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Thursday, July 2, 2009

Five Against One

The biggest question many Georgia fans have about the upcoming season might be who'll carry the load at tailback, but redshirt freshman and spring standout Carlton Thomas said the players are pretty sure they already know the answer.

"Right now we're looking at it as tailback-by-committee," Thomas said. "That's how we're looking at it and everybody's just trying to get better. But maybe if there's a guy that's really doing his thing, it might be (a featured back), but right now, everybody's got to be ready."

That's not to say that nothing can change in the five-player battle to replace Knowshon Moreno. While Thomas, Caleb King and Richard Samuel appear to be the front-runners for playing time, Thomas said running backs coach Bryan McClendon has assured each tailback that there's no limit or guarantee when it comes to carries this season. Redshirt freshman Dontavius Jackson and incoming freshman Washaun Ealey will also compete for playing time.
"He told us it's a clean slate," Thomas said. "Whoever comes out and performs, that's who's going to play."

That's a mantra that has superseded any planned committee approach, Thomas said. With five potential vultures in the backfield and only one football to go around, the tailbacks have been working hard even if a true starting job isn't in the cards.

"As a unit, we're communicating good and everybody's pushing each other behind (fullbacks) Shaun (Chapas) and Fred (Munzenmaier) who are leading the group, and everybody's falling in line behind them," Thomas said. "We're coming in and working, then doing some extra work, and even sometimes we might come back and do some more. Everybody's on track and everybody's holding everyone accountable."

So, what do you think? Are you in favor of the tailback-by-committee approach or would you like to see the trend Moreno started of one featured back continue in 2009? If so, which tailback do you think can do the most damage?


The Cuatro said...

I'd like it broken down like this:

1. Caleb: 60% of the carries
2. Richard: 20%
3. CT: 18% (Nice change of pace)
4. DJ 2% (in reserve situations late in games)
5. Ealey: Redshirt

I guess 1 thru 3 could be interchangeable on any given day depending on who has the rhythm, but I expect it to look about like this at year's end.

BUT, I still would love to see RS move to Sam LB

Lee said...

Personally if there can be a feature back good enough to be called that and perform well enough to get the carries then i'm fine with that. If King takes things by the horns and can be a consistent runner i'm all for him getting 70-75% of the carries in the game. If there was to be a RB by committee there really only needs to be 2 main RB's in that committee at a time. The interesting thing is we've never seen what it looks like with King and Samuel getting the ball that much.

CT might be the odd man out this year only because he is limited in his ability to pass protect at this point. If the other guys can perform well, he'll be on the outside looking in. I do hope they let have the KR duties this year, i believe he would excel at it better than anyone else the last few years. (BTW has anyone talked to CMR about who will be taking care of KR and PR duties this year? I know CT and FR Branden Smith have been mentioned in those roles, is anyone else considered?)

David Hale said...

Brandon Boykin and Prince Miller did some in the spring, but Fabris has said a few times he'd prefer not to have a defensive starter turn around and return kicks/punts, too, and both those guys figure to be starters (or in Boykin's case, at least a regular contributor).

Anonymous said...

I think we will see more plays with the RB's in the pass patterns and less dependency on RB's in pass protection. JC is not a big armed QB and we will likely (hopefully) see more of the catch and run plays than those long incompletions we saw the last 3 years.