Thursday SEC Media Days Blog

Auburn is up on Thursday at SEC Media Days and we'll have full coverage.

1:08--Dooley said the Vols will not be a good team if running back Tauren Poole is not productive. He said that the offensive line needs to do a better job blocking for him and that they need to get another running back to complement him.

1:05--Dooley said he views scholarships as a contract which demands certain obligations to be met from both the student and the university. He said a football scholarship is no different than an academic scholarship, which can be taken away if conditions aren't met, so he likes how scholarships are currently set up.

1:00--Dooley said that he appreciates the NCAA's willingness to listen and begin to make significant changes on investigations and enforcement decisions. He said he understands what their challenges are and, in turn, they understand some of his concerns.

Dooley said he depends on video from recruiting services and that's it's valuable because it's easier to get footage from one source.

12:56--Dooley said he had mixed feelings about Will Muschamp being hired as the Florida head coach. "I'd have rather him been at Texas because he's a friend of mine." Dooley added that he doesn't think the nature of their friendship will have any impact on the way either team plays the game.

12:47--Tennessee head coach Derek Dooley said his 2011 team is the youngest team he's every been a part of or seen, adding that he feels that how quickly the young players develop will determine how successful the Vols will be in the SEC this season.

12:10--Wide Receiver Emory Blake said that quarterbacks Barrett Trotter, Clint Moseley and Kiehl Frazier have all been throwing the ball well during summer 7-on-7s and team captain practices.

11:38--Chizik said he told the incoming class that there were great opportunities to contribute and that if they were the best guy that gives Auburn a chance to win, they they would be the starter.
Chizik said he'll start the quarterback who gives Auburn the best chance to win, whether it is Barret Trotter, Clint Moseley or true freshman Kiehl Frazier.

11:33--Chizik on the round-robin scheduling in the SEC: He said it's neat that the players get to experience other teams in the Eastern Division.

Chizik said the NCAA has said that Auburn has done nothing wrong in the recruitment of Cam Newton in a response to Danny Sheridan's claim that he knew of a bag-man that had paid Cam Newton.

11:30--Chizik said the process to determine the eligibility of Mike Blakeley is ongoing and that he has high expectations for the running back.

11:28--Chizik said recruiting services can take a lot of the legwork out of the recruiting process and can be valuable. The bottom line, he said, is if the services are giving the needed information to properly evaluate recruits.

11:25--Chizik said he thinks the Auburn compliance office does a great job instructing coaches and players on the rules. He said he's worried about Auburn University and not what other schools are doing.

11:23--"I don't think you can replace a Cam Newton or Nick Fairley as far as production right way," Chizik said. He added that he feels good about the players he's recruited the past two classes.

11:21--Chizik on the Auburn/Alabama rivalry: "It's a great rivalry," he said, adding that the recent success at the two schools is good for the state of Alabama. He expects the rivalry to continue to be passioned and energized.

11:19--Chizik said all of the outside speculation and rumors are not a big part of what he concerns himself with. He said he feels great about where Auburn is at as a program.

11:17--On discussion at SEC meeting in Destin, Fla. with Julie Roe Lach: Chizik said he normally wouldn't talk about private meetings, but that he thought it was a good time to engage to with questions to get clarification. He said she was very willing to provide that clarification.

11:15--Chizik said he's not a hands-off coach and that he's going to impart his knowledge of the game in any way he can if it can help the team.
He said that one thing that is overlooked that speaks to the quality of the Auburn defense is that it finished the 2010 season as the leader in rushing defense in the SEC.

11:11--Chizik said he expectations are high for the sophomore year of running back Michael Dyer, adding that he needs to improve his pass protection.
Chizik said he's excited that offensive coordinator Gus Malzahn is returning this year.

11:08--Chizik said he thinks he has the best coaching staff in the country and that he's proud of the continuity of the staff which has only lost one assistant coach.

11:07--Chizik said that the goals and standards of the team, which are graduating players and competing for national championships, haven't changed.

11:05--Chizik said the moment the plane hit the ground after the BCS national championship game, they started focusing on the 2011 season. He said this year's team is a little light on experience.

11:04--Coach Gene Chizik said last year was an incredible journey for himself, his assistant coaches, players and fans.

