A long pause ensued as the gathered reporters tried to read Richt's poker face, but he couldn't hold back his laughter for long.
No, the third-string freshman won't be starting Saturday, and neither will Gray, Richt finally admitted.
"Joe's the quarterback, and we're good," Richt said. "It's not unusual to have your second-team QB take a couple snaps with your (first) unit."
Of course, while Richt's denial of the report was adamant, he's diffusing of the details of the rumor weren't quite as enthusiastic.
Richt was asked if Cox took snaps with the No. 1 unit Wednesday and whether the senior quarterback was experiencing any shoulder problems. Rather than deny an injury, Richt said the quarterbacks took snaps based on the standard procedure the team plans to follow this season.
"What we've been doing with Joe is giving him off Wednesday as far as throwing the ball, and then Thursday he'll work," Richt said. "We want to make sure his arm is as fresh as it can be."
Richt joked that after five years at Georgia, Cox was "getting old" and needed the extra rest, but failed to shoot down the notion of potential shoulder soreness or refute the possibility that Gray could see increased playing time.
"We want Joe to have as much pop as he can have, and that's why he's doing it," Richt said. "(Gray) will get the second most amount of reps behind Joe."