Richt goes over QB plan

BIRMINGHAM – Mark Richt unveiled his quarterback competition to the rest of the Southeastern Conference on Wednesday. Facing more than 700 media members from around the region and nation at SEC Media Days, Richt made it through two questions before the subject of quarterbacks was broached.

"I'm pretty confident we have at least one," he said. "I think we have more than one who can get the job done. Now the job is to find out who that guy is and make sure he's ready."

Senior Joe Tereshinski will enter fall practice on Aug. 4 on the top of the depth chart due to seniority and preparedness for the job as of today, Richt said. Sophomore Blake Barnes, redshirt freshman Joe Cox and true freshman Matthew Stafford follow. In terms of the battle for the starting job, Richt ruled nothing out Wednesday, including trying a third quarterback at some point in the season if options Nos. 1 and 2 flop.

"I think the problem we have, which is a good problem, is it's a fairly tight race in my opinion," he said. "If your first-teamer is not that far ahead of your second-teamer, then you're more likely to want to see if the other guy can do it if your starter struggles. The closer you are in the competition, the tougher it is to be patient with a guy."

Each conference team brings two players to this event, traditionally one on offense and one on defense. Rather than throwing one of its quarterbacks into the fire, Georgia brought center Nick Jones, who was left to answer question after question about who will line up behind him.

"It's too many (questions) to count," he said. "They gave me the heads up that y'all would be asking about quarterbacks all day so it's not a shock."

Barnes is currently No. 2 on the depth chart, with Cox No. 3 and Stafford No. 4, and that's how the players stack up in terms of their readiness to play at this point, Richt said. He also pointed out that the Bulldogs don't play a game until Sept. 2 against Western Kentucky.

"There are a lot of practices between now and then," he said. "I hope there are some things that happen on the field that are obvious to me and the staff that we need to move in a certain direction."

Richt made it clear that he won't pick a quarterback based on the future.

"We can't play a guy based on potential," he said. "I don't want to look at our seniors and say, ‘We're going to play Joe Cox or Stafford to get them ready for next year.' We're going to try to win this year."

All the fuss about a new signal-caller is a bit lost on Georgia's coaches, Richt said.

"I've been coaching quarterbacks for 20-some years, and you just get used to the fact that you're going to have a new guy once in a while," he said. "If history repeats itself, we'll find somebody who's going to play well. I think our system has a lot to do with it; I think the way we coach guys has a lot to do with it, and I think the kind of guys we recruit has a lot to do with it."


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