10:50--Center Ben Jones on Coach Richt: "Coach Richt is like a father figure to us. That would crush us if something happened to Coach Richt because of us. We're taking it under our wing and playing with everything we've got in every game for Coach Richt. He's like everything to us.

10:48--Cornerback Brandon Boykin on the importance of the first two games: "If you win those first two games, you get national talk and potentially talk about winning the SEC if you beat South Carolina. They are a really strong team. Taking care of those first two games is really vital to our season, not just from the standpoint of us getting to the national championship, but our pride as a Georgia Bulldog."

10:45--Sophomore quarterback Aaron Murray said the team is using the season-ending loss to Central Florida and the season-opening game against Boise State as motivation as they prepare for the 2011 season.

Murray on not having a seasoned running back in 2011: "It definitely hurts a little bit not having one of those veteran guys, but when it comes to talent, we've got all the talent in the world when it comes to running back."

10:26--Because of depth issues, Richt said he hopes he doesn't get in the situation where he will 'lose his nerve" because of injuries.
Richt said his biggest problem at Georgia properly evaluating prospects and offering the right players. He said out-of-state schools offering players in Georgia puts pressure on the Bulldogs to extend their presence and offer those same players.

10:17--Richt said incoming freshman are going to be expected to contribute.
Richt said he thinks head coach Will Muschamp will be successful at Florida.

10:15--Richt said the Bulldogs' 2011 recruiting class has given Georgia momentum.

10:09--Richt said he's one player short of where he wants to be at the running back position as far as scholarships are concerned, but he doesn't think shifting tight end Orson Charles into the backfield is an answer.

10:06--Richt said the passion of SEC coaches, players, and fans is what separates the SEC from other conferences.
Stating the obvious, Richt said the SEC Eastern Division was down because they lost games and got whipped by the SEC West. He said he thinks the SEC West is the stronger division.

10:04--Richt said he's confident in the starting group he has on the offensive line, but added "If we get too many injuries, we could struggle."

10:00--Richt said he's excited about year two of playing defensive coordinator Todd Grantham's 3-4 scheme. He said it's important to recruit the players that fit the 3-4, including recent signee nose guard Johnathan Jenkins.
On losing to Central Florida, Richt said the loss was awful, but not devastating.

9:54--Richt said that quarterback Aaron Murray is a coach's dream. He said Murray's experience last season will serve him well for the rest of his career.
On playing Boise State: Richt said scheduling Boise State was good because it battles against the perception that Georgia has taken a step back.

9:53--Richt said there have been some players who having "gotten off the bus," and left the team.

9:44--Georgia head coach Mark Richt will take to the podium in a few minutes. The 2011 season is a pivotal one for Richt, whose 2010 team finished last season with a 10-6 loss to Central Florida in Liberty Bowl, giving the Bulldogs a losing record of 6-7.

8:58--Phillips said he instructs players to view what they Tweet on Twitter as an interview, adding that they should begin each tweet with "Dear General Manager."

8:54--Phillips said he thinks the dialogue of increasing player benefits is good. He said the discussion must find solutions that take care of everybody, in both men's and women's sports, and not just football.

8:50--Phillips said recruiting services are very important because it gives coaches a lead on players, although he said getting recruiting literature is more important than getting videos from them.

8:44--Phillips emphasized the need for Kentucky to be more disciplined and tough if it wants to contend for championships in the SEC.

8:40--Kentucky head coach Joker Phillips is at the podium. He said in order for the Wildcats to continue to rise as a program, with the goal of competing for an SEC Championship, the team will need to continue to focus on improvement, including becoming more aggressive. One key to elevating the Wildcats into contention, Phillips said, is fielding a great defense.

8:30--SEC Head of Officials Steve Shaw talked about some rule changes heading into the 2011 season. A couple of the more interesting ones were that blocking below the waist will still be allowed in the tackle box by offensive linemen and backs, but not players in motion. Also wide receivers can still block below the waist, but not in a crack-back situation where they hit a player from behind or the side.

He also said that there will no longer be a 15-yard penalty for illegal participation. Now all penalties will be classified as illegal substitution and will be five yards.

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