Dean Legge/Dawg Post

Dawgs Tries to Ignore the Noise

ATHENS - Ignore the noise. That’s a message Georgia football coach Mark Richt tells his players whether there’s praise or criticism directed at the team.

There’s plenty of noise now about Richt’s future at Georgia from those in the media or disgruntled fans calling for a change.

“It’s definitely something I think about it every now and then,” senior outside linebacker Jordan Jenkins said Tuesday. “It’s their jobs on the line. If we don’t finish strong the coaches might be fired. It might be a clean sweep like some other schools are doing. I feel something like that is detrimental to the program when you fire a whole staff, when you fire a coach. It sets back everything that was set in motion.”

That can be true with some coaching changes but not so far at Florida, which just beat Georgia 27-3 under first-year coach Jim McElwain.

“Yeah,” Jenkins said. “Let me not comment on that.”

Richt, in his 15 th  season at Georgia where he is 141-51 with two SEC championships but none since 2005, certainly knows his high-profile, high-paying job comes with much scrutiny. 

“I've said for years that I've always wanted to be at a school where the people care,” he said. “I've always wanted to be at a school where there's tremendous support, where people are going to get in the stands and get excited and have passion, and you can't just decide to have passion one way. People have opinions, and when things don't go well, I don't blame people for getting mad or upset or whatever. But I do want everybody in the Bulldog nation to support our players.”

Richt said he hasn’t had any conversations with athletic director Greg McGarity or UGA president Jere Morehad about the program, coaching staff or his job in recent days. Georgia has lost three of the last four including blowout losses to Alabama and Florida.

“You know, what we've done to this point really doesn't define us as much as what we do from here on, and that's how you've got to handle adversity in a season and that's how you've got to handle adversity in life in my opinion,” he said. “You have to decide what are you going to do now. What we're going to do now is we're going to focus on our jobs, we're going to fight like mad, and we're going to do it together. That's what we're going to do.

Jenkins said Georgia players are pushing forwards not only for the seniors but for the coaches.

“A lot of people say coach Richt doesn’t have any intensity, he doesn’t have any emotion," Jenkins said. "They’re not with him day in and day out like we are, five to seven days a week. The man is emotional. He’s a great coach, a great father figure. He does a lot for this team, he does a lot for this program. People just don’t see what’s behind closed doors.”

Asked what he thought he had to do the rest of the season to be able to move forward at Georgia, Richt said: “Well, I think you need to play good. I think you need to. Winning some games would help, too.”

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