Richt Updates Darrion Owens & More

Read on to see everything Mark Richt was saying following Thursday morning's practice.

Head Coach Mark Richt

Opening Statement…

"Very short and sweet practice today, day after the scrimmage. Tomorrow we're going to have a full fundamental day again, so we wanted to give them a little bit of a break. We basically did most everything we normally do, we just kind of condensed the time of it. We also had some orientation meetings with a lot of our freshmen today, so that's why we're doing it in this certain window. We had Dr. [Julio] Frenk address us and Blake James, our Athletics Director, address us - the entire athletic community, I think that was at nine o'clock this morning. We started a little later because of that. It worked out - this is just what we needed."

On the message from President Frenk…

"Just how much he appreciates athletics as it relates to a university setting, and our responsibility to do things right - do things within the NCAA, ACC and university policy. Let's work together. We are a community, we are the U Family. That was mainly the message. He thanked everybody for our hard work, but also, 'help keep us accountable to doing things right.'"

On any takeaways from the team’s second scrimmage…

"I think we got our money's worth as coaches. It was a pretty long scrimmage. I thought the players just gave it up - you go back and watch the tape, there's very little...I just don't see much loafing around. Usually somebody is dogging it out there and you have to get on them, but that part has been probably the most pleasing thing of camp, is the effort of these guys every day. A lot of it is coaching and being on the same page, and sending the same message every day.  Don't one day say this is okay and the next day you decide that you're going to get mad at it. Just be consistent. But as far as the scrimmage overall, I would say by tomorrow we'll give you the stats as our staff put them together. It's late news, but it might be interesting for the fans."

On which players he has seen take on leadership roles defensively…

"[Rayshawn] Jenkins definitely. I like what Corn [Elder] is doing. I'm watching guys practice hard and take coaching. Sometimes, when everybody is going hard and everybody is doing their thing, there's not a whole lot of work to lead. Like I'm saying, I don't have to get everybody to go. I don't see anybody feel like he has to grab his teammate and get them to go. They're all doing it, and I think they enjoy that. I think they respect each other enough to do that. It's early, it's the first year, I don't know how many games we'll win, but we're working hard and I'm proud of it, in that area."

On the improvement of the defense from a tackling perspective…

"There's no question. Tackling in the box, most everybody can tackle in the box. It's when people get out in space when you miss tackles. That's mostly defensive backs - safeties, corners - offensively, the goal is to block everybody but a safety or a backside corner on a stretch play...if you do break it out, somebody has to defeat a block and go close that space and corral that guy and get him on the ground. Usually you can't do that by yourself. You do that because of team hustle and taking proper angles. Just the approach of the open-field tackles have made a huge difference."

On if he gained any clarity on the back-up quarterback role

"Yeah, but I haven't told those guys yet. By tomorrow, we'll know who's at least battling or still in the battle. I won't name a No. 2, but I'll narrow it down."

On if he sees Darrion Owens playing in the season opener, and Michael Pinckney’s injury…

"I hope so. I don't know what [Darrion] used to look like. But he looks, still, he doesn't look like he's flying around, 100 percent full speed every snap. Maybe just kind of getting to trust it again. I don't know. Pinckney, I would hope yes. He's just had a hamstring issue that’s been bothering him.”


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