SEC Media Days 2014: Mark Richt sets positive tone for upcoming UGA season


Georgia head coach Mark Richt stepped to the podium at SEC Media Days, and after a very brief opening statement fielded questions from the media about the upcoming season for the Bulldogs.

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Richt opened the morning by praising his team and staff, saying “I’m extremely excited about this football team. I think we have a tremendous culture right now in work ethic, and I think we have a tremendous culture of guys wanting to lead in the right way.

I think our coaching staff did a super job in the offseason. I think the comradery of our staff is tremendous.”

Of course, one of the first questions thrown at Richt was the absence of Aaron Murray, and how that would affect the team.

“Aaron is obviously a great player, a great leader, just a great person,” Richt said of his former QB. “When you lose a guy like that it can be tough. The blessing for us is Hutson Mason being in the program going into his fifth season. A guy that got the chance to see Aaron’s work ethic and see how he ran the offseason program.”

“Then just the fact that Huston has the respect of his teammates,” he continued. “He has the confidence of his teammates and coaches to take on that leadership mantle. Not to say that we don’t miss Aaron, because we do, but it was time for him to go, and that’s just college athletics.”

Richt also eluded to the fact that there has been no change in the offensive system, and that Mason has been with coach Mike Bobo the entire time, making for an easy transition.

As the questions moved to the players who transferred or were dismissed, Richt talked about the leadership of returning players such as Amarlo Herrera, Damian Swann and Corey Moore, saying that young guys are going to play just like last season, and that it won’t be a huge problem for the Bulldogs.

“The one thing that I think is really crucial and important,” Richt said of his young secondary, “Jeremy Pruitt, our defensive coordinator coaches the defensive backs, and when the coordinator coaches [the secondary] and understands how to play those positions, I don’t think he’s going to call anything that those guys can’t execute.”

“We feel like we’re gonna be just fine.” he concluded.

When asked about fixing the defensive problems from last season, Richt refused to really comment, saying “I’m not gonna talk about last year. Coach Pruitt is a proven coach with a proven staff”

There were questions about Georgia being picked second in the SEC East behind South Carolina this season, which Richt laughed off when reminded that the media had only picked the winner correctly four times since division play began, saying, “I’m not happy to be named number two. I’m not going to start cheering ‘we’re number two’. I think that in the end it’s going to be Georgia.”

Definitely a confident statement coming from the head coach.

More posts will be coming today on more specific topics that coach Richt discussed during Thursday morning’s sesssion.