ATHENS - Mark Richt was back at practice on Tuesday, a day after being out to treat to an unspecified family matter. The head coach was also back in front of the media, and here's what he had to say:
- For now, Malcolm Mitchell remains on defense. Defensive coordinator Todd Grantham has been vocal in his desire to keep Mitchell there, even with the return of Sanders Commings from suspension.
It sounds like Commings will play safety this week, assuming Bacarri Rambo is still suspended - more on that later - so Mitchell is still needed at cornerback. Offensive coordinator Mike Bobo has asked to use Mitchell more at receiver, but Grantham has countered that while offensive packages can be drawn up for a player, a defensive player needs to be full-time.
“Right now he’s going to continue to be in the defensive room," Richt said. "For how long, I don’t know. I don’t know if it will stay that way for the whole year, but for right now he needs to continue to work there. We want to have an offensive package for him. We would have had something for him this past game if it wasn’t for the injury and trying to see if he could come back from that. We didn’t want to do too much with him to overload the ankle. This week he’ll stay in the defensive room.”
- Again, no confirmation on the status of Rambo or inside linebacker Alec Ogletree, who have been suspended the first two games. Richt was also evasive when asked if junior fullback Zander Ogletree has also in fact been serving a suspension.
“Zander didn’t travel, but we only take so many fullbacks," Richt said.
Zander Ogletree dressed for the Buffalo but didn't play, despite other fullbacks seeing action, including walk-on Dustin Royston. Then Ogletree didn't travel to Missouri, and one of his tweets indicated he was suspended.
- Richt was sporting a reddish bruise - otherwise known as a raspberry - that he said happened when he hugged Richard Samuel on Saturday, right after Samuel's tackle to thrwart a Missouri fake punt.
"It happened right in front of me, and I just started hugging him," Richt said. "I think my chin just rubbed back and forth on hisshoulder pad and wore a hole in there. But that was a lot of fun."
- Todd Gurley has moved to the top of the depth chart at tailback, followed by sophomore Ken Malcome and freshman Keith Marshall. But Richt still expressed some concern about the state of the running game.
“We have to get better. We missed some opportunities this last game maybe more than game one as far as hitting it in the right spot. We missed some good blocking a couple of times I thought, more than a couple of times actually. It wasn’t just one guy. I think all three of them really, there was probably a run or two that all of them had that could have gained some yards."
- In other confirmation that Jarvis Jones is good, he was named the Bronko Nagurski national defensive player of the week. Jones had two sacks, two forced fumbles and an interception at Missouri.
Richt agreed with a reporter who compared Jones to A.J. Green in terms of how they react to personal glory.
"They are humble guys," Richt said. "They like football and they like their teammates, they like their coaches and they like Georgia. More than anything they just enjoy playing the game."
- Richt said Florida Atlantic's campus is less than two miles from where he lived as a teenager in Boca Raton, Fla. Florida Atlantic's program was started in 2001 by Howard Schnellenberger, who was Richt's coach at Miami.
- Finally, Richt had some quips about the impending corronation of Uga IX, formerly known as Russ, which will occur before Saturday's game.
"It’s a big deal. I think Russ has earned his stripes, and I think Russ is ready," Richt said. "He had a good offseason too from what I heard.”