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Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Practice Notes: Robinson Happy to Get His Chance

At first, the award was little more than a nice sign of recognition following a season of hard work. But when Montez Robinson told his foster father he won the SEC’s defensive lineman of the week honors after a two-sack performance against Tennessee Tech, the weight of the award suddenly hit home.

“My dad, he was crying because he was just overwhelmed,” Robinson said. “Everybody was just congratulating me, but I was just like, it’s just an award. But it really does mean something to me, and it obviously means a lot to other people in their eyes.”

Robinson isn’t the first Georgia player to win the award this season, but when he took notice of the other Bulldogs to earn the honor, it put into perspective just how far he had come in a short period of time.

“The more and more I think about it, I see how prestigious it is,” Robinson said. “Geno Atkins and Justin (Houston) have been in the game a couple of years, and I get it as a freshman. I’m just thinking that’s pretty good.”

Robinson finished the game with five tackles – 2.5 for a loss – in his first extended action of the season. He said he hoped the performance had earned him more playing time going forward, but at the very least, it has caught the eye of some of his teammates.

“He has worked hard, earned the coaches trust and finally got that playing time,” linebacker Rennie Curran said. “I was in the same position when I came in my freshman year. It took me a little while for the light to come on and for me to earn the trust of my teammates and my coaches, but I always believed in myself and I feel like he is the same way. He believes in his ability and what he can do, and we need all the player makers that we can get on defense, especially at defensive end.”

JUMP AND SHOUT

Before last week’s game, Mark Richt decided any player flagged for a penalty would leave the game for the remainder of that series. As it turned out, he had to pull a player from action 11 times.

Six times an offensive lineman was flagged for a false start, and quarterback Joe Cox said the infractions should have gone the other way.

Tennessee Tech’s defensive linemen were routinely mimicking Cox’s cadence at the line of scrimmage – an infraction according to NCAA rules – causing Georgia’s linemen to flinch.

“You could see the guy right in front of Ben Jones in a three point stance, you could see him (flinch) and yell something, and that's when the whole line moves,” Cox said. “He said, ‘Set, go.’ I remember that. And we all pointed right at him, looking at the referee saying, 'He's yelling out the snap count.'"

For whatever reason, the referees didn’t take notice, but Georgia line coach Stacy Searels did. This week in practice, Searels has been doing his best to recreate the situation, hoping to keep Georgia’s linemen steady, even if the other team offers a distraction.

“We’ll focus on it more in practice because they’re not the only team that shifts and has somebody say, ‘Move,’ when they shift,” Cox said. “Coach Searels made it a point (in practice) that every single time we ran a play that he would just start yelling stuff while I was in the middle of my snap count, trying to see if anybody would jump, and nobody did.”

For his part, Richt said he planned to continue pulling players from the game when they are flagged for a penalty, but he may adjust his mandate that they sit the remainder of the series.
Cox said it was difficult to keep a lot of continuity on the line when players were being substituted so often, and left tackle Clint Boling said the rule took its toll on the offensive line.

“It was definitely a little bit different, but Coach Richt is just trying to clean things up and make sure we play a bit more disciplined,” Boling said. “I’m not really sure whether it slows guys down or what it does, but it does make you think a little bit that you want to play hard, but at the same time you don’t want to get any penalties.”

NO PROMISES FOR GRAY

After Richt announced Cox would remain his starting quarterback last week, he also promised a series early in the game for backup Logan Gray. As it turned out, it took six drives before Gray got his taste of action, and that ended with an interception.

Richt said he still had confidence in Gray, but against a more formidable opponent this week, there won’t be any further assurances of playing time for the sophomore quarterback.

“I wouldn’t sit here and promise it right now publicly, although we would like to continue to help him grow as a quarterback,” Richt said. “I wouldn’t say going into this game we are going to nail it down, at least not publicly.”

HE’S GOT WHEELS

Cox admits he won’t be winning any foot races in the near future, and for the season, the quarterback has just 13 rushing attempts that didn’t end in sacks.

“I’m definitely not a dual-threat guy,” he said.

But against Tennessee Tech, Cox did pick up eight yards on a nifty run that, while not exactly wowing fans with his speed, managed to catch the defense off guard. Not coincidentally, he said, it was also his first game without an interception this season, and Cox hopes that making a few more plays with his legs can keep that trend going.

“I probably should have (run) it more,” Cox said. “That’s one thing I said last week is, if I don’t like how it looks, I’m just going to take off and run. So I’ll probably end up doing that more but just make sure I take care of the ball.”

