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Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Gamble Staying Put... For Now

With Jeremy Longo out, linebacker Darryl Gamble moved up to the line and worked as a pass-rush specialist during much of Monday's practice. While the rising junior looked sharp, Richt said he doesn't expect it to be a permanent move, particularly considering the short-term nature of many of the injuries to the defensive ends.

"We want to be fair to Darryl and let him continue to improve at the position that we know he'll play in the fall," Richt said. "If we thought these defensive ends would not be available for the season, we might consider that. But by June, I might be the happiest guy in America just to see about 25 or 30 guys that have been injured get the clean bill of health to go."

Richt said that between returning injured players, the influx of the 2009 recruiting class and a new group of walk-ons, the Bulldogs could add as many as 50 healthy bodies to their practice sessions by the summer.

The short-staffed line, however, has given Richt a chance to see players like Gamble illustrate some potential at positions they haven't played in the past. In Gamble's case, that could earn him some additional playing time when Georgia loses its Sam linebacker in nickel formations.

"Could Darryl in our nickel package rush the passer? That might not be a bad idea for him because he's played a lot of Sam, and the Sam linebacker leaves the game when you get into the nickel," Richt said. "We saw enough of him where we think he could probably (rush the passer)."

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