Tuesday, October 01, 2002
"Georgia is very explosive on offense, five senior starters on the offensive line. You don't see that very often. David Greene plays like a veteran. Big bruising running backs; maybe the best three wide receivers that we'll see this year. Very explosive in the kicking game; potential to take them all the way back in that aspect of the game. Defense is very solid. The front is solid. The secondary is good. There are no apparent weaknesses in that group. They are playing very well, playing with a lot of confidence. Mark Richt has certainly put his stamp on this team and done an outstanding job. They've played well on the road. I think they've won five out of the seven road games they've played since he's been there. You like to think home field is going to be a little bit of an advantage but maybe not in this case.
"Big week. A lot of this week is managing some distractions. We've got the ESPN film crew documentary here this week. We've got (ESPN) Game Day coming this week. CBS. (Lee) Corso. (Chris) Fowler. (Kirk) Herbstreit. (Verne) Lundquist. (Todd) Blackledge. Somebody named (Jill) Arrington coming. We've got a lot of things to deal with. I'm very proud of our team and the way they've handled distractions and adversity to this point in time and I'm sure they'll handle this week much the same way."
In each of the last four games we've seen a different Alabama team. What can we expect this week?
"If I knew that I'd play golf this afternoon. I hope it's the team that continues to grow and get better on defense. I hope it's an offense that continues its growth at quarterback when Brodie (Croyle) is in there. And hopefully improve in the kicking game in some areas. But exactly how we'll be and how things will go is very difficult to determine. I think they'll play hard and be excited to play and look forward two playing a highly ranked team in our stadium."
Fran, have you got any injuries to discuss or not discuss?
"I do not."
None to discuss?
"None to discuss."
With Lane Bearden, assuming that he, perhaps, isn't going to play, what are you doing with your special teams, in particular the punting because that is so critical? Will it be by committee? What are you going to do this week?
"I don't know. We had eight guys call us yesterday and want to volunteer.....We did practice for a short time Sunday and work on kicking game. Whatever answer I'd give you, Herb, would be merely speculation at this point in time. We'll look at a number of people. Mike Ziifle will continue. Jeffrey Aul has got a chance. There are a number of guys who have kicked and punted before on a football team. Brodie Croyle can punt. I kind of like the fake possibilities about that. And, as I just told Kirk, Lane Bearden is not out of the picture for this season. We'll just have to see how things go."
Coach can you talk a little bit about your Leadership Council, where it comes from, and is that something that's unusual within a program and how you decided to devise it?
"I don't know anybody else that does something like this. There may be. I'm just not aware of them. One of the things I like to do is study leadership and team building and after 30 years in coaching, you've seen enough teams that lose their captain. I mean, if Tyler Watts was our captain, didn't play last week, and Ahmaad Galloway, we might be without two of our best leaders if we had not spread leadership about. I believe leadership is something that can be fostered and nurtured and brought out in young people if they are given the responsibility and the accountability to be a part of that. Five or six years ago I just felt like in order for you to always have leadership, you spread it out among the positions. It's almost like they are elected by their constituents. When you have injury, you have people to step in already in place. It spreads out the responsibility and puts somebody at every position. It gives you an opportunity to have young people on the committee which we have. We always have a walkon representative on our committee to represent those people. And I constantly tell the players that it's their team. So it gives them ownership in their team and it spreads out the responsibility of leadership throughout the football team. And when we run into instances when we lose an Ahmaad Galloway that is a great leader, we have people prepared to step into those roles and take over those positions. And I think our players have done a nice job of that."
Do you have a voice in anything (to do with the Leadership Council)?
"In just about everything. I meet with them quite a bit. I met with them at length just before the season started about a number of things. Before any kind of decision is made from discipline to many different kinds of things, I usually talk to them before I make a decision."