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Monday, August 2, 2010

Media day: Richt, vets praise Murray

Media day is in the books, and we have a slight break here before the first football practice. As you’d expect, the quarterback situation dominated Mark Richt’s news conference, and Aaron Murray also spoke.

My own impression:

Murray seemed very grounded, knowing not a lot was expected of him, and being up front that he hasn’t slept much the past month. That’s actually a good sign if you’re a Georgia fan: I’d prefer honesty, rather than a redshirt freshman who pretends it’s not a big deal, when everyone knows he must be nerve-wracked.

Richt is also keeping expectations level for Murray, but is pretty set on him being the guy. I just came from covering Steve Spurrier at South Carolina, and I was struck at how different each coach is in their public comments. Spurrier is famously hard on his quarterbacks, while Richt is just analytical.

“Long-term on this kid, he’s gonna be very, very good,” Richt said of Murray. “Whether it’s gonna happen this season … we’re gonna watch him grow up. “

And while Murray obviously hasn’t taken a college snap yet, it is fascinating (at least to me) that Richt takes a positive approach with his redshirt freshman, while Spurrier is loathe to say anything nice about a fourth-year guy who started every game last year.

But I think I know why: Murray has engendered a lot of confidence in not only Richt, but his veteran teammates, in how much preparation he’s put in during the offseason. Murray has even sat in on some offensive line meetings, according to senior tackle Clint Boling.

“Just a series of things he’s done to earn our respect,” Boling said.

Murray, when you talk to him, still has that aw-shucks kind of demeanor. He handled the media pretty well, like David Greene and Matt Stafford did as freshmen.

Yeah, we’re going to hear a lot of the Greene-Stafford comparisons, two recent freshmen this same staff molded into successful players. In fact, Murray has consulted with both ex-Bulldog quarterbacks this past offseason.

“My goal is just to go out there and be me,” Murray said. “I won’t be David Greene. I won’t be Matt Stafford.”

But then he added: “I can take some pointers from them.”

Some other things that stood out:

- Senior inside linebacker Akeem Dent has a chance to return for the season opener, according to Richt.

- When it comes to the 3-4, all the defensive players seem really pumped up about the increased aggressiveness they will have. (Not that I’d expect them to be publicly down on the switch.)

But without coming out and saying it, it does seem a lot of the defensive guys think they will have more freedom now. Justin Houston said he expects to be rushing the passer “more than 50 percent” of the time.

“It’s just a new beginning,” defensive end Demarcus Dobbs said.

- Finally, tailback Washaun Ealey said he and Caleb King aren’t in a heated competition for the job. Not surprising, considering practically everybody seems to be going to running back by committee.

Meantime, Richt kind of laid down the gauntlet as far as the running game goes.

“I’d be disappointed if we don’t run the ball well,” the coach said, adding: I’d be very disappointed if we don’t run the ball well. And if we do run well, it’ll help Aaron.”


LADAWG said...

Nice Post, keep it coming!

Ginny said...

Great info, Seth! Keep it coming! You're going to fit in just fine. :)

ChicagoDawg said...

Queing up bloated and incoherent analysis from 'Anonymous' in....3...2...1.....roll tape

Doug said...

Thanks for the info. I'm starting to get the feeling that CFB is right around the corner.

I think I'm gonna make it.

btw, my word verification is "uryne"

Anonymous said...

I think 'the' anon will be too busy worrying Hale to bother you, Seth. Nice write up.

JRL said...

Well - I was already pumped about the up-coming season - now I am pumped about our new guy. Seth you didn't disappoint - I feel much better.

Anonymous said...

Welcome Seth!

Anonymous said...

Good job Seth.. I personally still have some issues with the height, or lack thereof, on Murray. My nephew is a Rfreshman with the team, and just hearing all the stuff from him last year, we lost our best QB right after the spring game..Maybe, hopefully, Murray will be okay, I just hate seeing batted balls at the line on third down...on a good note, surely we don't have to worry about UF picking up first downs with Brantley running the ball for 4 yards on third down...right?? stay healthy Dawgs, stay healthy, i think we'll surprise a whole lot of people..

Anonymous said...

My own impression:

Aaron Murray looked alot like Joe Cox in the G-Day game.

Dawg de Texas said...

Welcome to the Georgia beat, Seth.

Looking forward to having your info and analysis this season.

I hope our o-line becomes the strength we are hoping it will be.

Anonymous said...

Nice Job. Any chance you can give us some of the measurables on the True Freshmen that showed up? I wonder how some of them may have beefed up over the summer. Especially Stripling, Thornton, G Smith, Burrows, Morant, A. Ogletree. Mainly the Defensive Guys.

South FL Dawg said...

Welcome Seth, look forward to whatever info you can pass along. For better or worse (most would probably say for better) there aren't any UGA writeups in the paper down here. Go figure ;)

Anonymous said...

When you only have 1 QB, what did you expect him to say ?

These are the same comments he made this time last season about Joe Cox, who promptly went out and led The Bulldogs to 17 interceptions, 22 fumbles, # 96 in Penalties and 5 losses including to Kentucky at our house.

Coach Richt said how great Joe Cox was going to be, too. Coach Richt didn't have anyone behind him, if he got injured, either.

"You look at the program Joe Cox came out of - they won every time," Georgia coach Mark Richt said. "He knows what it feels like to have a bunch of guys come together and believe. So he's trying to recreate that type of atmosphere here and he's doing a good job." "Joe's exactly what we thought he was," Richt said. "Very accurate, kind of a football junkie, loved the game. I didn't realize how much he loved Georgia. He instantly loved Georgia." "If you've got Joe Cox as your quarterback, you can win. You can win in this league," Richt said. "You can win anywhere with Joe as your quarterback. I've always believed we can win with Joe. I've always believed." "When it comes to quarterback play, you need to have an accurate passer, a great decision-maker and a young man who can handle the pressure of the job," Richt said. "Joe really personifies all those characteristics." "We have exit meetings in the spring. We talk to players after spring ball," Richt said. "One of the things we ask them, besides talking about their strengths and weaknesses and what their goals are and that kind of thing, is: Who are the leaders on this football team, in your opinion? It was like 106 out of 110 guys that said Joe Cox. I think that's significant."

David Greene lost 4 games his Redshirt Freshman year and Matthew Stafford lost 4 his freshman season as well.

Ah, 2 flames on day 1.

Blog Post Above by someone else :
"I personally still have some issues with the height, or lack thereof, on Murray. we lost our best QB right after the spring game..Maybe, hopefully, Murray will be okay, I just hate seeing batted balls at the line on third down"