Richt: "He Ought to Play."
D.J. Shockley
D.J. Shockley
Posted Sep 14, 2004

ATHENS - Backup quarterback D.J. Shockley deserves to get playing time and will this week, Coach Mark Richt stressed Tuesday.

"Shockley is a heck of a football player, and he ought to play," Mark Richt said at his weekly news conference.

To ensure that happens, Richt will enter Saturday's Marshall game with a predetermined rotation to get D.J. Shockley into the game. Shockley, a junior, didn't play against South Carolina. It was the first time in his career that he hasn't played when healthy.

The reason for that, as hard as it may be to understand, is that starting quarterback David Greene was playing poorly.

"I didn't want it to be perceived that we were in a panic mode," Richt said. "I've been around this quarterback thing long enough to know that if we had made a move in that game, it would have caused some problems we don't want to deal with. It's easier to put Shockley in the game when Greene is playing well."

Richt was concerned that if he inserted Shockley into the South Carolina game, it would seem like he was benching Greene.

"I have the ultimate confidence in David Greene," Richt said.

When Shockley is the starter next season, which Richt said Tuesday will be the case, he'll get the same consideration.

"If he struggles, I'm not going to be quick to do anything about it," Richt said.

Richt won't divulge his rotation plan except to the team but Shockley will play in the first half, he said. He also defended his insistence that Shockley get playing time behind Greene.

"What if Greene gets hurt? Then who's going to play?" he said. "(Shockley) needs to get better, and he deserves to play."

Greene is 28 of 52 for 374 yards, three touchdowns and one interception this year. He is 1,760 yards short of becoming Georgia's all-time leading passer.

Richt and Shockley discussed playing time two years ago when Shockley was considering a transfer, and Richt told Shockley he could expect to play if he stayed, Shockley said.

"It wasn't a guarantee, it was just, you know you're going to play here," Shockley said.

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