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Thursday, October 16, 2008

Deleted Scenes: Week 7

I transcribed nearly 12,000 words from interviews this week, and frighteningly enough, I used most of them. Here are a few that somehow managed to slip through the cracks:

Mark Richt on Bryan Evans and Prince Miller: "They both have played a good bit, and both have taken turns starting. Prince is also the No. 1 nickel man, so when you're in a lot of three- and four-wide receiver sets, they're both in there. I think Prince has played well, but if you play corner, you're going to get beat. We saw him get beat, but that was a fantastic throw and catch. You couldn't have placed the ball any better. But all those guys are going to get beat, and they've got to brush themselves off and go back and compete. If Prince has moved ahead of Bryan to a certain degree, Bryan needs to go back and fight and win his playing time back."

Richt on how coaching change at Clemson has affected his son, Jon, who is a freshman there: "That's part of the decision for these guys but you can't separate a relationship from the program. It's hard to. When you're being recruited, you're being recruited by a human being, not by a building or an institution. The institution needs to matter to you, and Clemson is a very fine institution, and we felt very comfortable with the kind of school that it was and the education he would get there, so that definitely is a factor, but there was a lot of schools that give good educations and good college experiences, and it's usually the recruitment that will sway a kid, as far as the people, the personalities. There's just a trust factor that they have or don't have.

"Here's the deal with Jon. I love him, of course, as a father would love a son, but I'm much more concerned about his experience in learning to handle disappointment. He's handling disappointment right now. He's got disappointment in his life, something that he didn't really plan on. Now he's got to react to it how are you going to react to it? That's the way it is in life. Things don't go the way you want, so now what are you going to do? I hope he plays, I hope he has a great time on the field and things like that, but if he doesn't, he doesn't. That's another part of life. I went through that myself. I had all my goals and dreams, and Jim Kelly played. But I grew up during my college days, not because I got everything I wanted, but because I went through the tough times, and this is part of the deal."

Richt on what last year's Vandy game did for Darryl Gamble's career: "Any time a guy makes a play that you say saved a season or allows you to reach the heights you've reached, that's good medicine for those guys. He wasn't playing a lot of snaps at the time, but he maximized an opportunity, which all it does is give him confidence and gives the coaches confidence, and was certainly a spring board for what he's doing now. Darryl's always been talented, but Darryl, like all of them really, they've got to learn to work at a certain level, they've got to learn to focus at a certain level, and they've got to understand how crucial one play can be. In high school, a lot of those guys can just run around and make plays. But it's just a more defined situation in college. There's less margin for error if you want to be successful, and he's learning that now. He's embracing it, and I think he's starting to feel more successful as coaches are giving him more of a responsible role. To start at Mike linebacker last week and play well did him good, and it did us good, too."

Richt on Knowshon Moreno's season: "Here's what I say about Knowshon: Knowshon is going to make great runs every game. Knowshon is going to make people miss. Knowshon is going to break tackles. The question is where does he start making people miss and where does he start breaking tackles. Does it happen at the line of scrimmage? I have seen him make some great 3-yard runs. I have seen him behind the line of scrimmage have to dodge a guy and spin and get four yards. Wow, that is a fantastic run. But then there are other times the line will get him through the initial group and he starts making guys miss four, five, six yards down the field and hopefully can break it big. I think Knowshon has run every bit as good as he has ever run it is just about getting him to a certain point where he can get some space."

Richt on the tight end situation: "I am just glad (Bruce Figgins) played the game and didn't have any ill effects at all. He said I feel this good I can go.' He wanted to go. It just says a lot about him and his willingness to try to sacrifice for the team. In some ways, he knows he is going to start this week, he may keep the starting job the rest of the year, I don't know, he knows Tripp's coming back too. He wants to help the team win right now and he knows it is a great opportunity to play. He's going to help us.

"Another thing that is going to help us is just Aron White getting better. He moved from No. 3 to No. 1, those open dates, those two weeks of practice made a huge different in his confidence, in our confidence in him. Especially as a blocker. Again, I am not sitting here saying he is this dominating player, he is only 228 pounds and he is blocking players in the 250, 260 range. But he understands where he needs to put his helmet and where he needs to put his fans and how hard he has to fight to stave off those guys."

Richt on comparing Boling to Trinton Sturdivant: "They are similar athletes. Trinton is outstanding. I would say Boling is on the outstanding level as far as offensive line is concerned. I know we are inexperienced and have lost some guys to injuries and things of that nature up front but I do think we have the right types of bodies and athletes in there right now. Vincent Vance was a huge man that can move and Trinton can and Boling can, Bean can, Justin Anderson. Cordy Glenn, those are five guys that are very big men that are athletic enough o play tackle. Josh Davis is growing into that."