NO REGRETS ON BROWN

Richt decided before the season began that freshman receiver Marlon Brown would see action this year, and by the second week of the season, Brown had indeed taken reps on offense.

But in the seven games since, Brown’s playing time hasn’t increased much, and even against an overmatched Tennessee Tech team last week, the freshman saw little action and wasn’t targeted on a single pass.

Despite Brown’s minimal role, however, Richt said that the decision not to redshirt him has paid dividends.

“He is absolutely improving as a route-runner, as a ball-catcher, a blocker. He’s understanding what we’re doing much better,” Richt said. “He’s so much further ahead right now than he would have been hanging around on the scout team. We think he’s going to be making a big impact sooner than later. I don’t regret that right now.”

FEELING BETTER

Richt said defensive end Justin Houston was expected to return to action this week after sitting out against Tennessee Tech with an elbow injury.

Receiver A.J. Green also missed last week’s game with a bruised lung, but returned to full practice Sunday and said he’s completely healthy.

“I’m 100 percent. I’m rested, I’m ready to go,” Green said. “I felt it like the first day or so, and then it just went away.”

PRACTICE IN THE RAIN*

The Georgia Bulldogs practiced for two and a half hours in a steady rain that fluctuated between a wind-blown, driving drizzle to a solid, soaking downpour on Tuesday afternoon. The final 30 minutes of the full pads workout were conducted under the heaviest rainfall of the day. By the time the team wrapped up, puddles were commonplace on the FieldTurf surface and an inch-high stream was flowing from the driveway that goes from the upper grass fields to the lower section of the facility.

"I can probably remember one or two we've had like this but not too many," Richt said. "Over the course of nine years, you're bound to have a couple. I was relatively happy with the effort. We got the work in. It wasn't the best throwing and catching but we got the work in, which was most important."

Richt said the staff decided to practice in the elements as opposed to indoors due to the nature of Tuesday's routine.

"We have about 45 minutes of special teams practice on Tuesdays," Richt said. "You just can't take that inside. Those are things you have to be out and simulate and get a good feel for. If you don't get them in today, you spend the rest of the week trying to cram in too much."

(*From UGA press release)

EXTRA POINTS

-- Richt announced the captains for Saturday's game would be quarterback Joe Cox, center Ben Jones, cornerback Prince Miller and defensive tackle Jeff Owens.

-- Jon Fabris came in for interviews following practice wearing a soaking wet, long black rain jacket and hood, which made him look quite a bit like the villain from "I Know What You Did Last Summer," but another reporter topped that, noting he resembled the Gorton's fisherman. Either way, comedy gold.

7 comments:

bobbywareagle said...

Auburn 48 Georgia 17...

So sorry u stinking ass Dawgs. But you will lose another SEC game. Auburn will do exactly what Tennessee did and win huge. Your suck ass D won't stop Auburn. And your playing calling by Bobo will flop yet again.

Oh and your penalties will kill u and your undisciplined thugs who have been lacking in discipline and control all year will rack up over 100 yards in penalties.

Looks like another loss to a superior SEC

Anonymous said...

Hey Bobby,
That's mighty confident for a team that hasn't beat Georgia since Matthew Stafford was in high school. Superior Auburn is not to anyone in the SEC. If memory serves me correct Vandy took you to the outhouse just last year. You haven't threatened for SEC West in nearly 4 years. You are a mediocre program with a 2 QB's that should be playing safety in the SEC. You type a big game from your dorm room computer. Even in a down year, Georgia's coaches, players, and even the damn mascot are still superior to your failing football program.

Anonymous said...

stinking ass Dawgs? How is this not name calling and get approved?

I am having to put up with this type of attitude at work with the Auburn fan in Finance. They have no doubt they are going to beat us. Winning this game would really help our season.

Dawgy1 said...

bobbywareagletigerplainsmenetcetc.

That part about being a superior SEC team is a hell of stretch isn't it? When's the last time Auburn was relevant?

Ya'll still crying about 2004?

Anonymous said...

"I was relatively happy with the effort."

Talk about damning with faint praise.

C'mon coach, either you are happy with the effort or you are not.

If our effort was not up to the standards we set here at Georgia, then say it.

John P said...

lol, bobbywareagle. tell us how you really feel.

PTC DAWG said...

Classy comment there by our first visiting AU "fan"....like they say, you can't hide class.