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July 22, 2010

Georgia's Green: No receiving rivalry with Jones

HOOVER _ Although their careers have paralleled one another, Georgia wide receiver A.J. Green doesn't have much of a rivalry with Alabama's Julio Jones.

"I don't know him that well," Green said Thursday at SEC Media Days. "Just know him from the recruiting process in high school. We were always compared to each other coming out of high school, being the one and two receivers coming out.

"Now we're in college, coming into our third year, and we're still compared to be the number one and two receivers coming out whenever we declare for the draft."

Both players are projected by many to be potential first-round selections next spring should they have big seasons.

"One thing I'd like to see him be able to go the entire season healthy," Georgia coach Mark Richt said. "I think he's been a good blocker, not a great blocker. I think he needs to get better at really becoming a factor as a blocker. I can't hardly say much about his ability to run routes and go after a ball and get it. He's as good as I've seen. He's special in that way."

Green was a first-team All-SEC selection last year with 53 catches for 808 yards and six touchdowns. Meanwhile, after taking a helmet to the knee early on, Jones finished with 43 receptions for 596 yards and four touchdowns.

Both were named preseason All-SEC by the coaches on Tuesday, and expected to be similarly named by the media Friday.

"It's crazy how we've both grown from high school to now, all the success we're having," Green said.

Take my coach, please

Steve Spurrier's warm-up act in the main ballroom at the Wynfrey Hotel ballroom ended up stealing the show. Although Vanderbilt interim coach Robbie Caldwell may have been the first coach to wear a nametag at SEC Media Days and joked that none of his peers probably knew who he was, he ended up drawing applause.

"This is awesome," he opened with. "I've heard a lot about it for all these years, but never actually seen it. I appreciate you having me here. I know the first question you're asking is, 'Who is Robbie Caldwell?' Very few people know me. So I've been behind the scenes for a long time. I think I've been an assistant for 30-something years. I really don't know how many. Tremendous opportunity for me.

"If it's two days or 20 years, I can now say I was a head coach one time."

Caldwell was promoted to interim head coach just last week when Bobby Johnson suddenly retired. Among the numerous lines that drew laughter from reporters was when the South Carolina native was asked if there was a cultural adjustment going to Vanderbilt, and said, "Well, I think it was a big adjustment for Vanderbilt."

"Last night I was opening the door for people, and they were giving me a tip," Caldwell quipped.

He also talked about previous jobs including pouring concrete, pipefitting and working a turkey farm where he was on the "insemination crew." His initial response to a follow-up question about if it affected his enjoyment of Thanksgiving was to simply open his jacket to show off his belly.

"You can tell by looking at me," Caldwell said. "I done it all, too. If I told some of these ladies, what they put in that lipstick right there, oh, my goodness, because I de-beaked, blood tested, vaccinated. I done it all. It was pretty special.

"Good question. Those kind of things I can talk about."

No rule changes

Although there are no rule changes for this season, SEC director of officiating Rogers Redding gave a video demonstration on the three-man wedge rule on kick returns, which was implemented last season in an effort to avoid concussions. He estimated the penalty was called five times.

Instead, the biggest change this fall will be in instant replay.

"We're going to high-definition, with high-definition monitors in the replay booth," he said "It's obviously going to give a much better look on some things in the replay booth. We feel that some things that may or may not be as visible with standard definition, we'll be able to see those better in high-definition.

"Also people at home are watching the game at high-definition, so are you. We might as well have high-definition in the replay booth because that's where the decisions are being made."

Fun quotes

Arkansas quarterback Ryan Mallett on swimming as part of his foot rehab: "Yeah, I feel like I'm going to try out for the Olympics in 2014."

When a writer patted himself on the back by telling Richt that his organization picked Georgia to win its division, the coach responded: "What's your name? I like you."

Bobby Petrino referred to Facebook as facemask, and admitted he has to get his kids to figure it out for him. "We had an incident last year where we had a young man that had to go in and get something done to his thumb. Nothing big. Had to go in and tie it down. We left the office. I get a phone call about 6:30 at night. It says, Hey, Cobi Hamilton put on his Facebook that he's getting his thumb operated on."

Caldwell on if he'll keep Johnson's no-swearing policy: "You know, I'm no angel, that's for certain. We certainly do try to live by that. But, you know, it's just a sign of limited vocabulary sometimes. I know y'all can't tell it, but I do have an education."

Spurrier on his All-SEC ballot: "Yeah, I had Jevan Snead first, but someone told me he wasn't playing any more."

Tide-bits

Like Tide running back Mark Ingram, Mallet has taken out an insurance policy to protect his interests heading into this season," he said. "Really the whole process was going to talk to compliance at the university and just filled out some paperwork and sent it to the NCAA, and really just went from there. I really didn't have a lot to do with it except signing my name and filling out a bunch of forms."

Spurrier isn't afraid of losing his title as most quotable coach in the SEC: "I don't think I've won enough games lately to have any outlandish quotes."

The following was read to reporters throughout Thursday: "The University of Georgia received a call yesterday from the NCAA requesting permission to come to the UGA campus for an inquiry. The NCAA has asked that no Georgia official, coach or student-athlete, make any comment regarding SEC or NCAA compliance issues until their inquiry was completed. We ask that you respect that request when speaking with the Georgia coaches and student-athletes today." Richt wasn't asked a single question about agents in the main ballroom.

Richt was asked for reaction of Bobby Bowden's departure from Florida State and Damon Evans no longer being Georgia's athletic director: "I'll just say this. I love Coach Bowden," he said. "He gave me my first job. He allowed me to grow and mature as a coach, as a man, and he led me to the Lord in 1986. So anything that Coach Bowden didn't like, I don't like either, I can tell you that." On Evans: "I have a very good friendship with Damon Evans. I was very saddened by what happened."

Spurrier agreed with Nick Saban's statement regarding the NFL Players Association and rogue agents: "Yeah, I think they should be a little more active." The coach also said he thought the alleged agent party that tight end Weslye Saunders attended on Miami South Beach was during spring break.


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