Richt discusses new-look O-line

Georgia football coach Mark Richt has heard the question so much that he's probably hearing it in his sleep: How good will the Dawgs be in the offensive line, where they must replace all five starters from 2002?

No one ever asks about replacing star running back Musa Smith. No one ever asks about replacing record-breaking wideout Terrence Edwards. EVERYONE wants to know about Georgia's O-line.

Here's what Richt had to say during a recent SEC teleconference, when asked about the importance of experience in the offensive line:

''You've got to have a good line to be good. If your line is like ours -- young and inexperienced -- you've got to be tough, mentally and physically. I think they are.''

While Georgia's line will be relatively green this fall, it is talented. The key is bringing along the young linemen at a reasonable pace and not putting too much pressure on them early in the season.

''We're going to have to do some things to help them,'' Richt conceded. ''We can't throw 40 times per game and expect them to pass-protect without using some kind of misdirection or moving the pocket some. We've got to create enough of a running game to have people respect that.''

The fact Georgia has two quality quarterbacks -- David Greene and Jeremy Shockley -- should lessen the burden on the new-look blocking front. At least, that's what Richt is hoping.

''When you have veteran quarterbacks behind them, that guy doesn't have to hold the ball as long as a rookie,'' the head man said. ''When you get a rookie in there (behind a young line) that combination can really be lethal to you. Because David is so sharp and Shockley has the ability to move, I think we can hopefully get through this year without too much damage.''


Inside Tennessee Top Stories