane. You can’t just let guys totally freelance or squeeze a guy. If you’ve got a guy that’s not very mobile, you don’t mind your edge rusher every once in awhile to take it inside or beat a tackler inside to the quarterback because if you flush him, the guy’s not going to do a lot of damage on you. You have to be much more careful with a guy like that. You have to be concerned about who is truly containing the quarterback in the pocket. Just like there’s passing lanes up front, there are running lanes, as well. If you play too much man coverage or too many combination coverages where everybody is chasing the receivers, the quarterback can work his way up inside the pocket and take off running, and then there’s no one there. You just have to have a good mix of zone coverages. If you are playing man, maybe you just have one guy staying back at home spying so the quarterback just doesn’t have a free run.”

On the offensive line…

“Right now, Kenarious Gates will be our left tackle. I think we still think that there’s at least six guys that can play and deserve to play, so I think part of our issue has been Chris Burnette coming off of surgery. We haven’t been wanting him to play the entire game necessarily. I’m not saying he won’t this week, but going into last week, we were wanting to give him some relief throughout the game.”

On Kenarious Gates at left tackle…

“I think Gates is a very good player. He is the guy that has the best shot at matching up out there (with Clowney). We wouldn’t be playing him at left tackle if we didn’t think he could do it. He went up against Jadeveon a year ago, so it won’t be like a first-time experience for him. He’s ready to go, and he’s confident that he’s going to play well, but we all know that it’s a 60-minute game. You probably have 200 plays in a game between offense, defense and special teams, and every snap is a battle. You’re going to win some and lose some, but we think he gives us our best shot to succeed.”

On the wide receivers…

“We already saw Justin Scott-Wesley begin to grow up towards the end of last year. I thought he had a very good spring in camp, and then he played well in this ball game. He not only played well as a receiver, but he played very well on special teams. He was actually named our special teams captain. Our captains for this game will be Justin Scott-Wesley on special teams, Garrison Smith on defense and Arthur Lynch and Todd Gurley on offense. But back to the receivers, we also got a little taste of Rantavious Wooten being back, and Jonathon Rumph will be back this week practicing. Rhett McGowan will be more ready to play this week than he was last week, so those are some guys that will step up and play other than the usual suspects.”

On Patrick Beless…

“Beless has done a very good job for us. He’s been very accurate in camp, and Adam Erickson was, as well. It was very close competition, actually. I think both of them are capable, and either one of them could possibly kick for us with either extra points or field goals..”

On whether or not punter Collin Barber would ever kick field goals…

“Collin has enough leg, as you saw with the kickoffs. We’ve worked him some as a field goal kicker because he does have distance. If you had to have one from a long distance, like 50-plus yards, he has the leg to get it there.”

On the availability of Brendan Douglas this week…

“Douglas is going to practice this week, and we think he’ll be able to play. I don’t know if he’ll get in as a running back, but I think Todd Gurley is fine, Keith Marshall is fine, J.J. Green is fine, and Green and Douglas were kind of battling it out for that number three spot. We’ll just see how quickly he can go full speed. If he’s full speed and we think he still knows enough what to do, then we might give him a chance to play. He was also being used on some special teams. It was getting to the point where we were getting ready to trust him in those areas, so he’s going to start getting reps there again. He may end up playing some special teams.

Chris ConleyFlanker Chris Conley

On if he noticed anything was wrong with Malcolm during the first TD celebration…

“We always celebrate the same way. We always have a little competition to see who can jump higher, so everybody was thinking the same thing and no one really even noticed until we got back over to the sideline that something was wrong.”

On how they will celebrate touchdowns in the future…

“Of course, now everyone is a little more conscious about it. It’s kind of an unspoken that we’re not going to do that anymore. We’ll find another way to celebrate, and it won’t really take away from it, but we’ll definitely be more conscious about it so that we can prevent things like that from happening again in the future.”

On the receiver group moving forward after Malcolm Mitchell’s injury…

“We’ve got guys who are talented, guys who can make plays in different positions. We still feel that way. You know Malcolm was a huge playmaker, a huge leader in the receiving corps and he will be missed. But I don’t think this will slow the offense down. I think we’ll get stronger. We’ll have opportunities for young guys to step up and make plays. It’s unfortunate, but having this depth at the position will allow someone else who’s prepared themselves to step up.”

Arthur Lynch, photo by Sonny Kennedy, http://www.sonnykennedyphotography.com/

Arthur Lynch, photo by Sonny Kennedy, http://www.sonnykennedyphotography.com/

Tight End Arthur Lynch

On how the team will game plan for Clowney…

“I help with all defensive ends every week. It’s kind of just what I do from the tight end position. Not just me, but all the tight ends. I don’t think we’ll game plan any different. We’ll acknowledge the fact that he’s a very good player, and that we have to account for him in our process for how we are going to block certain things, but I don’t think we’ll have to alter our game plan to where we get out of our comfort zone.”

On the team’s response following Saturday’s loss…

“I think we knew it would have been nice to win the game, but I think we hurt ourselves more than they hurt us, if that makes sense. We gave up eight penalties, most were on third down, and you don’t recover from them. You turn the ball over twice, you are going to lose the ball game. The fact that we only lost by three says a lot about our offense and the team overall. I think a lot of guys on the defensive side of the ball got a lot of experience, and a lot of guys stepped up. I think we’re in a lot better frame of mind than most people think.”

Justin Scott-Wesley with the reception

Justin Scott-Wesley with the reception

Split End Justin Scott-Wesley

On being named captain for the South Carolina game…

“That’s big. That’s big for me. That’s one of my greatest achievements, to be a captain for the University of Georgia. I’m definitely honored.”

On establishing himself after the loss of Malcolm Jenkins…

“I just have to be consistent. I don’t want to be a one-hit wonder. I know people are going to know who I am and try to game plan for me, so I just have to come out and be consistent.”

On whether or not he feels any added pressure with Malcolm being injured…

“I don’t feel any pressure. I feel like Coach Ball puts pressure on us everyday. If you know what it’s like playing under Coach Ball, the game is fun. Practice is the most pressure.”

Photos are copyrighted property of Sonny Kennedy Photography,
http://www.sonnykennedyphotography.com/

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Tags: Arthur Lynch Chris Conley Georgia Bulldog Football Georgia Bulldogs Justin Scott-Wesley Mark Richt

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