Mark Richt, Vince Dooley, and Loran Smith greeted the Augusta Bulldog Club Monday night in downtown Augusta. Tickets were twenty dollars and the meal was furnished by Wifesaver, a local eatery in the CSRA. The food, as usual, was outstanding.
The night was highlighted by Richt's discussion of the probable starters for every position. Among other things, Richt highlighted a few areas:
1. David Greene and DJ Shockley with both play during the 2002 season. Richt noted that although DJ and his mother never thought about leaving Georgia to go to another school, DJ's father, a high school coach in Atlanta, thought about it. Richt pointed out that Shockley's father saw Greene's performance in the Tennessee game and was apprehensive about his son playing second fiddle for several seasons. Richt also pointed out that he understood where Mr. Shockley was coming from.
Richt said that Mr. Shockley's concerns were addressed satisfactorily when Richt confirmed that DJ would be given a fair shake at the number one quarterback position.
Richt also pointed out that both quarterbacks styles will help Georgia confuse and even out-prepare other teams. He noted that Shockley's running ability in the spread offense could be very effective and that he will cause match up problems for many teams in the conference.
2. Richt also pointed out that the two probable leaders for the 2002 season are Jon Stinchcomb and Tony Gilbert. Richt went on and on about Gilbert and even called him a "warrior" at one point.
3. Although many are concerned about the abilities of the secondary, Richt attempted to sooth those worries with his analysis of the secondary's situation. He said that Bruce Thornton could be one of the best corners in the SEC and possibly even the country with a little more time at the position.
4. Richt also pointed out that although the offensive line was probably going to start five seniors, they have not had the same offensive line coach the whole time that they have been in Athens. This spring is the first one where the offensive line coach has been the same. Richt also pointed out that the line cannot afford any injuries because after the starting five, the two-deep is full of young players with limited experience.
5. Richt, like the rest of the crowd from Athens was very light hearted about the Auburn game and the poor time management on the part of Richt. Richt said that Loran Smith was a little harsh on him during his speech, but laughed it off.
Overall, the meeting started at 5:30 and did not end until 8:30. It is obvious that Richt is willing to answer every question that is asked and is also willing to go out of his way to meet and talk with supporters.
The Dooley and Smith also noted that Richt is "learning from his mistakes". Dooley also noted that Richt was the first Georgia Head Coach to win eight games since H. Stegman did it in the early part of the 20th century. Dooley asked that if "anyone in the room that can remember that please stand up, if you can."
Smith added that he felt like Richt's teams are "tougher". The comment was probably directed at Jim Donnan and his inability to control and manage the Georgia program. Although Smith did not directly name Donnan, Smith's comments appeared to be directed at Donnan when he said that teams in the past had been a "little soft." Smith pointed out that Richt's team does not have that problem.
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