Mark Richt

Georgia football coach Mark Richt made his 15th appearance at Southeastern Conference Media Days last week in Hoover, Ala., where his Bulldogs were picked to win their sixth Eastern Division title.

Richt was a guest on "Press Row" on ESPN 105.1 The Zone.

Q: What's your reaction to being picked first in the East?

A: "The goal is getting better on a daily basis. That's what I think. We've got a long way to go, and I'm thankful we've got 29 practices before the first game. All that is for the fans."

Q: It is for the fans, but it's not a bad place to be when you're picked first in the East in your 15th year, right?

A: "Well, it's a great program. Georgia football has been going on for over 100 years, and it's going to go on a lot longer than the time that I'll be here. The big thing is putting your focus on the right thing, which is preparation and being prepared for the moment when it comes."

Q: Did you think you would be coaching Georgia for 15 years when you got into this?

A: "I didn't know what to expect as far as how long. I knew I had a goal of being here until I retired from coaching. The goal was to come here and raise our family, coach our tails off and help Georgia do great things. A lot of people look for the next thing if things get a little heated up, but I've never had the philosophy of running off to the next place.


"My philosophy has always been to make decisions that will bless this program for years down the road and stay the course."

Q: After winning two SEC titles in five years, are you surprised a decade has passed since there has been a third?

A: "Well, when I got here, it had been 20 years. We've played in the SEC championship (twice) since we last won it, and it would have been nice to nail one or two of those, but we didn't get it done. Not only do you have to get there but win it, and we understand that part."

Q: It's rare when you don't know your starting quarterback by now. Would two weeks before the opener be a fair timetable in naming the guy?

A: "There are probably more questions around the position than any time other than my first year at Georgia, but that doesn't mean it's a bad thing. There were questions before David Greene became the starter (in 2001), and he was the winningest quarterback in college football when he finished.

"We've been used to knowing who the guy is going to be throughout the offseason, and this year we don't. As far as a timetable, it's going to be when we feel in our gut that we know who the guy is going to be."

Q: Other than quarterback, are there any other position areas that you may be curious or concerned about going into camp?

A: "I don't know if I can sit here and say one position. The bottom line is that we've got to get guys prepared to play, whether that's someone who will start or someone on the second or third team. We're going to rotate people and we're going to keep people healthy.

"I look at every group individually, and we want to put the best player out there in the moment we need him."

Contact David Paschall at or 423-757-6524.