Mark Richt, the Georgia coach, spoke at SEC Media Days. While we’d love to try and translate something deep and meaningful into what he said, we’re just going to take his quotes out and let you decipher them. But Richt’s a pretty blunt person….so…


(SARCASTICALLY) “I didn’t know I got criticism”

“I think the big thing — I know when I first started coaching 32 years ago, whenever it was, with Coach Bowden and being in what we call hideaway and him talking about notes. A few things he talked about in the very beginning of those sessions, and one was criticism. He said, it’s just the nature of the beast in the profession. If you can’t take criticism, then you shouldn’t coach. I think anybody who’s in a leadership role is going to get critiqued. People are going to have opinions, even as a parent, if you say you’ve got to be in at 11:00 and everybody else gets to stay out until midnight, you might get criticized for that. You may hear grumbling and all that kind of thing. But the goal as a leader is to do what you think is in the best interest of the people that you’re in charge of, the people that you’re blessed to be in authority over, and focus on that. That’s what I do on a daily basis. I don’t worry about anything, whether it’s good or bad. People have said some good things over the years too.”


“I have no idea who the starter is going to be. We are going to have a tremendous competition, continue that competition for that position. It’s going to — I think it’s going to take a while. We have 29 practice opportunities before the first game, and we’re going to get a rotation where we can see the guys that we want to see compete and then make a decision on who should be the starter. But right now, I don’t know who that is. When we came out of spring, I think the guys made progress. I think the guys are able to function well in our system, but to┬ásay who’s the man to lead the job, to win the job right now, I don’t have that answer.”


“Things don’t always work out for a kid for a lot of different reasons. The main thing with him is I want to wish him the very best. He’s a great kid. He’s a very good competitor, very talented guy. I’m just hoping that he lands in a spot where he can really thrive and finish out his college career.”


“Well, I think that one was pretty cut and dry, and I’m not the one who made the decision at all, but I certainly agree with that. That’s a good thing to have as a stipulation for our league. The bottom line is it’s hard to — just even as a coach and being in charge of 125 young men year after year after year, if a guy makes a mistake, there’s not a book you can open that says, if he does this, you do that. If he does that, you do this, and all of that type of thing. So there’s judgment in everything. Even though you might have something that’s the same offense, there may be different circumstances. Until you know all the circumstances, it’s hard to make a wise decision. We’re put in position to do the very best we can to make the best decision for the young man and for our programs and for our universities. Sometimes there are some things that are cut and dry, like a league policy or like a drug policy within the university system or within the athletic association, but there’s a lot of things that are left up to the discretion of a coach to decide or an AD or a president to decide. That’s where it can get challenging at times.”


“Nick is a very — he’s a pretty quiet, unassuming guy. He’s a very hard worker. He’s a great student. He’s a great teammate. He’s becoming a great leader for us. And he doesn’t really like the hype. You can go back to his recruiting. He was very low key. He decided he wanted to be at Georgia, did it quietly, didn’t have a big old press conference, and stuck to his decision, didn’t do a bunch of stuff to bring attention to himself. He doesn’t care about that. He cares about working hard, playing hard, and helping Georgia win.”


“Keith is very healthy, in my view. He’s moving very well. He’s decided to cut his weight down to closer to where he was earlier in his career. You show up as a freshman, about 210 pounds, and then you just get in the weight room, and you eat. You get the nutrition and training table, and before you know it, you weigh 225, 230, and still look like dynamite. But I think he feels more comfortable carrying a little less weight to help his quickness and speed. He’s been a speed guy from the very beginning, so that will help him. But I think he’s in great shape, great spirits, and he’s been a guy that we’re going to count on. He’s been a guy we have counted on, and we expect to see a bunch from him.”


“Coach Schottenheimer, being an NFL coordinator for, I think, nine years, the last nine years, and watching the style of play, he was very similar to what we do. So the common fan may not see a whole lot different as far as the sets and the types of plays that we run, but I think the players have taken to him well. He’s a very good teacher and communicator, and I think he’s got a great personality for the college game as far as being able to recruit and being able to relate to young people.”


“When you get to the SEC Championship game, the East hasn’t got it done, and we’ve been a part of that. The bottom line is the best team from each side is going to be there. There’s going to be one game, and the winner is it. They’re the SEC champion, obviously. So the bottom line is, like for Georgia, hey, let’s find a way to get to Atlanta. Let’s get the job done when we get there and move on to the playoff. That’s what it’s all about. That’s what everybody’s trying to do. Things go in cycles, and at this moment, the West has certainly taken care of business on that day.”



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