Media Day in Athens: Press conference

Georgia Head Coach Mark Richt and selected memebers of the team met with the media today.

Head coach Mark Richt...

On Expectations for this season
''I expect, like I do every year, to go into every game expecting to win and preparing with the thought in mind that 'we're going to win this game.' I don't think you can take it much farther than that.''

On the Defensive Line
''The more I think about it, that 'D' line is a little shaky. There's Jonathan Sullivan, who's a proven player, and everybody else inside really hasn't proved a whole lot. Kenny Veal has played some downs but hasn't really proved that he can be a legitimate starter. The guys behind him are SO young. And as you know we lost three senior defensive ends, plus Charles Grant...some big shoes to fill. Robert Geathers is the most experienced end coming back, as far as snaps are concerned, and he was a true freshman last year. Then you take David Pollack, who did very well inside last year and we're moving him outside. On defense, that would certainly be my biggest concern. ''Defensive back positions probably took as many hits, as far as starters were concerned. But the good news is we've got (Bruce) Thornton, who's played an awful lot, and Decory Bryant, who played extremely well at the end of last season. We still have two experienced corners back there, which gives me some peace. Then you've got Sean Jones, who's going to be starting at safety. So there's a little more experience on the perimeter.''

On Musa Smith's health...
''Musa's fine, physically. He's been fine all summer. I'm sure he's a little jittery going into the start of practice, wondering how he's going to come out of it. He has a clean bill of health. He has no limitations on him, so we're going to practice him as if it were his freshmen year. ''Compare it to preparing for a ballgame. We prepare for a game. These guys study, they're ready. A guy might know that he's prepared perfectly for a game, but still, at that moment of truth he gets some butterflies. I'm sure that Musa might be feeling some of these emotions right now, but once the game starts the butterflies tend to go away and you start playing.

On the Center position...
''I would have to say that the center job is the one starting position that is up for grabs right now. Not to say that somebody couldn't overtake a guy at another position with a great camp, but we're not really leaning one way or another at the center position, as a coaching staff. We're going to play it out and see who's done what this summer and see who seems to be most game-ready.''

On incorporating Freshmen in with Varsity practice...
''We can't slow down for them (freshmen). If one of them is in the starting lineup, we might have to slow down. They're going to go through that stage of confusion pretty soon, when we go at the pace the Varsity is used to. So far we've taught them at their pace as much as we can. When the Varsity comes in, we're installing the entire offense in about a 3-day period. We should have it all in during the first six practices. I know that's going to blow their minds. You might teach them the offense vs. a single defensive front, but when you start changing the fronts, twisting and blitzing, it's just too much for them.''

On coaching in his second season...
''I'm excited that we have a better idea of what we're doing as a staff and a group of players. And there's talent out there, certainly. It's going to come down to whether these guys will make the plays or not. I think we'll put them in position to make the plays and they've got to make them. If we get hot early and we build some momentum and we might be pretty good. But if we're out there fumbling around, it's going to be hard to score points. ''I look back on last year and the majority of our problems were a matter of execution. Doing just one or two little things a little bit better. There were surely some plays that were called that might not have been the best for a certain situation. But I still think that play-calling is a little overrated. It all comes down to execution.''

Player Quotes
Terrence Edwards, Sr., FLK
''Everybody has worked hard in the off-season to get better. Everyone feels we can play in the SEC Championship game.''

''Our ultimate goal is to win the SEC. If we can do that, we should have the opportunity to play for a national championship.'' "I'm very comfortable (going into the second year with the current coaching staff). I picked the offense up pretty quickly. Everyone knows what the coaches want and the coaches know the players.''

''We usually play a school we know we're going to beat (in the season opener). This year, we don't know that. We could possibly start the season 0-2. We need to play to our potential and meet the expectations.''

Jon Stinchcomb, Sr., ST
''Losing (strong tackle) George (Foster) hurts us a lot. He's a great player. Luckily, we have guys who hopefully will step up and fill those shoes.'' ''(The two-a-day practices are) a crash course. We just have three weeks before we play a game. Three weeks from now we need to be game ready.'' ''Hopefully, an unknown commodity that proves to be an advantage for us is team cohesiveness. Hopefully, we'll go out and live up to the hype we've received so far.''

Decory Bryant, Jr., WC
"We've been working hard all summer long getting ready for the season. Clemson will be a good test to see where we stand. Every player on the team has to step up this year."

Musa Smith, Jr., TB
''It was real frustrating last season. I'd be on the field in agony over the injury, not knowing when it would heal up.'' ''I'm close to 100 percent. I feel strong. I feel a lot better than last year. Hopefully, everything works out.'' ''The off-season is a grind. We've got a great group of guys pushing for one thing and that's motivating.'' ''There's high expectations for this team, especially the offense. We're just ready to go. We're a lot more comfortable, knowing what to expect from (the coaches).''

Boss Bailey, Sr., SLB
''We have to try to get the younger guys to realize that one practice won't do it. You've got to try to elevate your game each time your on the field.'' ''The defense has a lot of guys with game experience. The linebacker corps is really experienced with Tony (Gilbert), Chris (Clemons) and myself. We're ready to lead these guys to the promised land.'' ''I really think it's possible (to win a championship this year). It's up to us whether we execute our game plan and come out with victories this year.''

David Greene, RSo., QB
''Our first goal is to win every game. Hopefully, that puts us in the SEC Championship and from there to the Fiesta Bowl.'' ''It definitely helps knowing what to expect. After last year, we kind of know what we're getting into.'' ''We've got a lot of young talent. We have a bunch of young guys on defense that need to step up. I'm excited about them getting to play and show what they can do.''

Tony Gilbert, Sr., MLB
''Clemson is a great team. They have a lot of great athletes. We're not looking past them at all.'' ''We're going to go out and work hard and get ready for our first game. I'm confident right now (in the defense). We'll need to make a lot of plays and keep our mistakes down.''


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