Richt Eager for Pivotal Game

ATHENS - Mark Richt said Sunday that there were no major injuries from Saturday's win.

On A.J. Green…

Same answer right now.

On the offense line pass blocking better than run blocking…

Yeah I would still say that. There was a couple of times when you run the ball you have to have about seven guys doing it just right up front. You've got your fullback and your tight end, along with your five linemen. And then the back, you know the runner has to read it just right. You know overall it was a good day; it wasn't a great day running the ball. I think once we play a little bit longer together in practice I think we'll be fine. I think the time that some of those guys missed certainly made a difference in this game. So hopefully as the time goes on we'll get stronger and sharper.

On Richard Samuel being on crutches…

Well the main thing, if you have any swelling at all, a knee or ankle or whatever it might be, we're going to try to put them on crutches. We're going to try to get them off of it as much as possible. We've had guys that have had an ankle sprain that might practice, but after practice stay in a boot, stay on crutches so when you're not practicing on it you take as much pressure off of it as possible. Just because you're on crutches doesn't mean it's going to be a long-term thing. Richard is close. Richard was starting to get very active in his rehab, running and changing and all that. It just kind of swelled up on him, but we don't think it's anything long-term.

On Kris Durham wearing Quintin Banks' No. 31 jersey…

Well Kris Durham came to me and said some of the seniors—I think they all want to wear his number because they want to honor Quintin who had to retire from football. So I'm sure more than one guy wanted to wear it, and I don't know who came up with the idea, but Durham came to me with the idea that more than one guy wanted to wear it and if I had a problem with it. If the jersey fits, wear it. I don't have a problem with it at all. I think it's great. I think he's a man worth honoring, so I think it's a good idea.

On Tavarres King

Well he's been practicing extremely well. He's in great condition. He had a super summer. He seems to be much more confidant than a year ago. He's become more physical in the blocking aspect, definitely more active and tenacious. Some guys can knock people out. Some guys if, you just get after it you can be a better blocker. He's got the attitude and an understanding of how important it is. I would think he'll definitely have an impact on this game.

On the running backs…

It will be very competitive. It will be interesting to see who gets what. Carlton did a nice job, not only as a runner, but he secured the ball. I will say he had one down on the goal line that the ball came out. It could have been called either way. Once the ball is on the ground, you're kind of at the mercy of the officials. I didn't like to see that, but he pass-protected well. For a little guy he got after it in that regard.

Caleb pass-protected extremely well. Of course he had that great touchdown run. It was a great third-and-short run. He broke some tackles and took it to the house. I think he got dinged up just a little bit. I don't think it was anything serious, but I think that bothered him during the game. But I think he did well. But with Washaun coming back, it's going to be hard to say how the reps are going to be distributed. But I think Carlton did well for himself with the opportunity that he got.

On Stephen Garcia…

It just looks like he's in charge. Like he really has taken on the leadership. I think I've always known he's always been a tough kid and a physical kid. He's kind of a linebacker-mentality. I don't think that's changed. He's seems to be making decisions more quickly and putting the ball where the coach wants it. I think he's improved a lot.

On the versatility of Branden Smith and South Carolina's Stephon Gilmore…

People are doing that. They're trying to find a way to get a little more firepower on offense. If there's a defensive kid who has that type of ability, like a Gilmore or Branden Smith, it's wise to get them in there. You know, Branden has made a difference for us. In the South Carolina game a year ago that reverse he ran, I don't know that we would have won that game without that play. It wasn't that hard to do. It doesn't take that much time to put in a couple of plays with these guys where they don't have to do an awful lot of studying. You just put a little package in for them on a weekly basis, and you get the ball in their hands with a little bit of space is what you're hoping for and let their abilities take over.

On the SEC East…

Well I always think it's wide open. You know at the beginning of the year, anybody can win. I feel that's the case again. We'll just see how it emerges out there. I think we'll have a decent idea in maybe two or three weeks of the way things are shaking up. I don't think anything will be final by then, but there will be somebody in the lead or at least a couple teams right there neck-and- neck.

So many teams capable of beating you, not only on the Eastern side, but we're all playing good teams in the West too.All those things come into play. Everybody is hoping to get one under their belt, get a victory in league play and try to grab as much momentum as you can because you're going to need it.

On hiring Todd Grantham…

It had nothing to do with the scheme. It had to do with finding the right man for the job. A guy who could really lead this defense and take command of it, the coaches and players; really have a great understanding of the frontend, the backend and everything in between; really be an expert on what he's doing because I'm not going to be micro-managing the defense side of the ball. I'm not a micro-manager in general. I do try to add some value to the offensive side-of-the-ball, and I do have some expertise on the offensive side of the ball. Defensively, I certainly understand defenses from an offensive standpoint, but I wouldn't say that I could coach defense at the level we need to be. That's why I had to make sure I hired a guy who could handle all that. Todd has really fit the bill extremely well.

On if Richt felt the 3-4 fit his current players well…

Well I didn't know for sure, and (Grantham) didn't know it either when he took. We had to get in there and start studying our personnel and look at who we had, see who could play where and what made the most sense. There's been a little moving around here and there, but for the most part we think we have everybody in the rights spots. If we stay healthy we'll be able to make it though the season.


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