October 14, 2009

Richt happy with players' initiative

Georgia coach Mark Richt said that he was happy to see his Bulldogs call their Players Only meeting following practice Tuesday afternoon.

"I think it's a sign that they care and they want to change the course of what's been happening," Richt said following practice Wednesday afternoon. "I think it was a positive thing in that regard. I asked a couple of guys how it went and they thought it went well. They thought it was productive, to we'll see. It's usually a good sign if they do something like that."

Several players spoke during the meeting, a group that included Jeff Owens, Justin Houston, Prince Miller, Kris Durham and Fred Munzenmaier.

Owens said he wasn't sure who organized the meeting but said he felt it his duty to speak.

"We just got some text messages that said 'Players Meeting' only,'" Owens said. "It was just the players and I see myself a leader of the team. I had to get up there and say something."

Owens said several topics were discussed, including how the 3-3 Bulldogs can turn around the rest of the year.

Georgia travels to Vanderbilt Saturday for a 12:21 matchup against the Commodores.

"We just said we've got to turn it around this season," Owens said. "We all know what we're looking at right now. We talked about 2006 when we lost four out of five and turned that season around and ended up going 9-4. That was the main thing, just make sure that everybody was on board and we needed to turn things around."

Chapas doubtful for Saturday

Starting fullback Shaun Chapas is doubtful for Saturday after missing practice the past two days for what Richt described as "burners," which are injuries to one or more nerves around the neck and shoulders.

"I'd say he's doubtful right now," Richt said. "He's had more than one, where if you have one you can just go play football, but if you have more than one, you've got to check into it."

If Chapas is not able to play, look for Munzenmaier to make his first career start with backup help from senior Justin Fields.

"I think Fred will do a good job. Fields is a guy that can do a good job. He'll strike you, both of them will hit you," Richt said. "They know what to do. It would end up being a good opportunity for Fred."

• Richt said that tailback Caleb King (jaw) is fine and will play against the Commodores.

Richt tells staff to focus on the present

Richt said Tuesday he hasn't said anything specific to his coaching staff regarding the clamor by many fans wanting to see changes following last week's 45-19 loss to Tennessee.

"No, not other than what's important at this moment. The first time I talked to the team and the staff is the 6 p.m. honor roll on Sunday. That's the first time I address everybody. I speak about what you're talking about then and of course we have a staff meeting that night about 10-10:15 p.m.," Richt said. "But I just said priority No. 1 is to focus on Vanderbilt and trying to win this game. There's nothing else that is worth focusing on. There is nothing more important than what we can do right now than to get a good plan together and get ready to win. That's really the most important thing. Everything else is just not important right now."

Bobo happy with Murray's progress

Aaron Murray has been put off limits to the media by offensive coordinator Mike Bobo, but the Bulldog assistant said that doesn't mean he's not happy with the progress the freshman has made.

"He's done well. Aaron is a confident kid who has a lot of confidence in his ability to make plays," Bobo said. "It hurt when he was out three weeks because as a quarterback the learning curve and missing those reps hurt him when his arm got sore. But he's back in the groove now and got some reps last week. He comes to practice every day like he's competing for the starting job."

While neither Bobo nor Richt has said with certainty that Murray will redshirt this fall, it does appear that's the direction he's headed. But until that day comes, speculation will continue whether or not Murray will still see the field, perhaps this week against Vanderbilt.

When that happens, Bobo thinks he'll excel.

"I think he'll handle it fine," Bobo said. "He likes the challenge. Of course high school football isn't the SEC, but he's always handled expectations well. I think he'll do fine."

Curran to pay fine

Georgia sports information Claude Felton said that linebacker Rennie Curran plans to pay the fine he received after the junior failed to appear in court in Franklin County for a speeding ticket issued on July 4, according to the Athens Banner-Herald.

Curran will not be disciplined by Richt.

The junior leads the SEC with 64 tackles.

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