HOOVER, Ala. — Mark Richt took the podium Thursday afternoon to answer question after question about college football and the 2011 season. Below are some highlights of his time with the media.
On what makes the SEC different from the other conferences:
“If I had to say one word when it comes to the Southeastern Conference, I really would say what separates us from everybody is ‘passion.’the passion of the coaches, players and fans. There’s nothing like it. When you line up to play, you’re going to play a supremely talented team, a supremely well-coached team and a team that is supremely supported by their fan base.”
On his stance of changing the jersey color:
“The jersey change is a great idea if you win, and I think it’s a terrible idea if you lose. I think you’re smart when you win and you’re dumb when you lose.”
On if he addresses rumors about his future:
“I don’t. I know if you walk in the Butts-Mehre Building, there’s not one sense of doom or gloom. There’s only excitement, only guys that are so thankful that we’ve got a new season and a clean slate and the ability to play some great opponents to stat the year.”
On why expectations are high for 2011:
We know we’ve got an outstanding bunch of football players and some outstanding coaches. We know we have a great fan base. We know that six of our seven losses were within a touchdown in the fourth quarter. If we finished better, we’ll have a better season. We’re not getting blown out of the water, we just didn’t win.”
On pressure and how important freshman and first-year players such as Isaiah Crowell and John Jenkins:
We don’t really expect a freshman to come and carry our program. We expect him to come in and compete. We expect him to learn what to do. If they have the talent base, they’re mature enough to be prepared, we’ll play them.
When it comes to junior college guys like Jenkins, we expect a junior college guy to come in and play. We don’t expect him to redshirt. We don’t expect him to be hanging around a while. We’re expecting Jenkins to come in and play right now and maybe become a starter for us if he can beat out Kwame Geathers.
But there is question we will need help from our freshman class to become a championship team, I don’t have any doubt about that.