Georgia's Richt sees good future for Bulldogs

University of Georgia head football coach Mark Richt and a couple of his players offers their insights on the 2002 season today at Southeastern Conference Media Days in Birmingham, Ala.

Head Coach Mark Richt

"I can see better this year, had little laser surgery. Maybe that will help me in heat of battle keep an eye on that clock.

"We're very excited about this season. We're a little more optimistic this year. We've got group of guys that have a better idea of what we want as coaches. We've got coaching staff returned in entirety. They have a better idea of what I want. The transition this year is a lot easier than year ago.

"Offensively, we've got David Greene. Without a question, he is our starting quarterback. He did a fantastic job as a freshman. D.J. Shockley is a guy who has proved to me and the staff that he's a very talented guy, a guy who has a chance do great things for us. We'll play D.J. early in every ballgame. How well he does will decide how much more playing time he'll get.

"I've had a little experience with quarterbacks in the same class or near the same class. ... Peter Tom Willis and Chip Ferguson, roommates, teammates, competed against each other their entire careers. If we get a couple of guys that like each other, respect each other's ability, it goes a long way in keeping the camp from being divided.

"(On the quarterbacks) Good passers, decision makers, good students. The fact that they like each other and respect each other is really gonna help us.

"Terrence Edwards getting ready to set lot of career records for us. I'm very excited what he can do along with other returning yardage leaders, Fred Gibson and Damien Gary. Those guys are ready to play. We have Reggie Brown coming back off knee injury. I think the receiving corp has a chance to be good. We know they are capable of making the plays but there can't be an off game in that skill group. If they drop the ball, it's gonna be a tough time winning this league.

"Defensively, Tony Gilbert will be the first player to lead team in tackles, if healthy, three years in a row. He's a tremendous leader for us. He and Boss Bailey, those two guys are without question the leaders of our defense. We're going to need good leadership on defense with inexperienced players at corner and safety."

Offensive Tackle Jon Stinchcomb

"We appreciate the preseason recognition we have received, but our approach to the upcoming season has not changed. We still have a lot of hard work ahead of us. This season is more about the team than individual honors."

"I am excited about playing every week. You can't look past any team. Every week you have to come with your A game, especially with a schedule like the one we have at Georgia."

"The returning offensive line should be a strength for us. There is a lot of experience there and we are going to have to draw from that if we want to be successful this season."

"Our offense can function properly with either quarterback in the game because we are lucky enough to have two very talented guys out there. We don't have to answer the question of which one is talented enough to play. They both bring two totally different games on the field and they both work hard."

"Producing in the red zone is something we worked on in the spring and it is something we will work in during fall practice. We know that in order to win the big games, you have to be able to score when you get in the red zone."

Linebacker Boss Bailey

"Only thing that matters is what we think of ourselves."

"As far as rankings, the ones that really matter are the ones at the end of the season. We're striving to be in the top five at the end of the season. It's past overdue to win a SEC championship."

"We're going to do our best to lead this defense. We've got guys in front of us and in back of us with experience."

"It's going to be a dogfight. There's not one team that's a dominant right now. We can be the best Georgia's ever been right now."

"The recruitment coach is doing a great job. Now we're trying to put some trophies in the trophy case."

"It's basically a toss-up. Any SEC team can win it. It's really a toss-up. There's going to be some exciting games."

"I have 12 games circled on my schedule. Every game is a big game. Every game is really important right now."

"The coaches and players coming back is a positive thing."

"It will be a lot smoother. The coaches know the players. It will help with the chemistry of the team."

"It was amazing. I've never been involved in a game like that in my life. For us to come back and take it home was amazing."

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