September 15, 2009

Richt gives lowdown on ailing Murray

Following Tuesday's press conference at Stegeman Coliseum, head coach Mark Richt confirmed to UGASports that freshman quarterback Aaron Murray has been dealing with an issue to his right arm.

"Aaron has some tricept tendinitis," Richt said. "It's nothing serious. We just need to rest him for a while. He'll be fine."

Murray has not warmed prior to each of Georgia's first two games, leaving Logan Gray and fellow freshman Zach Mettenberger to take the rest of the snaps along with starter Joe Cox.

A freshman from Tampa, Murray has not gotten into a game yet for the Bulldogs and Richt has not determined whether or not the former four-star standout will redshirt this season.

Cox on similar schedule

As for Cox, Richt said Tuesday that the senior would not throw either today or Wednesday, but would throw Thursday in preparation for Saturday night's game at Arkansas (7:45, ESPN).

"We just want to go ahead and get that out there," Richt said. "That's going to be the plan from here on out."

Cox, who finally confirmed last Friday that he does in fact have a chronic shoulder injury, wore a wrap over his left middle finger Tuesday. The injury was result of trying to tackle South Carolina linebacker Eric Norwood during his return of Cox's interception in the fourth quarter last Saturday.

"That was the result of chasing (Norwood) and tackling him six yards deep in the end zone," Cox said. "I guess that's what I get for throwing a pick-6."

Dawgs accentuate the positives

Richt knows his team isn't perfect.

But through two games, the Bulldog head coach said Tuesday he is beginning to see some positive signs that could carry the team through the rest of the year.

"I saw offensive guys beginning to get more confident. I saw more offensive players get involved and begin to make plays. I just thought we looked like a fast football team," Richt said. "I watched TV copy and I saw everybody playing hard, everybody playing fast - I'm talking both sides of the ball and special teams - playing like Georgia should look."

That's not say there weren't some areas that give him cause for concern.

Richt had no trouble pointing out a number of them which almost cost Saturday's game against South Carolina.

"You fumble one at the 23, you fumble one at the 8, you have a pick-6, a punt faked on you, you snap one over there head, all those things are bad, there's no doubt and could have got us beat," Richt said. "But ultimately they didn't get us beat so we can continue to get excited about the progress we're making and if we eliminate some of the bad things we can become a pretty a good team. We're not there yet by any stretch, but I'm optimistic that we're not as good as we can be, and that gives you hope, that gets you excited."

Richt hopes to carry that momentum into practice this week as the Bulldogs prepare for Arkansas this Saturday night in Fayetteville.

"It's like that old song, 'You've got to accentuate the positive, eliminate the negative, latch onto the affirmative and don't mess with Mr. In-Between," Richt said. "That's what we're trying to do. We're trying to look at the positive things and build off them, eliminate the negative things and we'll be OK. We'll keep getting better if that happens."

That includes Georgia's penchant for penalties.

The Bulldogs worked all preseason in taking steps to eliminate the extra flags, but were hit with 13 penalties for 108 yards against South Carolina.

"We'll keep disciplining it. Some games get wild and that game got wild. They had a bunch of penalties, we had a bunch of penalties," Richt said. "But I will say this in all sincerity. If you've got to choose between a team that played the way we played with the amount of fire, energy and enthusiasm, really the whole game. If a by-product of that are some penalties, I'll take that over a team that doesn't have a penalty but doesn't have a pulse to go with it. I don't like it, but it doesn't make me crazy. Maybe it should."

Davis set to return

Backup offensive lineman Josh Davis has been cleared to return to practice after undergoing surgery on both his shoulders following the Capital One Bowl against Michigan State.

"Josh has been given the OK to play," Richt said. "We observed him in practice against the scout team and now he will go through Tuesday and Wednesday and we'll have a better gauge on how he's coming along."

Richt said that Davis will serve as a backup at both left and right tackle.

In other injury news, Richt said that linebacker Darius Dewberry (pulled muscle) will not play against Arkansas but that linebacker Nick Williams (hamstring) has been cleared to return.

As for running back Caleb King (hamstring), Richt said he remains hopeful that the redshirt sophomore will be able to play.

King dressed out against South Carolina but did not play.Richt hopes Jones won't be stereotyped

Strong safety Reshad Jones has been hit with personal foul penalties in back-to-back weeks, but Richt hopes that's not because officials are beginning to stereotype the junior for being a headhunter.

"I hope that's not the case. I love the way he's playing, I love the energy he's playing with," Richt said. "The sideline play just recently, I think he was just trying to tackle the guy. He was running full-speed; you're reaching out and grabbing what you can."

Richt firmly defended Jones for his hit two weeks ago at Oklahoma State when the officials there ruled that the safety was leaning with his head when making the hit on the Cowboy receiver.

"I think he (Jones) did everything right. He did not leap at the guy; he struck with his shoulder and arm. His aim-point was his chest. The player ducked down and leaned into it and that's where the contact was made," Richt said. "So I don't to say anything to Reshad other than you just keep playing real hard and make sure everything is below the neck when you make contact."

This and that

• According to the depth chart for Saturday's game, Chris Davis is back as the starter at left guard with Cordy Glenn sliding back over to right where he will be backed up by Justin Anderson. Also, redshirt sophomore A.J. Harmon is now listed as the backup to Davis at left guard after previously being listed as left tackle.

• Richt said he was unsure whether or not Marcus Washington would play linebacker or defensive end against the Razorbacks.

• Saturday's game will be televised by ESPN with Brad Nessler (play by play), Todd Blackledge (color) and Erin Andrews (sideline) going to the call.

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