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Tuesday Q&A with Mark Richt

Read on to see everything Mark Richt was saying a few days before his team takes on Duke in the regular season finale.

Head Coach Mark Richt Post-Practice Transcript

Duke – November 22, 2016

 

Opening Statement . . .

 

“Today was mostly good, mostly good. [Pause] Mostly good. That’s good enough.”

 

On what bad happened . . .

 

“I don’t know. I just wasn’t sure if it was just all-out effort. I thought there was a lot of effort, but I’m not sure if it was unanimous. So, a couple things got under my crawl.”

 

On how he lets the team know about that . . .

 

“I just let them know. I ask them who they want to be. What do you want to be known for?”

 

On if the team has learned how to practice and knows what he expects . . .

 

“Oh, yeah. It’s very rare [I have to remind them]. I don’t if it was just awful. There were a few moments that I didn’t like and I have a hard time letting it go, maybe. When I watch film, I doubt I’ll be able to tell the difference. Overall, it was good, but I think it was just few moments where I just don’t know if everybody’s heart was in it whole-heartedly today. Everybody is on vacation and all that, but so what? I mean, if we’re here, we might as well be great. That’s the way I see it.”

 

On if the players being off from class has an affect this week . . .

 

“Well, yeah, I’m sure it does. It really wasn’t awful. We’re all going to make a big deal about it because I’m over here feeling like it wasn’t just perfect, but it wasn’t bad. It wasn’t just perfect. It wasn’t great; it was pretty good. I don’t like pretty good.”

 

On if there are certain individuals he wishes he played more at positions of depth . . .

 

“Well, here’s the deal; they all had the opportunity to play special teams and a lot of them did. That’s what we want. When you’re young, sometimes that’s how you play. You help the team by getting on specials and you also prove that you’re ready for big-time ball and everything. So, that’s one way to get on there. And the other part, you just can’t predict the future. You don’t know who is going to stay healthy the whole time and all that. You’ve got to get guys ready and early in the year I pretty much said, ‘Play all these guys. Play them all because we’re going to need them before the season is over.’ Some kind of embraced it and took advantage of it, and some of them didn’t.”

 

On how thankful he is for the seniors and what they have contributed to the team . . .

 

“They’ve been great. You get a new coach, you can have an attitude about it or resist this or resist that. I really never felt that from the seniors. I felt that they were part of the group that was trying to make the best of it and kind of get excited about it, and I think for the most part did. And I am thankful for that, and I’m thankful that this relationship is going to last for more than 11 months, or whatever it is, 12 months. They’re going to be a part of this family for good, just as I am, and we’re going to help take care of them in the future, too.”

 

On if there are any seniors he thinks may want to get into coaching like offensive coordinator Thomas Brown did . . .

 

“Oh, I don’t know. There are always those candidates. A guy like Thomas Brown, that guy was an everyday, show up, go to work, kick tail [kind of guy]. He was like the best guy in the weight room, he was the best guy on the practice field, [he was that] type of guy. Ronnie Dugans, same type of guy. Hard-worker, tough, would block, would do the little things. Guys that were conscientious as players tend to be pretty good as coaches. And there are some guys that were maybe not quite as mature—I mean, I know I wasn’t very mature sometimes as a player here. Sometimes you grow up a little later in life and you mature a little later in life, but usually the guys that you can tell, if they’re locked in right now, they’ve got a chance to be really good at whatever they choose to do really, not just coaching.”

 

On whether defensive coordinator Manny Diaz has gotten as much out of Miami’s defense as anyone possibly could have . . .

 

“They’ve done a great job. Obviously, it’s not over yet. We’ve got another couple games, but I’m really pleased with coach Diaz, the staff, the rest of the defensive staff, the players. We had no idea. Really, when you watch how it started in the spring to how they play right now, there has been a huge change in my mind, in my opinion, the way I see it. I’m really proud of all our coaches, but those guys did a really beautiful job on the defensive side.”

 

On if it changes his mind about how good this group of defensive players could be . . .

 

“We’re senior-laden loaded in the back end and we’re going to miss those guys for sure, but everywhere else, we’re relatively young. Most everybody should be back and that’s a really good sign. Hopefully we’re strong enough up front to be able to handle some youth in the back end. We handled youth at the linebacker position, but they’re not young anymore. So, hopefully we’ll find some kids very much like we found at the linebacker position and [have them in the] defensive backfield and be ready to be a pretty strong group.”

 

On Duke not having a great record and if anybody takes that for granted . . .

 

“Well, all I know is they beat two teams we couldn’t beat. They played Notre Dame and beat them; we didn’t do that. They played North Carolina and beat them; we didn’t do that. So, they’ve got my respect, I can tell you that.”

 

On if he makes sure every player has a place to be for Thanksgiving or if they all go to his house . . .

 

“Yes. They’re all welcome to [come to my house]. Everybody, by each position, makes sure that their position group has a place to be.  Just for the record, all the QBs have a place to be. The only guy who says he’s coming to my house is Sunny [Odogwu]. He says he’s going to every assistant coach’s house to eat some of their food and he’s going to finish at my house and pass out on my couch. So, we’ll see.”


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