Not often will I defend a coach for walking out of a press conference, but Mark Richt gained major respect when he firmly stood by his quarterback during his post-game presser after the SEC title game loss to Alabama.
After taking a host of questions about the loss, Richt turned to a reporter who was ready with the most cutting question of the press conference.
The reporter asked Richt the following:
"There are some people whether it's fans, media, or whomever else that will maybe want to make further conclusions about you or your quarterback, specifically, in big games. Would you have any response to those people?"
His response was classic.
Richt firmly shot back “"I don't know what you're saying. Why don't you just say it straight up what you're trying to say."
The reporter restated his question that there are whispers that he tends to get outcoached in big games and that Aaron Murray is a big game flop.
With a look that could cut steel, Richt responded “Well, that's for you to worry about then. If that's what you say, then I'll answer the question. If you think other people are saying that, I'm not worried about that."
Shortly after the exchange Richt excused himself from the room, ending the post-game press conference for the Georgia head coach. While there may be some negative responses to his actions, Richt gets a major hat tip for this move.
Was Richt right or wrong for his exit?
It is rare to see Mark Richt get fiery. He is usually one of the more level headed coaches in the college game, so to see him show frustration was a positive for the Georgia fanbase. They needed their coach to look like a fearless leader after that heartbreaking loss.
The Bulldogs lost in devastating fashion to the Crimson Tide on Saturday. Aaron Murray had one of his best games of the season when his team needed it most. There is absolutely no basis to pick apart Murray’s performance.
Georgia played very well on offense and Murray showed that he can be a big game quarterback. He led the Bulldogs to the Alabama 10 with less than a minute on the clock. If anything, Murray debunked the “big game” myth with Saturday’s performance.
Mark Richt had every right to defend his quarterback and exit stage right when things got hairy. Love it or hate it, you have to respect the bold move by Richt to walk out with a purpose on Saturday.