September 2, 2009

Shaking hands still fine with Richt

Earlier this week, Oklahoma State coach Mike Gundy created somewhat of a stir when he suggested that having teams shake hands on the field before games might not be such a good idea.

Gundy told the Associated Press that his ninth-ranked Cowboys will have about 110 players in uniform Saturday and Georgia will about another 70 and if something happens, "I don't know if we could get it broke up before the game."

Richt was asked about the comment following Wednesday's practice at Sanford Stadium.

"I don't want to put words in his mouth but I think he thought it was something that would be for every ball game," Richt said. "I think he was concerned what would happen if Oklahoma State and Oklahoma if they shook hands before the game. I think that's what he was referring to. Sometimes those things get taken out of context."

For his part, quarterback Joe Cox doesn't believe shaking hands is such a good idea. Teammate Marcus Washington said he didn't care.

"That his right (Gundy) to feel that way. If he declines to shake our hand he doesn't have to. At the same time, we don't have to shake his. It's all good," Washington said. "It doesn't matter to me; we're just trying to win a football game. Shake hands or don't shake hands … I just want to play ball."

To promote sportsmanship, the American Football Coaches Association has requested that every school have its players shake hands before their respective season-openers, but the final say would be left up to the home team.

Richt said he's fine either way.

"I think (Gundy) said he had reservations. I don't know think he said we were definitely not doing it," Richt said. "We will do whatever he decides."

Richt doesn't think it would be a good idea to do it for every game as some have suggested.

"I'd feel better if it was just the first game," he said. "Things could get heated in certain rival games."

Travel roster set

Richt said he will take 72 players for Saturday's game against the Cowboys but running back Caleb King and defensive Kiante Tripp will not be among them.

Tripp has a shoulder stinger that will keep him out for an undetermined amount of time, while King is still recovering from a hamstring injury which has now kept him out of contact for over three weeks.

Richt said he believes that King will be ready for Georgia's home opener next weekend against SEC rival South Carolina.

"I hope so. I saw him today and it looked like he was running maybe not full speed, but maybe three-quarters speed," Richt said. "I didn't watch him the whole practice but I saw him run back and forth, although not a lot of side to side but I would think he will be ready."

With King out, walk-on Kalvin Daniels will work as Georgia's third-team running back behind starter Richard Samuel and Carlton Thomas.

Richt also announced that freshmen quarterbacks Aaron Murray and Zach Mettenberger would both make the trip.

All total, 11 true freshmen - Murray, Mettenberger, Washaun Ealey, Marlon Brown, Rantavious Wooten, Orson Charles, Arthur Lynch, Abry Jones, Montez Robinson, Branden Smith and Michael Gilliard - are each expected to travel, although not all will play.

Richt shakes up practice schedule

Georgia will alter its practice schedule for the remainder of the season starting Sunday.

In Richt's previous eight seasons, the Bulldogs took Sunday off and practiced the rest of the week leading up to each game.

No longer: The Bulldogs will practice on Sunday and take Monday off and then resume workouts on Tuesday.

"I've considered it a lot of times, and we're going to give it a try, and I think the players will like it," said Richt. "A lot of teams do it, and it's actually based on the NFL model."

Richt said the new Sunday schedule will give everyone an opportunity to attend church, have lunch and then a two-hour academic session, which will start at 2 p.m. Players will have treatment from 4-5 p.m. and then dinner. At 6 p.m., meetings will start followed by a strength and conditioning session. Following a break, the team will practice approximately 40 minutes.

"For the players now on Monday, they can devote the whole day to academics, there will be no lifting, no running and no meetings," said Richt. "The rest of the week will be our normal schedule that we've been doing."

Bulldog practices under control

In light of accusations against Michigan coach Rich Rodriguez for abusing the NCAA's rule for practice time, Richt was asked how Georgia handles its workout schedule during Wednesday's SEC teleconference.

"John Eason, our Director of Football Operations handles our scheduled, and has since we got to Georgia,' Richt said. "He makes sure we stay within the 20 hours a week, and usually gets it me about a week in advance. I've actually got next week's in front of me right now for next week to make sure the plan is set and staying in compliance. Our compliance office has a big window on the third or fourth floor that looks out over our field so they can watch and know what's going on."

Dawgs head to Sanford

Georgia held a 90-minute workout at Sanford Stadium Wednesday in preparation for the Cowboys.

For about 45 minutes of the session, the Bulldogs practiced portions of their game plan with almost deafening crowd noise which pumped out of the loudspeakers.

"It was the first of two dress rehearsals, and it was not super sharp," said Richt. "It was not horrible, but I'm thankful we have a day to review."

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