Georgia Football: Tuesday Press Conference - Offense

Photo by Sonny Kennedy,

Georgia 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:

Coach Mark Richt

On Aaron Murray’s play against Missouri…

“It was a game of patience. You have to be patient with a lot of the zone coverages that they played. They’re a predominantly zone-coverage team. They went into the game that way, they stayed true to who they were and they had enough of a lead to where they didn’t have to really change their philosophy. As we’re trying to get back into the game, you couldn’t get a bunch of big chunks. Last year, I think we were number one in the nation in big plays, and we had a bunch of big plays going into this game this year. It was just one of those games where you’ve got to play methodically and move the ball down the field. Some of the evidence of that was the fact that our tailbacks caught 10 balls between the two of them. There were some other receiver balls that were caught underneath the ball. You just have to catch them and get yards after contact and keep moving the chains. As you’re trying to come back, the tendency is to want to get a bigger chunk, and I think a couple of times that’s what Aaron did. He tried to get a bigger chunk than he should have, and it cost us.”

On senior Chris Burnette…

“The home visit in his house made it very, very easy to see why he’s the person that he is. Mom and dad are awesome, and the whole family is awesome. He had a goal sheet that I actually have a copy of in my office. I kept it in there in case he got off track. I was going to pull it out and show it to him, but I never had a chance to do that because he never got off track. He’s just been phenomenal. One of his main goals – and I don’t think he’d be mad if I said it – was to be a man after God’s own heart. He was very serious about being kind of a modern day knight kind of guy. He’s just been tremendous in every aspect of college life. He’s been a great representative of his family and his faith and his team.”

On Rhett McGowan…

“Rhett’s been here awhile. Rhett found his niche here at Georgia. It’s hard to break through as walk-on at any position. You’re fighting your way into some playing time on the field, whether it’s special teams or offense or defense. A lot of times, you’ve got to do it well for a long enough time that the coaches finally see that the guy is dependable and talented enough to get it done. Let’s let the guy play. It’s a great tribute to him and his persistence and his abilities. He’s done a good job. Sometimes that opportunity happens in a spring game or in a spring practice when a couple guys may go down, and then all of the sudden you get thrown in there, and when you get in there you’re playing well. It’s been a combination of all of those things with Rhett.”

On Jonathon Rumph…

“Jonathon Rumph is practicing. I don’t think there’s much doubt he’ll play, but he’s really not played for us yet. By the end of the week, we’ll see how comfortable he is and how comfortable we are with what he knows and if we think he can execute. He was here in the spring, which is great that he’s been here all this time, but he doesn’t have a lot of reps early in his career. As a junior college guy, he’s still young with us, so we’re just not sure how many plays he’ll play, but we want to get him going, that’s for sure. We need him to come through.”

On the play of Brendan Douglas…

“Brendan came to a bunch of camps, and we liked Brendan every time he came to camp. You only have so many scholarships at each position, and we were slow to offer him. At the end of the recruiting process, we had an opening and so we offered him. He decided to come, and we’re thankful that he did. It was never an issue if we thought he was good enough, but it was just whether or not we had enough space. As it turned out, we did, and he’s been just about what we thought he’d be. He’s very tough and very physical. I think I said in the very beginning when we were scrimmaging with him that he’s a very legitimate SEC back. He’s can finish a game in that four-minute offense where you’re trying to grind the clock and you need someone to be fresh at the end of a game, but I always felt like he could be an every-down back one day. I didn’t know it’d be this fast for us, but he’s done a very good job. J.J. Green has as well, so you have to give him credit. He’s a guy where we weren’t really sure what position he would play when we signed him. Of the two positions that we thought, one was corner and one was receiver, so we weren’t even thinking tailback. Last spring we were a little bit short on numbers at tailback and thought he had the best shot at filling in and helping us there, and he’s kind of taken off with it.”

On punters Collin Barber and Adam Erickson…

“We’re competing, and maybe pre-game warm-up we’ll decide who punts. We’re not sure exactly who will punt. We might even interchange it a little bit.”

Aaron Murray

Aaron Murray

Quarterback Aaron Murray

On the Georgia defense…

“I think they are doing fine. You can definitely see improvement every week. You see guys stepping up on the defensive line, at linebacker, at DB. Guys like Shaq [Wiggins], who played a great game last week. Guys are getting more comfortable out there, they are getting more experience. It’s the second half of the year, it starts like a new season, and I’m looking forward to seeing them continue to get better.”

On the team’s goals following the loss to Missouri…

“Our first goal is to get to Atlanta. That’s the number one thing, and whatever happens after that happens. Right now that goal is still attainable. We feel like if we take care of business and we win the rest of our games, Missouri has a very tough schedule left, then who knows what happens. They might win all their games, or they might lose a couple and give us a shot. We just have to take care of business and we can’t lose anymore. Hopefully we will be back in Atlanta.”

Brendan Douglas

Brendan Douglas

Tailback Brendan Douglas

On how surprised he is at the playing time he’s had…

“I didn’t think I would be playing as much as I’ve been. I guess you could say it’s been a surprise. The coaches have done a great job to get me and J.J. ready to go when our name’s are called, and I give it up to the coaching staff for getting us ready to go.”

On how happy he is with his performance so far…

“I came in hoping to play a little bit at least, but of course I didn’t think I’d be playing this much without the injuries. Like I said, the coaching staff, you’ve got to give credit to them for getting us ready to play.”

On his relationship with J.J. Green…

“We’re kind of on the same path right now. We’ve got a good connection going on between us two, teaching each other the offense as we go, and it’s been good.”

Aaron Murray & J.J. Green

Aaron Murray & J.J. Green

Tailback J.J. Green

On teammate Brendan Douglas…

“Brendan came in and we were like, who is this big, buff, white kid playing running back. You look at him and you’d be like there’s nobody who is going to be able to tackle him. Every time he runs the ball he runs hard, and that takes a toll on the defense. Sometimes defenders will turn that down. If it’s one on one they won’t try and tackle him. They might try and push him out of bounds but they won’t tackle him.”

On his relationship with Douglas…

“Me and Brendan are real close. Almost everything outside of football we do together, and everything with football we’re together, so it’s been a pretty nice ride to get to meet someone new.”

All photos are copyrighted property of Sonny Kennedy Photography,

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