Junior running back Thomas Brown sits a top the Georgia depth chart, but he has higher aspirations for the team this season. UGASports caught up with Brown to find out about the 2006 Bulldogs.
UGASports: Coach Richt has mentioned your name a lot to the press how does that make you feel?
Brown: "I appreciate that. I come out everyday and try to get better and become a leader. I want to be a playmaker on offense this year."
UGASports: How do you improve and become more of a playmaker?
Brown: "A lot of it is mental. Ever since I came here I have had the physical ability and as I have become more comfortable with the offense I have tried more things."
UGASports: Do you look at yourself as the number one running back?
Brown: "You have to have somewhat of a cocky attitude. When I came I was humble, a lot of times a little too humble and I doubted myself at times, but you have to have a cocky attitude. You cannot be arrogant or conceded, but you have to know that you are the number one guy and step up.
UGASports: How does the competition for playing time relate to your relationship with Kregg Lumpkin and Danny Ware? How does a freshman like Knowshon Moreno impact that relationship?
Brown: "The competition is really stiff. With Knowshon coming in as a freshman, he is very talent and he is pushing all of us to get better. We keep fighting and competing and each and everyday we get better. We are all still good friends and we have welcomed Knowshon to keep the long line of great tailbacks going"
UGASports: Do you feel that the situation at quarterback will factor into the amount of carries the running backs get?
Brown: "I think it very important for us to establish the run early in the season to take some of the pressure off those guys. Everybody is barreling down the quarterbacks backs. Who is going be the starter? What is the rotation going to be like? Not only do they have to compete against each other in practice, but they have to deal with all the extra outside attention everywhere. So I think that it is important for us to come out as a veteran group and take some of the pressure off them."
UGASports: What does the kick return situation look like this year?
Brown: "I am number one back there. Asher Allen, Ramarcus Brown, and Mickey Henderson are battling for the number two spot. They are all talented guys and I do not think it matters who we have back there because we all have speed and the ability to make big plays."
UGASports: What about Ramarcus and his speed in the kick return game?
Brown: "He is a super fast guy in the open field and if he breaks away nobody can catch him. Mickey is the same way is just as fast, but he has an extra element of quickness with it."
UGASports: How has coach Tony Ball changed the approach to kick off returns?
Brown: "Each coach brings in their own scheme and we have not seen it work yet, but I have full confidence that it will work out there."
UGASports: Where do you see Georgia compared to other schools on kick returns?
Brown: "A lot of it has to do with how many points other people score on us. Some teams in this league will have high kick off return averages because people put up 30 points on them. We have a good defense so that does not happen. I do not think it comes down to schemes, I think it is more about taking advantage of the opportunity and making things happen as players.
UGASports: Who is the fastest on the team, Demiko Goodman?
Brown: "Track speed is a lot different than football speed. In my opinion, if Demiko gets the football on the one yard line and has a strike out he might be the fastest. I would probably say that it is either A.J. Bryant or Ramarcus Brown because they have a quick burst."
UGASports: How do you compare the Georgia running back group versus the other teams in the SEC?
Brown: "I fell like we have the best running back group not only in the league, but in the nation. Nobody at any other school has as much talent as we have here. Most people measure how good a running back is by how many yards he has. You see other guys get the ball 30-40 times a game and they put up 1200 yards a season. They will get more glory than we will, but in my opinion that does not mean they are better."
UGASports: Why do you guys stay and not go somewhere else to be the featured guy?
Brown: "I think it is the camaraderie and the family atmosphere. Coming in here it was there were like six running backs. People told me I was stupid for coming here and I'd never play and so on and so forth. This is where I felt the most comfortable. I felt the love from the players and coaches and that is what has kept me going. We understand that competition makes you better and just because someone has your spot you're not going to just quit and leave and go somewhere else and take the easy way out."
UGASports: What are your personal goals for this season?
Brown: "I try not to focus on personal goals because I want to win as many games as possible and that will make all the individuals look good. As long as I keep that first we will all shine."
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