Richt on Asher Allen: "Asher played very well last game. He broke up some passes, had that tackle behind the line of scrimmage on the reverse. It was a highly productive day for him. The boundary corner for us is a special guy. It's hard to find a corner who can cover and is also as physical against the run as you have to be to play, and Asher is a guy that can do that, and he does it as well as any boundary corner we've had and we've had some pretty good ones."

Reshad Jones on Mo Massaquoi and A.J. Green: "I think they probably are the best 1-2 tandem in the SEC. If Mo has a bad game, A.J. picks up the slack. If A.J. has a bad game, Mo picks up the slack. But both of them have been playing pretty good. In practice though, I own A.J."

Jones on how good the secondary has been: "On a scale of 1 to 10, I think the secondary's been like a seven-and-a-half. I think we've been playing pretty good, but we need to capitalize on the turnover ratio, the balls that hit our hands that we haven't gotten an interception on."

Matthew Stafford on what Massaquoi's leadership has done for Green: "Especially in the summer just getting him familiar with some of the basics so when we got in here, he could have a base down of what we're trying to do. He's learning from Mo all the time, and it's been good for Mo, too, knowing that somebody's watching him."

Tony Ball on why Richard Samuel returned kicks instead of Ramarcus Brown against Tennessee: "We wanted to give him a chance to see what he could do because he's a guy that I believe can do it. Ramarcus has done it. We all know he's done an outstanding job. But I think it gives us depth there and creates competition, and you want to do that. He played in this game because I felt like he could give me another dimension, and that's the reason why he was there and he's earned the opportunity. But Re-Re still gives me that one-two punch."

Bryan Evans on the play of the DBs:
"I think a lot of times we're in perfect position, we've just got to make plays. Last game, we dropped a couple interceptions that I think we should have had. But overall, I think the secondary is doing pretty good. We just need to come up with the interceptions."

Evans on the secondary's role in stopping the run:
"We can't expect our D line to make all the play defending the run, so we've got to come up and make our plays. But when we see our D line do good, they're depending on us. It's kind of a mutualism. I think it all works hand in hand together."

Ramarcus Brown on the secondary's lack of interceptions: "We've dropped a lot of picks, but our guys have been making a lot of other plays, like coming up on the run. We haven't had a lot of opportunities to make picks, but the ones we have had, we haven't capitalized on them."

Rennie Curran on Darius Dewberry's struggles to earn playing time after being suspended:
"It was very hard for him, especially coming off the kind of offseason he had. He had been limited and was finally starting to get back in stride, completing rehab, and when the season comes, he's not able to go. When you know you've worked hard and put a lot of time into things, you expect to get results, and sometimes it doesn't work out like that. But he's kept a great attitude, kept focus, and he's bounced back, shown resilience through everything."

Marcus Dowtin on Dewberry's attitude throughout the season:
"Obviously he was disappointed that he wasn't able to be out there, but he was still there in practice, and he was always encouraging everybody else. From what I could see on the outside, you would perceive that it didn't bother him, but on the inside I think it bothered him not being able to be out there."


Andy Landers on the team's new conditioning program:
"Our concentration has been on in the fall getting in the best physical condition, and to that end, we've changed what we've done for many, many years with conditioning. For many years, our conditioning has taken place outside, and basically we've moved it all inside. I ran it, I created the game plan for it because I wanted to have a firsthand feel for what we were doing and whether or not it reached the objective that we wanted. To that end, the attitude, I injected a little vinegar in there to try to get some of the toughness back, and we've accomplished some of that this year. The kids have been terrific."

Zac Swansey on Trey Thompkins: "He's somebody we can put inside or outside. He can shoot real well. When the bigger guys are guarding him, he can take them outside and shoot the jump shot. When the little guys are guarding him, he can take them inside. I think he's a very diverse player, somebody we can look to for mismatches. He's a great scorer and a great rebounder, so I think he's somebody we're going to look to heavily this year."

Albert Jackson on Thompkins: "I feel like he can be whatever he wants to be, whatever he works to be. You're going to go through your bumps and bruises. I think every big man is surprised the physicallness, how tough you have to be, but his skills are amazing. I think he compliments my game. He's going to flourish, and I feel like by midseason he could be the best freshman in the SEC. He definitely has the ability."

Thompkins on what he expects from his season: "I wouldn't say pressure. I'd say expectations. Me being who I am, I'm a great player, and now I've got great players around me, so it'll be a lot easier for me to perform at my highest. We've got a great group of guys and it takes a lot of pressure off of me. I feel comfortable. I feel like I'll be ready to play and I don't feel any pressure at all."

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