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Saturday, March 27, 2010

Notes: Scrimmage Should Provide Separation

Finally, the day Georgia players say they anticipated most has arrived.

The Bulldogs scrimmage, full contact in Sanford Stadium today, with numerous storylines hinging on how each player performs.

“Tomorrow ought to be fun,” said coach Mark Richt. “I think the guys will be really revved up, ready to go. I think they’re ready to compete tomorrow. Everybody is live but the quarterback.”

The quarterback battle is still a three-way race between Logan Gray, Aaron Murray and Zach Mettenberger. Every practice is a chance to evaluate, Richt says, but the scrimmage offers a unique look at how each player can handle game-like situations.

“Scrimmages in the spring are judged probably the most, and the biggest. Obviously this being our first one, with the quarterback competition going on, how it is right now, it’s going to be important,” Gray said.

Also, defensive players say they’re ready to officially unveil the new 3-4 scheme. The past two weeks has been all about implementing and learning. Today, players can finally show what’ve got and feel out coordinator Todd Grantham’s playcalling.

“We’re ready to get some full contact and see how this 3-4 really works,” said safety Bacarri Rambo. “We’re going to show everybody how much the 3-4 has affected us, and how much we’re going to put into this 3-4. We’ll get to see how coach Grantham aggressive playcalling shows up for us.”

Aside from the larger storylines about the quarterback battle, and new defense, every player is proving himself on a daily basis. A good performance in the scrimmage is the best way to move up the depth chart.

“I feel we’ve got some momentum into [today] and I think it’s going to be a showdown,” said defensive end Demarcus Dobbs.

The scrimmage essentially boils down to another chance for Georgia’s players to play football. After two weeks of drills, walkthroughs and film and playbook study, the live action is what they say is craved the most.

“It really is, man,” said receiver Tavarres King. “That’s what you’re out here practicing for, are those days when you really get to play football.”


With so much depth at the tight end position, and so many versatile options, Arthur Lynch says the group clicks nicely.

He says each member of the four-man group brings something to the table, and the competition has done nothing but make each player better.

“It’s a healthy competition,” he said. “We’re all friends who joke around all the time. We all compliment one another, and I think we all excel in one part of the game.”

As for Lynch, he might not be suited to flex out to wide receiver like his counterparts, Aron White and Orson Charles. He says that’s fine with him. Lynch says he’s more like Bruce Figgins, the fourth member at this deep position. He says both have great blocking skills, and can still make plays catching the football.

Lynch got to play as a true freshman last season, but says he’s a totally different player now.

“In terms of the playbook, I think that hurt me last year,” he said. “With Bruce not being able to play, I was kind of forced into the situation. I just kind of jumped into it. I think now that I’ve had a year under my belt, a lot of things have slowed down for me. Each day gets slower and slower to me.”

The offseason has made all the difference for Lynch, who studied the playbook until he felt comfortable. With his increased knowledge, he no longer has much hesitation. Now, Lynch has focused on the finer aspects of the position, like route running, and perfect blocking form. He’s using spring practice to refine those skills.

“Coming into spring ball, I looked around and we have three other really good tight ends,” he said. “We’ve all played. We’ve all seen the field, so I think for me I just wanted to work on the things I need to work. That seems very simple, but for here, it’s very complex.”


Richt said the coaching clinic held in Athens Thursday and Friday was the most successful he’s hosted in his time at Georgia.

Over 500 coaches attended, with head men from Utah, Indiana, Florida, North Carolina, among other states represented, joining numerous representatives from Georgia.

“The clinic was just a gigantic success,” Richt said. “It was the largest turnout in the 10 years I’ve been at Georgia. I think the main attraction was coach [Tony] Dungy, I’m certain.”

Dungy, a former NFL coach, was the featured speaker Friday.

Richt also attributed the new defensive scheme drawing more coaches to the event.
Injury ends and outs.

Outside linebacker Justin Houston practiced non-contact Friday (shoulder), and will not scrimmage today.

Receiver Marlon Brown (shoulder), and linebacker Mike Gilliard (hamstring) will also be held out.

All are expected back, 100 percent, next week.


Anonymous said...

I really hate to see the QBs getting protected in Spring Drills. Can injuries happen in the Spring? Sure, but throwing with a defender bearing down on you is totally different than knowing you can step into each throw. We need to know which guy can get it done in the heat of battle, take those green jerseys off Coach and let's see what we have. The three QBs haven't thrown a half dozen passes between them at the college level, time to earn those schollies. Injuries are something we have to live with all year, they can happen anywhere; better now than in August.

SmyrnaDawg said...

What time is this scrimmage? Do we know? Could i see it if I were walkin on the bridge?? It's beautiful out an I'm bored!!

BigMuddyDawg said...

Great to read about Artie coming along nicely. I absolutely love our tight ends and it just seems like they are set up to all have a really big impact in the oncoming season.

Trey said...

Lou Holtz says some crazy things, but I think the smartest thing I ever heard him say was that he never put green jerseys on his QB's. Said they needed to be tested in practice just like every other player.