"I'd like to say I read everything and hear everything that's reported, but does anybody ever say anything nice about the scout team? Okay, good. I'm glad. I'm thankful because they had another good day today. I talk a lot about scout team on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. If they do a bad job, we just don't have a chance to have a good practice. It's just impossible. They ran hard on special teams. They did an outstanding job offensively and defensively. We're very thankful for the job they did. Because of it, we had a chance for a good practice, and we had a good practice because everyone else followed suit. I liked the energy and enthusiasm out there—the execution, the teaching, the coaching. It was a good day."
Q: Some guys are still banged up. Is it ever a temptation to rest some kids a little bit more?
Richt: I don't think so. Guys want to play. In the NFL, you get paid. In college, you get to play. I think they all want to play. We want to be careful no matter who we're playing with these guys. But I think they all want to play.
Q: Are there any players you're concerned about as far as availability?
Richt: No. I think everybody will play.
Q: Is Malcolm Mitchell probably only on defense this week?
Richt: If he had been healthier from the very beginning, he probably would've gotten more reps offensively. I'm not saying he won't get any this week on offense. It's been a little difficult to do in that yesterday, he pretty much did scout team only work. It's kind of tough to do it. I don't want to use him on offense until I know he's really feeling great. But he may play some offense. I'd like to see a couple snaps anyway.
Q: Can you talk about how you handle concussion situations?
Richt: We do trust our doctors and Ron Courson to do that. One of the things we do is we measure their balance when they first come to Georgia, so we have a baseline for what it's like when they're 100%. If something does happen, we test them a little bit cognitively, too. Getting to know a kid you know how he communicates and know what's normal for a kid. You can look him in the eye and know if he's normal. If something happens to him, he has to first get asymptomatic—no headaches, nothing that feels like a concussion. Then we'll start excerting him, moving him around a bunch—not in practice but some things to get his blood flowing and see if something causes him to get a headache or something like that. If he passes that, we'll get him in that machine that tests his balance. If all that checks out, then that's when he gets to go back. There's more of a science to it.
Q: Do you ever find players reluctant to come off the field?
Richt: If we think a guy is impaired, we're taking him off, if we think he's struggling. Sometimes that's hard to know, especially when there's 22 guys on the field and things are happening fast. I mean, there's a collision every play. So you can't sit there and look everybody in the eye the entire ballgame. But if a guy, in between series or something, shows some signs of struggling or being out of it in any way, shape or form, then we'll get them to the trainer.
Q: How much have you seen that change over the years?
Richt: It's changed a lot. It should change. I think coaches and trainers and doctors think we're much more apt to say ‘get out,' when a lot of times the players are the ones that don't want to say anything to anybody. That probably still goes on. As far as coaches and trainers, we're not just going to ask them what day of the week it is and ship them back in there.
Q: Are you settled on who will redshirt and who won't at this point?
Richt: We're getting there. We talked about it a little today, as a matter of fact—which freshman have played up to this point and what it might look like. There's one guy that hasn't played a snap yet, but before it's over he might, he might not. You have Tibbs, who is a little similar to Chris Conley last year. After a game or two he didn't get in. We were thinking we might redshirt him and a couple things happened with hamstrings. Marlon had something going on, and Wooten was already out. We were like ‘we're not going to make it through the season without playing this kid.' We did play him and we're glad he did. He made a lot of plays for us, so he's an example of a kid that could end up getting in there.
Q: When LeMay got on the field, he was running to the sideline to get every play?
Richt: He doesn't have to. I think he's just kind of fired up and ready to go. He may have done that in high school. Sometimes they revert back to that. He doesn't have to do that. You'd have to ask him why he did that. More than likely, he was geeked up and ready to go.
Q: Does Marshall Morgan have a little confidence or arrogance or what you have to have as a kicker? Does it compare to where Blair was as a freshman?
Richt: I'm glad he's making his kicks. Ok, I'll say that… I think he's gaining confidence as he goes. Most of those guys that really work hard at their trade—extra points, field goals, kickoffs—they work hard and they have fundamentals. They believe in fundamentals and that's what gives them confidence. It's so hard to simulate what just happened in Missouri. When you go in there and make a 52-yarder…I think it really helps those guys, makes them feel like "Man, I can do this thing." I think everyone is vulnerable.
Q: Do you think it hurts not having an actual kicking coach? You have unit coaches but you don't have an actual kicking coach.
Richt: Here's the thing about kicking coaches…I think they're a little bit like golf coaches. I shouldn't say that because it might hurt somebody's feelings. I know some guys, as they're growing up, they have a golf coach—a guy that's been teaching them how to swing that club his whole life. That's the guy he kind of leans on. I think that same thing is true in coaching. You have a coach that's used to coaching or teaching you. Then if you come to Georgia or anywhere else and someone tries to change your fundamentals, it might blow them up. Sometimes I think there's a little bit of a blessing that we're not trying to mess them up and coach them up. I try to leave them alone because they know a lot more about it than I do for sure. I may say some things here and there just to help his confidence—his ability to know I have faith in him. That's probably the best thing I can do to contribute to a guy…You can literally have a kicking coach watching it on TV and be able to say that was good or that was bad. It might be good. We're not trying to mess them up.
Richt: Oh man, that's awesome. Oh yeah. Damien was coaching at my son's school—Mars Hill—for the last couple of years and really did a super job. I kind of hooked his coach—Coach Clifton—and him up. They got to talk, and Coach Clifton liked him and ended up hiring him. I'm pleased to see Damien do well because I know he did well at Mars Hill. Another bit of great news is Kelin Johnson graduated. Put that on the fuel injection board. You know what that is? You don't know what the fuel injection board is? The fuel injection board is the monitor that has all the positive stuff that happens here at Georgia. It's from the energy bus last year. How do you fuel the energy bus? With positive energy. So anything positive you put on the fuel injection board. If you ever hear a kid out in the middle of practice say ‘put that on the fuel injection board,' it means something positive happened.